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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City seeks applicants for municipal boards, commissions

February 7, 2012

City leaders need civic-minded citizens to offer advice on key issues as municipal board and commission members, even as officials remain undecided about just how many such groups Issaquah needs.

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City seeks applicants for municipal boards, commissions

January 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 30, 2012

City leaders need civic-minded citizens to offer advice on key issues as municipal board and commission members, even as officials remain undecided about just how many such groups Issaquah needs.

The city needs applicants for openings on 12 boards and commissions. The groups advise the City Council on issues related to the arts, cable TV, development, parks and, in more specialized realms, city cemetery operations and sister-city relationships.

Officials need regular and alternate members. Applicants for board and commission posts do not need to reside in Issaquah.

Applicants undergo interviews before Mayor Ava Frisinger recommends appointees to council members for confirmation. The council usually confirms appointees in the spring. Terms for appointees start in May.

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City to host medical marijuana hearing Oct. 13

October 11, 2011

Citizens can offer input about a proposed ordinance to address medical marijuana collective gardens.

The municipal Planning Policy Commission is hosting a public hearing on the proposed ordinance Oct. 13. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Commissioners heard from medical marijuana advocates, city planners, Police Chief Paul Ayers and others at a Sept. 8 meeting about the proposal.

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City reschedules hearing on medical marijuana

September 20, 2011

Citizens can offer input on a proposed ordinance to address medical marijuana collective gardens next month.

The municipal Planning Policy Commission rescheduled a Sept. 22 public hearing on the proposed ordinance to Oct. 13. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Commissioners heard from medical marijuana advocates, city planners, Police Chief Paul Ayers and others at a Sept. 8 meeting about the proposal.

Under direction from the City Council, the municipal Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what or if business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue in July.

The council agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

Citizens can offer input on city’s marijuana proposal

September 13, 2011

Citizens can offer input on the citywide moratorium on medical marijuana collective gardens as meetings on a proposed marijuana ordinance continue.

Under direction from the City Council, the municipal Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what — or indeed if — business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens.

The city is offering opportunities for citizen input on a proposed ordinance in September and October.

Citizens can comment at Planning Policy Commission meeting Sept. 22. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

The measure is expected to return to the council for discussion Oct. 3. Citizens can also address the council about the proposal. Members meet at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers as well.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue July 18.

The council agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

Citizens can offer input about medical marijuana ordinance

August 30, 2011

Citizens can offer input on the citywide moratorium on medical marijuana collective gardens as planners craft a possible solution.

Under direction from the City Council, the municipal Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what — or indeed if — business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens. The city is offering opportunities for citizen input on a proposed ordinance in September and October.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue July 18. Members agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

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Citizens can offer input about medical marijuana ordinance

August 21, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 21, 2011

Less than a month after the City Council upheld a moratorium on medical marijuana collective gardens and urged planners to craft a solution, the city announced opportunities for citizens to offer input on a proposed medical marijuana ordinance.

Under direction from the council, the Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what — or, indeed, if — business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue July 18. Members agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

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City Council rezones creekside land for downtown park

July 19, 2011

The effort to create a downtown park along Issaquah Creek inched ahead July 5, as the City Council rezoned the open space for a 15.5-acre park.

The city needed to rezone the park parcels from open space to community parks before the development process could proceed.

The site encompasses Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The city Parks & Recreation Department intends to develop the parcels as a single park.

The city cannot develop a community park on open space due to zoning restrictions.

Though such a rezoning is a routine step, the city Planning Policy Commission raised questions about possible uses for the site in April.

The city pitched the park as a location for trails and other passive recreation options. Restrictions attached to the land limit the uses on the land.

The rules supersede the zoning and prohibit certain features, such as ball fields, allowed in a typical recreation area from the creekside park.

Ultimately, the Planning Policy Commission endorsed the rezoning and council members rezoned the land in a unanimous decision.

Council approves transportation plan

May 24, 2011

Proposal outlines repairs to weakened retaining wall

City Council members laid out a roadmap for Issaquah transportation projects May 2.

The council adopted the Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP, a guide to short- and long-term planning for road, transit and pedestrian projects. The document outlines possible transportation projects for 2012-17.

“Having a project on the TIP makes it eligible for certain types of funding, but more broadly, it signals to the community what improvements we’re considering for the future,” Councilman Joshua Schaer said before the unanimous decision.

The city Public Works Engineering Department lists transportation projects in the TIP, and then prioritizes the projects through a separate process to fund capital improvements.

Transportation planners outlined possible improvements to the timber retaining wall along Southeast Black Nugget Road behind Fred Meyer and The Home Depot.

Some timbers started to dislodge, rot is prevalent, pressure distorted some pilings and the fence atop the wall is failing. The city attributes the problems to shoddy construction. The timber was cut too short and too thin for the area. In addition, the structure was not properly treated.

King County could provide some funding to offset the estimated $496,000 repair cost.

“We’ve been talking with King County for a couple of years now, and we’re very close to reaching an agreement with them whereby we can receive some funds fairly quickly, with the possibility of additional funds over an undetermined period of time,” Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock told the council.

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