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Annexation rejection frosts commissioners
The Island County Commissioners are saying the city of Langleys recent denial of an annexation request violates an agreement the county has with the city.
The decision now leaves the commissioners wondering how it affects the countys comprehensive plan.
Three Bellingham-based developers went to the city earlier this month with tentative plans to develop a 40-acre piece of land on Coles Road, a move could have which could result in the construction of up to 100 new homes. In a meeting on Sept. 4, the Langley City Council denied those developers request to petition to annex that property.
At issue for the county is an interlocal agreement with Langley under which an proposed development bordering Langley must be annexed to the city and must comply with its development and zoning standards. Developments built in the citys urban growth area that are not immediately annexed must also comply with the citys development and zoning standards, even if permits are issued by Island County.
At a meeting of the Board of Island County Commissioners Monday, Commissioner Mac McDowell said the agreement helps mesh the countys and citys comprehensive plans. He said a laymans interpretation of the agreement seems to indicate the city violated the 1999 agreement.
Commissioner Mike Shelton pointed out that the interlocal agreement helps concentrate development close to urban services, as encouraged by the state Growth Management Act.
The commissioners talked about what the decision not to annex means to the county and the Growth Management Act during their meeting while waiting for the regularly scheduled public comment period. They did not like the answers they came up with.
It means the countys comp plan is a sham, Shelton said.
The denial left the commissioners wondering why the county went through the trouble of negotiating the interlocal agreement.
The commissioners wont get an argument from Langley Mayor Lloyd Furman who, when contacted Monday, said he agreed with the commissioners concerns.
Furman said the the city council had an obligation to meet the requirements of the Growth Management Act, the citys comp plan and agreements with the county.
He said that the developer can reapply for permission to petition to annex at a later date. The mayor has no vote in city council actions in Langley.
McDowell said after Mondays meeting that the commissioners havent discussed the situation with the countys lawyers and arent sure of any next possible step.