Volunteer with Issaquah Environmental Council to remove Tiger Mountain invasive plants

January 20, 2014

NEW — 2 p.m. Jan. 20, 2014

Help the Issaquah Environmental Council in its continuing efforts to eliminate holly and ivy infestations on Tiger Mountain’s Tradition Plateau near the Ruth Kees Big Tree Trail.

Join in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 21. To get there, exit Interstate 90 at High Point Way, turn right and continue to the trailhead parking lot. Meet at the High Point gate to the powerline road. Look for IEC signs.

Wear sturdy shoes and gloves. Bring pruners, loppers or a shovel, if you wish. The IEC will have some tools available.

Sign up by emailing janet227wall@gmail.com, or call 392-5506.

City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

December 25, 2012

Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences

City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.

The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.

“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”

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Event honors late environmentalists Ruth Kees, Maureen McCarry

November 6, 2012

Environmentalist Ruth Kees and Issaquah City Councilwoman Maureen McCarry campaigned hard to preserve forested Park Pointe, and both community leaders left legacies dedicated to the slice of Tiger Mountain.

Leaders at the nonprofit Issaquah Environmental Council plan to honor the late Kees and McCarry on Nov. 11, in a public event to clear invasive plants and add native species to Park Pointe, a 101-acre tract near Issaquah High School.

Barbara Shelton, Issaquah Environmental Council secretary, said the planting event is designed to honor Kees and McCarry, and to encourage residents to explore the public land at Park Pointe.

Kees served as a longtime advocate for efforts to preserve open space and protect the Issaquah Creek watershed.

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Former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry dies

July 10, 2012

Maureen McCarry, a former City Council president and longtime community leader, died early July 4 after a battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, 18 months after resigning from the council.

Maureen McCarry

McCarry, 62, served on the council amid a period of expansion in Issaquah, as council members addressed long-term issues related to transportation, economic development and the environment — a hallmark for McCarry.

In separate stints on the council in the 1990s and 2000s, she made the environment a priority.

The commitment earned McCarry the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community early last year. The top environmental honor in the city recognized McCarry for tireless efforts to forge agreements outlining construction in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus, preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and strengthen tree-protection rules.

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Offer input on Central Issaquah Plan for business district

July 10, 2012

The historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Before the proposal reaches the City Council for discussion and possible implementation, citizens can comment July 12 at a public hearing hosted by the Planning Policy Commission.

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Former Councilwoman Maureen McCarry dies

July 5, 2012

NEW — 11:45 a.m. July 5, 2012

Maureen McCarry, a former councilwoman and longtime community leader, died early Wednesday after a battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, 18 months after resigning from the City Council.

Maureen McCarry

McCarry served on the council amid a period of expansion in Issaquah, as council members addressed long-term issues related to transportation, economic development and the environment — a hallmark for McCarry.

In separate stints on the council in the 1990s and 2000s, she made the environment a priority.

The commitment earned McCarry the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community early last year. The top environmental honor in the city recognized McCarry for tireless efforts to forge agreements outlining construction in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus, preserve forested Park Pointe on Tiger Mountain and strengthen tree-protection rules.

Read more

City Council bans plastic bags at Issaquah retailers

June 12, 2012

Ordinance goes into effect for most businesses in March 2013

Issaquah joined a string of cities along Puget Sound to outlaw plastic bags at local retailers June 4, after months of sometimes-acrimonious debate about adverse impacts to the marine environment and the regional economy.

In the end, concerns about the environment led the City Council to decide 5-2 to eliminate most retail uses for plastic bags. The legislation — and a 5-cent fee on paper bags — go into effect in March 2013 for most businesses.

The council listened to advocates from environmental groups and the plastics industry in public meetings throughout April and May, and then again before the decision.

The plastic bag ban sponsor, Issaquah Highlands entrepreneur and City Councilman Mark Mullet, presented the legislation as a way to reduce the estimated 10 million plastic bags the city sends to the King County landfill each year.

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Issaquah Farmers Market returns for 22nd season April 21

April 17, 2012

The Issaquah Farmers Market at Pickering Farm attracts large crowds of visitors and patrons on a warm August Saturday in 2011. By Greg Farrar

The historic Pickering Farm emerges from a seasonal slumber soon as the popular Issaquah Farmers Market returns.

The market debuts for the season April 21. The return is a sign springtime is inching closer to summertime.

The farmers market runs every Saturday, rain or shine, from April to October. The market features seasonal produce, crafts, food vendors, and demonstrations or entertainment each week.

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City hosts meetings on Central Issaquah redevelopment

March 20, 2012

The long process to transform more than 900 acres in the decades ahead is due to continue in the months ahead — and residents can offer input on the far-reaching proposal.

City Council and Planning Policy Commission members plan to delve deeper into the Central Issaquah Plan — a long-term proposal to remake more than 900 acres in the business district along Interstate 90.

The next meeting related to the Central Issaquah Plan is the Committee-of-the-Whole Council on March 27.

The council, council committees and the commission plan a series of public meetings in March, April and May to discuss details proposed in the plan. In recent years, planners outlined a broad proposal to turn acres of low-rise office buildings, shopping centers and self-storage units on land near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 into pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

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Press Editorial

March 20, 2012

Public not engaged in redevelopment plan

The city of Issaquah has come a long way toward adopting a Central Issaquah Plan, a blueprint for a future Issaquah with buildings up to 150 feet tall, more people and traffic, and more commercial buildings combined with multifamily residential units.

Meetings begin this month and continue into May to hear public comment.

Sadly, only the usual suspects are likely to speak up. Developers and landowners, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and members of the Issaquah Environmental Council will be there — but few others. It doesn’t need to be that way.

When Issaquah wrote its Comprehensive Plan nearly three decades ago, a facilitator reached out to neighborhood groups, churches, clubs, sports organizations and more to walk them through a visioning process that helped write and preserve the characteristics of Issaquah that citizens hold dear.

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