The Issaquah Highlands Community Association is like the hum of a well-oiled machine, often unnoticed until there is a problem like a landscaping fine or painting reminder. Then we take to Facebook to commiserate about the unfairness of it all, while forgetting the benefits of living in a community with high standards.
The IHCA is a non-profit community association whose goal is to maintain our property values through adopted rules and restrictions as well as taking care of our common areas such as parks, roadways, and building exteriors. They create a cohesive look to our community through the CCRs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). Membership in the IHCA is automatic as a homeowner and your HOA dues depend on what type of home you live in, and in which neighborhood.
We live in a diverse community made up of many different types of housing and neighborhoods. From apartments to townhomes, condos to single family dwellings, 1000 square feet to 5000 or more, the Highlands has a home for everyone. Since different neighborhoods and home types have different needs, a Board of Directors volunteers to oversee the affairs of the IHCA. The directors are elected by the homeowners in their district. A director from each district insures that decisions are made and rules enforced that benefit the entire community. Just recently, districts 2, 4 and 6 elected their board members.
As the Highlands has grown and changed over the past 20 years, the IHCA has, too. Sarah Hooey, our current executive director, says that the IHCA is so complex; it is unlike any other HOA that she has managed in her 15 years of experience. “We work very closely with all City of Issaquah departments and other entities such as Regency Centers, King County, Highlands Council, local businesses, multi-family housing, etc.” Among other duties, Sarah provides oversight and planning between for new builders to ensure that the building and architectural process maintains the design guidelines and standards for Issaquah Highlands.
It is the oversight of the IHCA that keeps our neighborhood’s aesthetic and values true to the original intent of Port Blakely when establishing our urban village.
Erika North, Senior Community Manager for ten years, has seen the area change greatly in her time with the IHCA. But through the changes, the original vision has stayed much the same. “Although the area has changed so much in the past few years, the core values remain the same. I think that is what impresses me the most about Issaquah Highlands is the community involvement and the protecting the environment,” Erika reflects.
As inconvenient as a painting reminder or landscape fine may be, enforcing the rules is just a small part of what the IHCA does. Let’s step away from the keyboard and instead take a walk to enjoy our beautifully maintained neighborhoods. Maybe even a walk down to High Street where someone in the IHCA office would love to talk with you in person.
More information about the IHCA staff, board, and homeowner’s rules and regulations can be found on our website.
Photo (above): IHCA Executive Director, Sarah Hoey, wears many hats. On this day in May, Sarah met with the Grand Ridge Elementary School Crossing Guards to discuss pedestrian safety.
This is part 6 of a 7-part series about the history of Issaquah Highlands, conceived and produced by volunteer writer and resident, Kathryn Dean to help celebrate Issaquah Highlands 20 year anniversary. The first residents moved into their homes in 1998.