Valderrama, Howard sought a Developer Agreement with STCA without council authorization

Sammamish City Council Member Ramiro Valderrama and City Manager Lyman Howard last year wanted to negotiate a Developer Agreement with Town Center developer STCA, without the required council approval, Sammamish Comment learned.

Ramiro Valderrama

The revelation is in an email (click to read it) dated Nov. 21, 2017, that the city manager designated “attorney client privileged.” The email was recently determined to be not privileged and released in a public records request.

The email was addressed to another city employee and cc’d to the city attorney and a second city employee. Howard’s labeling the email attorney-client privilege is intended to bar the email from public disclosure.

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Posted in City Council, City Staff, Sammamish, Sammamish City Council, Sammamish Comment, STCA, Town Center | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Deputy City Manager resigns

Jessi Bon, Deputy City Manager, resigned today, as indicated in the email below sent to staff.

Bon gives family reasons for taking a job at Mercer Island as Director of Parks and Recreation.

The email ends with “Stay strong”.

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Posted in City Staff, Government, Sammamish | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s time to approve concurrency plan, lift moratorium

By Scott Hamilton

Editor

Commentary

It’s time to wrap up the Sammamish traffic concurrency plan and move forward.

It’s time to lift the building moratorium.

The City Council spent a good portion of the meeting last night taking another crack at changes to the concurrency plan approved May 15.

Deputy Mayor Karen Moran and member Chris Ross moved to reconsider the controversial May 15 plan that was adopted.

What was expected to be a major effort to reconsider turned out to be nothing more than a tweak here and there.

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Posted in City Council, City Staff, Sammamish, Sammamish City Council | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sammamish city council members just screwed their constituents

Editorial

The Sammamish City Council members just screwed their constituents.

On a 5-2 vote May 15, the council agreed to advance the current proposal for revising the traffic concurrency model.

It was a vote that shocked Mayor Christie Malchow and council member Tom Hornish, who opposed advancing the model.

Deputy Mayor Karen Moran and Members Jason Ritchie, Pam Stuart, Ramiro Valderrama and Chris Ross voted to advance the concurrency revisions even through the model doesn’t include analyzing congestion and travel times. The model’s creation also included count flaws, the staff admitted, nor was it validated when submitted to council for approval.

Drivers who sit in traffic are told they have a better experience. Traffic, according to the model, has improved from 2014 to 2016.

It’s a preposterous claim. Yet five council members voted to advance the model toward approval in June or July.

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Posted in City Council, Sammamish, Sammamish City Council, Sammamish Comment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

New traffic concurrency model ignores congestion; city council caves to staff

By Miki Mullor
Deputy Editor

Sammamish drivers hoped for traffic congestion relief when the City Council adopted an emergency building moratorium last year in order to take time to fix the traffic concurrency model.

What they are going to get is a new model that’s worse than the old one and worse traffic.

The new model suggests that traffic in Sammamish has improved between 2014 and 2016 and it is better on Sahalee Way, which is notoriously backed up during the morning rush hour.

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Posted in City Council, City Staff, Sammamish, Sammamish City Council, Sammamish Comment, Town Center | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

City’s new concurrency plan doesn’t measure congestion, overall travel time

By Miki Mullor

Deputy Editor

A new traffic concurrency plan for Sammamish appears unlikely to meet the Sammamish City Council target date to lift the building moratorium in July, despite six months of staff and consultant work and expenditures of about $375,000. (Read more.)

Concurrency is a state law requirement to “​prohibit​ ​development​ ​approval​ ​if​ ​the development​ ​causes​ ​the​ ​level​ ​of​ ​service​ ​on​ ​a​ ​locally​ ​owned​ ​transportation​ ​facility​ ​to​ ​decline​ ​below the​ ​standards​ ​adopted”, unless “​transportation​ ​improvements​ ​or​ ​strategies​ ​to​ ​accommodate​ ​the​ ​impacts​ ​of​ ​development​ ​are made​ ​concurrent​ ​with​ ​the​ ​development “. The law allows development to proceed if “a financial commitment is in place to complete​ ​the​ ​improvements​ ​or​ ​strategies​ ​within​ ​six​ ​years​.”  (see RCW 36.70A.070, and a clean indented version)

Accordingly, cities are required to set a level of service standard for their roads, measure traffic and forecast future impact of development on traffic.  

In response to residents’ frustration over traffic congestion in Sammamish, City Council has enacted a moratorium and directed staff to revise the city’s concurrency system to focus on drivers’ experience.  Continue reading

Posted in City Council, City Staff, Sammamish, Sammamish City Council, Sammamish Comment, Six Year TIP | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Sammamish’s Town Center-concurrency dilemma

By Scott Hamilton

Editor

The Sammamish City Council faces a complex set of issues interconnecting the Town Center and efforts to revise its traffic concurrency policies.

At stake is whether the Town Center proceeds per the 2009 plan adopted by the Planning Commission and City Council or, as some desire, the plan is reopened with the goal of down-sizing it.

Reopening the plan also allows the possibility of some advocating an up—zoning of the TC.

The city is under a building moratorium adopted last October. The council and staff want to lift the moratorium in July, but controversy over how to proceed with revisions for concurrency casts doubt over whether revisions may be ready by then.

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Posted in Ace Hardware, City Council, City Staff, Comprehensive Plan, Klahanie, Sammamish, Sammamish City Council, Town Center | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments