View the Current Projects page to view the CUGA Annexation or other recent annexation processes.
Annexation means expanding the municipal boundaries to bring in an adjacent unincorporated area. Annexation is necessary to receive urban services such as sewage disposal and rapid-response police protection.
According to the Growth Management Act (GMA), urban development should be encouraged where adequate public facilities already exist, or where they can be efficiently provided. The first step is to put such an area inside an urban growth area (UGA). Thereafter it can be annexed. Pierce County supports Bonney Lake's efforts to annex within its UGA.
For more information about annexation to the City, download the City’s current Annexation Brochure (PDF, 500k), which includes the most frequently asked questions and answers people have about annexing to the City.
Potential Annexation Area Study
The City conducted a study of potential annexation areas in 2009. The Potential Annexation Area Study is available to download in four parts using the links below:
Part 1 (1.9 M) - Introduction, Inventory & Data Base
Part 2 (2.3 M) - Inventory & Database (cont'd), Infrastructure & Inventory Analysis
Part 3 (3 M) - Infrastructure & Inventory Analysis; Economic Analysis
Part 4 (169 k) - Economic Analysis; Appendices
Urban Growth Areas
An Urban Growth Area, or UGA, is an area, often outside the city limits, where urban growth is already occurring or is encouraged due to being favorably situated to accommodate population growth. In UGAs, land development is supported with sewers and similar public facilities. UGAs must be large enough to amply accommodate the 20-year growth projection. UGAs should have a close social, economic, and geographic relationship to the city in question. Areas outside the UGA must remain rural, forest, and farm land. Location inside a UGA does not guarantee annexation, but it is a prerequisite. A city may only annex lands within its UGA.
Bonney Lake's Urban Growth Areas
The Bonney Lake Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Map (available online on our Maps Page) shows the City's UGAs lying just outside the city limits. Some UGAs have already been approved by Pierce County. The Future Land Use Map may also show UGAs which the City proposes but which Pierce County has not yet approved. Bonney Lake's approved and proposed UGAs would help square off the city boundaries.
Expansion of Urban Growth Areas
The landowner, the City, or the County can propose a UGA expansion. For a UGA to be associated with the City, the City must agree by designating as such in the Comprehensive Plan. However, pursuant to RCW 36.70A.110, only Pierce County can officially expand the UGA. UGA expansion is a difficult, time-consuming process involving both jurisdictions.
Public services such as police, fire protection, sewer, and water must be available to the proposed UGA. UGA expansion should result in logical, orderly boundaries, so each local government and special purpose district (fire districts, water districts, etc.) can efficiently provide the service without gaps or overlaps. Most importantly, the expansion must be necessary to accommodate anticipated growth. Pierce County's various UGAs already have excess capacity, so the County is discouraging UGA expansions.
Urban Growth Areas and Development
The City has very little control over development outside its UGA, such as in Cascadia. The City has quite a bit of control over development inside its UGA, such as over certain subdivisions that are proposed near Church Lake Road and Kelly Lake Road. The City has full control over development inside its city limits. To further complicate matters, some areas are inside Bonney Lake's sewer service area or water service area but outside the UGA. In these areas, the City has limited control.
» Download the Annexation Brochure
The most common form of annexation is the petition method. Property owners ask to be annexed and circulate petitions. If they obtain signatures representing 60% of the assessed valuation of the area, and the City agrees, the annexation is sent to the Boundary Review Board and Pierce County for approval. Public hearings are usually held and notices are sent to homeowners in the proposed annexation area. For more information, see the details below or download our Annexation Brochure.
Changes to Expect upon Annexation
There are many myths about what happens to property owners after annexation. To clear up any confusion, here are the facts:
Property tax revenue is divided between 8 different taxing districts. After annexation, the money previously appropriated to the county road fund is diverted to the city instead. The city's tax rate is lower than the county road fund (2.1858 vs. 2.2379) so you should notice a slight decrease in your property tax bill.
Upon annexation, law enforcement services will be provided by the City of Bonney Lake Police Department, rather than Pierce County Sheriff. City police staffing ratio is much higher than in the county, as is their response time. Current estimates indicate a staffing ratio within City limits of 1.7 officers per 1000 residents, unincorporated Pierce County's ratio is 0.7 officers per 1000 residents. Additionally, the response time for unincorporated Pierce County is estimated to be 25 minutes or more, whereas the response time in Bonney Lake is generally 5 - 15 minutes, depending on the type of call and time of day.
No changes. School district boundaries are independent of city boundaries.
Only in a limited area. The majority of all annexation areas are already serviced by East Pierce Fire & Rescue (District #22). Annexation to a city automatically removes territory from a fire protection district and renders the annexing city responsible for fire protection in the annexed area (RCW 52.08.025).
Garbage service will continue to be provided through D.M. Disposal. City code requires garbage service so if you do not currently maintain service, you will be required to maintain at least the minimum service package available.
The majority of parcels in all annexation areas are already serviced by the City of Bonney Lake water system. For those already serviced by Bonney Lake, the water service provider will not change and monthly water rates will be reduced after annexation. See our Utility page for details.
For those being serviced by another provider, you will experience no change in service.
View the applicable Bonney Lake Municipal Code chapters for details.
BLMC 13.04.110(L) General Regulations
BLMC 13.12 Sewerage System Regulations
BLMC 17.20.110 Design Standards - Utilities