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Houghton Community Municipal Corporation

Proposition No. 1
Continuation of Community Municipal Corporation

The community council of Houghton Community Municipal Corporation has adopted Resolution No. 2017-4 concerning this proposition to continue the community municipal corporation. Pursuant to RCW 35.14.060, this proposition would continue the existence of the community municipal corporation for an additional four years. Should the Houghton Community Municipal Corporation remain in existence until December 31, 2021?

For continuation of the community municipal corporation

Against continuation of the community municipal corporation


In 1968 the Cities of Houghton and Kirkland were consolidated. The voters in Houghton also voted to establish within the former City of Houghton a community municipal corporation. Its governing body is the Houghton Community Council, composed of seven members elected for four year terms by the voters within Houghton. The Houghton Community Municipal Corporation also has a term of four years and then expires unless continued for an additional four years by majority vote of the electors within Houghton. The current four year term expires December 31, 2017, unless extended at the general election to be held November 7, 2017.

Under the Community Municipal Corporations law (RCW Ch. 35.14) the adoption, amendment, authorization or other approval by the Kirkland City Council of any ordinance or resolution applying to land, buildings or structures within the Houghton Community Municipal Corporation becomes effective within Houghton only on approval of the Community Council or by failure of the Community Council to disapprove the ordinance or resolution within 60 days of its final enactment by the Kirkland City Council as to the following: comprehensive plan; zoning ordinance; conditional use permit, special exception or variance; subdivision ordinance; subdivision plat; or planned unit development. In addition to its disapproval jurisdiction, the Houghton Community Council also has authority to make recommendations to the Kirkland City Council and City Manager on any issues which may directly or indirectly affect the area within the Houghton Community Municipal Corporation.

 

The Houghton Community Council (“HCC”) was established in 1968 when the citizens of Houghton agreed to merge with the City of Kirkland. When this occurred, Houghton citizens recognized the importance of keeping control over land use within its boundaries to ensure the unique qualities of Houghton would be maintained. A key condition of the merger was that Houghton would retain an independent council with veto authority over land use regulations in the area comprising the former city. Continuously since 1968, unpaid elected members of Houghton have served on the HCC to represent our community. The HCC works directly with City staff, Planning Commission and City Council to blend input from Houghton businesses and residents with the overall planning goals and policies of the City of Kirkland.

Every four years the citizens of Houghton must vote whether to retain the HCC. With today’s constant pressure for development, it is vital the citizens of Houghton vote to maintain this valuable body to protect against competing visions drowning out the concerns and priorities of our community. We urge you to once again renew the unique provision of the HCC by voting “Yes” to keep this privilege another four years.

The Houghton Community Council is an unproductive layer of bureaucracy. After almost 50 years, the transitional arrangement of a Community Council for the former City of Houghton has served its time and should end.

Houghton is fully integrated with the city of Kirkland and needs special protection.  Kirkland has many outlets for citizen involvement, and many ways for Houghton residents to participate in the governance of the city. The Houghton Community Council confers no useful benefits for residents. It’s just one more group of people to say no.

Only one other Community Council remains in the entire state. No recent annexation, whether in Kirkland or any other city, has created a community council. Other councils have been voted away by their residents. Dozens of other places have made the decision that Houghton should make: that a Community Council is not a constructive part of their future in the city.

The city of Houghton existed barely twenty years. The transitional arrangement to integrate with Kirkland is approaching fifty. Let’s move on.

Vote No to end the Houghton Community Council.

The best government is local government. The Houghton Community Council has consistently provided Houghton residents an important voice in land use decisions that directly impact our community. Rather than impede decisions; the HCC has contributed to better decisions. It is a rare privilege we cannot afford to lose. If not affirmatively retained, this respected entity will be gone forever.

Vote Yes to retain the Houghton Community Council.

Submitted by: Marie "Molly" Working, mollyworking@gmail.com

Kirkland has many fine neighborhoods without the busywork bureaucracy of the Houghton Community Council.

It's not necessary. It's a costly privilege that doesn't even benefit Houghton, and prevents needed improvements.

Vote no. End this arrangement that was never intended to be more than transitional. Houghton doesn't need "protection" from Kirkland.

Submitted by: Dan Ryan, dan.ryan@gmail.com

 Simple majority (RCW 35.14.060)

For questions about this measure, contact: Kevin Raymond, City Attorney, (425) 587-3031, Kraymond@kirklandwa.gov

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