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Development Agreements: Next Steps
Issaquah Highlands


More than two decades ago, Issaquah adopted zoning for two urban villages: Issaquah Highlands and Talus. 

These urban villages have development agreements with the City that dictates the rules and entitlements associated with that neighborhood for a specific time period. 

Once that time period ends, either the property owner or the City can end the development agreement. In 2017, both the Issaquah Highlands and Talus agreements will likely end.

Port Blakely Communities has asked to end the 20-year agreement for Issaquah Highlands. In Talus, the City will ask to end the 15-year agreement.

As the development agreements end, our goal is keep the existing character of each urban village, and make land use rules more consistent with the rest of Issaquah.

What is a development agreement?

A development agreement is a state-created tool that allows a property owner and city to develop a joint plan for property.

In negotiating the agreement, the property owner and city form a partnership with a shared vision, tailored specifically for that property.

In exchange for increased density, the property owner includes public amenities. In Issaquah Highlands and Talus, for example, the respective developers set aside significant portions of their properties as permanent open space — more than 1,400 acres in the Highlands and about 400 acres at Talus.

Why end the development agreements?
Ending the development agreements will allow for portions of the City currently covered by the specific agreements to be treated and evaluated consistently with the rest of Issaquah, as well as streamline the permitting process for property owners in the affected areas.

Throughout the process, you can share your feedback and ideas in many ways.

Starting in April, City staff will meet with residents from each urban village.

In June, City staff will begin a series of joint meetings with the Urban Village Development and Planning Policy commissions, to form a recommendation to City Council.

Starting in the fall, the recommendation will move to the City Council for discussion. The process of updating codes will extend through December, when the council is expected to adopt new rules for the urban villages.

Issaquah Contacts

Staff Liaison
Lucy Sloman, Land Development Manager