Heritage HallDon Winters called the meeting to order and noted the large turnout. Don mentioned that the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association is in need of officers, especially a chairperson. Anyone interested should contact Don at email@example.com. Some new information was available on the sale of Green Funeral Home, which informed sources tell us is set to close down at the end of the year. The sale does appear to be more than a rumor. The CamWest project slated for the old Pace site is said to be still "on track", but awaiting resolution of environmental issues related to its former use as a chemical factory.
Our first speaker was Danielle Sanine of the Kirkland Senior Council. Danielle briefed us on the upcoming "Baby Boomers and Beyond Healthy Living Expo" which will he held Oct. 2, 10AM to 3PM at the Kirkland Community Senior Center, 352 Kirkland Ave. It's free and will feature free health screens, speakers, demos, food and resource booths focused on key issues important to those 50 years of age and up.
Jerry O'neill was next to speak. Jerry lives on 7th Ave. S. and has been following the zoning request of Lakeshore Clinic on State Street. Lakeshore wants the zoning of the area changed from medium to high density. Jerry had some concerns that the higher density would not be appropriate for the area along State, and questioned the process by which such decisions are made, as well as how the Growth Management Act guidelines are implemented at the local level.
Carolyn Hayek, a member of the Kirkland Planning Commission, took the podium to shed more light on the Lakeshore zoning issue. Carolyn said the Planning Commission had decided to recommend "no rezone" for the area and that the City Council would rule on the issue soon. Carolyn mentioned that the commission had received many letters opposing the rezone and none in favor, other than from the owners of the clinic. A possible compromise at 18 units per acre (halfway between medium and high density) that could have given the City some power to save the Green Funeral Home building, which is located in the same planning area, was rejected. Carolyn next briefed us on the "Central Way Narrowing" issue. A utility project is about to begin on Central in the downtown area and parts of the narrowing process will be integrated. One eastbound lane will be closed with "paint" as a test process. Carolyn mentioned that the controversial proposal to close a westbound lane has been abandoned, due to worries of Norkirk neighborhood members of increased 'cut through' traffic.
Rob Horwitz of "Eastside Friends of Lake Washington" was our next speaker. Rob updated us on that group's opposition to the massive sports complex planned for Magnuson Park in Seattle. The Seattle City Council approved a plan for the complex but much reduced in scope, with seven lighted fields instead of eleven that the Parks Dept. had proposed. EFLW was responsible for generating much of the support that resulted in this reduction. For more information, visit their web site at www.eastsidefriends.org
George Lawson of the Downtown Action Team was on hand to give us updates on several projects. The Hotel planned for the corner of 3rd Street and Kirkland Ave (Old Hospital site), and the retail / residential project slated for the opposite corner (75 State St.) are still on track and ground breaking should take place at any time. George mentioned the Lakeshore Plaza plan to lid the parking lot at Marina Park and create a large pedestrian esplanade as well as additional space for shops and park amenities. The project is still in the planning phase and is "at least five years out". A price tag of between 26 and 34 million dollars has been estimated, and most of the cost of the project can be financed from the revenues from parking fees and rental income from commercial spaces on the lid, making this a good "bang for the buck" project.
Two other projects on the drawing boards in Kirkland were discussed, the "Safeway" project (see last meeting's minutes), and the Lake and Central Project. Several people commented on both with some in favor and others opposed. The main complaint on the Safeway project was the large size, while the Lake and Central also drew size worries, as well as concerns about the appropriateness of a supermarket on that site.
Our next meeting will he held Monday, November 15, 7PM at Heritage Hall.