Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
Kirkland's four winning City Council candidates were our special guests. Amy Walen mentioned that annexation is right on the border of getting the required 60%. If it fails the council could vote it in. In that case, the annexation area would not be bound by Kirkland's existing indebtedness.
Joan McBride talked about the upcoming issues before the council. Dave Ramsay, who Joan described as the best in Washington, is retiring and Kirkland will need a new City Manager. Joan mentioned the contentious Council meetings of the past few years. She suggested that the City adopt a code of ethics and a code of conduct for council members
Joan talked about economic development. She would like to convene a formal meeting of developers to help create a plan for the revitalization of Totem Lake.
Doreen Marchione, who has been mayor of Redmond and CEO of Hopelink in past years, hopes to use her experience to reduce divisiveness within the City Council and to find solutions to the tough challenges facing Kirkland.
Penny Sweet thinks that the power of community can help Kirkland attain its goals. Penny mentioned the volunteerism that she has organized for the 4th of July Celebration and downtown holiday decorations and how we can accomplish a lot by working together and ending divisiveness between business and neighborhoods.
All four new Councilmembers spoke in favor of annexation.
Rick Chesmore of Chesmore/Buck Architects was our next guest. Rick described the Hector's Property remodel and expansion that is currently underway. Originally proposed as a five story office building, the location will now undergo a three phase project. The existing "Waterfront Market" building is being reconfigured. Existing businesses Thin Pan and Ben and Jerry's will reopen in the new space, and new tenants will fill other spaces. This phase of the project is underway and should be finished in March. Phase two will entail the existing Hector's building, which will remain. The building just south, former home of World Wraps, will be demolished and a new building will replace it. A rooftop restaurant is also part of the project. This phase is scheduled to start in early 2010. Rick sent us some images showing the project, which you can view here. Phase three of this project has not been designed yet, but could entail an office building behind Hector's.
Margit Moore of the Kirkland Cultural Council was next. The Council has completed it's 20/20 Strategic Plan, which outlines several goals for 2010 to 2020. In order to increase an arts presence in downtown Kirkland, one long-term goal is to provide low income artist live/work space with galleries on the ground floor, such as those provided by other US cities.
On 10-27-09, Mayor Jim Lauinger, Director of Kirkland Human Services, Sharon Anderson, Kirkland Human Services Assistant, Carrie Hite, Cascadia Community College ELL Programs Director, Gail Miulli, and Moss Bay resident, Margit Moore met to discuss potential free adult English Language Learners (ELL) classes in downtown Kirkland. Mayor Lauinger will meet with Lake Washington School District staff to further discuss the proposed project. It is hoped that classes could begin in September 2010.
Bea Nahon, Moss Bay's representative to KAN, gave an update on that group's activities. The City will be holding its annual sessions of "Neighborhood U" on December 8 and December 9, at 7PM at City Hall. These sessions are a great - and free - opportunity for citizens to learn more about how things work in the City of Kirkland. This year's agenda will include issues regarding Neighboorhood Plans, the Comprehensive Plan and other related issues. The City will be sending out a notice with more information (would you want to send out a notice to MBNA residents, or put it on our website or ?). In the meantime, you can find more information at http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/CMO/Neighborhood_Services/KAN.htm
Our next meeting will be Jan 18, 2009 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.
Don Winters called the meeting to order.
Tracy Dunlap, Kirkland's Director of Finance, was our first guest. Tracy explained Kirkland's budget restraints that have resulted from the economic downturn, especially the decline in sales tax revenue. A number of cutbacks will be necessary in many areas unless more money can be found. The city will increase utility taxes on water, sewer and solid waste utilities by 3% in 2009. A private utility tax increase on electricity, telephone and cable of 1.5% is being proposed and will be on the ballot in November. There is a lot more information on the City's Budget Page.
Ellen Miller-Wolfe, Kirkland's Economic Development Director, explained the new "Kirkland First" local buying program. Kirklandfirst.org is a web site where you can find the product or service you need locally. Kirkland businesses are listed in a directory where you can easily find what is available in our town. The objective is to keep businesses in Kirkland and keep our dollars in town where they count.
Ellen also gave us a brief rundown of development projects in town:
The owners of the Totem Lake Malls is looking to sell the property. As a fallback option they are fixing up the stores and looking to lease them short-term.
Park Place is undergoing the design review process. The Design Review Board web page is a good place to follow the progress of this large development.
Google has moved into two of the buildings on their new campus on 6th St. S. and is planning to sublease the third.
The McLeod property will not be developed with the large 5 story office building as proposed but instead will undergo a three phase remodel. The existing Waterfront Market is being remodeled and with some additional space. Prep work has started. The Design Review Board will consider a two story expansion on the south and east of the Hector's building during their meeting on Oct 5. Hector's will be retained with the addition of an open roof deck while World Wraps and the small building east of Hector's would be demolished.
The Library expansion is ahead of schedule and should reopen in December.
Doreen Marchione, a Moss Bay resident and regular at our meetings, introduced herself. Doreen is running for City Council. She mentioned that there will be several candidate forums.
Sept 28 MonLakeview Neighborhood Assoc - Houghton Fire Station - 7:00 PM
Oct 5 MonRotary / Chamber of Commerce Joint Candidate Forum - Woodmark Hotel Marina Room - 6:15 PM Reservations are required.
Oct 12 Mon.Holy Spirit Lutheran Candidate Forum - Holy Spirit Lutheran Church 10021 NE 124th St. - 7:00 PM
Shana Allen announced that the PACE Race, a 5k and 10k run/walk to benefit Prostate Cancer, will be held in Kirkland's Marina park on Oct 25. Volunteers are needed. For more information, check out their web site: http://www.paceracewa.org
Juanita resident Dave Martine mentioned that the King County Council is considering closing 5 out of 8 County parks in the city of Kirkland's Proposed Annexation Area. Dave hopes that Moss Bay residents will get involved in the effort to protect these parks. Contacting County officials would be one way of helping.
Ken Dueker, from the Parking Advisory Board (PAB), spoke about that group's efforts:
1. Kirkland will temporarily lose 40 on-street parking spaces on Park Lane between Main and Third (where the Farmer's Market used to be held) for about three years during reconstruction of the transit center and the Metro sewer pump station. To replace these, the City is negotiating to lease the parking lot at the Antique Mall and operate it as a public parking lot. The cost will be $1 per hour from 9 AM to 9 PM.
2. The PAB is asking for volunteers to serve on a stakeholders committee to prepare a contingency finance plan to incorporate an extra floor of public parking into one or more new developments. The last stakeholder committee decided not to recommend a new stand-alone parking structure, but to partner with developers and build smaller amounts of parking in more locations. The City needs to have its financial plan ready when developers are ready. The Parking Solver 101 flyer has info on how to get involved.
3. ParkSmart is a program that prohibits employees from parking in downtown public parking spaces and encourages them to park in the Library garage. It was designed by downtown merchants to make parking available for customers and it is administered by the City. The PAB will work with merchants to renew their ownership and support of the program to make it more effective.
4. The PAB is preparing a recommendation to the Planning Commission to reduce the parking requirements under zoning in downtown to make redevelopment more feasible. The existing parking requirements are designed for suburban developments that are strictly auto oriented and are single use in character. Although reducing parking requirements seems counterproductive, well managed and shared parking requires less parking.
Bea Nahon, Moss Bay's new representative to the Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods (KAN) introduced herself and briefly updated us on KAN news. She replaces Glenn Peterson, who has been our rep for several years. Bea mentioned that the Norkirk Neighborhood is holding a candidate forum on Oct 7 at Heritage Hall.
Roger Iwata of Sound Transit was sick and Kari Page, Kirkland's Neighborhood Services Coordinator, did a great job of substituting for him. Kari presented some interesting info on the new Third Street Transit Center. Large display boards with various views of the new center and a question and answer period updated us on the project. Construction of the $13.3 million project will start in October and take about a year. More info on Sound Transit's Kirkland Transit Center page.
Our next meeting will be Nov 16, 2009 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.
Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
Mike Nolan, Google Facilities Manager, was our first guest.
Mike explained that Google has been going through a process of "space rationalization" on a global basis as a way of managing costs in the economic downturn. During this time, work was stopped on the new Google campus on 6th. St. S.
After reviewing its options, Google has confirmed that it will remain in Kirkland and work has resumed on finishing the buildings. The employees are happy to be in Kirkland and want to be good neighbors who make a positive impact on the community. On a worldwide basis, Google employees are involved in local non-profit organizations in their communities. The company is focused on environmental issues. Google strives to be an open and accepting employer embracing all nationalities, religions, cultures and personal philosophies. Although growth has slowed, Google is still hiring talented people.
The new Kirkland campus was designed by the builder to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver. As the occupant, Google is shooting to achieve the highest LEED certification possible. To reduce the impact of transportation, the company provides bike rooms & showers, carpool parking and a ride share email system.
The Kirkland campus will house engineering and product development teams. The Seattle campus (Fremont) has engineering and sales personnel. Employees would resist any attempt to combine the campuses.
Mike said that early September is current move-in date. The capacity of the new campus is 1,000 employees in 195,000 sq ft. The current plan is for Google to employ 400 employees in 80,000 sq ft. and to sub lease the remaining space.
Margit Moore, of the Kirkland Cultural Council, was our next speaker. This group of volunteers was created by the City Council to oversee the big picture related to the arts and heritage in Kirkland. They sponsor events such as "Uncorked" and "Kirkland Artists Studio Tour". For more info go to: http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/Boards_and_Commissions/Cultural_Council.htm
Maura O’Brien, Geologist / Hydrologist, Washington State Department of Ecology was our next guest. Maura is in charge of the cleanup at the former Pace National site on 7th Ave. S. Pace has occupied the site starting in 1969 -- mixing and packaging chemicals at the facility through the early 1990s.
The state has records of at least 4 separate clean-ups at the site. 14 underground storage tanks have been removed and lots of soil has been hauled off. ULTRA Corporation, owners of the site, is cleaning up under an “agreed order” with the State. The clean up conforms with the Model Toxics Control Act.
The ground water is contaminated with petroleum and vinyl chloride.
Two clean up tests are being undertaken. One started in March and the other started in April. The results should be available in 6 months. If the tests work, they can be used to clean up the entire site. The clean up could start in 2010 and finish by 2012. Development and construction could be done in parallel with the clean-up. Camwest Development, which had an option on the property, has “stepped back” from purchasing it.
Maura will keep the neighborhood informed as to progress on the clean-up.
Bruce Knowton, VP Development, Camwest was next.
Camwest will host a Grand Opening at Nettleton Commons on State St. June 27 &28 from noon to 6pm. Members of the neighborhood are invited to visit.
New homes are available starting at about $789k. Three or four homes have been sold to date. The Nettleton home is still available.
The landscaping on the site is temporary.
Carolyn Hayek, Member of the Planning Commission told us that the commission is reviewing Kirkland's tree ordinance. Citizens are encouraged to send ideas for improvement.
Neighborhood question time
SRM is still looking for a tenant for the office building project at State and 2nd Ave S. After further discussions with the neighbors, the private school idea was rejected.
City Council Member Bob Sternoff mentioned that the Bank of America project was about to start construction. The "McLeod" property project is on hold due to the economic climate. There has been some talk of redevelopment on the "Antique Mall" property, but nothing of substance has emerged as of yet.
We will be taking our summer break and our next meeting will be Sept. 21, 2009.
Welcome: Don Winters and Mark Eliasen Welcome and thank you for coming.
Ecology reply: Yes this is correct. There have been four phases of investigation and soil removal in addition to soil and groundwater sampling. These phases have been successful in removing significant amounts of contamination. However, some contamination remains on site. Sound Environmental Strategies (SES), the current consultants at the Pace site propose to complete the investigation, prepare a Cleanup Action Plan, and to conduct two pilot tests. The two pilot tests are to evaluate two new methods to cleanup the specific chemicals of concern (contaminants) at this site. These two methods are proven successful at other sites. The pilot tests are to evaluate these two methods here at this site with this soil and these site conditions. I am optimistic that these two methods will be effective in removing the remaining contamination. If not, then Ecology will require other cleanup methods.
2. We have been told that the groundwater is contaminated with vinyl chloride. What other contaminants have been found on the site and at what level?
Ecology reply: I do not have the site file with me. My memory is that the chemicals of concern (contaminants) are primarily vinyl chloride and dichloroethenes. There may be other chemicals associated with vinyl chloride (VC) such as tetrachloroethene or perchloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE) and dichloroethenes (DCE) in addition to petroleum substances such as diesel and volatile organics such as benzene. During the earlier investigations there has been a lot of chemical laboratory analyses and much of the contamination found earlier has been excavated and removed from the site. One of the tasks of the new proposed work is to review all the past work and to make sure there are not data gaps and chemicals of concern at the site. If data gaps are identified, then Ecology will require more investigation and laboratory analysis to identify the chemicals of conern and their extent and then to evaluate cleanup tasks. So the proposed work includes completing the investigation for data gaps and other chemicals of concern at this site.
3. By how much does the contamination exceed the permitted levels? Is it only slightly above the threshold or is it a major issue?
Ecology reply: Compared to other sites, I would estimate that this site is above cleanup level for vinyl chloride greater than slightly and less than major or significant. Yes it will require cleanup. A site hazard assessment is currently being completed and this will rank this site relative to other known hazardous sites within Washington state. When this work is completed I will forward it to you.
4. What is the name of the company that Pace has hired to clean up the site? What cleanup process are they proposing? Please be specific. Will they be removing more soil?
Ecology reply: Currently, Sound Environmental Strategies (SES), a Seattle consulting firm is working at the former Pace site in addition to Hart Crowser, another Seattle consulting firm. SES has proposed to conduct two pilot tests. One involving zero valent iron injection to address the vinyl chloride in situ, meaning within the soil and groundwater in the substrate below the surface at the property located in the northwest area of the property. The second is a biodegradation process using microbes to assist in breaking down vinyl chloride into neutral chemical subparts at the north-central part of the site. If you like I will be happy to send you a copy of the proposed pilot test work plan. The Pilot Test Work Plan is currently available for review at Ecology's Bellevue office and you need to call for an appointment to Sally Alexander at 425-649-7239. Note, Ecology will observe the pilot testing and results, then we will have information if one or both of these methods are successful at this site. Then we will be able to prepare a cleanup action plan.
In regard of removing more soil, we need to complete these pilot tests and to complete the site investigation first, in order to evaluate what are the best methods for the remainder cleanup that needs to be completed at this site. The question if more soil needs to be excavated, my answer at this time is I do not think so and I need to wait until the site investigation and pilot tests are completed.
5. There have been several environmental firms working on the site over the years. They have drilled monitoring wells and removed lots of soil. Have they made progress or are we about where we started?
Ecology reply: Significant progress has been achieved at this site, however, there remains pockets of contamination at the site. The proposed work outlined in the former Pace National Site fact sheet and the proposed Agreed Order describes the work to be conducted to address the remaining contamination at this site.
6. Has the company estimated how long the process will take?
Ecology reply: The pilot testing results will assist us to make an estimate for the proposed cleanup. Based on other sites, I would make a guess-estimate of one to two years plus compliance monitoring to confirm that the cleanup is completed.
7. How will the State determine when the site is clean enough to require no further action?
Ecology reply: Washington state uses the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), our state cleanup process to set cleanup levels for each media (soil, groundwater, air, surface water or wetlands what ever applies to a site) and to set points of compliance to determine that cleanup is completed for each and all media and that the cleanup process has achieved the requirements. The MTCA process includes all state and federal regulations that apply to this site. The last step of the MTCA process is compliance monitoring and this is to confirm that cleanup levels are achieved and sustained. For example for ground water, cleanup levels need to be achieved for four consecutive quarters, then Ecology confirms the site groundwater is cleaned up.