Mid-2013, new discussion commenced about the future of Lake Sammamish State Park.
Six months ago, The Issaquah Press reported on three proposals submitted for the development of the park, development ranging from light to heavy. Little news has filtered out about the review status of the proposals at the City of Issaquah or the State Parks.
Keith Niven, City of Issaquah Economic Development Director, is coordinating the city’s consideration of the issue.
In an email to Issaquah 360 today, Keith states that from the three proposals, “We gained an understanding that there are a number of creative ideas that could be incorporated into the existing Master Plan concept for the Park to not only increase its vitality, but could also offer a new source of revenue for State Parks.
“We also came to understand during this process that moving forward would require additional planning activities and the preparation and review of appropriate environmental documents under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
“Neither the City nor State Parks has budgeted for this planning and environmental work, nor did any of the groups responding to the [request for proposals] indicate a willingness to shoulder the expense of a potential EIS.”
At this point in time, neither the city nor State Parks knows whether third parties using park land would generate sufficient public benefit to warrant the expenditure of public funds necessary to cover the cost of the environmental review.
The city and State Parks have instead decided to define a less-costly cost-benefit evaluation to assess the viability of the proposals they received and to forecast their financial return to State Parks and the City. It is likely this step could take several months.
Issaquah 360 provided an overview of the status of the State Park in an article last year.
Photo credit: Tanya Little