Laughing Jacobs Basin Plan

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Project Description

The Laughing Jacobs Basin drains approximately 3,600 acres of the southern portion of the City of Sammamish, as well as a northern portion of the City of Issaquah. The basin headwaters originate in the upland plateau within the City of Sammamish. The basin contains two lakes (Laughing Jacobs Lake and Beaver Lake), numerous wetland complexes, including sphagnum bog wetlands, and is drained by Laughing Jacobs Creek and its numerous tributaries. The creek traverses southwest off the plateau, from Sammamish to Issaquah, and discharges into Lake Sammamish. Although Beaver Lake and areas that drain to Beaver Lake are the headwaters for Laughing Jacobs Basin, they will not be included in the Laughing Jacobs Basin Plan Project.

The Laughing Jacobs subbasin was last studied with the East Lake Sammamish Basin Plan and NonPoint Action Plan (King County, 1994).  In that study, several development-related concerns were noted in the Laughing Jacobs subbasin, including erosion and sediment deposition in stream channels, flooding over roads, and degraded water quality with nutrient and bacteria exceedances in surface water bodies. Many high-quality wetlands were also identified in the basin and were considered to be sensitive to human disturbance and fluctuations in water level. 

Substantial residential development has occurred in the basin within the past 25 years, with additional re-development projects anticipated as the City of Sammamish continues to transition from rural to urban densities.  Additionally, Laughing Jacobs Creek has been identified by the Kokanee Work Group (KWG) as a primary kokanee spawning stream (KWG Blueprint, 2014).  Trout Unlimited is currently working with a consultant to monitor and recommend alternatives to improve kokanee spawning conditions in the lower reaches and mouth of Laughing Jacobs Creek within the City of Issaquah. 

The purpose of this project is to develop a basin plan for the Laughing Jacobs Basin that will aid the City in identifying and prioritizing short and long-term actions to improve the overall health of the basin. The plan will include evaluation of flooding, erosion, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat problems in the basin under existing and future predicted conditions.  The plan will address climate change resiliency.  The plan will also include recommendations, prioritization and planning level cost estimates of capital improvement projects (CIP), maintenance and operations activities, and programmatic measures including education and outreach to correct, mitigate, or avoid these problems. This may require survey of key drainage system components, use of GIS tools, flow monitoring, water quality sampling, or hydrologic and hydraulic simulations for evaluation and presentation purposes. Potential water quality impacts and environmental regulations will need to be factored into the analyses.  Water quality sampling and analysis will be part of this Plan.

Project Updates

The City has issued a Request for Qualifications and Proposed Approaches to consultant engineering firms.  The consultant selection process will take place over the next two months, and consist of proposal evaluations, interviews, and scope of work negotiations. We expect to kick-off the project in February 2019.

Timeline (Updated 05 November, 2018)

07 NOV 2018 - RFQ/PA Published

14 NOV 2018 - Deadline for consultants to send in questions to City

15 NOV 2018 - City will publish responses to questions

28 NOV 2018 - Statements of Qualification and Proposed Approaches (SOQ/PAs) due to City at 4pm

30 NOV 2018 - City will notify short-listed firms for interviews

13 DEC 2018 - Interviews for short-listed firms

18 DEC 2018 - City will notify selected consultant

16 JAN 2019 - Complete Scope of Work (SOW) negotiations

05 FEB 2019 - Contract award by City council

SEPT 2020 - Final Plan draft due

NOV 2020 - Final Plan presented to City Council

DEC 2020 - Final Plan adopted by City Council


The fee for this project is $300,000.


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