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Blueberry Road parcel could be Port Orchard's next annexation
Port Orchard’s ever-changing outline could be poised to add another conspicuous bump.
On Tuesday night the city council was informed that residents of one more parcel of unincorporated Kitsap County land had submitted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to the city’s Planning Department for the purpose of being annexed into Port Orchard.
It was the second such request in less than a month. At the council's March 22 meeting, members voted to recognize the possibility of a 97-acre tract along South Sedgwick Road being annexed.
Port Orchard Planning Manager James Weaver predicted at the time that a number of even smaller parcels would follow suit over the next few months.
Tuesday’s addition to the list of annexation requests fits that description.
The latest area under consideration is a 49-acre site just south of Blueberry Road, west of Bethel Road and bounded to the north and east by the Port Orchard city limits.
The Blueberry Road annexation property, as it is known, is a small part of the 554-acre Bethel Corridor, whose residents fell short of meeting the requirements for annexation last year.
The city did complete a major annexation of McCormick Woods last year, though, and other additions are in the works.
A citizen-initiated NOI must be submitted to the city and signed by the owners of 10 percent of the parcel’s assessed valuation in order for the annexation process to continue.
Its backers then have six months to submit a petition signed by those who own at least 60 percent of the area’s property.
In the case of the Bethel Corridor annexation, proponents didn’t reach that threshold, but they’re continuing to work toward another try.
Residents of the proposed South Sedgwick annexation site, which has an assessed valuation of $6.8 million, are currently trying to obtain signatures on enough petitions to equal at least $1.7 million.
The Blueberry Road parcel, meanwhile, has an assessed valuation of $14 million, and those who presented the request on March 26 currently have signatures amounting to $1.9 million — or 13.5 percent of the total.
By accepting the Notice of Intent, the city is not committing itself to accepting the annexation itself when and if enough petitions are signed.
The city is simply starting the clock on the six-month time frame within which the petitions must be signed if the annexation is to move forward.
The Blueberry Road land is within Port Orchard’s Urban Growth Area (UGA), and city leaders have expressed a desire to annex the entire UGA into the city.
“But we don’t have a ‘plan’ to do that,” Councilman Fred Olin noted. “The entire process is driven by the residents of those parcels, not the city.”
The council passed the motion unanimously, meaning petitions must be returned by mid-August.