Salish Lodge land annexation heads to the courts

SNOQUALMIE - The debate over the annexation of land on which the Salish Lodge and Spa would like to build has officially gone to the courts.

The city of Snoqualmie, along with the Salish Lodge and Spa's parent company, Gateway Cascades, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court against the King County Boundary Review Board on Nov. 13 for not considering their application to annex land from King County on Snoqualmie's northwest border.

The lawsuit was an expected move by Snoqualmie and Gateway Cascades, who have been trying to annex the land to expand the Salish Lodge and Spa and filed an application to do so in October.

The King County Boundary Review Board decided not to rule on the application, however, stating that its hands were tied by a Washington State Supreme Court decision handed down in March that prohibited the petition method of annexation, the method used by Gateway Cascades.

Under the petition method, residents who own more than 60 percent of the accessed valuation of a property outside of a city's limits can file for its annexation by the city.

According to the Supreme Court, the method is unconstitutional since the petition gives a disproportionate amount of influence to highly-valued properties.

"We view it as there can be no valid annexation petition under existing law," said Bob Kaufman, special assistant attorney general for the King County Boundary Review Board.

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