I-976 $30 car tabs win in Sammamish; Council precinct analysis

Sammamish voters approved I-976, the $30 car tab fee, by a margin of 54%-46% in election night precinct tabluations.

King County Elections released the Nov. 5 election night precinct-by-precinct votes on Nov. 8. The Election Night percentages typically vary from the final tally by no more than 1%-2%. Between Tuesday and Friday, percentages in the city council races varied by fractions of a percent.

Sound Transit’s funding scheme, relying heavily on car tab fees, was the prime target of Tim Eyman’s initiative. Sound Transit car tab fees use an inflated, outdated car valuation schedule that results in hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars more in fees than using a Kelly Blue Book value.

The Sammamish voters in the 5th Legislative District—the greater Klahanie area—approved the $30 tab fee by the narrow margin of 50.5% to 49.5%. The 5th is closest to the Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride, where Sound Transit provides frequent service.

The Sammamish voters in the 41st Legislative District—basically the southern half of the city south of SE 8th St.—approved I-976 by a 55.8%-44.2% vote.

The Sammamish voters in the 45th Legislative District—north of SE 8th—approved I-975 53%-47%.

Final results may alter these percentages slightly.

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How the Town Center plan happened

By Scott Hamilton

Commentary

Aug. 22, 2019: There is a lack of knowledge about how the Sammamish Town Center Plan unfolded and what it is today.

Here is how it happened.

Sammamish became a city in 1999. One of the first orders of business was to create the Comprehensive Plan. The first city council appointed 17 citizens to what was called the Planning Advisory Board (PAB) to draft a plan.

The PAB had a cross-section of Sammamish residents: environmentalists, developers, real estate agents, business people and people simply interested in serving. I was on the PAB.

The PAB worked over 18 months on all elements except one: the area that became the Town Center.

The PAB was directed by that first city council to wrap up its work just as we got to the center of town. Whereas nearly all new cities took three years to complete its first Comp Plan, that city council and the city manager at the time, Ben Yazici, wanted it done in record time.

The center of town was set aside for its own process—which took from 2001 to the end of 2009.

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More bus service preferred over park & ride

By Tom Odell

A group of about half a dozen Sound Transit (ST) representatives were told Thursday by Sammamish citizens that they want more service in addition  to a new, proposed park and ride at the north end of the city.

ST held a public comment meeting at Sammamish City Hall to discuss options for sites for the new park and ride facility to be located in the northern part of Sammamish.

As a part of the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) bond package approved by voters in the 2016 election, Sammamish voters were promised a 200-car park-and-ride facility that was to be located somewhere in the northern portion of the city.  The objective would be to have the facility completed in 2024, concurrently with the extension of ST light rail service to Redmond.  Cost of our P&R is estimated (and budgeted) to be $23m (2018 dollars).  It would have a 200 car capacity (by comparison, the Pine Lake P&R is 260 cars).  Both single level as well as multi-story structured options were given initial consideration.

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Residents protest 42nd St barricade removal

  • Safety cited opposing barricade removal
  • Sound Transit outlines Sammamish Park and Ride
  • Intra-Sammamish transit study pushed
  • Taxes needed for 11 more police officers

By Paul Stickney

The 42nd St. barricade between the Timber Ridge and Hidden Park neighborhoods has been a source of controversy for years. Safety issues are cited against removing the barricade.

Nearly two dozen residents from the Timberline and Hidden Ridge subdivisions protested Tuesday over the possibility that Sammamish might consider removing the 42nd St. barricade, a controversial idea that previous city councils rejected.

The barricade has safety and design issues that residents say make removing it dangerous.

City officials previously considered it as a way to improve connectivity and traffic flow in the far northwest corner of the city and to relieve traffic pressure on SR202 from Sahalee Way.

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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

First candidates emerge for City Council, 45th State Senate seats

City_of_SammamishWe’re only two months into 2017 and already some names are emerging for the November 7 off-year election.

City and County council races occur this year. A special election for the 45th State Senate seat, which includes the north end of Sammamish roughly along a line of SE 8th St., will also be on the ballot.

Sammamish Comment gave a full rundown of the local elections in January. In Sammamish, two City Council Members upended the dynamics of the election when they announced at the Council retreat in January that they would not run for reelection. First-term Council Member Bob Keller and Mayor Don Gerend, who has been on the Council since the first election in 1999, said they will retire at the end of this year.

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“Voters have forgiven Sound Transit”

Voters have forgiven us for past troubles:” Sound Transit CEO. That’s the headline of a story on MyNorthwest.com.

The CEO is reacting to the latest vote in favor of Sound Transit 3, the $54bn project, $27bn tax plan over the next 25 years.

The CEO needs to take another look.

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