Don Winters called the meeting to order. We had a big turnout for the candidate forum and other presentations. City Council members Toby Nixon, Shelley Kloba, and Amy Walen were in attendance, as well as the Council candidates.
Council candidates Jay Arnold and Martin Morgan (Position 1) and Doreen Marchione and Bill Henkens (Position 7) were our guests for the candidate forum. Candidates were asked a number of questions on a wide range of subjects including downtown business health, parking, and traffic.
We also asked each candidate 5 yes/no questions:
1. Do you support Initiative 522 that would require labeling of food with genetically altered materials? Answers: All 4 candidates answered YES
2. Do you support the closing of the Houghton transfer station?
Answers: Arnold and Marchione answered YES, Morgan and Henkens answered NO
3. In November, some Kirkland residents – including many of our neighbors in Lakeview and Houghton – will vote on whether or not the Houghton Community Corporation should be continued. Do you support the continuation of the Houghton Community Corporation?
Answers: Morgan, Arnold and Henkens answered YES, Marchione answered NO
4. The City is exploring having our downtown core named as a Designated Urban Center which could bring additional transportation dollars for us. It would also mean planning for future density of housing and jobs in downtown Kirkland. Do you support going forward to have downtown Kirkland named as a Designated Urban Center?
Answers: All 4 candidates answered YES
5. The City Council election is non-partisan. Has your campaign accepted, or will your campaign accept, any contributions from Democrat or Republican committees?
Answers: Arnold, Henkens and Marchione answered YES, Morgan answered NO
Janice Coogan, Senior Planner with the City of Kirkland, and told us about "Kirkland 2035" process. This is a conversation about planning for the next 20 years. Areas discussed range from the Comprehensive Plan update to various specific topics such as the Cross Kirkland Corridor, Totem Lake Plan, and Parks Recreation and Open Space. There will be a Community Planning Day on Oct 19, 10AM - 2PM, at the Peter Kirk Community Center, 352 Kirkland Ave. Janice highly recommends we attend and provide input the City is looking for. For more information: http://www.kirklandwa.gov/Community/Kirkland2035.htm
Questions came up about the Potala Village project at 1006 Lake St. S. Coucilmember Toby Nixon explained that the City is appealing the court decision that gave the developer the right to build the number of units that were allowed under the zoning in effect when he first contacted the City. The City now wants to limit the maximum number of units to 48. The developer is going ahead with his permitting process for 97 units, even though this could be disallowed were the city to prevail in the appeal. More info on the City's Potala Village Page.
Ed Segat of Continental Properties told us about that company's plans to build at 4th and Central, the "White Swan" site. The project will have 76 residential apartments and 9,730 square feet of ground floor retail space and underground parking for 115 cars. Entry to the project will be on Central way with "right in, right out" only traffic flow. Planning documents for the project can be viewed here: Part 1 and Part 2 (drawings)
Our next meeting will be Nov 18, 2013 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.