As of March 21, 2014
King County annexation areas
On February 28, 2014, Bothell's nine King County annexations went into effect.
The nine annexation areas range in size from 1.9 to 660 acres, and in population from 7 to 3,980 persons. Total area is 1,005 acres, and total population is an estimated 6,080 persons. Four of the annexation areas are islands of unincorporated King County completely surrounded by Bothell.
The annexations were initiated in February 2010 and processed under the city/county/fire district annexation interlocal agreement method, as provided in state law. This method, which does not involve an election, is most suitable for infill annexations which square off a city’s boundaries and are undisputed by any other jurisdiction. The nine annexations have been designated by city and county plans as part of Bothell’s logical service area since the mid-1990s, and will eliminate a number of pockets of unincorporated territory that have been difficult for the County to serve.
The nine annexation areas and estimated population numbers are as follows:
- North Bloomberg Hill = 405
- Hillside Estates = 39
- South Norway Hill / NE 160th = 3,980
- Magnolia Dairy / South Westhill = 1,195
- North Westhill = 380
- Westhill Island / North = 34
- Westhill Island / East = 7
- Westhill Island / South = 32
- Maywood Island = 8
The annexations implement the state Growth Management Act, which establishes that cities are the most appropriate providers of urban services. The annexation process was initiated by resolution of the Bothell City Council in February, 2010. Over the next three years, interlocal agreements were negotiated with King County, Fire District 16, and Fire District 36. Following approval of interlocal agreements by all parties, four notices of intention covering the nine proposed annexation areas were submitted to the King County Boundary Review Board. The annexations were approved by the Board on November 15, 2013, clearing the way for the Bothell City Council to adopt an ordinance on November 19, 2013, formally annexing the nine areas.
Following are highlights of the key elements of the annexation interlocal agreement:
Part 3 – Comprises the Bothell – King County agreement. Key sections include the following:
3.1.4 States that the City plan designations and zoning classifications adopted for the PAA in 2010 via Ordinance 2053 (2010) will apply upon annexation.
3.2.2 Provides for transfer of records, development services, incarceration responsibilities for misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes, police services, court and prosecution services, and road and fire levy taxes.
3.2.3 Provides for transfer of surface water management, park and greenbelt properties. The County will deed to the City East Norway Hill Park, which is south of Northshore Junior High School and Woodmoor Elementary School.
Part 4 – Comprises the Bothell – Fire District 16 agreement. Key sections include the following:
4.1.1 Provides for transfer of fire district taxes and EMS levy revenues from District 16 to the City as of the effective date of annexation. Acknowledges that no District 16 assets are required under state law to transfer to the City, due to the small size and valuation of the annexations relative to the entire District. Acknowledges the City’s statutory responsibility to maintain or better the fire protection and emergency services response times existing prior to annexation, based on the latest District annual report.
4.2.1 Replicates language from state law concerning layoff and transfer of firefighters. While District 16 has determined that no firefighters would be laid off as a direct consequence of annexation, this language is included to acknowledge the District’s and the City’s statutory obligations were this the case.
4.2.2 Provides that the City would at a minimum interview any laid-off non-firefighter employee of District 16 for any open City position for which the employee is found to be qualified.
Part 5 – Comprises the Bothell – Fire District 36 agreement. Key sections include the following:
5.1.1 Provides for transfer of fire district taxes and EMS levy revenues from District 36 to the City as of the effective date of annexation. Acknowledges that no District 36 assets are required under state law to transfer to the City, due to the small size and valuation of the annexations relative to the entire District. Acknowledges the City’s statutory responsibility to maintain or better the fire protection and emergency services response times existing prior to annexation, based on the latest District annual report.
5.2.1 Replicates language from state law concerning layoff and transfer of firefighters.
5.2.2 Provides that Bothell will hire at least two District 36 firefighters if laid off by the district as a direct consequence of annexation.
5.2.3 Provides that the City would at a minimum interview any laid-off non-firefighter employee of District 36 for any open City position for which the employee is found to be qualified.
5.2.4 The City and District 36 agree to collaborate to determine the feasibility of re-opening District 36’s Station 34. Station 34 is located east of 124th Avenue NE on NE 144th Street, within territory recently annexed by Kirkland, and is currently closed. District 36 agrees to direct the proceeds from any future sale of Station 34 towards the siting, design and construction of a new fire station beneficially situated to serve both Bothell and District 36. District 36’s obligation would be capped at the fair market value of Station 34 on the effective date of the agreement, and would expire in five years if the City has not secured funding for the station by that time.
5.2.5 Relates that the City is evaluating alternative fire and EMS models that might involve consolidation of services, and provides that, if the City determines to further explore any such models, the City and District 36 will engage in a joint study. (Subsequent to approval of the interlocal agreement, the City did determine to further explore the regional fire authority model, and the City, Fire District 36 and Fire District 16 agreed to engage in a joint study, which is currently in progress.)
For detailed information on the King County annexations, please click on the various topics above and to the left. However, here are short answers to the two most frequently asked questions about the annexations, concerning taxes and addresses:
- Your property taxes will be lower in Bothell than in unincorporated King County, because the Bothell municipal tax rate of $1.54 per $1,000 of assessed valuation (AV) replaces the combined County road tax and fire district tax rates of $3.25 per $1,000 AV. Even after factoring in the City’s utility taxes (which the County doesn’t yet have the authority to collect), the owner of a typical house assessed at $300,000 will save between $245 and $262 per year. Because the annexations were official at the end of February, 2014, these reduced tax rates will go into effect in 2015.
- Your address stays the same. The vast majority of properties in the annexation areas have Bothell addresses, but a small number have Kirkland or Woodinville addresses. These did not change with annexation. If, following annexation, citizens in those areas ask to change to a Bothell address, the City will conduct public outreach to determine support for the idea, but it is not automatic.
The latest annexation to Bothell in Snohomish County was the 12-acre Bloomberg Hill Island Annexation, which was approved by the Bothell City Council in October, 2011, and went into effect December 31, 2012.
The remaining designated potential annexation area in Snohomish County (called a Municipal Urban Growth Area, or MUGA, under the Snohomish County Countywide Planning Policies) is 3,608 acres and wraps around the current Bothell city limits on the west, north and east.
This area was the subject of unsuccessful elections in November, 2011, and again in April, 2012. No further pursuit of this entire potential annexation area is currently planned, although the City might consider annexation requests by individual neighborhoods or groups of neighborhoods within this area.
Please click on the various topics above and to the left for more information on the potential annexation of unincorporated Snohomish County territory to the City of Bothell.