How should a city grow? That's the topic for the council's land use advisory committee.
For years I've wondered about the unincorporated portion of land just north of where I live. It follows Boulevard Road, includes the old McKinley School site and some of the upper east side. I assume it is a remnant of the quick annexation the city undertook in the 60s and 70s to cut the newly created Lacey out of a lot of land, but why it was never annexed puzzles me.
City staff explain why its not now annexed:
For over ten years the City has studied the possibility of increasing service efficiency by annexing the remaining unincorporated areas within the City. As noted, annexation commitments of 50% by assessed value are sufficient to annex an area surrounded by the City – lacking such an island-annexation is subject to an island-only referendum election at the request of 10% of the general-election vote within the annexation area. In general, Thurston County and its Boundary Review Board oppose partial island annexation. Although the three islands of the City are undergoing development, new housing generally is not added to the tax rolls -- and thus to the City’s annexation-commitment value -- for about one year. The table below outlines the current state of these commitments to annex. Given the potential cost of a referendum and the lack of urgency – the staff cannot recommend a City-initiated annexation in any of these areas until the 50% threshold is reached.