Pivotal hearing in Gerend vs. Sammamish will be held tomorrow at city hall

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Tomorrow, Friday, March 6, at 9am in Sammamish Council Chambers, the Growth Management Hearing Board of Central Puget Sound will hold a hearing on the merits in the Don Gerend v. City of Sammamish case over the city’s new concurrency rules. 

The board granted the Sammamish Comment’s request to record and broadcast the hearing to the public. The City of Sammamish agreed to broadcast it live on Channel 21 starting at 9am.  A recording of it will be available on the City’s YouTube Channel. 

UPDATE: due to public health restrictions, the hearing is closed to the public.

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City staff overruled its own engineer in favor of STCA’s engineer on Town Center traffic impact

By Miki Mullor 
Editor

Controversy erupted in August when the City of Sammamish announced that STCA’s Town Center Phase I project passed traffic concurrency. 

The City Council convened for a special meeting Aug. 20 to question how was it that this project, 419 homes and commercial space, that has failed concurrency for nine month suddenly passed it.

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Now, emails obtained by the Sammamish Comment through a public records request reveal that city staff inexplicably overruled its own engineer in favor of STCA’s engineer when forecasting the number of car trips the project would generate. 

The staff’s decision lowered the forecasted traffic impact of STCA Phase I by at least 19% in the AM and 30% in the PM peak hours. 

In order to fully understand the implications of ignoring the city traffic engineer and accepting STCA’s traffic consultant data instead, some background is necessary. 

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How the STCA 419 homes development passed concurrency – after failing it for 9 months

By Miki Mullor
Editor 

Aug. 19. 2019: Town Center developer STCA last week received two traffic concurrency certificates that clear the way for 419 new homes and 82,000 square feet of retail space on the southeast corner of SE4th and 222nd Ave. SE.

Three members of the council, staff and STCA believed its Town Center project would not pass concurrency testing as a result of the new concurrency standard adopted earlier this year by a split City Council. Indeed, unofficial test runs over nine months indicated this was the case.

Yet, last week, city staff ran an official test and STCA Phase I passed concurrency, with no improvements to the roads.

How was this possible?

This article unpacks and explains the details behind the approval and raises serious questions. It is unusually long and reads best on a desktop.

Mayor Christie Malchow and Deputy Mayor Karen Moran called a Special Council Meeting to discuss the issues with staff.

The Special Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 20, at 4pm at City Hall. 

Alternative ways to watch:

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No good solutions forces City Council to rethink transportation projects plan

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • No real solutions to traffic congestion
  • Phantom traffic projects used to approve developments 
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BREAKING NEWS: A split council votes to make the V/C concurrency standard permanent

By Miki Mullor
Editor

A split Sammamish City Council voted on Thursday night to make the new V/C concurrency standard permanent.

As we reported, the new standard pauses new development approvals until infrastructure can catch up.

Mayor Christie Malchow, Deputy Mayor Karen Moran and Council Members Tom Hornish and Chris Ross voted for keeping the V/C standard.

Council Members Pam Stuart, Ramiro Valderrama and Jason Ritchie voted against it.

More details about the meeting to be reported on later date.

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