We are in the home stretch for paving the East Lake Sammamish Trail! However, this is the most narrow and most difficult part of the trail to enlarge which means the most controversial.
King County is responsible for developing the trail; the city of Sammamish is responsible for issuing permits for construction of the trail.
Construction of the final section of trail cannot be started until a Shoreline Substantial Development permit is obtained from the City of Sammamish. Thus, it is important for the city council and staff to know that completion of the trail in a timely manner is important to both the citizens of Sammamish and the larger community. Any project that is close to the lake now requires this type of permit to go in front of the City’s Hearing Examiner, John Galt. As there are 2 permits to finish the trail, there will be two hearings. The first hearing is probably the most important one as it is for the last 3.5 miles of the trail. It will run, if needed from Friday Nov. 3rd to Thursday Nov. 9th and Monday Nov. 20th starting 9:00 AM with public comment at 1:00 and ending at 5:00 PM.
The second hearing is for the parking lot and adjacent trail at the bottom of Inglewood Rd. This will run from Wed. January 24, 2018 to Friday Jan. 26th, if needed, starting at 9:00 AM with public comment at 1:00 PM and ending at 5:00 PM. This was the hearing originally scheduled for Oct. 30th but was rescheduled.
Please note for both hearings, there will be a signup sheet set out at 8:15 AM on the first day and people will be able to speak in the order that they signed up. The hearing examiner at 1:00 PM will let those who have signed up know when they are likely to be able to speak. Public comment will continue until 5:00 PM the first day and will continue until all have spoken which could be the following day.
Because parking is limited in front of City Hall and the City is expecting a large number of people to attend, they have provided a parking plan here and will have a parking attendant:
The City has approved both permits but with conditions which could affect width and safety. Both the City and County have hired outside consultants to review the AASHTO standards as it applies to this trail and have come to opposite conclusions. The County stating it needs 12’ and the City questioning the amount of trail traffic feeling that it could be narrowed to 10’ to avoid and minimize impacts to physical and natural resource (Environmentally Critical Area) constraints. The City is also asking that the County identify all permitted property on the right of way and where the trail will be modified, narrowed, or relocated to mitigate for conflicts with Permitted Structures (aka neighbors who have encroached on the County property)
If you aren’t available to come to the hearing, or have lengthy complex information to convey, submittal of written hearing statements is encouraged. They can be directed to Lindsey Ozbolt at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments need to be received by the last day of the hearing. Given we do not know how many of the allotted days will be used, it will be best if you can get written comments submitted by the end of the first day of the hearing if possible.
Documents related to the parking lot hearing can be found here: https://www.sammamish.us/government/departments/community-development/current-projects/east-lake-sammamish-trail-inglewood-hill-parking-lot/
Documents related to the trail can be found here: https://www.sammamish.us/government/departments/community-development/current-projects/east-lake-sammamish-trail/
Given the amount of documents, we recommend that you concentrate on:
Exhibit 1: Staff Report
We are working on our talking points which we will share closer to the date. But it’s important that you write your own version as in the staff report they said this regarding previous trail supporter comments: “Approximately 55% of the comments were from “trail supporters” the majority of these were similar in nature and appeared to be “form support emails” sent out to bicycle clubs/enthusiasts throughout the northwest.” And in the city’s summary of public comments there was no mention of decreased width being a safety issue!
Please join us and comment on these permits! It will be particularly important for those who live in Sammamish to do so to provide resident support for this gem in our backyard!