A Letter to the Editor From Julie Clark
Thank you Issaquah! We have shown that community involvement does work. Over the course of 5 months, the Newport Way Corridor and Talus opposition voice grew to 300 strong. As we have said all along — we could not do this without all your involvement — no matter how large or small.
On Monday, June 19, 2017 Issaquah City Council members unanimously voted to deny the Bergsma Development Agreement including the connector road to Talus.
What this means is that instead of 78 cluster homes, only 40 homes can be built on the site and a road connecting Bergsma to Talus will not be built.
How did Issaquah residents accomplish this? Between 20 and 70 citizens attended each of at least five city meetings over the course of five months and spoke during the public comments to be sure their voices were heard. A number of those who spoke used presentations and pictures to make certain the issues were seen. Others who were present, but didn’t speak, raised their hands to show support of the messages being delivered. Many people wrote letters to the City Council, Development Commission and Land & Shore Committee to ensure the city understood what it was they were saying. More than 300 people signed petitions to show their support and concern to the City. Issaquah residents were heard, seen and understood.
By the City Council Meeting on June 19th, more than 70 residents attended and about 20 gave public comment. Issaquah City Council unanimously denied the Bergsma Development Agreement including the connector road to Talus.
Throughout each step the city continued to propose the connector road as a short cut egress and not emergency only. The city had not altered their original stance to accommodate any of the commissioners or City Council member’s recommendations.
Our group has shown that citizen input does make a difference and we have the right to ask for responsible development.
Our community outreach could have been sparked by the recent presidential elections and/or by the upcoming Issaquah elections. Whatever the case, the Talus neighborhoods and Newport Way Corridor residents have become active participants. We are continuing our efforts to save the forests on the northeast corner of Cougar Mountain for the enjoyment of all of Issaquah as mandated by the Issaquah Comprehensive Plan.
Your support is greatly appreciated.