Meeting Notes - November 15, 2004
Glenn Peterson called the meeting to order. Larry Martin of Milliken-Martin gave a presentation on the "Lake and Central" project, a 40,000 square foot site which is located at a 100% corner of Downtown Kirkland. The project will consist of three levels of housing over neighborhood-oriented street level retail uses, including a new U.S. Bank branch. The residential portion of the project will consist of 85 condominiums. The plan has generated much debate, and many downtown merchants have voiced their concerns to the city. Larry addressed several of these concerns, including the possibility of a business other than a supermarket for the main tenant. Delivery and garbage would be in an alley behind the building and would not be intrusive, Larry said. The cost and parking issues also were addressed. An interesting article recently appeared in the Seattle PI with more information on the debate http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/197910_ncenter03.html
City Manager Dave Ramsay and planner Jeremy McMahon were on hand to answer questions. Dave mentioned that the city has gone through an extensive process to get to this point with the project. (first presented to Moss Bay Neighborhood in Sept. '03 -- http://mossbay.org/MeetingMinutes/9-03.htm) A second public hearing on this project will be held before the KIRKLAND CITY COUNCIL on December 14, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. (or as soon thereafter as possible) in the Council Chamber at 123 5th Avenue.
Glenn Peterson spoke about the parking situation in downtown Kirkland. Glenn is vice chairman of the new city Parking Advisory Board and a resident of the Moss Bay neighborhood. He told us the following:
An extensive parking study by community stakeholders and consultants produced some revelations, led to some significant changes by City Council, and recommended the formation of the Parking Advisory Board. We have a parking shortage in downtown Kirkland which is getting worse every year. In June of this year, before the PAB was appointed, the city extended the enforcement of the 2-hour parking time limit that covers most of downtown from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. This change has been poorly received by the downtown business community, despite the benefit of making parking available to more people. In December, the PAB will recommend to the City Council that the limit be rolled back to 7:30 p.m. The conversion of parts of the two downtown parking lots to pay parking with 4-hour limits will remain.
The future remains challenging with several new construction projects approved or under discussion which would significantly affect parking. The development of the Lake and Central lot would add parking but also add demand; it is unclear if the net result would be better or worse. The Central Way Improvement project will eventually add parking along that street. However, both of these undertakings would disrupt the parking supply while underway. Lake and Central may not be developed, but Central Way will break ground in the near future.
Don Winters updated our group on several issues. Don mentioned that there was no new information on the rumored sale of Green Funeral Home, but that the home was planned to shut down by year's end, adding credence to the rumor. (Since the meeting, several newspaper articles appeared about Green's closing:
Don mentioned the Pace Chemical site on 7th Ave. S. CamWest development has plans to build 60 units on the 12 acre property, and apparently the project is still on track, pending resolution of environmental issues that are said to be "resolvable".
Lakeshore Clinic has moved out of their building on State Street and the building is for sale. The City Council will rule on their zoning request in December, but it's very likely that the request will be denied and the zoning will remain at 12 units per acre (medium density).
The building on the southwest corner of State Street and Kirkland Avenue has been demolished and construction is under way on the "Kirkland Central" condominium project. To be completed by June, 2006, the project is a 5 story building with the main floor having 9000 square feet of retail space. There will be 110 condo units ranging in size from 474 to 1251 sq. ft., and in price from $139,950 to $489.950.
Mark Eliasen spoke about the Magnuson Park issue. The Seattle Parks Dept. is attempting to solicit the Washington National Guard to build the playfields, as a way to get the job done without having the funding. MBNA is opposed to the massive lighting proposed, and thinks that using the Guard in such a manner is not the best use of taxpayer money and not the best way the Guard could be ensuring our safety. An article appeared in the Seattle Times addressing this issue: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002073961_danny27.html
Our next meeting will be held on Monday, January 24 -- a week later than usual because of the Martin Luther King holiday.
Meeting Notes - September 20, 2004
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.
Meeting Notes - May 24, 2004
Kirkland Maintenance Center
Glenn Peterson called the meeting to order. Glenn has agreed to lead our meetings while we search for a new Chairperson. Glenn updated the crowd, which included many new faces, on the association activities and our ties to the Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods (KAN). Glenn mentioned that the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association is looking for people to fill several slots. Anyone interested in joining the association should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Eliasen, of our group, was the first to speak. Mark updated us on the status of the sale of the Pace Chemical property. The sale is still in the works, but is pending resolution of environmental studies on the site. Camwest Development plans to build approximately 60 living units on the 5 acre property.
Don Winters spoke briefly on the rumored sale of the Green Funeral Home property to a developer and possible construction of 20 living units on the approximately 2.5 acre site. The planned fate of the historic Nettleton Home, built by a Seattle PI publisher in 1914, is not known.
Don also mentioned the Magnuson Park sports field issue. Seattle will apparently be scaling back the project to seven lighted fields from a planned eleven. Don mentioned that even seven fields will produce a lot of glare on the shores of Lake Washington.
Brian Fritz of Trammel Crow, was the next to speak to our group about a plan a build on the old Safeway site on Kirkland Ave., across from the Kirkland Performance Center. Brian described the plans which include one floor of retail with three floors of residential, approximately 160 units, above. A generous setback from the road and an open courtyard were appealing aspects of the plan.
Kirkland City Manager Dave Ramsay was our next speaker. Dave spoke on the Downtown Strategic Plan as a vision and the concrete steps that are being taken to make that vision a reality. Dave first introduced Bob Sternoff, Co Chairman of the Lakeshore Plaza Design Committee, who gave us a report on the status of that proposal. The objective of the project is to reverse the fact that Kirkland has "turned its back" on the lake. The plan is to create a plaza on a lid over a parking structure where the present Marina parking lot sits. The second of three community meetings was held in May and two concepts for the project were reviewed -- one "hard" concept with more retail space and one softer version with more open/green space. The hard version seems to be favored at this time.
Carolyn Hayek spoke on the Central Way narrowing plans. Central Way will be torn up for infrastructure upgrades this summer and four options for reconfiguring the lanes in downtown are being considered. Traffic calming and improved pedestrian flow are the objectives. An open house is planned this summer to show off the options.
Jeremy McMahon spoke about the "Lake and Central" property. The parcel is now a public parking lot, and redevelopment is being considered to improve the pedestrian-oriented retail character of downtown. The Milliken Martin development team is working on developing a proposal that would combine the city parcel with the US Bank land for a development including ground floor retail anchored by an urban grocery, with three floors of residential condos above, and increased parking below.
A spirited Question and Answer session, moderated by Dave Ramsay, finished up our meeting. Many ideas were floated on the various proposals.
The next meeting of the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 20, 7PM, at Heritage Hall on Market Street.
Meeting Notes - January 19, 2004
Don Winters called the meeting to order. Mark Masterson was ill tonight, and since he is moving out of the area, won't be able to remain in his position as chairperson of the MBNA. We will need a new Chairperson and other officers. Nominations are welcome.
First on the agenda was the upcoming City Council informal (town hall) meeting with our neighborhood. This is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27 at Heritage Hall, which is not a normal meeting night for us, but should work out. The city will be mailing questionnaires to all residents in the Moss Bay Neighborhood, and as an association, we should identify four issues we would like to discuss. Carolyn Hayek mentioned that it would be a good idea to use the questionnaire to ask members of homeowner associations (condos or apts) to identify themselves, so that we can have contact people within these organizations.
Ellen McMahon will be ordering yard signs for our association through the city. We can get a better price by ordering along with other groups. We will order about 35 signs, white with red letters -- "Moss Bay Neighborhood Meeting, Monday 7PM, Heritage Hall".
Ellen also reported on the progress of the improvements to Brink Park that were part of the "Neighborhood Connections" program that we participated in. The pathway has just been completed and Ellen said it looks great! The new "low style" lights (posts about 4 feet high) will be installed on the dock as soon as the Parks Dept. can schedule it in.
The upcoming 2005 Kirkland Centennial Celebration was discussed. Mary Alyce Burleigh, our new mayor, was on hand to fill us in on the plans. There will be several events scheduled over the course of the year to celebrate 100 years of Kirkland history. A "centennial project" for our neighborhood to coincide with city wide activities is one idea being floated. Parades, picnics, and even ideas such as planting 100 trees are some other suggestions.
Don Winters reported on the Magnuson Park lighting issue -- Seattle's plans to install 640,000 watts of lighting at 11 new play fields at Sand Point. Don mentioned that the group "Eastside Friends of Lake Washington" has been busy working to head off this project, which they feel will cause unacceptable light pollution on the lake and in Kirkland. Don mentioned that there will be a forum on the project held Monday, Feb 2, at the University Universalist Church in Seattle. Seattle City Councilpersons Peter Steinbrueck, and David Della, Kirkland City Councilperson Dave Asher, and several experts on lighting and wildlife biology will be on hand to educate us about the impacts of this massive project.
Don also updated us on the Pace Chemical site plans of the CamWest Corp. They are in the process of buying the property and building approximately 60 living units, a blend of multi and single family homes. The site is 5 acres and is zoned for 12 units per acre. We will be following this development closely.
Kirkland City Councilperson Jim Lauinger briefed us on the Comprehensive Plan review that is scheduled for the Moss Bay neighborhood in 2007. We should begin to think about what we would like to see in the plan and prepare input for the review. Three pieces of property, 'Lakeshore Clinic', 'Pace Chemical', and 'Sauder Door', are possibly slated for redevelopment and we could influence how they are designed.
Carolyn Hayek gave us a summary of recent Planning Commission activities. Carolyn mentioned that the Lakeshore Plaza "lid" proposal, part of the "Downtown Strategic Plan" has been investigated and seems more feasible than first thought, due to the fact that new business locations on the lid would probably repay a good part of development costs. Further plans are proceeding. Central Way will be undergoing a sewer upgrade and the commission is considering possible narrowing of the street in conjunction. The business block proposed for "ground zero", the corner of Lake and Central is awaiting a response from US Bank as to the possibility of including their property in the project.
Our next meeting will be March 15, 2004 at Heritage Hall.