Advocacy Alert: Demolition Permit Filed for Providence Heights
Voice your opposition to the demolition of Providence Heights College
04.05.17


The City of Issaquah recently received a demolition permit for Providence Heights Campus and has issued the following documents for public comment:
  1. Proposed Determination of Non-Significance
  2. SEPA Environmental Checklist
  3. Final Staff Evaluation for Environmental Checklist
The City of Issaquah has determined that demolition of the campus has no significant adverse effectthe Washington Trust strongly disagrees with this finding. We will be commenting on these documents and encourage anyone who values Providence Heights to also comment. Specifically, due to the size and significance of the property we encourage you to request that the City require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be completed. An EIS is necessary to appropriately investigate the full impact of demolition.
 
Points to potentially include in your comments to the City of Issaquah:
  • The City of Issaquah has issued a proposed Determination of Nonsignificance. Under this proposal, the City is currently requiring no mitigation for this demolition. The staff evaluation notes that the owner has offered to salvage the stained glass windows, but without a specific “Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance,” salvage of the windows appears to be only on “good faith” and is not actually being required.
  • The campus has been deemed eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. It is also meets several criteria for designation on the local City of Issaquah Historic Register. While ownership of the campus by a religious entity may prevent it from receiving local or national designation, this does not negate the fact that this property is of extremely high historic and architectural significance. The City of Issaquah’s staff evaluation fails to take this into account.
  • In our opinion, the City of Issaquah worded their evaluation to suggest the landmark nomination for the campus was withdrawn due to lack of significance. This is misleading. Withdrawal of the nomination occurred solely based on the threat of legal action.
  • The applicant’s SEPA checklist characterizes the campus as “predominantly one structure” which is inaccurate and gives the impression that the demolition is smaller than it actually is.
  • The demolition of this campus and the proposed plan to build two public schools on the site is a massive undertaking and the City of Issaquah should require that a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be completed. The EIS should identify workable alternatives to demolition, meaningful mitigation for options that do not include preservation, and an analysis on the loss of embodied energy that will occur from the demolition of these structures.

Comments are DUE Friday, April 14 by 5pm. 

Your comments should be addressed to: 

Keith Niven, AICP, CEcD
keithn@issaquahwa.gov
Economic Development & Development Services Director
P.O. Box 1307
Issaquah, WA 98027-1307



Read more about the demolition permit from the Issaquah Reporter:
"City of Issaquah deems Providence Heights campus not worth preserving"