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ENUMCLAW CITY COUNCIL: Proposed annexation of 101 acres gets public hearing

A proposal to add another 101 acres to Enumclaw's inventory of land drew a handful of citizens Monday night, most of whom offered a verbal thumbs-down on the idea.

The 268th Avenue Annexation has been in the city's lap since spring 2010, working its way through the municipal hoops required of any annexation petition. The final steps in the long process are a pair of public hearings on the matter; the first came Monday night and, as per usual, members of the city council heard from the audience and then continued the issue to a second public hearing.The matter will go before the council again on April 9, at which time a decision is likely to be rendered.

The land in question is bordered by McHugh Avenue on the south and Southeast 424th Street on the north, pushing against the Thunder Mountain Middle School property. The proposal derives its name from the fact that 268th Avenue slices through the area, with most of the land falling on the east side.

Four of the six citizens stepping to the microphone Monday night spoke against the annexation proposal.

"I really do appreciate the rural lifestyle," neighborhood resident Tom Allen said, noting the change is population density "seems excessive for the area.

"If the acreage is pulled into the city limits, portions will be zoned R-1 and R-2, which allows for traditional, single-family homes on city-sized lots.

Allen also cautioned the council against believing everyone in the area supports the idea. While acknowledging that the petitioner has acquired the necessary signatures, Allen noted that just one property owner could push the level of support below the required level

."This is not a slam dunk," he concluded.

Steve Fasoli took a different approach when he testified in support of annexation. He already sees plenty of traffic through the area, Fasoli said, adding that he would like the opportunity to vote in city elections and receive city services.

Cindy Proctor addressed the council twice, tying the annexation issue to the proposed YarrowBay developments in Black Diamond and the eventual fallout in terms of school capacity and the financial hit on patrons of the Enumclaw School District – particularly those on the Enumclaw side of the Green River.

She criticized what she called a lack of communication between the city of Enumclaw, the city of Black Diamond and the Enumclaw School District.

To Mayor Liz Reynolds, Proctor said, "you've lacked leadership on this."

City Planner Clark Close told the council the 101 acres under consideration is home to approximately 85 people. There are 42 individual parcels on those 101 acres, he said, that carry an assessed value of $9.8 million.

As things stand now, residents would see their property tax bills decrease if they were annexed into the city.

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