Gerend picks developers’ outside firm to challenge concurrency

By Scott Hamilton

July 25, 2019: Former Mayor Don Gerend’s lawyer in his challenge of Sammamish’s

Duana Koloušková

recently adopted concurrency ordinance is a partner in Johns Monroe Mitsunaga Koloušková PLLC of Bellevue, a firm that often represents the Master Builders Association and developers in land use appeals.

Duana Koloušková, the attorney of record in Gerend’s petition to the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB), has represented developers that build in Sammamish. This includes Murray Franklyn, Polygon Northwest and Connor Homes. She is also on the board of the Master Builders Assn.

She has represented petitioners in appeals to the GMHB.

Law firm in Greens appeal

The law firm represented Murray Franklyn, in this writer’s 1997 appeal of two projects on SE 8th St., approved by King County before Sammamish was incorporated. These appeals challenged King County’s concurrency methodology and on environmental issues.

The King County Hearing Examiner upheld the concurrency appeal but rejected the environmental challenges. This writer’s traffic engineer demonstrated that King County had manipulated data in the modeling.

Challenging an environmental issue

The petition includes a challenge because the concurrency ordinance was adopted without “due consideration” to environmental impact.

During this writer’s entire service on the Sammamish Planning Commission and before it, the Planning Advisory Board, concurrency was never tied to environmental studies.

That said, a former King County Hearing Examiner reviewed the petition and said that the concurrency ordinance was adopted as part of a Comprehensive Plan update and Sammamish did a SEPA review of the entire update. He believes the Hearing Board will reject this element of the petition.

However, he said that “Duana is a sharp cookie; you can safely assume that at least one of the other nine claims will undertake to raise a serious issue.”

6 thoughts on “Gerend picks developers’ outside firm to challenge concurrency”

  1. Don Gerend is officially Public Enemy #1 in Sammamish. It’s no surprise that he has ample financial backing from the developers for this lawsuit, it’s as if his 18 years on the city council serving on their (and his own) behalf has not already done enough damage to Sammamish. Anyone with eyes could see how much worse traffic has gotten all over Sammamish in the last 5 years. This man has no conscience and cares nothing for those he called “neighbors”. I do not want a person so lacking in character as my neighbor.

    Overbuilding and worsening congestion has greatly diminished our quality of life in Sammamish. We can’t allow this to go on. It’s time to build up a war chest by raising our property taxes by 0.5% to 1% to fend off this lawsuit and others like it. It’s time to stand our ground and fight back against unconscionable greed.

    1. @Citizen: It is not clear that the developers are financially backing his petition with the Hearings Board. I’ve put this question to him, but as yet he has not responded. But making this declaration is a suspicion, not a fact.

      Hamilton

    1. I hate taxes as much as the next person. Unfortunately this lawsuit will cost the city money. Our city council urgently needs to significantly raise fees on all new constructions – traffic impact fee, park fee, school impact fee, quadruple each of these and make growth pay for growth instead of continuing to tax long time residents with things like “School Levy”.

      If a new tax becomes necessary to fend off this lawsuit, and fend it off we must, we will call it the “Don Gerend Tax”, so people know what our unscrupulous former mayor is up to.

    2. As we are both retired, we don’t have to worry about commuting on 520 in order to live here. “Not MY problem”? Good for you!! What’s next: “Don’t let the door hit you on the {censored} as you move away”?

      What happened in this country to devolve from “we” to “me me me” on EVERYTHING?

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