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Decision on 100 Additional Homes, Plus Affordable Housing, Postponed

By Nina Milligan, Highlands Council, Communication Manager

At their regular meeting Tuesday night (2/21/2017), following a staff presentation and Public Hearing comments, Issaquah’s City Council extended its deliberations on Agenda Bill (AB) 7215, the Major Amendment to the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement proposed by Polygon Homes. Polygon owns 8.5 acres of land north of Discovery Drive, west of 9th Ave NE. They already have what’s called “entitlement” for 193 homes. The proposed amendment would add 100 more homes to this land, plus develop some of Tract D’s affordable housing entitlement. Tract D (located at the intersection of College Drive and 15th Ave NE) is entitled for up to 50 units affordable housing. The Public Hearing remains open until April 17th, when a decision could be rendered.

Tract D is located at the intersection of 15th Ave NE and College Drive.

The 9th Amendment to the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement was proposed by Polygon Homes last fall. The Urban Village Development Commission (UVDC) recommended approving the proposal, “but without the benefit of a SEPA determination.” The State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) “checklist” is the tool used by the City to determine impacts that a developer might have to correct, or “mitigate.” The environment and traffic are just a couple considerations in the SEPA Checklist.

When the Council’s Land and Shore committee met earlier this month, made up of only three councilmembers (not a majority), they all agreed on denying the proposal. Their recommendation was part of last night’s full Council’s considerations.

However, after public comments and much deliberations, the council still had questions about SEPA mitigation, infrastructure impacts, and TDR receiving site designations. Council President (an IH resident) Stacy Goodman “moved” to leave the hearing open until April 17th, and to remand AB 7215 back to the council’s Land and Shore committee. Councilmember Paul Winterstein seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.