Shorelines Hearings Board Update

As you may recall, on January 5, 2018 the Hearing Examiner for the City of Sammamish issued a decision denying the Shoreline Substantial Development Permit (SSDP) for segment 2B, the final segment of the trail, without prejudice because the 60% design plans on which the application was based were, in his opinion, incomplete. Denial without prejudice allowed the County to resubmit the application after incorporating the missing information.

The County decided to appeal the Hearing Examiner’s decision to the Shoreline Hearings Board (SHB) rather than provide the additional information because they felt they had provided adequate information.

Per SHO (Sammamish Home Owners) web page, three homeowners who live in Mint Grove agreed to be the appellants on the appeal on behalf of SHO. The appeal asserts that there are insufficient conditions protecting the environment within the Hearing Examiner’s decision. The following are the specific conditions requested in the appeal:

• Disallow any improvements that serve purposes other than providing a hiking and biking trail.
• Condition any future approval of the Permit on a trail width, in areas where the stream and wetland buffers are not implicated, based on AASHTO guidelines of 16 feet, including 2 feet of graded shoulder on each side.
• Condition any future approval of the Permit on a trail width, in areas where the stream and wetland buffers are implicated, based on AASHTO guidelines of 14 feet, including 2 feet of graded shoulder on each side.
• Condition any future approval of the Permit on the use of the existing interim Trail centerline, which follows the rail bed, minimizing the negative impact to the environment.

Their goal was to show where and how the relocation of the centerline of the proposed trail will damage the environment. This includes damage done by clearing within the CG lines shown on the drawings.

Besides this group, there appeared to be one other group of homeowners who withdrew their appeal and one individual homeowner who also appealed. The Shorelines Hearings Board consolidated them into one appeal.

Shorelines Hearings Board heard the case for the last segment of the trail June 25-27th. The first day was held in Sammamish so that the Board could do a site visit before they started. They did not finish and a 4th day was scheduled for July 25th. Apparently the July 25 hearing is being held so that the lake front appellants can cross examine the original Trail experts that testified on future trail user volume and trail width standards.

In 2016 when the south Sammamish section went in front of the Shorelines Hearing Board, the hearing was also late in June and a decision was reached in mid-September thus, it is likely that a decision on this segment may also be in that timeframe or a month later since the final hearing date will be late July this time.