City issues conditional permit for southern East Lake Sammamish Trail
The city of Sammamish issued a permit Tuesday that outlines “significant conditions” for work on the southern portion of the East Lake Sammamish Trail. Construction could begin as early as mid-October, according to the King County website.
The city issued a shoreline substantial development permit. The permit stipulates that two sections, about 550 feet of the 1.3-mile stretch from Southeast 43rd Way to Southeast 33rd Street, be narrowed to save approximately 63 significant trees and other vegetation.
"Given the many good-faith conversations we've had, I certainly hope the county will find the permit conditions reasonable and won't appeal the permit," City Manager Ben Yazici said in a press release.
Another condition of the permit requires the county to either redesign or move a storm water vault to reduce the impact to nearby residents.
The county has already finished paving and widening the path to 12 feet with 3-foot shoulders on either side in the northern section of the trail, which opened last weekend.
The northern section now sports guard rails, fencing, gates, trail shoulders and intersections.
The county had been preparing to do the same to the southern segment of the trail, when the Sammamish City Council's involvement in the design process intensified earlier this year due to many citizens concerns regarding the county's 90 percent design plan.
As a good-faith effort, the county released a 95 percent design plan in April, which technically met Sammamish codes. City staff and the council said there was still more to do, as evidence of the constraints detailed in the recently issued permit.
The total budget for the Sammamish potion of the trail project is about $39.4 million. As of March, the county had spent $24.1 million, according King County Parks and Recreation Capital Project Managing Supervisor Frank Overton.
Funding is provided by the voter-approved 2014-19 Parks, Trails and Open Space Replacement Levy, as well as by grants from the Transportation Enhancements Program, the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program and state Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
The county originally purchased the railbanked corridor in 1998 and installed an interim soft-surface trail along the 11-mile Sammamish stretch, which opened to the public in 2006.
The Sammamish trail, once completed, will be part of a 44-mile-long regional urban trail corridor from Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood to Issaquah.