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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Council Roundup: Annexation work begins on last 3 'islands'

Also, Wilburton Connections LID discussed

The City Council Monday decided to start a long-anticipated process to bring Bellevue's final three islands of unincorporated King County residents into the city.

Eastgate, Hilltop/Horizon View and Tamara Hills, all south of Interstate 90, are each bounded by incorporated Bellevue on all sides. Combined, they include a population of 5,554, with 2,123 mostly single-family homes and 750 acres. Eastgate is the  largest of the three areas, with a population of 4,967, an area of 616 acres and 1,896 residences.

Annexations have played a major part in the growth of Bellevue since it incorporated as a city in 1953, growing from 4.7 square miles to more than 31 square miles today. The last major annexation came in 2001, when the 523-acre West Lake Sammamish area was added to the city.

Since 1979, city policy has been annexing unincorporated areas as requests are made from property owners. Residents in all three South Bellevue areas have expressed interest in annexation, so the city will use the direct-petition method for it, rather than holding an election.

The two-step process involves residents collecting the signatures of property owners representing 10 percent of the assessed property value in each area. Annexation would be affirmed when the city receives a second set of petitions for annexation from property owners representing at least 50 percent of assessed value.

Providing city services to the three areas, including fire and police protection and water and sewer, would add $1.1 million annually to the city's budget, even with new revenue, mostly from property and utility taxes, factored in. Residential property owners in the annexation area would pay lower total taxes as Bellevue residents than they pay now as unincorporated King County residents.

Bellevue is able to consider these annexations, despite the increased cost, because a state law allows cities to make up budget gaps due to annexation with a 10-year, state sales tax credit. The credit, which has no impact on taxpayers, reduces the state's revenue and increases city revenue. The law, used to encourage cities to annex unincorporated urban areas and provide services, is set to expire in 2015.

If the necessary petitions are received, the three unincorporated areas could be annexed by April 2012.

council agenda item
annexation history map

Feedback: Nicholas Matz, Senior Planner, 425-452-5371 or nmatz@bellevuewa.gov

Wilburton Connections LID discussed
The council reviewed a hearing examiner's recommendations regarding the proposed formation of a local improvement district (LID) in the Wilburton area.

The city is planning several major street improvements, collectively known as the Wilburton Connections project, to better link Wilburton with downtown and the Bel-Red area. Wilburton businesses -- expected to benefit from the project -- would be asked to contribute to its cost through tax assessments on the LID.

The LID would help pay for extending Northeast Fourth Street from 116th to 120th Avenue Northeast, and for widening 120th Avenue between Northeast Fourth and Northeast Eighth streets. The cost of the two projects is estimated at $45 million; the LID would generate about $10.2 million.

The council will consider an ordinance authorizing the formation of the LID at its March 7 meeting.

council agenda item 

Feedback: Nancy LaCombe, Transportation Capital Projects Manager, 425-452-4382 or nlacombe@bellevuewa.gov 

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