City gives 1.23 acre annexation the OK

The Sequim City Council has granted a preliminary approval to the annexation of a parcel of land at Fir Street and North Ninth Avenue.

The 1.23 acres were purchased by Jay Sorensen in January. Sorenson had approached the city in December 2007 requesting that the parcel be annexed into the city.

During the March 24 council meeting, the proposed annexation was brought forth for preliminary approval. The council, according to planning director Dennis Lefevre, had three options: grant the annexation preliminary approval as is and send it to the planning commission for a public hearing, request the annexation increase its scope, or reject the application without appeal.

Were the city to request Sorensen increase the scope of his project, a designated area would be worked out and he would need to have a petition signed by the neighboring property owners stating that they, too, would be willing to be annexed into the city. Sorensen would need to gather signatures from 60 percent of the owners within the proposed annexation.

“It makes a nice, clean area, a nice clean rectangle,” Councilman Walt Schubert said, who favored increasing the annexation’s scope to include properties to the north and east of Sorensen’s property. Schubert added that the larger annexation also would benefit the eventual extension and completion of Ninth Avenue.

Councilwoman Susan Lorenzen, however, countered that by requiring only 60 percent of the property owner’s signatures, there could potentially be 40 percent of the property owners who wanted to remain in the county.

“I just don’t want to annex people that don’t want to be annexed,” Lorenzen said.

Although the land is vacant, Sorensen, in his December 2007 request letter, had indicated that eventually he would like to subdivide the property and build single-family homes. Councilman Ken Hays said that he was uneasy approving the annexation without first having a chance to visit the property and without being able to see plans for Sorensen’s proposed subdivision.

The council granted preliminary approval of the proposed 1.23-acre annexation in a 4-2 vote. The request will next come before the planning commission for review.

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