Mukilteo tries new tactic to annex area

MUKILTEO — Months since a state board rejected the city’s plans to expand by 3,000 acres, Mukilteo leaders are planning a grassroots effort in hopes of pushing the city’s boundaries farther south.

Several people who live between Mukilteo and Lynnwood, including members of home­owner associations, are collecting signatures from landowners who want their communities annexed into Mukilteo.

To start the annexation process, they need to get signatures from landowners whose properties make up 10 percent of the total land values in the city’s proposed annexation area. That area spans the city’s southern boundary to 148th Street SW, about a mile north of Lynnwood.

The city is also working with residents who are collecting signatures in the Meadowdale area, which includes a neighborhood of high-end homes just north of Meadowdale Beach Park.

Mukilteo’s previous annexation plans were struck down in February after being challenged by the Snohomish County Council, the city of Lynnwood and Snohomish County Fire District 1.

An annexation brought forth by residents would be less likely to face such stiff opposition, Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine said.

“They are not challenging us at that point, they would be challenging the citizens, who would be bringing up the petitions,” Marine said. “To me, there’s a pretty big difference there.”

Dan Gray, a Mukilteo resident who circulated petitions for the Harbour Pointe annexation in the 1990s, is working with the city again to gather signatures. He owns a business in unincorporated Lynnwood, just across the street from Mukilteo’s city limits.

Unlike the Harbour Pointe annexation in which most of the land belonged to a single owner, this annexation area covers many communities and neighborhoods, Gray said. Tracking down the owners of some properties has been difficult.

The important thing, he said, is that people seem supportive of being brought into Mukilteo.

“When we were doing the Harbour Pointe annexation, there were parts of that area that aligned themselves with Old Town, and they didn’t see the need for annexation,” Gray said. “In these new areas we’re looking at, they do want to be affiliated with (Old Town).”

If the residents successfully collect the initial 10 percent of signatures, then the Mukilteo City Council would vote whether to allow them to continue pursuing the annexation petition.

Then the proponents would have six months to collect signatures from landowners whose properties make up at least 60 percent of the total land values in the annexation area.

If they can do that, then the City Council could vote to finalize the annexation.

As happened before, other governmental agencies could still challenge the plan by calling for a hearing with the state Boundary Review Board.

“The difference is they’re less likely to go out against this,” Marine said. “If it’s 60 percent of the population that wants this, as opposed to the city that wants this, there’s a political difference.”

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