It was all smiles and applause Monday as the City Council voted to make the Eastgate, Tamara Hills and Horizon View neighborhoods part of Bellevue. The annexation takes effect on June 1.
The unanimous votes to annex the three unincorporated areas, south of Interstate 90 and bounded on all sides by Bellevue, means the city will grow by about 5,400 new residents, 1,850 residences and 700 acres.
It's also historic, marking the last major annexation for Bellevue, which is now surrounded by other incorporated cities.
Annexations have played a huge role Bellevue's growth since it incorporated as a city in 1953, expanding from 4.7 square miles to more than 31 square miles today. The last big annexation came in 2001, when the 523-acre West Lake Sammamish area was added to the city.
"It's been a long time coming," said Deputy Mayor Jennifer Robertson. "I'm so happy to welcome these areas into Bellevue. This is really going to be wonderful to be one Bellevue."
"We're absolutely thrilled," added Councilmember John Chelminiak, who thanked city staff for their work. "It's the right thing to do. You should be part of the city and the city should be part of you," he told residents of the three neighborhoods Monday.
The annexation is expected to cost the city $1.34 million more annually to provide services than it takes in from taxes and other revenue generated by the new neighborhoods. However, a state sales tax credit means the city will be able to make up those costs for the next 10 years.
The two-step annexation process began early in 2011. The first round included residents collecting signatures from property owners representing 10 percent of the assessed property value in each area. After the council approved that, a second round of petitions were obtained from property owners representing at least 50 percent of assessed value.
Several events are planned to welcome the new residents into the city, including:
- Council reception, from 7:30 to 8 p.m., June 18, outside Council Chambers at City Hall.
- Drop-in meetings, from 10 a.m. to noon on June 19, and from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on June 20, at Newport Way Library; and from 10 a.m. to noon, June 21, at the South Bellevue Community Center.
- Community Celebration, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on July 26 at the South Bellevue Community Center. It will include free classes and kids' activities, refreshments, prizes and entertainment.
Councilmembers also paved the way for the annexation of a fourth unincorporated area, Hilltop, by approving a pre-annexation agreement and two other agreements related to Water District 117, which supplies Hilltop's water.
If Hilltop residents submit enough direct petitions, their annexation could take effect on July 31.
For more information on the annexations, see the council agenda.
Feedback: Nicholas Matz, Senior Planner, 425-452-5371 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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