Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
Jeremy McMahan, Kirkland Planning Supervisor, was our first guest. Current zoning in the Central Business District requires retail uses on the first floor of all buildings. A loosening of this requirement for certain parts of downtown -- the so called 'end of block' areas -- has been proposed. These are areas that have had difficulty drawing retail uses, and offering office use in addition to retail may help fill these spaces. The Planning Commission will discuss this proposal at their Nov 18 meeting. For more information, read the document prepared for the Commission: http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/Assets/Planning/Planning+PDFs/CBD+Ground+Floor+Uses+PC+11182010.pdf
Jeremy updated us on a couple of developments downtown. About 26 of the 62 spaces in the new Bank of America building have been leased. Phase I is finishing up and Phase II of the McLeod (Hector's) project may begin early in 2011.
Kari Page, Kirkland's Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator, gave a brief PowerPoint on the Eastside Rail Corridor and polled our group on possible options. Of those present 15 were in favor of dual use, commuter rail plus trail, 1 person was in favor of rail only, and 4 people were in favor of trail only. Some expressed a desire for more information we may have future presentations on this issue. Visit the City's Eastside Rail Corridor page.
Jonathan Ishmael, the Kirkland Police Dept's Community Resource Officer, was our next guest. Jon told us that Moss Bay does not have a serious crime problem. In the past three months there were ten burglaries, seven of which were in businesses. He recommended a tight neighborhood as the best defense against crime. Know your neighbors, use lights and alarms, and keep serial numbers was Jon's advice. Jon fielded questions and there were many. The subject of drunks causing problems and property damage was discussed. The police try to make their presence known during weekend nights in an effort to deter rowdy behavior. Jon mentioned that alcohol was a major cause of crime and that if alcohol were to disappear a lot of police jobs would also.
Our next meeting will be Jan 17, 2011 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.