Leading environmentalist supports Sammamish building moratorium

Wally Pereyra, the leading environmentalist in Sammamish, favors a building moratorium. Photo via Google images.

Wally Pereyra, the leading environmentalist in Sammamish, favors a building moratorium. Photo via Google images.

The leading environmentalist in Sammamish supports a building moratorium.

Wally Pereyra, who has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars restoring Ebright Creek on behalf on threatened Kokanee Salmon and similar amounts on other restoration and land use appeals, will miss tonight’s City Council meeting at which the subject will come up.

Pereyra issued a written statement, copying Sammamish Comment:

Unfortunately, due to a previous commitment, I will be unable to attend your meeting this evening Tuesday, September 20th and provide testimony regarding your agenda item 14 – Development Moratorium.  I would appreciate the following be considered and entered as my comments on this issue.

I live at 148 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway SE in Sammamish and have been a resident at this address for 42 years.  During that time period I have witnessed significant changes in Sammamish from a rural community east of Lake Sammamish to its present transition into an urban community.  This transition has not been without its challenges both positive and negative which have impacted our citizens and the livability of our City.

In the last several years in part due to the livability of our area and its proximity to Seattle and Bellevue together with our Town Center development, Sammamish has experienced rapid growth which has impacted our City and its citizens.  Unfortunately, the net results of this accelerated growth have not been good for the citizens of Sammamish.  Our schools have become crowded, traffic congestion particularly at either end of the Plateau has increased significantly, significant trees have been lost, and our streams and wetlands have been degraded.  Unfortunately, due to the substantial developments presently under construction, these impacts to the livability of our City and its citizens will certainly increase significantly going forward.  This situation has myself and many other citizens in our City worried and apprehensive about the future of Sammamish.

Obviously growth has not paid for growth as we were promised under the GMA.  This is unacceptable.  To make matters worse, we don’t appear to have a handle on the solutions to these growth impacts nor their associated costs.  Moreover, the citizens of Sammamish shouldn’t have to bear the direct or indirect costs associated with the impacts from these new developments and others which undoubtedly will be approved in the future.  Growth needs to pay for growth.

In consideration of my concerns I am pleased to see that this evening the Council will take up the important subject of a building moratorium.  In my mind and others it is imperative that the Council to halt this rapid growth until such time as we can be assured that our roads are able to handle the existing and future traffic, our schools will not become so crowded that our student’s education will suffer and that the increased runoff from these recent and future developments will NOT harm our important streams and wetlands and the fish and wildlife associated with them.

One of the concerns that I have heard expressed about considering a building moratorium is the likelihood that such an initiative would increase the number of building permits in anticipation of the Council action on a moratorium.  While that is a real concern, it can be properly addressed by the establishment of a cutoff date at this meeting for consideration of any new development applications.  This cutoff date would only be operative upon the Council’s final vote on a building moratorium.  Establishing a cutoff date at this meeting would give the Council and City time to do the studies and due diligence necessary to define an appropriate building moratorium with the milestones etc necessary to insure that any future growth can be absorbed by our City without degrading our living environment or burdening the citizenry with unreasonable costs.  If for any reason after reviewing studies, receiving testimony and discussions the Council chose to change the cutoff date to a later date, that could be accomplished as part of your final action on the building moratorium.  But a building moratorium now would give you “the bright line in the sand” necessary to stop future development applications while you consider all aspects of a comprehensive building moratorium.

In summary I strongly support a building moratorium.  Furthermore I strongly suggest that you establish a cutoff date for new building applications at this meeting to prevent a rush of applications while you work out the details of a comprehensive building moratorium.

Thank you for your consideration of my thoughts and suggestions regarding a building moratorium.

Sincerely yours,

Wally Pereyra

9 thoughts on “Leading environmentalist supports Sammamish building moratorium

  1. I don’t know… I think that supporting a rapacious, anti-regulation developer like Donald Trump for President kind of undermines the claim that Mr. Pereyra is Sammamish’s “leading environmentalist”. I grant he has done some good things for the salmon in his backyard, but supporting Trump’s anti-environment (abolishing the EPA, pro-coal, anti-renewable energy, climate change denialist) agenda, and Trump’s LONG track record of putting up poorly managed mega-properties kind of makes me think we might be able to find a FEW people with less hypocritical qualifications for being our “leading environmentalist”.

      • Which is an entitled, petulant, and anti-environmental temper tantrum.

        She would be FAR better for the environment than Trump EVER would be. So really, if he has Hillary Derangement Syndrome (a known condition among many) he is putting his own selfish emotions ahead of the environment. Not exactly a vote for “leading environmentalist”, especially when we have so many other, intellectually and morally consistent ones in our city. 🙂

      • OK, Frank (who started this) and Wally (who has the right to defend himself), stop it. I’m not going to tolerate this sort of personal attack on the city’s leading environmentalist (sorry, Wally, but you are).

        I’ve known Wally for nearly the entire time I lived in Sammamish. He’s funded, without fanfare, many environmental appeals of Friends of Pine Lake that go beyond “some good things in his backyard.” He’s purchased land to keep it out of the hands of developers. I’m appalled at his support for Trump (as he probably is of my highly reluctant tilt toward Hillary), but unlike the “7%” I’m not going to throw over respect and admiration for his contributions to preserving and protecting the environment. So, Frank, if you want to comment on Trump, feel free, but the personal attacks on Wally are at an end.

    • Thank you Mr Blau for your uninformed opinion of my environmental qualifications based on how I might vote in this presidential election. If you had done your homework, you would have seen that I strongly supported Bernie Sanders in his primary bid for the Democratic nomination. Unfortunately, due to our broken political system and the Hilary Clinton machine, Bernie didn’t have a chance. Also if you had done your homework, you would have discovered that I was a strong supporter of Barack Obama in his bid for the Whitehouse and even went to his inauguration – – – an amazing historical event. And yes, Cityhamilton is right, I am strongly anti-Hillary for valid reasons that I won’t elaborate here. I am not strongly pro-Trump as you are suggesting.

      But the above debate is irrelevant to the issue of whether or not I am an environmentalist, and as you suggest tarnished by my hypocritical qualifications. I don’t like the handle “leading environmentalist” because it conjures up a sense of elitism which I am not. I am just a longtime citizen of Sammamish who loves our City and is very concerned about the impacts to our environment and the livability of our City resulting from our rapid and at times inappropriate growth. There are many others who share my concerns. We need to do better and can do better, and to the extent that I am able, I try to do better.

      I have tried to do my part and am proud of the positive changes which I have helped to bring about together with the efforts of many others. Our Kokanee are worth saving and for better or worse, I am going to champion their cause. This may upset some who don’t share my passion – – – so be it. We live in a shared democracy and I guess so long as our system of governance does get too broken, the will of the people will be heard and acted upon.

      I wish you well Mr. Blau and hold no ill feelings for your negative opinion of me based on who might get my vote for president.

    • I just read this blog post and felt compelled to comment. I know that this election season has been polarizing for many, but I was so disappointed to read the comments made that questioned Wally as a leading environmentalist. Wally has done so much to protect our environment in Sammamish. He is not only one of our thought leaders, but he has also led us all by his own personal example on his property, and through his tireless support of environmental causes throughout the city and the region. If the Kokanee have a chance for survival, if our creeks and our lakes have a chance to thrive, it will be in large part owing to his efforts. He has committed his intellect, his time and his resources, and I, for one, am profoundly grateful.

  2. Thank you Sherie and Scott for your kind remarks – – – they are heart felt. I know we all share a common goal of a better city and country. I don’t hold hard feelings regarding remarks that were probably made on impulse rather than considered forethought. I’m am prone at times to do likewise. I too am sorry that personal feelings regarding our presidential elections have tarnished the pages of Sammamish Comment. I apologize for my sideways contribution. I will henceforth hold my tongue and reflect. Shalom. Wally

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