August 15th is the second of several public meetings held at City Hall to discuss the termination of the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement. For over twenty years, development in the Highlands has been governed by a contract, a Development Agreement (DA), between property owner/developer Port Blakely and the City of Issaquah. It set forth building standards that not only included design considerations, but also strict sustainability standards. Did you know that every building in Issaquah Highlands is “Built Green”?
What’s already happened? On August 1 the City scheduled the first-ever combined meeting between the City’s Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) and the City’s Planning Policy Commission (PPC) to tackle this monumental task. A video recording of the August 1st meeting is available on Youtube HERE >> There was a community meeting on April 20th at Blakely Hall to introduce the process to Issaquah Highlands residents (not recorded).
DAs are contracts made between developers and cities (or counties) wherein both parties get benefit. Referred to as the “public benefit”, the City of Issaquah got open space and parks, sustainably built structures, affordable housing (30% of the Highlands is designated affordable) and infrastructure such as Exit 18 overpass (to name a few). The developer got speedier permitting and increased density. When the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement is ended in December 2017, a variety of zoning designations will be applied to Issaquah Highlands, where only one zone has been used for the last 20 years, the Urban Village zone.
What comes next? Watch the August 1st meeting; attend this meeting and find out!
Learn about how our DA works and what’s next on Page 18, July Connections.