City, Port Blakely host another Park Pointe open house Wednesday

August 3, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 3, 2010

The city and Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities plan another open house to discuss a proposal to preserve Tiger Mountain land and add residences to the highlands.

The open house offers residents a chance to study maps, ask questions about the proposal and offer input. The forum runs from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive.

The transfer aims to prohibit development on about 140 forested acres — 102 acres at Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and another 43 acres adjacent to the highlands — and, in exchange, allow 500 additional residences in the highlands.

The plan calls for Port Blakely to spend about $500,000 for transportation upgrades in the highlands, and build a mountain biking course in the neighborhood.

If the city, Port Blakely and King County can update long-term growth plans to allow the transfer to proceed, the deal could be completed by December.

But highlands residents raised questions about adding more homes in the community during a July 22 open house.

The initial open house attracted about 20 residents, plus City Council members Tola Marts and Maureen McCarry. They serve on the council committee overseeing the Park Pointe project.

In the mid-1990s, the former Park Pointe developer envisioned the community as a hillside urban village similar to the highlands or Talus. But the proposal faltered amid outcry from residents, environmentalists and public officials.

The former developer, Wellington Park Pointe LLC, collapsed into bankruptcy late last year, and a Seattle bank foreclosed on Park Pointe in March.

The bank and latest landowner — Regal Financial Bank — has agreed not to sell the property as the city and Port Blakely work on the deal.

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