The Sammamish City Council last night postponed adoption of a new Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP), citing steps it must first address to comply with the Growth Management Hearing Board’s (GMHB) decision and remand in Gerend v. City of Sammamish.
The GMHB decision invalidated the City’s adoption of a method of determining transportation level of service (LOS) because it had not been incorporated into the City’s Growth Management Act Comprehensive Plan, and because the Board deemed environmental review insufficient.
“Pursuant to the Gerend decision, Sammamish will do a full environmental review of proposed LOS amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Transportation Element, and as part of that will consider consistency with the Plan’s other elements including Capital Facilities and Land Use. The City intends to comply with the GMHB decision, has already begun the process to do so, and looks forward to completing the work expeditiously” said City Manager Dave Rudat.
“The City Council is obligated to responsibly legislate in the best interests of the residents of Sammamish. Approving a new six-year TIP that effectively pre-empts and prejudges the Gerend decision compliance process would be putting the cart before the horse,” said Mayor Karen Moran. “We need to reorder the sequence of reviews so that they make sense, are consistent, and can provide a holistic view of our transportation plans for Sammamish. And that begins with revisiting the Comprehensive Plan’s Transportation Element, inclusive of an environmental impact review. We cannot adopt a TIP that would potentially conflict with amendments to the Comprehensive Plan,” added Moran.
The TIP is traditionally used as a basis for grant applications to fund transportation projects. However, the City was not planning to apply for grants in the coming year so will not lose any planned grant funding possibilities.
A proposed budget for capital improvements is in the process of preparation and will be presented to City Council by October 1st. This includes road projects.
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