The City of Lacey is working its way through the annexation process for 288 acres within the Capitol City and Chambers Estates areas, including the Capitol City Golf Course.
The Lacey City Council approved the annexation process during their Feb. 18 meeting, and the process is expected to be completed in September. Currently, that land is considered an unincorporated part of Thurston County, with Lacey city limits enclosing it on all but some if its west side.
“The council’s priority in annexing this area is really to kind of shore up our boundaries and get rid of the unincorporated islands that we do have in the city,” said Ryan Andrews, planning manager for Lacey, during an informational meeting last Tuesday.
Currently, the city is also working through the annexation of a five-acre area called Serenity Carpenter, just south of Martin Way. However the annexation of Capitol City and Chambers Estates represents the largest “unincorporated island” within Lacey, and would add approximately 1,000 people to the population, said Andrews.
The city opted for the “petition” method of annexation, which is being accomplished through property owners in the annexation area 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. Andrews said the city required only 60 percent to move forward with the annexation, in accordance with the state’s “petition” method of annexation.
Upon annexation, residents of the area can expect a drop in their property taxes, but an increase in their utility taxes, which may result in a roughly $23 monthly increase in their bills. However, Lacey also requires a 20 percent surcharge for non-city residents hooked up to city water. So with the elimination of the surcharge, some may find a less significant change to their bills.
Additionally, the area will now be serviced by the Lacey Police Department, rather than the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Despite the residences being located outside of Lacey city limits, it hasn’t been uncommon for LPD to respond to serious situations within that area anyway since LPD officers are usually much closer, Andrews said.
For fire services, Chambers Estates will now be served by Lacey Fire District 3, rather than Fire District 6. A change that seems to be more convenient for district 6, said Mayor Andy Ryder during the council’s Feb. 18 meeting.
“This has always been a weird boundary for the other fire district. This makes a lot of sense, at least for Fire District 3 to annex this area,” he said. The rest of the annexation area has already been served by District 3, and that won’t change.
Residents not already hooked into the city sewer system — which is more relevant for homeowners in Chambers Estates — won’t be required to once they’re annexed. However, that will be required if they experience a septic tank failure and they are within 200 feet of a sewer main.
The city council will hold a public hearing on the annexation at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 1. The meeting will be held online using Zoom platform. Links will be available on the city’s website (https://www.ci.lacey.wa.us/city-government/city-council/city-council-2/city-council-home). Written comments regarding the annexation can be sent to Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org.