BREAKING NEWS: City denies Town Center STCA Phase 1 application for 348 homes

By Miki Mullor
Editor

The City of Sammamish Friday denied the permit application submitted by STCA LLC, the larget landowner in the Town Center.

The year-long review is a major blow to STCA and development of the central core of the city. The city staff rejected the application for 300 apartments and 48 townhomes over a multitude of issues. The Community Development Department said the application failed to comply with the development code, ignored environmental requirements and key design elements of the Town Center Plan.

The department had communicated with STCA repeatedly to correct deficiencies, extending the review period several times. STCA still failed to meet requirements, the city said in its decision.

A second STCA application, for 44 homes adjacently, also suffers similar deficiencies, however, STCA was granted 60 days to remedy it. 

This is the same project that was the subject of a controversial approval of a concurrency certificate in August 2019

The denial is subject to appeal to the Hearing Examiner. It also won’t prevent STCA from submitting a new redesign of the project in the future but it is not clear whether STCA can reuse its 2019 concurrency certificate. 

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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

Ace Hardware signs LOI for Sammamish Town Center: STCA

Ace Hardware signed a Letter of Intent to be one of the anchor tenants of a new portion of the Sammamish Town Center, developer STCA announced today at the Sammamish Chamber of Commerce lunch.

STCA rendering of its Sammamish Town Center project.

Matt Samwick of the company said details must be negotiated; no timeline has been set for a firm contract.

Samwick told Sammamish Comment after the lunch that other companies are lined up as anchor tenants, but no announcement is imminent.

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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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As drivers sit in traffic, Sammamish ponders up-zoning of Town Center

Even as Sammamish residents scream over traffic congestion, exacerbated over what proved to be fraudulent implementation of a traffic concurrency model intended to be sure the roads can handle growth, efforts are underway to sharply up-size the Town Center.

The Town Center was approved to have 600,000sf of commercial/retail/office space and 2,000 residential units. Transfer Development Rights (TDRs) already boosted the residential units a few hundred above the 2,000.

The Environmental Impact Study (EIS) studied impacts up to 700,000sf and 3,000 units. Anything above this would require a Supplement EIS, Kamuron Gurol, the Community Development Director, said at the time.

The development company, STCA, is working with staff to propose hiking the Town Center by as much as 250,000sf and up to 1,500 more residential units.

STCA is currently developing the Town Center west of 228th Ave.

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