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

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 Clerk Melonie Anderson retires


By Miki Mullor

Melonie Anderson

Tonight will be the last Sammamish City Council meeting for City Clerk Melonie Anderson who is retiring on June 30. Anderson is the longest tenure city employee and has been the city’s first permanent City Clerk.   

The role of the City Clerk is pivotal to records keeping of the local government. Every ordinance (local law) adopted by City Council must be authenticated by City Attorney and City Clerk to be true and correct to City Council’s action.

20 years of service 

The Sammamish Comment located the first ordinance Anderson authenticated. It was the Fireworks Ordinance, number 02000-65, adopted on June 28, 2000, prohibiting Fireworks discharge in the City. 

Anderson will retire exactly 20 years and two days after signing this ordinance for the City. 

Almost the entire body of the ordinances in Sammamish bears Anderson’s signature. 

A beacon of integrity 

The City Clerk’s role is also responsible for keeping the government transparent by providing access to government documents in response to public records requests. 

The Comment has used public records requests extensively over the years to uncover facts, documents, council and staff thinking and actions, wrongdoing  and to hold the City accountable.  The City Clerk’s team many times finds itself at odds by having to provide documents to the public that may put its employer and colleagues in unfavorable light. 

In this challenging environment, Anderson, a Sammamish resident herself, has been a beacon of integrity and transparency. Sammamish residents were well served by Anderson’s unwavering commitment to the law and for doing the right thing, even when faced with adversity from previous City Managers. 

It is with mixed feelings that we wish Anderson a happy retirement. Her calm presence at City Hall will be missed.  

Good luck, Melonie, in your retirement. Well deserved.

Peaceful protest held at City Plaza, march throughout the city; one injured

By Miki Mullor

One person was injured in a minor altercation during a march Thursday to protest the death of George Floyd.

On a beautiful Sammamish afternoon, about 500 people, mostly teenagers, gathered  at City Plaza, to protest the death of  Floyd and demand social justice on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

While the overwhelming majority of the people were wearing masks, social distancing was not kept during gathering.

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Chamber defies city, vows to proceed with Farmer’s Market

  • City owns the Farmer’s Market, all logos and other Intellectual Property.
  • Chamber director defies City decision to close the Market this year.

By Miki Mullor

The Sammamish Chamber of Commerce vowed to defy the City Council and proceed with the annual Farmers Market despite the city cancelling all its sponsored public events this year due to the Coronavirus crisis.

Deb Sogge

The Chamber has managed the Market under contract to the City since 2009. The City also partially funds the Market.

But the director of the Market, Deborah Sogge, claims the Market is a Chamber event despite a clear City contract and five-figure funding from the City budget—taxpayer dollars.

The Market has been held in City Plaza since inception. 

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Staff mistakenly led Council to adopt a loophole in the moratorium that would have allowed development to vest

By Miki Mullor

In a blunder by Sammamish City Staff, the City Council was mistakenly led to adopt a loophole in the building moratorium that was enacted last week.  

The loophole, a result of compounding errors made over 15 years, would have allowed developers to acquire rights to develop while skirting the new concurrency rules. 

And with Town Center developer STCA working to get more permits approved, the mistake could have been disastrous had STCA been able to take advantage of the loophole. 

The Sammamish Comment was able to independently confirm staff’s mistake was unintentional.

Another mistake, this time procedural, renders ineffective the action taken by the Council last week adopting the loophole.

A special City Council meeting is now scheduled for Monday to close the loophole while maintaining the intent of the moratorium. 

At the same meeting, and unrelated to this blunder, City Council conditionally backed Council Member Ken Gambln’s call to initiate a formal investigation of the circumstances that led to the issuance of concurrency certificates to STCA Phase I in August 2019. 

Gamblin’s call followed a cameo by former Council Member Tom Hornish who also called for an investigation during public comment. 

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