White Center annexation vote in 2018? City Council committee briefing Wednesday


The city of Seattle currently has two potential annexations on the table – one in the South Park/Duwamish River area, the other in White Center/North Highline. A briefing on both is set for tomorrow’s meeting of the Seattle City Council’s Education, Equity, and Governance Committee (2 pm Wednesday, City Hall downtown, also live on seattlechannel.org). The documents in the agenda indicate that if the city decides to send North Highline annexation to the area’s 8,600+ registered voters, that’s more likely next year than this year (which had been previously mentioned as an option). See more in our preview on partner site White Center Now.

P.S. The committee meeting also includes updates on two voter-approved, levy-funded initiatives, the Democracy Voucher program and the Seattle Preschool Program, which according to the briefing slide deck now has half a dozen sites in our area.

TUESDAY NIGHT NOTE: The agenda has been revised and the Democracy Vouchers briefing is no longer planned.

14 Replies to "White Center annexation vote in 2018? City Council committee briefing Wednesday"

  • Gatewood Neighbor January 17, 2017 (11:25 am)

    If I was a resident or business in that area I would be pleading with Burien into Annex instead.  The amount of crazy you can avoid by staying out of the reach of the Mayor and Seattle City Council is well worth effort. 

    • WSB January 17, 2017 (11:48 am)

      After the area rejected Burien four years ago, the City Council there formally dropped it as a potential annexation area (it had been considered that for both Burien and Seattle, and the latter gave the former the go-ahead to pursue it first).

    • Rick January 17, 2017 (1:05 pm)

      That’s a bingo.  I’m considering moving my business out of Seattle for obvious reasons.

  • white-center-resident January 17, 2017 (1:07 pm)

    As a White Center resident, I would strongly support annexation strictly for the ability of law enforcement in the Highland Park/White Center area to be able to have a connected, articulated strategy for this community that is sort of cut in half by the city line. Oh, and there is little validity to the argument (which I’ve heard elsewhere regarding this topic) that property taxes would go up. Seattle is actually way more efficient than the county in providing most services, and with Burien off the table, the only other option is incorporating as our own municipality, which would be prohibitively expensive. The status quo is not an option, as the county has made clear. The options are to join Seattle, or become our own city that provides its own services and has its own city hall.

  • Josh January 17, 2017 (2:05 pm)

    Renters and Homeowners – this is very important!

    For renters, keep in mind that if we go to Seattle, you may see a huge spike in rent before the annexation takes place.

    For landlords, if you’re generous with keeping rent low, it’s your last chance to raise rents to market rate, before annexation.

    Once annexed in Seattle, rent increases are capped at 10% per year. Many new regulations impacting all residents across the board. 

  • ltfd January 17, 2017 (3:40 pm)

    Josh- stating, “Once annexed in Seattle, rent increases are capped at 10% per year”, is a fallacy (that means a lie).

    • Josh January 17, 2017 (5:47 pm)

      My mistake LTFD. I understood that Seattle implement a law stating a landlord could not raise the rent more than 10% in one year. I may be wrong, it’s a confusing bunch of stuff. Anyhow, in talking with both renters and owners here, their conclusion was to make the changes in rent upward, if needed, before facing restrictions by Seattle. I’ll take your “lie” statement with an explanation that I just am not understanding Seattle’s rules apparently.

  • Space Dust January 17, 2017 (7:25 pm)

    Vote NO, to be annexed into Seattle.

    You will get stuck with all Seattle’s  BAD ideas.

    Seattle Sick Leave

    Seattle’s minimum wage

    No Plastic bags

    Seattle sales tax rate

    Higher utility taxes on your water, sewer, lights and phones…

    Higher fee’s on on your vehicle license 

    Higher property taxes

    Also Seattle would absorb White center height, Mt. View elementary and Cascade middle school. Leaving Evergreen high and Shorewood elementary the only schools in north Highline school district. Middle school kids would be left with Sylvester….Down by Highline Hospital.

    • WSB January 17, 2017 (9:00 pm)

      Space Dust, I don’t have time to look up the other contentions but the last part is FALSE. The school district is separate from the city and annexation will not change that. No schools will be “absorbed.” And there is no “North Highline School District.” The schools in North Highline are part of Highline Public Schools, whose boundaries will not be changed by annexation. (As reiterated in the first line of this document from tomorrow’s agenda: http://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=4921472&GUID=5AE465AB-209F-4676-9044-DFDAC3C55DA5 )

      Anyway, there are lots of reasons to debate annexation and for people to decide whether to oppose or support it. But sticking to the facts is really important. I did find a sales-tax-rate calculator, just out of curiosity. The rate is 9.5% in unincorporated King County, 9.6% in Seattle. That’s $1 extra on $1,000 of taxable spending.


    • DH January 18, 2017 (7:01 am)

      @Space Dust. Well if you don’t want to be part of Burien and you don’t want to be part of Seattle you need to figure out how to become a viable city with the available tax base. The County is not designed to manage urban areas so figure something out. The status quo isn’t going to keep working. 

    • Neighbor January 18, 2017 (9:53 am)

      Seattle and the unincorporated areas have the exact same electrical rates. Burien and the other suburban cities tack on extra charges for public works projects (such as the 1st ave S. undergrounding)

      All in all, annexation would be a good thing for White Center. The county underserves them, and at the same time too much of the county’s revenue is going to support them. The same is true of Skyway.


  • Window2theFuture January 18, 2017 (7:18 am)

    I wish they would change the rules for the annexation vote. Under the election method rules for annexation, only registered votes who have resided in the area for 90 days preceding the election are allowed to vote. We own a rental house in White Center but do not reside there, so we are not allowed to vote on the  future of our property. However our renter, who is living there short term (and may have only lived there for 90 days) gets to decide the fate of the area. We have a large investment and can’t vote. Our renter, with nothing vested, votes to determine how the property will be governed. Just doesn’t seem fair to me. A more fair approach would be to allow both property owners and residents to vote.

    • WSB January 18, 2017 (12:27 pm)

      The annexation election voter eligibility rules are the same as for any other election. Here are Washington’s voter eligibility rules:


      You have to establish your voting address at least a month in advance. Not three months. And you can be registered at only one address.

      Annexation (like other matters) does not only affect property and its owner(s). And it’s not true that renters have “nothing vested” in the community where they choose to live.

      But maybe you could look into switching your voting address.

      And wherever you’re registered, if you feel strongly about one side or the other, your activities in campaigning for or against any particular side(s) are not limited.

  • Mark Ufkes (White Center resident) January 18, 2017 (8:52 am)

    Three different King County-funded studies have shown that if White Center (North  Highline) tries to become its own city, it will be broke the day it incorporates.   Becoming its own city is not an option.  We are an urban area  with the same challenges as any neighborhood in Seattle.   Our White Center community and business district is cut in half by the Seattle city line,  and we now have significantly fewer police officers  than we would have as a complete Seattle neighborhood.  Seattle government has its complexities sure, but Seattle is a great city, filled with  wonderful neighborhoods and interesting  people (just like White Center).  Government officials change over time, as do government policies, but Seattle will always be filled with  neighborhood residents who work with the city to set their own future.   And if Seattle is such a bad place for small businesses, why are there more  than  10,000 small businesses in the city according to community development professionals.  I see Seattle as a glass half full not half empty, with an exciting future.   White Center will make Seattle better, and Seattle will make White Center better.   

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