Sammamish residents took to email, social media and showed up in person at the Oct. 16 council meeting to tell council to keep the moratorium on the Town Center and not to exempt anyone from the new development regulations.
On a split 4/3 vote, the council voted to keep the moratorium. The vote on the development regulations has been postponed.
A day after staff revealed the last data on the new concurrency rules, a split Sammamish city council took action to save development of hundreds, potentially thousands, of new homes, from what looks like an inevitable shut down of growth in Sammamish due to lack of road capacity.
At yet another meeting, the Sammamish City Council was consumed by the traffic concurrency-driven building moratorium.
In a surprise move, Deputy Mayor Karen Moran moved to lift the moratorium for the Town Center and for short plats. (Short plats are small developments of only a few homes, those projects typically sought by the “moms and pops.)
The meeting ended without taking a vote.
This action would be unfair to other developers and provide preferential treatment to STCA, the developer of the Town Center.
The building moratorium in Sammamish won’t be lifted next week.
In a sometimes-heated meeting, the city council on a 4-3 vote adopted an amendment offered by Deputy Mayor Karen Moran to add some capacity-based measurements to the Level of Service concurrency model previously approved.
The absence of road capacity measurements means some key road segments without stop signs or stop lights aren’t measured.
These include East Lake Sammamish Parkway north of Inglewood Hill Road to the Redmond city limits; 244th north of NE 8th to the city limits; and long stretches of Sahalee Way.
All are heavily congested during rush hour and would likely fail concurrency tests.
The surprise move Tuesday by the Sammamish City Council to adopt an emergency building moratorium was about more than creating a pause to understand how traffic concurrency became an enabler of development rather than a control mechanism.
It was a rebuke to a staff and consultants that, years in the making, had ignored Council policy and the City’s own codes and Comprehensive Plan.