Parks spotlighted in Comp Plan review
February 16, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
Improvements to city parks will likely be considered when city officials weigh changes to the comprehensive plan, the document that lays out Issaquah’s long-range growth plans.
Park upgrades and other measures will be discussed Feb. 19, when the Council Land Use Committee meets to review proposed amendments to the plan.
“The parks element is one of those elements that’s going to be reviewed as part of the comprehensive plan amendments for this year,” Parks Coordinator and Planner Margaret Macleod said.
Under the state Growth Management Act, a parks plan is mandatory in the city’s comprehensive plan. The act also requires the city to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan. Issaquah adopted such a plan in 1995.
Trish Heinonen, the city’s long-range planning manager, said some of the proposals are annual amendments, some are new amendments and others have been carried over from 2008. Some of the plan’s elements, such as the city’s population, must be updated annually.
Heinonen said council members would evaluate the amendments and decide which items are worthy of attention. She described the plan as a tool designed to help the City Council make growth-related decisions.
If an item is not addressed during the amendment process, it’s put on the list for the following year. For instance, a leftover 2008 proposal regarding the proposed Klahanie annexation could be considered again.
Moreover, if a project needs to be removed from the comprehensive plan, the proposed amendment must be considered through the review process. Due to a 2008 council decision to end plans for the controversial Southeast Bypass, the Land Use Committee will consider an amendment to remove references to the bypass from the comprehensive plan. The controversial proposed roadway would have been built across the lower slopes of Tiger Mountain between Interstate 90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road.
Other proposed amendments include measures to address the city’s efforts to curb climate change, and adding a parcel of state Department of Transportation property to the Issaquah Highlands as an area for future expansion.
Heinonen predicted the parks proposal would receive the most attention from the public.
“The most exciting one from a community standpoint is updating the parks plan,” she said.
In addition to the proposed comprehensive plan amendments, the Land Use Committee will consider proposed land use code amendments.
Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.