Staff confirms Klahanie annexation’s adverse affects on other road projects

Aug. 26, 2019: The Klahanie area annexation to Sammamish in 2015 caused road projects in the legacy parts of the city to be delayed, despite promises from then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-City Manager Ben Yazici there would be no adverse impacts.

Then-Mayor Tom Vance and then-City Manager promised no ill affects on legacy Sammamish from Klahanie annexation.

Acting public works director Cheryl Paston confirmed at the City Council’s Aug. 20 meeting what Sammamish Comment feared and reported in 2015: the Klahanie annexation would divert money from key projects to fulfill a Christmas list of promises made by Vance, Yazici, council members Don Gerend and Ramiro Valderrama to entice Klahanie residents to vote to annex to Sammamish.

As the current city council debates over projects listings on the Transportation Improvement Plan—notably the Sahalee Way project—the 2015 council led by Vance and Yazici’s administration manipulated the TIP then to claim sharply reduced costs for a major Klahanie road project while simultaneously shifting monies from other road projects in legacy Sammamish.

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Why the Town Center is needed

The Sammamish Town Center plan was about seven years in the making, controversial throughout. Then development was held up by the 2008 Great Recession. Ground was finally broken in 2015. The first store, Metropolitan Market, opened this year. And now the Town Center is again at the center of controversy over the building moratorium.

By Scott Hamilton

There has even been a call to revisit the plan.

Here’s why doing so is not a good idea and why the Town Center is needed.

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King County nears adoption of “unlawful,” “secret” tax

  • Fees on utilities will be passed on to consumers
  • Affects only those in unincorporated King County
  • Adds up to $300 per year to utility bills.
  • County Council, staff action done “below the radar.”
  • Final public hearing Dec. 7, followed by vote to adopt.
  • Kathy Lambert, Council representative including Sammamish, Issaquah, co-sponsored.

Kathy Lambert, co-sponsor of a bill labeled “unlawful” that would impose a new tax on unincorporated King County households. Photo via Google images.

The King County Council is poised to adopt an ordinance intended to “coerce” utility companies and water and sewer districts into franchise fees to use street rights-of-way in order to raise millions of dollars in fees for the County’s general fund.

The problem—and there are many—is that the ordinance and use of funds is unlawful under state statutes, says a coalition of water districts that issued a press release today.

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Valderrama cites fake facts in Town Center moratorium flip-flop

Ramiro Valderrama

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama, citing what turns out to be a series of unsubstantiated claims, executed a pirouette on his previous vote supporting a moratorium including the Town Center—and went splat.

The Town Center was exempted from the moratorium at the Nov. 21 meeting by a 4-3 vote, with Valderrama, Mayor Bob Keller and Council Members Don Gerend and Kathy Huckabay voting to lift it.

Valderrama said his vote always was about storm water management for the Town Center. In voting to exempt the Town Center, Valderrama claimed the emergency moratorium was not about traffic concurrency.

This simply wasn’t true.

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Murphy for King County Council District 3

Sammamish Comment recommends John Murphy for election to King County Council District 3, which includes Sammamish, Issaquah and adjacent unincorporated areas.

Lambert has been the District 3 Council Member for 16 years. Before that, she was a state legislator.

As a matter of preference, The Comment would rather see new blood come in after four terms. This has been true on the Sammamish City Council level and for other elective positions.

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Two years later, Sammamish fixing 228th stop lights

Nearly two years after turning on the “Intelligence Transportation System” stop lights on 228th Ave. from one end of the City to the other, Sammamish is finally fixing it.

The ITS is intended to coordinate lights on 228th to give green lights and expedite traffic.

The problem: side streets and left turn arrows faced long delays, even when there was little or no through traffic on 228th.

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Appeal victory seminal moment for Sammamish Heritage Society

The victory last week by the Sammamish Heritage Society in its appeal of an Issaquah decision to allow demolition of buildings at the Lutheran church property on the Providence Heights campus off 228th Ave. is a seminal moment for the group.

But it may be short-lived.

The Issaquah Hearing Examiner ruled that Issaquah “did not have the opportunity to adequately consider adverse impacts to a site designated as a landmark” by Issaquah’s own landmark commission before issuing the permit to demolish the church, which has significant stained glass windows.

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