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City council turns back annexation proposal

The Langley City Council turned down an annexation request that would have added 21 acres to town.

Only three council members voted as two others were absent.

Lynn and Jeff Nelsen wanted to submit a petition to annex three parcels south of Sandy Point Road and east of Woodside, an area that totals 21 acres. The land lies within Langley’s urban growth area.

However, the city council rejected the request, citing the ongoing review of the city’s growth changes, as well as the a growth moratorium currently in effect, said Mayor Neil Colburn. The council had tabled the proposal two weeks ago.

Existing regulations require the Nelsens to request annexation if they want to develop at densities higher than those allowed by the county.

But the city council has discretion about whether or not to accept a petition for annexation.

The Nelsens have proposed building nine homes in three clustered groups on their property.

County zoning allows one home per five acres on the Nelsens’ property, while city regulations would allow up to three homes per five acres if there is agreement by Langley to provide public utility services to the property.

The discussion Wednesday drew a big crowd. Colburn said the council chambers were filled with neighbors who had concerns about the potential development of the land.

Neighbors were worried about logging on the property and roadways being built in the area, among other issues.

“The thing that stuck out to me most is that people bought five acres in the urban growth area and don’t seem to realize they are in the urban growth area,” he said.

Colburn said he agreed with the decision of the council because there is a chance the city’s urban growth area may shrink as the comp plan process progresses.

Michaela Marx Wheatley can be reached at 221-5300 or mmarxwheatley@southwhidbyerecord.com.

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