City of East Wenatchee Still Pursuing Annexation Process
The City of East Wenatchee will continue its push to annex over 600 homes and approximately 1,300 residents in Douglas County into its boundaries.
An initial proposal for the Interlocal Agreement allowing the annexation to proceed was rejected by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners in May.
East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford says annexations are an expected occurrence as the county’s population expands in areas where it borders the city limits.
“Cities are expected to grow into the Urban Growth Area. And East Wenatchee is surrounded by an Urban Growth Area. That means if you are in that area, eventually it should come into the city and you already follow all of the same rules that the city has.”
The County declined to proceed with the annexation due to what it termed as “strong public opposition” to the move after eight residents within the proposed area for rezoning voiced their concerns.
Crawford contends those residents had been misinformed about the details surrounding the annexation and deemed the County’s response as over reactive.
She believes the city will still achieve its goals for annexation, but says there are now only two options available to make it happen, and both are far more complex.
“I can put it on the ballot or we can do a petition method. But those are both very time consuming. It will take a lot more resources and we all end up paying for that. So I wish they (the County) would have just said ‘we’ve negotiated and feel this is really good for both sides, let’s just educate those opposed and move forward’. What they did though, is just made the whole process more expensive for our taxpayers.”
The City originally had designs on annexing the area of Third and Fourth Streets Southeast south to the Columbia River. However, the County subsequently suggested the addition of 10th Street Northeast, Sand Canyon, and Stonebridge prior to denying the move altogether.
The City is hoping to place the annexation proposal before voters in November next year.