Aug. 19. 2019: Town Center developer STCA last week received two traffic concurrency certificates that clear the way for 419 new homes and 82,000 square feet of retail space on the southeast corner of SE4th and 222nd Ave. SE.
Three members of the council, staff and STCA believed its Town Center project would not pass concurrency testing as a result of the new concurrency standard adopted earlier this year by a split City Council. Indeed, unofficial test runs over nine months indicated this was the case.
Yet, last week, city staff ran an official test and STCA Phase I passed concurrency, with no improvements to the roads.
How was this possible?
This article unpacks and explains the details behind the approval and raises serious questions. It is unusually long and reads best on a desktop.
Mayor Christie Malchow and Deputy Mayor Karen Moran called a Special Council Meeting to discuss the issues with staff.
The Special Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug 20, at 4pm at City Hall.
The City of Sammamish announced today that two STCA projects for the Town Center development have passed their concurrency tests and that Certificates of Concurrency have been issued for 419 homes and 82,000 sq/ft of commercial space.
As we reported, until recently, STCA Phase I was deemed to fail concurrency. On May 23, Council Members Pam Stuart, Jason Ritchie and Ramiro Valderrama unsuccessfully moved to exclude the Town Center area, and with it STCA, from the concurrency failure on Sahalee way.
July 30, 2019: Former Mayor Don Gerend has remained silent over his ownership or vested interest in property since filing a petition last week seeking to overturn Sammamish’s revise traffic concurrency ordinance, adopted two months ago.
Gerend, who served with distinction on the city council for 19 years, spoke as a citizen opposing the new concurrency standard as too restrictive. The petition was filed with the Growth Management Hearings Board.
The language in the petition outlining his Standing to file it raised pointed questions in social media and in reader comments in Sammamish Comment about whether he has a financial interest in the Sammamish Town Center, development of which currently is the only project unable to meet concurrency on Sahalee Way. Sahalee Way is the road for which a “volume-to-capacity” ratio of 1.1 was adopted.
July 29, 2019: The Sahalee Way project Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama now advocates approving is the same ones he labeled “lipstick on a pig” and “lipstick on a hippo” in January 2017.
Valderrama opposed the 2015 plan, comparing with a proposed set of projects for East Lake Sammamish Parkway in 2011 that he labeled the “most wasteful project in the city’s history.”
In posts on Facebook last week, Valderrama falsely claimed he supported the Sahalee Way project but only after a Transportation Management Plan was prepared.