The case for another off-leash dog park in Sammamish

Sammamish needs another off-leash dog park. Here’s why and how it can be safe.

The Beaver Lake dog park is too small to be of real use. The dogs don’t have enough room to run and play. The “dog prisons” that exist there now compress the play and exercise areas, and the large breed area with its path can be traversed in five minutes. My Golden Retriever gets no exercise to speak of here.

As readers know, I advocated turning Big Rock Park into an off-leash park. There was a long comment posted why this should not be done: safety, potential harm to sensitive areas, etc.

The response is easy.

First, if people know it’s an off-leash dog park, problem solved. The conflict emerges with the assumption that it is not an off-leash park and some people nonetheless let their dog off-leash.

Certain days (or even certain hours) could also be designated off-leash with the remaining days on-leash.

Second, as with Marymoor Park, fence off those sensitive areas. Costly? Perhaps, but after spending a half million dollars (!!!) for two (!!!) boat docks at Sammamish Landing, I’m not sure there is a good argument on cost.

Whether Big Rock Park or another park becomes off-leash, Sammamish has plenty of “people” parks. Having a sizable off-leash park, well designated, is a convenience and an amenity.

People complain about having to drive off the Plateau for goods and services, and note that keeping people on the Plateau reduces traffic. The same argument can be made for this amenity.

I received this email from a reader.

Continue reading “The case for another off-leash dog park in Sammamish”

Gerend wants Klahanie; Issaquah to meet with Klahanie May 22

Don Gerend declared once again that as a Sammamish City Council member, he wants to see Klahanie annex to Sammamish instead of Issaquah.

The area with 10,000 residents and a shopping center is, of course, in the Issaquah Potential Annexation Area. Issaquah officials met May 8 with a small group of residents at the Issaquah City Hall and has a meeting scheduled May 22 at Challenger Elementary School, 25200 SE Klahanie Blvd. at 7 p.m. to discuss possible annexation into Issaquah.

Gerend made the comment to a resident who lives in an unincorporated area between Klahanie and Sammamish and who doesn’t want to be part of Issaquah. The area is also in Issaquah’s PAA. The resident asked Sammamish to become involved, which can only be done if the areas are struck from the Issaquah PAA.

Gerend said that for 14 years (his entire time on the Sammamish City Council) he’s wanted to annex Klahanie.

A complicating issue has emerged over annexing Klahanie, however: this is Issaquah’s permit application the State Department of Ecology to inject stormwater into the aquifer from which Klahanie gets its drinking water and plans to effect a hostile takeover of part of the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District that draws its water from that aquifer.

Issaquah also eventually wants to assume the part of the Water District that Klahanie falls within, even though as recently as May 8 the city said nothing would change on this point, failing to reveal its true intentions.

I wrote about this deliberately misleading action on the part of Issaquah previously.

(Click on the illustration to enlarge.)

Klahanie SPWSD page


Clearly, Issaquah has some explaining to do with Klahanie, starting with why on May 8 it told Klahanie residents nothing would change about who provides water service to the area when plans have been underway for a long time to seek a hostile takeover of parts of the SPWSD, including the Klahanie area.

Then there are questions about the water quality protection of the aquifer that serves Klahanie. Although Issaquah claims its plan will be safe, the SPWSD has a different view. Klahanie residents might want to ask Issaquah and the Water District about this.

I have written several posts on this water topic. There are several links within the following to other stories by media. Here is a report from the Issaquah Press.

“We all drink from the same glass”

Issaquah takes the cheap route-except it doesn’t

Issaquah plan threatens Sammamish, Klahanie water supply

Larry Wright states reasons for seeking city council seat

Larry Wright – Candidate for Sammamish City Council, Pos. 1

Larry Wright, a candidate for Sammamish City Council opposing Kathy Huckabay–the only contested seat in the race–provided me with the following statement of candidacy.

Sammamish is a great place to live; I want to help make it even better through fiscally sound policies that promote moderate growth while retaining the city’s unique charm and character.

As a father of two young children, I’d like more green space for them to play. As a homeowner, I want efficient public services that contribute to my home’s value.  As a consumer, I want to see more retail space.  As a taxpayer, I want my money spent wisely.  As a patron of the arts, I’d like to see our public spaces enriched with art.  As a daily commuter, I’d like to see traffic improved. As someone that has spent years working with children, I want more programs to help kids stay out of trouble. 

I am running for Sammamish City Council to ensure our high quality of life is available to residents for years to come.

I will be asking Wright, Huckabay and the unopposed candidates, Don Gerend, Bob Keller and Tom Odell, questions on issues for forthcoming columns. If readers have any particular questions you’d like to ask (within the bounds of civility), send them to me at and I’ll pose them.

Also from Wright:

Wright is the Managing Director of the Bellevue Arts Museum. Prior to joining the museum, he served as CEO of the National Mentoring Partnership in Washington, DC and as executive director of their Washington State affiliate, Washington State Mentors.

He sits on the boards of the College Success Foundation, Washington State Mentors, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound.  He is also a Commissioner on the State Charter School Commission.

He has lived in Sammamish since 2009 although his parents have been here since 1987. He is married and has two children.


Christine Malchow withdraws, Gerend now unopposed

I received word from Christine Malchow late Sunday that she has filed papers to withdraw her candidacy for Sammamish City Council. The move leaves incumbent Don Gerend unopposed for a fifth term.

Two competitive races, two unopposed in 2013 Sammamish City Council election

The deadline for candidates to file for the 2013 elections has passed, and two of the four positions in Sammamish are unopposed.

Tom Odell, completing his first four year term, and a two year term as Mayor, is unopposed for reelection.

Bob Keller is also unopposed. He ran for the Council in the 1999 primary for our city’s first Council, but missed making the final cut. He’s been active in civic affairs since, including serving on the Planning Commission and the Planning Advisory Board. He, too, is unopposed.

Don Gerend, the lone remaining original council member from 1999, is running for a fifth term. He is opposed by newcomer Christine Malchow, who applied for a seat on one of the city’s commissions but didn’t get appointed (Gerend would have had a vote).

Malchow is a Republican (this is a non-partisan election, however). Her campaign website isn’t up yet but she has a blog on the Sammamish Patch and on WordPress. She has a Facebook page.

Kathy Huckabay, who like Gerend was one of the first City Council members elected in 1999, did not seek re-election four years ago. She’s back, seeking her old seat (being vacated by John James).

She is opposed by Larry Wright. Wright was a member of the state’s Charter School Panel. He is the Managing Director at the Bellevue Arts Museum and has been involved in mentoring endeavors, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also served on a commission on homelessness.

Community Center already over budget: first estimate

The Sammamish Community Center is already $2 million over budget, according to the first estimate to come into the City.

Voters approved a $30 million project in an advisory vote last November.

The Sammamish Review revealed the overage in its article reporting that Don Gerend will seek another term. The reference is short and it’s buried but it’s there.

Issaquah doesn’t tell Klahanie: We’re pursuing hostile takeover of Water District

Issaquah held an informational meeting May 8 about the potential annexation of Klahanie, an area of nearly 11,000 residents, and omitted a key piece of information: the city is pursuing a hostile take-over of the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, the provider of their water service.

Nor did the city tell Klahanie residents that it is pursuing a permit with the state Department of Ecology that will inject stormwater into the aquifer that supplies drinking water to Klahanie.

So much for being open and transparent.

[Issaquah plan threatens Klahanie water supply.]

In a handout Wednesday night, Issaquah wrote:

What would not change with annexation

  • Water & Sewer: No change; still from Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District

In this flyer, Issaquah says it does not have plans to provide water and sewer service to Klahanie. What the city is not saying is that it does have plans to include Klahanie in its future utility service. In Issaquah’s own 2012 Comp Plan, the city clearly shows Klahanie inside the “Future Retail Service Area” (Figure 2.0x).


Why does this matter? Keep reading below the jump.

Continue reading “Issaquah doesn’t tell Klahanie: We’re pursuing hostile takeover of Water District”