An Update on the Bergsma Property
By David Kappler
The Bergsma property acquisition along Newport Way and adjoining the King County Big Tree Trailhead is moving along well. The land is still zoned for residential use and the city could legally sell it to a developer, but the city definitely does not want to do that, but they do need to get both county and state park/open space funds in order to retain the property as park/open space.
King County has approved significant funding to partially pay back Issaquah for their full cash purchase of the property. That funding is working through the county process and all indications are very positive. In order for the city to get the county funding a conservation easement will have to be placed on the land to make sure it stays park.
State funding is also expected, but not in the near future as that is a longer process that involves acquisitions and improvements to lands all over the state.
Issaquah is working through the rezone process to make sure the land is zoned correctly for its long term intended use. Issaquah has been working for years on transportation improvements for the adjoining Newport Way. The community has supported a narrowing of the right of way being used for the road from what was thought necessary if Bergsma was to be developed for housing.
Previous plans for the road including a wider road prism, more extensive and higher retaining walls and loss of large hillside trees and potential damage to additional trees. We have been greatly encouraged with the direction the city has been taking in redefining the appropriate road features with this much desired planned change of use to park and open space.