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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
February 25, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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February 25, 2009

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A2 * WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 25, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS Critics slam Park Pointe proposal land should be preserved. Park Pointe has undergone numerous revisions since the development was first proposed, prompting one River & Streams Y Board member to refer to the project last week as a "many-headed hydra. developer touts preservation gle-family Under meat 251 The latest proposal includes two develop- residential options theattached so-called for units the units consisting lower Tiger and Mountain bench 130Ofmultifam- 121 option, site. sin- ily units would be built on 14 acres of the BY WARREN KAGARISE lower slope. City plarmers are seeking comments from residents regarding the latest proposal for Park Pointe, a proposed Tiger Mountain housing development announced more than a decade ago and since revised numerous times. Comments wig be accepted until Feb. 27, and will be included in a city environ- mental report about the controversial devel- opment. How Park Pointe will be built -- with 344 homes or 251 homes -- and even the loca- tion of the development remain unan- swered questions. The developer, which proposed two options for the 67-acre Tiger Mountain site, is also pursuing a develop- meat-rights swap with another home- builder. If the swap was successful, homes would be built in the Issaquah Highlands instead of the proposed Park Pointe site. City planners released a draft environ- mental impact statement about the project last month. Now, they are collecting com- ments related to it. A final report incorpo- rating those comments should be released by the end of June. City Environmental Planner Peter Rosen saidhe received comments from 17 people, all of whom were opposed to the project. He said most of the opposition was related to the development itself, rather than specific findings included in the impact statement. If Park Pointe were to be built, the devel- opment would preserve forest but would als O displace wildlife, according to the state- ment. Depending on which building option is chosen, "52 percent to 79 percent of the site would remain as forested open space, the report states. The document also addresses the potential impacts Park Pointe could have on factors such as groundwater and traffic, FILE The Park Palnte property is highlighted with dashed lines in a view as seen looking southeast at Tiger Mountain. Storm water runoff would be collected, treated and then released into the soil through a storm water management sys- tem. Pollutants would be removed before the water is released and the impact on groundwater would be minima], according to the report. Development would avoid wetlands on the site, but "wildlife dependent upon this vege- tation as habitat would be displaced, result- ing in local reductions in populations of some species," the report said. Other, wider- ranging species would be less affected. Impacts on noi.e and traffic would be lim- ited. Ron Slater, vice president of project devel- oper Wellington Park Pointe LLC, said his company was working with city officials and homebuilder Port Blakely Communities to pursue a development rights swap. The swap is known as a transfer of development rights, frequently shortened to TDR. Everybody's first thrust is to do the TDRs," he said. Port Blakely built the highlands, home to nearly 7,000 people. Under the com- plex deal, Port Blakely would be allowed to build more densely in the highlands if the company bought the Park eointe land from Wellington and then deeded the land -- and an additional Port Blakely-held parcel -- to the city. In turn, the city would preserve those tracts from develop- ment. Rosen, addressing the city River & Streams Board Feb. 17, described the draft environmental report as a step forward for the slow-moving Park Pointe project. But "people want to see the site preserved as open space," he told board members, refer- ring them to the comments he received. Eight years ago, the City Council said the "Our preferred option, by the way, is just to develop the lower bench, Slater said. Another option would develop 32 acres on the lower tier and on top ot- the slope. The development would include 344 resi- dential units -- 59 single-family detached, 145 single-family attached and 140 multi- family units. Another possibility is for the property to remain undeveloped, Slater countered critics and said Park Pointe would not contribute to suburban sprawl. He noted the proposed develop- ment's proximity to businesses, schools and historic downtown Issaquah "I don't believe that's sprawl at all," he said. "We're proposing a low-impact devel- opment on that site." Earlier plans called for Park Pointe to be connected to the controversial Southeast Bypass, a proposed roadway that would have been built across the lower slopes of Tiger Mountain between Interstate 90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road. In 2008, the City Council axed plans for the bypass, citing environmental concerns. The updated proposal links the develop- ment to the city street grid via Southeast Evans Street. Slater said any decision about breaking ground at either the Park Pointe or Port Blakely site would hinge on the outcome of the city permitting process and the develop- ment-rights swap negotiations. When to break ground on a development is up to the applicant, Rosen said. Issaquah retiree Woody Bernard said the small-town character of the city drew him here two years ago. He opposes Park Pointe because of its potential to reshape a slope of Tiger Mountain. "Here, the hills are all green and not developed like everywhere else," he said. Kinderga.rten registration deadline nears Kindergarten registration dates for this fall for the Issaquah School District are March 4 and 5. Kindergarten is funded for a haft-day for all Washington stu- dents. Issaquah parents can sign up for morning or afternoon class sessions at every local elementary school, with the exception of Discovery. Kindergartners in the Discovery area are bused to Challenger, where there's more room. Children are eligible for kinder- garten registration if they will be 5 years old by Aug. 31. Parents are required to bring photo iden- tification and a gas or electric bill to prove residency in the district. They must also bring their child's immunization records and birth certifi- WHAI 0 cate. P a r e n t s KNOW unsure about  Get school which school their child will registration attend should times, full-day call the dis- kindergarten trict's trans- lottery and p o r t a t i o n other informa- department, tion at District employees will www.issaquah input the .wednetedu/ home address districtround and tell par- up. ents where to  Find out register, what school Once par- ents know your child which school needs to their child is attend by call- attending, they ing 837- can go online 6330. or call the school to check the date and time for registration. Parents can also sign their stu- dents up for the full-day kinder- garten lottery. Full-day kinder- rten classes are provided on a ited, space-available basis. The program is funded by a tuition fee, which covers the difference between the state-funded haft-day sessions and the full-day sessions. The curricula used in both pro- grams are the same. Because stu- dents are in class for a full day, added enrichment opportunities and extended periods for activities are available ...... Entries for the full-day lottery must be submitted to schools by 4 p.m. March 10. A lottery for the spots will be held March 11 and results will be available March 12. Parents are encouraged to attend their school's lottery. Check with schools for times and locations. Whether a student is attending haft-day or full day kindergarten, district officials encourage parents and their new school bus riders to join them for a bus introduction ride Aug. 11, 12 or 13. Students and parents will learn about bus safety, rules and eti- quette; and take a short bus ride to different area schools. The bus ride also takes students and par- ents through the district's bus wash. CorrectJon$ Village Theatre's fundraising goal in the sub-headline to recon- struct the First Stage Theatre was incorrect Feb. 11. The amount needed is $2.8 million. A fire station was incorrectly identified in the Winter Living magazine. The station on page 7 was actually the Snoqualmie sta- tion; the photo was provided by Eastside Fire & Rescue. Family and Smile Design Dentistry Dr. Kelley Fisher, DDS hctu patient tesdmo.ial - Chris "I went to Dr. Fisher to save my worn teeth. Other dentists had told me that nothing could be done about my smile. The fact that I got a great smile is a pleasant side effect to correcting the total problem. The staffis kind and respectful of my time. I would recommend this office to anyone looking for a grit dentist" Family anti Csmetl D+: 425-392-1256 600 NW Gilman Blvd., Sm D, Issaquah www.DrKFu=hcr.com