What Bremerton Can Control

Christopher Dunagan’s story Wednesday about county and city officials reaching an agreement on annexation language in the county’s planning policies illustrates the reality for cities.

“We only control what we can control,” (said Will Maupin, Bremerton City Council president).

If the people of Navy Yard City do not want to be annexed, for example, it doesn’t matter what Bremerton’s comprehensive plan says, Maupin noted. And if the people of Silverdale want to form a city, they can do so with a vote.

The state’s Growth Management Act appears to want cities to annex property to help meet the demand for growth, but nothing in state law makes it easy for cities to do that. Residents in Tracyton, West Hills and Navy Yard City may just like it that way.

The city tried to annex part of Tracyton and only got the parts where a developer was building and where residents had signed papers years ago agreeing not to fight annexation in exchange for the city providing utility services.

There is no such agreement in West Hills, where unless things change drastically residents will handily turn down Bremerton’s annexation bid in August. In Navy Yard City residents have resisted in the past and may be headed that way again.

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