Issaquah wants input for 2015 goal setting

April 1, 2014

Two minutes is all city leaders ask of residents to help identify potential goals for the Issaquah City Council to consider.

The City Council will determine Issaquah’s 2015 goals during its May 17 retreat. In the meantime, the city has set up a survey to gauge what residents believe are Issaquah’s largest hurdles for the future and to collect suggestions about how to tackle them.

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Development permitting fees will rise April 1

March 25, 2014

Issaquah will raise its development permitting fees April 1 for the first time since 2006.

Passed by the City Council at its Dec. 16 meeting, the increase comes after reviewing the current economic state of the city and comparing costs to develop in Issaquah with neighboring cities.

“The fees were changed to ensure Issaquah fully recovers its costs to review permits, offer our customers more flat rates, less itemized fees [and] be more consistent with fees charged in neighboring cities,” according to the city’s website.

One of the reasons for the gap since the last change in fees was the 2008 recession and the fear that higher fees might hamper new development.

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Editorial

March 25, 2014

It’s time to just let Klahanie go

Please, please, let us stop writing about Klahanie.

The Issaquah City Council pushed and pushed to convince the residents of the Klahanie area to join the city. The residents rejected the idea. Now, the council is considering another study of the issue and even talking about carving the area up on a precinct-by-precinct basis, cherry-picking the spots that voted to join.

The balkanization of Klahanie is not the answer. Does that council really want to start down this road of carving up territory after election results come in? Perhaps, in future elections, only people who live in precincts that support a bond measure will have to incur the debt. Maybe people whose precinct supports a losing candidate will get an alternate City Council, so the person they choose can serve them.

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To the Editor

March 25, 2014

Gilman redevelopment

Proposal needs geo-tech, hydrological review

The proposed redevelopment at Seventh and Gilman (Antique Mall area) is the first go through our new Central Issaquah Plan regulations. One thing that has become clear is the difficulty of construction in high-ground water, near creek, earthquake hazard areas … much of the valley floor. The land at Seventh and Gilman has the further complication of being a Special Flood Hazard Area.

It is imperative in these difficult sites that there is belt-and-suspenders review of both the geo-tech report and the hydrologic modeling from the developer. Please require third-party peer review of both the geo-tech analysis and the model.

Connie Marsh

Issaquah

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Park Board recommends Tibbetts Valley Park for potential skate park site

March 25, 2014

NEW — 4:30 p.m. March 25, 2014

After considering the options and residents’ opinions from two public meetings, the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Issaquah Skate Park recommended the construction of a new skate park in Tibbetts Valley Park during the regular Park Board meeting March 24.

The Park Board agreed and passed its recommendation to Mayor Fred Butler.

“This recommended site at Tibbetts Valley Park is an open grassy area, near the Park & Ride parking lot,” Parks & Recreation Department Director Anne McGill wrote in an email. “It has nothing on the site at this point, except grass, and it would not displace any other park amenity.”

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Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum appointed to lead Issaquah Police Department

March 21, 2014

NEW — 3:55 p.m. March 21, 2014

Mayor Fred Butler announced his appointment of Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum as the new chief of Issaquah police March 21.

Issaquah Police Chief Scott Behrbaum (Photo from the city of Issaquah)

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum
(Photo from the city of Issaquah)

With more than 18 years of service to the Issaquah Police Department, Behrbaum has served as a patrol commander for the past six.

He has also worked as a patrol sergeant, crime prevention officer, narcotics officer and as the agency’s first school resource officer at Issaquah High School.

If the City Council confirms the appointment, Behrbaum replaces Chief Paul Ayers, who will retire April 15.

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City Council considers offering annexation to parts of Klahanie PAA

March 18, 2014

Issaquah might still offer annexation to parts of the Klahanie area — and that might take another year.

In the March 10 City Council work session and the March 11 Land and Shore Committee meeting, exploring next steps for the Klahanie potential annexation area took center stage. King County Elections certified the Feb. 11 special election results Feb. 25, in which residents in that area voted whether to join the city of Issaquah. Needing 60 percent to pass and for those residents to assume the city’s bonded indebtedness, the vote earned 49.47 percent in favor of joining Issaquah.

Council President Paul Winterstein identified five options available to the council for consideration in light of the certified vote.

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Skate park location could be decided at March 24 meeting

March 18, 2014

After two public meetings, the Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department has narrowed the number of possible sites for a new skate park.

“It’s down to four that we’re considering now,” Parks & Recreation Manager Brian Berntsen said.

The locations are Veterans’ Memorial Field, Gibson Park, Central Park and Tibbetts Valley Park, near the Issaquah Transit Center.

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State park annexation enters council consideration

March 18, 2014

The Issaquah City Council will consider adding annexation of Lake Sammamish State Park to its comprehensive plan.

In the March 11 Land and Shore Committee meeting, council members discussed the docket of items for the annual update to Issaquah’s comprehensive plan. The addition to the docket came in response to a March 4 letter from Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission Director Don Hoch asking the city to consider annexing the park.

“We’ve been working with State Parks on a request for proposals,” City Long Range Planning Manager Trish Heinonen said about the cooperation aimed at economically developing the park. “I think it allows us to partner with them more seamlessly. They felt like it would help us with our rules and regulations.”

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To the Editor

March 11, 2014

Klahanie

Open letter to the Issaquah City Council:

The vote is over and the residents of Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods have said no to annexation to Issaquah. My neighbors and I voted no, not because we wanted to stay unincorporated, but because we would like to pursue Sammamish as an option. In order for that to happen, and to have the opportunity to belong to a city, I am asking for your help.

When Mayor Fred Butler and Councilman Joe Forkner were campaigning last fall, both said that they would support removing Klahanie from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area if the citizens rejected Issaquah annexation.

Please remember your words last fall, Mr. Butler, and please support our area in finding a home with your neighbor to the north. Time is of the essence! I would further request you not delay this process with considerations of dividing up the Klahanie PAA, which would only lead to difficulties for both cities when it comes to providing services and road improvements.

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