May 7, 2013
By Keith Ervin
Seattle Times staff reporter
More than a decade and a half after construction began on the 7,000-resident Issaquah Highlands community, renewed conflict has erupted over how to handle the stormwater it generates.
The state Department of Ecology is on track to allow treatment of the water by filtering it through sand and gravel above an aquifer that provides drinking water to tens of thousands of area residents.
Officials at Ecology and the city of Issaquah say the plan — envisioned for years — is a safe, proven way of replenishing the aquifer and removing potentially harmful bacteria.
But the area’s largest water provider, the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, wants contaminants including fecal coliform removed before the water goes into the ground.
April 17, 2013
NEW — 1:04 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A new traffic signal at the corner of Northeast Federal Drive and 9th Avenue Northeast was activated in the afternoon of April 17.
According to a press release from the city, the signal is being activated with the implementation of new two-way traffic configuration on Northeast Federal Drive between Ninth Avenue Northeast and Highlands Drive Northeast.
Permanent signage, as well as temporary traffic revision signs, has been installed to alert motorist to the new configuration.
April 2, 2013
Welcoming back spring also means welcoming back bears.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife heard the first spring reports of bears in the Issaquah and North Bend area during the week of March 18. Though wildlife appearance is a little early for the season, the department credited the abnormally mild winter with disrupting regular hibernation habits. That means regions of Issaquah should begin looking out for the scavenging animals.
“The Issaquah Highlands and Mirrormont are probably one of our biggest focus areas,” said Rich Beausoleil, department bear and cougar specialist.
April 2, 2013
Special activities and discounts are being offered to Issaquah Highlands residents on April 10 and 12 at Highlands Days in Issaquah.
Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery is planning tours, habitat hikes, fish-printing and family-centered activities April 10 to give families a chance to explore during spring break. The zoo is offering a “buy one get one free” admission discount to any highlands resident that visits April 12.
Hatchery events are planned between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. April 10. Tours of the inner workings of the hatchery will be at 10 and 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Habitat hikes will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Participants will take a quarter-mile walk along Issaquah Creek and learn about what makes a stream a home for salmon.
March 26, 2013
Parcel two of the Ichijo preliminary plat filled the agenda for the Urban Village Development Commission in its march 19 meeting.
The Issaquah Highlands parcel was received from King County in exchange for retaining green space northwest of Issaquah High School. The presentation regarded plans that are under way to develop the land into residential housing. The meeting allowed for public comment about the upcoming project; few concerns were expressed.
The 4.28 forested acres are in the beginning stages of development.
March 5, 2013
Local youth sports organizations can apply for King County grants to build or upgrade recreation facilities.
The county Youth Sports Facilities Grants Program provides matching grant funds from $5,000 to $75,000. Past grant recipients include playgrounds and athletic fields, including the Issaquah Little League’s Dodd Fields near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.
Other local grant recipients in the Issaquah area include city-run Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands and county-run Duthie Hill Park in Sammamish.
February 19, 2013
Five people have applied for the school board seat left vacant by Chad Magendanz, who resigned Jan. 9 to serve in the state Legislature.
The position represents Issaquah’s fourth district, which spans from the Issaquah Highlands through the downtown corridor and south to Tiger Mountain and Mirrormont. Anyone who lives in that area was welcome to apply for the seat, and had to have his or her application turned in to the Issaquah School District by Feb. 14. By the time the 4 p.m. deadline came by that day, five people — Lisa Callan, Margo Campbell, Alison Meryweather, Justin Park and Justin Rolfe — had their hat in the ring.
The current school board members will review the five applications and have scheduled candidate interviews for 6 p.m. March 6. If a second round of interviews is needed, those will be March 20. Whoever is appointed to the position will serve out Magendanz’s term through November.
February 19, 2013
The latest announced tenants for the long-planned Issaquah Highlands retail center, Grand Ridge Plaza, offer shoppers a chance to catch a buzz — spirits at BevMo! and coffee at Starbucks.
The recent additions to the $70 million highlands project add recognizable names alongside the Regal Cinemas multiplex, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and HomeGoods, and Safeway.
The project developer, Regency Centers, estimated for offerings to open starting this summer and fall. Expect the movie theater and some restaurants to open initially.
February 12, 2013
Issaquah leaders, planners and residents spent years on a blueprint to define redevelopment in the business district over the next few decades.
The guidelines approved late last year in the Central Issaquah Plan aim to transform about 1,000 acres along Interstate 90 from strip mall suburbia into a dense urban core in the next 30 years. The plan also increased the building height limit to 125 feet in the commercial core, up from 65 feet.
The change is meant to attract businesses and residents to mixed-use development.
“To some extent, if you build it, they will come — if it looks good and feels good,” said Mary Newsom, associate director, urban and regional affairs, at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and a former columnist for The Charlotte Observer.
February 8, 2013
NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013
High on Squak Mountain, pink plastic strips tied to trees mark 216 acres of forest as a timber harvest area.
Since a timber company purchased the forest and started the process to permit logging on the site, conservationists and nearby residents mobilized to fight the proposal to clear cut the land. The logging opponents said cutting trees on the land could lead to more flooding downhill, damage sensitive fish and wildlife habitat, and add a timber harvest site near conservation lands.
The proposal from Eatonville-based Erickson Logging to harvest timber on 216 acres on the mountainside above Renton-Issaquah Road Southeast galvanized residents on Squak Mountain and near May Creek, a destination for runoff from the mountain.