March 25, 2015
This region is truly world class — from our breathtaking environment to our vibrant communities. But the “world class” label bestowed upon us in a newspaper column last fall — “Hey, we’re world class! For truly terrible traffic” — must serve as a wake-up call for action.
That headline came after the Washington State Department of Transportation released its 2014 “Congestion Report,” showing us that the gridlock and brake-tapping we’ve been stewing in for years is now significantly worse.
March 17, 2015
As they move forward with two separate planning processes, city officials have returned several times to two major topics: a perceived need for added space for both police and the city administration.
“We’re overcrowded in the police department,” Police Chief Scott Behrbaum said during a March 9 City Council work session.
March 10, 2015
The state Senate, after two years of frustrated effort, has passed a $15 billion transportation package. Its 11 measures — a mix of reforms and revenue — are key to relieving traffic congestion with investments in transit and roads, and maintaining the state’s existing highways and bridges.
A bipartisan group of senators exercised some imagination to negotiate and shepherd the compromise, which includes an 11.7-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax, through their chamber. The deal could create an estimated 200,000 jobs over the next 16 years.
March 10, 2015
A transportation package passed by the state Senate would allocate $15.1 billion for road projects statewide, including three major projects directly affecting Issaquah and Sammamish.
The area could see roadwork totaling $126 million on portions of Interstate 90. The package passed the Senate on Feb. 27, but still must clear the state House of Representatives.
March 10, 2015
Completed in December, a city-sponsored survey of local inhabitants showed 91 percent of Issaquah residents believe their town is a great spot to call home.
That positive rating included 41 percent who rated Issaquah as an “excellent” place to be, along with 50 percent who said it is a “good” place to live, Emily Moon, deputy city administrator, said in a report to the City Council on March 2.
March 3, 2015
With the approval of the Issaquah City Council, the city’s Public Works Engineering Department intends to eventually add the equivalent of 2.25 new employees.
Two engineers will be brought on board and one part-time position will be made into a full-time slot, Deputy City Administrator Emily Moon said.
January 13, 2015
Particularly hunting for dollars to ease congestion on Interstate 90, city officials made transportation the main topic during a meeting with area state legislators Jan. 5.
A second hot topic was trying to ensure local governments receive their fair share of state dollars, such as in the form of liquor or gas taxes, Issaquah City Councilwoman Stacy Goodman said.
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.
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.
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.