The Newport Subarea is located along either side of SR 900 and south of I-90. The subarea is generally characterized by established retail stores along Gilman Boulevard, with office, intensive commercial and light industrial employment uses along Mall Street and the area west of SR 900. Residential uses are located on the north-facing hillsides of Cougar Mountain overlooking Newport Way.
The Bergsma Trust property, approximately 27.5 acres, was annexed (effective date September 16, 1996 Ord #2118) and added to the Newport Subarea. Several years before the annexation, a proposed zoning of Hillside Suburban Residential - two acres per dwelling unit - had been approved. According to Ordinance No. 1748, Section 2, HR Residential zoning (or a comparable current designation) became effective when the Bergsma property was annexed to the City of Issaquah. Upon annexation, Single Family Estates (1.24 du/acre) became the zoning designation, as this was the most comparable designation.
The character of the eastern portion of the subarea is primarily established with suburban mall retail uses such as grocery stores and other services. These centers have reasonably attractive building design and landscaping; however, they are auto-oriented with large parking lots between the store fronts and Gilman Boulevard and lack significant pedestrian and bicycle connections, and SR 900 presents a primary barrier between the east and west halves of the subarea. The Mall Street area and area west of SR 900 presents a mixture of employment activities in generally dated, less attractive buildings, with substandard landscaping and street improvements, with some exceptions.
Residential uses and open space dominate the hillsides south of Newport Way. Tibbetts Valley Park is a City-wide recreational facility within walking distance of the entire subarea. In contrast to the other portions of the subarea, the undeveloped area west of Tibbetts Creek has an almost rural character that reflects what much of this subarea looked like prior to the retail development, which has occurred over the last several decades.
Future development will be encouraged to incorporate residential mixed use, which integrates the natural constraints and amenities, the major arterials and accessibility to I-90, the established shopping centers, and the existing residential areas into an integrated activity area. Environmental constraints that will determine the extent of future development or redevelopment are the numerous waterways, wetlands and steep slopes of Cougar Mountain.
The incorporation of mixed use will allow this subarea to continue to develop while encouraging people to shop, work and live in the same area. Mixed use will also:
- Reduce the use of the automobile
- Promote economic vitality through the people who are present during the business day and into the evening hours for shopping and entertainment
- Foster a "sense of community" and neighborhood with a more diversified group of people.
New development would be a variety of scales, ranging from one to five stories (45 to 65 feet), and include modulation as required by development regulations. The character of new development will be consistent with the design guidelines within the development regulations, and will focus on permanence; for example, brick, wood and granite establish a sense of permanence and would be highly encouraged as building materials. Under-building and shared parking facilities will be encouraged to eliminate vast expanses of pavement and unnecessary impervious surface. Landscaping with native plant materials will be promoted to allow greenery and color while eliminating irrigation needs and conserving the City's water resources.
In the future, trails and pathways will connect residential, office and retail to one another and to pocket parks and view points. A trail system along non-single family zoned Tibbetts Creek will provide a common linkage and facilitate interaction between areas, places and activities, and should be built with an environmentally sensitive design.