City Council rezones creekside land for downtown park

July 19, 2011

The effort to create a downtown park along Issaquah Creek inched ahead July 5, as the City Council rezoned the open space for a 15.5-acre park.

The city needed to rezone the park parcels from open space to community parks before the development process could proceed.

The site encompasses Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The city Parks & Recreation Department intends to develop the parcels as a single park.

The city cannot develop a community park on open space due to zoning restrictions.

Though such a rezoning is a routine step, the city Planning Policy Commission raised questions about possible uses for the site in April.

The city pitched the park as a location for trails and other passive recreation options. Restrictions attached to the land limit the uses on the land.

The rules supersede the zoning and prohibit certain features, such as ball fields, allowed in a typical recreation area from the creekside park.

Ultimately, the Planning Policy Commission endorsed the rezoning and council members rezoned the land in a unanimous decision.

Commission questions rezoning of parkland

May 3, 2011

The city Planning Policy Commission raised questions April 28 before rezoning downtown open space to accommodate a long-planned park.

The city needed to rezone the park parcels from open space to community parks before the development process could proceed. The site encompasses Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The city Parks & Recreation Department intends to develop the parcels as a single park. The city cannot develop a community park on open space due to zoning restrictions.

“We’re rezoning all of them because we’re treating the confluence park as one big community park,” city Associate Planner Jason Rogers said in a presentation to the commission.

The proposal prompted some grumbling from Planning Policy Commission members.

“If you’re asking me to approve the zoning so we can have a large park area, I agree. I have no argument with that,” Commissioner Irv Levin said. “If that’s as far as I’m involved, then I have no argument. I am curious with what you’re going to do with all of that park area.”

The city hosted public meetings last year to gather input about the site. Residents can comment about the parks again at a May 4 community conference — a public meeting to gather additional input about the proposal.

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Students receive hands-on restoration lesson

April 26, 2011

Bring comments about parks to May 4 meeting

Sarah Walker (right), of Issaquah, leads fellow Vista Academy seventh-graders Isaac Uselman, of Sammamish, and Elliott Moss, of Bellevue, with shovels along Issaquah Creek. project. Photos by Greg Farrar

The parkland stretching beside Issaquah Creek along Rainier Boulevard North is often referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system.

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Students receive hands-on restoration lesson at Issaquah Creek

April 13, 2011

Sarah Walker (right), of Issaquah, leads fellow Vista Academy seventh-graders Isaac Uselman, of Sammamish, and Elliott Moss, of Bellevue, along Issaquah Creek at Cybil-Madeline Park. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 1 p.m. April 13, 2011

The parkland stretching along Issaquah Creek along Rainier Boulevard North is often referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system.

On Wednesday morning, more than 50 middle school students tromped across the dandelion-flecked grass and set about to polish the jewel.

The students trekked from Vista Academy, a private school on Cougar Mountain, to downtown Issaquah for the late-morning field trip. (The school serves many students from Issaquah and Newcastle, plus other King County cities.) Read more

Mayor highlights accomplishments in State of the City address

February 8, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 8, 2011

Mayor Ava Frisinger offered a bold prediction for the months ahead in the State of the City address Monday night.

“2011 will undoubtedly be a momentous year for Issaquah — one that will not only reinforce the importance of our day-to-day business, but will also celebrate our larger accomplishments, ” she said.

The can-do speech highlighted projects scheduled for completion in the months ahead, including the city-coordinated zHome townhouses and a landmark effort to outline redevelopment in the 915-acre business district.

Frisinger used the annual address to shine a spotlight on other long-term efforts.

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Architect offers bold plan for creekside parks

November 30, 2010

The proposed design for a downtown parks site includes a horseshoe-shaped bridge across Issaquah Creek and meandering trails. The Berger Partnership

Initial proposal emphasizes ecology and history at downtown site

Ideas abound for the downtown parks along Issaquah Creek: boulders for climbing, meandering paths, community gardens, historic farmhouses repurposed as meeting spaces and — the centerpiece — a horseshoe-shaped pedestrian bridge across the creek at the main stem and the East Fork.

The ambitious plan aims to transform the oft-overlooked, 15.5-acre site near Darigold into a destination. Seattle landscape architect Guy Michaelsen said the intent is to create a park site “unique to Issaquah and a reflection of Issaquah.”

The site — often referred to as the “crown jewel” in the municipal parks system — encompasses Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The effort is the largest parks project since the city built Squak Valley Park South in 2008 and the most ambitious plan since the city laid the groundwork for Tibbetts Valley Park more than 20 years ago.

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Parks & Recreation Department hosts final parks open house

November 16, 2010

The city offers residents a last chance to help shape the future of downtown Issaquah parks Nov. 18.

The meeting to plan the future of Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. Read more

City requests residents’ parks input at Pickering Barn

November 9, 2010

Issaquah has more than 15 downtown acres ready to be transformed into the “crown jewel” of the municipal parks system — and city leaders need residents to help shape the space.

Bring ideas for the latest additions to the city parks system — Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks — to Pickering Barn next week.

The city Parks & Recreation Department has scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at the barn, 1730 10th Ave. N.W. Residents can also complete a questionnaire about the parks at the city website.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase of the 15.5-acre parks complex. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

Conservation rules and requirements attached to land donations limit how the creekside parks can be developed. Issaquah leaders often refer to site as a “crown jewel.”

In late May, parks officials picked Seattle landscape architecture firm The Berger Partnership to craft the overarching design, or master site plan, for the parks complex.

City hosts Issaquah Creek parks open house

October 19, 2010

Help decide the future of downtown Issaquah parks at a Tibbetts Creek Manor open house Oct. 21.

The meeting to plan the future of Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W. Residents can also complete a questionnaire about the parks at the city website.

The meeting includes representatives from the city Parks & Recreation Department and The Berger Partnership, the Seattle landscape architecture firm spearheading the design.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase of the 15.5-acre parks complex. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

City Parks & Recreation Department employees kicked off the planning process during a public picnic at the site in late August.

Bring ideas to parks planning session Oct. 21

October 12, 2010

Bring ideas for the latest additions to the city parks system to Tibbetts Creek Manor.

A meeting to plan the future of Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W. Residents can also complete a questionnaire about the parks at the city website.

The city plans to spend up to $1.6 million to complete the plan and build the initial phase of the 15.5-acre parks complex. Issaquah voters approved money to develop the parks in a 2006 bond.

Conservation rules and requirements attached to land donations limit how the creekside parks can be developed.

City Parks & Recreation Department employees kicked off the planning process during a public picnic at the site in late August.

In late May, parks officials picked Seattle landscape architecture firm The Berger Partnership to craft the overarching design, or master site plan, for the parks complex. The firm also designed Cal Anderson Park and Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle.

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