East Wenatchee To Try To Annex County Land Again in 2023
The City of East Wenatchee will attempt to annex county land adjacent to the city limits in 2023, despite being rejected by Douglas County commissioners this year.
Mayor Jerrilea Crawford thinks commissioners were swayed by a tiny, but vocal minority of residents who opposed the annexation.
She's thinks there's also a misconception that it would be more expensive to live within the city.
"Your property taxes are lower," said Crawford. "The city's portion of the car tab fee, we eliminated that. We eliminated a phone tax. So, really, financially for most people, and I would have a hard time even coming up with anybody outside that box, that it would not be less expensive for."
Crawford says the city's plan is to reach out and educate the community about the benefits and services the city offers, and then take the annexation plan to a public vote.
An annexation would require 60 percent approval of residents inside the proposed annexation area to pass.
Crawford thinks another misconception is that living in the county offers wide open spaces without any close by apartments.
“If you live in the urban growth boundary area, you already have to follow the same rules as the city, even though you’re not in the city” Crawford said. “So, you may have an apartment complex right next to you, even though you’re in the county. So, I think it’s a perception.”
The proposed annexation was of land in urban growth boundary areas near East Wenatchee. It includes three auto dealerships which would significantly boost city tax revenue. It also included 600 homes and 1,300 residents.
The Commission's rejection of the proposal ended a process of cooperation between the city and the county with the commission's vote blocking the possibility of an Interlocal Agreement on the annexation.
A recent state law allows a local government to enter into interlocal agreements with other public agencies in the interest of cooperatively sharing resources for their mutual benefit.
But even after the county commission’s rejection, the city can still annex the land if residents vote to approve it.
Crawford said the city plans to move forward with the vote in the latter part of 2023.