Sammamish planning commissioner Josh Amato yesterday announced his candidacy for City Council for the November election. Amato is also seeking the city council’s appointment for Jason Ritchie’s vacant seat, to be decided by mid-March. Ritchie resigned Jan. 20.
Amato, a newcomer to Sammamish, moved here in 2018, according to his website joshforsammamish.com. Under his priorities, he lists transportation, development code, youth mental health, police and senior services.
Amato is a political consultant with affiliation to the Republican Party and a former spokesman for the Washington Republican Party. In a blog post, he says his affinity with the Republican party is now close to zero.
The candidate also shares his personal journey of family hardship and his own past issue with the law as a window to who he is today.
A months-long investigation by Sammamish Comment that includes email interviews with staff and public records requests reveal city staff opposition to restoring a stringent stormwater standard in the Town Center area.
Staff opposes the former standard because the soil in the Town Center makes it “infeasible” to implement.
In public, staff said the standard or an equivalent to it, is in place.
In private meetings with council members, staff admitted it was eliminated and opposed restoring it.
STCA’s Phase I 400 homes permit’s stormwater section was approved although the developer said it is not implementing it because “it is not feasible”.
The City does not know the impact of the currently enacted and relaxed standards on the creeks and downstream homes.
City Manager David Rudat on The Comment’s investigation: “a take down”.
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.
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.