Lake Trail issues remain misunderstood; let’s clear them up

Commentary

Reading comments on this blog about the latest East Lake Sammamish Trail events, prompted by a mass email campaign generated by the Cascade Bicycle Club, displays a real lack of understanding about the issues involved.

The emails created by the Club don’t surprise me: all they care about is bicycling and Sammamish Mapnothing else. Some of their members don’t even follow the Rules of the Road while biking on streets, let alone respect the unique issues involved in developing the ELST. Their self-centered myopia is long-standing.

The Club strikes me as particularly hypocritical because most of the time, the bicyclists prefer the streets and roads to the trails.

But the comments from some of those who live in Sammamish and who otherwise are concerned about local development surprise me. Many use the ELST and should see first hand some of the issues involved.

Let’s look at these unique issues.

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Lake Trail overhangs Sammamish politics for 20 years

  • This is about 10 pages when printed.

City_of_SammamishJune 5, 2016: Development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail has been an overhang of Sammamish politics for 20 years.

It was a dominate factor in the first City Council race 1999 and surfaced again in 2001. It became a key issue in the 2003 election, with a flood of “outside” money flowing to candidates favoring the Trail.

The issue surfaced periodically in subsequent elections. It wasn’t until 2015 that once more it became a key election issue, as Trail residents rallied behind three candidates to win bitterly contested races. For the first time, they helped elect a resident who lives along the Trail.

And the issue hasn’t subsided, either.

In April, three Council Members voted to undercut the City’s own Hearing Examiner and side with King County, developer of the Trail, on a jurisdictional issue in an appeal before the State Shoreline Hearings Board.

This is the story behind the 20-year battle of the ELST.

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Breaking news: Examiner denies SHO appeal on ELST; Gives split decision on County appeal

The Sammamish Hearing Examiner denied the appeal by the Sammamish Homeowners over the City’s granting of a permit for development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The Examiner granted some of the appeal issues filed by King County over a host of conditions the City set, but denied others. Still others were settled in negotiations between the City and the County, the most important providing for the preservation of far more trees than the County originally was proposing.

A third homeowners’ appeal was settled between the County and the appellants.

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How Sammamish veterans lost their City Council races

  • Note: This is 11 pages when printed.
Nov 4 results

Click on image to enlarge.

How did two veterans of Sammamish public service lose their bids for election to the City Council in the Nov. 3 election to two unknown newcomers to the City?

They lost through a combination of miscalculation, arrogance, the split of traditional coalitions, angry opposition, tenacious newcomers and a one-term Council Member who wasn’t about to cower in the face of determined opposition.

They also had an unwitting helping hand from their own Deputy Mayor, whose obsessions galvanized the opposition to upset her allies.

This is the inside story of how Mayor Tom Vance lost to two-year resident Tom Hornish and how former Mayor and Council Member Mark Cross lost a comeback bid to a feisty young Mom in tennis shoes, Christie Malchow, invoking remembrances of another tennis shoe Mom campaign in Washington long before Malchow moved here.

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Sammamish acknowledges County appeal on Lake Trail, ignores citizens’ appeals in statement

Sammamish issued this statement at 5pm Friday, after Sammamish Comment reported on Thursday three appeals had been filed against its permit issued to King County for development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

City Manager Ben Yacizi didn’t mention two appeals by others, a resident along the trail, and one by Sammamish Home Owners and two residents.

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