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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City considers permit for medical marijuana garden

July 10, 2012

City planners could allow a medical marijuana collective garden in Issaquah, months after another medical marijuana operation opened to patients.

The nonprofit medical marijuana operation Eastside Greenlight Collective Garden applied for a city permit to open in a commercial building at 230 N.E. Juniper St. — a mixed-use area near the Lakeside Industries quarry north of Interstate 90.

The marijuana operation does not intend to grow marijuana in the space. The applicant proposed minimal change to the unit, if any is needed.

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City Council approves $1 million adjustment in municipal budget

June 12, 2012

The latest step in a broad reorganization of City Hall included a $1 million drop in the municipal budget, as the City Council redirected spending after a round of employee layoffs in some departments and hires elsewhere.

The midyear budget reflected a change in strategy at City Hall, as officials retool functions to reflect recommendations in a study conducted last year by a Seattle consultant.

Officials already bundled municipal departments into a Development Services Department — a super-agency meant to streamline planning and building functions — and rolled out a more muscular effort to attract and retain businesses.

The budget adjustment approved by the council May 21 shifted dollars among city accounts to achieve the decrease. The legislation is meant to address the changes in the city spending plan since the council adopted the original 2012 budget in December.

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City combines planning, building functions to speed up permitting

April 3, 2012

Step is latest in big City Hall reshuffle

The reorganization of City Hall entered a more intense phase March 27, as officials announced a plan to bundle municipal departments into a Development Services Department — a super-agency meant to streamline planning and building functions.

The change is accompanied by a more muscular effort to attract and retain businesses. Leaders said the Development Services Department is meant to smooth the process to apply for a permit to construct a project or open a business in Issaquah.

The centerpiece is a plan to offer applicants the option to pay additional fees to expedite the evaluation a project receives. The setup is akin to Disney’s Fastpass. Only, rather than theme park guests standing in line for shorter stretches, permit applicants choose a speedier permitting process.

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City combines planning, building functions to speed up permitting

March 28, 2012

NEW — 5:30 p.m. March 28, 2012

The reorganization of City Hall entered a more intense phase Tuesday, as officials announced a plan to bundle municipal departments into a Development Services Department — a super-agency meant to streamline planning and building functions.

Bob Harrison

The change is accompanied by a more muscular effort to attract and retain businesses. Leaders said the Development Services Department is meant to smooth the process apply for a permit to construct a project or open a business in Issaquah.

The centerpiece is a plan to offer applicants the option to pay additional fees to expedite the evaluation a project receives. The setup is akin to Disney’s Fastpass. Only, rather than theme park guests standing in line for shorter stretches, permit applicants choose a speedier permitting process.

City Administrator Bob Harrison said frequent questions from permit applicants influenced the project.

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