In Feb. 2009, the Lake Stevens City Council unanimously voted to move forward on its fourth annexation in five years. On the Nov. 3, 2009 General Election Ballot, voters living in the proposed Southwest annexation area, will be asked whether they wish to become part of the City of Lake Stevens.
This latest annexation is a continuation of the City’s six-year annexation plan of ‘One Community Around the Lake’. That plan began in 2006 with the successful annexation of the Northlake area, the Frontier Village annexation followed in Dec. 2006, and the Soper Hill annexation in 2007.
The proposed Southwest annexation has an estimated population of 10,500, with about 3,800 residences and is approximately 2,370 acres in size; this annexation would increase the City population by 75 percent.
The City of Lake Stevens has been preparing for annexation by budgeting and planning for the future growth, and sticking to the six-year annexation plan that the City filed with Snohomish County in 2005.
“It makes sense to continue to move forward with the annexation, it enables the City to take advantage of the Sales Tax Incentive offered by the State,” Lake Stevens City Administrator Jan Berg said.
The sales tax incentive was created to encourage cities to annex their Urban Growth Areas and provides assistance in recouping those one-time costs associated with annexation and closes the fiscal gap from the effective date of an annexation to when revenues are received. The sales tax incentive is not an additional tax to consumers or taxpayers, what it does is it diverts a percentage of a city’s sales tax revenue from the State directly to the City.
“The additional funding will help pay for the expenditures associated with the first year of annexation, such as patrol vehicles, equipment and training for 12 additional police officers the City will hire for the annexation,” Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori said.
Part of the annexation process requires that cities take their annexation proposal to the Snohomish County Boundary Review Board for approval.
Lake Stevens did this in June, presenting a fiscal plan and other supporting documentation, outlining how the City plans to provide the same quality of urbanized services that current City residents receive.
The City passed through the Boundary Review Board with some members of the Snohomish County Review Board noting that it was refreshing to see the City has exceptional relationships with their community partners, including the Fire District, Sewer District, School District and the Chamber of Commerce.
“That was exciting to hear,” Planning and Community Development Director, Rebecca Ableman said. “We presented the facts and worked hard with Snohomish County to ensure we were meeting all of the Boundary Review Board’s objectives and the Growth Management Act’s goals”.
The city staff and council members will continue to host public information meetings, and are also available to attend small group or Home Owners Association meetings.
“It’s the City’s goal to ensure that those people living in the proposed Southwest annexation area make an informed decision based on facts,” Lake Stevens Mayor Vern Little said. “We are ready, able and willing to provide locally based responsive services to the citizens living in the Southwest area. I encourage people to attend one of the public information meetings; sitting down one on one with city staff and council members really gives folks an opportunity to address any concerns or questions they have.”
Additional information, including the Southwest Annexation Fiscal Study, Snohomish County Boundary Review Board decision and upcoming Public Information Meeting schedule, is available on the City website at or you can contact the City’s Community Programs Planner directly at 425-212-3315.
Public information meetings have been scheduled through October and will be held at Cavelero Mid High Library at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 22 and 29.