Renton is a city in King County, Washington, United States. Situated 11 miles (18 km) southeast of downtown Seattle, Washington, Renton straddles the southeast shore of Lake Washington, at the mouth of the Cedar River. While long an important salmon fishing area for Native Americans, Renton was first settled by people of European descent in the 1860s, and its early economy was based on coal mining, clay production, and timber export. Today, Renton is best known as the final assembly point for the Boeing 737 family of commercial airplanes, but it is also home to a growing number of well known manufacturing, technology, and service companies, including Boeing, Paccar, Parallels, Inc., Providence Health & Services, and Wizards of the Coast. The population was 90,927 at the 2010 census. Renton currently contains the 8th largest population in the state, and is the 4th largest in King County. The National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks have a training facility in Renton. It is the is the second-largest facility in the NFL at 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.54 square miles (60.97 km2), of which, 23.12 square miles (59.88 km2) is land and 0.42 square miles (1.09 km2) is water, most of which is the Cedar River. Potential Annexation Areas (PAAs) include the communities of Fairwood southeast of Renton, the East Renton Plateau on the eastern edge of Renton, and West Hill northwest of Renton. These communities are large unincorporated urban areas that are encouraged by the King County Annexation Initiative to incorporate as cities or annex into neighboring cities. As of 2012 these three PAAs are not part of the City of Renton, and not included in its demographics or statistics.
Renton is among a handful of cities in the Puget Sound Region with an independent street grid system. Roads names beginning with sectional divisions (N 32nd ST) generally follow a latitudinal direction, while roads names ending in a sectional direction (Duvall Ave NE) generally follow a longitudinal direction. Many of the avenues in the city are named in honor of other cities in Washington. The city also has its own housing authority. This helps the city to avoid higher regional taxes. As a result, Renton property owners enjoy the smallest average tax increases in King County.
Renton is bordered to the north by the city of Newcastle, Washington. Along the east side of Renton is the border of the Urban Growth Boundary established by King County, as such there is no incorporated city directly east of Renton. The geographical characteristics of Renton’s eastern border are varied and include (from north to south) the south flank of Cougar Mountain descending southward merging with the community of May Valley. The terrain then elevates south of May Valley to the communities of the East Renton Plateau before descending to the north bank of the Cedar River. Renton is bordered to the south by the city of Kent, Washington. The western border consists of the city of Tukwila, Washington, and finally the unincorporated King County community West Hill and Lake Washington to the northwest.
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