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City grows again when council OKs annexation

About 12 acres of land and 23 residents were added to the city of Enumclaw during the Feb. 14 meeting of the City Council.

The bump to the city roster came in the form of authorization of the Abbott-Blick annexation, a process that had been at least a year in the making.

The land is along Southeast 432nd Avenue on the city’s north side, sandwiched between already-developed parcels.

The only question slowing the council was whether an R-1 or R-2 designation should be applied. The difference is in the allowed density, or how many homes can be built on a piece of land. R-1 requires a minimum lot size of 15,000 square feet while R-2 demands a minimum lot size of only 8,400 square feet.

Also, land zoned R-2 allows duplexes with the appropriate conditional use permit. Parcels zoned R-1 are for single-family homes only.

City staff recommended R-2 zoning from the beginning, but a City Council committee initially favored R-1. During the meeting of the 14th, council members switched the zoning to R-2 and the annexation proposal passed by a 5-2 margin. Sean Krebs and Glen Jensen cast the dissenting votes.

Earlier in the meeting, Krebs had offered his support for annexation but said an R-2 designation would result in “unattractive and undesirable” development.

In other action Feb. 14, the council:

• authorized Public Works Director Chris Searcy to lock into a natural gas contract if the market rate drops low enough. The city chooses to purchase 75 percent of its natural gas through a guaranteed contract and buy the remaining 25 percent and market price. Discussed during the meeting of the 14th was an agreement to get the city through the summer months. Searcy was told to lock in 75 percent of the anticipated supply if the rate slipped to $4 per decatherm or less.

• approved, on first reading, a seven-year franchise agreement with Comcast.

• announced the hiring of Meredith Shirey to be Enumclaw’s next city clerk. She has been serving as town clerk in Wilkeson.

• heard from Councilman Jeff Beckwith, who reminded everyone that several City Council positions will be up for election this fall. The official filing period is the first week of June. Positions that expire at the end of the year are now held by Beckwith, Rich Elfers and Jim Hogan.

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