Lake Management Districts
In 2009, a nearly year-long process to form a lake management district (LMD) for North Lake was completed. The LMD creates a private funding source and a 10 year operational program for designated aquatic plant management and water quality management, maintenance and monitoring activities for North Lake.
The LMD development began with the signing of a petition during a public meeting on February 24, 2009, at the North Lake Improvement Club. The meeting was well received with no opposition to the proposed plan. By this action, the petition met the requirement set forth in RCW 36.61.030 (signed by 10 landowners or owners of at least 15% of the acreage contained within the proposed LMD) and enabled the City Council to take action regarding the formation of a North Lake LMD.
A public vote was held on July 10, 2009: by a simple majority, 97% of the voters approved the measure. Subsequently, after several required resolutions and public hearings, the City Council formally created Lake Management District Number Two for North Lake on September 10, 2009, by passing Ordinance #09-622. By the end of 2009, and after several more resolutions and ordinances related to assessments and the formation of the Advisory Committee, the 10-year LMD became final.
In 2003, the City of Federal Way City Council, by Ordinance 03-452, created the inaugural ten-year Steel Lake Management District (LMD) Number 1 sun-setting on December 31, 2013. In 2012, the appointed members of the Steel Lake Advisory Committee (SLAC), representing the property owners of the LMD and acting per Resolution 03-397, began preparing the work scope to renew Steel Lake Management District Number 1 for a second multi-year period.
The 2014-2023 Steel Lake Management District Plan (SLMDP), outlines management goals established by the SLAC to provide the basis for the creation of a renewed Steel Lake Management District, set to become effective the beginning of 2014.
Per the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 35.21.403, any city or town may establish lake management districts (LMD) within its boundaries as provided in chapter 36.61 RCW. The Washington State legislature finds that the environmental, recreational, and aesthetic values of many of the state's lakes are threatened by eutrophication and other deterioration and that existing governmental authorities are unable to adequately improve and maintain the quality of the state's lakes. It is through RCW 36.61 that a governmental mechanism may be established by which property owners can embark on a program of lake improvement and maintenance for their and the general public's benefit, health, and welfare.
RCW 36.61.020 outlines the requirements for the creation of a lake management district, including the protocols for financing the LMD improvements and maintenance of a lake. RCW 36.61 also describes the set of activities permitted to be undertaken by an LMD: (1) The control or removal of aquatic plants and vegetation; (2) water quality; (3) the control of water levels; (4) storm water diversion and treatment; (5) agricultural waste control; (6) studying lake water quality problems and solutions; (7) cleaning and maintaining ditches and streams entering or leaving the lake; and (8) the related administrative, engineering, legal, and operational costs, including the costs of creating the lake management district.