State considers Squak Mountain State Park shutdown

October 19, 2010

Squak Mountain State Park could be shut down from July until 2013 as the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission struggles to address a state budget shortfall.

The agency has proposed mothballing Squak Mountain — a 1,545-acre preserve south of Issaquah city limits — and a handful of other state parks in order to cut $1.6 million from the budget between 2011 and 2013.

“We’ve done this so many times and so many different ways,” commission spokeswoman Virginia Painter said. “There’s no good way to do it, because no matter how you slice it, it’s somebody’s favorite park that’s up on that list.”

The commission picked the option to close Squak Mountain, Federation Forest, Flaming Geyser, Fort Ward, Peshastin Pinnacles and Tolmie parks instead of a proposal to mothball 13 state parks. In addition to the parks cuts, the agency has proposed some service cuts, increased camping fees, staff reductions and employee layoffs at the Olympia headquarters. Combined, the measures should save the state parks system about $8 million.

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Issaquah’s population inches upward — barely

July 16, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. July 16, 2010

The number of people who moved to Issaquah last year could fit inside Pickering Barn and still have plenty of room to spare.

The annual tally from the state Office of Financial Management shows the city’s population nudged upward by 270 people last year, bringing the population to 27,160 residents. (Historic Pickering Barn holds 400 people.)

The latest population figures indicate a slowdown after a decade marked by large annexations and a housing construction boom in the Issaquah Highlands and Talus. The city ballooned by 139 percent between April 2000 and April 2009.

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Issaquah is fifth-fastest growing city in the state

August 11, 2009

Population is 26,890

growth-highlands-20090716

Issaquah Highlands residential construction in the same area is complete seven years later, and Talus (in the upper left of the photo) on Cougar Mountain is almost fully developed as well, looking from the same spot last month.Photo by Greg Farra

Issaquah residents, meet your new neighbors — all 15,678 of them.

Issaquah grew 139 percent since the start of the decade, adding residents through annexations and the influx of families into the hillside urban villages, Talus and Issaquah Highlands.

Figures released recently by the state Office of Financial Management show the city’s April 2009 population at 26,890. In April 2000, Issaquah was home to 11,212 people. State officials use the population data to determine how dollars will be allotted to municipalities.

The ensuing population explosion made the city the fifth fastest growing in Washington. State figures showed Issaquah trailing four smaller cities on the list of fastest-growing cities. Snoqualmie — the fastest growing — ballooned by 8,099 residents during the first year of the decade to 9,730 people today.

“We have more than surpassed our 20-year growth expectation,” city Major Development Review Team Program Manager Keith Niven said.

Issaquah is the 38th largest city in the state; the city ranked 61st in 2000. Seattle, with 602,000 residents, remains Washington’s largest city.

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Issaquah grew by 139 percent since 2000

July 3, 2009

NEW — 11:35 a.m. July 3, 2009

Through annexations and influxes of new residents to Talus and the Issaquah Highlands, Issaquah grew by 139 percent since 2000. Between April 2000 and April 2009, the city swelled to nearly 27,000 residents. The population explosion made the city the fifth fastest growing in Washington.

Issaquah added 15,678 residents due to annexations and growth in the hillside urban villages. State figures show the April 2009 population at 26,890.

Figures released Monday by the state Office of Financial Management showed Issaquah trailing four smaller cities on the list of fastest-growing cities. Snoqualmie — the fastest growing — ballooned by 8,099 residents to 9,730 people.

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