Ebright Creek Home Page
Welcome to Ebright
Creek. This is the mouth of Ebright Creek where it feeds into Lake Sammamish. Yearly runs
of Kokanee salmon spawn in this creek starting in
November through December. The Ebright Kokanee are a unique
biological species found no where else on the planet! Ebright Creek is
the last viable salmon creek in the City of Sammamish. Salmon runs
in November 2003 were documented at over 200 fish per day. See the King County web site for more information on the Kokanee Salmon and Trout.
County Web site on Kokanee Salmon
Saving of Ebright Creek and Ebright Creek Park
by Ilene Stahl -
Ebright Creek is the last
viable Kokanee Salmon stream in the City of Sammamish. It lies in the Thompson Sub-Basin, at about the
middle point of eastern Lake Sammamish. The upper part of the basin begins at Skyline High School and
encompasses the new City of Sammamish
Commons property and several wetlands. Ebright Creek flows over land and finally the edges of the
plateau into Lake Sammamish.
Creek began in summer of 1999, when Friends of Pine Lake filed land-use appeals
with King County on the developments
of The Crossings at Pine Lake and Chestnut Lane. Both developments impact Ebright
Creek. When the new City of Sammamish
took over, Walter Pereyra and Vic Heller joined with
appeals of their own. Appeals generally last a few months. Significant decisions have been made, but one
of these appeals, Chestnut Lane, is still
ongoing after five years!
The Chestnut Lane development of
35 homes, Edgar Martinez’s partnership with William Buchan Homes, Inc., is
important because it was a failure by the county, and then the city, to apply
the Special District Overlay (SO-190).
The SO-190 protects Lake Sammamish by limiting
developments which drain into erosion and landslide hazard zones. Chestnut Lane would have drained storm water
runoff onto a steeply sloping hillside above Ebright
Creek. (The development originally
planned a 125' bridge across the Ebright ravine in
the same erosion hazard zone, which would certainly have harmed Ebright Creek. Those plans were withdrawn due to the action
of FOPL and the other appellants to the Chestnut Lane Development.)
The appeal of Chestnut Lane set a legal
precedent in that the city changed its administrative interpretation of how the
SO-190 is applied. It took a Superior
Court decision to change the city’s mind, though. Friends of Pine Lake and Walter
(Wally) Pereyra jointly filed an appeal, and Vic
Heller separately filed an appeal of Chestnut Lane
Today, the City of Sammamish has
interpreted the SO-190 Overlay in a manner which protects our streams and Lake Sammamish by limiting
development in that zone to the extent that storm water can be infiltrated on
site. That means no detention ponds or outfalls in this zone, as they can erode
streams, harming fish and Lake Sammamish. However, there are many developments built
in erosion or landslide hazard zones, approved by King County and the City
of Sammamish before the Chestnut Lane decision,
which did not impose these SO-190 restrictions.
In the summer of 2003, Friends of Pine
Lake with neighbor
Dan DeFranco appealed the SEPA Determination of
Non-Significance, and the clearing and grading permit, for Ebright Creek Park. The pre-hearing conference on the appeal
identified code violations by the city.. We are still in rather a state of disbelief
about the admission by the city that they had failed to apply their own codes
to the design for Ebright Creek Park! Of course, we’d been telling them this all
along, and complaining mightily about the abbreviated public process in
developing the park from the start. The city withdrew the permit for the park
pending a redesign or code changes due to the appeal.
There were clearly errors in the
planning of Ebright Creek Park. Neighbors
complained when, in October of 2002, the City of Sammamish began the public
process, but did not present the public with any alternatives, which did not
include sports fields, both baseball and soccer. The 12 acre site is long and narrow. Park buildings intruded into buffers set by
code. Trails and ball fields were
designed in wetland and stream buffers, clearly a violation of the code. In addition, a majority of the significant
trees in the center of the park would have had to be taken out. Neighbors wanted a passive park that would
fit into the character of this rural and quiet section of Sammamish, and
Friends of Pine Lake wanted a passive park to protect Ebright
Creek and its salmon habitat.
Clearly the turning point for the City
was the election, in which new council members were chosen by their willingness
to listen to the people and cooperate with other governments for trails and
ball fields in appropriate places. Now,
citizens will get a chance to participate in a totally new design for Ebright Creek Park. We need to
continue to work to see that an environmentally friendly park is created and Ebright Creek is protected.
We have to give much credit and thanks
to our attorney, Richard Aramburu, without whose
knowledge and experience we would certainly have failed long ago! But it is Vic Heller and Walter Pereyra, whose sacrifices and dedication have made them
true heroes to many people in Sammamish. And of course, many thanks
to the members of Friends of Pine Lake and others, for their contributions and
dedication to the environment of Sammamish.
Ilene Stahl, President
Friends of Pine Lake
Help us discover the history of Ebright
We know that the Snoqualmie Indians often obtained fish from
They would hold a potlatch near the mouth of Ebright
Creek and celebrate the fish returning.
Their name for the Kokanee salmon was “The
Little Red Fish”. Many private homes now
border Ebright Creek.
Part of the Creek Property belongs to the Ebright Trust. We
need to find out more about this. Please
email us President
- Friends of Pine Lake.if
you have some insights to the history of the Creek.
Ebright Creek Park has the potential of being:
The first park in Sammamish
dedicated to preserving the natural environment of the Kokanee
The first park in Sammamish
history to offer educational programs through docent lectures.
The first park
in Sammamish with historical buildings.
A park that everyone in the
community can enjoy.
A park that
protects the diverse wild life and wild life habitat.
A park that
respects the ambiance of the neighborhood.
If the current planning for the
park is implemented (combination soccer/baseball field) Ebright
The park that puts ball fields on
top of wetlands.
The park that
will add 300 plus daily car trips to a rural area.
The park that
will need a septic drain field of 1500 gallons of water a day that will drain
into the wetlands and the last viable kokanee salmon
creek of Sammamish.
The park with
the most used ball fileds and the least amount of
buffer space to the neighbors.
The park that
adds excessive noise pollution to a rural neighborhood.
The park that will cut the
majority of the trees on the park site (54) to create ball fields.
A park with ball
fields that will drain fertilizers and other pollutants into the last viable
salmon creek of Sammamish.