To the Editor

February 10, 2015

Skate park

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.

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Skate park supporters seek more features, space

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.

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Editorial — Skate park a good start for teen-safe locations

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.

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Recreation, pathways also figure into city’s concurrency plan

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

Residents face deep contributions to offset impact of city growth

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

Volunteers needed to serve on city boards, commissions

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

City’s $308 million traffic package faces Jan. 20 council vote

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

I-90 a focus of talks between Issaquah, Olympia lawmakers

January 13, 2015

Particularly hunting for dollars to ease congestion on Interstate 90, city officials made transportation the main topic during a meeting with area state legislators Jan. 5.

A second hot topic was trying to ensure local governments receive their fair share of state dollars, such as in the form of liquor or gas taxes, Issaquah City Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said.

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Salary commission to review Issaquah City Council pay

January 6, 2015

Salaries for Issaquah City Council members haven’t changed in 10 years, according to Council President Paul Winterstein.

In April 2014, the council considered legislation to create a salary commission and ended up turning the issue over to the Council Services and Safety Committee for study.

At one of its last meetings of 2014 in December, the council adopted an ordinance creating a five-member salary commission for the purpose of reviewing council pay.

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2014 remembered for what went away

December 31, 2014

Annexations, retirements, plastic bags, development, a looming school closure, retail marijuana, bank robberies, the Concerts on the Green series, and business and occupation taxes made the list of the top 10 news stories of the year in Issaquah.

Here are those stories, in no particular order:

Klahanie-area annexation issue moves to Sammamish

Issaquah residents voted no, for the second time, on the city of Issaquah annexing the Klahanie area. The King County Growth Management Planning Council then unanimously approved the idea to move the Klahanie area from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area to Sammamish’s.

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