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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“When 10,000 Klahanie-area residents came into Sammamish last year, the city knew that a big responsibility was going to follow them through the door – a $36 million item known as Issaquah-Fall City Road.”
This figure is not what the City told Klahanie residents and the taxpayers of legacy Sammamish when promoting annexation to Sammamish.
Instead, then-City Manager Ben Yazici and then-Mayor Tom Vance said IFC Road would cost $23m, a reduction from the $38.8m King County priced the road improvements, cited by Issaquah.