History of Sammamish resumes today

Sammamish Comment today resumes its occasional series that is loosely called The History of Sammamish (According to Scott).

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History of Sammamish

This is principally based on recollection and first-hand accounts of The Comment’s founder and editor, Scott Hamilton. Hamilton was involved in the incorporation election in 1998 and every City Council election since the first one in 1999.

He served on the Planning Advisory Board, which wrote the first Comprehensive Plan, and the Planning Commission, which created the Town Center Plan. Hamilton moved to what was then unincorporated Sammamish in 1996 and in August 2016, moved to Bainbridge Island. Sammamish Comment continues this year to complete The History. Plans are to discontinue The Comment Dec. 31, 2017.

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History of Sammamish: Building moratorium ends in 2005

The period 2004-2005 saw little controversy in Sammamish. Rather, this was a period of developing projects that had direct benefit for the residents.

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History of Sammamish

A moratorium on building development, adopted when the City incorporated in 1999, remained in place. It would be lifted by the end of 2005 after developers sued, alleging the length of the moratorium was excessive. Fighting the lawsuit, and potentially losing it, could have bankrupted Sammamish. So, it was agreed the moratorium would be lifted.

But the moratorium didn’t stop the City from developing and upgrading parks and roads. The fight over development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail—of which the City was not a part—continued.

Two civic events were launched that have become popular draws: Nightmare at Beaver Lake and Summer Nights in the Park.

Highlights in 2004-2005

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2003 City Council election flips from 4-3 conservative majority to 6-1 “green” Council

City_of_SammamishThe 2003 Sammamish election presented an opportunity to shift the balance of power from a Republican-conservative leaning City Council to a Democratic-left-of-center membership.

As the election season approached, the Council was generally, though not reliably, split 4-3. Ken Kilroy, Ron Haworth, Troy Romero and Jack Barry were reliably a voting bloc. The minority three were Michele Petitti, Kathy Huckabay and often, but not always, Don Gerend.

Petitti won her seat in 2001. The others were all original council members from 1999.

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Lake Trail overhangs Sammamish politics for 20 years

  • This is about 10 pages when printed.

City_of_SammamishJune 5, 2016: Development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail has been an overhang of Sammamish politics for 20 years.

It was a dominate factor in the first City Council race 1999 and surfaced again in 2001. It became a key issue in the 2003 election, with a flood of “outside” money flowing to candidates favoring the Trail.

The issue surfaced periodically in subsequent elections. It wasn’t until 2015 that once more it became a key election issue, as Trail residents rallied behind three candidates to win bitterly contested races. For the first time, they helped elect a resident who lives along the Trail.

And the issue hasn’t subsided, either.

In April, three Council Members voted to undercut the City’s own Hearing Examiner and side with King County, developer of the Trail, on a jurisdictional issue in an appeal before the State Shoreline Hearings Board.

This is the story behind the 20-year battle of the ELST.

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The Greenies fight back: the 2001 Sammamish City Council election

After being routed in the 1999 City Council elections and licking their wounds for the better part of two years, the environmentalists in Sammamish—the “greenies—“ began a comeback.

All seven Council seats were up for election in 2001. This was because that as a new city, two- and four-year terms had to be established. The largest vote-getters in 2001 would get four year terms. The three lowest vote getters would get two year terms.

As it happened, only three Council members were challenged by people backed by the Greenies, and by SHOUT officials (see the post of March 28 to understand who SHOUT was): Ron Haworth, Ken Kilroy and Phil Dyer. Don Gerend, Kathy Huckabay, Jack Barry and Troy Romero were unopposed. By default, they would receive the most votes and four year terms.

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