House said to be historic at risk of tear down

440 218th Ave SE - House West (primary) elevation 1999frame

The Eddy House at 440 218th Ave. SE in Sammamish is said to have historical value as a residence for members of three Indian tribes. It’s at risk of demolition for a development, say the Harry Shedds.

A quiet effort to save a house that is called historical in nature faces an uphill fight with the City of Sammamish.

Harry and Claradell Shedd want to prevent the demolition of the Eddy House at 440 218th Ave. SE, just north of Big Rock Park and South of SE 4th.

The boarded-up house is “a singular landmark-eligible residence of Indian tribal members’ importance,” they say. Members of the Duwamish, Yakima and Snoqualmie tribes have lived here, they said.

Sammamish is processing a development application from Quadrant Corp. that would result in tearing down the home, the Shedds say.

The Sammamish Heritage Society and the City have reached an impasse, they said.

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Yacizi resigns, effective in February; legacy positive despite controversies

Ben Yacizi.

Ben Yacizi has resigned as Sammamish City Manager, effective in February.

Yacizi has been City Manager for nearly all of our existence after incorporation in 1999. He became City Manager in January 2001.

Having served on City commissions for 8 1/2 years, I know Ben quite well. We’ve debated issues, we’ve fought over issues, and we’ve collaborated on issues.

A City Manager is the Chief Executive Officer of a city; the City Council is the Board of Directors. A City Manager is responsible for all hiring and firing, operations, the budget and carrying out policy set by the Council. Some cities, with an elected mayor (as opposed to a mayor selected by fellow council members like Sammamish), who serves as the CEO, usually have an Administrator as well.

Ben, as CEO of Sammamish, has come in for his share of criticism from citizens. With additional benefit of an insider’s view, he’s also come in for my criticism on more than one occasion. But I can tell Readers that on balance, I would give him four stars out of five for his oversight of Sammamish. Continue reading

Failing the public trust in Sammamish, failures of leadership from the Council

The Sammamish City Council is failing the public trust.

All you have to do is watch the video of the June 17 City Council meeting to understand this bold statement.

When we became a city in 1999 (after the 1998 vote to incorporate), there were high hopes about getting out from under an unresponsive and arrogant King County government, the Council and departments, who viewed Sammamish as a dumping ground for development but without supporting infrastructure. We could communicate with “downtown” till the cows came home and our concerns would fall on deaf ears.

In the early days of our city, our council and staff indeed proved more responsive to citizen concerns. Today, our City is certainly more responsive to infrastructure requirements–but responsiveness to citizens has been slowly returning to “downtown” mentality.

Long-time readers of this column know the evolution of support I’ve expressed for the City Council and policies to a great deal of concern as arrogance and tone-deafness has set in. I need not recount all these issues, but instead will focus on what came up at the June 17 meeting.

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Sammamish’s war on dogs

Update, May 8, 11am: I received an email from Jessie Bon, who says the Sammamish Review not only misquoted her on the issue of dogs “relieving” themselves in the water–she says she didn’t say anything of the kind:

I believe I was misquoted in the Sammamish Review. To my knowledge (and I’ve watched the tape), I did not make a comment about dogs relieving themselves in the water. In fact, nothing of that nature was said at the council meeting based on my review of the tape this afternoon.

If, indeed, the Review did misconstrue what Bon said or didn’t say, this doesn’t negate the larger issue, and that is the City of Sammamish is engaged in unnecessary action to restrict parks from dogs. Big Rock Park’s North Meadow makes a great run/play area and Evans Creek Park has acres and acres of meadow for which no use whatsoever is undertaken.

Update, May 8, 12n: I’ve now received an email from Ari Cetron retracting the dogs relieve themselves portion of his story. Cetron writes:

She was generally right about the water. I actually just reviewed the tape myself. She didn’t say the dogs relieve themselves in the water, she said there would be “sanitation issues” with dogs on ballfields and kids then playing the the field. I conflated the two situations and have corrected it online.

Original Post:

The City of Sammamish continues its war on dogs.

This week’s Sammamish Review has this article that proposes more regulations banning dogs from pretty much any public park and property. The Review writes:

The new regulations all but bans dogs from large parts of Sammamish parks. Four-legged friends, even on a leash, would no longer be permitted on athletic fields, in picnic shelters, or in water bodies and their associated beaches, docks and nearby marine areas.
[Parks director Jessi] Bon said she understands some dog owners like to take their pets to swim at city lakes, but noted that animals might relieve themselves in the water, causing potential health problems for people. She also noted some areas where dogs are currently allowed might also be taken off the list if the animals destroy vegetation.

Apparently Bon doesn’t own a dog, or so it seems. Dogs have very distinct postures when “relieving” themselves and after a lifetime of owning dogs, I’ve never seen one do so in the water. They splash, swim, wade and even run. People are more likely to “relieve” themselves than are dogs. The larger problem of urine and feces in the water comes from ducks, geese, fish and other wildlife.

Dogs are already restricted at all the city parks in some form or another. The exception, if you want to call it that, is the prison-like off-lease area at Beaver Lake Park, a very small area that can be walked around in five minutes. Big Rock Park and Evans Creek Park have large, open fields that are used for nothing that make great play areas to run and chase balls–but our City Council designates these entire parks as on-leash parks.

The vote was 5-1-1.

This is another nanny state effort on the part of the City Council.

Welcome to Sammamish, Klahanie.

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.

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