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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
August 12, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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August 12, 2009

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A2 WEDNESDAY~ AUGUST 12, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS ~ ty Issaquah is fifth-fastest growing c1 in the state Population is 26,890 BY WARREN KAGARISE Issaquah residents, meet your new neighbors -- all 15,678 of them. Issaquah grew 139 percent since the start of the decade, adding res- idents through annexations and the influx of families into the hill- side urban villages, Talus and Issaquah Highlands. Figures released recently by the state Office of Financial Management show the city's April 2009 population at 26,890. In April 2000, Issaquah was home to 11,212 people State officials use the population data to determine how dollars will be allotted to municipalities. The ensuing population explo- sion made the city the fifth fastest growing in Washington. State fig- ures showed Issaquah trailing four smaller cities on the list of fastest- ~asOWing cities. Snoqualmie -- the test growing -- ballooned by 8,099 residents during the first year of the decade to 9,730 people today. "We have more than surpassed our 20-year growth expectation," city Major Development Review Team Program Manager Keith Niven said. Issaquah is the 38th largest city in the state; the city ranked 61st in 2000. Seattle, with 602,000 resi- dents, remains Washington's largest city. Niven started at his post in 1998, just before the most recent popula- tion boom. On his first day on the job, some of the first families were settling in the highlands.~,Today, the community is home to nearly 7,000 people. Niven said construction of the urban villages allowed Issaquah to offer more housing options. The City Umb (2000) villages, especially the highlands, were designed to incorporate space for residential and commer- cial development. "I think it's important for a strong city to offer a variety of housing, a variety of neighbor- hoods," Niven said. Issaquah added 6,210 residents through annexations alone since April 2000. City Senior Planner Debt Kirac described the 2006 annexation of South Cove as significant. The measure extended city boundaries to include about 3,700 people. South Cove voters overwhelmingly approved the annexation in November 2005. Providence Point voters approved joining Issaquah in 2002. City boundaries encom- passed the retirement community and about 1,200 residents Jan. 1, 2003. Officials said further annexa- tions are unlikely in the near future. Klahanie voters rejected annexation by Issaquah in 2005. Mayor Ave Frisinger said city staffers knew the city would grow and planned for infrastructure and services to keep pace. "We planned far enough in advance so that we knew we were going to need, for example, X num- ber of people in the police depart- ment," she said. City spokeswoman Autumn Monahan said many residents of annexed areas thought of them- selves as Issaquah residents before they lived inside the city limits. Frisinger sounded a similar note. After all, residents had Issaquah addresses, headed inside city boundaries to run errands and work, and served on city boards and commissions, she said. Growth slowed dramatically since the housing construction boom of the early part of the decade. Officials said the Issaquah slowdown was in part by design. Planners and elected officials knew the urban villages would eventual- PHOTOS BY GI~EG FA]~RAR At fight, l~qualt Highlands onstmctlon in March 2002 is well under way in a view looking west from a spot on Northeast Park Drive at 16th Lane Northeast Above, Issaquah Highlands residential con- struction in the same area is com- plete seven years later, and Talus (in the upper left of the photo) on Cougar Mountain is almost fully developed as well, looking from the same spot last month. ly be completed. Though hundreds of homes have been built in both places, some land for housing units remains available in Talus and the highlands. Monahan credited city officials and planners with directing new development toward the urban vil- lages. "As a community, we knew growth was coming and through the urban villages, we could do it in a smart way," she said. Growth has posed challenges in the urban villages as well. Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities has worked for years to attract retailers and more com- mercial development to the com- munity, with mixed results. Niven said factors beyond the control of developers and city planners often have a large impact on growth. He used the example of a piece of land in Talus designated for office space. The real estate market and amount of available office space on the Eastside will determine ISm:luah City Llmita (2009) \ when and whether the site is developed. "We could sit here for the next 15 years and see the office parcel go undeveloped,~ he said. Niven credits city officials and staffers for reaching out to resi- dents of the urban villages. He noted how some communities dis- solve into factitious growth debates between new and long- time residents. "I think Issaquah tried to make the highlands and Talus feel like part orthe community,~ he said. Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392- 6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com, Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com. Fastest growing cities in Washington between 2000 and 2009 __ snoqualmie Roy Dupont Moxee Issaquah Issaquah grew from the 61 st largest city in Washington in 2000 to 38th largest today. During the same time period, the population of King County grew by 232,000 residents to 1.9 million. Leave no child behind! If begins wifh school supplies For all... More families than ever need assistance buying the requisite supplies. Can you help? Backpacks have already been donatedl Please buy extra school supplies to share with students in need. Bring donations to The Iseaquah Press office, 45 Front Street South or lesaquah Food Bank, 179 1't Ave. SE 3-ring binders - 1"-2"-3" Notebook paper - wide & college rule Spiral notebooks Composition notebooks Subject dividers Graphing paper Pens - black or red ink 12-pack markers Highlighter pens Pencil boxes and pouches Pencil sharpener Pencils Colored pencils Scissors- 7", 8" Drawing compass Notebook dictionary Glue bottles and glue sticL, Crayons Erasers Zip-lock bags: sandwich & gallon Rulers Index cards ,,7 ',ENTER \ RENT P/N I..41(6 / \ ootdwirrr cws / Saturday, August 15 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM >~ Enter to win a Gemini Fish ~ Boat loads of specials Market gift certificate >~ Raffle drawings every houri .~=~ Special orders welcome-if it From Noon - 6:00 pm ~ swims we can get it! 1410 NW Gilman Blvd (Next to Meadows Shopping Plaza) Issaquah 425.961.0741 www.geminifish.com E-mail the news room! EDITOR KATHLEEN MERRILL cram, Bmdmm adds, Idws editor@isspress.com WARREN KAGARISE cny & comfy sovmmmt ~~garise@i,~press,com BOB TAYLOR Sports md nm'mem ip ,-spor t~,~4)isspress,com GREG FARRAR staff Puo~ogmiw gfarrar@isspress,com GH~ LUSEBRINK clusebdnk@isspress.com DAVRI HAYES memo, hem & Wdm dhayes@Jsspress,com THE ISSAQUAH PRESS www, issaquahpress,com