The green necklace: a gift to the city and the environment

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.

By Peter Clark Anne McGill, Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department director, visits the future Phase 3 site of Confluence Park, in an area she hopes the city will name ‘Margaret’s Meadow’ in honor of late park planner Margaret Macleod.

By Peter Clark
Anne McGill, Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department director, visits the future Phase 3 site of Confluence Park, in an area she hopes the city will name ‘Margaret’s Meadow’ in honor of late park planner Margaret Macleod.

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.

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Issaquah reimagined

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.”

By Greg Farrar A 2002 aerial view shows Issaquah’s central district then. Now, city leaders are envisioning in the Central Issaquah Plan what the area would look like in 30 years.

By Greg Farrar
A 2002 aerial view shows Issaquah’s central district then. Now, city leaders are envisioning in the Central Issaquah Plan what the area would look like in 30 years.

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.

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City to hold public meeting about Seventh and Gilman Boulevard redevelopment

February 17, 2014

NEW — 11:15 a.m. Feb. 17, 2014

A public meeting will allow citizens to express concerns about a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit for the redevelopment of Northwest Gilman Boulevard and Seventh Avenue Northwest on March 4.

Lennar Multifamily Communities submitted a site development application last month for a multifamily residential project called Seventh At Gilman at that location.

The project calls for building three five-story apartment buildings, which will house 343 residential units above below-ground parking on the 6-acre site. Issaquah Creek borders the property.

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Issaquah permit center changes hours

September 10, 2013

Customers should plan ahead for limited services in the city Permit Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 16-20, as staff members undergo training.

Permit Center staff will not be available to assist customers during that time. However, planners will be available, building inspections will still occur and customers can still drop off materials at the front counter.

Questions about the temporary change in service? Call the Development Services Department at 837-3100.

 

 

Marijuana dispensary plan in historic downtown draws fire

August 13, 2013

A medical marijuana dispensary looks to open in Olde Town and residents are raising their voices in protest.

The Peaceful Choice, a medical marijuana collective garden, submitted an application that was completed July 10 to open within the Issaquah Court Condominiums, a mixed-use building housing both residential and commercial units.

Robin Brewer, president of the Issaquah Court Condominiums, in the 100 block of First Place Northwest, said she is very concerned by an application making its way through the city that would allow for the dispensary to open its doors on the building’s ground floor.

“When the city of Issaquah set up the zoning for this, they did not take into account that the library, train museum and senior center are all less than 1,000 feet from this proposed location and which fit the city’s own definition of a community center,” Brewer said.

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City approves home-based firearms business

October 30, 2012

City planners approved a home-based firearms business in downtown Issaquah on Oct. 12, despite concerns from neighbors.

The municipal Development Services Department OK’d a permit for Michael Marinos, a longtime Issaquah resident, to open the business in the Olde Town neighborhood south of East Sunset Way.

Marinos created Bigg Dogg Firearms to offer federally licensed firearms transfers to customers purchasing weapons online. Customers could then stop at Marinos’ home-based business to pick up the firearms.

The city code allows home-based businesses, and does not limit firearms businesses in Olde Town.

Only Marinos, as the licensee to handle firearms transfers, can complete the transactions, and he said he does not plan for firearms deliveries to occur when he is not at home. The conditions outlined in the permit also prevent ammunition sales at the business.

Crews rebuild downtown gas station

October 23, 2012

Expect the remade downtown Shell gas station and Jacksons convenience store to stand taller and cover more ground than the boxlike former structure after a monthslong overhaul concludes.

The planned store at Front Street and Sunset Way should feature a more modern, spacious layout and additional options. The planned façade includes sconces and stone accents. The gas station site is also in line to receive additional landscaping after construction concludes.

Crews started the major overhaul Sept. 11, a day after the business closed to customers.

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Uncertainty clouds debate over marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502

September 25, 2012

Marijuana sits in a jar held by Lydia George in 2011 at GreenLink Collective. File

GreenLink Collective, a medical marijuana operation along Northwest Gilman Boulevard, reshaped attitudes and policies about marijuana in Issaquah last year, as patients and officials engaged in a long debate about access to a drug banned under federal law.

In November, Washington voters could further redraw the battle lines in the marijuana debate. Initiative 502 aims to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for recreational users. The proposal goes a step beyond a 1998 measure to legalize medical marijuana in Washington and could set a national precedent.

The initiative calls for sales at state-licensed stores of up to 1 ounce of marijuana — grown by state-licensed farmers. Marijuana-related tax revenue could pump as much as $1.9 billion into state coffers, if the federal government does not intervene.

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Shootings, election politics contribute to rise in gun sales

September 4, 2012

Police said recent mass shootings, and a superheated presidential election campaign, contributed to a rise in handgun-license requests to local law enforcement agencies.

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Neighbors protest proposed firearms home business

August 28, 2012

Concerns about safety and traffic led downtown Issaquah residents to join forces to stop the city from approving a permit for a home-based firearms business.

The municipal Development Services Department is considering a proposal from Michael Marinos, a longtime Issaquah resident, to open the business in the Olde Town neighborhood south of East Sunset Way.

Marinos created Bigg Dogg Firearms to offer federally licensed firearms transfers to customers purchasing weapons online. Customers could then stop at Marinos’ home-based business to pick up the firearms.

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