County adopts shoreline rules as Issaquah considers plan

December 1, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 1, 2010

King County leaders emphasized conservation along Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish in the shoreline rules adopted Tuesday.

The latest county Shoreline Master Program includes stretches of Issaquah Creek — from the headwaters on Tiger Mountain to the Issaquah city limits — and then the mouth of the creek in Lake Sammamish State Park.

King County has more than 1,500 miles of rivers, 50 miles of marine shoreline and 100 lakes covered under shoreline rules.

“The Shoreline Master Program protects our remaining natural shorelines in order to preserve the most cherished elements of our natural environment — Puget Sound, our waterways and iconic species, like chinook salmon and orca whales,” County Councilman Larry Phillips, Environment and Transportation Committee chairman, said in a statement.

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City seeks input on shoreline development rules

November 9, 2010

Landowners along Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish could face updated construction rules under the latest Shoreline Master Program, the guide to development along important waterways inside Issaquah city limits.

The program is designed to protect creek and lake shoreline, but the proposal also allows for residential development, recreation and public access along Issaquah Creek and Lake Sammamish.

The city Planning Policy Commission has planned a public hearing next week for creek- and lakeside landowners, plus any other citizens interested in development and shoreline protection.

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Cities asked to restrict shoreline development

May 18, 2010

The federal government has called for stricter environmental standards along Lake Sammamish, prompting protests from officials in Issaquah and other cities along the lake.

The standards — outlined in a March e-mail from the Federal Emergency Management Agency — aim to limit development within 250 feet of the Lake Sammamish shoreline. But municipal officials said the proposed change could limit public agencies and homeowners alike from building along the scenic lake. Even road construction — such as widening East Lake Sammamish Parkway, for instance — might be impacted by the proposal.

Under the proposal, landowners within 250 feet of the lake could not increase a building in size by more than 10 percent. The measure also aims to limit property owners from adding more than 10 percent of paved roads or roofing within the buffer.

The e-mail originated at the FEMA office in Bothell.

Citing a 2008 National Marine Fisheries Service report, the FEMA message recommended broad standards to restrict new development within 250 feet of fish-bearing lakes and tributaries within floodplains across the Puget Sound region.

FEMA prepared the proposed regulations in response to the report. The report said the National Flood Insurance Program influences development along lake shorelines and therefore has a direct impact on shoreline habitat.

The report said several species — including salmon and orca varieties, and a steelhead species — could be jeopardized or impacted if officials did not adopt the shoreline standards.

But the report did not include Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon among the species in trouble, although environmentalists and scientists said development along Lake Sammamish and tributary creeks has pushed the fish to the brink of extinction.

Issaquah and Sammamish officials, alarmed at the possible implications for private and civic development along the lake, pushed back against the proposal.

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Public input sought for shoreline master program

May 11, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. May 11, 2009

More than 700 postcards have been mailed to property owners within 200 feet of the Lake Sammamish shoreline to notify them of several upcoming opportunities to ask questions and comment on the Preliminary Draft Shoreline Master Program.

The first meeting is Thursday night.

The program includes land use policies and regulations intended to balance protection of the shoreline environment with providing for appropriate water-oriented uses, single-family residential development and public access.

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