City seeks input on Tiger Mountain’s Park Pointe trails

July 19, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. July 19, 2012

City leaders put out a call Wednesday for citizen input about trails on a Tiger Mountain tract called Park Pointe, a section of forest long considered for development but set aside for conservation and recreation last year.

Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department staffers created a draft trail plan for Park Pointe — a site encompassing about 100 acres near Issaquah High School.

The city acquired the land in a complex transfer of development rights, and the agreement included stipulations about land use. Though low-impact recreational use is OK, for instance, public access cannot conflict with conservation.

The public can offer comments on the draft trail plan July 23 as the advisory board discusses Park Pointe. The board meets at 7 p.m. in the Eagle Room at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

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City preserves Tiger Mountain forest in historic milestone

March 29, 2011

Park Pointe protection occurs after years long effort to stop proposed construction

By Dona Mokin

The long-running saga to preserve Park Pointe — a slice of Tiger Mountain forest near Issaquah High School — ended late March 24, after more than a decade of public and behind-the-scenes negotiations to halt construction of hundreds of houses once proposed for the land.

The tradeoff: Under the agreement, city leaders steered construction from Park Pointe to the Issaquah Highlands instead, and, as a result, preserved more than 140 acres in the process.

“I think that this will transform the community in a very, very positive way,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said, minutes after the deal closed. “It has the three elements of sustainability. It has the environment — the environmental protection and preservation. It has a huge social element. It has economic vitality benefits as well.”

The historic conservation effort is part of a complicated transfer of development rights.

City planners and officials shepherded the agreement through the arduous process after Frisinger outlined the landmark opportunity to preserve Park Pointe in late 2008.

In the years since, representatives from the city, highlands developer Port Blakely Communities and other partners pursued the project until the recession scuttled the developer behind the proposed Park Pointe development.

Since a Seattle bank foreclosed on the land from the defunct developer last March, the preservation effort lurched into gear. Issaquah and King County officials adopted a series of agreements late last year to advance the process.

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Issaquah preserves Tiger Mountain forest in historic milestone

March 24, 2011

Park Pointe protection occurs after yearslong effort to stop proposed construction

NEW — 6:45 p.m. March 24, 2011

The long-running saga to preserve Park Pointe — a slice of Tiger Mountain forest near Issaquah High School — ended Thursday afternoon, after more than a decade of public and behind-the-scenes negotiations to halt construction on hundreds of houses proposed for the land.

The historic conservation effort is part of a complicated transfer of development rights. Under the agreement, city leaders steered construction from Park Pointe to the Issaquah Highlands instead, and, as a result, preserved more than 140 acres in the process.

City planners and officials shepherded the transfer-of-development-rights agreement through the arduous process after Mayor Ava Frisinger outlined the landmark opportunity to preserve Park Pointe in late 2008.

In the years since, city leaders and other partners continued to pursue the project until the recession scuttled the developer pushing for the project.

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Council sees ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ in Park Pointe deal

March 22, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 22, 2011

The city is on the verge of preserving more than 100 forested acres on Tiger Mountain and in the Issaquah Highlands due to a series of agreements the City Council adopted Monday night.

In a landmark decision, the council agreed to accept ownership of the long-disputed Park Pointe property — 102 acres on Tiger Mountain near Issaquah High School. The other agreements, described as housekeeping items by city leaders, cleared up access and boundary issues related to the highlands land.

Now, after years of negotiations, the complicated transfer of development rights to preserve Park Pointe and add more density to the highlands is almost complete. Read more

Issaquah tragedies, triumphs define a tumultuous year

December 28, 2010

Traffic lines up on state Route 900 at Northwest Talus Drive in February. State Department of Transportation crews completed the long-running project in 2010. By Greg Farrar

The economy lurched from the recession, population growth all but stalled and Issaquah — after cutbacks and setbacks in 2009 — defied the odds to reach major milestones throughout 2010.

Momentum returned in 2010 after a year spent in a holding pattern. Set against the backdrop of a fragile recovery, leaders cut the ribbon on businesses and roads, laid the foundation for preservation and construction, and marked tragedies and successes. Read more

Park Pointe preservation reaches ‘historic’ milestone

December 28, 2010

Leaders build framework to save Tiger Mountain land, build Bellevue College campus

In a series of decisions a councilman described as a “historic moment,” City Council members assembled the framework Dec. 20 to preserve more than 100 Tiger Mountain acres and attract a Bellevue College campus to Issaquah.

The council OK’d agreements related to the long-running effort to preserve 102 forested acres on Tiger Mountain and, through a complicated transfer of development rights, open land in the Issaquah Highlands to Bellevue College and homebuilders for construction. Read more

Park Pointe preservation reaches ‘historic’ milestone

December 21, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 21, 2010

In a series of decisions a councilman described as a “historic moment,” City Council members assembled the framework Monday to preserve more than 100 Tiger Mountain acres and attract a Bellevue College campus to Issaquah.

The council OK’d agreements related to the long-running effort to preserve 102 forested acres on Tiger Mountain and, through a complicated transfer of development rights, open land in the Issaquah Highlands to Bellevue College and homebuilders for construction.

“This is really a historic moment for the city,” Council President John Traeger said before the unanimous decisions.

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City Council opens highlands land to Bellevue College development

December 14, 2010

Park Pointe transfer of development rights

Bellevue College could construct a campus in the Issaquah Highlands and dozens of homes could be built nearby in the coming years due to a series of agreements the City Council approved Dec. 6.

The council directed city staffers to facilitate the sale of three parcels on 35 acres owned by highlands developer Port Blakely Communities. Revenue from the sales is then to be used to purchase Park Pointe — 102 forested acres on Tiger Mountain near Issaquah High School.

If the complicated process – called a transfer of development rights — succeeds, the 102 acres and another 43 rural acres near the highlands should be preserved. In addition, the 35 acres under consideration could be developed.

The council selected Bellevue College and local homebuilders to develop the three highlands parcels.

Bellevue College Trustee Vicki Orrico said the process could take more than 20 years for the campus to be completed — if college administrators decide to buy the land in the highlands and construct a campus.

“We’re a community college,” she said. “Just what the name implies, we’re a college of the community, and that’s our intention in coming here. We plan to do a great deal of learning and listening to you about what you want.”

Bellevue College announced interest in a highlands site in August. The college is in the midst of a traffic study to gauge the impact of a potential campus in the neighborhood.

In October, the city started to solicit proposals from potential buyers for the parcels.

The sales should generate enough dollars to purchase Park Pointe. The city also aimed to select buyers based on a willingness to providing a “community benefit” — such as affordable housing or public spaces — as part of developing the parcels.

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City Council opens highlands land to Bellevue College development

December 7, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 7, 2010

Bellevue College could construct a campus in the Issaquah Highlands and dozens of homes could be built nearby in the coming years due to a series of agreements the City Council approved Monday night.

The council directed city staffers to facilitate the sale of three parcels on 35 acres owned by highlands developer Port Blakely Communities. Revenue from the sales is then to be used to purchase Park Pointe — 102 forested acres on Tiger Mountain near Issaquah High School.

If the complicated process – called a transfer of development rights — succeeds, the 102 acres and another 43 rural acres near the highlands should be preserved. In addition, the 35 acres under consideration could be developed.

The council selected Bellevue College and local homebuilders to develop the three highlands parcels.

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King County approves boundary change critical to Park Pointe preservation

November 2, 2010

Park Pointe transfer of development rights

King County has adjusted the area for urban growth in the Issaquah Highlands, as part of the long-running effort to preserve about 140 forested acres.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members added 35 acres near Central Park to the urban area open to dense development. The council adopted the change to the countywide growth blueprint, or Comprehensive Plan, Oct. 18.

The decision is part of a push led by Issaquah officials to preserve 102 acres at the Park Pointe site on Tiger Mountain, plus a rural parcel adjacent to the highlands.

The deal, a complicated transfer of development rights, aims to set aside about 140 acres — the Park Pointe land near Issaquah High School and another 43 acres adjacent to the highlands.

Port Blakely Communities, the developer responsible for the highlands, owns 78 acres in unincorporated King County near Central Park. The proposed transfer calls for Port Blakely to preserve 43 acres and open the remaining 35 acres — the land addressed in the Comprehensive Plan change — to construction.

Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said the boundary decision represented a milestone in the effort to preserve Park Pointe and add density to the highlands.

“It was very, very important that it be done,” she said. “Otherwise, the ability to have the whole TDR transaction take place would have been in jeopardy.”

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