Buddying up to King County doesn’t stop its appeal of City’s permit for East Lake Sammamish Trail

Sammamish officials spent all year saying “we need King County” as a reason to not take a harder line over fixing development issues of the Northern end of the East Lake Sammamish Trail and design plans for the far South end.

And although officials were optimistic a negotiated design for the South end was achievable, King County officials clearly concluded otherwise.

The County filed an appeal July 28 of the City’s permit for the South end, Section 2A, of ELST because of several conditions the City imposed a conditions to the development permit.

Section 2A is the portion of the interim trail from 33rd (the 7-11) to the Issaquah City Limits.

The Sammamish Home Owners (SHO) and two property owners also filed an appeal. So did a limited liability company called Lake Sammamish 4257 LLC, which consists of one property.

The County appeal document is here: APPEAL-King County – ELST

SHO’s appeal is here. APPEAL-SHO It contains as an attachment the City’s permit with Findings of Fact and Conditions, which are referenced in the County’s appeal. The reader may cross-reference the County’s citations with the City permit in the SHO appeal.

Lake Sammamish 4257 LLC’s appeal is here: APPEAL – SSDP2014-00171 & KC File SHOR 14-0022 SSDP- Greene

Mediation was requested by the LLC. This document is here: Mediation Request – Menezes – ELST

A synopsis of the reasons for the appeal are below.

King County Appeal, filed July 28.

The County asked the City Hearing Examiner to strike Conditions 2 through 8, 10, 14 and 17 from the permit.

The County argues the City acted beyond its authority, in an arbitrary and capricious manner, that the condition in many cases are onerous, sometimes unconstitutional and in some cases that federal law supersedes the City code.

The County also objects that the conditions will in some cases require negotiations with property owners for which there can be no assurance of success, unconstitutional “taking” of County property, gifting public property (the County’s) to a few private citizens for landscaping; and unduly burdensome costs and delay to the County.

The County also claims it has already met some conditions imposed by the City and that a City requirement for tree retention violates its vested right under the ordinance in place at the time of application.

In certain locations, the City requires the County to narrow the trail for tree retention and other reasons. The County objects, saying to narrow the trail will violate federal rails-to-trails design standards.

SHO Appeal, filed July 27.

SHO, and two individual property owners, appealed, claiming that the County didn’t comply with the City’s own code requiring proof of title to the property (the trail), and the City improperly waived this requirement.

SHO president Tom Hornish, a resident along the trail, testified several times to the City Council that proof of title was required before issuing a permit. He cited case law in another jurisdiction. SHO and the individual appellants claim the County doesn’t have title to the properties to develop the trail outside the 12 foot rail bed that was used by Burlington Northern Rail Road. They are not asking the Hearing Examiner to block trail development of the 12 foot trail but they are asking for title compliance and failing that, declaration that the property owners have title to the disputed properties.

Hornish is a candidate for Sammamish City Council, opposing incumbent Tom Vance, the mayor, who is seeking a second term.

LLC Appeal, filed July 24

This is similar to the appeal by SHO and two residents, disputing the County’s claim to title, the City’s failure to require proof of title and similar remedies. As with the SHO appeal, the appellants don’t seek to block development of the trail within the 12 ft rail bed, but to do so outside the rail bed.

Mediation Request

The LLC requests Mediation instead of a full appeals process before a Hearing Examiner.

In the meantime

While the permit for Section 2A is under appeal to the Hearing Examiner, and potentially to Superior Court if any appellant objects to the Hearing Examiner’s decision, no construction can begin on 2A. The appeals don’t affect the current use of the interim trail.

1 thought on “Buddying up to King County doesn’t stop its appeal of City’s permit for East Lake Sammamish Trail

  1. Though there are gentle references about the center line in the SHO appeal , I’m surprised it doesn’t make a direct point about the County’s arbitrary decisions to move it, and the land-use impacts of doing so. It seems like SHO should be proposing a method to establish the center line, since the tracks no longer exist.

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