To the Editor
January 3, 2012
Re: DownTown Issaquah Association hires new director
As a business owner on Front Street, I was disappointed with last year’s decision by the DownTown Issaquah Association to dismiss Greg Spranger. It was a monumental mistake.
Greg was the driving force of the association and received tons of accolades from the city and our community for his achievements. In my opinion, he was the DIA.
I hope Ms. Donovan (new executive director) does well and can mirror Greg’s devotion and contribution to Issaquah (a difficult feat at best). Only time will tell if she stays or joins the bandwagon of resigned members and rides off into the sunset.
In that event, the association should ask Greg to come back and get the DIA back on track.
Thank you for your column
Kudos to David Hayes for his Santa column and the true story of Christmas. Go, Tebow.
Kiss Issaquah goodbye
They say we cannot stand in the way of progress and I suppose the Issaquah City Council’s Central Issaquah Plan and the Rowleys’ ambitious plans the council has approved for high density, high-rise development in central Issaquah are examples of the inevitable “progress” that so often befalls nice towns in the proximity of big cities.
I suppose it would be unrealistic to expect the council to preserve our great little town. I’m sure the council members believe they’re doing the right thing. One-hundred-and-fifty-foot-tall buildings in central Issaquah. Millions of square feet of high-density development. Apartments and condos packed in cheek to jowl. Rats in a cage. Progress.
Which leaves us with two choices: 1) Stay and hope we’re toes up on the other side of the lawn before our fine little town turns into Bellevue’s ugly stepchild or b) Move someplace else. For my wife and I, the jury’s still out.
The Eagles’ “Hotel California” album concludes with a beautiful song, “The Last Resort,” chronicling the expansion of civilization across America, to California and eventually to Hawaii. It’s a song about “progress.”
The final line in the song laments: “Call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye.”
Goodbye, Issaquah. It was nice while it lasted.
Where is the watchdog keeping an eye on Rowley Development?
I have been disappointed by the general lack of coverage of the Rowley Development Agreement in The Issaquah Press. Finally, you put a lengthy article about the agreement in the Dec. 28 edition, unfortunately after the agreement was finalized.
The development agreement is a lot more complicated than you made out, especially with regard to the creek buffer. If you think, “The development agreement requires 100 feet for a buffer between the creek and construction” as you stated, then why is the creek buffer only 10 feet wide on the northern part of Hyla Crossing, and why is there a provision on the southern, “enhanced portion” of the creek buffer to allow for buildings to encroach within 25 feet of the stream (less than a 10 foot buffer and 15 foot building setback) for a total of 200 linear feet? There also was no provision for a buffer for Wetland C, a Class 1 wetland.
Admittedly, Rowley did make a major concession with regard to the north end of the creek buffer, indicating that he would hold off on redeveloping the north end of the buffer until the creek (and creek buffer) was moved away from his property. He said he would work with the city to acquire a portion of the Mull property and move the creek, but there was no indication of who would bear the cost of the land acquisition and creek/buffer restoration.
I am also unaware of any change to the building encroachment to the southern end, other than the addition of a drawing of a building with an overhang 25 feet from the stream.
There are many other concerns about the development agreement. At this point, I can only hope that Rowley Properties will produce a better development than what was required in the agreement.