Sammamish will take Klahanie
June 18, 2013
By Ari Cetron
Sammamish is very interested in adding Klahanie and its surrounding neighborhoods into the city, if things don’t work out between the neighborhood and Issaquah.
The Sammamish City Council voted 6-0 (Councilman John Curley was absent) to express interest in annexing the area during its June 11 meeting.
Over the past few weeks, residents of Klahanie and other smaller nearby neighborhoods have come to Sammamish asking city leaders to show interest in absorbing the area. The stream of requests led Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama to say Sammamish should let those residents, and others, know its plans for the area.
Klahanie is an area of nearly 2 square miles, housing more than 10,000 people, according to the 2010 census. The roughly triangular area is wedged between Issaquah and Sammamish, but is part of neither city. It is included in Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area, which means that only Issaquah can annex the neighborhood. Issaquah could choose to remove the neighborhood from its PAA, which would open the door for Sammamish.
In 2005, Issaquah nearly annexed Klahanie. Residents voted that they would like to be a part of the city, but were unwilling to take on Issaquah’s debt. The area has remained in limbo since.
Issaquah leaders recently completed a study to see if annexing the area still makes sense.
Sammamish has long eyed the area, and the June 11 vote made it official. If Issaquah does not wish to absorb Klahanie, Sammamish will, at the very least, study the idea.
Valderrama’s proposal made sure to include that not only Klahanie, but also the surrounding neighborhoods, would be part of the study. He was also clear that the city would want to proceed with the necessary steps before any annexation.
All of the councilmembers present were enthusiastic about the idea.
“Should the opportunity arise, we will look at it with great interest,” Mayor Tom Odell said.