Kennewick City Council votes no on annexation

Kennewick City Council votes no on annexation
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Heated testimony won over the Kennewick City Council Tuesday night in a debate over 21 acres of land. A developer is looking to turn the property inside Benton County into a single-family home neighborhood. With city sewer and water already plumbed, the next step was to seek annexation. However, they weren't expecting the reaction they received.

“Quick show of hands, how many people are here to oppose this annexation,” asked one man of the audience. Around 50 people raised their hands.

“That's the people speaking. They don't want it; nobody wants it,” he said.

The room was full of people opposed to the annexation. The little finger of land west of Gum Street and south of 15th Avenue is the cause of the dispute. Although it's mostly pasture land, the argument was "not in my backyard" from many county residents.

“You have chickens, you have goats, you have horses and cattle, you have Harley-Davidsons going up and down the street, but everyone gets along,” said Martha DePew. “It's kind of a very unique area. If you dump an extra 57 homes in there, it's totally going to disrupt that.”

The council voted against annexation 5-2.

The developer says it's not going to stop him from building; it's just going to mean the houses will be built under county jurisdiction instead.