205-acre annexation on Olympia council’s agenda

ahobbs@theolympian.comMarch 17, 2014 

The Olympia City Council will decide Tuesday whether to annex a 205-acre island of unincorporated land.

The council’s agenda also includes a public hearing for the Boulevard Road annexation area. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

One person who plans to speak at the hearing is Teresa Goen-Burgman, who runs Forest Funeral Home and Cemetery. Her family’s business is on Pacific Avenue at the northern edge of the annexation area, which covers both sides of Boulevard Road and parts of the Woodland Trail.

She said Olympia should have given the area’s 327 residents a choice in whether to annex. The state ruled in 2009 that cities can annex unincorporated areas without a public vote.

“I hope they address the needs of residents in the island,” she told The Olympian. “An option I think is very encouraging is that we can form into a neighborhood association.”

If annexed, the average homeowner can expect to pay about $85 less in property taxes, but about $250 more per year for utilities, depending on consumption. Residents in the area would be able to vote in city elections. The city will take over garbage and recycling services in seven to 10 years, according to city planners.

On a related note, a 9-acre parcel in the annexation area is undergoing a separate rezoning effort with Thurston County. The property contains nine single-family houses, all owned by the Medela family, which has tried for years to rezone the land for higher density.

The council also will give special recognition to community members and city staff who helped with the 2013 Mission Creek Watershed Restoration Project. The project restored an estuary at the south edge of Priest Point Park. Spawning salmon were seen entering the Mission Creek estuary this fall, the city reports.

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 ahobbs@theolympian.com

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