December 31, 2014
Annexations, retirements, plastic bags, development, a looming school closure, retail marijuana, bank robberies, the Concerts on the Green series, and business and occupation taxes made the list of the top 10 news stories of the year in Issaquah.
Here are those stories, in no particular order:
Klahanie-area annexation issue moves to Sammamish
Issaquah residents voted no, for the second time, on the city of Issaquah annexing the Klahanie area. The King County Growth Management Planning Council then unanimously approved the idea to move the Klahanie area from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area to Sammamish’s.
November 29, 2014
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2014
Residents can have their say and get a glimpse of the city’s plans to manage future growth during an open house from 4-5:30 p.m. Dec. 2, in the Pickering Room at City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave., N.W.
Under state rules, cities are required to have a plan to manage growth. According to the Central Issaquah Plan now in place, most growth locally will take place on the valley floor. The plan looks at the use of 1,100 acres of the city’s commercial district.
The state’s requirements further include providing and reviewing plans to provide for transportation needs concurrently with development. With that in mind, officials are focused on updating Issaquah’s concurrency plans.
September 16, 2014
Demolition began Sept. 10 on the new residential project to be housed at Seventh Avenue Northwest and Northwest Gilman Boulevard.
There, 344 apartments in three five-story buildings will replace the strip mall and Lombardi’s restaurant that had been there for decades.
The project not only marks a change in that localized landscape, but for the whole of Issaquah as well.
September 2, 2014
A little Aloha while sitting in traffic
How is it that Peter Clark, of The Issaquah Press, has read my mind these last several months as I’ve traveled the roads downtown getting to and from my home in the nearby Sycamore neighborhood? His recent article “Traffic plan can’t come soon enough” nailed it.
I understand that the City Council’s master plan is intent upon growing residential and business opportunities while lessening our dependence on cars. As in the Issaquah Highlands, townsfolk will be able to walk, rather than drive, to most places. However, as Clark indicates, that idyllic scenario won’t happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, those of us living in the midst of construction that is sure to tie up traffic for years to come will have to grin and bear it.
August 26, 2014
Rowley Properties’ construction of the long-stay Homewood Suites by Hilton has brought a massive crane to central Issaquah.
It’s not the first one locals have seen, but it heralds the start of the Central Issaquah Plan, which city officials expect to change the face of the valley over the next 30 years or so.
The crane stands over the western edge of the city and so will hopefully not have any impact on surrounding traffic. However, it represents a symbol of things to come as parcels go on sale and some, like the Atlas project on Gilman Boulevard Northwest, sit in the middle of the permitting process.
July 29, 2014
In exchange for open space, Costco is aiming for the sky.
Company leaders want to construct possibly three more buildings on the campus, with anywhere from three to 10 stories each.
“They are looking to expand their corporate facilities,” city Public Works Engineering Director Sheldon Lynne said. “They currently have surface parking lots that they are wanting to place buildings on.”
May 20, 2014
The Issaquah City Council has chosen to concentrate on transportation and Olde Town issues in the future.
Senior city administration met with the council during the 122nd-annual goal setting retreat at the Mercer Slough Environmental Center in Bellevue and spent a solid eight hours debating Issaquah’s next steps.
The council members began the day with 17 goals, submitted by council after it asked for citizen input. The day ended with five: Transportation Master Plan, Affordable Housing, Enhance Olde Town Vitality, Central Issaquah Plan Anchor Project and to promote a Safe/Drug-Free Community.
May 13, 2014
Redevelopment of Seventh Avenue Northwest and Northwest Gilman Boulevard earned Development Commission approval May 7.
The city Development Commission welcomed the topic during two three-hour meetings April 16 and May 7. The commission received presentations from designers GGLO Architects, the city’s Development Services Department, as well as an outpouring of public comments. During the latter meeting, the commission unanimously approved the permit application.
“It’s got another new name since last we met,” City Senior Planner Jerry Lind said during the May 7 meeting. “It’s now called ‘Atlas’. We’ve seen the name Cadence. That one you want to erase from your mind. It’s evolved and it’s possible it could change again.”
May 5, 2014
NEW — 1:10 p.m. May 5, 2014
Rowley Properties Inc. will break ground on a new hotel project June 26.
The upscale Homewood Suites by Hilton will be an all-suite, extended-stay hotel coming to Hyla Crossing in Issaquah, according to a May 5 press release.
Located off state Route 900, the 123-suite, eight-story hotel will be owned by Rowley Properties Inc. and will be managed by The Hotel Group of Edmonds.
April 15, 2014
I hope you have opinions, citizens of Issaquah, because they could really come in handy.
The next few months seem yet again chock full of important decisions that the City Council will make. I have heard and reported repeatedly that they want public input on all matters that will impact the future of Issaquah. So, this is another message to encourage you to take them up on that.
Let’s think about what’s to come over the next several months. And, keep in mind, this is your government and you should you tell it what you think.
While the City Council extended the marijuana moratorium, it expects the ban to lift in July. As the council continues to look at how a recreational marijuana business should operate in Issaquah, let it know how you feel.
Two public input meetings left the Park Board with a recommendation to build a new skate park in the Tibbetts Valley Park, across from the park & ride. How does that strike you?