Annexation is on Bothell residents’ minds

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition asking the city of Bothell to annex its Snohomish County urban growth areas (UGAs).

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2008 12:00am
  • News

Snohomish UGAs land on petition

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition asking the city of Bothell to annex its Snohomish County urban growth areas (UGAs).

Members of the North East West Bothell Annexation (NEWBA) group delivered the request to Bothell’s City Council April 1.

The city will have 60 days to decide what to do with the petition if the Snohomish County Auditor certifies its signatures.

Washington’s Growth Management Act encourages the annexation of UGAs, which are unincorporated lands designated for high-density growth.

The idea is to promote development in places where adequate public facilities already exist, thereby reducing urban sprawl.

But annexation raises concerns about the costs of providing services for new neighborhoods and residents.

Bothell would gain six square miles of territory and an additional 20,000 people by annexing all of its Snohomish County UGAs.

“We’re not asking for sidewalks or playgrounds or Olympic-sized swimming pools,” said petitioner Alan Mador. “What we want is police protection, your building code and your community development expertise.”

An analysis done in 2006 indicates that property tax revenues generated by incorporating these neighborhoods would exceed the operating costs by $626,000.

“It was an interesting finding, because it’s sort of been a rule of thumb that residential areas don’t pay for themselves,” said Bothell Community Development Director Bill Wiselogle. “They do in this case because the housing in that area tends to have pretty high values, and it’s relatively new, meaning the infrastructure is already there.”

It is also estimated that the city would bring in $7 million per year in various tax revenues to help pay for the capital costs associated with annexing its Snohomish County UGAs.

“We’re not orphans,” said NEWBA member Mickie Gundersen. “We’ll bring in money.”

Some of Bothell’s existing residents are skeptical about the benefits of annexing new land, but others, like Elaine Crawford, support the idea.

“If we’re looking to do planning, we should include the urban growth areas,” she said. “We get the impacts from those areas. With more density comes more traffic and people and crime. All of that spills over into my neighborhood.

“This is important to many many thousands of people in the city.”

Among the concerns of those asking for annexation is a perceived lack of representation from Snohomish County, which has five councilmembers serving approximately 606,000 residents.

“In Snohomish County, there’s a lack of care for the existing residents, which manifests itself in a lack of code to protect trees and habitats,” Gundersen said.

Annexation supporters have also expressed concerns about Snohomish County development policies.

NEWBA tends to favor Bothell’s system, which generally calls for lower density and greater environmental protection than Snohomish County requires for its unincorporated areas.

Snohomish County is currently in the process of updating its urban development code, and the expectation is that it will be more protective of the environment.

Still, some residents familiar with the proposed changes say they don’t go far enough.

“It’s still greatly lacking in tree preservation and restoration of habitats,” Gundersen said.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

The memorial service for Bothell police officer Jonathan Shoop on Tuesday.
Memorial honors fallen Bothell police officer Jonathan Shoop

After a motorcade through the city, the rookie cop’s two brothers spoke at a service Tuesday in Bothell.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

Bothell officer shot, killed man who reportedly had knife

Police said the man was slashing tires. He “advanced” on the officer with the knife, detectives say.

Cold-case arrest made in 1993 homicide of Bothell teenager

After more than 27 years, a discarded cigarette butt was used to link a suspect to the crime scene.

Most Read