Update: Seattle City Council not likely to consider Area Y’s future for months

(UPDATED: Video below is the archived clip from this morning’s meeting)

9:08 AM: Clicking “play” will bring you the live stream of the Seattle Channel, where the Seattle City Council’s weekly briefing meeting is under way. Toward the end of that scheduled two-hour meeting – around 10:40 am – the council will hear an update on potential annexation areas. It’s been focused on the South Park “sliver by the river” and Duwamish Triangle, but we’re told that Area Y will be discussed too. We’ll have toplines during the meeting, too. (If you have any trouble with the video window above, just follow the link in our first line to the Seattle Channel and watch the live stream on their site.)

11:07 AM: We’ll substitute the archived video of this morning’s discussion as soon as it’s available. Meantime, not much was said about North Highline/Area Y – except that Seattle leaders are not likely to take a closer look at it before late this year at the earliest. Here’s our as-it-happened notes on how the entire discussion of possible Seattle annexations went:

The discussion began at 10:43 am. Meg Moorehead from Council Central staff reminds councilmembers there are four possible annexation areas in all. She notes that Council directed them months ago to pursue the two South Park areas and not stand in the way of Burien’s then-attempt to annex Area Y. She reminds that there are four ways to annex: 1. Vote of the people in the annexation area, 2. Petition of property owners with at least 60 percent of property value, 3. Interlocal agreement.

SLIVER ON THE RIVER + DUWAMISH TRIANGLE = ‘SLIVER Q‘: First, she updates the “Sliver on the River” – it will officially be a Seattle potential annexation area as of March 4th when countywide planning policy is complete. Regarding the Duwamish Triangle, they had started discussions – when businesses there took note and submitted a petition for Tukwila to annex them. Since property owners submitted the petition representing at least 60 percent of the assessed value, that kept Seattle from taking further action at the time. Then, on February 14th, the Boundary Review Board officially said no to Tukwila (we had reported the preliminary decision here). Moorehead said the city had wanted to annex both South Park areas because while the sliver is a “revenue drain,” the Triangle is not. But everything is in limbo right now because there is a monthlong period for an appeal to be filed. If there is an appeal, it will take several months; if not, annexation could come back to the council, via interlocal agreement, before year’s end. And if that doesn’t work out, they could pursue a vote of the people. The population is relatively low, there, which is why that’s not being pursued first – about 110 registered voters, city staffers say. The soonest a vote could be pursued would be February 2014.

Regarding the interlocal agreement, Clark says it wouldn’t just be the entities discussing it in a back room so far – she vows there would be a lot of outreach and discussion with the business committee.

AREA ‘Y': Moorehead mentions that studies have shown the cost of annexing Area Y would exceed the revenue brought in, and that’s why the Council had taken a pass in recent years, and let Burien take a shot at it. She notes the Burien rejection does not necessarily mean the area wants Seattle. She says staffers propose that they handle Sliver Q – the South Park areas – before deciding anything about Area Y, with a discussion to follow in late 2013 or early 2014. She mentions there is an incentive to deal with it in 2014 because of the sales-tax credit expiring at the start of 2015.

Moorehead also reminds councilmembers that a small area of about 10 homes near Lake Ridge Park in southeast Seattle is a potential annexation area too and should be dealt with before long. As for West Hill, though, which rejected Renton last November, that is NOT a potential annexation area for Seattle.

So the next step in all this depends on what happens with the possible appeal period for “Sliver Q.”


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