In 2006, Sammamish pointed to concurrency to stop growth

As the Sammamish City Council looks at alternatives for traffic concurrency policies to

SE 228th in Sammamish, off-rush hour. Seattle Times photo via Google images.

cope with development and growth, Members should revisit a May 2006 statement by the then-City Manager who said concurrency can be used to limit growth.

That statement, in the City Newsletter by Ben Yazici, stands in stark contrast to statements this summer by his successor, Lyman Howard, Vic Saleman, a traffic engineer consultant, and the City staff, that this isn’t strictly true.

The Council has a study session tonight beginning at 5:30pm at City Hall that includes a focus on concurrency options.

Good faith effort

“Our community made a good-faith, well-thought-out effort to meet the GMA’s goals,” Yazici said. “But I think it’s time to turn the page, and use other tools to manage growth,” the Newsletter said.

“According to Director of Community Development Kamuron Gurol, those tools include impact fees and the GMA’s concurrency rules,” the Newsletter continued.

“If infrastructure falls too far behind growth, communities can halt the acceptance of new development applications,” the Newsletter said (emphasis added).

The City, in May 2006, had to repeal a phased growth ordinance because it violated the Growth Management Act. The phasing was based on a lottery system not allowed under state law. But the decision by the Growth Management Hearings Board made it clear concurrency was a nexus required to approve development. The decision may be found here: Master Builder vs Sammamish

But in a presentation from Saleman and Staff to the Council in July, the Council was told Concurrency must be used to manage growth, but not stop it indefinitely.

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