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Public Hearing on Controversial Woodinville Sammamish Valley Annexation Set for Thursday

King County will hold a public hearing in Woodinville at the Carol Edwards Center. The meeting is to hear public comments on the county's comprehensive plan, which rejects annexation of Sammamish Valley land into the city.

The public has an opportunity Thursday night to weigh in on the controversy about moving the Urban Growth Boundary in order to annex county agricultural land into the City of Woodinville. King County is holding a meeting at the Carol Edwards Center regarding the updating the Comprehensive Plan, which favors keeping the land’s agricultural designation.

The King County Comprehensive Plan is currently undergoing a mandated review (). Under revisions proposed by County Executive Dow Constantine, areas in the Sammamish Valley that are unincorporated and designated in the county’s Agricultural Protected District (see map), will remain protected and will not be annexed by the city.

The plan to move 17 parcels of land along 140th Place NE, many of which are fully developed (, , ), is in opposition to King County’s Comprehensive Plan, which designates the Sammamish Valley as rural. If the city were to annex those properties, the county would need to move the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

At its March 6 meeting, the city council passed a controversial resolution to send to King County endorsing the annexation. The 5-2 vote, with Mayor Bernie Talmas and Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders opposing, became a hot button issue at this week’s council meeting when Talmas was called on the carpet for not signing the resolution (). Talmas said he did not sign because he felt the resolution had factual errors.

Paul Reitenbach, with the Department of Development and Environmental Services and manager of the comprehensive plan, agreed that the resolution seemed flawed, and said that annexation into a city would not be protecting the natural environment of the Sammamish Valley.  

The properties in question are developed and were grandfathered in when the county implemented the state-mandate Growth Management Act. Many of the property owners want to be annexed into the city, according to city staff. The fact that there are urban uses on many of the parcels is the argument used for annexation.

Thursday’s meeting is at The Y at the Carol Edwards Center, 17401 133rd Ave. NE in Woodinville. Doors open at 6 p.m., the meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

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