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Next annexation may be the last for a while

One more annexation is headed down the pike, but it might be the last time Enumclaw considers expanding its boundaries for a while.

Members of the Enumclaw City Council considered the Lundeen Annexation during their March 14 meeting, simply listening to details during the first reading of an ordinance that could eventually add 92 acres to the city’s land inventory.

Only one citizen spoke during the public hearing on the matter and she favored annexation on the grounds that city police would have a shorter response time than King County deputies. The council listened and simply advanced the issue to its April 25 meeting. At that time, final action could be taken.

The Lundeen Annexation comprises 50 parcels of land, now home to nearly 100 people. The area runs north-south and is largely east of Porter Street, with one small portion on the west side of the busy road, which also serves as state Route 169. About half of the area under consideration belongs to the Enumclaw School District and is home to Thunder Mountain Middle School.

Since lifting a moratorium on both annexation and developments, the city has allowed a pair of citizen-driven annexation petitions to come to fruition. City Planner Clark Close said Monday that the Lundeen effort could be the end of the line.

Taking in additional land and more residents can eventually put a strain on city services and council members have wondered aloud if they’ve reached a tipping point. Police Chief Jim Zoll has been invited to the next meeting of the Community Economic Development Committee to share his views.

Discounting the impact on services, annexation provides a small financial boost to the city. Close said the Lundeen Annexation would benefit the city to the tune of almost $37,000 annually. The city would lose money in one area, as residents of the area are now paying a premium price for city utilities, but would more than make up the difference in property tax collections.

Annexation, Close said, “is generally in the best financial interest of the city.”

The next public hearing on the Lundeen Annexation is planned for April 25 during the regularly-scheduled meeting of the City Council. The meeting will be in council chambers, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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