Don Winters called the meeting to order. We had a turnout of about 40 members. City Council Member Shelley Kloba was in attendance.
Rosalie Wessels of the Kirkland Parks Board updated us on the A.R.C Center. Juanita Beach Park is no longer under consideration for the location of the ARC. A site with good access and 7 acres is necessary. Two sites being looked at are the Christ Church site near the Kirkland Justice Center and privately owned parcels at Totem Lake. The City Council has expressed interest in exploring a ballot measure that would propose the creation of a Metropolitan Park District (MPD) to finance the ARC Center and to have it on the ballot as early as November 2015. Rosalie discussed a pilot program for off-leash dog hours in specific parks, with Peter Kirk in Moss Bay as one possibility. 26 acre Edith Moulton Park in north Juanita is being developed in phases with trails and facilities.
Philly Hoshko, City of Kirkland Special Projects Coordinator, briefed us on the Downtown Parking Study. On Jan 6 the parking study was presented to City Council. The Council surveyed the public on nine options, the results of which can be found here. Recommendations will go to the City Council on April 7.
Don Winters gave a photo slide show on the history of railroading in Kirkland. Trains ran in Kirkland from 1891 through 2007, operated by the Northern Pacific Railway which merged into Burlington Northern in 1970. Don's photos included the Kirkland RR station, bridges, trains, and wrecks. The possibility of placing historical markers on the trail is being explored.
Kari Page presented a slide show on the Cross Kirkland Corridor, the new trail which has been built on the old rail bed. The "interim trail" with a compacted fine gravel surface, rebuilt bridges, fencing of dangerous and sensitive areas, signage, access points and trash cans, has been finished, and is open to the public. The police will be patrolling the trail using two electric UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicles) that were purchased with grant money. Some exciting news is that Bellevue is considering extending the trail southward into that city as far as NE 4th St.
Katie Cava of the Kirkland Parks Dept. told us about the Green Kirkland Partnership, which seeks volunteers to rid Kirkland parks of invasive species and to restore native plants. In 2014 2365 volunteers spend 8900 hours working on this effort. There are 26 Green Kirkland Stewards who have been trained to lead volunteer efforts. There will be an open house at Heritage Hall on March 24 to get community feedback on the 20 year plan which is in development. In addition, a Green Steward Orientation will be held May 9, 2015 10-2 PM at McAuliffe Park.
Don Winters mentioned that the "Hector's Project" is undergoing some changes. One floor of parking in the building to be built behind Hector's will be moved underground and replaced with a floor of office space. Several other relatively minor changes will be made. A new timeline would see the project being finished by the end of 2016 or early 2017.
The Potala Village lawsuits are over and the project will be limited to 59 units. The project is in Design Review.
Our next meeting will be May 18, 2015 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.