King County Executive Dow Constantine today joined with Kirkland City leaders and King County Councilmembers to mark the largest shift of unincorporated county territory in recent memory – the annexation by the City of Kirkland of nearly seven square miles of the Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate areas.
“This brings local services closer to local residents – from police to permits to roads,” said Executive Constantine. “It’s a great deal for the residents of these neighborhoods and will make Kirkland a stronger player on the Eastside. I congratulate Mayor McBride and the Kirkland City Council for acting in the best interest of area residents.”
The annexation will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on June 1, 2011, and bring more than 31,000 residents to the City of Kirkland.
“We welcome our new residents and look forward to providing our services that reflect our commitment to quality of life,” notes Kirkland Mayor Joan McBride. “It’s taken a lot of focused effort between the City and the County to make this annexation become a reality. We appreciate the tremendous support we have received from King County to make this transition possible. We are also extremely proud of our City employees and their dedication in preparing to serve our new residents in this area. We are excited to join as one City, one Kirkland.”
All city residents are invited to the City Hall Open House, June 1st from 4 to 7 p.m. and a community celebration on June 3rd, 6 p.m., Juanita Beach Park, Forbes House.Businesses are invited to attend a networking breakfast on June 2nd, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Event details are available at www.kirklandwa.gov/annexation.
“It has been gratifying to see a decade of discussion result in a seamless transition to a unified Kirkland,” said County Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “Residents and business will receive an enhanced level of service, which is simply not possible under a large regional government like King County.”
In recent weeks, the Kirkland City Council and the King County Council adopted an Interlocal Agreement that provides for the transition of services and transfer of property and assets from the County to the City. The City produced a Services Guide that was recently mailed to annexation homes and businesses. The Guide, which includes a “How Do I?” section, is posted on the Annexation webpage.
In November 2009, the question of annexation, zoning regulations, and assumption of indebtedness was placed on the ballot for voters in the annexation area. A strong majority of more than 59 percent approved annexation to Kirkland, but a companion measure regarding the assumption of indebtedness did not receive the required 60 percent voter approval. The Kirkland City Council accepted the annexation in December 2009 without imposing the assumption of the City’s previous voter-approved indebtedness.
The Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kingsgate areas are completely within the defined Urban Growth Area and have been designated as a Potential Annexation Area of Kirkland for many years. The annexation implements the state Growth Management Act, which calls for urban services to be provided by cities. This annexation releases King County from providing direct urban services to the area so it can focus on regional public services and services to the rural areas and resource lands, as intended by the state Growth Management Act.