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, Sammamish councils hold first joint meeting in years

July 22, 2014

Issaquah and Sammamish had the meeting equivalent of a group hug July 14.

After a year in which the two cities’ leadership have found themselves on different sides of several issues, both city councils and other city administrative staff met at Issaquah City Hall to discuss points of mutual interest. It was their first joint meeting since 2011.

“We all have one thing in common,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said. “We certainly love our cities and we love representing them. We not only care about our communities, we care about the region as well.”

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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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Klahanie annexation takes another step

June 3, 2014

A first, and necessary, step that will lead to Sammamish annexing the Klahanie area took place May 21.

The King County Growth Management Planning Council unanimously approved the idea to move the Klahanie area from Issaquah’s Potential Annexation Area to Sammamish’s area.

Issaquah City Councilman Tola Marts, who is on the planning council, made the motion to make the shift. Sammamish City Councilman Tom Odell, who also sits on the council, seconded it, said Karen Wolf, a county employee who works for the council.

The vote is a nonbinding recommendation that will now move to the County Council. If the council approves the plan — and there is little indication it would oppose it — it goes to all of the various cities in King County for a vote, Wolf said.

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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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City Council divided as marijuana moratorium deadline draws near

April 22, 2014

Marijuana was the sole agenda item at the April 14 Issaquah City Council work session as the administration gave an updated presentation to the council.

Through the state’s definition of business rules and an ultimate lack of response from this year’s legislative session, the council has maintained a reflective stance on the future of recreational marijuana.

The council established a six-month moratorium in September and extended it again in February, as it explored how the city should extend the state’s base regulations or consider banning marijuana business practices all together.

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New Police Chief Scott Behrbaum plans to follow same strategies

April 22, 2014

Newly confirmed Police Chief Scott Behrbaum does not expect to make a lot of changes to the department anytime soon.

After serving 17 years with the Issaquah Police Department, and the past seven of those as patrol commander under retired Chief Paul Ayers, Behrbaum said he believes in the ongoing direction of the department.

By Greg Farrar Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum shakes the hands of City Council members April 7. The council voted unanimously to confirm his appointment by Mayor Fred Butler as the department’s new chief, taking effect April 16 after retiring Chief Paul Ayers’ last day.

By Greg Farrar
Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum shakes the hands of City Council members April 7. The council voted unanimously to confirm his appointment by Mayor Fred Butler as the department’s new chief, taking effect April 16 after retiring Chief Paul Ayers’ last day.

“I’m excited for the appointment,” he said. “I’m really proud of our department and the positive impact it has established in our community.”

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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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