The Tumwater City Council on Tuesday night approved the plan to annex 11 unincorporated county islands into the city.
This annexation will allow for developing and improving the delivery of public services in those 29-acres of what were previously urban growth areas in the county. The islands range from a quarter-acre residential lot to six acres.
According to city officials, the annexation will be completed five days after the ordinance was adopted by the council, or this Sunday.
Annexation of the final piece of Tumwater’s urban growth area, Trosper Lake Island, is set for final action on June 7. That area is about 132 acres, according to Medrud.
In his report to the city council last Tuesday, Tumwater planning manager Brad Medrud said this strategic priority has been on the city council list for several years. He emphasized that incorporating urban growth regions into municipal annexations would be more efficient and beneficial for nearby cities.
“The legislature finds that city annexations of unincorporated areas within urban growth areas will be more efficient and effective if the county and city develop a jointly approved interlocal agreement so as not to create illogical boundaries or islands of unincorporated territory,” Medrud mentioned.
According to Medrud, annexing and incorporating these islands into the city will help enhance public safety and provide sustained quality of life in Tumwater. Residents who live in the annexed areas will receive services from Tumwater police and fire departments instead of county sheriff’s office.
Medrud acknowledged that the process is complicated without recent amendments to state annexation law.
State law RCW 35A.14.296 allows any “code city” to annex unincorporated island lands if the county and the city agree on an interlocal agreement. Code cities include Tumwater, Lacey, and Olympia.
CORRECTIONS: 5/19/22 A previous version of this story indicated that the annexation of the 11 islands was still pending. The size of the areas being annexed was also corrected.
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