THE RHODORA ANNEXATION PROJECT
- You currently have a Lake Stevens address, but you do not live in the City of Lake Stevens.
- That means you have county services for things like police and roads.
- Between 75% and 80% of the area around the Lake is within the City, including most of the area’s parks, retail centers and other amenities.
- Because you aren’t a resident of Lake Stevens, you don’t get to vote in Lake Stevens. That means you don’t have a say in who is elected and what decisions they make about parks, roads, sidewalks, etc.
- Annexation is the opportunity to bring the entire Lake Stevens community together and get yourself a right to vote on the people and decisions that directly impact the area you live in.
What is Annexation?
Annexation is the formal process that allows those not living within a city to ask the city to expand city boundaries to include the area where they live. And, as you can imagine, it’s a complicated process that involves multiple steps, public hearings and etc.
Getting the Facts About Annexation
You’ve probably got a lot of questions about the impact of annexation, especially on your property and your pocketbook.
That’s why we’ve prepared a PowerPoint to help answer your questions about how annexation will impact you on everything from taxes to pet licenses to and from fireworks to sewer connections. [Please note that the PowerPoint takes time to load. If you prefer not to wait, please contact us and we will send you a copy.]
For the full annexation PowerPoint: Rhodora Presentation 3
If you’ve still got additional questions, let us know. We’ll track down the answers.
- SEPTIC SYSTEMS If your home is hooked to Septic, annexation does not require you connect to public sewer. However, if your septic fails and you are within 200 feet of a public sewer line, you must connect to sewer.
- PETS The County and City require pet licenses and the fees are similar. Upon annexation, the City gives you 60 days to license your pets for free. And if you are a senior (age 62+) your pet license is also free!
- FIREWORKS The City regulates fireworks in Section 9.64 of its code, allowing fireworks on July 4th from 9am to midnight. By comparison, the County regulates fireworks in SCC 30.53A, of its code, allowing fireworks on July 4th from 9am to 11:59pm.
- GROWTH The annexation area is within a State Growth Management Act required “urban growth area” and future growth will eventually happen whether you are in the City or County.
More About Property Taxes
The City 2017 property tax levy is $0.07 per $1,000 in taxable valuation less than the County’s (or $1.35 versus $1.42).
For 2018, the City’s property tax levy will remain lower than the County’s (by $0.05 per $1,000).
You can verify this information by comparing the snapshots of the total property tax distribution for a property in the City of Lake Stevens versus a similar property in Snohomish County.
An example is provided to the right.
Note: annexing to the City eliminates the variable State Forest Fire property tax.
Will More Housing Be Developed?
Annexation has no impact on when housing may be developed in your area. That’s because Washington’s Legislature adopted the Growth Management (RCW 36.70A) in 1990.
This state law requires that all counties and cities plan for urban development within fixed urban growth boundaries, known as urban growth areas (UGAs).
The UGA for Lake Stevens, as adopted by the City and County, includes your neighborhood. Therefore, under state law and local planning, development will happen in the future regardless of the area being within the County or the City.
How far along is the Annexation?
In September, owners representing more than 10% of value of property within your area signed and submitted a “Notice of Intent to Annex” (also called a 10% Annexation Petition) to the City of Lake Stevens.
This petition was considered by the City Council and on December 12, 2017, they adopted Resolution 2017-22 to accept the 10% petition and authorize circulation of what is called a 60% petition. That means that before the City will consider annexation, it requires the submission of a petition from owners representing not less than 60% of the value of property in the area.
What are the next steps?
Update: The 60% petition has been achieved and submitted.
Soon the City of Lake Stevens will provide public notice, post the site, and hold a public hearing to listen to residents of the area prior to considering action on the annexation.
If after the hearing the City decides to proceed with annexation, they must approve an ordinance annexing the area. However, the annexation is not effective until after it has been reviewed by the Boundary Review Board – a review board established by State law to ensure annexations comply with statutory requirements.
Why is David Toyer (Toyer Strategic) involved?
As I’ve met with some of your neighbors they’ve asked the question, why are you involved in this project? Simple. I’ve long supported annexation in Lake Stevens.
In fact, I was born and raised in Lake Stevens. And during my childhood I had a few occasions where I attended City Council meetings with my Dad, Richard Toyer, who served multiple terms as a City Councilman and Mayor in the 70s, 80s and early 90s.
For decades, I’ve always wondered why the area around the Lake wasn’t united as “one community around the lake.” And I’ve seen efforts to lead annexations come and go.
I can imagine that had annexations happened sooner, there may be sidewalks around the entire Lake by now. And there would have been better and more consistent planning of this community’s neighborhoods, road connections and parks.
So when I was approached last fall by some property owners in the area about what it would take to annex into the City of Lake Stevens, I was excited to put my time towards something I truly believe is a good thing for all of Lake Stevens.
Thanks for your time!