Woodinville residents celebrate incorporation on March 27, 1993.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 3/11/2006
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 7677
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On March 27, 1993, residents of Woodinville celebrate their incorporation as a city. The vote to incorporate, which occurred on May 19, 1992,  was the third effort at incorporation in 11 years and affects an area significantly smaller than prior proposals. The new city consists of 5.7 square miles and approximately 8,000 residents.

In 1979, under the leadership of retired logger Ray Freeman of Cottage Lake, a committee proposed the formation of Cascade County out of the eastern portion of King County with Woodinville as the county seat. The King County Boundary Review Board disapproved the incorporation plan for Woodinville because the projected tax base would not support municipal operations. The move for Cascade County died out.

In 1985, the City of Bothell proposed to annex both sides of a right-of-way along State Route 522 to include a proposed 104-acre shopping center, adding substantially to the city's tax base. The annexation would also gobble up the "Welcome to Woodinville" sign. After the Bothell move, residents and business people organized the Woodinville Incorporation Study Group to become a city. They chose a smaller area (16 square miles v. the previous 28 miles) for the new city and the new financial projections proved positive.

It took until June 1986 to get the ballot measure approved by the Boundary Review Board (less 300 acres whose residents felt a greater affinity for Redmond). On September 15, 1986, voters turned down the measure by 33 votes out of approximately 4,200 ballots cast. Observers speculated that the defeat was due to word that King County was about to perform $4.4 million in road improvements to the area, work that the new city could avoid paying for if it just waited.

In the fall of 1987, incorporation backers started again. They gathered petition signatures and got it approved by the Boundary Review Board, but farmer Thomas McBride appealed to the County Council to have his 400-acre Hollywood Farm excluded from the plan. This delayed the vote for a year and half.

On March 14, 1989, incorporation lost by 14 votes out of 7,062 ballots cast. Then King County changed some minds when it announced plans to establish an interim jail in the area. The City of Redmond could withhold water and sewer services to a project it disapproved of, but Woodinville residents had no leverage at all. Incorporation went back on the ballot on a smaller scale, 5.7 square miles. In the election of May 19, 1992, the measure passed by 52 votes out of 1,654 ballots cast.

Citizens selected a seven-member city council on November 4, 1992, and Lucy DeYoung was chosen mayor. DeYoung's qualifications were challenged (she claimed her business as her residence), but she stayed in office. On March 27, 1993, Woodinville officially became a city and residents celebrated with its All Fools Parade and a Basset Bash dog show.

Sources: Stephen Clutter, "Woodinville Will Celebrate Its New Cityhood All Day Tomorrow," The Seattle Times, March 26, 1993, p. B-3; Blaine Schultz, "Woodinville May Get It Together -- Form New City, Residents Urge," Ibid., May 8, 1985, p. H-2; "Eastside," Ibid., September 2, 1985, p. B-1; Steve Johnson, "Fiscal Prospects of New City Seen as Positive," Ibid., April 30, 1986, p. H-1; Steve Johnson, "First Step Toward New City Approved -- Move To Incorporate Woodinville May Be On September Ballot," Ibid., June 19, 1986, p. B-1; Steve Johnson, "Road Projects Disputed," Ibid., August 13, 1986, p. H-1; Steve Johnson, "Committee Resumes Drive to Make Woodinville a City," Ibid., September 17, 1987, p. D-1; Steve Johnson, "Farm Owner Stalls Bid to Incorporate Woodinville," Ibid., February 1, 1988, p. B-3; Steve Johnson, "Cityhood Split," Ibid., March 8,1989, p. H-1; Steve Johnson, "Lonesome Battle For Cityhood Waged -- Many Opponents Always In Line To Slow Drive For Incorporation," Ibid., June 4, 1986, p. H-1; Steve Johnson, "Recount Shows Incorporation Failed," IIbid., April 4, 1989, p. C-3; "City of Woodinville Close to a Reality," Ibid., May 27, 1992, p. B-2; " Follow That Story -- Mayor-Elect's Residency Will Get Hearing March 1," Ibid., December 16, 1992, p. B-3; Gordy Holt, "Woodinville Again Faces Incorporation Question," Seattle Post-IntelligencerI, May 15, 1992, p. C-5.
Note: On March 1, 2007, the date of this timeline was changed to the date incorporation was celebrated.

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