Town Center Phase I details revealed: 424 homes on 13.5 Acres; blocked by concurrency

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • STCA LLC, the largest landowner in the Town Center, files its first permit application
  • The development site is between SE 4th and the Lower Commons park
  • City Manager recently said the development will likely fail the current concurrency
  • Valderrama advocates for STCA to relax concurrency
Continue reading “Town Center Phase I details revealed: 424 homes on 13.5 Acres; blocked by concurrency”

Ritchie accuses the council majority of denying a debate on plastic bags ban; Malchow denies

Miki Mullor
Editor

  • Ritchie and Ross trade heated text messages
  • The legislative committee failed to get the required three votes for a proclamation
  • Discussion on the plastic bag ban postponed

The dysfunction of Sammamish City Council reached new levels over a proclamation in support of Senate Bill 5323 that calls for a state-wide plastic bag ban and a 5 cents tax for paper bags.

Continue reading “Ritchie accuses the council majority of denying a debate on plastic bags ban; Malchow denies”

Proposed “Minimum Density” state law would upzone 76% of Sammamish to 6 units per acre and convert 44% of it to high density development

By Miki Mullor
Editor

  • The bill would require high density development within ¼ mile from schools, parks and commercial areas.
  • The bill also limits parking spaces to one space per four high density housing units.
  • Sammamish Council Members Jason Ritchie and Pam Stuart opposes the bill’s mandate to upzone; Ramiro Valderrama is silent.
Continue reading “Proposed “Minimum Density” state law would upzone 76% of Sammamish to 6 units per acre and convert 44% of it to high density development”

Time for fresh approaches

By Scott Hamilton
Founder, Sammamish Comment

The Sammamish City Council held its last meeting of 2018 yesterday, ending the most contentious and divisive year I’ve seen since the incorporation vote in 1998.

As 2019 prepares to arrive, it’s time for a fresh approach to how this city is governed.

The city council, administration and staff has been consumed by traffic concurrency, the resulting building moratorium and related development regulations all year—really, since October 2017, when the moratorium was adopted to give the government time to sort out the concurrency issues.

These issues consumed the city nearly to the exclusion of all else.

Continue reading “Time for fresh approaches”

Second Sammamish council member says focus growth in Town Center, dodges property rights issues

By Scott Hamilton

A second Sammamish city council member went on record, declaring that

Jason Ritchie
Jason Ritchie

future growth should “focus” on the Town Center.

Jason Ritchie Tuesday joined Member Pam Stuart in calling for future growth to go to the Town Center.

As Sanmamsih Comment wrote Oct. 22, suggesting that future development be directed to the Town Center raises a host of questions.

The Comment posed these to Ritchie. He wrote back, “I’m happy with my statement as is. Nothing more to add at this point. I’ll be working with my fellow council members and their positions to find compromise and a path forward.” Continue reading “Second Sammamish council member says focus growth in Town Center, dodges property rights issues”

Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council

By Scott Hamilton, Editor

Editor’s Note: This column was drafted the week before last. The plan was to publish once the final traffic concurrency and building moratorium votes were taken, anticipated in November. But this weekend, Council Member Pam Stuart launched a highly personal, accusatory attack on Mayor Christie Malchow on Facebook. Stuart brought into the attack indirect reference to Malchow’s children, a political verboten that goes to the presidency of the United states. Thus, I made the decision to publish this column today.

The Sammamish city council badly needs an intervention. Residents have serious cause for concern with the dysfunctional, bitterly split ruling body.

The divisions and in-fighting are the worst seen since before incorporation.

Initially, the council split into two factions: The “new V-3” (Ramiro Valderrama, Jason Ritchie and Pam Stuart, odd bedfellows if there ever were any) and the “M-4” (Christie Malchow, Tom Hornish, Chris Ross and Karen Moran).

Ritchie coined the terms. (The old V-3 were Valderrama, Malchow and Hornish. The latter two split with Valderrama over his 180 degree flip-flops on environmental and development issues and his persistent distortion of facts and outright falsehoods he makes to advance his positions.)

For a while, even this split broke down. It became 2-2-3. Malchow and Hornish remained staunch allies. Moran and Ross became unpredictable votes, flip-flopping on the same issue between the M-2 and the V-3. The V-3 by-and-large remain a solid voting bloc.

More recently, the 4-3 split reemerged. The infighting is worse than ever. It’s not clear that it won’t get worse. Continue reading “Intervention badly needed for Sammamish city council”

Stuart supported upzoning, with conditions, she told Master Builders Assn.

Sammamish Council Member Pam Stuart told the Master Builders Assn. before the 2017 city council election that she supported upzoning for higher density.

Sammamish Council Member Pam Stuart

In a questionnaire the MBA sent to candidates throughout the region, Stuart—who was making her first run for political office—said she would not “advocate” for upzoning, however.

The retrospective is relevant today because Stuart last week claimed high density development is environmentally friendly. Her position fails to take into account the realities of land use zoning, downzoning, “takings” and political opposition.

The MBA ultimately supported Stuart in her election. This support became a point of contention with Stuart’s opponent, John Robinson, in the council race last year. Continue reading “Stuart supported upzoning, with conditions, she told Master Builders Assn.”