Potential state park annexation is given more time for discussion

August 12, 2014

Zoning questions held off an Issaquah City Council move toward annexing Lake Sammamish State Park.

Presented with an agenda bill to adopt a letter of intent Aug. 4, the council faced a step in taking over jurisdiction of the park from the state. The matter entered council consideration in April after the state parks department presented the idea to city officials in the form of a petition for annexation.

City Long Range Planner Trish Heinonen said the idea came from last year’s securing of $5 million for improvements to the 512-acre state park.

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Issaquah City Council passes marijuana open container law

July 15, 2014

Wait until you get home in Issaquah before opening your legal marijuana.

The City Council unanimously approved new regulations for the use of recreational marijuana during its regular meeting July 7.

The regulations adopt two provisions approved in the Initiative 502 referendum into Issaquah’s code. The two restrictions prohibit marijuana use “in view of the general public” and define driving under the influence of marijuana as having 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of the driver’s blood.

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Eastside coalition explores permanent winter homeless shelter

July 1, 2014

Finding shelter in the winter might get easier in the future for the Eastside’s homeless.

The Issaquah City Council heard a presentation during its June 24 Committee of the Whole meeting about the exploration of opening a permanent winter shelter on the Eastside. Council President Paul Winterstein serves on the Eastside Human Services Forum and said that group initiated the topic in response to growing need.

“That forum hosted a mayors’ breakfast where this idea of potentially creating a regional solution for a permanent winter shelter was brought up,” he said. “It is an idea that is in the incubation stage.”

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City Council approves recreational marijuana retail regulations

June 10, 2014

Retail marijuana will come to Issaquah.

After months of discussion and a moratorium installed in September, Issaquah will allow recreational marijuana business practices. The City Council voted on the administration’s proposed regulations during the June 2 meeting and agreed 5-2 to the rules that build on the established state restrictions.

“The proposed regulations would allow marijuana retail in all of Issaquah’s commercial areas — everywhere but the downtown zone,” City Associate Planner Jason Rogers said. “For the producers and processors, the intent was to limit them to our intensive commercial zone only.”

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Raises may come for City Council

June 10, 2014

The Issaquah City Council wants to evaluate its members’ pay.

During the June 2 regular meeting, the council discussed forming a salary commission, which would look at the council’s monthly salary and determine whether members should receive more, less or the same. It voted 5-2 to direct the administration to draft an ordinance and to have the Services & Safety Committee review it.

Currently, the council president makes $800 a month, the deputy council president makes $750 a month and other council members make $700 per month. The salaries were established in 2002. A salary commission last reviewed the salaries in 2006 without recommending a change.

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Distinction for Dedication — 35th annual Issaquah Community Awards celebrates extraordinary community service

May 27, 2014

Robin Callahan, Issaquah Schools Foundation executive director, gets handclasps from friends and a prolonged ovation from the audience when she is named Issaquah Citizen of the Year, as she comes forward during the 35th annual Community Awards Banquet presented May 22. For more photos from the event, see Page A8.By Greg Farrar

Robin Callahan, Issaquah Schools Foundation executive director, gets handclasps from friends and a prolonged ovation from the audience when she is named Issaquah Citizen of the Year, as she comes forward during the 35th annual Community Awards Banquet presented May 22. By Greg Farrar

Robin Callahan and Ava Frisinger were the big winners during the 35th annual Issaquah Community Awards.

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce held the event at the Hilton Garden Inn in a room full of city leaders and passionate citizens May 22. The yearly program aims to honor dedication to Issaquah and longtime volunteers for their service to the community.

Fourteen awards were given, celebrating multiple facets of how people improve Issaquah.

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City Council chooses site for new skate park

May 27, 2014

Issaquah’s new skate park will land in Tibbetts Valley Park.

An aerial view shows the new location for the skate park at Tibbetts Valley Park. City of Issaquah

An aerial view shows the new location for the skate park at Tibbetts Valley Park.
City of Issaquah

After months of public meetings where the Parks Board and a citizens advisory group looked at eight possible locations for the future site, the City Council unanimously approved a triangular spot in Tibbetts Valley Park, adjacent to the west parking lot, during the May 19 regular meeting.

“The skate park started out as a real grassroots effort in 1995 and 1996,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said. “They really petitioned the council and came to meeting after meeting, saying how important that a skateboard park would be to them. Unfortunately, over the years, even with increased police efforts, the secluded location of the park presented safety challenges and so the community desired a new skateboard park.”

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Council addresses top public worries

May 20, 2014

The Issaquah City Council has chosen to concentrate on transportation and Olde Town issues in the future.

Senior city administration met with the council during the 122nd-annual goal setting retreat at the Mercer Slough Environmental Center in Bellevue and spent a solid eight hours debating Issaquah’s next steps.

The council members began the day with 17 goals, submitted by council after it asked for citizen input. The day ended with five: Transportation Master Plan, Affordable Housing, Enhance Olde Town Vitality, Central Issaquah Plan Anchor Project and to promote a Safe/Drug-Free Community.

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Issaquah agrees to release Klahanie PAA by year’s end

April 29, 2014

Issaquah’s City Council decided to release the Klahanie Potential Annexation Area on April 21.

Faced with a draft interlocal agreement, which the Sammamish City Council approved during its April 15 meeting, Issaquah’s council gave unanimous support for the comprehensive deal.

In short, Issaquah would agree to release the Klahanie area by the end of 2014 in exchange for Sammamish’s support of Issaquah growth designations, as well as that city funding improvements to Issaquah-Fall City Road to the tune of $30 million.

“Issaquah would agree to release the PAA to allow Sammamish to take immediate steps to incorporate it into its comprehensive plan and proceed with potential annexation,” Councilman Tola Marts said, introducing the agreement to the full council.

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Council OKs large list of possible comprehensive plan updates

April 15, 2014

The Issaquah City Council expects a big update to the city’s comprehensive plan in 2015.

During its April 7 regular meeting, the council approved docket of proposed changes to the plan. There are 19 items, which the administration will investigate whether to include them into the state-mandated plan.

Comprehensive plans are required by state law to include expectations for land use, housing, growth targets, utilities, capital facilities and more.

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