Issaquah’s annual cleanup day is Saturday

April 21, 2015

Members of the Downtown Issaquah Association have learned over the years that as clean as the city looks, there’s still a need to tidy up after a careless few.

Thus, the association’s annual effort to pick up trash in the downtown corridor has grown into a more encompassing event — the third annual, citywide Keep Issaquah Beautiful Day.

The cleanup is from 9 a.m. to noon April 25. The beautification project has grown past the length of Front Street to include: Read more

Construction work on Gilman could cause delays

March 30, 2015

NEW — 12:10 p.m. March 30, 2015

Drivers should prepare for possible traffic impacts along Northwest Gilman Boulevard Monday.

Crews are patching an eastbound lane in the 1600 block of Northwest Gilman Boulevard at state Route 900, according to a news alert from the city of Issaquah.

The city asks drivers to help minimize traffic impacts by using alternate routes, if possible.

May Valley Road yet to rebuild one year after landslide

March 3, 2015

If you have driven May Valley Road anytime in the past year, you likely noticed the road is reduced to one lane between roughly 223rd Avenue Southeast and 229th Drive Southeast.

At the same time, you also may have noticed that while the south side of the road is blocked from traffic, there has been absolutely no sign of any construction work. Automated, solar-powered traffic signals allow vehicles to travel the effected stretch of road in alternating directions.

King County closed the south side of the road following a landslide that damaged that road in early 2014, said Rochelle Ogershok, a spokeswoman for the King County Road Services Division.

By Tom Corrigan Westbound cars last week on Southeast May Valley Road proceed on the one-lane restricted King County road after the automated traffic signal turns green.

By Tom Corrigan
Westbound cars last week on Southeast May Valley Road proceed on the one-lane restricted King County road after the automated traffic signal turns green.

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May Valley Road lane closed into February

January 20, 2015

Guardrail work on Southeast May Valley Road will close one of two lanes in an area east of state Route 900 and west of 229th Drive Southeast through mid-February.

The lane closures are scheduled for approximately 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday.

The county’s contractor will adjust the guardrail due to changes in the road height after recent repaving. Flaggers will alternate traffic directions, and travelers should expect delays at the work site in addition to delays from the automated traffic signal at the site of the 2014 ongoing lane closure. Read more

Traffic plan may cost $300 million

December 9, 2014

Package would include 500 percent increase in impact fees

Looking to accommodate expected residential and retail growth without creating gridlock on city streets, Issaquah’s administration has come up with a $300 million transportation plan that could accommodate up to an additional 8,000 car trips on local streets per day.

But to help pay for all the needed road improvements, administration officials have proposed a 500 percent hike in the traffic impact fees developers pay.

For a single-family unit, developers currently pay $1,700, said David Hoffman, North King County manager for the Master Builders Association. If the proposed increases were adopted, that figure jumps to $8,600.

The impact fees would not cover the entire cost of the plan, which includes $250 million for roadwork and an additional $50 million for bike paths and pedestrian accommodations, city consultant Randy Young said in an interview.

Young said the city would need to fund the remainder at a cost of approximately $165 million for roadwork and roughly $26 million for bike and pedestrian pathways.

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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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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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Overlake relocates Issaquah specialty clinics

November 20, 2012

Overlake Hospital Medical Center’s Issaquah-based specialty clinics, including cardiology and pulmonology, Anticoagulation Clinic and the Breast Screening Center, have relocated to the Highmark Medical Building along state Route 900 at Northwest Maple Street.

The medical center also moved its Issaquah classroom from the Overlake Center along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast to the Highmark Medical Building. The change offers a larger space for educational courses provided by the hospital and clinics.

Candidates’ signs raise stakes, then linger as litter

November 6, 2012

A cluster of political signs on the road shoulder vie for motorists’ attention Nov. 1 at the corner of Northwest Gilman Boulevard and state Route 900. By Greg Farrar

The emerald strip in the center of Northwest Gilman Boulevard is prime real estate for political signs, a landscaped median exposed to thousands of vehicles each day.

Unfortunately for candidates, city code prohibits campaign operatives from turning the median — and others around Issaquah — into a politician’s paradise in the run-up to Election Day.

Some passers-by regard political signs as litter, just another piece of detritus from a long and acrimonious campaign season. Others see the placards as grassroots organizing at the actual grassroots, a First Amendment affirmation.

Michele Forkner, code compliance officer for the city, treats the signs as a necessary but messy task.

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