City buys former Mars Hill Church for $6.1 million

March 25, 2015

Three community colleges have asked to have until Sept. 15 to complete a viability study that could lead to the opening of a community or vocational college in the former Mars Hill Church building.

With a letter of interest from the schools in hand, the Sammamish City Council acted unanimously March 17 to authorize City Manager Ben Yazici to purchase the vacant two-story building at 120 228th Ave. N.E. for $6.1 million.

The schools involved are Cascadia and Bellevue colleges, along with the Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

By Greg Farrar The former Mars Hill Church building, 120 228th Ave. N.E., has a new owner, the city of Sammamish.

By Greg Farrar
The former Mars Hill Church building, 120 228th Ave. N.E., has a new owner, the city of Sammamish.

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Answer on 42nd Street barricade may not be known until next year

March 25, 2015

A half-dozen or more people spoke at a recent Sammamish City Council meeting in favor of removing the barricade that cuts Northeast 42nd Street in two, but some city officials said a final resolution on whether the gate should stay or go probably won’t arrive until next year.

At their March 17 meeting, council members were somewhat split regarding when the city should take a hard look at the controversial barricade.

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King County promises compromise in East Lake Sammamish Trail plans

March 6, 2015

NEW — 3:36 p.m. March 6, 2015

Before a standing-room-only crowd in the Sammamish City Council chamber March 3, Kevin Brown, director of King County parks and recreation, reiterated a promise to include both city and resident ideas in a new design of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, a design to be released in the coming weeks.

City and county officials have been locking horns over the development of trail Section A, the last piece of the trail that borders Lake Sammamish and that is slated for transformation from a gravel pathway to a paved trail this summer.

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City, county claim progress over trail issues

March 3, 2015

While many city officials have been critical of King County’s ongoing efforts to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, city and county officials now say there is reason to believe the sides can reach some compromise.

Sammamish Mayor Tom Vance said he received a letter Feb. 27 from King County Executive Dow Constantine stating that the county had made a mistake in its dealings with the trail.

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Initiative, referendum campaign begins chasing votes

March 3, 2015

About 15 to 20 people showed up to a kick-off meeting for the campaign backing the initiative and referendum question on the April 28 ballot in Sammamish.

“The turnout wasn’t as large as I might have hoped for,” said resident Harry Shedd, who has carried the banner for initiative and referendum rights.

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Letters to the Editor — week of March 4, 2015

March 3, 2015

A Sammamish poem about government

Borrowing heavily from Clement Clarke Moore’s, “A Visit From St. Nicholas:”

‘Twas the night before a City Council meeting, when all through City Hall
Not a council member was stirring, not even the tall;
The council’s agenda was posted to the city website with care,
In hopes that citizens soon wouldn’t be there;

The citizens wrestled with worry all night in their beds;
While visions of an unaccountable City Council danced in their heads;
When out in the grass roots there arose such a clatter,
The public sprang from their beds to follow the chatter.

With the shine of computer screens on their eyes,
Some Citizens for Sammamish started to cry,
Their wondering eyes had found a solution,
It was the Washington State Constitution.

By using a provision from 1912,
The citizens knew everything would end well.
As the citizens turned off their computers and lights,
They knew they finally had their rights.

They whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
Now, Seattle! Now, Redmond! Now, East King County!
On, Issaquah! On, Bellevue! On, 85 percent of the citizens of King County!
The citizens of Sammamish wish to share in your bounty.

Like their neighbors in adjacent ‘principalities,”
Sammamish citizens had found a way to check council members’ responsibilities.
They shouted from their lawns’ manicured grass —
“Vote yes, on initiative/referendum, this needs to pass!”

Joe Lipinsky

Former chairman

Sammamish Planning Commission


City children should have one school district

Our family moved to the north end of the plateau in 1988 and we have lived here for most of the past 26 years. Our property was included in the original incorporation of the city of Sammamish and, though we felt uncomfortable with it at the time, we have grown to be very pleased with how the city has taken shape. One more big step remains to be taken, however, and that is the creation of a single school district for the city.

As it is today, children who live within the city limits of Sammamish attend school in one of three different public school districts. Yes, three. You may be surprised to know there is a pocket in the northeast corner of the city where students are bused to Fall City or Snoqualmie to attend school. There remains no good logic for Sammamish families to have the management of public education commingled with the Issaquah, Lake Washington and Snoqualmie Valley school districts.

I know of no other city in the Puget Sound region, or anywhere else in the state for that matter, where more than one public school district serves the city’s residents. I understand the history but a single school district for Sammamish is an idea whose time has come.

Chuck Samson



Northeast 42nd Street barricade review process

I am pleased to see that the Sammamish City Council voted to approve a motion to instruct the city manager to embark on a study regarding details about the removal of the Opti-Com barricade in the 19900 block of Northeast 42nd Street.  I hope that the city will engage a professional traffic engineer to study the issue and look at both sides of the issue.

Then, implement the Barricade Review Process established in 2010 or engage a hearing examiner to make a recommendation to the council for action. It really seems like the staff does not want to be in the middle of this contentious issue, so I strongly recommend that a hearing examiner be employed.

A hearing examiner will be objective in reviewing of the facts, an arbiter of the facts one might say. The city has stalled on making a decision on this barricade for years. The citizens deserve a fair and impartial decision on this issue.

Some assert that removal of the barricade will have negative affects to the neighborhood to the west, but they overlook the negative affect the barricade causes the neighborhood to the east at the present time. They also overlook the big picture regarding traffic circulation, signal warrants and reduced level of service issues caused by the barricade diverted traffic. I am certain that these folks are well-meaning and just reacting to a fear of more traffic.

So, let us embark on a study to look at the facts and stop the emotional attempts to silence and subvert the study of this issue. I think it is only fair and neighborly for both neighborhoods to take their fair share of the traffic rather than divert all of the traffic through one neighborhood with a barricade.

Greg Reynolds


Klahanie annexation: What’s in it for Sammamish?

February 24, 2015

In the end, the residents of the Klahanie area will decide for themselves whether they want to annex their area to Sammamish and become part of the city.

The Sammamish City Council voted unanimously Feb. 3 to put the annexation question before Klahanie-area residents on a special ballot April 28.

By Greg Farrar A map of the Klahanie area shows the 15 different subdivisions that could be incorporated into the city of Sammamish.

By Greg Farrar
A map of the Klahanie area shows the 15 different subdivisions that could be incorporated into the city of Sammamish.


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Council cries ‘foul’ over county trail plans

February 24, 2015

While much of the Sammamish City Council has sounded a figurative call to arms against King County over the construction of the East Lake Sammamish Trail, Mayor Tom Vance said there might be reason for those angry with the county to stand down.

The county recently released design work for Southern Sammamish Segment A of the trail. Officials described that design as 90 percent complete. Local legislators and apparently numerous residents immediately called “foul.”

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Council wants city staff to study controversial 42nd Street barricade

February 24, 2015

Before what was by all accounts a packed house, the Sammamish City Council voted 5-1 on Feb. 17 to leave intact the long-standing barricade on Northeast 42nd Street.

By Tom Corrigan City staff will study whether removing this barricade on Northeast 42nd Street would be a good idea.

By Tom Corrigan
City staff will study whether removing this barricade on Northeast 42nd Street would be a good idea.

Essentially an oversized gate that stretches across the roadway, the barricade is opened only for emergency vehicles.

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Letters to the Editor — week of Feb. 25, 2015

February 24, 2015

Support local events when they happen

On Tuesday evening, Feb. 17, the Sammamish Arts Commission sponsored an incredible chamber music concert by the group Simple Measures. The program was very poorly attended.

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