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

By Miki Mullor
Editor

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
Editor

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

By Miki Mullor
Editor

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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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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