Couple requests annexation into Oak Harbor

A couple who own 19 acres on the north end of Oak Harbor want to bring it into city limits.

It may be a difficult task, however, since the same annexation request was rejected by the city council on recommendation from city planners just two years ago.

Harbhajan and Khushdev Mangat submitted an intent to commence annexation to the city in June; it asks for their property to be brought within city limits. Their three parcels are located on North Whidbey Harbor Road near the southeast corner of the intersection with Gun Club Road.

The Oak Harbor City Council voted last week to allow the applicants to move forward with the annexation, though this step far from commits the city to the annexation. At the staff’s recommendation, the council modified the annexation area by adding two parcels on the west side, which squares off the boundary.

The annexation request is a repeat of a request from 2015. At that time, the council followed the staff’s recommendation to reject the request based on goals and policies set forth in the city’s comprehensive plan.

Planners pointed out that the annexation would nearly create a pocket of un-annexed property surrounded by land that’s within the city limits. Such unincorporated enclaves are frowned upon by the comp plan because they strain city services and cause confusion about which areas the city’s police and fire department serve.

In addition, planners noted that “public facilities and service capacities to the Mangat properties do not currently exist and are not planned for in the near future,” the council packet states.

Nevertheless, Senior Planner Dennis Lefevre said the new annexation request will give planners another opportunity to look at the issues to see if anything has changed.