Comprehensive Plan is for the people, by the people
December 12, 2013
People of Sammamish, you’re sending mixed messages.
First, you say you want more movie theaters, restaurants and opportunities for entertainment. Then, you say you want to preserve trees and habitat for wildlife.
You can’t have both as your top priority, so think hard about which is more important.
The city is reviewing its Comprehensive Plan, the document that underlies virtually everything that happens at the city level.
Yes, it sounds boring, but get past that. It’s actually intriguing.
The Comprehensive Plan is the 30,000-foot view – and sometimes also the much closer-up view – of things like land use, parks, roads, utilities and public services. The vast majority of what the city does is guided by this single (multi-volume) document.
Movie theaters versus trees is just one example, albeit a simplistic one, of the sort of things that can be influenced by the Comprehensive Plan.
The plan won’t make such a specific ruling, but changes to the plan could call for stricter tree preservation guidelines, which, in turn could make development more difficult.
More difficult development might mean fewer houses, which many residents would likely cheer, but could also make it more difficult for new businesses.
For everyone who likes to complain about all the new development, the Comp Plan update is an opportunity to do something about it.
Realistically, there won’t be any changes that will simply stop development in Sammamish forevermore. But there could be ways to change regulations that might make new developments more palatable.
This is your chance to get involved.
City officials have already been making greater efforts at outreach than happens in most other localities, including setting up booths at the farmer’s market and braving the horrors of Nightmare at Beaver Lake, all to solicit your input.
But don’t force them to come and beg for an opinion. The Planning Commission will be studying the Comprehensive Plan for the next year, and then it goes to the City Council. But now is the time to bring up your good ideas, so they have a chance to be studied.
Get involved now, and help shape Sammamish for the next 20 years. Visit www.sammamish.us and follow the link on the left to get started.