In 2010, City Council made exploring annexation of all 11 (at the time) of Bothell’s designated potential annexation areas one of the Council’s top goals, and endorsed a comprehensive multi-year program for this purpose. The program consisted of five activity tracks - planning and zoning; public outreach; fiscal analysis; service transition interlocal agreement negotiations with King and Snohomish counties; and service transition interlocal agreement negotiations with affected fire districts.
In the spring of 2011 the City Council examined the outcomes of the activities described above and elected to advance all 11 annexations toward formal approval via several methods authorized by state law.
The first of these annexations to be approved was the Bloomberg Hill Island Annexation in Snohomish County, adopted by the City Council in October, 2011. This annexation went into effect on December 31, 2012.
The largest potential annexation area, the North, East, and West of Bothell Annexation (NEWBA) in unincorporated Snohomish County, was placed on the ballot in November 2011. The vote failed by about 400 votes out of over 7,000 cast. After considering the concerns raised during the election and in response to a request from citizens, the Bothell City Council decided to provide an opportunity for residents in the NEWBA to vote on a new proposal in April 2012. The new plan addressed concerns raised over taxes and emergency medical services, but the election did not pass.
The remaining nine potential annexations, all in King County, are proceeding under a non-election method involving the negotiation of interlocal agreements between Bothell and King County, Fire District 16 (Northshore Fire Department) and Fire District 36 (Woodinville Fire & Rescue). These are expected to be approved by the end of 2013 and to go into effect early 2014.