Timing, future among concerns at zoning hearing

September 10, 2013

By Peter Clark

Few raised questions in the first public hearing on proposed zoning for a Klahanie-area annexation.

After the Issaquah City Council adopted a resolution July 5 to initiate an annexation election, it must hold two public hearings on proposed zoning at least 30 days apart for citizens to offer testimony. The first took place during the Sept. 3 regular council meeting.

“It allows the public to ask questions of the council,” Long Range Planning Manager Trish Heinonen said in a short presentation before the hearing, where she informed the council of its role in the meeting. “You don’t take any formal action. You just let us know what you would like us to prepare for you in that pre-annexation ordinance that would come to you in October.”

Heinonen displayed a map of the proposed zoning, saying that it had not changed since 2005, with the one exception of a church added to the potential annexation area by King County.

In line with existing property, the great majority of Klahanie was designated as single-family, small-lot zoning. Additionally, small sections were listed as community facilities, single-family estates, single-family suburban, multifamily and a slight space of retail.

The first hearing garnered few speakers.

Kirsten O’Malley, representing Klahanie Choice, a group of citizens within the potential annexation area, was one.

“Our group found that zoning issues are legally complex and so we have engaged an attorney to provide some legal guidance,” O’Malley said. “We do have a number of issues that we’re concerned with.”

Primarily, she said the timing of the information, particularly before the Labor Day weekend, did not give citizens enough time to prepare for the hearing.

“The zoning report and the map was made available just last week,” she said. “The timing we feel really can’t be considered adequate to review the contents of the zoning report. We’re just concerned the council expects to approve zoning on Oct. 7, before reviewing comments received at that hearing.”

She also said she doubted whether the proposed zoning actually matched the established county specifications.

“It’s my concern that the zoning is becoming more dense, not less dense,” she said, highlighting the city’s stance that the proposed zoning is in line with King County’s zoning of the area. “I feel that 20 percent more dense is significant. It’s not equal.”

The city maintains the information was up well ahead of time.

“Issaquah’s proposed land use and zoning was first posted online in its Notice of Intent to Annex on July 31,” City Communications Manager Autumn Monahan said.

Citizen David Kappler also spoke at the hearing to bring attention to future needs of land use.

“We will have to have good codes to deal with redevelopment,” Kappler said. “I think this issue of the K zoning needs to be looked at carefully to be sure that redevelopment can occur appropriately.”

The next public hearing is scheduled during the City Council regular meeting Oct. 7.

 

If you go

City Council Klahanie annexation proposed zoning public hearing

  • 7 p.m. Oct. 7
  • Council chambers
  • 135 E. Sunset Way

 

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