Sammamish extends building moratorium

The Sammamish City Council extended the building moratorium to allow staff and the council to complete a revised traffic concurrency plan by July. The Town Center was not exempted.

The vote was 7-0.

Council member Jason Ritchie said STCA, a developer of the Town Center, “will be fine either way.”

But he expressed concern about the individual homeowners being prevented from building.

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Why I don’t support the Town Center exemption from moratorium

Debbie Treen

By Debbie Treen

Guest Contributor

I want to offer a counterpoint to Jason Ritchie’s reasons for exempting the Town Center from the current development moratorium. His reasons for lifting the moratorium are that the City will hold the developers accountable, the Town Center saves the environment, residents are getting the best deal, the Town Center accommodates growth, and that he will work to be sure growth is responsible.

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Top issues for Sammamish city council in 2018

Four new members of the Sammamish City Council are sworn in tonight. The mayor for the next two years and deputy mayor for the next year will also be selected.

This new Council has a plethora of thorny issues facing it this year. Many of them come with hefty price tags that could mean a need to raise new taxes, despite universal opposition to any in a county where tax fatigue has set in.

Top issues

Except for the declared No. 1 priority, traffic, there’s no attempt to prioritize these issues; they are listed in alphabetical order.

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Valderrama cites fake facts in Town Center moratorium flip-flop

Ramiro Valderrama

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama, citing what turns out to be a series of unsubstantiated claims, executed a pirouette on his previous vote supporting a moratorium including the Town Center—and went splat.

The Town Center was exempted from the moratorium at the Nov. 21 meeting by a 4-3 vote, with Valderrama, Mayor Bob Keller and Council Members Don Gerend and Kathy Huckabay voting to lift it.

Valderrama said his vote always was about storm water management for the Town Center. In voting to exempt the Town Center, Valderrama claimed the emergency moratorium was not about traffic concurrency.

This simply wasn’t true.

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“City Hall will not be the same;” reactions to the emergency building moratorium in Sammamish

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.

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Sammamish, in surprise move, adopts a building moratorium to deal with traffic concurrency

Deputy Mayor Christie Malchow

The Sammamish City Council, in a surprise move, unanimously adopted a building moratorium for six months to make time to sort out the traffic concurrency problems that emerged in June.

The item was not on the agenda. Deputy Mayor Christie Malchow introduced the ordinance declaring an emergency to adopt the moratorium. Member Tom Odell seconded.

She said it became clear in a study session Monday night and in previous meetings that staff process was “trumping” policy.

Underlying assumptions in Table T-8 in the Comprehensive Plan can’t be addressed until the next update in a year. T-8 details traffic counts and other data.

Continue reading “Sammamish, in surprise move, adopts a building moratorium to deal with traffic concurrency”