A Resident’s Guide to North Highline Annexation

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Municipal Annexation is one of the most powerful tools in urban planning, yet its use often sparks controversy and drawn-out political conflicts. In the Seattle area, the potential annexation of the unincorporated area of North Highline has been a subject of debate for over a decade. Annexation studies on unincorporated areas in the Seattle region are common but almost universally focus on the impacts from the perspective of the annexing city. In this study, I design a report to investigate the practical impacts of the potential annexation of North Highline by Seattle on the residents and business owners of the area. This serves to educate residents and address their most common questions to allow for informed decision making in the case of an election as part of the annexation process. Using a variety of resources collected from the City of Seattle and King County, I create a report detailing the major changes in taxation, regulation, and services that will affect North Highline residents following annexation. ​This will serve as a basis for discussion in the community by providing a shared set of facts and a method by which individuals can come to their own conclusions regarding the prospect of annexation.