The Washington State Legislature has just posted HB 2610, Repealing provisions governing community municipal corporations (CMC). The bill, if passed, would mean an end to the two remaining CMC's in the state -- one in Bellevue and the other in Kirkland, commonly known as the Houghton Community Council.
The Houghton Community Council was established through legislation when Kirkland and Houghton merged over 40 years ago. The Council effectively has veto power over land use issues within their jurisdiction. Some view the Houghton Community Council as a hinderance to the Kirkland City Council's efforts to develop land use policies in accordance with the Growth Management Act and a holdover from another era. Others view the Houghton Community Council as an elected body providing checks and balances to the sometimes overreaching City Council.
During the last session, HB 1812 would have ended the Houghton Community Council if it had passed. That bill was widely criticized for procedural reasons as many in Kirkland felt blind-sided by it. The current bill, HB 2610, is being introduced in a more open manner, which will alleviate many of the criticisms of HB 1812.