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Sammamish Water District warns Constantine on a development moratorium in Sammamish

By Miki Mullor
Editor

A moratorium on development is coming to Northern Sammamish, unless King County commits to fund short- and long-term improvement to the sewage infrastructure.

A moratorium on sewer connections will impact not only future development but also permitted development that has not yet been connected to sewer.

In December, we reported that the Sammamish Water and Sewer district is out of capacity to handle sewer for development on an irregular line roughly north of SE 8th St., including the Town Center development site. 

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Central Sammamish out of sewage capacity; County dumps on development

King County removed a critical sewage line project from its plans. Current system is too small for future development north of SE 8th St.

District hints a building moratorium may be required. The future of the Sammamish Town Center hangs in the balance.

Lake Sammamish threatened with sewage dump.

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The Sammamish Plateau Water District is out of capacity to move raw sewage to King County’s treatment plants.

King County removed a critical sewer line from its projects list that would serve central Sammamish that would transfer waste to a sewage treatment plant in north King County.

A full system and no new project mean development north of a line roughly along SE 8th St. to the border of the Northeast Sammamish Sewer and Water District is in jeopardy. The southern tip of the Northeast district is irregular but roughly follows a line along NE 16th St. and dips south to NE 8th St. in spots.

Future development of homes and the Sammamish Town Center could be blocked by the Sammamish Water District for lack of sewer capacity.

Water Commissioners Lloyd Warren and Mary Shustov hinted that a building moratorium may be necessary if the county doesn’t come up with a solution.

Homes and businesses development in the Northeast sewer district is unaffected by this looming crisis.

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City’s budget deficit cuts and tax increases explained

By Josh Amato 
Guest contributor 

Analysis 

The City of Sammamish budget is in a structural deficit — the amount of money coming into the General Fund (operations) is less than the expenses going out. 

With this year’s  original spending proposal, the biennial budget was in a $16.6m deficit. The deficit could  be fixed by raising taxes, cutting expenses, using Fund Balance (reserves), or a mix of all three. The Council has known this day would come for a long time – as far back as 2016. But it seems no matter who won the last election, nearly every candidate was opposed to increasing revenue. There was no candidate in 2019 willing to say new taxes would be necessary, except one: Mark Baughman in 2017. 

“At the Candidates Forum, the other seven candidates stated their firm opposition to new taxes and then turned around to support bonds to pay for roads,” Sammamish Comment reported at the time. “When it came Baughman’s turn, he was the only candidate to declare that bonds may require a tax hike to pay for them. It’s a truth that needs telling, and Baughman told the truth.”

Baughman was defeated by Jason Ritchie  

So here we are.

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BREAKING NEWS: City denies Town Center STCA Phase 1 application for 348 homes

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The City of Sammamish Friday denied the permit application submitted by STCA LLC, the larget landowner in the Town Center.

The year-long review is a major blow to STCA and development of the central core of the city. The city staff rejected the application for 300 apartments and 48 townhomes over a multitude of issues. The Community Development Department said the application failed to comply with the development code, ignored environmental requirements and key design elements of the Town Center Plan.

The department had communicated with STCA repeatedly to correct deficiencies, extending the review period several times. STCA still failed to meet requirements, the city said in its decision.

A second STCA application, for 44 homes adjacently, also suffers similar deficiencies, however, STCA was granted 60 days to remedy it. 

This is the same project that was the subject of a controversial approval of a concurrency certificate in August 2019

The denial is subject to appeal to the Hearing Examiner. It also won’t prevent STCA from submitting a new redesign of the project in the future but it is not clear whether STCA can reuse its 2019 concurrency certificate. 

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City Council tells the County to assign zero growth target to Sammamish, cites lack of infrastructure

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The majority of the Sammamish City Council voted last Tuesday to tell King County the City cannot take anymore growth. 

The 5-2 vote came after council members highlighted an overall lack of infrastructure, citing traffic, schools overcrowding and stormwater problems. 

King County planning staff presented to the Council the process of assigning growth targets to cities, a process that takes place every 10 years. “The ultimate [growth] target is that that a jurisdiction [city] determines is a good fit for itself. It doesn’t necessarily have to fit within that [proposed county’s] target,” explained the County’s staff. 

Growth targets dictate the minimum number of housing units the city’s zoning of available land must accommodate in its comprehensive plan, which is due by June 2024, according to the County’s staff. 

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