City Council expected to annex 205 acres

ahobbs@theolympian.comMarch 31, 2014 

The Olympia City Council is expected to approve the annexation of a 205-acre unincorporated area during its next meeting at 7 p.m. April 1 at City Hall.

The annexation would affect about 330 residents who live in the city’s largest unincorporated “island.” The area includes land on both sides of Boulevard Road south of Interstate 5 along with parts of the Woodland Trail.

The council approved a first reading of the ordinance March 18. If the second reading is approved Tuesday, the annexation will go into effect June 20.

State law allows Olympia to approve annexation without a public vote. Some residents and business owners oppose annexation for this reason.

The average homeowner can expect to pay an additional $250 to $275 a year for utilities, while businesses in the area will be required to pay a business and occupation tax, according to city planners. Taxpayers would assume a share of city bonds at an average cost of $4 per month for a $200,000 home, but the council would have the option to waive this cost, according to city planners. Residents also would be allowed to vote in city elections immediately.

Connection to city water and sewer services would be optional for residents who aren’t already connected. The city offers financial incentives for residents to connect with city water and sewer, said Public Works director Rich Hoey at the March 18 council meeting.

If requested by the county, Olympia also would assume responsibility for any development applications in the unincorporated area.

Also on the council’s agenda:

 • In an effort to curb public consumption of illegal drugs, such as heroin and methamphetamine, the council will consider a proposed ordinance that would establish five drug-free zones in the downtown area. If approved, the ordinance would enhance penalties for felony drug offenses within 1,000 feet of these zones, and would prohibit repeat offenders from returning to these zones. The five designated areas are the Hands On Children’s Museum, The Washington Center, The Olympia Center, Olympia City Hall and the Olympia Timberland Regional Library.

 • There will be a public hearing regarding a proposal to vacate a portion of an alleyway at 1063 Capitol Way S. The state Department of Enterprise Services is asking the city to vacate the 10-foot alley, which is located between two state-owned buildings, so that the state can redevelop the block. If approved, the alley will transfer from a public right of way to state ownership.

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

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