Moss Bay Co-Chair Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order. Mark mentioned that Moss Bay had received a generous donation of $250 from the Portsmith Condominium Association. Rob Brown, of that group, presented the check and said that he hoped the donation would spur more donations from other groups and individuals.
Mark pointed out that Jim Lauinger was present at the meeting and that he had recently been elected Mayor of Kirkland. The mayor is chosen from among the City Council, by a vote of the seven members.
Our first guest was Daryl Grigsby, Kirkland's Director of Public Works. Daryl, a Kirkland resident of 12 years, manages the largest department in the city, with 260 vehicles and a budget of $10 million. Daryl addressed the parking problem in Kirkland. A parking study in 2002 identified a shortage of 55 parking spots in the downtown area. One means of mitigating the shortage is the "Parksmart Program", which encourages downtown employees to park in the library parking garage.
The issue of new development parking was addressed. The current standard is that 1.7 parking spaces per unit must be provided, however there is a question as to the accuracy of this number. As a result, developers often can get a lower number approved, sometimes based on a "one spot per bedroom" general rule.
Daryl fielded some questions and comments. Some claimed that one bedroom units often had two adults with two cars and only one space. Several commented that the reduced parking requirements were not sufficient. Kirkland could give developers incentives to add parking to projects, was one suggestion. Glenn Peterson of the Parking Advisory Board said that their group was about to propose a zoning study of appropriate parking requirements for new downtown developments.
Brian Fritz and Dan Scheider of Trammell Crow Residential updated us on their two projects. The Boulevard, under construction on Kirkland Ave, is a 119 unit project that will be complete in September, 2006. Units are on the market and selling well. Brian mentioned that their State Street/2nd Ave. S. project will get started soon. It will have 124 units / 157 bedrooms, with 167 parking spaces including 10 guest spots. Unlike The Boulevard, this complex will have no retail. The construction will use light gauge steel, poured floors, steel wrapped studs, and almost no wood -- providing resistance to the water problems that have plagued newer buildings in recent years. Construction starts in February should be finished in 18 months.
Bruce Knowlton of CamWest Development spoke next. Bruce told us that CamWest had purchased the Nettleton site, better known as Green Funeral Home, in December, and planned to build 30 homes in a combination of single and multi unit buildings on the 2.7 acre property. Current plans are to move the historic Nettleton home to the corner of the property on State Street and 4th Ave. S., renovate it, and sell it as a single family home. The chapel will be offered to the church across the street and would be moved, while several other outbuildings on the property will be demolished, probably in March. CamWest will haul away contaminated soil discovered on the property.
Bruce mentioned the Pace Chemical site on 7th Ave. S. CamWest has had an option on this five acre property for several years now, but contamination on the site has prevented closure of the purchase. The seller is working to clean up the site, but when this will be completed is uncertain.
Don Winters mentioned that the Kirkland Hotel is finally starting construction at 220 Kirkland Ave, and that more information could be found in an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Our next meeting will be March 20, 2006.