The Sammamish City Council last night effectively lifted the year-long building moratorium, with some conditions for the Town Center.
In a surprise action, city council also adopted an emergency development regulations that will impact the neighborhood character of new development, adding restrictions to projects that aren’t already vested.
In a wild and chaotic meeting Tuesday, dealing with the city manager’s position, concurrency and development the Town Center, it became clear the business of Sammamish is done behind closed doors and that developers’ influence is running strong.
The surprise move Tuesday by the Sammamish City Council to adopt an emergency building moratorium was about more than creating a pause to understand how traffic concurrency became an enabler of development rather than a control mechanism.
It was a rebuke to a staff and consultants that, years in the making, had ignored Council policy and the City’s own codes and Comprehensive Plan.
The Kamp property at 228th Ave. SE and SE 20th shortly after clearing and grading was completed. A building moratorium wouldn’t have stopped this project. It would have been delayed. It was vested to rules and entitled to build to those existing at the time any moratorium might have been adopted. Potential new, more restrictive rules wouldn’t apply.
The Sammamish City Council will discuss the prospect for a building moratorium tomorrow at its meeting beginning at 6:30 pm.
After the topic first came up a week ago, a reader of The Comment posted the following in response:
We must come up with viable solutions to stop this madness! Once a property is developed, IT IS PERMANENT! Let’s promulgate zoning laws and rules that make sense in terms of safety, footprint, aesthetics, environmental and erosional impact, infrastructure funding such as for schools, roads, etc. After which, let’s have a qualified, committed, and properly-staffed government to enforce the wish of the PEOPLE! This should not become a race between property owners and developers cashing in, versus government’s unpreparedness to manage it, in accordance with the wish of the people!
In advance of the meeting tomorrow, a little review might be worthwhile as members of the public prepare to comment.