A map of the Bridges neighborhood in Kent, surrounded by the city of Auburn. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

A map of the Bridges neighborhood in Kent, surrounded by the city of Auburn. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

City of Kent plans public hearing about selling wetlands

Properties near Bridges neighborhood near Auburn; wetlands would remain protected

Residents will get a chance to share their input about whether the Kent City Council should surplus four city-owned wetland tracks within the Bridges neighborhood.

The council will have a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 220 Fourth Ave. S.

The Bridges is in the Lea Hill area of Auburn/Kent and is generally bound to the east by 124th Avenue SE, on the west by 118th Avenue SE, on the north by SE 288th Street and on the south by SE 304th Street.

Kent and Auburn city councils and staff are considering whether the neighborhood, in the city of Kent limits, should be de-annexed by Kent and annexed by Auburn. The properties that surrounds Bridges are in the city of Auburn.

Kent is considering surplus (selling) of the properties to facilitate potential de-annexation of the Bridges neighborhood by the city of Kent to the city of Auburn. While annexations typically transfer ownership of publicly owned tracts to the receiving city, Auburn does not wish to take ownership of these tracts, according to a city of Kent press release.

Accordingly, the city of Kent will consider alternative public or private entities, including Bellevue-based Oakpointe Communities, to be determined at a later date, that will own and maintain these tracts. Oakpointe developed the Bridges neighborhood and is considering building 150 townhouses next to the development once Kent and Auburn determine which city will oversee the land.

The tracts were established to protect wetlands and associated buffers in accordance with the Kent’s critical areas ordinance and are encumbered by broad limitations against future development or disturbance of vegetation. No changes to the wetland protections are being considered, according to the city of Kent.

Through Resolutions 2038 and 2122, the Kent City Council authorized staff to work with the City of Auburn to explore this action.

Besides testifying at the public hearing, residents may submit written comments at the public hearing itself, or in advance by regular U.S. mail to the City Clerk’s Office, 220 Fourth Ave. S., Kent, WA 98032, or by electronic mail to cityclerk@kentwa.gov. Any written comments sent in advance must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Dec. 13 in order to be considered.

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The Bridges neighborhood in Kent. FILE PHOTO/Kent Reporter

The Bridges neighborhood in Kent. FILE PHOTO/Kent Reporter

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