The Lacey City Council voted last night to send a planned annexation of Capitol City Estates and Chambers Estates to the Thurston County Boundary Review Board.
The decision received a split vote of 6-1 following a public hearing that consisted of one citizen addressing the council. The citizen opposed the annexation.
The city opted for the “petition” method of annexation, which is being accomplished through property owners in Capital City Estates — the location of an ongoing sewer extension project — signing over power of attorney agreements in exchange for Lacey utilities. The power of attorney agreements allows Lacey to act on the property owners' behalf in annexation matters.
The area includes 451 taxable parcels with a combined estimated tax value of $134 million. The property owners who have signed over power of attorney to the city represent $100 million of that tax value — or 74.4 percent of the area. Lacey Planning Manager Ryan Andrews said the city required only 60 percent to move forward with the annexation, in accordance with the state’s “petition” method of annexation.
The one vote against came from Councilperson Michael Steadman, who said while he was in favor of the annexation overall, he took issue that not all the annexed properties received the same deal for sewer hookups.
“I firmly believe that every person and every business and every community needs to be treated fairly and equally. And if the Chamber Estates were included in the sewer connections, I would have no issue. … One side of the fence is getting sewer hooked up for power of attorney and one side isn’t. And for that, it’s at the core of my values that we all get treated fairly,” said Steadman.
Councilperson Ed Kunkel said he felt if City Hall was open to the public for meetings, there would have been more interaction from the public on this issue.
“I would believe that if we did have our City Hall open that we would have a little more input, particularly from that Chambers Estates neighborhood. And that being said, I understand why we’re doing this. It does make sense from a service standpoint, it does not make sense to exclude them from the annexation plan — just going to make things look like a bigger etch-a-sketch,” said Kunkel.
Other city council members also spoke in favor of the annexation, saying it had been a plan for Lacey to annex unincorporated islands surrounded by city limits for years. Mayor Andy Ryder noted that the newly annexed area would benefit by receiving fire and police services from Lacey departments.