Kelli has lived in Kirkland for 25 years and served on Houghton Council in the past as well as on the Housing Strategy Advisory Board.
She is assigned to the legislative workgroup that works with legislature on items that are important to Kirkland. She is also on the Planning and Economic Committee.
Her term is until December 31st and she will be running for the Council seat again in November 2019.
Kelli’s priorities as a City Council member include:
Livability – affordability for all residents, including senior citizens, those who are downsizing, and young Kirkland residents who need to find a place of their own.
Parks – accessibility and recreational opportunities.
Community – how can we continue to build a welcoming, inclusive community.
Richard Chung – rep for Moss Bay on the Park board
The Park board is a committee of volunteers appointed by the City Council to provide oversight and guidance to City Council on any topics related to parks and recreation. They are a liaison between the community and the City.
Each of the Park board members are assigned Neighborhood Associations to liaison with; Richard is our rep for the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association.
If we have questions or concerns relevant to the Park board, we can email Richard at email@example.com. The public is also welcomed to attend Park Board meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 7 PM at Council Chambers.
Richard shared that there is an initiative to assess the shoreline parks. They will be drilling several holes into the bulkhead at Brink Park to assess the condition of the shoreline. If you have questions about this project, you can email Mary Gardocki, Park Planning and Development Manager for Department of Parks and Community Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juanita Beach park will have a new bath house. Construction is planned to start towards the end of 2019.
Totem Lake Park is at 90% designed. They are working on playground equipment.
Peter Kirk and Kirkland Urban’s parks are in process.
Christian Knight – Neighborhood Services Outreach Coordinator working in the Capital Improvement Program.
There are 11 tenants already committed and include iPic, Top Golf, Shake Shack, Evergreens Salad, Dough Zone, Mud Bay Pets, Purple Wine Bar, Restore Hyper Wellness, Soi, Bright Horizons Childcare and Early Learning, Home Street Bank, Café Ladro, AT&T and a new QFC.
There will be a new stoplight at Central Way leading into Kirkland Urban, which will replace the existing crosswalk.
6th Street work
The stoplight was scheduled to be completed at the end of March. However, there were some delays due to worker strikes and other issues and may slip.
Street paving project will happen after the sewer main project, which is scheduled to end in April 2019. The paving is scheduled for July 2019.
The paving process will take longer than normal because it is severely damaged, and part of the street needs to be rebuilt. The average cost is $17,000 to repave but to rebuild is $65,000.
Lakefront Bicycle and Pedestrian improvements
They are making improvements along Juanita Bay park with a new bike box at the intersection. It allows the bicyclists to move forward at the stoplights to get a head start before cars move forward when the light turns green.
The City has rebuilt 100 curb ramps to be compliant with the ADA (American with Disabilities Act).
Kirkland Scramble is a proposed project to turn the intersection at Kirkland Ave and Lake Street into an all-way crosswalk. The purpose of these types of intersections is to improve traffic and pedestrian flow. It works well in areas where there is a lot of automobile traffic.
$1.2 M has been proposed for this project in state legislature, proposed by Amy Whalen. If approved, it will be completed in 2021.
The expense involves engineering costs and the work to change the streets and curbs.
The right turn lane “pocket” on Kirkland Ave to turn right on Lake Street would be removed. This is part of improving the safety of pedestrians crossing this intersection.
Karen Story from the Highlands Neighborhood Association is proposing that Park Lane be closed on Sundays in summer months. To provide input to City Council on this topic, you can attend the March 19, 2019 City Council meeting at 7:30 PM in Council chambers.
Meeting participants provided feedback to Christian that there is a utility box in the walkway near the Bank of America building that makes it difficult to navigate in wheelchairs.
We had a discussion about whether the sidewalks along Lake Washington Blvd would be widened to better accommodate pedestrians. Council Member Toby Nixon was in attendance and said that it was on the list of items for City Council to consider. The tradeoff is removing parking spots.
Troy is part of a group called Community for Affordable Housing (CFAH). He speaks to different groups about the climate and need for affordable housing.
Home prices have more than doubled in a 7-year period. People are considered over-burdened when the spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.
In the 2nd half of 2018, 25% fewer homes in King County were sold than in the six months prior.
In the state legislature, proposed solutions include:
Improving condo and conversion laws. The average cost now is $950 per square feet for new multi-family dwellings. Enabling conversions could make new condo ownership possible. The current laws require the apartment owner to keep it as an apartment for 7 years and then completely empty the building before it could be converted. The first in Washington is a 21-unit conversion on Slater, but the starting prices are still too high.
Upzoning where appropriate
Smaller multi-family that addresses the “missing middle”
TOD (Transit-Oriented Development)/Mixed use residential. This bill was shut down.
Better ADU (Accessory Dwelling Units) policies (changes reduce restrictions including the required parking spaces, the size of the ADU’s); however, this measure was eliminated from legislation and won’t be voted on.
Learning from other cities and states
Excess public lands
Improve prefab/modular laws
Condo law fixes:
Defining “defect”. In the 1980’s there were few consumer protections for condo buyers when buildings had defects. There wasn’t a good definition of defect. This will clarify it and also give developers opportunities to remedy issues during the warranty period.
New construction is expensive and takes a long time to get through the permitting process.
Tiny home neighborhoods are not likely in Kirkland.
There is a possibility that the real estate transaction tax will increase. Graduated taxes are also proposed. Homes under $700K will have lower home sales tax while high-end homes will pay more.
Tenant protections: it looks like a law for just cause evictions will pass. Currently if rent is late 4-5 days, they could be evicted.
Resources to learn more about the issues:
The sightline.org provides resources – you can go to the Bill Tracker page to learn about where bills are in process.
Community for Affordable Housing and Livin’ Small Facebook group pages.
11% of the market is condominium purchases; many of them are purchased by investors.
Average cost of home in Moss Bay in 2018 years is $1.624 M.
In 2018, 140 condos have sold; average price is $1.4 M. Average market time is 28 days.
Bea Nahon - KAN Update
The Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month at City Hall with representatives from all Neighborhood Associations.
KAN has been discussing housings issues and will be talking about it at the meeting on March 13, 2019.
At the January 2019, they talked about state-mandated housing. KAN members wanted zoning decisions to remain with cities and not mandated at the state level.
We began the meeting by welcoming Lt. Brouelette from Kirkland’s police department, who joined us to meet residents and answer questions before we started our agenda.
Liz Mack from Sound Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit team joined us to provide a NE 85th Street Connection update:
Sound Transit responsibilities are to plan, build and operate the regional transit systems and services in urban areas of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties
BRT will start in 2024 to the north, east and south of Lake Washington.
BRT is designed to be a fast, frequent and reliable transit system. It will run every 10 minutes during peak travel times and 15 minutes during off-peak hours and 19 hours per day for six days per week, with 17 hours of service on Sundays.
Paying for fares happen off-board and riders enter and exit from all doors to make the process faster. You will be able to purchase tickets, ORCA cards, and reload ORCA credits.
To keep the bus moving quickly they will travel in managed lanes where possible. This includes the 405 express toll lanes.
There will be a Lynnwood to Bellevue line and a Bellevue to Burien line.
They estimate 15,000 to 18,000 riders by 2040.
WSDOT will build new direct access ramps from the I-405 express toll lanes to support BRT service at NE 85th Street. The BRT station will be in this new area, and it will also accommodate local buses making transfers.
Although it is early in the planning process, there is money set aside to improve transportation access to the BRT station on NE 85th Street.
The BRT will be called STRIDE.
We have an opportunity to provide input through mid-February:
Sound transit wants to understand what barriers you have to station access.
A subcommittee of three council members will manage the selection process. They will review the applications and create a shortlist of the top five candidates. Council members will approve the short list at the first City Council meeting in February.
The full Council will interview the finalists at an open meeting that the public is invited to attend for observation only – no public comments will be allowed during the interviews and they will not be recorded or broadcast. The interviews will likely occur on the same day as the next Council meeting.
Requirements: Candidates must be willing to disclose their financial information as required by state law. Council members spend up to 20 hours per week on their duties. There are meetings during the day as well as Council meetings in the evening. There are also interactions with residents informally through phone conversations, emails and coffee meetings. All Council members are assigned to committees every other year, typically after the elections. For the new Council member, there may need to be changes to best align with the new person’s interests and capabilities.
Jon Pascal shared the process City Council used to selected a new mayor, since Amy Whalen held that position:
The mayor’s responsibilities are largely ceremonial, including presiding at meetings and serving as the face of the City. It is a two-year appointment. The mayor also sets the agenda for Council meetings along with the Deputy Mayor and the City Manager.
There is no formal City Council process for selecting mayor other than it requires four votes from existing City Council members.
Council members are not supposed to collaborate on the process as a group, but they were able to have individual conversations with each other to decide who they wanted to nominate and vote for.
In this process, Jay Arnold nominated Penny Sweet at a City Council meeting and the Council members voted affirmatively. Penny Sweet will fill the remainder of Amy Whalen’s term, which will run until November 2019.
City Council member compensation:
A Salary Commission sets the compensation for City Council and Mayor.
It is $1,238 per month for Council members $1,577 (this typically increases annually at the same amount as a cost of living increase).
Council members can take City’s healthcare plan or a $300 equivalent instead.
They receive $225 monthly for travel expenses plus an ORCA card.
Jon also shared:
There are early plans for Transit Oriented Development at the Kingsgate station, that will include a 500-stall parking lot.
There are King County plans to add a waste transfer station in NE King County for garbage. It is likely to be built in Houghton.
Don Winters and Dave Aubry gave presentations as members of the Cross Kirkland Corridor History Committee.
Don gave us an overview of the history of Kirkland’s railroads:
Peter Kirk’s vision for Kirkland included railroad lines in many parts of the city. What came to pass is that the Northern Pacific railroad wanted to build a line that circled Lake Washington. The built the Northern and Southern sections but not the Eastern part.
Where Slater Avenue is today, Peter Kirk’s steel mill buildings and a sawmill where they built the mills were located adjacent to the railway in Kirkland. The steel mill failed to progress because of issues of sourcing ore and completing the railway.
In 1905 the old railroad was torn up and steel mills were dismantled. This is where the railroad was located until the rails were removed when the Cross Kirkland Corridor was built.
Passenger trains ran for 17 years. They often included postal cars where postal workers sorted mail while the trains ran. After passenger service ended, they still occasionally ran excursion trains, including to the Puyallup Fair.
A depot was built at Kirkland Avenue in 1912. It doubled as a telegraph office for Western Union and for railroad business. It was torn down and replaced with a new depot.
Today there is a caboose on the Google campus to commemorate the railway.
The dinner train ran on the tracks from Renton to the Woodinville wineries for about 15 years.
Dave Aubry shared plans for an installation:
This is a joint project with Kirkland rotary and the CKC History Committee. Rotary awarded them a grant for picnic tables. The Kirkland Parks foundation is raising funds to plant native plants in the area.
There will be a picnic pavilion with picnic tables, 60 feet of original rails, historical markers and native plants.
The City of Kirkland offers money for matching grants to neighborhood association projects. The projects have several requirements:
The neighborhood association must approve projects.
The residents within the neighborhood must contribute volunteer hours that the City equates to dollar amounts.
Residents must also provide an equal amount of money to the amount matched by the City.
We voted to approve two matching grant projects:
Michelle Lustgarten, an art teacher at Lakeview Elementary and Robert Wolverton proposed a project for 5th graders at Lakeview Elementary to work with a professional artist to create murals on the North and South side of the underpass beneath the CKC.
Moss Bay’s participation in the 2019 Crossing Kirkland event.