December 11, 2012
The gravel quarry on a hillside below the Issaquah Highlands, plus land adjacent to the highlands, could someday transform into businesses and homes, if city leaders approve a long-term agreement to redevelop the site.
The landowner and quarry operator, Issaquah-based Lakeside Industries Inc., proposed a 30-year development agreement last year for about 120 acres on both sides of Highlands Drive Northeast. The proposed pact is scheduled to reach the City Council on Dec. 17, as officials consider a plan to remake the area.
The land under consideration is zoned for mineral resources and single-family residences. The development agreement could change the designation on some areas to urban village, the same rules used for the highlands and Talus.
October 30, 2012
Tiger Mountain is a destination for hikers, mountain bikers and loggers, and the official responsible for acting as a referee to balance the competing interests is the state commissioner of public lands.
Republican Clint Didier is challenging the incumbent, Democrat Peter Goldmark, to serve as the top natural resources official in Washington.
The commissioner of public lands leads the state Department of Natural Resources, and oversees about 3 million acres of forests, agricultural land and other properties, as well as about 2.6 million acres of shorelines, tidelands, lakes and rivers.
The position carries outsized influence in the Issaquah area. The agency is often a factor in local policymaking, due to the connections among the Department of Natural Resources, Issaquah City Hall and outdoor recreation groups.
October 9, 2012
NEW — 11:50 a.m. Oct. 9, 2012
City leaders put out a call last month for Sustainable Community Award nominees.
The honor is divided into categories for the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community and the Sustainable Community Award.
The honor named for Kees is the highest environmental award in Issaquah, and the Sustainable Community Award recognizes significant achievements and positive results of individuals.
Past Kees honorees include late City Council President Maureen McCarry, late Mountains to Sound Greenway pioneer Ted Thomsen and Issaquah Alps Trails Club President David Kappler, a former councilman.
June 28, 2012
Like the matter-of-fact name suggests, the Mountains to Sound Greenway starts amid fried fish counters and souvenir shops along the Seattle waterfront, unfurls along Interstate 90, encompassing cities and forests, and continues on, across the Cascades.
The greenbelt represents decades of effort to protect the natural landscape along the interstate, even as Issaquah and other Eastside cities experienced a population explosion in recent years.
Issaquah Alps Trails Club members spearheaded a 1990 march from Snoqualmie Pass to Puget Sound to attract attention to the proposed greenbelt — a sort of Central Park for Western Washington.
May 1, 2012
City Council members agreed April 16 to sell land to homebuilder Polygon Homes, despite objections from local environmentalists.
The city earned $80,000 in the land sale — dollars earmarked for landscaping in Central Park and elsewhere, wetland programs and Park Pointe conservation.
The property is 14,693 square feet, or about the size of the Issaquah Library, in the Issaquah Highlands’ Forest Ridge subdivision. Polygon intends to use the land for residences.
The property is included in the complicated Park Pointe transfer of development rights. In exchange for preserving a forested Tiger Mountain site near Issaquah High School, officials agreed to open additional highlands land to development. The long process ended in March 2011.
Despite the conditions council members added to the agreement, leaders in the environmental community protested the decision.
David Kappler, Issaquah Alps Trails Club president and a former councilman, and Janet Wall, a longtime local environmentalist, urged the council to reconsider. Kappler raised safety concerns about a trail leading to the property.
The council approved the sale in a 5-1 decision. Councilman Paul Winterstein dissented. Councilman Joshua Schaer did not attend the meeting.
April 24, 2012
- Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.
- The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.
- Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.
- State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.
- Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.
April 24, 2012
The annual Issaquah Hobby and Volunteer Expo, sponsored by the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department, is set for April 28 at Pickering Barn and features nonprofit clubs, community service organizations and similar groups.
Any such organization serving Issaquah is invited to put up a table, said Cathy Jones, city recreation coordinator.
Participating clubs or organizations can seek to recruit new members, volunteers or both.
Jones described the event as especially aimed at newcomers to the Issaquah area, newly retired persons or teens looking for new ways to gain community service hours.
April 17, 2012
The historic Pickering Farm emerges from a seasonal slumber soon as the popular Issaquah Farmers Market returns.
The market debuts for the season April 21. The return is a sign springtime is inching closer to summertime.
The farmers market runs every Saturday, rain or shine, from April to October. The market features seasonal produce, crafts, food vendors, and demonstrations or entertainment each week.
April 17, 2012
Despite its adventurous name, the Issaquah Alps Trails Club looks more like your local Lions Club.
“Most of the club members are getting pretty long in the tooth,” said board member George Potter, 63. “The average age of our board is almost 70.”
The graying of this grass roots hiking-and-environmental advocacy group has spawned a new goal: to get younger, edgier and hipper, if only for its very survival.
March 20, 2012
NEW — 3 p.m. March 20, 2012
King County Council members endorsed a plan Monday to designate the greenbelt along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.
In a unanimous decision, council members called on Congress to recognize the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a ribbon of conservation lands, recreation areas and suburban cities interspersed among farms and forests — in a federal program for “nationally important” landscapes.
The council motion is the latest support for the National Heritage Area effort. The push includes numerous supporters in Issaquah, such as Mayor Ava Frisinger and the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, a crucial and early greenway backer.
Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor of the motion, lauded the council for supporting the effort.