After four years of battle, in which city council was able to temporarily put control on over development, a one-two punch by former mayor Don Gerend and city staff ended the fight.
As of July, development in Sammamish can continue uninterrupted, regardless of inadequate infrastructure.
The concurrency measure known as Volume over Capacity, or V/C, that gave City Council a tool to prohibit development that exceeds the ability of infrastructure to handle it, is gone and so was a development moratorium that has been in place in hopes of restoring it.
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.
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.
Ritchie calls council members who oppose the Town Center racists, classists, white privilege.
Charges manipulation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
Casts some opponents to Town Center as standing with Trump against fairness and equity.
Unrelated, King County initiates an inquiry into Ritchie’s residence status over his voter’s eligibility and whether he vacated office.
The controversy over the Town Center development project took a new turn with Council Member Jason Ritchie invoking racism and white privilege language against some City Council majority members. He did not name names.
Ritchie posted his message on his campaign Facebook page, which Council Member Pam Stuart supported by giving it a “like.”
The Sammamish Chamber of Commerce vowed to defy the City Council and proceed with the annual Farmers Market despite the city cancelling all its sponsored public events this year due to the Coronavirus crisis.
The Chamber has managed the Market under contract to the City since 2009. The City also partially funds the Market.
But the director of the Market, Deborah Sogge, claims the Market is a Chamber event despite a clear City contract and five-figure funding from the City budget—taxpayer dollars.
The Market has been held in City Plaza since inception.
Tomorrow, Friday, March 6, at 9am in Sammamish Council Chambers, the Growth Management Hearing Board of Central Puget Sound will hold a hearing on the merits in the Don Gerend v. City of Sammamish case over the city’s new concurrency rules.
The board granted the Sammamish Comment’s request to record and broadcast the hearing to the public. The City of Sammamish agreed to broadcast it live on Channel 21 starting at 9am. A recording of it will be available on the City’s YouTube Channel.