Sammamish acknowledges County appeal on Lake Trail, ignores citizens’ appeals in statement

Sammamish issued this statement at 5pm Friday, after Sammamish Comment reported on Thursday three appeals had been filed against its permit issued to King County for development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

City Manager Ben Yacizi didn’t mention two appeals by others, a resident along the trail, and one by Sammamish Home Owners and two residents.

King County appeals City trail permit

SAMMAMISH – When the city issued a trail permit to King County earlier this month, it included conditions that would narrow the trail in some spots and save a number of trees. But the county has decided to appeal those conditions, citing safety concerns.

“We’re disappointed,” Sammamish City Manager Ben Yazici said. “We worked very closely with county officials and residents to arrive at these permit conditions. From our point of view, they’re quite reasonable.”

The county’s appeal will go to the Shoreline Hearings Board.

“As we’ve seen over many years, appeals are very often part of the process,” Yazici said. “We’ll make our case before the board, as we’re obligated to do, and then take it from there.”

The county project is expanding the width of the trail and laying down a paved surface. The permit being appealed, known as a “shoreline substantial development permit,” applies to the southern third of the trail inside the city, a section identified as “South Sammamish Segment A.” The northern third is already complete. The middle third, which has not yet been permitted, will be the final phase.

The Sammamish Home Owners posted this statement:

King County Tells the City of Sammamish to “Take a Hike”

Here is an update on Segment 2A permitting.  This same information is available on our website at

As SHO reported earlier, the City of Sammamish on July 7th approved the Shoreline Substantial Development Permit (SSDP) for South Segment 2A of the trail.  The permit was granted with conditions covering tree retention and trail narrowing, drainage and culvert issues and the location of a (very significant) stop sign.

Ironically, in the City’s Press Release from July 7th announcing the permit approval, City Manager Ben Yazici credited King County Executive Dow Constantine, Deputy King County Executive Fred Jarrett, King County Council member Kathy Lambert, and the leaders and members of the Sammamish City Council for very productive discussions on the trail. “Given the many good-faith conversations we’ve had, I certainly hope the county will find the permit conditions reasonable and won’t appeal the permit,” Yazici said.

Yeah, so much for good-faith.

On July 28th, King County filed an appeal of the SSDP and the conditions attached to the permit approval.  Specifically, of the conditions attached to the City’s permit decision, the County is appealing all that resulted from trailside resident concerns and input including tree retention, privacy, drainage, and that stop sign.  For each of the conditions, King County stated that “The City acted arbitrarily and capriciously by imposing this condition.”  So much for the value of our input.

You can read the King County appeal document here.
In addition, SHO along with two residents in Segment 2A also appealed the permit decision based on three issues of fact.  You can read our appeal here.

You can read an independent view of these events on Scott Hamilton’s “Sammamish Comment” blog here.

SHO’s efforts in federal court are continuing.  The main thrust of that effort is to clarify that residents actually own the fee title to right of way and that the County only has an easement for trail use.  Winning this case means that the county cannot require special use permits and fees for crossings, parking, gardens, and cannot sell rights to others for aerial and subsurface use such as sewer lines, fiber optics, etc.

In the next month, you will be seeing more of the all volunteer SHO group as we canvas our neighborhoods to personally update all residents and share how you can be involved and help our efforts.

Thanks for your continued support.
Sammamish Homeowners

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