By Scott Hamilton
At yet another meeting, the Sammamish City Council was consumed by the traffic concurrency-driven building moratorium.
In a surprise move, Deputy Mayor Karen Moran moved to lift the moratorium for the Town Center and for short plats. (Short plats are small developments of only a few homes, those projects typically sought by the “moms and pops.)
The meeting ended without taking a vote.
This action would be unfair to other developers and provide preferential treatment to STCA, the developer of the Town Center.
Moran’s rationale is that the Town Center would be subject to the existing concurrency method which, although flawed, she feels is better than the proposed replacement.
My view: the building moratorium should be for all or none.
But once more, Tuesday’s meeting demonstrated dysfunction prevails at the Sammamish City Council.
It would be great if somehow we could find out how much some of the city council members are involved with the developers on the side. They seem like great friends. How can we get behind the scenes to really find out how close their relationships are?
Totally agree, Scott. The thought of removing the moratorium to benefit a single developer seems, to me, indefensible. If the council is not comfortable allowing others to develop their land elsewhere in the city, why should the STCA get preferential treatment to develop the TC under a different set of rules.
I believe many cities use an emergency moratorium to target particular developments while permitting other development to proceed. The current Sammamish moratorium is far from an effective tool in any way. All development that has participated in a preliminary development review with city staff are exempt from the moratorium. Originally, the city council exempted the town center but later action reinstated a moratorium on town center.
The number of single family units that are currently in development during the city council’s Keystone cop affair with concurrency negates any “emergency” effect associated with this moratorium. Enjoy this bit of film history https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8jphxpi1ro
Denise, If you were engaging a contractor to build you a home or carry out a remodel of a kitchen or bathroom, would you not desire to have adequate communication with that contractor. The City of Sammamish conducted a lengthy town center planning process that involved Citizens (committees, surveys, charetes, public hearings), staff, and consultants. Very detailed demands where included in this plan and the code that governs the plan. Keep in mind, the city council has imposed a year long moratorium on town center development. Not such a friendly act, is it. How would you like it if you had a contractor demand half the money for a remodel, start the work, then be forbidden to continue to completion. What would you home be like with a kitchen or bathroom half complete, while you waited for the city to allow your contractor to complete the job?