After reading the most recent comments on the changing plans for development in the Highlands by Molly Bell and Dan Stone in The Reporter, I am reminded of the fight we had with Judd Kirk in the early 1990s.
I worked tirelessly, as did many plateau residents, on the Plateau Comprehensive Plan.
The area now known as The Issaquah Highlands was known as Grand Ridge, an untouched forest with trails and much wildlife.
The owners, Port Blakely, and former Seahawks’s coach, Ken Bering, wanted it changed from rural to urban to allow a densely populated master planned community. The zoning had been rural and allowed for a minimum 5 acre parcels. After months of meetings, discussions, presentations before the King County Council, it was agreed that Grand Ridge would stay rural, and the plateau would take more density in its urban designations as a trade off.
Then came Gary Locke as King County Executive, who worked out a deal with the mayor of Issaquah, Rowan Hinds, who was an ardent supporter of Port Blakely’s proposal.
Somehow, without community input, Grand Ridge was designated urban and you got what you have today as the Issaquah Highlands.
Judd Kirk was the representative for Port Blakely then, so it does not surprise me now that he is still pushing for the most density in this former bucolic area.