Outraged, shocked, surprised about Sammamish cooking the books on concurrency? I’m not.

  • The City Council meeting tonight at 6:30p will undoubtedly discuss the Mullor Study. The study may be accessed here.

Commentary

By Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

The news yesterday that Sammamish has been using outdated traffic counts, mostly from 2012 but some from 2014 and none from 2016, to run its traffic concurrency tests for development applications is fundamentally cooking the books to approve projects.

I should be outraged, but I’m not.

I should be shocked, but I’m not.

I’m not even surprised.

It just goes to show you how far our city government and City Council declined over the years to become a mini-King County.

I reached this conclusion as far back as 2009. That was 10 years after Sammamish incorporated.

Continue reading “Outraged, shocked, surprised about Sammamish cooking the books on concurrency? I’m not.”

City to discuss moratorium prospect tomorrow

Kamp Property
The Kamp property at 228th Ave. SE and SE 20th shortly after clearing and grading was completed. A building moratorium wouldn’t have stopped this project. It would have been delayed. It was vested to rules and entitled to build to those existing at the time any moratorium might have been adopted. Potential new, more restrictive rules wouldn’t apply.

The Sammamish City Council will discuss the prospect for a building moratorium tomorrow at its meeting beginning at 6:30 pm.

After the topic first came up a week ago, a reader of The Comment posted the following in response:

  • We must come up with viable solutions to stop this madness! Once a property is developed, IT IS PERMANENT! Let’s promulgate zoning laws and rules that make sense in terms of safety, footprint, aesthetics, environmental and erosional impact, infrastructure funding such as for schools, roads, etc. After which, let’s have a qualified, committed, and properly-staffed government to enforce the wish of the PEOPLE! This should not become a race between property owners and developers cashing in, versus government’s unpreparedness to manage it, in accordance with the wish of the people!

In advance of the meeting tomorrow, a little review might be worthwhile as members of the public prepare to comment.

Continue reading “City to discuss moratorium prospect tomorrow”

Greenwashing, Part 2: Sammamish never demanded EIS from developers

  1. Greenwashing (a compound word modeled on “whitewash”), or “green sheen,” is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.–Wikipedia.

Sammamish staff has never required an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) from a developer when reviewing a project, it was revealed October 7 at the only candidates’ forum held for the City Council election November 3.

Nor, as far as Sammamish Comment can determine, has staff ever issued a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) for a project until the current Conner-Jarvis project, which is under citizen appeal; it’s only otherwise issued a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) in 15 years of projects.

For those not versed in land use regulations and reviews, this alphabet soup of letters is confusing and, on its face, meaningless.

Here’s what these mean, why they are important to development in Sammamish, why the staff practices lie at the root of what citizens are seeing today as trees come down and controversies emerge over protection of wetlands, streams, lakes and Kokanee salmon and why the responsibility ultimately flows back to the City Council.

Continue reading “Greenwashing, Part 2: Sammamish never demanded EIS from developers”

Variances-R-Us, Part 2: City engineers admitted staff routinely ignored code, relied on unwritten policies

The City Council adopted the [Public Works Standards] by ordinance…. Thus, the PWS has the force of regulation.

When it adopted the PWS, the City Council gave to the Public Works director the authority to administratively amend them…. The record of this hearing does not contain any evidence that the Public Works Director has ever formally exercised that authority: the PWS read today just as when they were adopted in 2000, except for changes that were brought about by the Council’s 2005 adoption…changes which the City Engineer testified are routinely ignored by Public Works and which do not to this day appear in the publicly available version of the PWS. Public Works’ unwritten policies are also not publicly available. (Emphasis added.)

This remarkable section is part of the Sammamish Hearing Examiner report of an appeal of the Kampp Property project by the Pine Hills Homeowners Association.

A City official testified Staff routinely ignores city code, and relies on an unwritten policy. (Memo to lawyers: “arbitrary and capricious” rings a bell here.)

This damning admission underscores the cavalier approach to approving developments that citizens have been complaining about for years.

Continue reading “Variances-R-Us, Part 2: City engineers admitted staff routinely ignored code, relied on unwritten policies”