Tonight, the Lacey City Council will decide if the City of Lacey will grow by nearly a thousand new residents, when it takes up the subject on an annexation.
Under consideration is Capitol Golf Club Estates and Chambers Estates, two parcels of land near the city’s southern boundaries, both of which are almost surrounded by the City of Lacey. The 202 acres of property has 470 households, 965 residents and about 750 registered voters. The average assessed valuation of homes is around $176,000. Capitol Golf Club Estates is the home of the Capitol City golf course, while Chambers Estates has a grass airstrip.
Off and on for years, the city and the residents of the area have talked about annexation into the city. There seems to be little reason for them to join Lacey. The property has its own water system, all homes are on septic systems, they are served with fire and medical protection from the Lacey Fire District and have law enforcement service provided by the Thurston County Sheriff’s office which has a mutual aid pact with the Lacey Police Department.
But, being an island of county land in a sea of Lacey property has some disadvantages. Residents have no say in what happens around them. New housing developments can sprout up. Streets can become crowded and commercial development can appear or disappear without residents having any say in the way it goes.
The cost to residents in the proposed annexation is almost a wash. They may have to pay as much as $165 a year more in taxes for the advantage of having a say in the way the area around them is developed.
Tonight the Lacey City Council will have a workshop on what it wants to do. The city has held a number of public meetings with residents of the area and have assured them that they won’t have to hook up to city sewers unless their septic systems fail. They would have to do that anyway if they stayed in the county. The city would not take over the private road system that connects the houses, although it would take control of a public street in the development.
The council could decide not to go any further or it could decide to proceed with the annexation. If it decides to proceed, there are several steps to take before the annexation becomes law. Residents opposed to an annexation can call for a referendum vote on the council action with signatures from 10 percent of the property owners.