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June 25, 2022

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Battle Ground mulls annexing ‘islands’

Parcel near Sacred Heart Cemetery among those eyed

By , Columbian staff writer

Battle Ground could soon move forward with plans to annex at least some properties into the city.

The city council last discussed annexing property “islands,” smaller unannexed areas surrounded by annexed parcels, at its March 21 meeting.

Areas to be considered include a 19.49 acre parcel off North Parkway Avenue near Sacred Heart Cemetery, an 80.85 acre parcel to the east of North Parkway Avenue and north of Northeast Onsdorff Boulevard, and a 17.62 acre parcel north of Southwest Eaton Boulevard near Firm Foundation Christian School.

Four parcels totaling around 100 acres in the Cedars Landing neighborhood were initially considered but were removed from the list.

“I am in favor of dropping all of the Cedars off of here and potentially moving forward with the Parkway annexations,” Councilor Shauna Walters said.

Walters said she agreed with including the Eaton Boulevard properties if only to give residents in that area the opportunity to voice their support or opposition.

“I believe the Cedars neighborhood has made themselves very well known that they are opposed. I think that they should be removed from it,” Councilor Tricia Davis said.

In response to a question from Deputy Mayor Cherish DesRochers, City Manager Erin Erdmann said annexing the Cedars Landing area would be a cost to the city because it lies outside of the city’s sewer service boundaries. That would mean residents in those areas would have to pay higher sewer fees. For the other areas, Erdmann said the annexations would be cost neutral for property owners and a minor benefit to the city.

Walters noted the Cedars Landing annexation has come before the council several times and was voted down each time. She said she would like to ensure it doesn’t come back before the council unless the property owners request it.

“Each time that they have to go through this again and get their neighbors together… it’s like a fight to them. We lose their trust even more each time that happens,” Walters said. “I think it’s not beneficial to either us or to their neighborhood to, every couple of years, have to go through this.”

Mayor Philip Johnson noted while the current council could agree to not revisit the subject, the next council elected could overturn that decision.

State law requires anyone requesting annexation must represent either at least 10 percent of the residents in the area or 10 percent of the assessed value of the area to be annexed.

According to Erdmann, the next steps for the council will be to pass a resolution to consider each annexation and identify the number of residents to be affected. Next, Erdmann said, notifications will go out to residents in the proposed areas.

The city council will then schedule a public hearing before voting on an ordinance to approve annexing the properties. Although no date was set, the council will likely review the resolution and set a date for a public hearing, if passed, at its next meeting at 7 p.m. June 6.

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