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On April 28, 2015, the residents of Klahanie and several adjacent neighborhoods voted to annex to Sammamish. The annexation became official on Jan. 1, 2016, raising the city’s total population to approximately 61,000.Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Frequently Asked Questions on Klahanie-area Annexation
Q: What do newly annexed residents need to know about how the city operates?A: The January 2016 city newsletter was designed as a “user’s guide” for new residents. To take a look, please download the January 2016 city newsletter pdf (663 KB).
Q: What effect will annexation have on police coverage? A: The city has committed to hiring six new police officers – one sergeant and five patrol officers – to handle the expanded duties in the annexed area. This will boost police coverage significantly in the Klahanie area.
Q: Will response times improve? A: In northeast King County, where the annexation area is, the Sheriff’s Office has an average response time of 9.5 minutes for “Priority X” calls – stabbings, shootings, in-progress robberies and other very serious crimes. The city’s response time will be four minutes or less.
Q: So that should be a big improvement in response times, right? A: Well, Klahanie proper has hired off-duty officers to supplement their coverage from King County, and we’re told those extra security people have been able to respond quickly. But the response times from Sammamish Police will certainly be a lot faster than the historical performance of King County Sheriff’s Officers in Klahanie.
Q: Does Sammamish have a utility tax like most cities do? A: No
Q: What impact will the annexation have on the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Tax? A: Nothing will change. Residents in the annexation area already pay the RTA tax and will continue to do so after annexation.
Q: We understand the operating revenue from the Klahanie area will exceed the new operating expenditures required to serve the Klahanie area. How much of an annual operating surplus will the annexation create? A: The city’s fiscal analysis projects a $1.4 million annual operating surplus.
Q: What road improvements will the city make? A: The city will be making major road improvements to Issaquah-Fall City Road and Issaquah-Pine Lake Road. It will take time to plan, design and construct these improvements, but the changes will improve traffic flow.
Q: Would these improvements to Issaquah-Fall City Road require the removal of trees that currently separate homes from this major arterial? A: Preliminary evaluations indicate that the majority of the trees will remain in place. Although the design process has not yet begun, the part of Issaquah-Fall City Road where this is a concern will likely require only a three-lane corridor – one lane in each direction plus a turn lane or median strip. The required width for these improvements should have very limited impact on the existing trees.
Q: How soon will these major road improvements be made? A: There is no exact timeline at this point due to a number of variables, but the city recognizes that these are high-priority items.
Q: What about improvements to neighborhood streets? A: Over time, the city will bring Klahanie-area streets up to the same standards that exist in Sammamish. That means resurfacing, and more preventative maintenance and patching.
Q: How quickly will the improvements to neighborhood streets happen? A: Some will happen shortly after annexation, but Klahanie-area roads will become part of the city’s pavement management rating system. All roads in the city are evaluated, ranked and then given an appropriate spot on the schedule.
Q: How much does Sammamish spend annually on resurfacing roads? A: In recent years, the city has invested $3 million annually. By way of contrast, King County has spent only $2 million annually – and that’s for the entire county.
Q: What parks and recreation facilities will be taken over by the city? A: The city will take over the maintenance and care of Klahanie Park. No other facilities will transfer to the city.
Q: Will Klahanie still be known as Klahanie, or will there be a name change? A: Klahanie will be a neighborhood name, just like all the other neighborhood names in Sammamish. But the people who live there will be residents of the city of Sammamish.
Q: Will annexation have any impact on where kids have to go to school? A: No. That, as always, will depend on the school district boundaries. Annexation won’t be a factor.
Q: Will mailing addresses change for residents of the annexation area? A: The current mailing addresses will work indefinitely because it’s the street address and zip code that dictate delivery. So, even if someone puts down Issaquah instead of Sammamish, the mail will still get there.
Q: So, if people have an address stamp or a bunch of address labels that say “Issaquah,” they can keep using those? A: Yes.
Q: When will Klahanie-area residents be eligible to run for Sammamish City Council? A: They are eligible immediately, if they meet these two conditions:
Q: Will annexation bring any changes to fire and emergency services? A: No. Residents will be served in the same way by Eastside Fire & Rescue.
Q: What else will be unaffected? A: Animal control, garbage, schools, water and sewer – annexation won’t change those at all.
The city held three open houses in late 2014 to share information about the potential annexation with Klahanie-area residents and current Sammamish residents. The meetings ran from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the following dates:
On July 15, the Sammamish City Council received a fiscal analysis of the potential annexation of Klahanie. The fiscal report was prepared by Butkus Consulting, Inc.
Information about the Klahanie annexation area
In addition to Klahanie proper, the annexation area includes several smaller, adjoining neighborhoods. Taken together, the area features 3,930 residential units, a population of 10,800, and 1.94 square miles of land. It’s located at the southeast edge of Sammamish, sharing a border with the city along Issaquah-Pine Lake Road, Southeast 32nd Street, and Issaquah-Beaver lake Road. (See the attached map.)