John Robinson (Position 7)


1.Do you support a plastic bag and styrofoam ban in Sammamish?  Why or why not?


I support a ban on plastic bags and Styrofoam originating in Sammamish because this has proven to be successful in other cities for affecting a positive change in how people use packaging.  Additionally, we should partner with the school districts to recycle daily school lunch refuse that is recyclable and includes milk cartons and cardboard lunch trays. 

2. How would you encourage local businesses and Sammamish residents to compost and recycle?  What incentives, education, and/or regulations would you enact to increase participation in these programs throughout the city? 


I believe in partnerships for the mutual benefits of our residents and the businesses that serve us.  I would explore a city partnership with Republic Services to collect our residents’ garden recycle ingredients (as they currently do), recycle the waste and then make it available to our residents to use in their gardens.  Republic could deposit the recycled compost at a city site such as the Lower Commons and allow residents to pick up as needed.  Concurrent with this program we would educate and advertise to Sammamish residents the benefits for our residents, the city and our environment.

3. What is your priority for land acquisition for open space, parks, and/or trail connections for the city of Sammamish? Why?


Sammamish residents have listed as their number one priority to have city acquire passive forest preserves for our residents.  When properties become available and are adjacent to, and/or, a part of the proposed Emerald Necklace preserve, then the city should acquire first.  Developing the Emerald Necklace with its continuous trail network will be a unique and defining characteristic of Sammamish and aligned with the goals of our residents.

4. What is your plan for reducing car traffic in Sammamish?  Would that include increasing public transit and/or removing road barricades to increase connectivity?


I propose a three-point approach to resolving traffic congestion.  

Point one is for the near term and requires city hall to be much more transparent as to how concurrency is calculated and the data utilized as a basis for their calculations and development approvals. Once we understand how city hall calculates concurrency then we have a clearer understanding of how we can amend, adopt and change traffic concurrency and the real traffic issues confronting our citizens.

Point two requires a regional partnership with our neighboring cities of Redmond and Issaquah as these municipalities significantly impact our citizens and traffic.  Additionally, we are dependent upon the state to upgrade SR202 to help relieve our northern traffic bottleneck.  We require a cooperative partnership with Redmond, Issaquah and the state as to how we, as a region, can positively affect the problem of traffic.  

Point three is for the long term in that more roads are not the complete answer to our traffic congestion.  If we wave a wand and build more roads (not even considering our geographic limitations and the dollars required) we might relieve a traffic issue in one area, such as Sahalee Way, but we move congestion to another area of our road network because we don’t change the basic fact that people drive single occupancy in their autos; and, there are too many automobiles on our road network. For real change, we must take a holistic view of traffic and how people move about our city and to their places of employment.  We need to change people’s transit patterns, the number of people in an auto, how are major employers can join with the city to provide partnerships to transit an employee to their employer, and whether they need to be there every day.  I believe there is an opportunity for the city to partner with several of our major employers (MSFT, AMZN, COST) to build shared sites for their Sammamish employees to help relieve traffic.  Additionally, employers can incentivize their employees to ride share, use company provided buses, or employee shared autos to help reduce the number of cars on our roads. Finally, we need a long-term comprehensive municipal transit plan for moving our citizens to the north or south of the plateau to the proposed transit sites for light rail.  Lastly, Sammamish requires a park and ride transit center be located at the Town Center as a hub for municipal transit to the north and south of the plateau.

5. How would you increase trail connectivity in and around Sammamish to increase walkability within the city and to and from the Emerald Necklace? 


As Sammamish transitions from a rural to a more urban city we need to define our goals to increase connectivity and walkability within the city.  The overall goal is sustainable urban development that includes walkability and connectivity of our city neighborhoods, services and forest preserves.  I see two areas we can improve upon:  street design that fosters and enables walking through safe sidewalks with accessibility to services and in-city transit for longer commutes such as the Town Center and the Emerald Necklace.

6. Would you support Sammamish using the STAR Community Rating  system ( as a sustainability framework and certification program? Nearby, Seattle is a 5-STAR Certified Community (the second city in the country to do so!), Tacoma is a 4-STAR Certified Community, and King County is a 4-STAR Certified Community.  


I support Sammamish reviewing the process for establishing STAR certification.

7. Do you support completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail to King County regional trail standards?  As currently designed by King County Parks, the trail meets King County and AASHTO national standards for a trail of its type and expected volume of use, including design as a 12-foot-wide trail.


I support completion of the East Lake Sammamish trail to the King County trail standards. The current and primary issue that is delaying the completion of the trail is that some property owners have encroached upon county line, as viewed by the county.  It is ironic that the county provided building approvals for these property owners over the years and now they are entwined in property ownership legal issues.

8. Would you support the city transforming our unattractive storm water ponds to promote a natural aesthetic? How would you propose that the city ensure they are properly maintained in form and function?


I support the city promoting a natural aesthetic for storm water ponds within our city.  As a part of the King County Surface Water Design, storm water runoff management is required and essential to Sammamish.  

9. Do you support the creation of aesthetic design standards for new developments in Sammamish?  Why or why not?


I support the creation of aesthetic design standards for new developments – residential as well as commercial.  Identifying and preserving our city’s defining characteristics is one of my priorities.  Clearly, one city characteristic is our great natural beauty and we need to define a design standard to align with our environment.

10. The agreement between the city and the Y includes transferring the Y property next to Pine Lake Middle School to the city at no cost if it is used for active recreation.  Some would like to see it developed for more passive use to maintain tree canopy and wildlife habitat.  This passive use of the property may require the city to purchase it outright.  How would you handle this issue?


The Sammamish citizens have voiced their opinions for the preservation of the tree canopy with trails throughout our forest preserves and ranked these attributes number one in the recent surveys.  The city has set aside a fund for the acquisition of passive use property and I would support the city to purchase outright under a fiscally conservative approach.

11. What 3 actions should the city take to increase its tree canopy cover?


First, we have to preserve and properly maintain the tree canopy that currently exists. Citizens need to consult with the city for approval before downing a tree and the city needs to enforce our current policies for tree preservation.  Second, city council needs to revisit zoning ordinances and policies for residential development and tighten up the restrictions for clearing of large diameter trees from a property.  Third, an active and on-going replacement of downed trees by a developer needs to be measured and enforced by the city.

12. What is your goal for Sammamish’s Urban Forest?  Additionally, would you support the following proposals? Why or why not?


a) Linking that goal to storm water retention

Yes, our environment is interconnected, depending upon each segment to thrive.

b) Creating an Urban Forest Panel or Board to monitor and enforce the provisions of the Urban Forest Management Plan

Yes, preservation of the forest will become more complex in the future and an informed panel can advocate.

c) Hiring one or more arborists to city staff to assist in assessment of trees on land to be developed as well as to support policies in the Urban Forest Management Plan

First, a study should be performed to determine the fiscal feasibility of adding to the city’s staff.  If a strong financial case were presented then I would support the addition of an arborist.

d) Creating a requirement that retained trees are clustered together rather than scattered or left in a thin line at the property boundary? This “Tree Save” idea has been used in other cities, with the provision that only passive recreation can be conducted within the retained cluster. 

This is a logical requirement that can be incorporated into stronger development rules by the city council.

13. Would you support having a dedicated Sustainability staff member in Sammamish? (Issaquah currently has 5 staff in its Office of Sustainability.) 


Similar to my answer for 12c., a study should be performed to determine the fiscal feasibility of adding to the staff.

14. What other efforts would you actively pursue to further sustainability in Sammamish?


I am interested in the city council passing a residential developer ordinance for the inclusion of solar with new homes.  The cost of solar hardware has been significantly reduced in recent years and the payback to the homeowner has improved.

Back to the questionnaire page

Position 1 Mark Baughman Jason Ritchie
Position 3 Minal Ghassemieh Karen Howe Karen Moran
Position 5 Ryika Hooshangi Rituja Indapure Chris Ross
Position 7 Melanie Curtright John Robinson Pam Stuart