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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Residents invited to help map growth, transportation plans

November 29, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2014

Residents can have their say and get a glimpse of the city’s plans to manage future growth during an open house from 4-5:30 p.m. Dec. 2, in the Pickering Room at City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave., N.W.

Under state rules, cities are required to have a plan to manage growth. According to the Central Issaquah Plan now in place, most growth locally will take place on the valley floor. The plan looks at the use of 1,100 acres of the city’s commercial district.

The state’s requirements further include providing and reviewing plans to provide for transportation needs concurrently with development. With that in mind, officials are focused on updating Issaquah’s concurrency plans.

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Mayor’s budget proposes increase in B&O taxes

October 14, 2014

Issaquah businesses could be paying more taxes in 2015 as Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler unveiled his proposed budget, calling for an increase to the city’s business and occupation tax rate, at the Oct. 6 Issaquah City Council meeting.

The proposal would increase B&O taxes for manufacturing, wholesale and retail companies from 0.0008 to 0.0015 effective April 1, 2015, and 0.002 effective Jan. 1, 2017.

B&O taxes for printing/publishing, retail services and services/other would go from 0.001 to 0.0012 effective April 1, 2015.

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Comment on proposed transportation projects

September 20, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 20, 2014

The Puget Sound Regional Council is seeking public comment on two local projects:

  • East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast — $2,456,161
  • East Lake Sammamish Trail, South Sammamish Segment A Construction — $750,000

Learn more here

Projects recommended for funding in East King County are among hundreds of transportation improvements, including bridge repairs, new light rail extensions, bus service, pavement preservation and sidewalks, that will be underway through 2018 around the Puget Sound region.

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To the Editor

September 2, 2014

Transportation plan

A little Aloha while sitting in traffic

How is it that Peter Clark, of The Issaquah Press, has read my mind these last several months as I’ve traveled the roads downtown getting to and from my home in the nearby Sycamore neighborhood? His recent article “Traffic plan can’t come soon enough” nailed it.

I understand that the City Council’s master plan is intent upon growing residential and business opportunities while lessening our dependence on cars. As in the Issaquah Highlands, townsfolk will be able to walk, rather than drive, to most places. However, as Clark indicates, that idyllic scenario won’t happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, those of us living in the midst of construction that is sure to tie up traffic for years to come will have to grin and bear it.

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Off The Press — Traffic plan can’t come soon enough

August 26, 2014

Rowley Properties’ construction of the long-stay Homewood Suites by Hilton has brought a massive crane to central Issaquah.

Peter Clark Press reporter

Peter Clark
Press reporter

It’s not the first one locals have seen, but it heralds the start of the Central Issaquah Plan, which city officials expect to change the face of the valley over the next 30 years or so.

The crane stands over the western edge of the city and so will hopefully not have any impact on surrounding traffic. However, it represents a symbol of things to come as parcels go on sale and some, like the Atlas project on Gilman Boulevard Northwest, sit in the middle of the permitting process.

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Issaquah, Sammamish councils hold first joint meeting in years

July 22, 2014

Issaquah and Sammamish had the meeting equivalent of a group hug July 14.

After a year in which the two cities’ leadership have found themselves on different sides of several issues, both city councils and other city administrative staff met at Issaquah City Hall to discuss points of mutual interest. It was their first joint meeting since 2011.

“We all have one thing in common,” Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler said. “We certainly love our cities and we love representing them. We not only care about our communities, we care about the region as well.”

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Bridge tolls are going up on 520

June 24, 2014

The annual increase in tolls on the state Route 520 bridge is set to go into effect July 1.

The rate will go up by about 2.5 percent. Peak-hour rates with a Good to Go! pass will rise to $3.80, while peak-hour rates without a pass will go up to $5.40.

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To the Editor

April 22, 2014

Post office

Poor service, long lines really need improvement

On April 14, I entered the Issaquah Post Office at 9:26 a.m. and placed myself at the end of a long line of people. I noticed there was only one clerk working. I finally reached that clerk at 10:05 a.m., the same time the second clerk showed up, finally.

I wonder why the second clerk was not placed into service earlier. There are many cameras in the place that show the numerous people desiring U.S.P.S. service.

The U.S.P.S. has a monopoly on the letter business and just recently raised the cost of mailing a letter, so Issaquah Postmaster, why the poor service at the Issaquah Post Office?

If the Issaquah Postmaster does not intend to improve the service, how about providing some benches to accommodate the people who are waiting in line?

Ken Sessler

Issaquah

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Editorial

April 1, 2014

Vote yes on roads and transit funds

The state failed, once again, to find a way to fund transportation. So, once again, the county is on the hook to do so. It’s unfortunate that it has come to this, but it has. Voters should approve King County’s Proposition 1, to fund roads and transit.

It’s not cheap, ($60 on car tabs per year and a 0.1 percent sales tax increase for the next 10 years) but neither is the transportation network needed to keep one of the fastest growing counties in the nation moving.

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