Mark Mullet reflects on City Council term

January 8, 2013

Mark Mullet claimed a historic first in January 2010.

Mark Mullet

The entrepreneur and former banking executive ran unopposed for a City Council seat in 2009 and won election as the first Issaquah Highlands resident to serve on the council.

The highlands added thousands of residents as construction escalated in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the neighborhoods existed for more than a decade before a resident achieved citywide elected office.

In the years Mullet served on the council, members hired City Administrator Bob Harrison, oversaw a major staff reorganization at City Hall, approved a long-term redevelopment plan for the business district, inked development agreements with Lakeside Industries and Rowley Properties, and approved a retail plastic bag ban.

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City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

December 25, 2012

Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences

City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.

The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.

“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”

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City Council approves pact to transform gravel quarry to urban village

December 25, 2012

The gravel quarry carved into the hillside below the Issaquah Highlands is poised to transform into businesses and homes in the next 30 years, after the City Council approved a landmark development agreement to reshape the area.

The landowner and quarry operator, Issaquah-based Lakeside Industries Inc., proposed the pact last year for about 120 acres on both sides of Highlands Drive Northeast. The council approved the development agreement Dec. 17, despite concerns about building height, traffic congestion and contamination in the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer, a key drinking water source for the city.

“There was a lot of push and pull, a lot of compromise, and I think it’s an agreement that both is good for my family and is also good for the city of Issaquah, and that we will live to see a development on this site that enhances the city,” Lakeside Industries CEO Tim Lee said before the unanimous council decision.

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Who’s News

December 25, 2012

Swedish/Issaquah receives patient satisfaction honor

The Swedish/Issaquah emergency room was recently named a 2012 Summit Award Winner by Press Ganey Associates.

The ER received the award by achieving and maintaining patient satisfaction scores in the 95th percentile or above for at least three consecutive years. The Swedish/Issaquah team also won in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The Press Ganey Summit Award is the health care satisfaction industry’s most coveted symbol of achievement bestowed annually. The Swedish/Issaquah ER is one of 114 health care facilities in the country to receive the prestigious honor in 2012, and one of only 101 to receive it for achieving and sustaining excellence in patient satisfaction.

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Central Issaquah Plan proposes shift from suburban to urban in business district

December 11, 2012

Issaquah, circa 2040, could sport a skyline.

The central business district is on the cusp of change, as city leaders plan for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

Nowadays, suburban sprawl dominates the landscape — traffic-clogged streets unfurl next to strip malls. Residents live elsewhere and climb into cars to reach the area’s amenities. Underfoot, 75 percent of land in the area is encased under parking lots.

Imagine, instead, buildings up to 125 feet tall, storefronts and residences arranged along tree-lined sidewalks, and perhaps decades in the future, a station on the regional rail network.

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Planning continues for Rowley Properties land

December 11, 2012

The proposed development agreement between the city and Lakeside Industries is the latest long-term pact involving a major landowner.

In a landmark decision late last year, City Council members approved a 30-year agreement between the city and longtime Issaquah developer Rowley Properties to overhaul almost 80 acres along Interstate 90 and state Route 900.

The council agreed to allow buildings up to 150 feet tall and mixed-use development on up to 4.4 million square feet in Hyla Crossing and Rowley Center.

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Rowley Properties executive Richard Symms retires

September 25, 2012

Richard Symms

Longtime Rowley Properties executive Richard Symms retired Sept. 1 after 44 years as a leader at the Issaquah-based company.

Symms, as president and board member, served as a key component in Rowley Properties’ evolution.

“Rowley Properties was blessed with Richard Symms’ capable, caring and dependable leadership to do whatever needed to be done over the years,” CEO Kari Magill said in a statement.

Symms worked as a teacher in the Issaquah School District before joining Rowley Properties founder George Rowley Sr. to sell houses on Squak Mountain.

Residents can honor Symms by sending a 4-by-6-inch note card with thoughts or a story to Rowley Properties, Attn: RSS, 1595 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 1, Issaquah, WA 98027. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 5.

Organizers plan to compile the memories into a book for Symms.

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Rowley Properties welcomes new employees

September 4, 2012

Ryan Scarnhorst and Marta McKie recently joined the Rowley Properties team.

Scharnhorst joined in April as a property accountant (residential and commercial). He is a certified public accountant and notary public, and holds a master of professional accountancy and a Bachelor of Arts in business from the University of Washington.

Scarnhorst’s most recent position was as controller for Fourpoints Outdoor, a multimillion-dollar advertising company.

Scarnhorst lives in Issaquah with his family and he’s also the treasurer for the South Cove Homeowner Association.

McKie joined in July as a residential property manager. She will be responsible for the Wildwood Apartment Homes, Kelkari and North Bend rentals, RV/storage and overall customer service. McKie’s most recent position was as the community manager for the Klahanie Homeowners Association.

McKie has 13 years of experience in operational and functional management for property and apartment communities.

She lives near Issaquah with her miniature greyhound, Rocket.

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Issaquah School District, businesses earn ‘green’ honor from King County

August 7, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the Issaquah School District and Issaquah businesses for efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling July 25.

Dow Constantine

The school district, Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets, Pogacha of Issaquah and Rowley Properties ranked as Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Countywide, 92 businesses and government and nonprofit organizations achieved the distinction.

(The school district stretches from Preston to Newcastle, and from Sammamish to Renton.)

“From recycling Styrofoam and cellphones to creating new programs for composting, the innovation these organizations have shown proves that sound environmental practices can go hand-in-hand with a successful business,” Constantine said in a statement.

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Issaquah organizations earn King County honor for ‘green’ practices

July 26, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. July 26, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine honored the Issaquah School District and Issaquah businesses for efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling Wednesday.

The school district, Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets, Pogacha of Issaquah and Rowley Properties ranked as Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling. Countywide, 92 businesses and government and nonprofit organizations achieved the distinction.

“From recycling Styrofoam and cellphones to creating new programs for composting, the innovation these organizations have shown proves that sound environmental practices can go hand-in-hand with a successful business,” Constantine said in a statement.

The county put Outsource Marketing, PCC Natural Markets and Rowley Properties on a Business Honor Roll for making the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list for at least five consecutive years.

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