A tsunami in Sammamish – unless we act

Guest Op-Ed 
By Kent Treen 
Sammamish City Council Member  

Kent Treen

The debate about the negative impacts of development mostly focuses on what we all see and experience, like the pain of traffic, overcrowded schools, and the loss of trees and wildlife. But development triggers a more powerful force, that unless properly mitigated, can be the most destructive of all: stormwater.   

When development does not handle its stormwater properly, its runoff will cause permanent damage to our creeks, our endangered kokanee salmon, our drinking water, our lakes and to our neighbors living downhill (just ask the residents in the Tamarack neighborhood). 

To my shock and disbelief, I learned recently that in 2013 the City Council relaxed the strict storm water regulations that were in place for the Town Center development. 


As the public record shows, they put the financial interests of development in the Town Center ahead of our environment, explicitly for the developers’ financial gain.

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Valderrama now supports Sahalee Way project he once called lipstick on a hippo

By Scott Hamilton


July 29, 2019: The Sahalee Way project Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama now advocates approving is the same ones he labeled “lipstick on a pig” and “lipstick on a hippo” in January 2017.

Ramiro Valderrama

Valderrama opposed the 2015 plan, comparing with a proposed set of projects for East Lake Sammamish Parkway in 2011 that he labeled the “most wasteful project in the city’s history.”

In posts on Facebook last week, Valderrama falsely claimed he supported the Sahalee Way project but only after a Transportation Management Plan was prepared.

Valderrama made his remarks on a Facebook thread commenting about the petition filed by former Mayor Don Gerend seeking to overturn a traffic concurrency adopted two months ago.

Development of the next phase of the Sammamish Town Center cannot pass the concurrency standard on Sahalee Way.

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Three weeks to city council candidate filing date

It’s three weeks to the first filing date May 12 for the August primary for local elections. So far, there are only two declared candidates for three Sammamish City Council seats up for election this year.

Only one of the three incumbents announced election plans; two others haven’t decided if they will seek reelection.

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Sammamish Council retreat to be held in Sammamish for first time

The annual Sammamish City Council will be held in Sammamish for the first time in the City’s history.

The retreat, which will be Jan. 18-20 at the Plateau Club, is where the City Council and staff set policy for the year and talk about long-term objectives.

The 2017 retreat was webcast for the first time; it’s not been announced if the 2018 retreat will be webcast.

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Moratorium runs into stiff opposition in Sammamish, especially for Town Center

Sammamish Comment LogoA vast majority of resident speaking before the Sammamish City Council Tuesday opposed the possibility of imposition of a building moratorium, particularly for the Town Center.

Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama surprised the Council last week by suggesting a 60-day study period to decide whether a moratorium should be adopted.

Opposition was particularly focused on the prospect of halting development of the Town Center. The plan for the TC evolved over 10 years. Development was then delayed by the Great Recession of 2008 and began only in 2015.

Much of the land is already under development, but there are still large swaths that have yet to reach the permit application stage.

A moratorium would threaten a $4m federal grant to reconstruct SE 4th Street and halt the addition of goods and services.

Ed Zercher, a property owner in the Town Center who was involved as a stakeholder throughout the planning process, argued in favor of continued development.

“I find it rather alarming,” he said of the prospective moratorium. “There was very thoughtful planning of the Town Center. There was a very dedicated planning commission that spent thousands of hours planning. The best way to keep Sammamish a bedroom community is to centralize residential development instead of residential sprawl. The Town Center does this. The Town Center has been more than a decade in the process.

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