Why does the City of Issaquah and Port Blakely want to remove requirements for evergreen trees and landscaping in Issaquah Highlands? My understanding is that Port Blakely can’t afford the landscaping, and evergreen trees are just too difficult to deal with. The reason stated is that somehow not having to landscape the parking lot will allow a cinema to be built.
As a part of a series of changes to the Issaquah Highlands Development Agreement there is a request to do no landscaping for 725 stalls of parking. (I think that is about the size of the parking area in front of Safeway and REI on Gilman).
These parking spaces are being described as interim, which means they get to stay until about 2020, but they also have a potential extension — an extension that has no end date.
The city and Port Blakely both indicate there have been no complaints about the swaths of weedy, grassy, barrenness that was supposed to be Town Center. Are you kidding? Sometimes there are no words. Now they want to replace the weeds with asphalt only and lights. Thanks.
Then, in other parking areas, they are asking to remove the requirement for evergreen trees, requiring only deciduous trees because evergreens are too hard to deal with, even on parking lot edges. There goes year round screening of parking lots for those who look out at the Highlands or drive I-90 or live in the Highlands.
I still remember Port Blakely marketing the Issaquah Highlands showing sales signs with a family hiking in the evergreen trees, don’t you?
Is this what our highly touted New Urbanism looks like when it hits a financial wall? It is not a pretty sight when you abandon your core values.