Issaquah Council denies request for stabilizing wall on Talus property

Issaquah City Council denies request to locate wall in public right-of-way due to potential risk.

The Issaquah City Council denied a request to build a wall with tiebacks along a property in the Talus area that would encumber the public right of way and city property along Foothills Drive Northwest.

The owners of Talus Parcel 9 have requested the city approve a stabilizing wall that feature tiebacks, an element that is installed into the ground itself for stabilization.

In 2015, parcel 9 was the site of a landslide and the owners proposed building four walls to stabilize the land. Three walls were approved by the city without tiebacks. The fourth wall was applied for in August and was the only wall that requested tiebacks into the land.

The proposed tiebacks would go deep into the ground, eventually some 10-feet away from city utilities lines, said Keith Niven, director of development services.

In review by the Council Infrastructure Committee, they determined the proposed encumbrance would introduce potential risk for the city to put the structures on public property. The introduction of risk on the property is one of the primary reasons both the administration and committee recommended denial of the request.

Niven told the council that the property owner had not demonstrated that tiebacks were the only way possible for them to stabilize the land. Before they ask to burden the public property, the city would ask them to explore other design options without tiebacks.

Other designs exist, Niven said, but it is currently unknown if they are economically feasible for the property owner.

The council voted to deny the request with a unanimous 5-0 vote. Councilmember Chris Reh was absent.

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