Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
December 7, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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December 7, 1983

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Portlo.nd, Orogon 97209 THE I SSAQUAH PRESS Thirty-five cents per copy SERVING ISSAQUAH SINCE 1900 Vol. 83, No. 49 December 7, 1983 i t , :/' rry Christmas Issaquah' keeps giving alive Three Christmas seasons a local realtor and his gave up their holiday nd don tted the money help the needy. Another estate office and other followed suit. . a young couple with three of their own to care wrote out a check for 100. Many other families the same, giving $5 to The good will spread a bank account was opened. It was named "Merry Christmas Issa- quah." The fund helps pay a varie- ty of emergency bills for families who have lost work, according to Pastor Bob Gray of Community Ser- vices• Heating bills, rent and other problems have been taken care of in the past. There's never enough money however, says Gray. He is now getting calls from Bellevue people who have heard of his help. He tries to refer them to other agencies closer to their homes. Community Services also provides occasional aid for medical needs or unpaid utili- ty bills. The Issaquah Food Bank feeds the hungry. Constance sent in $100 this week. Last year businesses and families donated over $1,000; this year the total is hoped to double. The money will be shared between Community Services and the Food Bank. Giving is what Christmas is "Merry Christmas Issa- all about. Send your dona- quah" is still going strong in tion to "Merry Christmas Is- 1983. The first donation ar- saquah," c/o The Issaquah rived last week from Marion Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issa- and Ruby Metz. Warren and quah, WA 98027. Come join us for our Champagne Sunday Brunch featuring Eggs Benedict Blintzes Crepes a la Reine Bacon, Ham, Sausage Scrambled Eggs Assorted Fresh Fruits Selections from our Salad Bar s7 95 (s4.g5children) 10 a.m.-2 p.m. • Civil Service member needed The City • of Issaquah is seeking applicants for a vacancy on the Civil Service Commission. Members of the commission must be city residents for at least three years prior to appointment, and must be registered voters. Members are ap- pointed by the Mayor, with confirmation by the City Council. The commission is respon- sible for administering the Civil Service System as it relates to examinations, ap- pointments, promotions, lay- offs, reinstatements, classifications, terminations, appeals, complaints, and discipline of certain Police and Fire employees. The deadline for applying for the position is 5 p.m., January 3. Applications for the position may be made at the City Clerk's Office, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, Is- saquah, WA. For further in- formation regarding the commission, call 392-6477. I NOW IN OUR LOUNGE I Jeff Petryk plays Top '40s I on guitar/keyboard. , Tuesday-Saturday 9 Exlt15offl-90 of Issaquah 392-6421 PARKS and RECREATION WINTER PROGRAM Inside this issue Pickering Farm zoning finally decided: 60% development, 40% open space by Terry McLafferty The long battle over the fate of Pickering Farm effec- tively came to an end Mon- day night, as the Issaquah Ci- ty Council approved a 60-40 development to open space ratio for the landmark parcel of land. On the motion of Dick Mitchell, the council voted 6- l to override the recom- mendation of the new Comprehensive Plan, which had restricted development potential to 50-50. Only Councilman Joe Peterson rejected the move, which was also adopted later for the so-called Chase Annexation land near the ci- ty's northwest boundary. Two new council members, Harvey Scott and Marilyn Batura, who had been seated only two hours earlier, approved the motion which has been the occasion for more than 80 public meetings in a process leading, back four years• Not a single comment from the audience was heard prior to the vote, which was technically to authorize the city administration to prepare the ordinance for final approval at the next council meeting. That ap- proval is apparently little more than a formality. In making his motion, Councilman Mitchell ex- plained his belief that the more restrictive ratios originally proposed by Councilman Ernie Smith at the final adoption hearing on the Comprehensive Plan, were "unfair•" Mitchell charged that the system of development bonus points, which reward building plans sympathetic to environmental and aesthetic concerns, would provide suf- ficient protection to the city when a development plan for Picketing Farm land is pro- posed. He added that the Master Site Plan ordinance, ap- proved subsequently by. the council, meant the city would get full approval rights for any farm proposal. He added that the 50/50 ratios put "an extraordinary burden" on landowners. The Master Site Plan or- .dinance is a method of influ- encing the development of parcels of land 15 acres or larger, including the farm land. The delay in imple- menting the plan was caused by two worries: one, that developers could somehow avoid the controls by sub- dividing large parcels into sections smaller than the 15- acre cutoff; and two, that some of the .development bonus provisions of compa- nion ordinances would be insufficient to encouraged "ideal" developments• According to city Planning Director Dwight Hartman, about 7 or 8 areas within the 1-90 area could be covered by the ordinance. Before these Santa.comes to town Santa Claus is coming to town and he needs your help! Santa would like to meet kids of all ages on Saturday, De- cember l0 at noon at the Christmas tree in front of the Mercantile Building on Front Street• Help Santa decorate the tree with your handmade ornaments. Remember, the winter winds blow hard, so make your ornaments sturdy and weather-proof. The Issaquah Singers will lead carols and pass out song sheets for those who wish to join in. Free candy canes will be provided by the Issaquah Celebrations Commission. While Santa's reindeer rest up in the North Pole, Cy Stoneburner will offer his ponies and wagon for St. Nick's arrival. The Kiwanis will provide a hay wagon for those wishing to carol through town. Ludlum wins award for education writing Press Associate Editor Rodi Shemeta Ludlum has won first place in the annual education writer's contest sponsored by the Washing- ton State School Director's Association. public understanding Of local public education. Ludlum has covered Issaquah School District issues for nearly three years. It is her second writing award from the school director's association. Articles submitted for judging were: "So long, Mr. Nice Guy," about retiring school superintendent Dr. Clifton Johnson; "Two down, two to go in superin- tendent race," about the prospective candidates for the new superintendent, and "Hello, Mr. Tough Guy," a profile of new superintendent Dr. James Swick. Awards were based on how well the articles improved Comments due on Tiger Mt. State Forest Deadline for comments on the Tiger Mountain State Forest Advisory Committee recommendations is Thurs- day, December 15. Com- ments should be mailed to the Department of Natural Resources, South Puget Sound Area Office, P.O. Box 68, Enumclaw, WA 98022. Copies of the recommen- dations are available from the Issaquah office of the DNR, in Rowley Center. Call 392-5412 for information. parcels can be developed, the plans must meet compre- hensive guidelines which in- clude: • establishing a single spokesman responsible for compliance, regardless of the number of legal owners; • detailed plans for size, location, density and use of the buildings; • detailed plans for care and development of commonly-owned "green space" land; • a detailed environmental checklist, which may be ex- panded into a full-fledged Environmental Impact State- ment. "This council believes in free enterprise," Mitchell had commented earlier, add- ing his belief that "supply and demand" would assure that areas south of 1-90 would be developed first, assuaging another fear op- ponents of his motion might have. Throughout the decision process representatives of various land owners affected sat quietly in the audience and did not ask to speak. City property assessments expected to hold steady over the next two years by Terry McLafferty Officials in the King Coun- ty Assessor's Office have pre- dicted that the assessed value of the "average" Issaquah home will see little or no in- crease for the next two years. That assessed value is the base upon which all property-related levies by cities, school districts, water districts and other special agencies are raised. By virtue of a change in state law limiting certain business inventories which may be assessed, the official assessed value of the city of Issaquah as a whole actually• declined on the 1984 rolls• Despite the more than $9.5 million in new city building permits issued during the 1982-83 accounting period, the city's total land and im- provements fell $1,569,902 for 1984 taxing purposes, from $224,098,491 to $222,528,589, according to the budget message from city finance director Aagot Hess. Over the past ten years, however, the city's assessed value has risen more than 700 per cent, from a base of $31.2 million in 1973. The big jump came in 1981, when county-wide assessments took historic leaps, bringing huge protests from individual homeowners on the east side. In 1980 the city was valued at $102 million, and without significant annexations or new construction, jumped to $192 million in 1981. According to Jim McCabe, the county's assessment in- formation officer, the' pre- liminary data on the value of Eastside land which would be used in 1985 totals suggests that the value of "improve- ments" will remain the same or decline, while the value of the land beneath them may rise slightly in the near future. The law requires a physical survey of parcels every Six years for taxing purposes, but county policy has been to do on-site inspections every two years. On the odd years, a statistical assessment is done instead, McCabe ex- plains. New physical inspections for lssaquah are scheduled for January and February, McCabe says, with some par- cels to be seen as late as July. The cutoff date for adding improvements to the tax rolls is July 31. For major pro- jects, like shopping centers or office buildings, assessors will make eyeball inspections as close to that date as possi- ble, projecting the value that will be in place on July 31. After that inspection, off- year values are estimated by using sales figures from com- parable properties, the known costs of construction to date, or the "market rent" system of figuring back from rental incomes or retail sales, McCabe explains• For many years the King County office has been prepared for complaints from property owners that they have been assessed too high, McCabe says. But re- cently, the complaints have begun to go the other way, with property owners com- plaining that assessments have gone down, dropping some new homes below their sales price or just two or three years ago. Council raises city property tax The City Council took in hand the 1984 property tax assessment for the city and gave the first of two required positive votes to the 1984 budget Monday night. On the motion of Joe Peterson, the council approv- ed a hike from $1.464 per $1000 of assessed valuation to $1.60592 per $1000 assess- ed valuation for the coming year in the regular tax levy, and a decrease from $1.59 to $1.42 in the bond payback levy. The net change, of $.03 per $1000 assessed valuation means an unnoticeable drop of $2.40 per year for the average $80,000 home. The property tax rate has bounced back and forth almost every year, while maintaining a general trend downward since 1973. The biggest drops came in 1974, when it fell from $3.375 to $2.371, and in 1981, when it dropped from $2.352 to $1.448 per $100 in assessed valuation. Over the past couple of years it has been $1.448 in 1981, $1.506 in 1982, and $1.464 in 1983. The resulting cash raised for city uses has maintained a steady increase, thanks to population growth and new development, climbing from $11,869 in 1973 to $358,562 in 1983. Since 1979 the in- crease has been roughly $30,000 per year. Heavy-duty decorating King County fireflghters made good use of their ladder truck last Thursday evening by decorating the topmost branches of the Chamber of Commerce Christmas tree at Front and Sunset last Friday. They also spent a good part of the rest of the night Installing the new silver decorations on city streetllghts all through downtown.