Update! Please attend upcoming hearing on the SSD permit for the final 3.5 trail segment on Nov. 3rd and for the Inglewood Parking Lot on January 24, 2018

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:

https://www.sammamish.us/attachments/pagecontent/47331/East%20Lake%20Sammamish%20Trail%20Public%20Hearing%20Parking%20Notice_Final.pdf

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 lozbolt@sammamish.us.  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!

Please Comment by January 27th!

The fate of the final missing paved segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail is in your hands.

Many folks see segments of the interim East Lake Sammamish Trail being paved and think it’s final completion is a done deal.  But now the County is working on the hardest section where neighbors have encroached upon the right of way for years.  At a recent Sammamish City Council meeting, approximately 20 trailside homeowners urged council not to approve the permit that will complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail.  They gave public testimony for 2 hours!

Now more than ever, your voice in support of the trail is needed to help advance King County’s permit applications to the city of Sammamish for design of segment 2B, the final 3.6-mile segment of the trail as well as the Inglewood Hill parking lot. Unique comments in support of the permit are needed to balance out a loud minority of anti-trail voices. The city of Sammamish is accepting public comments on the permits through 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27.

Without your help, a vocal minority of anti-trail voices will stymie the completion of the final 3.6-mile segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail to regional and national trail standards, resulting in a trail that’s not safe for people of all ages and abilities who want to walk, bike and run.

Please tell you own story about why you support the trail today. We have also included talking points for those who would like to help but not sure what to say. Feel free to pick and choose the ones that resonate with you. We have heard from council members that they ignore form letters and count them as just one reply since they are all the same.  So your own story is most important.  It’ll only take a few minutes and will lead to a lifetime of safe biking for people of all ages and abilities from Redmond to Issaquah.

Although the deadline is Jan. 27, for the official comments for these permits, it would also mean a lot, especially if you are a Sammamish resident, to come to the next city council meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 6:30 PM and give public comment.  It could be just reading the letter you put together for the public comment period.  Expanding on your own person story is the best.  Council members need to hear from trail supporters and not just the homeowners next to the trail.

With exciting trail progress beginning on Segment A, we’re so close to a completed trail, but the stakes have never been higher.   Join caring neighbors and trail users to realize the 20-year vision of a completed East Lake Sammamish Trail by voicing your support before it’s too late.

Thank you!

ELST South Segment B 60% Comments talking points

Introduction and the ask:

I’m writing to express my support for completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST) and approving permits SSDP2016-00415 for the trail and SSDP2016-00414 for the Inglewood Hill Parking Lot.

Please approve the permit, as submitted.

Approval of the permit will advance completion of the 44 mile regional trail system between Seattle and the foothills of the Cascades, linking us to communities from the mountains to the sound.   The trail, as proposed in the permit, will provide a safe walking and biking route through Sammamish.  It also will provide improved parking for the mid part of the trail.

Talking points for the middle of the letter:

  • Approve the permit, including the proposed width of the trail which reflect industry standards (AASHTO).   A 12ft trail with 2ft shoulders will create a safe trail with space for the various different uses… from people running, to people riding a bike, using a wheelchair, or pushing a stroller.
  • Ensuring crossing priority for the trail is an important safety issue when roads and driveways cross the trail.
  • Approve proposed trail alignment in the permit request as it provides sight lines for good visibility for people on the trail and people crossing the trail at trail intersections.
  • The proposed tree preservation plan the county has provided retains 65% of the significant trees next to the trail, higher than the now required 35% that developers and homeowners must retain.  Many of those invasive species shrubs that are now encroaching into the trail in so many places will be removed and replaced with native plants and trees which are important for salmon and other wildlife and will increase sight lines at driveway intersections.  The County states they will work with residents to maintain as much privacy from existing plantings as possible outside of the designated “clean and grub” areas alongside the trail.
  • The county will replace current culverts six new with fish friendly ones for kokanee salmon.  These will help re-vitalize the six streams into viable salmon habitat.

The ELST is absolutely consistent with your vision for the city as noted in your comprehensive plan related to both parks and transportation:

  • Goal P.1 Provide a network of parks, trails, athletic fields, and open spaces that delivers a variety of active and passive recreational opportunities to the Sammamish community.
  • Objective P.1.1 Provide barrier-free (ADA-compliant) access…
  • Objective P.3.9 Plan non motorized trail systems for pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the City and connect adjoining communities through regional linkages.
  • Policy T.4.11 Ensure mobility choices for people with special transportation needs, including persons with disabilities, the elderly and the young, and low income populations.
  • Policy T.4.8 Integrate the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists in the local and regional transportation plans and systems.

 

  • The current proposed design includes 26 new driveway improvements which will all directly benefit the homeowners. These will be properly graded, cement aprons to driveways costing thousands of dollars each. No more muddy driveway access! And they will all be paid for by the county.
  • Currently there are many personal items stored or parked within the trail right of way. These include old cars, boats, construction trailers and equipment, sheds and dilapidated stairways. The county will work with the residents to accommodate these outside of the trail boundaries. They will help the residents get special use permits where required.  This will all contribute to a more natural beautiful neighborhood and trail environment benefiting all.
  • As part of the new trail area design the plans even include two parking lots for residents without direct access to their homes. These will replace existing dirt or gravel parking lots along East Lake Sammamish Parkway. Residents in these areas will have a safe, proper place to park their cars.
  • The Inglewood Hill interim parking will be improved to include a wheelchair ramp down to the trail, a plaza area with picnic table, a restroom and a beautiful view of the lake. Parking lot users will be directed away from trail neighbor driveways as well.
  • Add your personal story about how you currently use the interim trail or will use the completed trail.

The wrap-up:

The current 60% design drawings show that we will be getting a world class trail.  The design preserves many trees and accommodates the residents along the trail.  My hope is that any outstanding issues can be worked out on a case by case basis without law suits and confrontation.

The northern completed section of the ELST beautifully complements the popular Sammamish Landing Park.  I urge you to support the trail by approving the permits for the South B section and create yet another jewel in the crown of facilities in Sammamish.

Please send to:

Ms. Lindsey Ozbolt

City of Sammamish

Email:  lozbolt@sammamish.us

And cc to:

Ms. Kelly Donahue

King County

Email: Kelly.donahue@kingcounty.gov

Mr. Lyman Howard

City Manager

Email: lhoward@sammamish.us

Sammamish City Council

Email: citycouncil@sammamish.us

 

Trail Supporters….your help is needed!

Many folks see segments of  the interim East lake Sammamish Trail trail being paved and think it’s final completion is a done deal.  But now the County is working on the hardest section where neighbors have encroached upon the right of way for years.  At a recent Sammamish City Council meeting, approximately 20 trailside homeowners urged council not to approve the permit that will complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail.  They gave public testimony for 2 hours!

Now more than ever, your voice in support of the trail is needed to help advance King County’s 60% design permit application to the city of Sammamish for design of segment 2B, the final 3.6-mile segment of the trail. Unique comments in support of the permit are needed to balance out a loud minority of anti-trail voices. The city of Sammamish is accepting public comments on the permit through 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27.  A post will follow with details.

South Samammish Segment B and Inglewood Hill parking lot 60% design plans are posted on the East Lake Sammamish Trail website. (http://www.kingcounty.gov/…/popular-tr…/east-lake-samm.aspx…

Please note: Comments on the SSDP permit should be sent to the City of Sammamish. As the permit applicant King County Parks staff will attempt to provide information and answers on the trail project, but the City will be collecting and documenting all comments on this permit application. After the close of the comment period, the City of Sammamish will provide all of public comments to King County Parks for our review and consideration.

If you want further clarification, King County Parks will also offer unscheduled drop-in time on Thursdays from 11 am to 3:30 pm on January 12, 19, and 26.

The actual permit application notices are here.

Segment B:

http://www.sammamish.us/attachments/legalnotices/42074/SSDP2016-00415%20ELST%20Segment%202B_Notice_of_Application_NOA_Final.pdf

Parking lot:

http://www.sammamish.us/attachments/legalnotices/42073/SSDP2016-00414%20ELST%20Inglewood%20Parking%20Lot_Notice_of_Application_Final.pdf

Support the East Lake Sammamish Trail

We’re on the brink of completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail…But we need your help!

The East Lake Sammamish Trail is part of the 44 mile regional trail system connecting Seattle to Snoqualmie — but it’s more than a regional connector; it’s a local amenity and a community investment. 

Completing the trail to national standards through the City of Sammamish sections will enable people of all ages and abilities use the trail as a transportation and recreation amenity, whether on foot, by bike, with a stroller or use of wheelchair. 

To end delays to the trail the City of Sammamish needs to hear from trail users and Sammamish residents.  

The current holdup is the Shoreline Substantial Development permit which is issued by the City of Sammamish.  The city issued the permit on July 7, 2015 with 19 conditions.  The City and County came to an agreement on all but 4.  The homeowner’s group, SHO appealed the permit as well as King County. The appeal was heard before the hearing examiner.  On February 8, 2016 he released his decision denying the homeowners appeal. He granted three of the four remaining appeal issues the County had regarding the conditions required by the City and agreed with the City on the 4th condition.   The City appealed this decision first, followed by SHO and finally King County and it was heard in front of the Shoreline Hearings Board this past summer.  On Sept. 14th, the Board ruled that SHO did not meet the burden of proof on their issues.  They sided with the County on 3 out of 4 conditions and struck them.  SHO asked for reconsideration and were denied.  They are now raising funds so they can take it to Superior Court.  The City could decide to do the same and thus the need to let them know you want the permit to be issued in a timely fashion without the disputed conditions.  All these legal issues are just related to the 1.2 miles South Sammamish A section of the trail from the Issaquah border to the 7-11 on East Lake Sammamish Parkway.  Tom Hornish, one of our council members was the former head of SHO before he served on council.  There are various other council members who also support this group.

Please join us on Tuesday. Let council members know why completing the trail matters to you.

Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 pm
Sammamish City Council meeting
Council Chambers, Sammamish City Hall

When you enter council chambers there will be a signup clipboard to give public comment.  Since the trail is not on the agenda, you will be speaking under the Public Comment section of the agenda:

If you can’t make it, please consider sending an email to the following city decision makers:

Lyman Howard, City Manager            lhoward@sammamish.us
Jessi Bon, Deputy City Manager        jbon@sammamish.us
City Council…this goes to all:             citycouncil@sammamish.us

Together we can complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail!

Shoreline Management Board Rules in Favor of ELST South Sammamish Segment A

Click here to read the Board’s rulings in full.  The decision was made on 9/14/16 and all parties have the right to appeal the decision to Superior Court in 30 days.  Per the April, 2016 post on Sammamish Home Owners’ (SHO) web page, their plan was to appeal it to this court where their adverse possession case is.  The county is ready to build if they can get the permit from the City of Sammamish.  If the city or trailside homeowners appeal, construction will be delayed again.  We will post more details when we get them.

Sammamish Trails, Bikeways and Paths Plan (aka Non-Motorized Plan) to be Discussed

Sammamish City Council will be having a study session on the Trails, Bikeways & Paths Plan Update now known as the Non-Motorized Plan, on Tues 7/12 6:30 pm. This is the perfect time to give public comment on your concerns related to trails and their connections in Sammamish. Also a good time to remind the city you would like the East Lake Sammamish Trail completed in a timely fashion with shoulders to accommodate multiple types of users in a safe manner. If you would like to see a shoulder on Snake Hill, this also would be the time to comment. It will be repaired next summer with only a wide shoulder on the top half. This would make a connection to the ELST but if it only has a partial shoulder and none down below, it will continue to be a problem. Finally, Sammamish Friends is advocating for the “Emerald Necklace” around the city. This would involve purchasing land that would provide trail connections between the East Lake Sammamish Trail, Evans Creek Preserve, and Soaring Eagle Park. This is another great trail plan to advocate for.

Please note that Council is scheduled to go into an Executive, closed session for the first 15 min. so the actual start time will be closer to 6:45 PM. http://www.sammamish.us/files/packet/17065.pdf The staff are seeking input from the City Council on the final scope of work (see below) for the Non-Motorized Plan update. This final scope of work will serve as the basis for the consultant contract and project schedule.

Proposed Scope of Work:
• Public outreach and community engagement process.
• Non-motorized safety analysis, including review of existing data, coordination with Sammamish
police, transportation, schools and others.
• Evaluation and planning for safe walking and biking routes to schools.
• Planning for accessible (ADA compliant) non-motorized facilities, including curb ramps,
crossings, signals, bus stops etc.
• Completion of an inventory of existing non-motorized facilities. This work is currently underway.
• Identification of important non-motorized destinations (schools, parks, trails, neighborhoods,
Community Center, Town Center etc.)
• Analysis and inclusion of annexation areas.
• Review and analysis of State, regional and other jurisdiction plans (e.g. King County regional
trails plan, City of Issaquah, City of Redmond etc.) to ensure plan coordination.
• Updated goals and policies.
• Development of new corridors and routes.
• Development of a prioritized capital project list that includes the following:
o Criteria for rating projects
o Project scope
o Planning-level cost estimates

The proposed schedule for updating the plan is quite lengthy with adoption scheduled for Spring, 2018:

Inventory/data preparation Spring-Fall 2016 (in progress)
Scoping Meeting with City Council July 12, 2016
RFQ/consultant selection and contract Fall-Winter 2016
Project Kick-off End of 2016
Public Outreach Begins Spring 2017
Planning/Parks Commissions Ongoing 2017/Early 2018
City Council Ongoing 2017/Early 2018
Plan Adoption Spring 2018

It is important that Council hear that people care about the plan and know early on what issues the residents have.

Trails, Bikeways & Paths Plan & Snake Hill Repairs

Sammamish City Council will be having a study session on the Trails, Bikeways & Paths Plan Update Tues 7/12 6:30 pm. This is the perfect time to give public comment on your concerns related to trails and their connections in Sammamish. Also a good time to remind the city you would like the East Lake Sammamish Trail completed in a timely fashion with shoulders to accommodate multiple types of users in a safe manner. More information will be posted as we get it.

Also, you might ask, what do the Snake Hill (212th Ave. SE) repairs have to do with trails? As those who live in the south end of Sammamish know, for some time now, bikes and pedestrians have been forbidden to use this way off the plateau and down to the East Lake Sammamish Parkway and Trail as it is so narrow and in need of repair. When this writer recently contacted city staff, was told that the Snake Hill repairs have been postponed until Summer, 2017 due to environmental permitting and right-of-way issues that have taken longer than expected. More importantly, discovered that there will be four foot shoulders on the portion being repaired (the upper half). On the lower half they are only restoring existing pavement. I was concerned about having a width so one could walk/bike the road. This means you will have a nice shoulder at the top but only the white line below. Will we be allowed to walk or bike it? How safe is it to only have half done? I was told to feel free to post a comment on the 212th Webpage regarding desire for wider shoulders the whole way. Here is the link so you can do the same:

So far only 3 of us have commented on the project. I was told the City’s Comprehensive Plan does call for improvements to 212th Way which would include sidewalk. However, that project has to compete with the many other improvements listed in the plan. So your input is needed!

The public works staff person kindly forwarded my comments to Susan Cezar in Parks and Recreation related to the upcoming Trails, Bikeways & Paths Plan update. These are 2 ways to make a difference for biking and trails in Sammamish.