Featured Community: Sammamish

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One of the fastest growing communities on the Eastside, the City of Sammamish enjoys a tranquil setting surrounded by natural beauty. Home to 40,000 people, the residential community is located on the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish, with Redmond to the north and Issaquah to the south. Sammamish incorporated as a city in August 1999. Since then the city has been busy building new roads, designing parks and creating other community infrastructure.

Historically an area of timber and agricultural activities, Sammamish now boasts many of the finest residential areas in the Puget Sound region set in an environment of green spaces, including wetlands and community parks. The area has long been considered to be excellent for families – as evidenced by the substantial number of people under 18, the excellent school systems (Issaquah and Lake Washington School Districts) and the emphasis on organized youth activities.

A blend of small-town atmosphere with a suburban character, the city also enjoys a unique core of urban lifestyles and conveniences. It is characterized by quality neighborhoods, vibrant natural features, and outstanding recreational opportunities. A variety of community gathering places provide numerous civic, cultural, and educational opportunities. Restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues dot the nature landscape of the city.

Residents are actively involved in the decisions that shape the community and ensure a special sense of place. Accordingly, the city’s Comprehensive Plan is intended to:

  • Maintain a small-town atmosphere and suburban character so that new development will complement Sammamish’s existing character as well as allow for diversity and creativity;
  • Provide a family friendly, kid safe community;
  • Encourage community gathering spaces which invite human presence, arouse curiosity, pique interest and allow for the interaction of people;
  • Establish a unique sense of place for visitors and residents;
  • Respect the character and integrity of existing neighborhoods;
  • Preserve trees and green ways by encouraging the preservation or development of large areas of greenery which provide a visual impact as opposed to creating small areas of unusable residue;
  • Protect and enhance streams, wetlands and wildlife corridors;
  • Maintain a harmonious relationship between the natural environment and future urban development;
  • Create a safe and interesting network of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding;
  • Establish a park and recreation system that meets the high standards of the community;
  • Provide accessible, quality government service and encourage active, involved citizens;
  • Develop civic and cultural opportunities and experiences.

Lake Sammamish is the sixth largest lake in Washington, and one of the major recreational lakes—with high use by fishermen, boaters, water skiers, swimmers, and picnickers. The freshwater lake is 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, with a maximum depth of 105 feet and a surface area of 8 square miles. It lies east of Bellevue and west of the Sammamish Plateau, and stretches from Issaquah in the south to Redmond in the north. There are popular State and County parks along the shore including Marymoor Park at the lake’s north end, Lake Sammamish State Park at its south end and East Lake Sammamish Trail. Lake Sammamish State Park boasts 6,858 feet of waterfront along its 512 acres. The parks day-use facilities including an active boat launch, picnic tables and shelters, playgrounds, two swimming beaches, and softball and soccer fields.