Teen center and procrastination

Jake Lynch of the Sammamish Reporter has this lengthy commentary about the Sammamish Recreation Center in the April 23 issue. For being relatively new to the community, Lynch was pretty good on nailing some of the issues. But being new, he doesn’t know the broader history.

This is one of those topics for which a successive series of City Councils should be embarrassed by its procrastination and disservice to our City’s teens and the Sammamish Youth Board.

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Historical signs for the Lake Trail

I was walking on the East Sammamish Lake Trail recently, on the section north of Inglewood Hill Road. This is one of the prettier sections, being heavily wooded in many spots. It crosses many creeks and it struck me that none of the creeks is marked.

How interesting it would be if the creeks were identified by a sign. This, then, begot additional thoughts that the trail should have historical signs at several locations. For example:

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Knocking down barricades

One of the most controversial issues that has faced the City Council since before Sammamish was incorporated is whether to remove barricades in neighborhoods throughout the City to improve traffic connections.

This was a major campaign issue in the 1999 City Council election and again in the 2009 election. More people have turned out for this than any other issue.

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Housing in the Commons? Not a good idea

The City Council on March 2 discussed a Planning Commission recommendation to change the 2008 adopted Town Center Plan to exclude 240 housing units from the “D” zone (which is the Sammamish Commons civic center and park) and instead disperse these among the A, B and C zones in the rest of the Town Center.

Some Council members want to retain the original Council decision of 2008 to allocate these 240 units on the Kellman property. This is the old mansion immediately west of the new Library. The Kellman mansion has been vacant since the City bought it, and it’s becoming rundown and is uninhabitable without major work.

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Growth for Sammamish (Part 2)

With the annexation by Sammamish of the Aldarra and Montaine neighborhoods, more than 300 homes join the city in the far northeast corner on Duthie Hill Road south of SR 202. These neighborhoods are next to Trossachs.

Aldarra is on the west side of Duthie Hill Road north of Trossachs; Montaine is on the south side of Duthie Hill at the Trossachs intersection on the right side of the photo. You may use the arrows and + and – icons to enlarge and move the map.

Combined, Trossachs, Aldarra and Montaine had slight more residences than the 2,000 proposed for the Town Center. With the nearby High Country, which are high-end homes on acreage, there are roughly 2,500 homes in this area of Sammamish. There is a rural area between Trossachs and High Country that is outside the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) line called “The Notch.” We have referred to this before. With these annexations, it’s time to discuss The Notch in detail and how it might fit in with future growth plans in Sammamish.

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Park-n-Ride for the Town Center

As the City Council begins review tonight (March 15) of the Town Center regulations, eventually one element recommended by the Planning Commission is providing for a transit-oriented development (TOD). This has become more controversial than it should, and for reasons that continue to escape me.

The City wants to put 2,000 residences that would house perhaps 3,500 people and 600,000 sf of commercial on about 100 buildable acres. This is on both sides of 228th Ave., the busiest road in the City–and the City Council in 2008 did not accept a recommendation from the 2007 Planning Commission that TOD be a part of the plan, although some highly generic language was included in the Town Center Plan.

As a Commissioner, I last year cited the absence of a solid TOD as a “major flaw” in the Town Center plan.

The 2009 Commission included specific language in the recommended regulations for a TOD.

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Missed opportunities to control cell towers

The March 12 issue of The Sammamish Reporter has a long article about cell towers called Selling our Skyline. While the headline is hyperbole–Sammamish is hardly “selling the skyline–” the article does a good job of explaining the issues.

Unfortunately, Sammamish previously had opportunities to deal more effectively with this issue and frankly, the City blew it.

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