How is new development in Sammamish affecting your life?
Growth may be a painful subject, but we need your answers, your suggestions, and your best thinking to meet this complex challenge.
Cities in Washington are obligated by the Growth Management Act to meet “residential growth targets.” Between 2012 and 2035, Sammamish is supposed to issue permits for 4,439 new residential units. As of June 30, 2016, 1,075 of those units had been permitted. That leaves a balance of 3,364 additional units.
One of the key features of the GMA is its imposition of the urban growth boundary. Inside the boundary, urban densities and infrastructure common to cities are required. Outside the boundary, the land is to remain rural. Sammamish is entirely urban, with the boundary running along the city’s eastern border.
Although there are some mechanisms for managing development, cities cannot stop growth. When communities try to prevent property owners from developing their land, or try to reduce the number of new homes by arbitrarily downzoning property – effectively reducing a property’s value – the developers win in court, go ahead and build their homes, and then pocket tax-payer funded financial awards to boot.
In this Virtual Town Hall, and others that follow on the topic of growth, the city would like to examine your attitudes and values. After we complete this introductory conversation, and then move on to more in-depth discussions, perhaps we’ll discover remedies, or investments, that will surprise us all. Please take a few moments to share your thoughts.
Thanks so much for your help. We look forward to identifying strategies that will be both helpful and legal!
For information about Washington State's Growth Management Act (GMA, 1990), visit here.
On Sept. 8, the city began its a “Round-table Meeting on Growth” with a power point presentation. You can see it here: http://www.sammamish.us/files/document/17350.pdf
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