One Community Around the Lake
Annexation is the process by which the city adds unincorporated areas of Snohomish County to the city’s boundaries. Following annexation, properties receive public services such as police services, road maintenance, planning and permitting from the city, as opposed to Snohomish County. Because Lake Stevens is not a full-service city, other services such as fire protection, sewer, and water are unaffected by annexation, as are school district boundaries.
When the city of Lake Stevens incorporated in 1960, it had a population of approximately 900 residents in and adjacent to historic downtown. By 2002, Lake Stevens had experienced modest growth, with a population of just under 7,000 people living across approximately 1,500 acres in the northeast section of the lake. It was during this time that the city developed the goal of creating “One Community Around the Lake” through annexation.
Over the past 15 years, the city has grown to nearly 6,000 acres and an estimated 34,150 residents through a series of annexations around the lake, as seen in this annexation history map. The city has approximately 2,000 acres remaining in its Urban Growth Area (UGA) to the northeast and southeast of the lake that are eligible to be annexed. The city is currently undertaking two separate annexations (Southeast Interlocal and Machias Industrial), which are further detailed at the bottom of this page.
Why Annex into Lake Stevens?
There are a number of benefits to annexing into Lake Stevens, which the city has summarized in this fact sheet. These include:
- Local police services with faster response times
- More frequent and higher level of service for street and stormwater system maintenance, including street sweeping
- Opportunity to elect City Council members and participate in a number of local appointed boards and commissions
- Local building, planning, and zoning services that result in faster permitting times
The Machias Industrial Annexation Area is an approximately 67-acre area made up of 18 parcels and the Machias Road right-of-way to the northeast of current city boundaries. The annexation is being processed through the state’s 60% Petition Method, which allows for property owners representing at least 60% of the assessed value to petition the city to be annexed. Properties within this area would receive the city’s General Industrial zoning designation.
Later this year, the City Council will hold a public hearing to approve a revised resolution (2020-019) to accept the 60% annexation petition; provide a Notice of Intent to Annex to the Snohomish County Boundary Review Board (BRB); and assign proposed zoning and Comprehensive Plan designations upon annexation. Following BRB review and county validation of the petition, the City Council will have the final decision to annex the property by ordinance. For more information, contact Russ Wright, Community Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-622-9424.
The Southeast Interlocal Annexation area involves two areas within the city’s southeast UGA west of 123rd Ave SE and north of 20th St SE, as well as the entirety of the lake. Totaling approximately 500 acres of land plus the 1,000 acre lake, the area is primarily residential in nature and was assigned zoning pre-designations in 2019. The annexation is being pursued through a new interlocal agreement method approved by the state that became effective in June 2020. The City Council adopted a resolution on July 14, 2020 authorizing city staff to begin negotiations with Snohomish County on an interlocal agreement. Snohomish Fire District 7 and the Lake Stevens Sewer District have also opted to join as parties to the agreement.
Approval of the annexation will require a public hearing before both the Lake Stevens City Council and the Snohomish County Council, which is tentatively planned for December 2020. As required by state law and the city’s municipal code, the city will also be hosting an informational meeting on September 21, 2020 at 6:30 pm to discuss the proposed annexation. Representatives from the city, sewer district, and fire district will be present at that meeting, which will take place via the Zoom online meeting platform. Information on the meeting can be found in the meeting notice. For more information, contact David Levitan, Senior Planner at email@example.com or 425-622-9425.