City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

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.”

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Offer input on Central Issaquah Plan for business district

July 10, 2012

The historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Before the proposal reaches the City Council for discussion and possible implementation, citizens can comment July 12 at a public hearing hosted by the Planning Policy Commission.

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Citizens can comment on long-term plans for business district

April 17, 2012

Citizens can comment soon on a historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

The draft Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

The city is in the midst of a key environmental study for the 915-acre business district, or Central Issaquah. The council is poised to decide on the proposal as early as July. In the meantime, the municipal Planning Policy Commission plans a public open house and public hearing on the draft environmental study April 19.

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Environmental report arrives for Rowley Properties redevelopment

November 29, 2011

Planners released a key environmental report about a proposed Rowley Properties redevelopment Nov. 23, days after City Council members heard from citizens about the project.

Citizens can offer input on the proposed development agreement between the city and Issaquah-based Rowley Properties at public meetings in December.

The council listened to almost three hours of testimony about the project at a Nov. 21 public hearing. Most speakers supported the project, although others raised questions about possible environmental impacts.

The upcoming meetings mark the latest step in a decadeslong process to reshape 80 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 — areas called Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center.

The council plans to review the proposal through mid-December and reach a decision by Dec. 19.

The proposed agreement requires Rowley Properties to provide or pay for transportation upgrades, affordable housing, creek restoration and storm water management.

Find a complete meeting schedule and read the environmental impact statement at www.ci.issaquah.wa.us/rowleyda.

City seeks comments on possible impacts to environment

September 20, 2011

Citizens can offer input on a plan to transform Issaquah’s business district in the decades ahead.

Longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties is proposing a long-term plan to redevelop about 80 acres along Northwest Gilman Boulevard and state Route 900 from a commercial and light-industrial district into a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.

The municipal Planning Department issued a draft environmental impact statement late last month for the plan to redevelop Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center. The draft statement illustrates possible impacts on storm water, traffic, views and more.

Citizens can read the statement at www.ci.issaquah.wa.us/planning and then submit written comments on the document to city Environmental Planner Peter Rosen at peterr@ci.issaquah.wa.us until 5 p.m. Sept. 29. Or, citizens can mail comments to Rosen at the Issaquah Planning Department, P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98207.

Then, using comments from the public, planners prepare a final environmental impact statement for the City Council. The council then uses the statement to make a decision on the proposed development agreement between the city and Rowley Properties.

Offer input on plan to redevelop business district

September 13, 2011

Citizens can offer input on a plan to transform Issaquah’s business district in the decades ahead.

Longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties is proposing a long-term plan to redevelop about 80 acres along Northwest Gilman Boulevard and state Route 900 from a commercial and light-industrial district into a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.

Get involved

Rowley Properties draft environmental impact statement open house

  • Citizens can submit written comments on the draft to city Environmental Planner Peter Rosen at peterr@ci.issaquah.wa.us until 5 p.m. Sept. 29. Or, citizens can mail comments to Rosen at Issaquah Planning Department, P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98207.

The municipal Planning Department issued a draft environmental review for the plan to redevelop Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center on Aug. 31. The review, or environmental impact statement, illustrates possible impacts on storm water, traffic, views and more.

Rowley Properties and city planners embarked on a bold effort in April 2010 to redevelop Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center in Central Issaquah.

The city is in the midst of a parallel effort to define redevelopment in 915-acre Central Issaquah in the coming decades. The agreement to redevelop the Rowley Properties land is seen as critical to the overall redevelopment push.

The city is hosting a public open house on the draft environmental impact statement Sept. 21. The meeting is meant to provide information about the review, but the city is not accepting verbal comments at the meeting.

Then, to address comments from the public, planners prepare a final environmental impact statement for the City Council. The council then uses the review to make a final decision on the proposed development agreement between the city and Rowley Properties.

Offer input on long-term plan to redevelop business district

September 4, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 4, 2011

Citizens can offer input on a plan to transform Issaquah’s business district in the decades ahead.

Longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties is proposing to a long-term plan to redevelop about 80 acres along Northwest Gilman Boulevard and state Route 900 from a commercial and light-industrial district into a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.

The municipal Planning Department issued a draft environmental review for the plan to redevelopment Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center on Aug. 31. The review, or environmental impact statement, illustrates possible impacts on storm water, traffic and views.

Rowley Properties and city planners embarked on a bold effort in April 2010 to redevelop Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center in Central Issaquah.

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Central Issaquah Plan environmental impact is meeting topic

June 28, 2011

The city is seeking input from residents about how to gauge potential impacts on the environment during a decadeslong redevelopment effort.

Interested people can offer input at a public open house and scoping meeting at 6 p.m. July 13 in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

City planners set up the meeting to collect information about the environmental impact statement process for the Central Issaquah Plan, a blueprint to guide redevelopment in the 915-acre commercial core.

The city intends to analyze transportation, land use, aesthetics, fish and wildlife habitat, public services and utilities in a future environmental impact statement.

Officials received Central Issaquah Plan recommendations from a mayor-appointed task force last year, but no timeline has been established for redevelopment.

The public is also invited to comment on the scope of a potential environmental impact statement.

The city is accepting written comments on the environmental impact proposal until 5 p.m. July 22. Send comments to Environmental Planner Peter Rosen, Issaquah Planning Department, P.O. Box 1307, Issaquah, WA 98027, or peterr@ci.issaquah.wa.us.

Issaquah preserves Tiger Mountain forest in historic milestone

March 24, 2011

Park Pointe protection occurs after yearslong effort to stop proposed construction

NEW — 6:45 p.m. March 24, 2011

The long-running saga to preserve Park Pointe — a slice of Tiger Mountain forest near Issaquah High School — ended Thursday afternoon, after more than a decade of public and behind-the-scenes negotiations to halt construction on hundreds of houses proposed for the land.

The historic conservation effort is part of a complicated transfer of development rights. Under the agreement, city leaders steered construction from Park Pointe to the Issaquah Highlands instead, and, as a result, preserved more than 140 acres in the process.

City planners and officials shepherded the transfer-of-development-rights agreement through the arduous process after Mayor Ava Frisinger outlined the landmark opportunity to preserve Park Pointe in late 2008.

In the years since, city leaders and other partners continued to pursue the project until the recession scuttled the developer pushing for the project.

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City hikes impact fees to match inflation

February 8, 2011

The city has updated impact fees to adjust for inflation.

The affected areas include fees for government buildings, fire, parks, police and transportation. The city updates the fees each year.

Per the City Council, the city updates the fees updated annually to avoid larger changes every few years. The annual fee changes do not require council approval. The updated rates took effect Feb. 1.

Residents can find a complete list of impact fee changes at the municipal website.

The city requires impact fees as part of any construction, reconstruction or other uses of property if the project requires the review and approval of a development permit.

The state Growth Management Act authorizes cities to collect impact fees to help pay for the additional facilities — such as parks and roads — needed to serve the additional construction.

In Issaquah, the council has OK’d impact fee ordinances for city and King County traffic, schools, parks and fire impacts. The city assesses government buildings and police impacts during the environmental review process.

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