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County Releases Statement On West Hill Annexation

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued a statement late last week, stating the next steps are "up to the residents" of West Hill.

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued this statement on the defeat of proposed annexations in North Highline and West Hill. The County did do respond to specific questions submitted by Renton Patch:

"We acknowledge the decision of the residents of the North Highline and West Hill communities to remain in unincorporated KingCounty for the immediate future.

“King County will continue to do its best to provide services to these areas within the resources available. The mandate of the state Growth Management Act remains unchanged– that urban areas should be in cities, which are in a better position to provide urban-level services.

“It’s going to be up to the residents of these urban unincorporated areas and their adjacent cities to decide if and when anannexation vote will come up again. It is certainly in the interest of the cities to act before the sales tax relief provided by the state expires in 2015.

“I want to thank the Mayor, the City Council, and the staff of the cities of Renton and Burien for their work and cooperation throughout this lengthy process.

“In the meantime, King County’s Community Service Area staff will continue to provide support and access to unincorporated area residents and organizations.”

Renton Mayor Denis Law also issued a statement just minutes after the King County Elections Office posted last Wednesday night's results. Click here to read his statement.

Sonja Bowden November 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Jenny, on behalf of our West Hill community, thanks ever so much for the extensive coverage you have devoted to this very important topic, including videotaping of our October WHCA Quarterly meeting, which was devoted entirely to informing voters about annexation. The burning question I have now is: Will Renton likely take steps to drop West Hill from its PAA? Also, if those in favor of annexation regroup, will Renton be interested in reconsidering another vote prior to the expiration of sales tax relief in 2015, or is annexation of West Hill to Renton now a dead issue? Thanks!
Jenny Manning November 12, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Hi Sonja, So glad you've enjoyed our West Hill annexation coverage. I look forward to continuing to cover the West Hill, and will try to find answers to your questions!
Question Mark November 13, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Sonja, According to Renton Patch and other news sources, Mayor of Renton Denis Law was quoted as saying this after the vote: "This decision allows us to end discussions regarding governance for this area and focus our attention on serving Renton citizens." I take this to imply he is in favor of dropping the West Hill from Renton's comprehensive plan and from Renton's Potential Annexation area. Of course, Mr. Law's statements have not always been the last words from the City of Renton in the past. I wonder, as part of the concern about whether the area might be removed from Renton's planning process, whether funding for existing projects that has been secured by the City of Renton is in jeopardy, such as the Renton Avenue sidewalk improvement project scheduled to begin in 2013.
Sonja Bowden November 13, 2012 at 02:55 AM
When I read Mayor Denis Law's statement, I took it to mean that West Hill was likely to be removed from Renton's PAA. That's why Jenny will be following up for clarification. City of Burien's City Manager Mike Martin reacted in a similar manner, saying it was good to have the issue settled. Both cities appear to be anxious to refocus their attention on internal matters, since annexation is off the table. As far as the Renton Ave. S. sidewalk project goes, the signs are up, and I see no reason to expect it won't go forward. I did write to King County Roads to inquire when the construction would begin, but I haven't heard back.
Sonja Bowden November 13, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Just re-read what you said, Mark. The sidewalk project between 75th and 76th Ave. S. should be underway before the end of the month, according to what we were told by King County Roads at the last board meeting.
Question Mark November 13, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Sonja, thanks. The reason I asked is after reading the headline on the project page (http://www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/Roads/Construction/ConstructionProjectsOther/RentonAvenueSouth.aspx) "King County and City of Renton partner to improve walkability on Renton Avenue South." As a community, I think we need to recognize who our active partners are, and to cultivate rather than alienate such partnerships.
Sonja Bowden November 13, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I couldn't agree with you more, Mark. That was a beautiful collaboration between city, county and state officials, and a leap of commitment by City of Renton especially, long before the voting on annexation happened. I see now you are correct, that construction has been postponed until January, 2013. Thanks for posting the link. Last time I checked, it hadn't been updated.
STOP Larry's 3rd Attempt December 09, 2012 at 02:18 PM
DEMOCRATS BREAK PROMISES THEY USE TO INCENTIVIZE ANNEXATION BEWARE!!! Deal "sweeteners" are often offered to entice "consolidations" or "annexations." A couple cities that only entered into consolidation based on promises made are now fighting their 3rd fight in 9 months to have the legal contracts upheld. Funny how the representative from the 45th district was the one who originally passed the bill to allow the "prenupital" agreement between the cities. Now the representative from the 45th district (years later) single handedly wants to break the contract. This is without any request from citizens at large or either of the cities involved!!! BEWARE!!! Don't be enticed or tricked into consolidation or annexation based on promises that will later be broken!!!
STOP Larry's 3rd Attempt December 09, 2012 at 02:44 PM
DEMOCRATS BREAK ANNEXATION PROMISES - SEE VIDEO @ 1:08:00 http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&eventID=2012121001
Sonja Bowden December 09, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Can you be more specific about which two cities, and which representative you are referring to? What was promised, and what is being taken away?
STOP Larry's 3rd Attempt December 09, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Here's the specifics Previously many cities were trying to annex or consolidate with other cities. Often, one of the two cities was uncomfortable giving up certain rights and land uses and only one of the two cities would vote to consolidate. As an incentive to get the other city to agree to consolidation a representative from the 45th District put forward legislation that passed the house and the senate - it basically created a pre-nupital agreement between the cities. Now without the request of the cities, and without the request of those who offered the "pre-nup" or accepted the "pre-nup" there is a very strong push by one democrat wherein he sometimes finds a way to get support by some other democrats... BEWARE ... See the video for other details.
Sonja Bowden December 09, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I watched the video, but I'm still not clear on what we need to worry about. It's not likely annexation to Renton will happen anytime soon, anyway.

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