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.
July 3, 2012
Issaquah is receiving technical assistance to plan for long-term growth, through a program at a nonprofit organization and a federal grant.
Forterra, the former Cascade Land Conservancy, announced the technical assistance for Issaquah and other Washington communities June 6.
The grant comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program — a nationwide program to boost communities’ economic and environmental health.
Issaquah officials intend to use the technical assistance from Forterra to work on the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900. City leaders intend to increase density and the mix of uses in the area, make the area more pedestrian-friendly and preserve open space.
June 26, 2012
A Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company plans to auction the Sammamish Club fitness and tennis facility at the base of Cougar Mountain next month.
CBRE Auction Services is putting the property up for auction July 26. The opening bid for the Sammamish Club is $2.5 million and bidders must put down a $150,000 deposit.
The property consists of adjoining structures — a 24,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility built in 1978 and a 48,148-square-foot fitness facility built in 1999 — on 4.46 acres visible from Interstate 90 and Newport Way Northwest.
The land is inside the area targeted for long-term redevelopment in the Central Issaquah Plan, a sweeping proposal to transform the area into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood. The seller touted the redevelopment opportunity in information about the auction.
The fitness facility includes a 25-yard enclosed swimming pool, spa and massage facilities, aerobic and training studios, and other amenities.
June 9, 2012
NEW — 6 a.m. June 9, 2012
Issaquah is receiving technical assistance to plan for long-term growth, through to a program at a nonprofit organization and a federal grant.
Forterra, the former Cascade Land Conservancy, announced the technical assistance for Issaquah and other Washington communities Wednesday. The grant comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program — a nationwide program to boost communities’ economic and environmental health.
Issaquah officials intend to use the technical assistance from Forterra to work on the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900. Planners intend to increase density and the mix of uses in the area, make the area more pedestrian-friendly and preserve open space.
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.
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?”
April 17, 2012
Citizens can comment soon on a historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.
The draft Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.
The city is in the midst of a key environmental study for the 915-acre business district, or Central Issaquah. The council is poised to decide on the proposal as early as July. In the meantime, the municipal Planning Policy Commission plans a public open house and public hearing on the draft environmental study April 19.
April 3, 2012
Issaquah faces ‘much more aggressive’ cities in hunt for businesses
In another step to attract businesses to Issaquah and encourage existing entrepreneurs to remain in the city, leaders promised a more robust economic development effort March 27 in a series of other changes to City Hall.
In recent months, officials unveiled a plan to streamline the permitting process for businesses, create a municipal Economic Vitality Commission and add employees dedicated to economic development.
The effort is meant to turn Issaquah into a more desirable place to do business than other Eastside cities. The competition among cities for businesses is fierce, especially since the recession caused construction to lag.
“Communities are much more aggressive and much more competitive for the amount of economic development that exists out there,” City Administrator Bob Harrison said in a presentation to the City Council.
March 20, 2012
The long process to transform more than 900 acres in the decades ahead is due to continue in the months ahead — and residents can offer input on the far-reaching proposal.
City Council and Planning Policy Commission members plan to delve deeper into the Central Issaquah Plan — a long-term proposal to remake more than 900 acres in the business district along Interstate 90.
The next meeting related to the Central Issaquah Plan is the Committee-of-the-Whole Council on March 27.
The council, council committees and the commission plan a series of public meetings in March, April and May to discuss details proposed in the plan. In recent years, planners outlined a broad proposal to turn acres of low-rise office buildings, shopping centers and self-storage units on land near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 into pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
March 20, 2012
Public not engaged in redevelopment plan
The city of Issaquah has come a long way toward adopting a Central Issaquah Plan, a blueprint for a future Issaquah with buildings up to 150 feet tall, more people and traffic, and more commercial buildings combined with multifamily residential units.
Meetings begin this month and continue into May to hear public comment.
Sadly, only the usual suspects are likely to speak up. Developers and landowners, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and members of the Issaquah Environmental Council will be there — but few others. It doesn’t need to be that way.
When Issaquah wrote its Comprehensive Plan nearly three decades ago, a facilitator reached out to neighborhood groups, churches, clubs, sports organizations and more to walk them through a visioning process that helped write and preserve the characteristics of Issaquah that citizens hold dear.
March 13, 2012
The black-and-red signs started to appear on Issaquah street corners and road medians just as city leaders prepared to delve into a long-term blueprint for growth.
In bold letters, the signs asks passers-by, “Re-development at what cost?” and directs onlookers to a website for more information.
The campaign, called Eyes on Issaquah, is the latest effort to encourage citizen oversight as the Central Issaquah Plan advances from proposal to policy.
The organization behind the eyes is the Issaquah Environmental Council, a watchdog group, and the face behind the organization is leader Connie Marsh, a longtime citizen activist and former City Council candidate.
“It seemed important enough to try to get as many eyes as possible on it, so it would be the people’s plan, too, and not just something laid upon them by their government,” she said.
The campaign urges residents to learn more about the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to remake more than 900 acres in the business district along Interstate 90 in the decades ahead.