by Jack Mayne
Seattle remains interested in annexing North Highline, but just not now.
North Highline “Area Y” voters soundly rejected in November the proposal that the area join with Burien. Burien says that was the decision and nothing more to do but carry on with business as usual.
Then the King County Boundary Review Board said no to the annexation of so-called Duwamish Triangle, a piece of land along the west side of the Duwamish River and bordered by West Marginal way. The area includes about 40 residents, some of whom live on boats at the Duwamish Yacht Club, 1801 S. 93rd St., according to Tukwila city documents.
Seattle officials say they still want all of still unincorporated North Highline but right now the money is not there for them to take it over.

Seattle City Council President Sally Clark.

Seattle Council President Sally Clark said the city has “nothing yet to report” at this time.
“We’re figuring out next steps after the Boundary Review Board’s rejection of Tukwila’s move for the Triangle. The Burien vote was a surprise to me. No Seattle action scheduled yet,” Clark said in an e-mail.
Seattle Council member Tom Rasmussen, a West Seattle resident, says he has “not heard anyone at the Seattle Council proposing that White Center become part of Seattle following the White Center voter rejecting the idea of becoming part of Burien.
“Perhaps someone is interested but no one has expressed that interest in the past two months.”
In December, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Council President Clark said the city’s desire to pursue annexation of entire North Highline area, including area Q, which includes the “Triangle” and “Sliver” at South Park, “remains unchanged.”
“The City has recognized that the best interest and general welfare of the city may be served by annexation of Area Y (as well as Area Q),” the Seattle leaders wrote. “However, extensive financial analysis showed that, even in the best case scenario, Area Y would not generate sufficient revenues to cover the expenditures Seattle would face in annexing that area.”
McGinn and Clark wrote that “with the voters’ rejection of Burien’s proposed annexation of ‘Area Y,’ Seattle intends to consider; once again, whether to proceed with an annexation election in Area Y.”
But the city has reached no decision as of late January.
“While the economic recession has eased, the city’s budget is still constrained. Updated financial analysis will need to be performed regarding the revenues and expenditures associated with an annexation of Area Y, along with any potential external sources of revenue that could offset such expenditures.
“The Washington State sales tax credit that Seattle could use to mitigate the financial impact of annexing Area Y is an important incentive for Seattle. State law currently provides that the City must commence annexation before Jan. 1, 2015; for Seattle to be eligible for the state assistance, so Seattle intends to move expeditiously with our review.”
So the county remains holding the bag, but it wants to expedite the movement of the area into a city, says King County policy analyst Karen Freeman.
“We’re continuing to work with the cities of Seattle, Burien, Tukwila and Fire District 11 to develop the most robust options available in North Highline for governance of the Y, Q, and ‘The Sliver’ areas.
“As with all the large islands of urban unincorporated area that remain, it takes time to develop thoughtful and mutually agreeable land use and governance solutions – but we remain committed to resolving the annexations of North Highline, West Hill, Fairwood, East Renton, Klahanie and Federal Way before the state sales tax credit to encourage annexations expires in 2015.”]]>

Senior Reporter Jack Mayne passed away in December, 2021. In his honor we have created the Jack Mayne Journalism Scholarship.

15 replies on “Seattle Still Wants North Highline, But Not Now”

  1. Now is the time for you to go ahead and come out in favor of Seattle doing this. You know who you are. This is what’s you’ve wanted all along.

  2. I’m all for it TcB/Test/whoever you are.
    It’s comical watching how dysfunctional your city council and manager are. The people of area Y saw thru all the phoney BS Martin and company were spewing. If my memory serves me TcB/whoever, you were for annexation. Even you people are now calling for a “change” in your government. Doing away with Martin and his side of the council and that debacle called CARES will be a great first step.
    As for us here in da ‘hood, we made an excellent choice to stay with KC. Now it looks like Seattle (who can actually afford us) will pick us up. Kinda like saying saying screw off to the NBA and poof here comes Chris Hanson. I guess it pays to read the fine print ay TcB?
    Good luck with all that; well you know, Mike Martin and all his friends he is employing on your tax dollars….bah hahahahaha
    Area Y Mike

    1. Lol…you just said, “Now it looks like Seattle (who can actually afford us) will pick us up.” Did you read the article above??? When a city–like Seattle–uses terms like “financially constrained,” that means they can’t afford to annex either. Remember this legislation:
      Likely that Seattle has not met it’s own requirements to annex.
      My prediction? White Center will remain unincorporated for the forseeable future, and any citizen wanting annexation will have to initiate it via petition.

      1. It seems like the residents of N Highline and the other potential annexation areas aren’t the ones initiating any of this…they seem to be in effect the stuff King County is putting out on a big table in the driveway at their Unincorporated Areas Yard Sale hoping a neighboring city will come buy and make a deal to take it off their hands. It would be GREAT if the residents of the areas involved were actually the ones in the driver’s seat controlling their own futures.

        1. Hey, great points. IF a group of citizens wants to annex to Seattle (or another area), then start the petition process. It’s really NOT that hard. It just takes a little effort. As far as King County goes–yes, the want to rid themselves of the responsibility of taking care of municiple-level services for these unincorporated areas. This is not secret. Their endeavor is driven by the WA State Growth Management Act, and by King County’s own countywide planning policies, which clearly articulate that these types of areas (largely urban, unincorporated areas) are better served by cities–not by regional governing authorities (like counties).

          1. Yes…One of the interesting things to me is how the GMA and VISION 2040 are incredibly well-known and yet incredibly obscure at the same time. There are so many people talking about them and working to implement them…but it seems like the people living in many of the impacted areas are not being deeply engaged in talking about the implications in an objective way or in owning the implementations. Is this by choice (ie, it wasn’t built here so we will fight it on principle) or because they have been marginalized and not welcomed into the conversation? It seems like there are lots of business and economic development opportunities inherent in those plans but my impression is that they tend to get reduced to one or two polarizing issues.

        2. Shari …You are exactly correct Karen Freeman is one of Dow’s front people tasked with pawning off area Y on what ever city will pony up for it.. This stirring of the the pot gives her a justification for her over blown salary.. The big hurdle is that KC had better come up with a very sweetened honey pot otherwise the residents will never vote for it and Seattle won’t sign on for it. In this case KC no longer has a Mike Martin that will push their agenda even if it makes no fiscal sense whatsoever.

    2. Haven’t you just been in it for the money? I haven’t, I don’t stand to make a dime in any way, annex by Burien, by Seattle, or stay unincorporated. I was for the people deciding, and I would have welcomed them if they chose to become part of Burien. They chose to stay unincorporated, and now you’re going to have to bring out your big propaganda guns to try to get them to choose Seattle. I foresee that you reap what you sow, now that you’ve done so much advertising to stay unincorporated, it’s going to cost you to try to change hearts and minds.

  3. well if seattle annexx then hopefully we won’t have see anymore long borning letter to the editor from the upper class (tight w**s) of burien that try to say they have no problems with low income people but then complain about anything involing a low income area or low income people then attack anyone that post any info that doe’s not compleatly agree with them no matter if there on ether side or no side but these people know who they are they will be the same people replying with bunch nonsense to this post hint theres about 7 of them not including any doulbe accounts or fake names (jonh) sorry i ment (mr.forcest)

  4. Mayor McSchwinn, with his “no plastic bags”, on one side and Martin, with his “brown paper bags”, on the other……..time for White Center to become their own city!

    1. I don’t think they have enough people to support the cost of a city, plus, I think there’s some other reason why they can’t (not enough people in general?)

  5. Chris,
    yes I read this!!!
    “Seattle officials say they still want all of still unincorporated North Highline but right now the money is not there for them to take it over”. Chris, doesn’t it say they WANT us? It also speaks about the sales tax credit that must be used before January 2015. That’s enough time to get the ship righted in seattle to annex us in my opinion.
    My point is that we rejected the smoke and mirrors and general BS that martin & Co was spewing and Seattle has a bigger tax base to support area Y (which can’t support itself obviously) and burien does not. Heck burien can’t even support themselves. Your manager and council are borrowing money to pay to support what you have now.
    Good luck with all that, chris

      1. Go ahead on it tcb. It sounds like you’re starting up the machine over there with a petition against CARES. I think that’s a great thing for you to do. That was another huge reason being a part of Burien was a terrible idea. Martin and his cronies. Maybe if you play your cards right, you could be part of his inner circle tab, maybe you already are?

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