Council directs Staff to proceed toward agreement with Ace

The Sammamish City Council tonight on a 7-0 vote directed Staff to proceed toward crafting a Development Agreement and, if necessary, an emergency ordinance to clear the way for Ace Hardware to relocate to land immediately south of the Starbucks and bank at NE 4th St.

The agreement and ordinance is targeted to be presented to the City Council on January 8. A public hearing will be required and there are a whole host of issues that have to fall into place.

This is not a done deal by any stretch, but progress is being made and the Council effectively overruled the Dec. 4 Staff conclusion that it was too late to do anything.

I want to emphasize, however, that the Administration, Staff and Council have worked for a year to try and find a solution for Ace. For those who may have seen the movie Argo (a very good movie, by the way, even if over-dramatized at the end), there was a line in it that said “This is the best bad decision” we have. This property where Ace wants to relocate falls in this category. It’s a lousy choice to build on because of all the environmental constraints. But it’s the best bad decision left to Ace and to the City.

Ace has become a city institution. When scores of people appeared before the Sammamish City Council Dec. 4 to support Ace Hardware, many people spoke of the employees as family and the store as a key, integral part of the community.

I could not help but think of Floyd’s Barber Shop in the Andy Griffith Show.

With luck and dedication, we may see the City and the Ace principals make it work.


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