The Sammamish City Council’s annual retreat revealed similar visions for the City by 2040, with a population reaching about 80,000 (the maximum under current land use zoning), a more technologically advanced city and local transit shuttles.
Council members also hoped to expand the tree canopy despite current development that has seen large-scale removal of trees; greater use of electric and even driverless cars; and redeveloped commercial areas at the QFC and Safeway complexes in addition to the Town Center, which is on the cusp of realizing the vision that was created in 2009.
Council members at the retreat, at the Suncadia resort in Roslyn, largely skipped over efforts to resolve the tension and in-fighting that I reported in an earlier post, though efforts by Nancy Whitten and Ramiro Valderrama to bring up the issues and seek a thorough airing met with resistance. However, there may be some progress “off line,” so-to-speak, as some council members agreed to meet later.
Much of the meeting was taken up with status and progress reports from department heads, about work programs and financial data. The city’s cross-over point, that point where expenditures are forecast to exceed revenues based on today’s figures, is now beyond 2020. Development of the Town Center, where three projects are in various stages of application, with its broader tax base, should begin kicking in in 2016 or 2017.
Expanding Sahalee Way to three lanes is slated for 2017.
Annexation of Klahanie is on track for occur this fall, and with it expansion in a few years of Issaquah-Fall City/Duthie Hill Road. Word came during the retreat that nobody invoke “jurisdiction” with the Boundary Review Board, which would require a public hearing on the annexation. As a result, the public, including Sammamish taxpayers, won’t get a formal chance to weigh in on the annexation.
Expansion of the Duthie Hill/IFC corridor is a priority for the council. This is the principal corridor for the Trossachs, High County, Aldarra and adjacent areas with a population approaching 3,000 in aggregate. King County currently has jurisdiction and no money for improvements. Annexation will bring the corridor under Sammamish’s jurisdiction. Although no cost of this project has been revealed by the City, it is believed to be around $32 million if not higher.
A separate project adjacent Klahanie, the planned widening of Issaquah-Pine Lake Road, is already in the budget and this is going forward irrespective of the annexation.
A storm water drainage project along Inglewood Hill Road is in the final planning stages, to commence in 2016/17.