Group recommends funds for Issaquah-area road projects

September 13, 2012

NEW — 8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2012

Planners recommended $1.1 million Thursday to complete road projects in the Issaquah area, including upgrades to Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast and Southeast May Valley Road.

The projects could garner a small slice of more than $440 million in federal funds proposed by the Puget Sound Regional Council — the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The planning agency is considering transportation improvements throughout the region.

In the Issaquah area, planners proposed $824,586 to preserve Southeast May Valley Road from state Route 900 to 229th Avenue Southeast in unincorporated King County.

Planners also recommended $315,414 for road overlay, or paving, along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast.

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City Council approves controversial Cougar Mountain subdivision

September 11, 2012

City leaders OK’d a Cougar Mountain subdivision after months of negotiations among the city, neighbors and the developer — and despite objections from neighbors about impacts to street parking and concerns about landslide risk.

Stacy Goodman

In a unanimous decision, City Council members approved the subdivision, called Forest Heights — a proposal to add 24 single-family homes to about six acres on a 13.9-acre site. The agreement also set aside land for storm water detention and to preserve open space.

The proposed project site is northeast of Talus, south of Northwest James Bush Road and uphill from state Route 900, across from Tibbetts Creek Manor.

Officials approved the Forest Heights development agreement Aug. 6, after the Council Land & Shore Committee spent months sifting through details related to the plan.

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King County expects layoffs, reduced road maintenance

September 4, 2012

King County expects to lay off 54 road workers and officials said the lack of attention on roads could mean further deterioration.

Dow Constantine

Kathy Lambert

Officials also plan to leave 11 vacant jobs unfilled — for a total reduction of 65 jobs in the county Road Services Division — due to a drop in tax revenues. The reduction is expected to go into effect early next year, as the 2013 budget goes into effect.

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the reductions Aug. 23. The loss of funding could mean reduced maintenance to correct problems, such as potholes, and a slower response during snow and ice storms.

The county is responsible for about 1,500 miles of roadway, but the reduction in revenue means less maintenance, especially of roads in rural areas.

The road overlay program is shrinking. Officials said only 11 miles of deteriorated roadway could be repaved before year’s end. In the next budget cycle, the county might not have any local funding for paving, unless officials gain additional revenue sources.

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City Council delves into Central Issaquah Plan growth blueprint

September 4, 2012

City Council members advanced the historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

In a special meeting billed as a retreat on the long-term growth blueprint Aug. 27, council members discussed issues related to Central Issaquah and determined how the council can tackle the plan’s components.

The council intends to act on the measure before the year ends.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Central Issaquah encompasses 915 acres — including retail destinations, such as Pickering Place, and the Meadows and Issaquah Commons shopping centers. The area does not include historic downtown Issaquah.

King County expects layoffs, reduced road maintenance

August 24, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Aug. 24, 2012

King County expects to lay off 54 road workers and officials said the lack of attention on roads could mean further deterioration.

Officials also plan to leave 11 vacant jobs unfilled — for a total reduction of 65 jobs in the county Road Services Division — due to a drop in tax revenues. The reduction is expected to go into effect early next year, as the 2013 budget goes into effect.

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the reductions Thursday. The loss of funding could mean reduced maintenance to correct problems, such as potholes, and a slower response during snow and ice storms.

The county is responsible for about 1,500 miles of roadway, but the reduction in revenue means less maintenance, especially roads in rural areas.

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City Council hosts public retreat on Central Issaquah Plan

August 14, 2012

Citizens can learn more about the historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

The far-reaching Central Issaquah Plan is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, City Council members will have a retreat Aug. 27 to discuss the proposal.

The retreat is open to the public. The council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Eagle Room at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Central Issaquah encompasses 915 acres — including retail destinations, such as Pickering Place, and the Meadows and Issaquah Commons shopping centers. The area does not include historic downtown Issaquah.

Central Issaquah Plan hearing continues July 19

July 17, 2012

Citizens can still comment on the historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead.

The far-reaching Central Issaquah Plan is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid at a Planning Policy Commission public hearing.

Commissioners held the initial hearing July 12, and then continued the hearing to July 19 to accommodate citizen comments. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Central Issaquah encompasses 915 acres — including retail destinations, such as Pickering Place, and the Meadows and Issaquah Commons shopping centers. The area does not include historic downtown Issaquah.

The environmental review, or environmental impact statement, for the project arrived June 28.

The commission is due to send the proposal to the City Council for consideration in the weeks ahead.

Offer input on Central Issaquah Plan for business district

July 10, 2012

The historic proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in the decades ahead is a step closer to implementation, but before city leaders act on the plan, citizens can comment on the bid.

The long-term Central Issaquah Plan is meant to guide redevelopment from shopping centers and low-rise office buildings to a taller neighborhood meant for businesses and residences.

Before the proposal reaches the City Council for discussion and possible implementation, citizens can comment July 12 at a public hearing hosted by the Planning Policy Commission.

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Issaquah surpasses 31,000 residents in latest population estimate

July 3, 2012

Issaquah surpassed 31,000 residents in the past year, as population growth continues to inch upward after a decade of rapid expansion.

The latest tally from the state indicates Issaquah added 460 people last year to reach 31,150 residents. The state Office of Financial Management released the information June 25 for the period from April 1, 2011, to April 1, 2012.

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Issaquah receives assistance to plan for long-term growth

July 3, 2012

Issaquah is receiving technical assistance to plan for long-term growth, through a program at a nonprofit organization and a federal grant.

Forterra, the former Cascade Land Conservancy, announced the technical assistance for Issaquah and other Washington communities June 6.

The grant comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program — a nationwide program to boost communities’ economic and environmental health.

Issaquah officials intend to use the technical assistance from Forterra to work on the Central Issaquah Plan — a proposal to transform more than 900 acres near Interstate 90 and state Route 900. City leaders intend to increase density and the mix of uses in the area, make the area more pedestrian-friendly and preserve open space.

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