Bill addresses Maple Valley donut hole

OLYMPIA – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah would ease the annexation abilities of cities in Washington state. Senate Bill 5417, would increase the number of acres a city could annex under the Growth Management Act’s Annexation of Unincorporated Islands method.

Currently if the area contains residential property owners, or is less than 100 acres with 80 percent or more of the area surrounded by the city, the unincorporated area may be annexed.

"If we raise the annexation threshold from 100 acres to 175 acres," said Mullet, "cities with islands of unincorporated land would have more input in what happens in their communities."

The inspiration behind this bill is Summit Place, an area also known as the Maple Valley donut hole – approximately 160 acres of land in the heart of and surrounded by the city of Maple Valley but technically designated as unincorporated King County.

"This area has been a topic of discussion for years and I hope that this proposed change will ease the uncertainty over its future and plans for development."