Views mixed at open house on annex plan

Opinions were mixed at a gathering Tuesday to discuss the proposal.

Karen Robison adds a red tack  to a map to show her location in a proposed annexation area and her opposition to the plan.

Karen Robison adds a red tack to a map to show her location in a proposed annexation area and her opposition to the plan. Photo by Alfred Diaz.

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WALLA WALLA — City officials held an open house Tuesday evening to discuss a proposed 870-acre south-side annexation.

The three-hour open house drew hundreds of residents, with several of them carrying “No Annex” signs.

At one point, close to 150 people filled the Walla Walla High School commons, where the city manager and other city officials fielded numerous questions on how the annexation would affect taxes, utilities and property rights.

During the event, participants were asked to stick either red or green push pins in a map to show where they live and if they supported annexation.

Green meant you supported it; the red pins greatly outnumbered the green pins.

The city will hold two more public meetings before the required public hearing that is tentatively scheduled for June 12, at which point the City Council can officially vote on the annexation resolution.

At its regular meeting April 10, the Council will determine if it will commence with the proceedings.

Then after an annexation resolution has been drafted, the Council will set a public hearing date at its regular May 8 meeting.

Because the city already has annexation agreements of properties that represent more than 60 percent of the total property value within the 870 acres, no further public petition is required and the annexation may be decided by the City Council.

Comments

grammaphyllis 1 year, 7 months ago

I get suspicious when I look at the map and see jagged boundaries that include some properties and exclude other parcels on the other side of the road. Just look at the parcels on the west side of Cottonwood Road. They seem to be completely surrounded by the 870 acres annexed but will be in a "pocket" not part of the City. It is obvious the City has taken advantage of a system whereby property developers agree to not oppose annexation if the City proposes such action. Then, the unsuspecting home buyers are stuck with no say in the matter. The developers agreements, required before building permits are approved, lock in future buyers to not oppose annexation. The City simply has to gather up the values of the new high dollar houses, bundle them together with a few parcels of lesser value or agricultural zoning acreage subject to future development, thereby reaching the 60% threshold, and voila! they have you annexed. This whole action has been done without individual notification to many property owners, and is indicative of the way you will be treated by the City in the future. Simply a way to get more tax dollars for the City with promises of great Police Protection, Water and Sewer lines, Wonderful roads maintained, etc. The decision has already been made! You have been had. There's nothing you can do about it. Surprise !! Go to all the Public Discussions you can, but don't get your hopes up very high. Sweet Dreams.....

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