Breaking News: Karen McKnight announces candidacy for city council

By Miki Mullor
Editor

Sammamish Chamber of Commerce President Karen McKnight announced candidacy for Sammamish city council, a filing with the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) reveals.

Karen McKnight

According to her LinkedIn profile, McKnight is a Managing Broker at Keller Williams Eastside and a top producing, award winning realtor at Keller Williams Realty, Windermere Real Estate and the Heller Company.

Continue reading “Breaking News: Karen McKnight announces candidacy for city council”

Sammamish fire station hours reduced, fire engine removed

By Scott Hamilton

Staffed hours at Sammamish Fire Station 81 on 212th Ave. near SE 20th St. were reduced by half and the fire engine removed Jan. 1.

In what appears to be a series of communications failures, there was no notice to city residents in the service area.

Station 81’s service area is the light green color with 284 incidents. All but 80 occurred during the 8:30am-8:30pm period. The fire engine has been retired and an aid car (ambulance) now is staffed only during this 12 hour period instead of 24 hours. Source: Eastside Fire & Rescue.

Station 81’s service are is the western part of Sammamish from roughly just west of 228th Ave. SE to Thompson Hill Road on the north and Snake Hill Road on the south. The Station is located on 212th Ave. SE a half a block south of SE 20th St.

Continue reading “Sammamish fire station hours reduced, fire engine removed”

A Split City Council Votes to Oppose Sen. Palumbo’s “Minimum Density” Bill

Miki Mullor
Editor

In a 4/3 split vote, Sammamish City Council voted to officially oppose Sen. Palumbo’s bill to mandate upzoning in areas within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).   

Council member Chris Ross said:

“I am very strongly against ceding control over our community… to allow the state to take over our planning and treating an urban rural suburb [Sammamish] the same as core urban city like Seattle is completely irresponsible”.

Continue reading “A Split City Council Votes to Oppose Sen. Palumbo’s “Minimum Density” Bill”

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”

In a historic vote, Sammamish City Council takes a stand on over-development

By Miki Mullor

Analysis

On Tuesday night, the Sammamish City Council drew a line in the sand on over-development, forcing a potential pause on development until a much needed public infrastructure is built.  

A split council voted on an esoteric traffic engineering parameter that decides what is the accepted level of traffic congestion the city is willing to tolerate.  

In doing so, the council have possibly made Sammamish the first jurisdiction in the Puget Sound to be implementing the Growth Management Act (GMA) the way it was originally intended to – to protect the citizens’ quality of life.

Continue reading “In a historic vote, Sammamish City Council takes a stand on over-development”

Park & Ride symbolic solution; more bus service is what’s needed

By Scott Hamilton

As Sammamish drivers try to cope with congestion in the city, increasing transit service is often suggested as one solution.

Proponents of the developer STCA plans for the Town Center have, in part, pointed to the possibility of including a park and ride (PNR) in the plans as a reason to lift the building moratorium and let STCA file its applications for development.

Without getting into the pros and cons of the overall STCA plan for the Town Center, inclusion of the PNR at this point is more symbolic than substance. Here’s why. Continue reading “Park & Ride symbolic solution; more bus service is what’s needed”

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”