January 22, 2013
Members to appoint candidate Jan. 29
The applicants for a rare open seat on the City Council include long-established community leaders — and some candidates from the last time the council accepted applications to fill a vacancy.
The seven candidates offer assorted skills in community, government and military service in the process to succeed Mark Mullet on the council.
Initially, Ken Sessler, a retired Boeing engineer and a prolific letter writer to The Issaquah Press, applied for the vacancy, but withdrew not long after the city released the applicant list.
January 17, 2013
NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013
Fred Butler, a City Council stalwart for 13 years and a voice in important debates about the future of Issaquah, entered the race for mayor Thursday.
The contest could hinge on the vision for the decades ahead, as city leaders seek to position Issaquah for redevelopment and attract more jobs to the community.
Butler, 72, served on the council at major junctures in recent history, as members debated the defunct Southeast Bypass road link, how to preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain, and late last year, a 30-year redevelopment blueprint called the Central Issaquah Plan.
January 8, 2013
Mark Mullet claimed a historic first in January 2010.
The entrepreneur and former banking executive ran unopposed for a City Council seat in 2009 and won election as the first Issaquah Highlands resident to serve on the council.
The highlands added thousands of residents as construction escalated in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the neighborhoods existed for more than a decade before a resident achieved citywide elected office.
In the years Mullet served on the council, members hired City Administrator Bob Harrison, oversaw a major staff reorganization at City Hall, approved a long-term redevelopment plan for the business district, inked development agreements with Lakeside Industries and Rowley Properties, and approved a retail plastic bag ban.
January 1, 2013
2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah
Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.
December 25, 2012
Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.
December 25, 2012
Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences
City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.
The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.
In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.
“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”
December 18, 2012
NEW — 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 2012
Issaquah leaders adopted a long-term plan Monday to transform the business district from strip mall suburbia into a dense urban core punctuated by buildings up to 125 feet tall.
In a decision reached after years spent re-envisioning the business district — about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90 — a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.
The council held off on a decision about the design and development standards outlined in the 30-year blueprint for redevelopment. The design and development standards set rules for buildings, community spaces, landscaping, signage and more.
December 12, 2012
NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 12, 2012
City leaders recommended Tuesday to delay the implementation of important development rules in a long-term plan to transform the business district from strip malls and parking lots to a dense urban hub.
In the last public meeting for the proposed Central Issaquah Plan before the document reaches the City Council for consideration, a council committee called for more time to refine and review the design and development standards outlined in the 30-year blueprint for redevelopment.
The design and development standards set rules for buildings, community spaces, landscaping, signage and more.
Overall, Council Land & Shore Committee members forwarded to the full council the four pieces of legislation to enact the Central Issaquah Plan. The full council is scheduled to consider the legislation and listen to public input Dec. 17.
December 11, 2012
Issaquah, circa 2040, could sport a skyline.
The central business district is on the cusp of change, as city leaders plan for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.
Nowadays, suburban sprawl dominates the landscape — traffic-clogged streets unfurl next to strip malls. Residents live elsewhere and climb into cars to reach the area’s amenities. Underfoot, 75 percent of land in the area is encased under parking lots.
Imagine, instead, buildings up to 125 feet tall, storefronts and residences arranged along tree-lined sidewalks, and perhaps decades in the future, a station on the regional rail network.
December 11, 2012
The gravel quarry on a hillside below the Issaquah Highlands, plus land adjacent to the highlands, could someday transform into businesses and homes, if city leaders approve a long-term agreement to redevelop the site.
The landowner and quarry operator, Issaquah-based Lakeside Industries Inc., proposed a 30-year development agreement last year for about 120 acres on both sides of Highlands Drive Northeast. The proposed pact is scheduled to reach the City Council on Dec. 17, as officials consider a plan to remake the area.
The land under consideration is zoned for mineral resources and single-family residences. The development agreement could change the designation on some areas to urban village, the same rules used for the highlands and Talus.