Covington makes agreement with King County

King County will handle landmarking for the city, which could save money.

The King County Council unanimously approved an agreement with Covington on April 23 to provide landmark designation and protection services.

According to a press release from King County, Covington wanted a formal process for recognizing historic buildings, properties and archaeological sites within the city limits. This agreement means the county will handle landmarking services on the city’s behalf.

According to Ann Mueller, the senior planner for Covington, the city is always looking at its code and auditing to see if there is anything that needs to happen. She said Covington had the original language upon the incorporation of the city about 21 years ago. It was out of date and needed to be updated, she said.

“We’ve never had a landmark request (before), but in the case that we ever did, we wanted to make sure that the language in there made sense for our city,” Mueller said. “So I did some research about (how to) update it (recognizing historic landmarks) and clean it up and I found out that 22 other cities in King County actually use the King County landmark commission and historical landmark preservation program as their commission and review group.”

According to the press release, this will save everyone money.

“As more cities contract with the county for landmark services, it reduces the total costs for everybody,” said King County Council Member Reagan Dunn in the press release.

This will save the city money because Covington will not have to start its own agency and process, but will instead use King County’s.

Mueller said there are not a lot of historic buildings in Covington, but the city would like to be prepared if someone would like their land to be declared historic.

In fact, a local business could go through the process soon.

“We actually did find out that the state granted historic preservation status to the BPA station in the city. So it’s potential to have them apply for a local landmark status. So the BPA station actually has the ability to get recognized for its value as a sub station,” said Mueller.

BPA is a substation that is located on Covington Way Southeast.

Mueller said BPA is coming to a council meeting on July 10 to present to council the research they have done and will move forward from there.

“It is a great pleasure to partner with King County on this ILA for historic services. We appreciate all the work that Council Member Dunn has done to preserve historic sites in King County, so that our children and families can enjoy what has happened in the past,” said Covington Mayor Jeff Wagner in the press release. “We look forward to continuing to partner with Council Member Dunn on future sites.”

The release said some properties designated as historic are eligible for tax benefits.