February 24, 2015
How about reinstating the bypass?
It is amazing — the Issaquah City Council is concerned about the front street rush hour traffic!
February 17, 2015
After what will be 30 years on the job at the end of March, Issaquah City Arborist Alan Haywood will vacate his long-time position.
Haywood did not directly criticize Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler or the city administration in general. But he was clear he was not overly happy with the situation.
“My position was eliminated,” Haywood said. “It was a budgetary decision.”
February 10, 2015
Issaquah has morphed from a small town into a small city and more changes are on the way, Mayor Fred Butler said in his annual State of the City speech before the City Council on Feb. 2.
“The state of our city is strong,” Butler said at the outset of the talk.
Butler promised his administration was building an Issaquah for everyone, “from the cashier at Costco to the surgeon” at Swedish Medical Center’s Issaquah Campus.
Issaquah will grow, Butler added, “up not out… compact, not sprawling.”
February 10, 2015
Amount for budget has always been $350,000
Issaquah City Council members do not debate opinions in the press, but I must correct a statement attributed to my fellow Councilman Joshua Schaer. It is factually incorrect, and may misinform skate park advocates.
February 3, 2015
Supporters and skateboard enthusiasts once again are urging the Issaquah City Council to move forward with a large-footprint skate park in Tibbetts Valley Park.
Supporters made their thoughts known at a council meeting in late January.
February 3, 2015
It looks like construction for a new skate park in Issaquah will start this year. But it also looks like it will be smaller than supporters had hoped for.
The City Council has approved $350,000 for the new park, which may be built in stages, so supporters could end up with what they want down the road.
January 27, 2015
Along with millions for roads and transportation, the concurrency plan approved by City Council last week also contains new impact fees to help fund recreation projects and pedestrian and bike pathways throughout Issaquah.
For the first time, nonresidential developers will be paying recreational impact fees. While that move is still somewhat unusual, Issaquah is not alone in charging new commercial interests recreation fees. Some 12 other Washington cities already do.
The amount of the park fees will vary depending on the proposed land use.
All in all, according to information released by the city, Issaquah will need to raise $47.2 million for additional parks and recreational facilities in order to accommodate what could be a coming population boom of just over 12,000. Read more
January 27, 2015
It’s only a matter of time before Issaquah residents are asked to pay a share of the $308 million concurrency plan unanimously approved by City Council on Jan. 20.
Through greatly increased impact fees, future Issaquah developers will be paying about 30 percent of the plan. The city will need to come up with roughly $119 million.
“We must figure out how we are going to pay our share,” said Charlie Bush, development services director during a presentation to council prior to their vote last week.
A local sales tax, a $50 car tab fee and similar measures all have been mentioned as possible ways to raise the city’s portion of the plan. Bush said at least one public vote will be needed to make any funding scheme work. If there does not turn out to be sufficient public support, the plan will need to be reworked, Bush said. Read more
January 25, 2015
NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 25, 2015
The city of Issaquah needs volunteers to serve on its boards and commissions.
The boards/commissions cover a broad range of topics — arts, economic development, environmental issues, growth and even international diplomacy.
The application deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 30.
Following the interview process, appointments will be made by Mayor Fred Butler and confirmed by the City Council in the spring. Terms for board members and commissioners will start in May. Read more
January 20, 2015
At its regular meeting Jan. 20, the Issaquah City Council was slated to vote on the $308 million concurrency plan that could set the stage for local infrastructure development for the next 15 years.
One highlight of the plan that has garnered a lot of attention is a possible 500 percent increase in the impact fees paid by developers.
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 approved, that figure would jump to $8,600.
City Council President Paul Winterstein said council members have been studying the proposal for some time. State law requires cities develop concurrency plans that mitigate the effects of development on traffic and the city at the same time that development occurs. Winterstein said Issaquah really needs to update that plan about every three years, but the last major revisions happened in 2003. Read more