Sammamish rebuffs Skyline field plan

June 22, 2010

Jacob Kuper threatened the Issaquah School District might take its ball and go home if it didn’t get the changes it wants to an agreement governing the use of the fields at Skyline High School.

“We could rescind our interlocal agreement and there would be no community hours — not that we want to do that, but legally it is an option,” said Kuper, chief financial officer for the district.

Kuper was quickly shut down by Sammamish City Manager Ben Yazici, who told him he wasn’t going to discuss the threat and he doubted it actually was a legal option.

Kuper later apologized for being “brusque,” as the council also cooled down during a sometimes-heated June 15 meeting.

The community fields at Skyline are used by about a half-dozen school sports teams in the fall and spring seasons. The district owns the land.

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Cities asked to restrict shoreline development

May 18, 2010

The federal government has called for stricter environmental standards along Lake Sammamish, prompting protests from officials in Issaquah and other cities along the lake.

The standards — outlined in a March e-mail from the Federal Emergency Management Agency — aim to limit development within 250 feet of the Lake Sammamish shoreline. But municipal officials said the proposed change could limit public agencies and homeowners alike from building along the scenic lake. Even road construction — such as widening East Lake Sammamish Parkway, for instance — might be impacted by the proposal.

Under the proposal, landowners within 250 feet of the lake could not increase a building in size by more than 10 percent. The measure also aims to limit property owners from adding more than 10 percent of paved roads or roofing within the buffer.

The e-mail originated at the FEMA office in Bothell.

Citing a 2008 National Marine Fisheries Service report, the FEMA message recommended broad standards to restrict new development within 250 feet of fish-bearing lakes and tributaries within floodplains across the Puget Sound region.

FEMA prepared the proposed regulations in response to the report. The report said the National Flood Insurance Program influences development along lake shorelines and therefore has a direct impact on shoreline habitat.

The report said several species — including salmon and orca varieties, and a steelhead species — could be jeopardized or impacted if officials did not adopt the shoreline standards.

But the report did not include Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon among the species in trouble, although environmentalists and scientists said development along Lake Sammamish and tributary creeks has pushed the fish to the brink of extinction.

Issaquah and Sammamish officials, alarmed at the possible implications for private and civic development along the lake, pushed back against the proposal.

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Annexation could change amount city pays to EFR

May 11, 2010

When Sammamish officials decided to let the Aldarra and Montaine neighborhoods join the city, they created a revenue problem for the Fall City Fire Department.

Those neighborhoods are served by the Fall City department. After coming into Sammamish, they would normally be served by Eastside Fire & Rescue.

As a result, Fall City Fire, officially called King County Fire District 27, would lose out on an estimated $125,081 in 2010 property tax revenue when the neighborhoods join Sammamish.

Now, Ben Yazici, Sammamish city manager, is trying to negotiate a temporary fix, which would save the district all but about $6,000 of that money.

Sammamish would pay Fall City Fire to be the first responder to calls from the Aldarra and Montaine neighborhoods through 2012.

In that scenario, Aldarra and Montaine would be the only two neighborhoods in Sammamish that would receive a lower level of service. Fall City uses two-person companies, while EFR uses three-person companies on a fire engine responding to basic emergency medical calls and basic fire investigations.

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Sammamish decides against taking over Klahanie Park

April 13, 2010

Sammamish will not become the temporary owner of Klahanie Park, the Sammamish City Council decided last week.

With a 7-0 vote, the council decided against becoming the temporary owner of the park April 6. The city will still work to keep the park open.

King County had offered up the park on a three-year basis and on the condition that if Issaquah annexed the Klahanie development in the future, the park would transfer to Issaquah.

For Sammamish to take it over on a permanent basis, the Sammamish City Council would have to sign off on the transfer, the city of Issaquah would need to remove the park from its potential annexation area and the King County Council would have to give its blessing, too.

None of that may matter now, though. The prospect of paying to maintain the park without having permanent ownership wasn’t all that appetizing to Sammamish’s council.

“Why are we cutting their grass for free? That’s how I see it,” Councilman John Curley said.

Concerned Citizens of Klahanie, a citizen group that opposes Sammamish’s proposed takeover of the park, also turned some council members’ heads.

“We’ve gotten a lot of e-mails from people in Klahanie. They really don’t want Sammamish in their park. I think we really should respect their wishes,” Councilwoman Nancy Whitten said.

Councilwoman Michele Petitti went so far as to say that she was offended by the negative publicity attached to the proposed takeover. Read more

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Census forms sent to Sammamish have wrong cities

March 30, 2010

The upcoming census left out Sammamish — at least on the forms sent to Sammamish residents. Read more

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City wants Klahanie Park decision to hinge on growth

March 2, 2010

Local residents try to have their say in keeping Klahanie Park open, and which local jurisdiction they would like to see be its steward as King County officials plan to close the park. — By Greg Farrar

Issaquah city officials called last week for decisions about adding Klahanie Park to the municipal parks system to be made alongside long-term growth agreements.

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Sammamish city manager addresses Klahanie Park concerns

February 23, 2010

In an effort to set the record straight about a possible takeover of Klahanie Park by neighboring Sammamish, Sammamish City Manager Ben Yazici sent a letter to the Klahanie homeowners association Feb. 12. Read more

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Klahanie Park transfer revives annexation talk

December 15, 2009

Klahanie residents want answers about what will happen to the community after Sammamish acquires Klahanie Park from cash-strapped King County. Read more

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Issaquah taxpayers could contribute more if Sammamish leaves EFR

October 20, 2009

If Sammamish leaves Eastside Fire & Rescue — a decision under discussion by city officials — Issaquah taxpayers could pay more to support the regional fire agency. Read more

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Sammamish explores taking over Klahanie Park

September 15, 2009

Sammamish City Councilwoman Kathy Huckabay has suggested that Sammamish take over Klahanie Park. Read more

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