Mukilteo scales back annexation

MUKILTEO — After a state board rejected its efforts to expand by 3,000 acres, the city of Mukilteo scaled back its annexation plans and now hopes to get the new plans approved next year.

Mukilteo dropped from its expansion plans residences in Norma Beach area and businesses on the east side of Mukilteo Speedway to satisfy the state Boundary Review Board.

People who live south of the city were scheduled to vote in May whether they would want to be part of Mukilteo. Now, a vote is likely delayed until February 2009, Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine said.

“This doesn’t change the fact that we want to annex, or that (residents) want us to annex them,” Marine said. “I don’t think any of that changes.”

The review board unanimously rejected the city’s plans to annex land along the edge of Paine Field and as far south as Norma Beach. Board members questioned some of the proposed boundaries in the plans. They also said the plans failed to spell out how certain areas would be covered by services such as police and fire protection.

Snohomish County, the city of Lynnwood and Snohomish County Fire District 1 had all opposed Mukilteo’s plans.

The city dropped inclusion of the land along Mukilteo Speedway from its annexation plans because most of the land is county-owned airport property. County officials are adamant against giving up any property at Paine Field, said Peter Camp, executive director for Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

The Norma Beach area, the site of several high-end homes, is being left out of the revised plans because including the community would have created irregular city limits for Mukilteo, Boundary Review Board members said.

People who live in the Norma Beach area could petition to be annexed into Mukilteo if they would like to be part of the city, Marine said.

Lynnwood officials have also expressed interest in annexing the Norma Beach area. The community is in the city of Lynnwood’s urban growth boundary, but not in Mukilteo’s growth boundary, Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough said.

Gough said he is open to discuss annexations in the area with Mukilteo officials.

“They put it in their annexation plans that they wanted to go there, but there’s at least some interim step of defining where your urban growth area is going to be,” Gough said.

Marine recently met with Fire District 1 Chief Edward Widdis to discuss how fire protection services would be provided in the annexation area. Another meeting with fire and city officials has already been set.

“The advantage of this delay is now there’s the opportunity for that type of consultation to happen,” Fire District 1 Commissioner Jim Kenny said. “If Mukilteo wants to work out an agreement, that’s going to be good.”

The most important thing is for everyone involved in the annexation plans to talk through these issues, Marine said.

“Regardless of the Boundary Review Board outcome, those discussions have got to take place,” he said. “When you annex, you’ve got to have a transition plan.”

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or spesznecker@heraldnet.com.

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