Views. We love them. And soon we will be able to enjoy another public viewing area on our walks, hikes or bike rides around the community. On July 16, 2018 the Issaquah City Council voted 5-2 to approve the conversion of a portion of High Street west of Highlands Drive into a trail-oriented park complete with expansive westerly view outlooks.
Polygon Homes NW will develop the park as it builds out Westridge, which includes the townhomes we now see going up west of 9th Ave NE. The homes along the future High Street park, or some call it a promenade, will be single-family homes like those in Westridge South by Swedish Hospital.
High Street was built in 2003 as part of the then planned town center where all Issaquah Highlands commercial development was intended. That commercial and retail “entitlement” is now located along 9th Ave NE and Discovery Drive. The land along this part of High Street is now entitled for residential development.
The conversion idea for High Street came about in 2017 with Polygon’s plat application (a design of the layout of homes on the land). The proposal was first reviewed by the Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC), whose unanimous approval we covered in April.
Of the concerns voiced by the UVDC, the one about involving the public in the park design continued to resonate throughout the approval process. For this, the City has committed to a robust public process beginning with a community survey. The City will bring together the public, the Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA), the UVDC and the applicant to choose amenities for the park that are consistent with the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement.
Councilmember Stacy Goodman, Land and Shore Committee Chair and Issaquah Highlands resident, defended her support of the conversion saying, “I think we have a great opportunity here. I was persuaded by comments by members of the community who said this is something that would benefit the broader community.”
Councilmember and member of the Land and Shore Committee Paul Winterstein also voiced his support at length closing with, “I couldn’t find reason to be against this and I can only find reasons in favor of it.”
The City Council Land and Shore Committee welcomed public comment at both their June 7 and their July 5 meetings, approving the proposal unanimously on July 5. We reported details here>>>.
*** The sunset photo was provided by Polygon Homes NW and was taken from Westridge, a bit higher elevation than High Street, but looking out in generally the same direction.
Park features a 15 ft wide multi-use trail
Uses will be diverse and complementary of nearby parks
Will provide for children’s play but serve variety of users of all ages
Park uses will not be a nuisance to neighbors.
Two “entry” parks
Three Nodes including an Overlook Plaza
Three Recreational Amenities including a central activity area
Trail Length approx. 1/3 mile
Developer built (and paid for)
The conversion of the park will be scheduled with the build out of the single family neighborhood of Westridge North.
Derived from the presentation to the City Council Land and Shore Committee on July 5.