Annexation Gets The Nod From Boundary Review Board

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by Gina Bourdage

The Washington State Boundary Review Board for King County met for a Public Hearing last night (Mon. Mar. 30), and gave Burien preliminary approval of its efforts to annex the North Highline neighborhood. Board members heard public and officials representing public groups with interests in the community.

The Board will vote on final approval at their April 16th regular meeting.

“We don’t want to be forgotten. We would like to see the same attention,” said Karen Valloria, President of White Center Community Development Association. Valloria spoke in support of annexing to Burien and expressed concern for the lack of progress on Seattle’s attention to the Northern part of White Center.

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council member Ron Johnson expressed favor of the proposed neighborhoods to officially become part of Burien: “We are hoping that with a successful annexation they (Burien) will be able to come back for the rest of us.”

Fire Chief Scott Lavie spoke on behalf of the fire departments in support of Burien’s efforts reached through mediation.

Property owner Daryl Tappio was one of the dissenters, expressing his dislike of the lower zoning regulations in Burien – currently Seattle allows 48 residences where Burien would only allow 24. Burien City Manager Mike Martin later addressed Mr. Johnson’s concern confirming the regulation stating that future consideration for changing the regulation could be examined with expressed community interest.

Martin was able to present progress of the annexation, addressing the concerns of all whom spoke.

Many residents would have liked to have seen the entire North Highline area brought into Burien as a whole community.

“As a practical matter the current annexation proposal is a good idea,” Martin said. “Doubling the size of of a 15-year old community is too risky in my opinion. The economic reality is that annexing the entire North Highline area is not possible, at this time.”

In review of public and officials comments and concerns the review board moved to approve Burien’s efforts in annexation of the proposed North Highline area.

Voters in the proposed area will get to vote in August 2009. Should the annexation be approved, Burien would be welcoming 14,000 new residents in March 2010.

The fate of the remaining White Center area is still up for debate.

The next Annexation Informational Open House is scheduled for April 16th at Hilltop Elementary School. Click here for meeting details.

Residents in the Burien Proposed Annexation Area can expect to vote on this issue soon, likely on August 18th. You can download a Map of the Proposed Area here [PDF].

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