Issaquah permit center changes hours

September 10, 2013

Customers should plan ahead for limited services in the city Permit Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16-20, as staff members undergo training.

Permit Center staff will not be available to assist customers during that time. However, planners will be available, building inspections will still occur and customers can still drop off materials at the front counter.

Questions about the temporary change in service? Call the Development Services Department at 837-3100.

 

 

Issaquah retailers prepare for Black Friday rush

November 20, 2012

The day after Thanksgiving, long before the sun rises, open season for bargains starts at retailers throughout Issaquah and beyond.

Black Friday sends shoppers pinging from store to store like a pinball in search of deals — a 32-inch LCD television for $147 at Target, perhaps, or a Blu-ray player for $39.99 at Best Buy. Consumers brave predawn darkness, long lines and sharp elbows to score early-bird bargains.

The boost to retailers’ bottom lines could also offer a jolt to city coffers. Popular Black Friday destinations — including Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Fred Meyer, Target and, of course, Issaquah-based Costco — lure consumers from throughout the region.

Issaquah is a retail hub on the Eastside, and city officials hope the holiday rush resuscitates a flat year for spending. Overall, sales tax revenue forms a key piece in the city budget — a larger share than property tax revenue and permit fees, other main sources of dollars.

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Crews rebuild downtown gas station

October 23, 2012

Expect the remade downtown Shell gas station and Jacksons convenience store to stand taller and cover more ground than the boxlike former structure after a monthslong overhaul concludes.

The planned store at Front Street and Sunset Way should feature a more modern, spacious layout and additional options. The planned façade includes sconces and stone accents. The gas station site is also in line to receive additional landscaping after construction concludes.

Crews started the major overhaul Sept. 11, a day after the business closed to customers.

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King County renames, reorganizes permitting agency

October 16, 2012

In response to a population decline in unincorporated King County, leaders renamed and reorganized the county permitting agency Sept. 17, as officials prepare to relocate the office from Renton to Snoqualmie.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members approved a measure to reorganize the Department of Development and Environmental Services and rename the agency as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

The responsibilities for the agency do not change with the reorganization and the name switch.

The department issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated areas, such as Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston. The agency also enforces county land-use and building codes, staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division and issues business licenses.

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King County permitting system to go offline during software upgrade

June 26, 2012

Landowners should prepare for a weeklong shutdown at the King County permitting agency, as officials roll out a software upgrade from July 2-8.

What to know

Though the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services cannot process permit applications from July 2-8, other services remain available on days other than July 4:

  • Free technical assistance, 7:30-9:30 a.m. weekdays
  • Records Center assistance, 7:30-9:30 a.m. weekdays
  • Phone Center assistance at 206-296-6600, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays
  • Building and fire inspections may be requested by calling and leaving a voice message at 206-296-6630.
  • Online query, Permits-At-A-Glance, can be accessed as read-only throughout the week.

The planned upgrade coincides with the Independence Day holiday, a slow period for the Department of Development and Environmental Services.

The agency’s Renton office is open during the upgrade except for July 4, but during the week, staffers cannot accept, create or issue permit applications. Cashiers also cannot process financial transactions of any kind.

The agency issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated King County, enforces county building and land-use codes, issues business licenses and staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division.

Staffers can continue to work on existing permitting applications during the shutdown. Then, after the software installation, agency employees can enter additional information.

Once the software is installed, customers can access enhanced online services, such as permit applications, building inspections and other services.

The computer system transition is part of a countywide project to integrate all permitting in various county departments into a single system. Officials said the process is meant to streamline the permitting process and provide customers with easy access to multiple departments for the same project.

“The Fourth of July holiday is historically the week of least demand from our customers, so that’s the best time for technicians to perform computer upgrades,” agency Director John Starbard said in a statement. “I urge residents who need permits from us to plan ahead for this necessary shutdown.”

Come fall, the agency plans to relocate from Renton to offices in Snoqualmie Ridge. Officials said the location change is meant to provide a more central office for residents in unincorporated areas.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

King County permitting system to go offline during software upgrade

June 22, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 22, 2012

Landowners should prepare for a weeklong shutdown at the King County permitting agency, as officials roll out a software upgrade from July 2-8.

The planned upgrade coincides with the Independence Day holiday, a slow period for the Department of Development and Environmental Services. The agency’s Renton office is open except for July 4, but during the week, staffers cannot accept, create or issue permit applications. Cashiers also cannot process financial transactions of any kind.

Staffers can continue to work on existing permitting applications during the shutdown. Then, after the software installation, the agency can enter additional information.

Once the software is installed, customers can access enhanced online services, such as permit applications, building inspections and other services. Read more

City’s sales tax revenue is down so far in 2012

May 8, 2012

Issaquah municipal government did not collect as much revenue January through March as it did during the same period a year ago, although planned developments could strengthen city finances.

In 2011, sales tax revenues increased almost 10 percent from 2010, but only due to sales tax on construction, mostly related to Swedish/Issaquah.

However, the city received about $6.1 million in revenue through March, down 6 percent — or $393,286 — from the same period a year ago. The figure includes sales tax revenue, building permits, grants and other funding sources.

The construction of Swedish/Issaquah bolstered the 2011 total.

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Growth is focus as City Council, Issaquah School Board meet

May 1, 2012

City and Issaquah School District leaders pledged coordination and cooperation as the city outlines a bold plan to add thousands of residences in the decades ahead.

Chad Magendanz

Discussion about the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 — and possible changes to the school district, such as redrawing boundaries for schools to accommodate population shifts, dominated the annual joint meeting April 24.

City Council and Issaquah School Board members, plus Mayor Ava Frisinger and Superintendent Steve Rasmussen and other officials, gathered at Mandarin Garden a week after school district voters approved a $219 million bond to fuel a school construction boom. The planned projects include major changes for schools in downtown Issaquah.

The groups, seated beneath red lanterns and arranged around lazy Susans, sipped tea and nibbled on fried rice and roast pork as discussion unfolded about long-term development plans. (The city hosted the meal and spent $311.24 on food and beverages.)

“Both organizations have gone from fast-growing organizations to more stable, mature organizations with different sets of issues,” Council President Tola Marts said. “So, now the challenge is how do we manage the remaining growth that we have?”

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City combines planning, building functions to speed up permitting

April 3, 2012

Step is latest in big City Hall reshuffle

The reorganization of City Hall entered a more intense phase March 27, as officials announced a plan to bundle municipal departments into a Development Services Department — a super-agency meant to streamline planning and building functions.

The change is accompanied by a more muscular effort to attract and retain businesses. Leaders said the Development Services Department is meant to smooth the process to apply for a permit to construct a project or open a business in Issaquah.

The centerpiece is a plan to offer applicants the option to pay additional fees to expedite the evaluation a project receives. The setup is akin to Disney’s Fastpass. Only, rather than theme park guests standing in line for shorter stretches, permit applicants choose a speedier permitting process.

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City combines planning, building functions to speed up permitting

March 28, 2012

NEW — 5:30 p.m. March 28, 2012

The reorganization of City Hall entered a more intense phase Tuesday, as officials announced a plan to bundle municipal departments into a Development Services Department — a super-agency meant to streamline planning and building functions.

Bob Harrison

The change is accompanied by a more muscular effort to attract and retain businesses. Leaders said the Development Services Department is meant to smooth the process apply for a permit to construct a project or open a business in Issaquah.

The centerpiece is a plan to offer applicants the option to pay additional fees to expedite the evaluation a project receives. The setup is akin to Disney’s Fastpass. Only, rather than theme park guests standing in line for shorter stretches, permit applicants choose a speedier permitting process.

City Administrator Bob Harrison said frequent questions from permit applicants influenced the project.

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