Updated, Jan. 16: More detail on the 42nd St. barricade.
Jan. 15, 2016: Continuing Day 2 of the Sammamish City Council Retreat:
The Conner-Jarvis project did ask for variations to road standards, to narrow roads within the subdivision and development design around streets. The Planning Commission made some recommendations along these lines.
(Narrower streets are generally considered to be more environmentally friendly because of reduced impervious surface.–Editor)
The interior road design standards currently require a 36 ft wide street. The developer suggested reducing down to two lanes at the entrance, and eliminating street parking on one side.
Another variance granted was to the street standard requirement that would have required widening Issaquah-Pine Lane Road similar to 228th Ave.; and through the Kempton Downs subdivision, which is adjacent Conner-Jarvis.
Variances were granted to the latter because of the principal of nexus-and-proportionality. The former variance was granted for environmental reasons.
Improvements to Issaquah-Pine Lake Road that fronted the property were still required. A traffic signal at 42nd and I-PL Road was required. Some mitigation through Kempton Downs was required.
Professional engineering judgement is required for these variations. These were appealed.
Samammish issued a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance on environmental issues. This means additional impacts were identified, and Staff required mitigation to reduce impacts. These were also appealed.
Some environmental impact concerns were appealed.
Staff said that variations granted one developer does not set a precedent; variations are on a case-by-case basis.
There was no decision (even a tentative one, since no definitive vote could be taken at the Retreat) taken about the controversial 42nd St. barricade. The Council agreed to look at the process of barricade removal generally, and then decide how to proceed on the 42nd St. barricade.
The matter finally came up on the agenda, with a citizen follow up to the Greg Reynolds public comment earlier in the day, refuting some of the “assertions” offered by Reynolds.
Narrow and winding roads are cited, some roads are signed “Local Access Only” because of the condition of some of the roads. Drive times via Sahalee Way rather than Hidden Ridge is shorter when driving at the speed limits in each direction.
|“This is a conundrum for staff,” said Deputy City Manager Lyman Howard. On the one hand connectivity is desired but maintaining neighborhoods is also a goal.|
|Member Tom Hornish said safety of the roads is also needed. The road through the barricade has what’s called a negative camber that raises safety questions.|
|Deputy Mayor Ramiro Valderrama pointed to the SE 32nd barricade that was removed, with $400,000 in mitigation. The cost of mitigation for the 42nd St. barricade is likely to be more, he said, but costs remain a big question. “I think it will be astronomical.”|
|Member Kathy Huckabay, who supports connectivity in principal, objects to it if safety if compromised.|
|Member Tom Odell said one of “the highest priorities we have to give to is safety.” Opening the 42nd St. barricade will “make SE 32nd look like a bargain.” Odell called the entire area a “challenge,” referring to poor road conditions in bad weather.|
|“The solution is so expensive, it fails the sanity test. You will not get me voting to open this up, ever,” Odell said.|
|Member Bob Keller said he doesn’t have enough information to make a decision; he’s been on the Council only two years and doesn’t have the background he needs. Keller called for a good process to gather all facts before making a decision whether to permanently open or close the road.|
|A study and the process could cost $75,000 to $100,000 alone, said John Cunningham, public works director, “just throwing out a number.”|
|Mayor Don Gerend thinks the process on SE 32nd worked, but that the designed solution was perhaps poor. Gerend objected to the characterization that the solution would be “astronomical,” saying he doesn’t know what the cost would be. He favored the Keller suggestion of a full study and process.|
The Council ran 3 1/2 hours late. The 2:30pm agenda item — Finance and Capital Plans — will be rescheduled for a regular or special session council meeting.