Staff ignored city code, continued to issue concurrency certificates

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Sammamish city staff, in a move reminiscent of the Variances-R-Us approach to development in 2015, ignored city code in approving a critical step of development between  September 2019 and January 2020.

City staff issued 11 traffic concurrency certificates for various development projects, even though Sahalee Way is failing concurrency.  Staff decided to interpret the code to allow more development to continue, even if those developments caused more cars to use the failing Sahalee Way.  

When doing so, staff ignored other portions of the code. Staff also did not ask the Sammamish City Council to clarify the code. 

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Gerend lawsuit: both sides claim victory; development moratorium enacted

By Miki Mullor
Editor

A much anticipated ruling by the Growth Management Hearing Board rejects former Mayor Don Gerend claims that the new concurrency rules were illegal. But the GMHB faults the City on procedural errors.  The Board gave the City until October 30 to correct the errors.  

The Board’s decision caps a two year long struggle between the majority City Council and supporters of the Town Center project over the new concurrency rules.

In response to the ruling, the City Council enacted an immediate development moratorium to give the City time to address these procedural issues.

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Fourth of July, other events cancelled; City hires a new attorney to advise on growth

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The Sammamish City Council made several significant decisions on Tuesday during a special city council meeting. 

  • The Sammamish Farmers Market is cancelled. 
  • The “Fourth on the Plateau” Fourth of July celebration is cancelled. 
  • The “Party on the Plateau” celebration (formerly “Sammamish Nights”) is cancelled.
  • Renowned attorney Peter Eglick is hired to replace former City Attorney Kim Pratt on the Gerend case.
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City Staff Secretly Meets With King County On Growth

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Sammamish staff took deliberate steps to keep a meeting with county officials secret in order to avoid public records requests, Sammamish Comment discovered.

The meeting involved discussion to set growth targets for Sammamish. 

Staff-to-staff meetings aren’t typically public. They aren’t announced on government websites, meeting notices aren’t issued and the public isn’t invited to attend. But it’s highly unusual that a government takes steps to keep the meeting secret from public records.

Sammamish did just that over a meeting last month. Calendar entries for Sammamish staffers didn’t list the purpose of the meeting. A voice mail specifically detailed the motive to avoid public records requests.

Ironically, The Comment obtained the entries and voice mail under a public records request and was nevertheless able to piece together the purpose of the meeting and the motive for hiding it.

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City listens to Gerend on legal representation in his case against the city

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • Former Mayor Don Gerend, suing the city, advises who city’s attorneys should be – and the city is set to award a contract.
  • Mass exodus of lawyers sets up new firm Gerend recommends.

Former Mayor Don Gerend, who challenged Sammamish’s stricter traffic concurrency testing ordinance adopted last year, recommended that the city council keep its attorneys after a group of them defected from Kenyon Disend and set up their own law firm.

And, tonight at the council appears ready to follow the advice of the plaintiff asking the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) to overturn a piece of legislation that is critical to measuring traffic in future development applications.

The city’s law firm since incorporation in 1999, Kenyon Disend, lost five of its 10 attorneys in November, when those five attorneys abruptly resigned to start their own law firm. Two of those attorneys represented the city in the Gerend case. 

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