October 9, 2012
Issaquah homeowners can expect to pay about $5 more in property taxes next year, if City Council members adopt a 1 percent rate hike to fund long-term projects.
The property tax increase, proposed Oct. 1 by Mayor Ava Frisinger, is not expected to generate much next year. If enacted, city officials expect to raise only $69,707 — a drop in a proposed $35 million general fund budget.
The decision to raise the property tax rate by the maximum amount allowed under state law, 1 percent, is projected to cost the average homeowner $4.75 per year.
October 4, 2012
NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 4, 2012
Issaquah’s Lakemont Orchard Apartments sold last month for $39.5 million, according to King County property records.
MainStay Investments, a division of New York Life Insurance Co., bought the 17-building complex from Invesco, a Dallas-based investment firm. The complex includes 201 units at 18305 S.E. Newport Way, near the Issaquah-Bellevue city line.
The complex opened in 1992. Invesco bought the apartment complex for about $21 million in 1998, according to county property records.
Issaquah annexed the area from King County in the 2006 Greenwood Point-South Cove annexation. The annexation extended city boundaries to include about 3,700 people.
July 24, 2012
King County could carve unincorporated neighborhoods — including Four Creeks and Klahanie just outside Issaquah — into community service areas, if a plan proposed July 19 is put into action.
The proposal is the latest in a yearslong effort to change the way county government and unincorporated communities interact. King County Executive Dow Constantine characterized the effort as a reform measure to ease access to government for residents in rural and unincorporated areas.
July 24, 2012
The county and the unincorporated area councils formalized a relationship after then-County Executive Gary Locke enacted the Citizen Participation Initiative in December 1994.
Then, about one-third of the county population — 500,000 people — resided in unincorporated areas. The number has since declined to fewer than 300,000 due to annexations and incorporations.
July 3, 2012
Finally, after years of plans and promises, developers and officials gathered in the Issaquah Highlands early June 26 to launch construction on a $70 million retail center in the neighborhood — a long-awaited amenity for residents and, in recent years, a symbol for the anemic economy and rebound.
July 3, 2012
Issaquah surpassed 31,000 residents in the past year, as population growth continues to inch upward after a decade of rapid expansion.
The latest tally from the state indicates Issaquah added 460 people last year to reach 31,150 residents. The state Office of Financial Management released the information June 25 for the period from April 1, 2011, to April 1, 2012.
June 26, 2012
City and Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials could end up at loggerheads as the city embarks on a study to assume water and sewer service for the portion of district customers inside Issaquah city limits.
Issaquah officials budgeted $300,000 to study expanded utility service for the entire city. State law encourages municipalities to assume utility services in neighborhoods located inside city limits.
City officials said such a changeover could reduce confusion among customers and enable municipal government to better manage the water and sewer system inside city limits.
Such a change could lead to a showdown between the city and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, because the district is bound to shed hundreds of ratepayers if the city expands water and sewer service to all Issaquah residents.
June 25, 2012
NEW — 3:15 p.m. June 25, 2012
Issaquah surpassed 31,000 residents in the last year, as population growth continues to inch upward after a decade of expansion.
The latest tally from the state indicates Issaquah added 460 people last year to reach 31,150 residents. The state Office of Financial Management released the information Monday for the period from April 1, 2011, to April 1, 2012.
The state used data from the 2010 Census as a baseline, and then estimated population for Issaquah and other cities from school enrollment, housing construction and driver licensing to determine the numbers.
State officials use the population data to determine how to allocate dollars to municipalities.
Between the decennial censuses in 2000 and 2010, Issaquah ballooned by 170 percent — the result of construction-and-annexation-fueled population growth.
June 5, 2012
City Council members agreed to study options for the aging Issaquah Skate Park to turn it from a bastion for drug use into a community asset, boost economic development efforts in the city and conduct another study about the future of Klahanie.
Other priorities included a plan to televise council budget deliberations, hire a lobbyist to advocate for Issaquah in Olympia, and develop a comprehensive policy related to bicyclists and pedestrians.
The council, alongside representatives from municipal departments, gathered in a YWCA Family Village at Issaquah conference room June 2 to formulate the list.
In the rare Saturday meeting, council members trimmed a long list into priorities for 2013. Though the council conducted the heavy lifting at the retreat, the process is not yet done.
January 3, 2012
2012 Issaquah goals are very achievable
Each year our news staff and editorial board put their heads together to create a list of goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still on our wish list.
Environmentally speaking — Local restaurants need to step up and get compliant with the city’s mandate on use of recyclable containers. Most already have, but not all. The city should go a step further and follow Seattle’s lead in banning plastic grocery and retail bags.
Central Issaquah Plan — The plan that will act as a guideline for redevelopment of Issaquah’s business district should be completed this year. Take it one step further and implement it for new development in the highlands, too.
Park Pointe — Now that the land deal is done, the city and volunteers can transform the 100 acres on Tiger Mountain for everyone to enjoy; Issaquah Environmental Council volunteers started the process last week by planting native species.
Economic development — With the re-engineering of how City Hall functions to encourage a more robust economic development of the business community, the time has come for action. Put measurable goals in place immediately with an eye toward filling vacant storefronts.