Letters to the Editor — Aug. 27, 2015

August 25, 2015

All council members need to help trailside residents

As a Sammamish resident living along the East Lake Sammamish Trail, I have followed the actions of the Sammamish City Council very closely.

In very obvious retrospect, it is apparent now that only Ramiro Valderrama and Nancy Whitten didn’t drink the goodwill Kool-Aid King County was serving. The façade of interest in and concern for resident inputs covering tree removal, privacy intrusion and storm water runoff built by Kathy Huckabay and Tom Vance crumbled under the Permit Appeal filed by King County in July. It was always just a farce.

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Habit for Humanity launches multifamily project in Sammamish

August 20, 2015

NEW — 4:13 p.m. Aug. 20, 2015

The project has been in the works since 2011, said Deputy City Manager Lyman Howard.

But with a ceremonial groundbreaking last month and initial grading and land moving permits in hand, Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County is set to proceed with plans for 10 cottages on 228th Avenue Southeast near Southeast 20th Street.

“We’re excited,” Howard said, adding the 228th corridor should prove an excellent spot for families, with schools, shopping and other amenities nearby. Howard added he expects the development will be very pedestrian friendly. Read more

Traffic and safety are primary concerns as Klahanie annexation moves forward

August 17, 2015

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 2015

Traffic and safety.

Those clearly are going to be two big topics as the new Klahanie Transition Committee continues its discussions.

The 16-member committee, which was created in July by the Sammamish City Council, was formed to help Sammamish officials learn what problems may await them as the city tackles the annexation of the Klahanie area.

The Klahanie annexation will add about two square miles and approximately 11,000 residents to Sammamish on Jan. 1, 2016. Read more

To the Editor — Aug. 13, 2015

August 12, 2015

NEW — 12:10 p.m. Aug. 12, 2015

Go back to more earth-friendly landscaping

In the past week, I’ve been disturbed three times by the sound of gas-powered leaf blowers in my Sammamish neighborhood. The first two were from landscaping companies hired by my neighbors, and the third was apparently hired by the city or the homeowners association to clean the streets.

These blowers contribute to both avoidable noise and air pollution. The landscapers blow the debris off walks and driveways, and some of it into the streets. The neighborhood maintenance workers blow it back off the street into the yards and driveways.

What is not understood is how much of the airborne dust migrates onto our cars, into our homes and into our lungs. The gas motors do not have pollution controls, and the hydrocarbon emissions are worse than a full-sized car. Read more

Increased parking fines may or may not be having desired effect

August 7, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 7, 2015

In February, at the urging of Police Chief Nate Elledge, the Sammamish City Council voted unanimously to raise from $20 to $71 the fine for certain parking violations in the city.

Elledge told the council he was particularly worried about parking violations that created hazards of one kind or another.

One example that came up numerous times during discussions on the increased fines was persons who park on sidewalks around the city.

Sammamish contracts with King County for its police service. According to numbers provided by the King County Sheriff’s Office, between February and June, Sammamish officers wrote two tickets for people parking on sidewalks. Resident and local contractor Stan Gunno took issue with that number. Read more

To the Editor — Aug. 6, 2015

August 5, 2015

NEW — 3:23 p.m. Aug. 5, 2015

Growth needs to be more thoughtful

Congratulations to Wally Pereyra and Ilene Stahl, of the Friends of Pine Lake, for appealing the ruling that gave the Buchan Co. the ability to build on restricted land and build a bridge over Ebright Creek. Preserving the environment is a noble cause, and as you drive or walk around Sammamish you can plainly see that the builders have no idea what they are doing to our city and our quality of life.

Thirty homes here, 120 homes there, 20 someplace else. It just goes on and on, with no end in sight. The traffic is horrible already, the schools are bulging at the seams, and yet we just keep adding to the population on the plateau.

As a 37-year resident of Sammamish (formerly Issaquah before incorporation), I am thoroughly disgusted and hopeful that somehow this unbridled pattern of growth will end soon before we are all choked out and all the trees and open spaces are gone. Read more

Hefty fines highlight new tree-retention plan

July 31, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. July 31, 2015

Cutting down the wrong tree could cost you thousands of dollars if the Sammamish City Council adopts new tree-retention rules outlined at a July 21 meeting.

The long-awaited proposal was put together over a period of months by the city Planning Commission, subject to council approval. While the plan contains numerous provisions, the proposed fines for violators might get the most attention.

Property owners who remove or allow the removal of protected trees could face penalties of $1,500 per inch of diameter of tree removed.

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Council OKs initiative and referendum rights for Sammamish residents

July 30, 2015

NEW — 2 p.m. July 30, 2015

The Sammamish City Council took the final step July 21 in handing residents the powers of initiatives and referenda.

In a vote that reflected previous council actions on the issue, the initiative and referendum question passed 5-1, with one member absent. Deputy Mayor Kathy Huckabay cast the lone negative vote.

Huckabay also cast a vote against the issue earlier this month, joined by Councilman Tom Odell, who was absent for the final vote.

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City won’t pass comp plan until months after state deadline

July 30, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. July 30, 2015

The amended plan may have been due in Olympia by June 30, but the Sammamish City Council will not pass a required update of the city’s Comprehensive Plan at least until it returns from summer break in September.

At their last meeting before that break, on July 21, legislators said they just received a copy of the updated plan the day before. Several council members said they had not had time to review the document in any detail. The comments of Councilman Bob Keller seemed to sum up the thoughts of council members.

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City still trying to annex Duthie Hill area

July 29, 2015

NEW — 9:10 a.m. July 29, 2015

At least until recently, residents and officials alike referred to the small area off Southeast Duthie Hill Road as the “notch.”

The city is hoping to move away from that usage, said acting City Manager Lyman Howard in a report on the Duthie Hill area made July 20 to the Sammamish City Council.

The reason for ditching the notch designation, Howard said, is there are several unincorporated “notches” around King County. Howard said as the city continues its efforts to annex the local “notch,” officials hope to differentiate it from other notches.

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