Park Pointe trail plan needs public input
August 7, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
City leaders have put out a call for additional citizen input about trails on a Tiger Mountain tract called Park Pointe, a section of forest long considered for development but set aside for conservation and recreation last year.
Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department staffers created a draft trail plan for Park Pointe — a site encompassing 101 acres near Issaquah High School.
The city acquired the land in a complex transfer of development rights, and the agreement included stipulations about land use.
Though low-impact recreational use is OK for Park Pointe, public access and conservation cannot conflict. So, adding a trail is acceptable, but constructing a large-scale recreational facility on the site is not.
Early proposals for Park Pointe caused friction among outdoors groups, particularly hikers and mountain bikers.
The municipal Park Board listened to comments from citizens and outdoors enthusiasts about the draft trail plan July 23. The board scheduled another opportunity for citizens to offer input Aug. 27.
The city approved a stewardship plan for Park Pointe in January and the next step for the site is a trail plan.
Once the Park Board listens to public comment, members intend to develop a recommendation for Mayor Ava Frisinger and city Parks & Recreation Director Anne McGill. Frisinger and McGill then intend to finalize a plan for the site.
In March 2011, city leaders concluded the Park Pointe transfer of development rights in a historic milestone.
The last set of plans presented by the Park Pointe developer proposed 251 units or 344 units for the steep, forested site. In June 2009, the project developer defaulted on a loan and, months later, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Under the transfer of development rights agreement, city leaders steered construction from Park Pointe to the Issaquah Highlands instead.