Councilmember Richard Conlin
COUNCIL TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARD ANNEXING NORTH HIGHLINE
Legislators want to bring vibrant neighborhoods into the City
SEATTLE – The Council took the first step today toward annexing the neighborhoods of North Highline—White Center, Boulevard Park, and others. The Council approved designating North Highline, currently an unincorporated area of King County with a population of 32,400, as a Potential Annexation Area. This action is the beginning to a process that could take over a year or more and could result in these neighborhoods becoming part of the city of Seattle.
Councilmember Richard Conlin, Chair of the Special Committee on Annexation, said, “Today’s action is the right thing to do. Making North Highline part of Seattle will add to our city’s cultural diversity and better help target growth and development.” Councilmember David Della said, “Annexation should be more than the financial ‘bottom line,’ it should be about the possibility of providing quality of life to these communities. I am pleased that we are giving our neighbors at least the chance to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be part of Seattle.”
A vote by North Highline residents will make the final determination as to whether or not they become part of Seattle. Councilmember Jean Godden said, “Let’s get our name on the dance card. North Highline is a vital community and I welcome taking the next step to annexing it as part of Seattle.” Councilmember Nick Licata said, “While I voted in favor of beginning this annexation process today, it’s critical to receive state funding to move forward. Without state funding, annexation is not possible.”
Councilmembers Jan Drago, Tom Rasmussen, and Peter Steinbrueck voted against the designation. Councilmember Drago said, “This designation is premature because the City has not completed the work necessary to find a way to fund the revenue gap. All Councilmembers agree that there is a need for further outreach to Seattle neighborhoods.”
Annexation by Seattle would benefit both the city and North Highline. Seattle can provide a higher level of service to North Highline than is currently provided by King County. For its part, Seattle would add a vibrant, developing community to the city. The State Growth Management Act anticipates that all unincorporated areas within a county’s urban growth boundaries, like North Highline, will be annexed by surrounding cities. King County has led the push to have all 10 of its remaining unincorporated areas annexed by 2012.