John Rittenhouse is proud of human services impact

January 5, 2010

John Rittenhouse

John Rittenhouse

During a single City Council term, John Rittenhouse advanced watershed legislation to reshape city elections and establish a human services campus in Issaquah.

The former councilman led the effort to cap city campaign contributions at $500 for cash and in-kind donations from a single party — a measure the council overwhelmingly approved in May.

Rittenhouse led the push to open a proposed human services campus, a clearinghouse where needy people can receive food, healthcare and employment. The council OK’d the first steps toward a campus — location scouting and business planning — in a unanimous vote last month.

Before Rittenhouse left the council last week, colleagues praised him as affable and effective. Read more

Klahanie Park transfer revives annexation talk

December 15, 2009

Klahanie residents want answers about what will happen to the community after Sammamish acquires Klahanie Park from cash-strapped King County. Read more

Vision for highlands will be focus as City Council debates gas station

December 15, 2009

A proposal to allow a gas station in the Issaquah Highlands has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing debate about how development in the hillside community measures up to the vision offered by the developer and the city.

The dispute centers on a revision to the development agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to allow a gas station to be constructed in the community. Supporters said highlands residents want a gas station for convenience and safety, when severe weather occurs and residents need fuel. Detractors argued that a gas station would be a poor fit for a community billed as “green” and pedestrian-friendly.

The amendment would overhaul the development pact between the city and Port Blakely to allow gas stations in the decade-old community. The revision includes tight language to limit what developers and operators could do with the property.

Besides gasoline, the operator would be required to offer at least one alternative fuel and three electric-vehicle charging stations. The agreement also requires the building to meet eco-friendly building standards and utilize photovoltaic panels or wind turbines to generate at least some energy for the facility. The features are part of the “energy station” concept advanced by Port Blakely executives.

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Vision for Issaquah Highlands will be focus as council debates gas station

December 15, 2009

UPDATED — 9:15 a.m. Dec. 15, 2009

A proposal to allow a gas station in the Issaquah Highlands has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing debate about how development in the hillside community measures up to the vision offered by the developer and the city.

The dispute centers on a revision to the development agreement between the city and highlands developer Port Blakely Communities to allow a gas station to be constructed in the community. Supporters said highlands residents want a gas station for convenience and safety, when severe weather occurs and residents need fuel. Detractors argued a gas station would be a poor fit for a community billed as “green” and pedestrian-friendly.

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Council approves key I-90 Undercrossing pact

August 25, 2009

After business leaders and residents voiced support for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, the City Council set aside environmental concerns and voted Aug. 17 to approve a pact crucial to the development of the roadway. Read more

City Council approves key I-90 Undercrossing agreement

August 19, 2009

NEW — 5:45 p.m. Aug. 19, 2009

After business leaders and residents voiced support for the Interstate 90 Undercrossing, City Council set aside environmental concerns and voted Monday to approve a pact crucial to the development of the roadway.

Residents raised concerns in July about wetlands on U.S. Postal Service property near the undercrossing site, prompting officials to review the development agreement. City and postal service officials negotiated a development agreement to allow the city use of a right of way on the land.

Councilman David Kappler supported the agreement, but said before the vote that he had concerns with “the sausage making of this process.”

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Survey: 70 percent favor gas station

July 21, 2009

Issaquah Highlands residents could someday fill up vehicles with gasoline or alternative fuels without leaving the hillside community. But they may find it difficult to grab a snack or late-night fill up at a highlands gas station. Read more

Highlands gas station plan sputters forward

July 15, 2009

UPDATED — 1 p.m. July 16, 2009

Issaquah Highlands residents could someday fill up vehicles with gasoline or alternative fuels without leaving the hillside community — just not anytime soon.

Council Land Use Committee members approved plans for a highlands gas station Tuesday night, but voiced reservations about the plan during the process. Officials cited concerns about the environmental impact of a gas station and the construction of a fueling facility in the highlands while other promised retail options have lagged.

“It’s the pinnacle of my disappointment of how we haven’t gotten what we were hoping to get in the highlands,” Councilman John Traeger said. “I’m very frustrated about that.”

Officials will likely review the proposed agreement to allow a gas station in the highlands when the full City Council meets Aug. 17.

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City Council votes to extend height limit on land near park & ride

May 26, 2009

Officials took steps last week to allow new construction in the Issaquah Highlands: taller buildings near the Highlands Drive Park & Ride and a gas station. Read more

Highlands grocery deal collapses

May 12, 2009

City could allow a gas station

Issaquah Highlands residents will not be stocking up on groceries at a Central Market anytime soon. Plans to open a 50,000-square-foot highlands store in mid-2010 have been canceled due to the down economy, a project developer and city officials said last week. Read more

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