Tumwater council planning to annex remaining 12 “islands” into city limits


The Tumwater City Council has approved staff recommendations to schedule final deliberations for the city to annex 12  “islands” in the coming months.

These “island” parcels are currently not part of the city but are bounded on all sides by it.  These are the final parcels remaining inside the Tumwater Urban Growth Boundary that are not inside of the city limits. 

During the Tumwater City Council work session, it was decided that formal deliberations about the annexations will occur at two upcoming council meetings, including:

  • May 17: Ordinance 02022-001 would annex certain contiguous properties referred to as the “Eleven County Islands” located within the Tumwater Urban Growth Area entirely surrounded by the City of Tumwater.
  • June 7: Ordinance 02022-002 would annex "Trosper Lake Island".

The annexation of these 12 unincorporated county islands will provide greater efficiency of services, according to city staff.  See detailed maps in .PDF attachment to this story. 

State law  RCW 35A.14.296 authorizes any code city to annex unincorporated island areas pursuant to a jointly approved interlocal agreement with the county. Tumwater, Lacey and Olympia are all code cities.

In his report to the council, city planning manager Brad Medrud said they are going through three formal processes for the annexation through an interlocal agreement; the boundary review board process and that the council will have the opportunity to listen to public comments as part of the considerations of the ordinance and make decisions on what they hear.

Medrud said the annexation involves 160 parcels of land totaling 161 acres. Seven islands have two lots or less, while Trosper Lake Island includes 111 parcels on 132 acres.

“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 said.

Mike Matlock, community development director, said that annexing the islands is a council strategic priority. 

No public hearing scheduled

“We've been working hard on that, you've been working hard on that. There's no further public hearings here," Matlock told the council, continuing, "so this will come to you in two different council meetings under considerations.  So there won't be public hearings. We have identified all people in the islands and we have notified them these meetings were coming even though it is not a public hearing,” Matlock stressed.

More information is available on this special webpage devoted to the annexations.  Comments will be accepted through May 17 or June 7, depending on which annexation is in question, if sent to Brad Medrud


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  • jroly911

    It's really too bad that something can't be done about the shared zig=zag city boundary that exists between Olympia and Tumwater on the south end. What a nightmare

    Thursday, May 12 Report this