County transfers 1.07-acre parcel to Issaquah

February 15, 2011

King County leaders adopted a measure Feb. 7 to transfer a small parcel of land to Issaquah.

The wedge-shaped parcel consists of 1.07 acres along the 23600 block of Southeast Black Nugget Road between Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Highlands Drive Northeast. The property includes a storm water pond.

The ordinance adopted by the council authorizes King County Executive Dow Constantine to execute the land-transfer agreement.

The storm water pond on the land provides important drainage for sections of Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Southeast Black Nugget Road inside Issaquah city limits. Issaquah has agreed to take on the parcel and to maintain the storm water pond.

The county acquired the land more than a decade ago for a road-improvement project. Issaquah then absorbed the area as part of the North Issaquah annexation.

Through the annexation, the city also took ownership of the road right of way, but the county did not transfer the parcel to the city as part of the shift.

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King County aims to transfer land to city

February 1, 2011

King County intends to unload a small parcel to Issaquah soon through a routine land transfer.

County Council members intend to shift the land to Issaquah more than a decade after the city annexed the surrounding area.

The wedge-shaped parcel consists of 1.07 acres along the 23600 block of Southeast Black Nugget Road between Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Highlands Drive Northeast. The property includes a storm water pond.

The council has scheduled a Feb. 7 public hearing on the deal as part of the procedure for land transfers.

Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger described the hearing as routine, and said she expects the transfer to be completed.

The storm water pond on the land provides important drainage for sections of Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Southeast Black Nugget Road inside Issaquah city limits. Issaquah has agreed to take on the parcel and to maintain the storm water pond.

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Issaquah on ice: Snowstorm snarls traffic, prompts school closures

November 30, 2010

Ryder Marin, 9, of Issaquah, starts to spill after becoming airborne on the Issaquah Community Center hillside Nov. 23. ‘All the snow comes straight up in my face and I can’t see very well,’ he said. By Tim Pfarr

The nightmare occurred long before Christmas — and before Thanksgiving.

Issaquah and the Puget Sound region slid to a halt during a fall snowstorm Nov. 22. The storm snarled commutes for Issaquah residents and prompted road crews to toil through Thanksgiving to clear streets. The poor conditions interrupted the regional transit system and left riders huddled in bus shelters. The fallout sent shoppers scrambling to stores for emergency supplies and Thanksgiving staples.

The mercury dipped into the teens and 20s — record cold temperatures — in the days after the storm and turned roads icy.

“People were very understanding of the situation,” Issaquah Police Patrol Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said. “I think a lot of people were just trying to get home Monday night.”

Some motorists abandoned vehicles and turned road shoulders along Highlands Drive Northeast, Newport Way Northwest and Southeast Black Nugget Road into impromptu parking lots. Police impounded more than 30 vehicles in travel lanes as conditions deteriorated Nov. 22.

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Investigators identify suspect in bear shooting

November 23, 2010

State Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators last week identified the person believed to be responsible for shooting a black bear in Issaquah in mid-November.

Veterinarians later euthanized the bear cub, because a bullet wound had left the animal paralyzed.

State wildlife agents had not released the name of the suspect by Nov. 22. Capt. Bill Heibner credited residents in the neighborhood near Highlands Drive Northeast and Southeast Black Nugget Road for offering tips to aid the investigation.

“We did have help, not just from neighbors, but also from others in the community that had heard or seen things,” he said. “That was extremely helpful in this investigation, and we appreciate the public’s support for giving us tips and leads like that.”

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Council postpones right of way decision again

July 13, 2010

The decision about how the city should handle a section of right of way near East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast has been delayed again.

The council held a hearing about the 229th Avenue Southeast right of way in May and June, but extended the process on both occasions to allow city staffers more opportunities to contact landowners.

King County required the developer to dedicate right of way for 229th Avenue Southeast in case the county or city someday decided to extend the street from south of Issaquah-Fall City Road to connect to Southeast Black Nugget Road. The city annexed the area a decade ago, but officials do not intend to develop the road link.

The right of way runs near the Boeing building — officially the Eastpointe Corporate Center — behind The Home Depot. The city also located the owner: Piedmont Office Realty Trust, based in Johns Creek, Ga. The property management company acquired the building in 2003.

City Council members heard from a Seattle attorney hired by the property owner to examine the process. The council agreed last week to delay the next hearing until September.

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City delays right of way decision until July

June 29, 2010

City Council members delayed a decision on a section of right of way near East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast until July 6.

The council held a hearing about the 229th Avenue Southeast right of way June 7. Members decided to extend the hearing in order to ensure the city had taken ample steps to contact adjacent landowners. The council held the initial hearing in May.

The right of way runs near the Boeing building behind The Home Depot. City Transportation Manager Gary Costa said the city had difficulty contacting the property manager for the Boeing complex.

King County required the developer to dedicate right of way for 229th Avenue Southeast in case the county or city someday decided extend the street from south of Issaquah-Fall City Road to connect to Southeast Black Nugget Road. In order to accommodate such a link, the county called for a 60-foot earthen embankment alongside the right of way.

Issaquah annexed the area a decade ago, but the city has no interest in developing the right of way into a road link. Under state law, officials must first contact adjacent landowners and hold a public hearing before relinquishing the right of way.

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Front Street closes to traffic Sunday

June 19, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 19, 2010

Front Street will close to traffic from 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Father’s Day, Sunday, as the DownTown Issaquah Association hosts the annual Fenders on Front Street Car Show and Cruise, a part of Mountains to Sound Greenway’s annual Greenway Days celebration.

Northwest Alder Place adjacent to Vino Bella will close from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. to host a band and beer garden as part of the festivities.

A bike ride for the LIVESTRONG Challenge will travel near and through Issaquah from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., but no roads will be closed for the ride.

Drivers should watch for riders along Southeast May Valley Road, Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, Southeast Tiger Mountain Road, Second Avenue Southeast, East Sunset Way, Highlands Drive Northeast, Southeast Black Nugget Road, East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast, Newport Way Northwest and Northwest Village Park Drive.

Cyclists will be required to adhere to the rules of the road, but drivers should expect possible delays.

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City Council will decide whether to give up right of way

May 25, 2010

City Council members will soon consider relinquishing the opportunity to develop unpaved right of way just above East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast.

The council will listen to public comments before deciding whether to vacate right of way for 229th Avenue Southeast on June 7.

King County required the developer behind The Home Depot at East Lake Center and near the Boeing complex to dedicate right of way for 229th Avenue Southeast. Planners meant for the road to someday extend from south of Issaquah-Fall City Road to connect with Southeast Black Nugget Road. In order to accommodate eventual link, the county called for a 60-foot earthen embankment alongside the right of way.

Issaquah annexed the area a decade ago.

“We inherited it when we annexed,” city Engineer Bonita McPherren said.

City planners said a roadway could not be built on the right of way without first building a high, reinforced retaining wall. The hurdle makes a road connection along the right of way impractical. Hence, the city has no need to retain the property.

Under state law, the council must hold a public hearing before the vacation can proceed. The council held the initial hearing May 17.

The council agreed to continue the hearing June 7 to allow for comment from city residents and landowners. No one addressed the council during the May 17 hearing.

McPherren said the city contacted nearby property owners at the start of the process, but officials only heard from a single neighbor. Council members asked McPherren to contact nearby landowners again before the June hearing.

Besides the business district along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast, the annexation brought the Overdale Park neighborhood into the city.

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Newport Way upgrades, trail links on city transportation plan

April 27, 2010

The long-term plan to upgrade Issaquah roads reaches the City Council next week.

Officials plan a public hearing on the Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP. The hearing presents residents and landowners with a chance to offer input on the sweeping document. The plan outlines transportation projects though 2016.

Some of the projects slated for completion will be familiar to longtime residents. They include the Interstate 90 Undercrossing and a pedestrian connector to link trails across the interstate and along state Route 900.

The plan also calls for about $213,000 to overhaul Newport Way Northwest from West Sunset Way to Maple Street Northwest. Officials hope to upgrade paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, and to add roundabouts to ease traffic congestion in the corridor.

The plan also includes the partnership between the city and the largest employer in Issaquah to upgrade road access near the Costco corporate headquarters and flagship store. The city and Costco agreed in March to split the $63,736 cost to study possible improvements.

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With garbage strike delayed, Waste Management asks residents to put out trash as usual

April 1, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 1, 2010

Garbage should be picked up as usual Thursday, after trash haulers and Waste Management agreed to continue labor negotiations.

The haulers’ contract expired at midnight Wednesday. Although Waste Management and Teamsters Local 174 continue to negotiate a final agreement, union officials said drivers should report to work Thursday. The parties agreed to continue negotiating early Thursday morning.

“We are happy that talks are continuing and look forward to participating in a full day of bargaining focused on a deal,” Waste Management spokeswoman Jackie Lang said in a statement posted on the company Web site.

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