City Council nixes Park Pointe committee as deal nears finish

January 18, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

City Council members decided to eliminate the committee responsible for the Park Pointe preservation deal as the council updated the way members conduct business.

The council nixed the Major Planning & Growth Committee and redistributed the responsibilities of the former group Jan. 3. The group handled agreements related to the proposed transfer of development rights between forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and the Issaquah Highlands. The proposal is on track to be completed in the months ahead.

“This last year, there was an awful lot of major activity with the TDR and with the Central Issaquah Plan,” Council President John Traeger said. “This year, we’re down to the Central Issaquah Plan and it’s kind of in autopilot mode. It’s working on its own timeline now.”

The plan to outline development for more than 900 acres in the business district is due to reach important city boards throughout the year. The city is also engaged in a separate planning effort to set redevelopment goals for almost 90 Rowley Properties-owned acres.

The decision to end the Major Planning & Growth Committee raised questions.

“Maybe it’s just because I live in the highlands, but I feel like there’s enough stuff still happening between that and the stuff with Rowley, that I would have thought that the sunsetting would have occurred later rather than sooner,” Councilman Mark Mullet said.

Councilman Joshua Schaer suggested ad hoc, or temporary, committees as a way to address key growth decisions in 2011.

The council overhauled the committee structure last year. The council president assigns members to the Land & Shore, Services & Safety, Transportation, and Utilities, Technology & Environment committees.

Though the council president handles internal appointments, the full council must decide the representatives on regional groups, such as Eastside Fire & Rescue.

The council also appointed Mullet as a city representative to the group studying a possible regional fire authority on the Eastside.

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

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