News

Annexation vote this November

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

Now that the sub-area zoning plan for Federal Way’s potential annexation area is on the verge of City Council approval, council members have approved three resolutions calling for elections in each neighborhood and directing city staff to file notices of intent to annex the areas with the King County Boundary Review Board.

Property owners and residents living in Redondo, North Lake and Parkway will vote on whether to annex in the general election this November.

The council planned initially to annex Redondo by the island method, which can be done without an election. But because that method is subject to voter referendum, council members decided on an election, instead. They said a voter referendum would require an election, anyway.

All three elections are council-initiated, but Councilman Eric Faison said the city is pursuing annexation at the request of residents living in North Lake and Parkway.

Though early financial analysis indicated it would cost the city $16,104 and $57,937 annually for road improvements, police and parks in North Lake and Parkway, respectively, Faison said later looks at the numbers showed more of an even break.

“It all comes out in the wash,” he said, adding North Lake and Parkway cost less in capital improvements than Redondo, but Redondo brings in more money on the operating side. “Basically, when it all adds up, it’s a very slight positive.”

According to data presented last December, the city would have a net operating surplus of $2,982 in North Lake, a deficit of $36,504 in Parkway, and a surplus of $34,955 in Redondo.

On the capital side, the city is looking at a surplus of $4,561 in North Lake, a surplus of $25,135 in Parkway, and a deficit of $27,965 in Redondo, according to the December report.

The benefit to Federal Way of annexing the areas is the control the city would be able to have on development in neighboring areas, Faison said. City officials have expressed concern over the dense development King County is permitting near North Lake.

Faison said the tax rates for residents living in the potential annexation areas will come out about equal. King County’s property tax rate is higher at $1.76 per $1,000 of assessed property value. But, in addition to Federal Way’s $1.30 property tax rate, residents here pay a utility tax.

County officials are expected to lobby Olympia next year for the ability to impose a utility tax on unincorporated areas. “There is a degree of support for a county utility tax. If the county gets a utility tax, tax in the county will be substantially higher,” Faison said.

The council authorized the annexation elections May 18.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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