By Christy Garrard, Executive Director, Highlands Council and Dahlia Park Resident
As published in April 2015 Connections
I often have the opportunity to share the Urban Village inner workings of Issaquah Highlands. Recently I was explaining what Highlands Council is and what the organization does. As I continued, the person’s jaw dropped wider, and wider; “We don’t have any of that in Talus!” she said. True, Talus is also designated an urban village but Issaquah Highlands’ differences greatly outnumber the similarities. Why should you care?
Because you are invested; when you understand the inner workings of this uniquely designed community you better understand how to use it to YOUR advantage. When you are realizing the full value of something that belongs to YOU it builds pride of ownership. You may have moved here because of the proximity to I-90 and the great schools but you got so much more!
In many master-planned communities the HOA is offsite, sometimes out of state! In Issaquah Highlands your Community Association is right here! A recent analysis of other large-scaled communities found no similar, well-organized, community building organizations set up like Highlands Council. HFN, offering state of the art, high-speed, fiber-to-the-home connectivity that is community-owned is also unique. All these benefits are not just better than our neighbors across the valley, but across the United States! Issaquah Highlands is a special place.
Most importantly, the four major cogs of this community are all led by YOU, the community volunteer. Each organizational cog has a paid staff, with executive leadership, but all of the cogs are turned by volunteer boards made up of homeowners and Issaquah Highlands business and property owners; YOUR neighbors. Boards and committees protect our property values, while resident club and group leaders enrich our quality of life. Leaders are grown from students or once-a-year event volunteers to more regularly contributing roles and eventually to city committees or commissions and beyond! Help keep the community cogs well-oiled and get involved today!
Highlands Fiber Network
Community-owned communications system that provides high-speed internet access and telephone service via a fiber optic network.
- Funded by monthly user fees and a one-time connection fee paid by the buyer when a home is sold.
- Owned by Highlands Council, managed by a resident Board of Directors.
- HFN Office located inside Blakely Hall: 2550 NE Park Drive
A non-profit organization that enhances quality of life in Issaquah Highlands through social recreational programming, as well as volunteerism.
- Produces special events, owns and manages Blakely Hall Community Center and manages all communications including Connections News, the weekly e-letter and social media.
- Funded by Community Enhancement Fees paid when a home is sold and annually by multifamily and commercial landowners. Income also provided by community event sponsorships and private rentals of Blakely Hall.
- Managed by a Board of Trustees that includes homeowners, multifamily, and retail-commercial representatives.
- Highlands Council offices located inside Blakely Hall: 2550 NE Park Drive
Issaquah Highlands Community Association
The Homeowners Association that oversees residential areas; referred to as the IHCA
- Assessments paid by homeowners fund common area maintenance and operations, as well as enforcement of residential Rules & Regulations and Community-Wide Standards.
- Managed by a resident Board of Directors and volunteer members of various committees including the Finance Committee, Covenants Committee, and Homeowner Architectural Review Committee
- Office located at Grand Ridge Plaza: 1011 NE High Street, Suite 210
High Streets Commercial
IHCA manages oversight of the Builder Architectural Review process, common area maintenance of sidewalks, street trees, street lights and some open space around Grand Ridge Plaza, Discovery Heights Retail, Issaquah Highlands Self Storage, and Proliance via an administrative agreement between the HOA , City of Issaquah and the master developer, Port Blakely Communities.
- Funded by annual fees collected by the IHCA from Regency Centers, DevCo, Issaquah Highlands Self Storage and Proliance
- IHCA Office located at Grand Ridge Plaza: 1011 NE High Street, Suite 210
Highlands Council, IHCA and HFN all have Volunteer Opportunities. See: IssaquahHighlands.com/Connect/Volunteer