- Variety of public works projects need King County cooperation and support.
- Klahanie annexation a factor.
- East Lake Sammamish Trail development a factor.
- City doesn’t know the value of its Staff time devoted to the East Lake Sammamish Trail-King County issues.
During the disputes early this year over King County’s development of the East Lake Sammamish Trail North End (Section 1) and proposed design of the far South End (Section 2A), many urged the City to take a firm hand with the County.
Some, including at one point City Council Member Tom Odell, urged the City to issue a Stop Work Order on the North End while the City reviewed problems that developed as the County destroyed “significant” trees (ie, good quality, mature trees), young trees and scrub trees; damaged sewage lines, while denying responsibility; building a trail that effectively denied access by some homeowners to their own garages; and other issues that came up.
Sammamish Comment detailed these problems last January in an 18-page investigative report.
At the same time, the County was designing Section 2A, that part of the trail from the 7-11 south to the Issaquah City Limits. Residents along the trail, interested parties and the City submitted comments to the County. When the 60% design was issued, these parties were enraged to see that the County had largely ignored the comments. The City was particularly unhappy that none of its comments were addressed.
As the permitting agency, the City held power over the County. Officials threatened to withhold permits for the Southern sections 2A and 2B (which is still to come). Holding up permits would threaten the loss of federal funding.
But the City was reluctant to issue a Stop Work Order on the North End, terminate an interlocal agreement with the County governing the Trail, or take other measures, because “We need King County.”
Officials at the time wouldn’t detail what this meant.
What was meant became clear with the July 7 City Council meeting and subsequent events. Officials were reluctant to take a firmer hand over the Trail because: