No further Town Center upzoning needed

The Planning Commission will hand over to the City Council on Feb. 9 the recommended regulations to implement the Town Center Plan adopted by the Council in 2008. The Plan calls for development of 600,000 sf of commercial space and 2,000 residential units.

The Town Center straddles 228th Ave. with the geographic center at SE 4th and 228th. The TC is in four quadrants, two on each side of 228th. The Eastside is assigned 180,000 sf of commercial (office/retail) and the Westside has 320,000 sf of which 90,000 sf is immediately adjacent City Hall and the new Library–forming a cluster next to the developing Sammamish Commons. The other Westside commercial-retail, amounting to 230,000 sf is clustered on SE 4th at about 220th to form the “core” commercial/retail center, on the north side of Sammamish Commons.

As noted in the posting below, some landowners in the SE Quadrant want a broad increase in commercial and residential density far, far above what the 2008 City Council approved. Aside from their own commercial interests, the applicants of the Docket request described in the following post argue that an increase is necessary to meet the growth targets assigned to Sammamish through 2031.

Actually, this isn’t true. The Town Center Plan approved by the City Council in 2008 already has enough commercial and residential increase over the base zoning to accommodate the 2031 jobs and residential targets, with some modest surplus.

The City is preparing to undertake a city-wide Comprehensive Plan Update that will, among other things, consider what might be done to redevelop the Safeway and QFC commercial centers over the next 20 years; consider what commercial and mixed use opportunities might make sense in the undeveloped and under-developed land adjacent these centers; what might be possible to take advantage of the “air rights” over the Metro/Sound Transit Park & Ride across from the Pine Lake (QFC) Center; and where else in the City there are opportunities to accommodate residential growth and job needs for generations to come.

With these opportunities, there is no need to further upzone the Town Center over-and-above what already provides capacity to meet the 2031 growth targets.

This Comp Plan review process will take about two years. With this timeline, there is no need to rush to accommodate the SE Quadrant request described below, which has all sorts of social and financial implications for Sammamish taxpayers.

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