King County milestones shape 2012

January 1, 2013

King County Executive Dow Constantine recently reflected on the top accomplishments of 2012, including same-sex marriage legalization and improvements in county agencies.

The accomplishments include the merger of once-incompatible business systems, a decision to place future schools in urban areas, procurement reforms, revitalization of Seattle’s Pioneer Square and a regional animal services contract.

Voters approved a property tax levy for a juvenile criminal justice facility. The county also oversaw a shift in the permitting office from Renton to Snoqualmie, delivered honors for small business owners, enacted a deal to build a sports-and-entertainment arena in Seattle, and acquired a rail corridor for Eastside rails and trails.

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King County renames, reorganizes permitting agency

October 16, 2012

In response to a population decline in unincorporated King County, leaders renamed and reorganized the county permitting agency Sept. 17, as officials prepare to relocate the office from Renton to Snoqualmie.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members approved a measure to reorganize the Department of Development and Environmental Services and rename the agency as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

The responsibilities for the agency do not change with the reorganization and the name switch.

The department issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated areas, such as Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston. The agency also enforces county land-use and building codes, staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division and issues business licenses.

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Spacelabs Healthcare to leave Issaquah for Snoqualmie

October 2, 2012

Issaquah-based medical device manufacturer Spacelabs Healthcare plans to relocate to Snoqualmie, the company’s CEO announced Sept. 17.

Spacelabs’ parent company, OSI Systems Inc., paid $14 million for a 176,000-square-foot building in the Snoqualmie Ridge Business Park. Spacelabs should complete the move east by next spring.

In Issaquah, Spacelabs leases space in a corporate office park wedged between East Lake Sammamish Parkway and Lake Sammamish State Park.

Issaquah Economic Development Director Keith Niven said Spacelabs ranks among the largest employers in the city.

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King County renames, reorganizes permitting agency

September 19, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 19, 2012

In response to changes in unincorporated King County, leaders renamed and reorganized the county permitting agency Monday, as officials prepare to relocate the permitting office from Renton to Snoqualmie.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members approved a measure to reorganize the Department of Development and Environmental Services and rename the agency as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

The responsibilities for the agency do not change with the reorganization and the name switch.

Officials plan to move the agency office closer to customers, and start shifting operations to Snoqualmie late next month.

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King County approves cell tower additions near Issaquah

August 28, 2012

King County approved a permit Aug. 23 for AT&T to add antennae and equipment to a cell tower near the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill.

The county issued a permit for the telecommunications giant to modify the existing cell tower at 14237 228th Ave. S.E. The tower is on Squak Mountain, just outside the landfill site.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the cabinet on each tower.

King County considers cell tower proposal

August 7, 2012

King County is considering a proposal from AT&T to add antennae and equipment to the existing cell tower at 14327 228th Ave. S.E., on Squak Mountain near the Trinity Tree Farm.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the tower.

The tower is about a mile west uphill from the Tiger Mountain Country Store at Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast and Cedar Grove Road Southeast.

Residents can send comments about the proposal to DDES — Building and Fire Services Division, 900 Oakesdale Ave. S.W., Renton, WA 98057-5212. The public comment period ends Aug. 16.

Citizens can also review the application at the Renton office.

King County permitting system to go offline during software upgrade

June 26, 2012

Landowners should prepare for a weeklong shutdown at the King County permitting agency, as officials roll out a software upgrade from July 2-8.

What to know

Though the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services cannot process permit applications from July 2-8, other services remain available on days other than July 4:

  • Free technical assistance, 7:30-9:30 a.m. weekdays
  • Records Center assistance, 7:30-9:30 a.m. weekdays
  • Phone Center assistance at 206-296-6600, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays
  • Building and fire inspections may be requested by calling and leaving a voice message at 206-296-6630.
  • Online query, Permits-At-A-Glance, can be accessed as read-only throughout the week.

The planned upgrade coincides with the Independence Day holiday, a slow period for the Department of Development and Environmental Services.

The agency’s Renton office is open during the upgrade except for July 4, but during the week, staffers cannot accept, create or issue permit applications. Cashiers also cannot process financial transactions of any kind.

The agency issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated King County, enforces county building and land-use codes, issues business licenses and staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division.

Staffers can continue to work on existing permitting applications during the shutdown. Then, after the software installation, agency employees can enter additional information.

Once the software is installed, customers can access enhanced online services, such as permit applications, building inspections and other services.

The computer system transition is part of a countywide project to integrate all permitting in various county departments into a single system. Officials said the process is meant to streamline the permitting process and provide customers with easy access to multiple departments for the same project.

“The Fourth of July holiday is historically the week of least demand from our customers, so that’s the best time for technicians to perform computer upgrades,” agency Director John Starbard said in a statement. “I urge residents who need permits from us to plan ahead for this necessary shutdown.”

Come fall, the agency plans to relocate from Renton to offices in Snoqualmie Ridge. Officials said the location change is meant to provide a more central office for residents in unincorporated areas.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

King County permitting system to go offline during software upgrade

June 22, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. June 22, 2012

Landowners should prepare for a weeklong shutdown at the King County permitting agency, as officials roll out a software upgrade from July 2-8.

The planned upgrade coincides with the Independence Day holiday, a slow period for the Department of Development and Environmental Services. The agency’s Renton office is open except for July 4, but during the week, staffers cannot accept, create or issue permit applications. Cashiers also cannot process financial transactions of any kind.

Staffers can continue to work on existing permitting applications during the shutdown. Then, after the software installation, the agency can enter additional information.

Once the software is installed, customers can access enhanced online services, such as permit applications, building inspections and other services. Read more

Offer input at public meeting about state parks’ future

May 29, 2012

The agency responsible for Washington state parks is posing questions to citizens.

Should the state parks system operate more like a hospitality industry, a public conservation asset based mostly on grant and tax funding or a system of parks operating as community nonprofit entities? What do people enjoy about their park system? What improvements need to be made?

Citizens can offer answers to the questions as the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission starts a broad public outreach effort.

Officials plan to use the input to create a strategy to guide the parks system.

Participants at the public meetings can listen as parks staff members present a “state of state parks” report and ask for ideas and comments about visions for the future.

The meeting closest to Issaquah is scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. June 6 at the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services office, 900 Oakdale Ave. S.W., Renton.

Find public comments, questions and suggestions received about the future of state parks at www.parks.wa.gov/Beyond2013 as the process proceeds.

Individuals, groups and organizations interested in joining the email list for updates regarding the planning process should email Strategic.Planning@parks.wa.gov.

Commission seeks citizen input on state parks’ future

May 15, 2012

The agency responsible for Washington state parks is posing questions to citizens.

Should the state parks system operate more like a hospitality industry, a public conservation asset based mostly on grant and tax funding or a system of parks operating as community nonprofit entities? What do people enjoy about their park system? What improvements need to be made?

Citizens can offer answers to the questions as the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission starts a broad public outreach effort. The commission is seeking ideas through email, and in meetings with legislators, stakeholders and in public meetings.

Officials plan to use the input to create a transformation strategy to guide the park system through the next five years and beyond.

Participants at the public meetings can listen as parks staff members present a “state of state parks” report and ask for ideas and comments about three visions for the future. Participants at each meeting can discuss the themes and share ideas.

The meeting closest to Issaquah is scheduled from 7-8:30 p.m. June 6 at the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services office, 900 Oakdale Ave. S.W., Renton.

Find public comments, questions and suggestions received about the future of state parks at www.parks.wa.gov/Beyond2013 as the process proceeds.

Individuals, groups and organizations interested in joining the email list for updates regarding the planning process should email Strategic.Planning@parks.wa.gov.

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