Council’s Tuesday Agenda: Request to Circulate a Petition for Annexation
- Editor’s note: After a lengthy discussion at the Yelm city council’s Study Session of April 6, the majority of the council agreed to add the following to their April 13th agenda:
- City of Yelm Agenda: “A request to circulate a petition to initiate the annexation for a 10 acre parcel of land located at the end of Vancil Road into the City of Yelm.”
- ==== THE ISSUES COUNCIL SHOULD CONSIDER ====
- Yelm’s city attorney reminded the council that not following their Comprehensive Plan would be where the city’s greatest exposure exists.
- Now, Yelm’s council’s will consider on April 13 a request to circulate a petition to initiate the annexation for a 10 acre parcel of land located at the end of Vancil Road into the City of Yelm, an exception for a very high-profile property owner (Glen Schorno) with land adjacent to the city limits,.
- The city council should revisit their history bending to local developers, reported on this blog May 8, 2007.
- Even though the city has not yet received additional water rights to approve plat developments, several on the council wanted to allow this property owner to move forward with a petition for annexation with the understanding he would not receive a building permit until the city had sufficient water rights in-hand.
- The city has been through this previously and was sued for not having sufficient water rights at the initial plat approval, rather than having to prove water later when the city issued a building. Caution should be exhibited!
- The city lost in the Supreme Court of the State of Washington and was instructed they must have sufficient water rights for a development’s plat approval. [JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm, et al, Dec. 2011].
- Now that a property owner with the name of Schorno is pressing the council, they have gone over and above any previous request in even considering an annexation petition.
- Several previous property owners with land adjacent to the city have requested annexation consideration numerous times, only to be dismissively denied because that would not adhere to Yelm’s Comprehensive Plan.
- Would I or any of my family be allowed to submit a petition to get our land annexed into the city? No! Or you?
- A city councilor resigned March 31, 2021, exactly because his new home was contiguous to, though outside the Yelm city limits, preventing him from serving further. If the council approves the Schorno petition, would this former councilor’s annexation petition be accepted, so when that annexation is approved, he could run again?
- If approved, is the council ready to accept petition requests from other property owners, too?
- Has the council thought through the ramifications of being pressured by very high-profile signators to Schorno’s petition, if approved?
- Has the council though through the ramifications of the exposure from their previously denied property owners, if approved?
- Has the council not learned anything from their predecessors bending to the will of high-profile land-owners/developers, and against their own Comprehensive Plan 15 years ago [Thurston Highlands/Tahoma Terra]?
- Is a petition going to be the method to allow annexation, rather than the Comprehensive Plan?
- Has the council considered city infrastructure capabilities? The city does have the Comp. Plan process for this!
- Has the city consulted Thurston County about such a land annexation method, their Joint Comp. Plan partner?
- There should be NO annexations until sufficient water rights are obtained! Period, Full Stop!
- Therefore, there is no reason for an annexation petition.
- If the council approves this petition request, they will once again follow the path down a slippery slope.
- Each councilor took an oath to serve in the public’s interests, and not only the private interests of an individual!
Bottom line: City Attorney Brent Dille reminded the council that not following their Comprehensive Plan would be where the city’s greatest exposure exists.
Once again, citizens will be watching, the Dept. of Ecology will be watching, the Dept. of Health with be watching (responsible for issuing water hook-ups), and Thurston County planners will be watching, who share the Joint Comprehensive Plan with the city of Yelm.