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Enumclaw council approves annexation of 101 acres

A proposal to expand Enumclaw by 101 acres – a concept two years in the making – has earned the blessing of the Enumclaw City Council.

Proponent Rick Kranz started collecting signatures in spring 2010, circulating a petition asking that a chunk of land on the city's north side be annexed. His effort wound through local government and King County's Boundary Review Board before being approved on a 4-1 vote April 9.

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. Once it officially becomes part of the city's land inventory, the area will be zoned R-1 and R-2, which allows for traditional, single-family homes on city-sized lots – a greater housing density than has been allowed under county rule.

During a public hearing on the matter prior to the council vote, a dozen people addressed the council. Seven urged a "no" vote on annexation while five, including Kranz, encouraged council approval.

"I think this is ill-timed for the city of Enumclaw," said Jason Koehn, expressing his concern that the city does not have the financial ability to provide resources to more people. He also offered his opinion that "a fair amount of misinformation" was shared when the annexation petition was initially circulated.

Tom Allen warned that annexation, and the accompanying rezone, would result in "a drastic change for this area."

Taking an opposing view was Jackie Jorgenson, who said increased housing density is a long way off. She also reminded council members the city would benefit from annexation in the form of increased property tax dollars and added revenues from garbage and sewer revenues.

Kranz, who owns six acres within the annexation boundaries, said, "we've done everything the city has asked us to do."

In the end, only Councilman Glen Jensen voted against the annexation, citing "the general state of the city fund."

Supporting the proposal were Kevin Mahelona, Sean Krebs, Chance LaFleur and Darrel Dickson. Absent from the meeting were Mike Ennis and Jim Hogan.

The 101 acres is home to approximately 85 people. There are 42 individual parcels that carry an assessed value of $9.8 million. The land has, for many years, been included in the city's Urban Growth Area and it is wedged between a pair of fairly recent annexations.

As things stand now, residents will see their property tax bills decreased due to annexation.

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