City Council divided over land sale

February 9, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink

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After City Council members’ votes ended in a tie, Mayor Ava Frisinger used her vote to approve a motion authorizing city officials to enter into negotiations to sell part of the Zetec property.

The Zetec property, at 6401 224th Ave. S.E., is behind the city’s post office but on the other side of Interstate 90. City officials purchased it from Clyde Denton for about $2 million in 2005, said Bob Brock, city Public Works director.

The property was purchased by the city to secure the right of way to complete a new bridge as part of the I-90 Undercrossing project.

However, after securing what they need for the right of way, city officials are beginning negotiations to sell the remaining building and property for redevelopment.

“This has been a high priority for us and I believe authorizing the purchase and sale agreement for this moves us closer to achieving a number of important Issaquah priorities,” Councilman Fred Butler said.

Butler and council members Eileen Barber and Joshua Schaer voted to approve the motion, while John Rittenhouse, Maureen McCarry and David Kappler voted it down. Councilman John Traeger was absent from a Feb. 2 executive session.

“Certainly, after our discussion, I understand the rationale behind the decision either way. But personally, I don’t feel I can support it, because I don’t feel there is enough benefit to outweigh the conditions of the sale agreement,” Rittenhouse said after the closed-door session.

The mayor’s vote approved negotiations.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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