The period 2004-2005 saw little controversy in Sammamish. Rather, this was a period of developing projects that had direct benefit for the residents.
A moratorium on building development, adopted when the City incorporated in 1999, remained in place. It would be lifted by the end of 2005 after developers sued, alleging the length of the moratorium was excessive. Fighting the lawsuit, and potentially losing it, could have bankrupted Sammamish. So, it was agreed the moratorium would be lifted.
But the moratorium didn’t stop the City from developing and upgrading parks and roads. The fight over development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail—of which the City was not a part—continued.
Two civic events were launched that have become popular draws: Nightmare at Beaver Lake and Summer Nights in the Park.
Highlights in 2004-2005
- The City’s building moratorium, imposed following incorporation in 1999, was extended another six months in March 2004.
- The East Lake Sammamish Trail development remained in court during early 2004.
- Development of the Ebright Creek Park shelved a baseball field and reemerged as the passive park it is today. (2004)
- Nightmare at Beaver Lake, the popular Halloween fund-raising event, is launched. (2004)
- The City Council approved a sub-area for development of what would become known as the Town Center. A process separate from the approval of the City’s first Comprehensive Plan would focus on this new sub-area plan. (2004)
- The City in March 2004 scheduled its second roundtable (the first was in 2002) to get citizen input about their desires for the direction of the City and what they were willing to pay for.
- 228th from Inglewood Hill/Ne 8th south was in the final stages of widening to the design it is today. (2004)
- Pine Lake Park was undergoing a $1m renovation in 2004.
- The first construction permit for the East Lake Sammamish Trail was reinstated in 2005, after years of legal battles.
- The building moratorium, in place since 1999, was lifted in 2005. A growth metering plan was considered as a replacement.
- Ground was broken for City Hall, the first in the development of Sammamish Commons. (2005)
- Citizens were engaged in legal battles over the East Lake Sammamish Trail. Courts finally settled key issues in May 2005, giving the green light for King County to proceed.
- On June 26, 2005, it was noted that 80 years before fire destroyed the mill town of Monohon (now the area around the 7-11), population 300.
- Summer nights in the Park, the Thursday night concerts at Pine Lake Park, began. (2005)
As Sammamish officials today begin to consider how to fund transportation improvements, it’s perhaps worth noting that in a 2004 survey, nearly 78% said they were willing to support bonds.
There was little controversy going into the 2005 election.
Incumbent Kathy Huckabay, one of the original Council Members, filed for reelection. She was opposed by Lynn Rehn, an unknown.
Lee Fellinge, appointed in January 2004 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Troy Romero after it was revealed he no longer lived in Sammamish, stood for election. He was opposed by unknown, Steve Wirrick—who, it turned out, was Romero’s brother-in-law.
Don Gerend and Jack Barry, both original Council Members, sought reelection. They ran unopposed.
The only controversy that emerged during the campaign was when the Eastside Journal (now the Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter) invited the candidates in for endorsement interviews.
One of the citizen panel interviewers turned out to be a member of Rehn’s campaign advisors. The Journal’s editor, Craig Groshart, professed ignorance of this fact. Because of the protests from the Huckabay campaign, The Journal passed on any endorsements in the 2005 election, the first time since incorporation it had done so.
Huckabay and Fellinge won easily.