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We Want to Take You and We Will Nyah Nyah

Last week I'm watching a podcast of Monday's House Local Government and Housing Committee because I'm interested in the Executive Session which was supposed to take up (now being radically revised - improved I hope) HB1490.  My ears perk up because I recognize the voice of Paul Berry from the 37th.  He was talking about how unfair a proposed annexation process would be.

There are three bills now that I've found that have some stuff that looks really fishy to me.

Two are simple annexation bills, HB 2074 (Hunter and Springer) and HB 2173 (Hunter), with no Senate version. One, HB2020/SB5808 'Concerning the annexation of unincorporated areas served by fire protection districts', passed out of the committee Thursday with an amendment to add all of the language from 2074 or 2173.  Sponsors are Simpson, Chase, Hunter and Van De Wege.

2020-PS AMH LGH MOET 275 1
2020-PS AMH LGH MOET 275 By Representative Simpson PSHB 2020 - H COMM AMD (TO H-2081.2/09)

By Committee on Local Government & Housing
...
On page 17, after line 26 of the proposed substitute, insert the following: "NEW SECTION.

Sec. 13. A new section is added to chapter 35.13 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The legislative body of a city or town in a county planning under RCW 36.70A.040 that has more than one million five hundred thousand residents may resolve to annex territory to the city or town if:
(a) The area subject to annexation is within the same county and urban growth area as the city or town; and
(b) At least fifty-one percent of the boundaries of the area subject to annexation are contiguous to the city or town.
(2) The resolution must describe the boundaries of the area to be annexed, state the number of voters residing in the area as nearly as may be, and set a date for a public hearing on the resolution for annexation. Notice of the hearing must be given by publication of the resolution at least once a week for two weeks before the date of the hearing in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the city or town and one or more newspapers of general circulation within the area to be annexed.

(3) For purposes of subsection (1)(b) of this section, territory bounded by a river, lake, or other body of water is considered contiguous to a city or town that is also bounded by the same river, lake, or other body of water. For purposes of determining contiguity percentages under subsection (1)(b) of this section, the following shall not be considered: The boundaries of areas proposed for annexation that are coterminous with urban growth area boundaries; and the boundaries of areas proposed for annexation that are coterminous with a city or town that is not proposing annexation under this section.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 14. A new section is added to chapter 35.13 RCW to read as follows:

The annexation ordinance provided for in section 13 of this act is subject to referendum for forty-five days after its passage. Upon the filing of a timely and sufficient referendum petition with the legislative body, signed by qualified electors in number equal to not less than fifty percent of the votes cast in the last general state election in the area to be annexed, the question of annexation must be submitted to the voters of the area in a general election if one is to be held within ninety days or at a special election called for that purpose according to RCW 29A.04.330. Notice of the election must be given as provided in RCW 35.13.080 and the election must be conducted as provided in the general election law. The annexation must be deemed approved by the voters unless two-thirds of the votes cast on the proposition are in opposition thereto. After the expiration of the forty-fifth day from, but excluding the date of, passage of the annexation ordinance, if no timely and sufficient referendum petition has been filed, the area annexed must become a part of the city or town upon the date fixed in the ordinance of annexation.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 15. A new section is added to chapter 35A.14 RCW to read as follows:

(1) The legislative body of a code city in a county planning under RCW 36.70A.040 that has more than one million five hundred thousand residents may resolve to annex territory to the city if:
(a) The area subject to annexation is within the same county and urban growth area as the city; and
(b) At least fifty-one percent of the boundaries of the area subject to annexation are contiguous to the city.
(2) The resolution must describe the boundaries of the area to be annexed, state the number of voters residing in the area as nearly as may be, and set a date for a public hearing on the resolution for annexation. Notice of the hearing must be given by publication of the resolution at least once a week for two weeks before the date of the hearing in one or more newspapers of general circulation within the city and one or more newspapers of general circulation within the area to be annexed.
(3) For purposes of subsection (1)(b) of this section, territory bounded by a river, lake, or other body of water is considered contiguous to a city that is also bounded by the same river, lake, or other body of water. For purposes of determining contiguity percentages under subsection (1)(b) of this section, the following shall not be considered: The boundaries of areas proposed for annexation that are coterminous with urban growth area boundaries; and the boundaries of areas proposed for annexation that are coterminous with a city or town that is not proposing annexation under this section.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 16. A new section is added to chapter 35A.14 RCW to read as follows:

The annexation ordinance provided for in section 15 of this act is subject to referendum for forty-five days after its passage. Upon the filing of a timely and sufficient referendum petition with the legislative body, signed by qualified electors in number equal to not less than fifty percent of the votes cast in the last general state election in the area to be annexed, the question of annexation must be submitted to the voters of the area in a general election if one is to be held within ninety days or at a special election called for that purpose according to RCW 29A.04.330. Notice of the election must be given as provided in RCW 35.13.080 and the election must be conducted as provided in the general election law. The annexation must be deemed approved by the voters unless two-thirds of the votes cast on the proposition are in opposition thereto. After the expiration of the forty-fifth day from, but excluding the date of, passage of the annexation ordinance, if no timely and sufficient referendum petition has been filed, the area annexed must become a part of the city or town upon the date fixed in the ordinance of annexation.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 17. A new section is added to chapter 35.13 RCW to read as follows:

The method of annexation provided for in sections 13 and 14 of this act is an alternative method and is in addition to other methods of annexation authorized under this chapter.

This is followed in the amendment by methods by which areas may petition to join a jurisdiction.

Hmmnn Seattle City Council can pass a resolution to annex territory.  Not sure what the timing of the notification and public hearing is relative to that, but unless people in the subject territory petition for a referendum and 2/3 of the voters say no, it's a done deal.

I bet a bill search for the keyword annexation, and a look at the committee documents for those bills, will show this stuff being tagged onto anything having to do with annexation procedures.  Gee whiz, now I need to really track what comes out of committee and email my legislators on multiple bills that contain the same objectionable sections?  And, I will, too.

People in North Highline, you better run run run to petition the Burien City Council ASAP!

P.S. It would be nice if the chair of a certain committee would do more than huff and puff and rant in generalities.  I can see the amendments the Repubs are presenting to gut the GMA and I realize that it's good to stay on message, but gee whiz!  The way we do Growth Management in this state is not so great that I'm willing to religiously adopt anything that has GMA attached to it just because our side introduces it.

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There are numerous problems with these annexation bills, but this part really is astonishing:

The annexation must be deemed approved by the voters unless two-thirds of the votes cast on the proposition are in opposition thereto.

I cannot understand how these Legislators think that is fair to have an annexation be approved by only 33 percent of the voters who vote on the ballot measure.  What ever happened to needing a majority?

I think if, say 65 percent of voters vote against an annexation and it gets approved anyway, there would be outrage.

I can understand the Legislators wanting to encourage annexations to occur and to occur more quickly, but they seem to have fogotten that the majority of the voters in the areas unicorporated that will be annexed should have a say.

by Cherisse on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 05:40:34 PM PST

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  • Attitude by victoriawenjie, 09/17/2014 06:35:21 PM PST (none / 0)
"Upon the filing of a timely and sufficient referendum petition with the legislative body, signed by qualified electors in number equal to not less than fifty percent of the votes cast in the last general state election in the area to be annexed"

That's an insane requirement. 10% is used in other areas of state law, ie. forming a library district.

I guess the logic is" Once a cancerous growth has passed 1.5 million in population, it is useless to resist. You will be assimiliated."

Every annexation will add more areas that fall under the 51% guideline. I'm sure this could be used to eventually annex the entire county, as long as they keep expanding the UGA.

by WaltK on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:34:22 PM PST

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  • Hey Hey by ktkeller, 02/21/2009 09:32:35 PM PST (none / 0)
That chair of a certain committee? Said areas 'like Highline are a drain on other areas' so they must be taken fast.

by ktkeller on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 09:53:38 PM PST

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