McCormick Woods Annexation Could Affect SK Schools

The McCormick Woods Annexation Committee has collected signatures on a petition showing 11 percent of residents are interested in exploring the idea of annexation to the City of Port Orchard. That’s 81 homes out of approximately 700 and a population of roughly 2,000 people in McCormick Woods Urban Village urban growth area, more than enough by law to kick-start the process.

But annexation is far from a done deal. City attorney Jennifer Forbes today said the proposed annexation is unprecedented in recent city history and will take time.

“This is definitely more complicated than the average city annexation that involves one or two blocks,” Forbes said.

All this first step does is initiate the process, and in fact the committee has decided to wait on submitting the petition to the city until March 3 to give both entities time to answer questions about the implications of annexation. From there the city council will have 60 days to accept the proposal (or not), and then 75 percent of property owners must sign their agreement to the deal before it can become final.

Members of the committee met today with city officials to review some of the questions surrounding annexation, including:
* What would be the financial impact of annexation on homeowners?
* Would the city be bound by previously existing agreements between the county and the primary developer, Gem 1, and if so, would any cost trickle back to residents?
* Would the value of properties to be annexed be protected in the event of a rezone?
* What services would the city provide?
* What new ordinances would apply to residents once they become part of the city?

One of the biggest questions is how annexation could affect South Kitsap School District. The district receives impact fees on new construction within the county, but the city doesn’t have impact fees … yet.
At stake is a fee of about $1,000 per lot on something in the neighborhood of 1,000 homes to be developed over time, said O’Brien. Money from impact fees goes to the district’s capital facilities fund for new construction.

Dick Davis, a committee member said the prevailing opinion among residents he’s talked to (and his personal opinion) is that if annexation would negatively impact the school district it should be dismissed.

“If they suffer a negative impact, game over,” Davis said.

Possibilities exist that would allow those fees, or the equivalent amount, to still be collected. A revision of city ordinances late last year paved the way for impact fees to be implemented. Alternately, new development could be subject to mitigation fees equivalent to the amount that would have been collected in impact fees as part of the permitting process, suggested Tom O’Brien, a district representative who attended the meeting. The district has such an arrangement with the City of Bremerton, which has jurisdiction over about 900 homes on Bremerton land that are served by South Kitsap Schools.

Davis described a “bell curve” of opinions on annexation, based on feedback the committee has received, with a small group that strongly supports annexation, a small group that “wouldn’t support it if you put a new Lexus in their garage” and a large group in between that is “ambivalent” and wants to know more.

Where do you fall on the bell curve and what questions do you have that are yet to be answered about how annexation would affect you life (and pocketbook).

Your contact on the committee is Ray McGovern, a committee member and McCormick Woods resident, at mcgovern96@wavecable.com.

One thought on “McCormick Woods Annexation Could Affect SK Schools

  1. This should be interesting to watch. If memory serves, Lary Coppola has not been an advocate of impact fees in the past. Neither are they likely to be popular with a new city council that wants to roll out the red carpet for developers.

    On the other hand, the city has coveted McCormick Woods for a decade or more. Tough choices…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

(Not a trick question) What color is the pink house?