These were the words of Gerald R. Ford, minutes after he was sworn in as the 38th President of the United State.
The events of Jan. 6 as Trump supporters invaded and occupied the Capitol proves our current, long national nightmare isn’t over yet. But it appears a crescendo was reached.
President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20. He’s got one huge mess bequeathed to him by Trump. Biden must end the COVID pandemic. He must repair the economy. He faces damaged US standing on the global stage. And he must repair the divisions within the US.
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.
The City of Sammamish budget is in a structural deficit — the amount of money coming into the General Fund (operations) is less than the expenses going out.
With this year’s original spending proposal, the biennial budget was in a $16.6m deficit. The deficit could be fixed by raising taxes, cutting expenses, using Fund Balance (reserves), or a mix of all three. The Council has known this day would come for a long time – as far back as 2016. But it seems no matter who won the last election, nearly every candidate was opposed to increasing revenue. There was no candidate in 2019 willing to say new taxes would be necessary, except one: Mark Baughman in 2017.
“At the Candidates Forum, the other seven candidates stated their firm opposition to new taxes and then turned around to support bonds to pay for roads,” Sammamish Comment reported at the time. “When it came Baughman’s turn, he was the only candidate to declare that bonds may require a tax hike to pay for them. It’s a truth that needs telling, and Baughman told the truth.”
The City of Sammamish Friday denied the permit application submitted by STCA LLC, the larget landowner in the Town Center.
The year-long review is a major blow to STCA and development of the central core of the city. The city staff rejected the application for 300 apartments and 48 townhomes over a multitude of issues. The Community Development Department said the application failed to comply with the development code, ignored environmental requirements and key design elements of the Town Center Plan.
The department had communicated with STCA repeatedly to correct deficiencies, extending the review period several times. STCA still failed to meet requirements, the city said in its decision.
A second STCA application, for 44 homes adjacently, also suffers similar deficiencies, however, STCA was granted 60 days to remedy it.
The denial is subject to appeal to the Hearing Examiner. It also won’t prevent STCA from submitting a new redesign of the project in the future but it is not clear whether STCA can reuse its 2019 concurrency certificate.