State loosens restrictions for small developments

January 8, 2013

The state Department of Ecology recently changed development rules to give local governments, including Issaquah and King County, more flexibility for small construction projects.

The rule change to the State Environmental Policy Act allows local governments more leeway to exempt minor construction projects from review under the law, such as small-scale residential housing developments, as well as certain agricultural, commercial office and school buildings.

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Leaders adopt King County growth blueprint

December 7, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 2012

The growth blueprint approved by King County Council members Monday is meant to strengthen protections for open space and farmland, officials said after the council adopted the latest update to the King County Comprehensive Plan.

The document guides growth in unincorporated communities, including Preston, Four Creeks and other areas just outside Issaquah city limits.

The plan sets policy on such major issues as annexations, transportation and the environment. Under the State Growth Management Act, passed in 1990, state law directs the most-populous and fastest-growing counties to prepare comprehensive land use plans for a 20-year span.

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Gubernatorial hopefuls support hatcheries, parks

October 23, 2012

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna clashed in a recent series of debates, but the candidates vying to serve as Washington’s next governor share similar positions on local issues, such as support for the state parks system.

Jay Inslee

Rob McKenna

The race at the state level is focused on the candidates’ policies on education and transportation — hot topics on the docket as Inslee and McKenna met in recent weeks.

The Issaquah Press asked the candidates about funding for state parks, salmon restoration and growth management — key concerns in Issaquah and the surrounding area.

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Offer input on King County growth blueprint

October 23, 2012

King County is poised to adopt a broad blueprint for growth in unincorporated areas, and before leaders act on the plan, residents can offer input.

In a Sept. 19 decision, a King County Council committee sent the blueprint, or comprehensive plan, to the full council for consideration.

The council then plans to conduct a more in-depth review and pass the comprehensive plan by early next year.

Residents can continue to submit written testimony at the council website, www.kingcounty.gov/council. Follow the link labeled “Comprehensive Plan.”

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Issaquah school officials fight proposed county ban on rural campuses

August 2, 2011

Local school officials worry an 80-acre plot bought for $3.3 million in 2006 will become largely worthless to the district if King County officials move forward with a proposed ban on new school buildings in rural areas.

Known as the Winterbrook Farm site, the undeveloped land sits at 21207 S.E. May Valley Road, outside the city’s designated urban growth area.

At the time the school board approved the property purchase, school officials indicated the farmland could become home to an elementary and middle school. The idea was to alleviate foreseeable crowding in the attendance area of Liberty High School. Still, the board did not anticipate a need for new schools feeding into Liberty prior to at least 2014.

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Census: Issaquah is home to more than 30,000 people

March 1, 2011

City is more diverse and 170 percent larger than a decade ago

Issaquah is 170 percent larger and more diverse than a decade ago.

The city ballooned to 30,434 people — the result of a population boom fueled by annexations and housing construction. Information from the 2010 Census released Feb. 23 ranks Issaquah as No. 6 on the list of fastest-growing cities in the state during the past decade.

Furniture and belongings are unloaded from a moving truck Feb. 26 for a new resident of Estates on Cougar Mountain at Talus. By Greg Farrar

The population data also depicts Issaquah as a more diverse place than a decade ago.

The city claimed 11,212 residents after the 2000 Census. In the decade since the last decennial count, housing construction boomed in the hillside Issaquah Highlands and Talus neighborhoods. Issaquah also absorbed unincorporated King County communities in large annexations.

The population remains overwhelmingly Caucasian — 75 percent, although the percentage dipped from the 88 percent recorded in the 2000 Census — as more Asian and Latino residents settled in the city.

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Few changes to capital facilities plan

June 22, 2010

Each year, Issaquah School District officials must submit their Six-Year Capital Facilities Plan to county officials for review.

The plan includes how much the district will spend in coming years to build and open new school buildings, as well as how much it will charge developers to build housing within its boundaries.

The plan is amended each year to uphold stipulations in the county’s code and the state’s Growth Management Act. The county’s Department of Development and Environmental Services reviews it and makes suggestions about the plans. After the plans are reviewed and the numbers are checked, department officials write an ordinance, which is approved by King County Council members during their budgeting process in November.

This year, there aren’t any significant changes from last year, Jacob Kuper, the chief executive officer of finance and operations, said.

The district, like last year, is not requesting impact fees from developers building multifamily projects, because they don’t have a significant enough amount of school age children to justify them, Kuper said.

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Businesses benefit from break in city impact fees

March 30, 2010

A city program to make Issaquah more appealing to businesses has aided the developers of Overlake Center, a Northwest Maple Street medical building, offices along East Sunset Way and more than a dozen construction and remodeling projects citywide. Read more

Comp Plan changes favor electric cars

March 23, 2010

Officials could ease rules to allow more charging stations for electric vehicles in Issaquah, as the City Council considers the latest updates to the long-term growth blueprint. Read more

ISF director to stay another year

March 9, 2009

Robin Callahan

Robin Callahan

ISF director to stay another year Read more

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