Traffic plan may cost $300 million

December 9, 2014

Package would include 500 percent increase in impact fees

Looking to accommodate expected residential and retail growth without creating gridlock on city streets, Issaquah’s administration has come up with a $300 million transportation plan that could accommodate up to an additional 8,000 car trips on local streets per day.

But to help pay for all the needed road improvements, administration officials have proposed a 500 percent hike in the traffic impact fees developers pay.

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 adopted, that figure jumps to $8,600.

The impact fees would not cover the entire cost of the plan, which includes $250 million for roadwork and an additional $50 million for bike paths and pedestrian accommodations, city consultant Randy Young said in an interview.

Young said the city would need to fund the remainder at a cost of approximately $165 million for roadwork and roughly $26 million for bike and pedestrian pathways.

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Arena Sports purchases Sammamish Club, announces changes

February 6, 2013

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

Change is coming to the Sammamish Club fitness and tennis facility at the base of Cougar Mountain.

Seattle-based Arena Sports intends to purchase the property. Plans call for the company upgrade the pool and fitness areas, and convert the tennis courts into a soccer field and indoor inflatable playground.

Arena Sports also operates facilities at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, South Seattle and Redmond.

The closing date for the Sammamish Club property is set for March 1.

The property consists of adjoining structures — a 24,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility built in 1978 and a 24,148-square-foot fitness facility built in 1999 — on 4.46 acres visible from Interstate 90 and Newport Way Northwest.

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Joshua Schaer is first City Council member from Talus

January 8, 2013

Councilman Joshua Schaer moved to Talus late last month and, in the process, became the first City Council member from the Cougar Mountain urban village.

Joshua Schaer

The change offers Schaer a perspective on city issues from the quiet urban village perched above state Route 900.

Construction escalated in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Talus and the Issaquah Highlands, both hillside urban villages, but the neighborhoods existed for more than a decade before a resident achieved citywide elected office.

In 2010, Mark Mullet became the first resident from the highlands to join the council. (Mullet, a state senator elected in November, recently resigned from the post to serve in Olympia.)

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Editorial

January 1, 2013

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

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Parks task force recommends 2013 property tax measure

December 10, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012

King County voters could decide next year on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.

Late last month, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.

The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.

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City installs pedestrian safety features at accident intersection

June 26, 2012

The city installed additional pedestrian safety features at a Newport Way Northwest intersection May 31, 80 days after a hit-and-run motorist killed a pair of dogs in a crosswalk.

Police said a hit-and-run motorist struck and killed Troy Scholzen’s dogs, Jake and Yogi, during a morning walk March 12. The motorist struck the dogs in the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive as a nearby pedestrian signal blinked.

The neighborhood is along Newport Way Northwest, about halfway between state Route 900 and Lakemont Boulevard Southeast.

A city Public Works Operations worker added another blinking sign to alert motorists, so drivers using Newport Way Northwest in both directions see the signs. The upgrade also included the installation of reflective markers adjacent to the crosswalk to alert motorists.

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Sammamish Club goes up for auction

June 26, 2012

A Los Angeles-based commercial real estate company plans to auction the Sammamish Club fitness and tennis facility at the base of Cougar Mountain next month.

CBRE Auction Services is putting the property up for auction July 26. The opening bid for the Sammamish Club is $2.5 million and bidders must put down a $150,000 deposit.

The property consists of adjoining structures — a 24,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility built in 1978 and a 48,148-square-foot fitness facility built in 1999 — on 4.46 acres visible from Interstate 90 and Newport Way Northwest.

The land is inside the area targeted for long-term redevelopment in the Central Issaquah Plan, a sweeping proposal to transform the area into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood. The seller touted the redevelopment opportunity in information about the auction.

The fitness facility includes a 25-yard enclosed swimming pool, spa and massage facilities, aerobic and training studios, and other amenities.

Police ask for help to find suspect after violent attack

June 12, 2012

Suspect

Police asked for assistance June 5 to find the suspect in a violent attack against a woman near Southeast Newport Way and Lakemont Boulevard Southeast at the base of Cougar Mountain.

Bellevue investigators said the woman used pepper spray to fend off the attacker and later escaped. Bellevue police responded to the area near the Bellevue-Issaquah city line at 11:30 p.m. June 1.

The 23-year-old woman had just disembarked from a King County Metro Transit bus at a stop near the intersection. Police said the male suspect, another passenger on the bus, followed her as she exited the vehicle. The bus did not have a surveillance camera.

The suspect then grabbed the woman from behind and attempted to drag her from the roadway. Police said she resisted, but the suspect punched her in the face several times and then threw her to the ground.

What to know

Investigators ask people with information about the Southeast Newport Way and Lakemont Boulevard Southeast attack to call 911 if they see the suspect.

The woman then retrieved pepper spray from her pocket and sprayed the suspect. The attacker then fled from the scene.

Police later used a dog to search for the suspect, but could not locate him.

The woman and the Metro bus driver described the suspect as a noticeably pale, white male. They described him as mid-20s; about 5 feet, 7 inches tall; with a thin build, shaved head and thin mustache. Police said he wore a white polo shirt with brown horizontal stripes and baggy blue jeans.

City plans to install pedestrian upgrades at accident intersection

May 1, 2012

The city plans to add a flashing sign to alert motorists to pedestrians at a problematic intersection along Newport Way Northwest.

Police said a hit-and-run motorist struck and killed Troy Scholzen’s dogs, Jake and Yogi, during a morning walk March 12. The motorist struck the dogs in the crosswalk at Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Oakcrest Drive as a nearby pedestrian signal blinked.

Now, city officials plan to add another blinking sign to alert motorists, so drivers using Newport Way Northwest in both directions see the signs. Crews also plan to install reflective markers adjacent to the crosswalk to alert motorists.

Installation is expected to occur before late spring.

Scholzen’s partner, Jon Francis, said a lower speed limit for the road should accompany the additions.

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In hit-and-run accident, unidentified motorist hits, kills pets in crosswalk

March 20, 2012

Neighbors unite to comfort owner, make area safer

Troy Scholzen mourns March 15 next to the neighborhood memorial to his dogs Yogi and Jake at the crosswalk where they were killed. Below, a memorial to Yogi and Jake on Newport Way Northwest grows. By Greg Farrar

Somewhere is the hit-and-run driver of a vehicle that upended an Issaquah man’s life last week.

The driver killed two service dogs, who were on a leash in a crosswalk with the signal blinking. Their owner barely escaped serious injury.

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