Development Update – October 2018

by Nina Milligan, Highlands Council Communications Manager

While residential construction west of Highlands Drive continues, there are other developments on the horizon that are in various degrees of approval and public engagement. Here is a quick summary of what is afoot.

High Street Park Conversion

Earlier this year, the City approved a portion of the western end of High Street to be converted to a multi-use trail with adjacent recreational amenities and an overlook. That portion of High Street will be replaced by a new street through the Westridge neighborhood (under construction).

The City is now coming back to the residents to ask which amenities they would like to see in this park. Take the survey. It is a quick and fun survey with photos of amenities (such as “splash play”) from other parks that could work in the High Street conversion. Open-ended questions allow you to contribute your unique ideas as well.

The City Council approved this conversion on July 16, 2018.

Tract D

Polygon Homes plans to build 10 single family, detached houses on this parcel at the corner of NE Falls Drive and NE College Drive, referred to as Tract D. Polygon is the developer of Westridge, the townhomes and single-family homes west of 9th Ave NE.

A Public Hearing for Tract D is coming soon. This hearing is scheduled to be held by the Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) on November 6, 2018, but it might be postponed. Check the City of Issaquah Calendar for updates. (The UVDC meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 7pm at Council Chambers.)

This parcel was owned by the City of Issaquah for many years. It has been designated as a human services campus at one point; at another, as affordable housing. Last year, the City negotiated ownership to Polygon in exchange for an increased number of affordable housing units in Westridge. As per that arrangement, Polygon is allowed to build 10 market rate housing units on Tract D.

Block 4, Westridge

In 2017, the Issaquah City Council approved Polygon Homes adding 100 homes to Issaquah Highlands in their Westridge development, with the caveat that they must also provide 38 affordable, for sale condo units and a Life Enrichment Options (LEO) house. The City of Issaquah Development Services Division approved Polygon’s application on September 7, 2018. This development will consist of two condo buildings plus one detached house for LEO. These condos will feature 2 and 3-bedroom configured units. The LEO House will contain five assisted-living units and two suite bedrooms for caretakers. The site will also contain a plaza, open lawn, parking, and landscaping.

Block 19 Apartments

Behind Marshall’s on 10th Ave NE, plans for a 135-unit apartment building are progressing. In final stages of permitting, an announcement regarding groundbreaking is expected soon. This development sits between 10th Ave NE and Sunset Pond. Plans include a new trail between the pond and 10th Avenue, structured parking (under the building), terraces, a modern design. There will be a covered structure open to the community with seating, a dog station and bicycle repair. Stay tuned.

Block 20, CitySurf

News about this parcel is still forthcoming. However, the CitySurf application to develop an indoor surfing facility on 10th Ave NE is no longer posted on the City of Issaquah’s Active Projects map. The property is still owned by a hotel developer. We hope to share news about this parcel soon.

Commission Meeting re: Shelter Holdings

The City of Issaquah Development Commission (DC) met on Wednesday, October 24, the second in a series of meetings, to hear testimony regarding applications by IHIF Commercial, LLC, better known as Shelter Holdings. The commission is reviewing three site development permit applications for retail and commercial development and a self-storage facility. However, the proceedings so far have focused on courtroom-like testimony regarding vesting* rather than the details of the development. The next meeting will be November 29, with another on December 5, 2018.

*Vesting becomes an issue when land use regulations change. At issue here is whether the developer is vested in the prior regulations, or the new regulations.

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For information from the City, see http://issaquahwa.gov/development

For our summary of all future development in Issaquah Highlands see: http://www.issaquahhighlands.com/learn/development-in-issaquah-highlands/

Every February Connections News publishes a Development Update. Expect more in-depth reporting there.