Plan envisions high density in single family neighborhoods.
13 growth centers outlined throughout the city.
By Miki Mullor
Should Sammamish neighborhoods be transformed into mini high density “town centers”?
Yes, if you ask the city’s Planning Commission.
In what will likely to become an election issue, a new vision for the city, centred on high density housing and retail centers, has been put forward by two Planning Commissioners and supported by the entire planning commission and two council members.
This is a departure from the current strategy of “absorbing” or “focusing” growth in the Town Center, spreading growth all over the city.
As 2019 prepares to arrive, it’s time for a fresh approach to how this city is governed.
The city council, administration and staff has been consumed by traffic concurrency, the resulting building moratorium and related development regulations all year—really, since October 2017, when the moratorium was adopted to give the government time to sort out the concurrency issues.
These issues consumed the city nearly to the exclusion of all else.
Sammamish is the youngest city in Western Washington, just 20 years old next summer.
Only about a third of our current citizens were here for the City’s birth, beginning with a vote to incorporate in November 1998, followed by a tempestuous campaign by more than 40 candidates for the first city council.
A split Sammamish City Council tonight passed the new traffic concurrency rules.
The “M4,” Mayor Christie Malchow, Deputy Mayor Karen Moran and Council Members Tom Hornish and Chris Ross, voted for the new volume/capacity (V/C) rule that brings some measurement of reality on the roads into Sammamish concurrency rules.
The “V3,” Council Members Ramiro Valderrama, Pam Stuart and Jason Ritchie, voted against.
On Tuesday night, the Sammamish City Council drew a line in the sand on over-development, forcing a potential pause on development until a much needed public infrastructure is built.
A split council voted on an esoteric traffic engineering parameter that decides what is the accepted level of traffic congestion the city is willing to tolerate.
In doing so, the council have possibly made Sammamish the first jurisdiction in the Puget Sound to be implementing the Growth Management Act (GMA) the way it was originally intended to – to protect the citizens’ quality of life.
In a 4-3 vote, the Sammamish city council voted to water down the interim development regulation adopted two months ago and to exempt 65 lots that were in the pipeline
Deputy Mayor Karen Moran joined Council Members Ramiro Valderrama, Pam Stuart and Jason Ritchie to vote in favor.
City council also voted 6-1 to accept an “MOU” (Memorandum of Understanding) with STCA, the Town Center developer. The effect of accepting the MOU is that STCA can apply for permits for at least 500 units before the work on V/C concurrency is done, likely allowing development of the Town Center under the old method of concurrency.
Council Member Tom Hornish voted against the motion.
The Sammamish Community Center, a $33m facility funded with $28m of Sammamish taxpayers’ money and operated exclusively by the Y, generated at least $1.4m in surplus that is being sent to Seattle Y, raising questions regarding accounting methods.
The Community Center exceeded all expectations set forth in the city’s original plan. The city thought the Community Center will attract 1,750 members, with a monthly membership rates for a family at $68. In reality, more than 5,700 memberships were sold, with monthly membership rates for a family at $138.
The difference is sent to Seattle, although it supposed to stay in Sammamish.