City hosts meetings on Central Issaquah redevelopment
March 20, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
The long process to transform more than 900 acres in the decades ahead is due to continue in the months ahead — and residents can offer input on the far-reaching proposal.
City Council and Planning Policy Commission members plan to delve deeper into the Central Issaquah Plan — a long-term proposal to remake more than 900 acres in the business district along Interstate 90.
The next meeting related to the Central Issaquah Plan is the Committee-of-the-Whole Council on March 27.
The council, council committees and the commission plan a series of public meetings in March, April and May to discuss details proposed in the plan. In recent years, planners outlined a broad proposal to turn acres of low-rise office buildings, shopping centers and self-storage units on land near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 into pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
The effort also prompted questions about the possible impacts redevelopment could cause on traffic congestion, mountain vistas and the environment. Issaquah Environmental Council members launched the Eyes on Issaquah campaign last month to encourage residents to scrutinize the proposal.
Read the draft Central Issaquah Plan and learn about upcoming city meetings related to the plan at www.ci.issaquah.wa.us/ centralissaquah. The next meeting related to the plan is the Committee-of-the-Whole Council at 6:30 p.m. March 27 in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.
The meetings mark the latest step in a decadeslong process to reshape the traffic-choked business district.
In 2010, city officials received Central Issaquah Plan recommendations from a mayor-appointed task force. The group recommended tall buildings — some as high as 150 feet — arranged around a greenbelt and pedestrian paths.
The public process resembles a similar effort from last year to prepare a long-term redevelopment agreement between the city and Issaquah-based Rowley Properties.
In December 2011, a unanimous council approved a 30-year agreement between the city and the landowner to redevelop 78 acres in the business district.
The Rowley Properties agreement is seen as critical to the broader Central Issaquah redevelopment effort. The landowner and city planners embarked on the effort in April 2010 to redevelop Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center along state Route 900.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.