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?
March 25, 2014
Proposal needs geo-tech, hydrological review
The proposed redevelopment at Seventh and Gilman (Antique Mall area) is the first go through our new Central Issaquah Plan regulations. One thing that has become clear is the difficulty of construction in high-ground water, near creek, earthquake hazard areas … much of the valley floor. The land at Seventh and Gilman has the further complication of being a Special Flood Hazard Area.
It is imperative in these difficult sites that there is belt-and-suspenders review of both the geo-tech report and the hydrologic modeling from the developer. Please require third-party peer review of both the geo-tech analysis and the model.
February 25, 2014
Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler vowed to maintain momentum in his first State of the City speech.
Given during the Feb. 18 regular City Council meeting, the speech laid out what Butler hopes to achieve in the first year of his inaugural term.
“A community is made up of many elements,” he said. “We are blessed with an outstanding school district, an active and professional chamber of commerce, students who are involved, first-class medical facilities and a City Council dedication to regional involvement.”
February 21, 2014
More and more, people within the city are talking about the planned “green necklace.” It isn’t a gift of jewelry to citizens, but many see it as a gift to residents nonetheless.
The green necklace refers to a circle of parks and open spaces around the city, allowing easy pedestrian and bicycle access. It includes Lake Sammamish and the Issaquah Alps in the goal to surround the city and provide interconnected pathways between open spaces.
Though the idea has existed for decades, the Issaquah City Council expressly outlined a plan to create the network of open space in the Central Issaquah Plan, approved in December 2012.
February 21, 2014
How will the central district look in 30 years?
Since before the City Council passed the Central Issaquah Plan in late 2012, citizens have been wondering what the city will look like in 30 years.
“You’re standing in a great pedestrian area,” Issaquah Long Range Planner Trish Heinonen said, describing the average block according to the plan. “It will be very busy with walking people and people having lunch. And wherever you are standing, you can probably see a way to get to the green necklace.”
As a vision for how to cultivate a dense, urban space within the central area and redevelop the flat lots into sustainable, walkable parcels, the Central Issaquah Plan has remained vague beyond the expressed desire to create a vivid environment with a “green necklace” of parks and open spaces around the city and an interlaced connection of walkways and bike paths to reach them.
February 4, 2014
Lennar Multifamily Investors wants to move quickly on the first redevelopment in central Issaquah.
The developer with a Seattle office submitted an official site development permit application Dec. 18. It has an interest in working with the city to construct the first large project under the Central Issaquah Plan. However, it also has an optimistic schedule.
“We’re basically just starting our review,” Project Oversight Manager Christopher Wright said. “There doesn’t seem to be any major issues.”
December 31, 2013
Top news stories of the year
Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly.
While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug.
Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation.