Zoning Proposal for New Highlands School: No Action Taken

Zoning Proposal for New Highlands School: No Action Taken
By Nina Milligan, Communication Manager, Highlands Council

Dateline: Tuesday, September 5, 2017, Issaquah City Council Chambers

City Council Regular Meeting, Public Hearing on AB 7433

Agenda Bill (AB) 7433: Annexation of King County Island and Establishment of Pre-Annexation Zoning

Based on Agenda Bill 7433 information in last night’s meeting packet, the “purpose” of Annexation is to “pursue an affordable housing Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project partnership with the City…require(ing) a relocation of an existing business to the King County Road Services Division Road Maintenance site” (in the “island”).

Since AB 7433 was first introduced to the Council in June, the “Administration’s Recommendation” was edited to include “designating area #1C (potential school site) and #2 (potential reservoir site) be zoned Community Facilities-Facilities (CF-F).”

Many Issaquah Highlanders spoke at last night’s City Council meeting and stayed till midnight to follow the proceedings (in order of their time at the mic):

  • Jennifer Halberstam (Pinecrest)
  • Nancy Skerritt (Magnolia Park)
  • Bob Swanson (West Highlands Park)
  • Mike Zalewski (West Highlands Park)
  • Pau Bleiweis (West Highlands Park)
  • Lisa Callan (IH resident and President of the ISD Board)
  • Sara Niegowski (Pinecrest)
  • Prad Bhosale (West Highlands Park)
  • Annie Lau (Pinecrest)

All these Issaquah Highlands residents spoke about the Issaquah School District’s proposal to build an elementary school in what was referred to as area #1C. Area #1C is west of and bordering Westridge South (the new Polygon Homes neighborhood) west of Swedish Hospital, and south of Discovery Drive.

All speakers asserted that Issaquah Highlands needs another elementary school. The Pinecrest residents described displeasure in their kids being sent down to Clarke Elementary when Grand Ridge Elementary is so close to them. West Highlands Park residents supported another school in the Highlands, but expressed concern over, and sometimes opposition to, the siting of a school on #1C as proposed.

The Public Hearing and Council deliberations took up the better part of four hours. All motions and amendments failed to gain a majority of votes. The meeting moved on to the other topics on the agenda without any action on AB 7433.

The new Clarke Elementary School opens today, already housing many students in portables.

We will report more fully on this soon, with more details about what happened at the Council meeting and what the next steps could be.