Kirkland Teen Center
Laura Lee Pritt called the meeting to order and provided agendas and information sheets.
Our first guest was Bob Sternoff, representing the Kirkland Park Board. Bob spoke about the upcoming park bond on the November ballot -- the first such bond to come before Kirkland voters in 12 years. Funding is needed for purchase of Juanita Beach Park and creation of a master plan; purchase of the Houghton Watershed property, the last open green space in town of this size; and park property on Rose Hill. The bond is for approximately 8 million dollars, which would amount to $52 on a property assessed at $300,000. Read an Eastside Journal article on the bond measure here.
Kari Page, Kirkland's Neighborhood Services Coordinator, presented the Neighborhood Connections Program. $25,000 is available for projects selected by the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association. Several steps are involved in this process -- first, orange cards have been distributed to the neighborhood for submitting ideas for using this money. At our next meeting, Nov. 5th, there will be a workshop to discuss these ideas. Kirkland's neighborhood services team was on hand to answer questions.
Kari presented a slide show detailing the Connections Program. The steps in the process were explained, from the mailing in of suggestions, to the final action plan being drawn up.
Laura Lee Pritt showed a video and led a discussion on the Community Conversations Program. A spirited discussion followed in response the the "three questions" posed in regard to this process. Traffic led the list of dislikes about Kirkland at present time, while charming small town ambience was one of the most liked aspects of town. We discussed how Kirkland might change over the next 20 years. City Councilperson Mary Alyce Burleigh was on hand to answer questions. For more information on this program, visit the city web site: http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/kirkland2022/
Laura Lee Pritt discussed the 2003 matching grant money. Our neighborhood needs to come up with ideas to get matching grant money -- up to $3500 -- available to us. A trash can and sidewalk at the north end of Brink Park was one suggestion. Other suggestions are needed. We can match money by providing labor, which is valued at $14 per hour, to complete the projects.
Laura Lee also talked about the Transit Center. The choice has been narrowed down to three sites for the center and the city needs to decide soon which one it will be, or could lose the center and the large amount of money that would be put into it. Read an Eastside Journal article on the Transit Center here.
Ellen McMahon, Kirkland's Neighborhood Traffic Coordinator, updated us on the parking committee. A plan is being drawn up, and should be ready in a few weeks, by a firm that was hired to study the downtown parking mess. The goal is to have 20% of the city's parking stalls available at any one time.
The meeting was adjourned. Our next meeting will be Dec. 5, 7PM at the Kirkland Library Meeting Room.
Kirkland Library Meeting Room
John Alberti called the meeting to order and provided agendas and copies of the minutes from our last meeting.
David Allen, Kirkland's Pedestrian/Bike/Transit Coordinator was our first guest. Dave gave an overview of projects he is involved in. Safe School Walk routes is a pedestrian issue facing our children. The city studied a half mile radius around each of the seven Kirkland elementary schools for availability of sidewalks. Lakeview Elementary scored well with 91% of the routes having sidewalks, while Peter Kirk and Rose Hill schools had much lower scores of 58%. The goal of the city is to build the "missing links". The city has also created a sidewalk task force to deal with sidewalks that are not on school routes.
Dave mentioned that the city has created a Bike and Pedestrian "Sounding Board" that is available on the city's web site.
King County Metro car pool now has online matching of commuters who want to share rides at http://www.rideshareonline.com/ In addition the county has created a flexcar program, in which a person can join for a fee and then have access to cars that are available for an hourly fee located in downtown areas. For more info on flexcar and other Kirkland transportation initiatives visit the city's web site at: http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/pw/gettin.htm
Bob Wicks spoke next on athletic events planned for the Taste of Kirkland, Sept 14 and 15. There will be new triathlon, a half marathon, and also a 5K run/walk. Bob thinks that with our natural setting for such events, they could become national champion caliber within a few years. It was proposed that we vote our approval of this event and it was approved by a unanimous vote.
Keith Maehlum of West Water Real Estate Services presented a preliminary proposal to develop their property at the corner of State Street and Kirkland Avenue. The property is currently occupied by a former car dealership building at 75 State and a bicycle shop on Kirkland Ave. Part of this property is also on a list of possible sites for the new Metro Transit Center. West Water's proposal is for a 5 story retail / apartment project, with about 80 units. Keith also mentioned that the turn lane may be closed that cuts behind the triangle where the "Mountain Comrades" sculpture is located, as well as 1rst Ave. S. adjacent to the West Water property. West Water is working with a committee formed of representatives of the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association, Portsmith Condominiums, St. John's Episcopal Church and West Water to help guide the project. Ellen McMahon mentioned that she felt that the proposal was a strategic move on the part of West Water to be promoting this project at this time. There will be public meetings on the project and a direct mailing to closeby residents. Janice King advised that any resident who was interested in this project should file to be a "concerned party" when the public notice of the project was issued.
John Alberti told us that he is moving to Snohomish County and will no longer be able to serve as co chair of the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association. Laura Lee Pritt is also nearing the end of her term, so the group will need new people to step forward to take the reins. Glenn Peterson agreed to help John in looking for new people.
Ellen McMahon said that the Neighborhood Connections program would be able to fund a $25,000 project in our neighborhood, and that we should be working on proposals for that.
Kirkland Library Meeting Room
Laura Lee Pritt called the meeting to order and provided agendas and copies of the minutes from our last meeting.
Don Winters updated us on the new Peter Kirk Day, being held for the first time this year on February 15. Mr. Kirk was the founder of Kirkland and some of his relatives still live in the Puget Sound area and have loaned memorabilia for display at the Kirkland Arts Center the week following the 15th. Don also mentioned that the Kirkland Heritage Society is trying to raise funds for the renovation of the historic church on the Waverly site.
Dave Ramsay, Kirkland's City Manager, was our special guest. Dave updated us on the state of the city and upcoming projects. Dave mentioned the Downtown Strategic Plan which outlines a vision for downtown Kirkland. It's not a "master plan" in that specific blueprints have not been drawn up. Right now it is a concept that has no funding, but gives direction. The "Downtown Action Team" is continuing to study and promote these concepts for improving the downtown area. Parking is a big issue in town and Dave thought a new parking structure would be unavoidable in the future. One possibility is the corner of Central and Lake, where a current parking lot, which is unattractive at the main intersection in town, could be replaced with a nice retail building with parking above and/or below, possibly with public/private partnering. A new transit center will be necessary downtown and 3 sites have been suggested in the vicinity of the existing center on 3rd Street. All three may have flaws, unfortunately, and other options are being examined.
Dave said that the Wednesday Market has been very successful in Kirkland.
Dave mentioned Totem Lake and how there are new owners of the mall with plans to upgrade. The Totem Lake area provides 30% of Kirkland's sales tax revenue, compared with 6% for downtown. Evergreen Hospital has big plans to double in size and become the "Mayo Clinic of the Northwest". The Parkplace renovation is on hold for the near future, but the theater has been remodeled and is even showing foreign films now in addition to normal fare. There apparently will not be a new hardware store at Parkplace in the near future, as Jim Lauinger, who had been contemplating opening one in the old pharmacy building, instead will become one of the new owners of Parkplace Books, along with Rebecca Willow and Mary Harris. The bookstore will be expanded and upgraded in the future.
The "big white ship", which was brought into Moss Bay Marina to act as a breakwater, will be replaced with a real breakwater once all the regulations are satisfied. Dave thought the ship will probably be gone in 1 -2 years.
Bob Strernoff, a long time Kirkland resident and chair of the Park Board was our next speaker. Bob updated us on several park projects in town -- the Waverly site, which is a plan in wait of funding, and Marina Park, which will have a new restroom built, approximately at the site of the current Argosy ticket kiosk. Bob also mentioned that Kirkland is in dire need of more sports fields for our kids and this is a high priority of the Park Board.