By Mellow DeTray
At the Kent City Council’s Special Meeting held on Tuesday night, Nov. 28, 2023, lawmakers unanimously approved annexing the Bridges neighborhood to the City of Auburn.
This move has been planned and in process for many years, and this decision marks the final steps in officially transferring Bridges to Auburn.
The neighborhood has been a small island cut off from the rest of Kent, fully surrounded by the city of Auburn. This makes providing services like police and fire to the residents there complicated. Residents of Bridges have long expressed a desire to become part of Auburn, and official discussions of annexation began in 2019. Transferring everything over officially has been a complicated process, but both cities have been working on this interlocal agreement in order to proceed with the annexation.
Neighborhood outreach has been performed for the last couple of years at different community events. In addition, a joint website was created to inform the community about what annexation will mean and to answer any questions.
The Bridges neighborhood contains a large wetland area, which will now be maintained by Auburn. It also contains 13 acres slated for future development.
Kent City Council voted unanimously and without public comment to proceed with Auburn’s annexation of the neighborhood. The annexation will be complete in time for the fiscal new year, which makes budgeting for both cities much more straightforward.
The area will be fully part of Auburn starting Jan. 1, 2024. However, there will still be crossover of certain utilities, such as the water district, which will remain with the city of Kent.
Mayor Dana Ralph expressed a celebratory feeling that this annexation is taking place after so much hard work by city staff to make it happen, and in time for the new year. She said there have been many heated meetings over the years in order to get to this decision. She did mention feeling sadness at losing many wonderful and active members of the community who reside in the Bridges neighborhood. She said that Auburn is lucky to have them.
Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in the region. For many years she published a moderately popular cooking & lifestyle blog, and she had a brief stint in political journalism during a local election. Clear and informative writing has always been a side hobby of Mellow’s and she looks forward to bringing you unbiased coverage of City Council meetings.