After nearly three years of delays, the city council finally approved a development plan for one subdivision of the Sammamish Town Center at their Dec. 6 regular meeting.
The subdivision, Brownstones West, will span two blocks just north of Lower Sammamish Commons. It will be Phase 1 of the broader Town Center development, taking up the southwest corner of the planned Town Center.
Brownstones West will be a primarily residential area, including 28 new townhomes and 10 new single-family residences.
The plan was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Councilmember Kent Treen the lone dissenter. What was approved on Dec. 6 differed from previous iterations of the plan with the consolidation of stormwater facilities, added open space and trails, and reduced impervious surfaces. Access to the area was also improved with the realignment of a street to alter traffic and the addition of a new entrance to Lower Sammamish Commons.
The proposal’s approval came after multiple delays. From April 2020 to July 2021, the city held a development moratorium.
Gerend accused the council, which was majority anti-development at the time, of using unreasonable regulations to block development.
The developer STCA’s initial mixed-use application was also denied in late 2020 due to issues such as the location of the city square and the lack of low-impact development strategies such as tree and native soil retention across the site. A lengthy appeal process ultimately remanded the city’s decision in 2021, allowing development to begin this year.
The current city council expressed approval for the plan, citing the environmental benefits from the open space and reduced impervious surfaces, as well as the more cost-effective stormwater management system.
Councilmember Pam Stuart supported the plan, stating that “the benefits appear quite achievable and significant enough…that it was worth codifying in an agreement.”
During the city council meeting, Councilmember Amy Lam said, “I just think it’s a huge improvement from where we were and I’m really happy to see the Town Center moving forward.”
Construction for the apartments and townhouses will begin in May 2023 and end in 2025 or 2026, according to Matthew Samwick, operating manager of STCA.
“What I’m most excited about is that we finally get to work together as a community on this very important project which will serve not only today’s citizens, but future generations of citizens,” Samwick said.
Innovation Realty Partners, LLC is managing the Sammamish Town Center development and is a sponsor of the Sammamish Independent.