On Aug. 7, 2017, the City Council voted to adopt amendments to the Central Issaquah Plan that:
- Clarify the administrative adjustment of standards
- Clarify the definition of parking structure and carport
- Require structured parking for new residential of any size; office uses above 5,000 gross square feet; and retail uses above 25,000 gross square feet
At that same meeting the Chamber spoke out against the required structure parking for retail use above 25,000 gross square feet portion of the parking amendments. Below is the comment that was read into the record on our memberships' behalf.
“As a pro-business advocate for economic vitality in the region, the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce supports business opportunities that meet the vision of the Central Issaquah plan and enhances the economic vitality of our community.
We thank the city staff and the city council for all you do. The work city staff, city council, and land and shore has done on the issues surrounding design standards for parking has been thorough and shows due diligence in addressing the future needs of Issaquah.
Market usually dictates parking. And in that sense we agree that it is best to have guidelines in place so that by the time the market catches up with the parking needs of Issaquah we are better prepared to deal with them.
However, the Chamber would like to respectfully remind the council that these recommendations may be more severe than our current situation dictates. We ask you to consider that it would better our interest to support the recommendations from the original Land and Shore meeting to not include retail for now and to support densification over time, and address retail parking needs as the market indicates.
Our business community and local developers have asked us to also respectfully remind City Council that parking structures on the valley floor can cost up to seven times more than other areas on the east side. And that no other munincipality in the region requires such a high covered surface parking for retail.
Again, the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and our business community can support design standards for parking for housing and office space (although this to presents challenges). We ask that you reconsider 50% covered parking for retail over 25,000 square feet. When it comes to retail we believe it would be best to follow other communities in the region and not adopt standards that would deter our ability to meet the current and short term needs of community. Instead let the market take the lead and support densification over time.”