Traffic plan may cost $300 million

December 9, 2014

Package would include 500 percent increase in impact fees

Looking to accommodate expected residential and retail growth without creating gridlock on city streets, Issaquah’s administration has come up with a $300 million transportation plan that could accommodate up to an additional 8,000 car trips on local streets per day.

But to help pay for all the needed road improvements, administration officials have proposed a 500 percent hike in the traffic impact fees developers pay.

For a single-family unit, developers currently pay $1,700, said David Hoffman, North King County manager for the Master Builders Association. If the proposed increases were adopted, that figure jumps to $8,600.

The impact fees would not cover the entire cost of the plan, which includes $250 million for roadwork and an additional $50 million for bike paths and pedestrian accommodations, city consultant Randy Young said in an interview.

Young said the city would need to fund the remainder at a cost of approximately $165 million for roadwork and roughly $26 million for bike and pedestrian pathways.

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Residents invited to help map growth, transportation plans

November 29, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2014

Residents can have their say and get a glimpse of the city’s plans to manage future growth during an open house from 4-5:30 p.m. Dec. 2, in the Pickering Room at City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave., N.W.

Under state rules, cities are required to have a plan to manage growth. According to the Central Issaquah Plan now in place, most growth locally will take place on the valley floor. The plan looks at the use of 1,100 acres of the city’s commercial district.

The state’s requirements further include providing and reviewing plans to provide for transportation needs concurrently with development. With that in mind, officials are focused on updating Issaquah’s concurrency plans.

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To the Editor

November 4, 2014

Growth

Maybe we should change the name of our city

I propose that we rename Issaquah “Developerville.”

It seems our city government gives the developers anything they want.

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Talus project enters second phase

November 4, 2014

Construction is starting soon on the second phase of Timber Ridge at Talus.

The project, at Northwest Talus Drive and state Route 900, will add 145 units of senior apartments in an eight-story building over two levels with below-grade parking.

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City’s 2015 budget proposes B&O tax increase, open house is Oct. 27

October 26, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 26, 2014

Issaquah’s proposed budget for 2015 includes an increase to the city’s business and occupation taxes.

City officials said in a press release that the rate increase is to ensure infrastructure and other essential government services remain at current levels, allowing the administration to make new investments to better serve the community.

In addition, staff is reviewing business processes, implementing a major reorganization and becoming self-insured for healthcare, as well as studying additional fee adjustments to ensure growth pays for itself, while reducing red tape for small businesses.

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Sammamish gets closer to vote on Klahanie annexation plan

October 14, 2014

If everything goes according to plan, the city of Sammamish could set a date for a special election on the Klahanie-area annexation by the end of the year.

Plans to add the roughly 2-square-mile area onto Sammamish’s southeast corner have progressed since February, when Klahanie-area residents voted not to join the city of Issaquah. In April, the two cities announced a deal to transfer the unincorporated area, which includes about 11,000 residents, to Sammamish’s potential annexation area.

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City’s 2015 budget proposes B&O tax increase, open houses are Oct. 14 and 27

October 13, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 13, 2014

Issaquah’s proposed budget for 2015 includes an increase to the city’s business and occupation taxes.

City officials said in a press release that the rate increase is to ensure infrastructure and other essential government services remain at current levels, allowing the administration to make new investments to better serve the community.

In addition, staff is reviewing business processes, implementing a major reorganization and becoming self-insured for healthcare, as well as studying additional fee adjustments to ensure growth pays for itself, while reducing red tape for small businesses.

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Costco asks to build up to 10-story buildings

July 29, 2014

In exchange for open space, Costco is aiming for the sky.

Company leaders want to construct possibly three more buildings on the campus, with anywhere from three to 10 stories each.

“They are looking to expand their corporate facilities,” city Public Works Engineering Director Sheldon Lynne said. “They currently have surface parking lots that they are wanting to place buildings on.”

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To the Editor

June 3, 2014

Housing development

Buy houses that are for  sale before building more

So, 100-plus houses are going to be built next to Discovery Elementary School on 228th Street.

With the sudden clear-cutting of trees next to the park and ride, the surge in development is obvious. The destruction of trees should be the first concern. Trees improve our health, are part of history and support wildlife.

Another concern is road capacity. Drive on 228th at 7 a.m. or 5 p.m. to see the traffic backlog. The street is now supposed to absorb 100-plus additional families coming on and off the road as the two new developments are created? There has to be a point where the City Council, planning commission and citizens agree enough is enough.

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Food bank adds hours, services as needs grow

April 22, 2014

As need grows, so does the effort to help.

The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank announced an extension of its food and clothing bank service hours in April. It will now remain open from 5-7 p.m. every Monday evening in an attempt to serve the growing community who relies on the bank’s services.

“Our numbers have grown substantially from 2012 to 2013,” Executive Director Cori Walters said. “We’ve seen a 23 percent increase from our food customers, and that doesn’t include our clothing banks.”

The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank provides free food, clothing and related services to individuals and families in need.

The growth affected how well the bank could provide its services.

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