Learn about city Comp Plan rezonings at Sept. 10 meeting

September 8, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

City officials want to rezone 15 properties at nine sites in Issaquah as they update a key planning document for 2009.City planners will soon update the municipal Comprehensive Plan and zoning map with public land that officials intend to rezone. The list for 2009 includes property for future parks, park expansion and land to be set aside for open space. Other properties are already used for city utilities, such as drainage facilities and storm water ponds. Officials want to rezone those properties to fit their existing uses.

Under the state Growth Management Act, municipal officials are required to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan to outline future expansion. Issaquah adopted such a plan in 1995.

Planners sent notices to more than 450 property owners within 300 feet of the sites. City Senior Planner Trish Heinonen said the city received little feedback from landowners.

Heinonen said the lack of response could be due to the fact that the affected properties are already used for the purposes outlined in the zoning changes.

As part of the review process, the Planning Policy Commission will hold a public hearing for the Comprehensive Plan amendments Sept. 10. City Council members will likely review the Comprehensive Plan updates in late fall.

The latest incarnation of the Comprehensive Plan was made effective last November.

City planning staff has taken advantage of the construction slowdown to update other wide-ranging growth plans. Planners have been at work on the Central Issaquah Plan, a document that will outline growth and redevelopment in a broad swath of the city — the 915-acre commercial core of the city surrounding Interstate 90. Meanwhile, Planning Director Mark Hinthorne has been updating concurrency policies. Planners also tweak the Land Use Code annually.

Among the Comprehensive Plan changes headed to the City Council this fall are measures to determine the fate of the Klahanie annexation area and to add language about climate change to the document.

Other changes to the plan are housekeeping measures. Updated population information will be included, as well as the latest plans for transportation and capital projects.

Planners need to remove language about the Southeast Bypass, for instance, from the plan outlining development in downtown Issaquah, or the Olde Town subarea. City Council members voted to halt the proposed Tiger Mountain roadway last year.

Aside from the bypass, Heinonen said the downtown area had changed since the plan was first drafted.

“Old Towne has really come a long way over the last 10 years,” she said.

If you go

Planning Policy Commission Comprehensive Plan

public hearing

6:30 p.m. Sept. 10

City Council chambers

135 E. Sunset Way

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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