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ISD Providence Heights Property Update – City Council to Discuss Zoning of Site Intended for Fourth Comprehensive High School

Posted by Elizabeth Egan on November 05, 2019

The Issaquah City Council is holding a Council Study Session on November 12, 2019 to discuss zoning for 40 acres of property previously owned by Churchome located near Providence Point. The District recently acquired the property, following an exhaustive search for school sites within the Urban Growth Boundary as required by the Countywide Planning Policies—as well as a lengthy eminent domain process. The land was acquired for the purpose of building a fourth comprehensive high school and an elementary school, both approved by voters in the 2016 school bond election. The zoning of this property will determine whether or not the District may move forward with the planning for those schools.

The City of Issaquah’s Planning Policy Commission recommended during their October 24 meeting that the City adopt zoning that would prohibit the District from building our desperately needed fourth high school on this site and render a significant portion of the site unusable for any purpose. We are aware of the concerns being raised about the construction of these two schools by the neighbors of the site and we are committed to continuing our work and collaboration with these communities to address their concerns while building our critically needed schools.

The Issaquah School Board and Administration have sent letters to City officials asking for their consideration in this important matter as schools are already experiencing severe overcrowding and there are no other available land alternatives to serve the students and community of the District. See a copy of the letters sent by ISD Board President Harlan Gallinger and Superintendent Ron Thiele to the Issaquah City Council.

The next step in this process is the November 12 Study Session in which the Council will take public input. Thereafter, we understand that the City will consider possible action, following a public hearing, during their regularly scheduled December 16 meeting. For updates on the process please check the City of Issaquah’s Website for additional information. Individuals can also email the Issaquah City Council at citycouncil@issaquahwa.gov if they would like to provide input into this critical decision.