- Appellants planned to use report in Conner-Jarvis case.
- Conflict of interest with City contract cited.
- Same environmental consultant allowed for applicant in Chestnut Estates West case.
- Conner-Jarvis appellant charged City would withdraw traffic mitigation plans if project appealed.
- Similar neighborhood traffic concerns to Chestnut appeal, which the City lost.
- Links to download documents are toward the bottom of this post.
The Sammamish City Manager blocked an environmental consulting company from being a witness at a land use appeal of the Conner-Jarvis development, and with it, the report the company prepared, charges Mike Grady of the appellant, the Kempton Downs Community Organization.
Grady charged that City Manager Ben Yacizi invoked a clause in the consultant’s City contract for services unrelated to the appeal that says the firm, The Watershed Company, can’t undertake work that in conflict with the City.
Watershed was allowed to be a consultant and expert witness on behalf of the William Buchan Co. in the Chestnut Estates West application, says Grady. The City’s Hearing Examiner threw out the application, handing a victory to the appellants. Buchan told the Sammamish Reporter it plans to appeal the decision this month.
Wetlands weren’t properly assessed, Watershed says
Sammamish Comment obtained a copy of the Watershed report in the Conner-Jarvis case. The report concluded:
- that the wetland boundaries were misidentified by Conner’s consultant;
- the potential effects of the “water flow processes” that sustain Laughing Jabos Creek and the wetland ecosystem were not adequately characterized; and
- the wetland complex should be rated as a single unit rather than separate wetlands.
Some of the issues between Chestnut and Conner are similar: the threat to kokanee salmon from upstream runoff. Kokanee are native to Lake Sammamish and to three creeks: Ebright Creek, which was the relevant creek in the Chestnut case and about half way up the lake; Lewis Creek at the far south end of the lake; and Laughing Jacobs Creek, which is relevant in the Conner case, which is in between Lewis and Ebright.
Hearing Examiner John Galt held a session Monday morning whether to admit the report despite the City’s exclusion. Galt denied a request to enter the report into the record, but gave the appellant until Oct. 28 to come up with a new report.