Issaquah accepts grant to study land swap

November 23, 2010

By Staff

Issaquah city leaders accepted a state grant last week to study how to preserve rural land and instead add density inside city limits.

The city received $100,000 to study a potential transfer of development rights between the Issaquah Creek watershed and the business district. Under such a transfer, a landowner sells development rights from properties in low-density areas to parties interested in building denser development in another area.

City Council members accepted the grant in a unanimous decision Nov. 15. The grant does not require any local matching dollars.

The city plans to use the funds to conduct environmental and market analyses to create a transfer-of-development-rights receiving site in part of a 915-acre commercial core along Interstate 90. The area is the focus of a detailed planning process to redevelop strip malls and parking lots into a pedestrian-friendly blend of businesses and residences.

The state Department of Commerce and the Puget Sound Regional Council — the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties — announced Sept. 15 more than $1 million in grants to 10 cities for transfer of development rights projects.

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