For starters, water is so scarce here the city is only able topermit very small projects—those needing no more than theequivalent of three residences' worth of water. And, that looks toremain the status quo until a new 24" water main from Bellevue toIssaquah is completed sometime within the next year. Assuming anecessary permit is forthcoming.

Port Blakely Communities, developer of the Issaquah Highlands, a3,250-home master-planned community, traded its commitment toconstruct the main (from Bellevue to Issaquah) for access to thecurrent water for its massive project. Once the $16-million to$18-million water main is in, ownership will be transferred to thecity, giving it a new resource for further development. The problemis, a construction permit from the state's Department ofTransportation has not been forthcoming—putting the whole processon hold.

The stall can be found at Lakemont Boulevard, just west ofIssaquah off State Route 900, where connection of completedsections on either hide hinges on the DOT allowing Port Blakely tobore beneath the road. Butch Weiher, a construction inspector withthe city tells GlobeSt, "The section I'm working on is 85%complete. The second is being held up by permit issues with theDOT." Just exactly what those issues are is unclear, and GlobeStwas unable to reach a transportation department official forclarification on deadline.

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