Meeting Notes - November 21, 2005
Moss Bay Co-Chair Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
Don Winters, the other co-chair of Moss Bay, spoke about the Kirkland Centennial Tree program. The City of Kirkland is planting a number of "Centennial Trees" this year to commemorate the 100th birthday of Kirkland. About 4 spots could still be needed to plant these and Don suggested we communicate via email about where these might be located. Don also mentioned a certificate the MBNA received for using our $25,000 "Neighborhood Connections" money to "save the animals".
Kellie Jordan of the Kirkland Downtown Association updated us on downtown activities coordinated by this group. The holiday lights are up, and Kellie wanted to thank Roof Truss Supply for decorating. Kirkland's Magical Night of Shopping will be Dec 1 with the Argosy ship being on hand. Kellie suggested visiting www.explorekirkland.com for more information. The Kirkland Downtown Association has their office at 111 Park Lane.
Newly elected City Councilman and Moss Bay resident Bob Sternoff spoke next. Bob mentioned the recent approval of a much needed tax increase for public safety, an increase of $57 per year for $500k house. Kirkland needs to increase sales tax revenue as a way to keep up with the escalating costs associated with becoming a major city. Bob mentioned that his background – Commercial Developer -- would give him the perspective to deal with problems such as this. A plan to rebuild Totem Lake into a "regional shopping experience" was in the works, Bob said. Street and traffic improvements and a new building complex combining mall space, offices, theatres, and residences, would change the face of the now-decrepit center. Parks – Bob told us that Juanita Beach Park was slated for a big overhaul, with a new setting for the historic Forbes Home, a boat house with rental boats, day moorage, and vastly improved sports fields.
The Downtown Action Team (DAT) has 32 members and has been busy conceptualizing several projects. Lakeshore Plaza, the lid over the Marina Park lot is in the works, though lots of issues, environmental among them, still need to be resolved.
A new Transit Center is in the planning phase for Third Street, with a $13 million Sound Transit budget. Lots of options are being looked at including creating more space by "undergrounding" the Metro sewer pumping station at Third Street and Park Lane. More info is available on the City's web page for the transit center http://www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/depart/pw/cip/transitcenter/transitcenter.htm
Bob noted that there are vacancies on The Planning Commission and the Park Board and that Moss Bay members might want to apply.
Neal Christiansen of the Parking Advisory Committee addressed the group next. Neal noted that parking is scarce downtown and that there are only four remaining sites where public parking could possibly go in -- the Antique Mall, the McLeod site on Kirkland Ave, Lake and Central, and Marina Park lot expansion. Bob said that we need to figure out funding via a "Parking Reserve Fund". The parking requirements of Condo projects in Kirkland were discussed. For some projects, the city has granted variances, requiring 1.3 spaces per unit rather than the normal 1.7. Neal felt that this resulted in residents parking on the street and worsening the parking situation.
Mark Eliasen gave us a brief update on Moss Bay's "hot sheet" of neighborhood projects. Both the Pace Chemical site on 7th Ave. S. and the Green Funeral Home site are parcels in the process of being sold, but are held up by environmental issues. The "Chaffey Building" is in Design Review Board limbo, and little news is available. Bungie (division of Microsoft) is moved into their new home on Kirkland Avenue. Bob Sternoff noted that the Kirkland Hotel will start construction Dec 1 on the corner of Kirkland Ave. and Third Street -- news that was well received, as Moss Bay thinks this is a good-looking project! Check their web site for some drawings -- http://www.kirklandhotelgroup.com/
Our next meeting will be January 16.
Meeting Notes - September 19, 2005
Moss Bay Co-Chair Don Winters called the meeting to order and noted the great turnout.
Our first speaker was Carolyn Hayek, chair of the Kirkland Planning Commission and a Moss Bay NA member, who briefed us on the newly revised Kirkland Tree Ordinance. This is a wide-reaching regulation that affects all property owners and residents, not merely new construction projects. Trees on property should not be cut down or drastically altered any without checking with the City of Kirkland on the requirements. There are also requirements for “street trees”, those trees on public sidewalks fronting our properties.
Downtown Action Team (DAT) – Carolyn reported that this group recently met for the first time in many months. The DAT had previously worked on a preliminary proposal for Lakeshore Plaza, which would be located on the present Marina Park lot. They will now proceed with the next stage of planning. The DAT will also be involved in the Transit Center project. The new plan will revise and expand the Transit Center at its current location on Third Avenue, just south of Peter Kirk Park. Carolyn also announced that the DAT is seeking more professionals to serve on it, especially anyone with an architectural or planning background. (Note: a new rep for the MBNA may be needed). The DAT meets once every two months.
Second and State Street development – Brian Fritz of Trammell Crow updated us on their proposed
project, slated for the site of Cypress Tree Furniture and the parcel directly east of it, known as the 'old post office' site. They are proposing about 120 condo units. Unlike their project immediately north of this on the old Safeway (thrift store) site, this development will not have first floor retail -- only residential units.
Public Safety Staffing – Marilyn Beard, Kirkland Director of Finance and Administration, presented a proposal for higher levels of fire and police department staffing. Fire Chief Jeff Blake and Police Chief Stan Ashton also contributed. They told us that response times for medical and fire calls are below an acceptable level, and the police have little staff time to proactively work on crime prevention and safety measures. Kirkland has fewer police and fire per capita than several other Eastside cities. They suggested that property taxes could be increased about $50/year on a $500,000 house to pay for these improvements. They will be presenting this information to more groups in the future.
Kirkland Centennial Party – Dan Krehbiel of our group mentioned our 2005 matching grant, which we have donated to the Kirkland Centennial Committee. Moss Bay needs to produce 250 hours of 'in kind' volunteer work to satisfy our grant requirements, of which we currently have about 220. There will be more volunteer opportunities at Kirkland's 100th Birthday Party on Oct. 12, a series of events at Peter Kirk Park, the Performance Center, and the Senior Center, culminating with a fireworks display at the park. Members will be notified when these opportunities are available.
Kirkland Candidate Forum October 9th – Bea Nahon of CiViK (Citizens for a Vibrant Kirkland ) and Glenn Peterson of KAN (Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods) told us about the upcoming political forum that these two organizations are sponsoring. One set of questions has already been submitted to candidates, and the answers posted on the CiViK site. More questions will be asked at the forum. See the CiViK website at www.CiViK.org for more information.
Our next meeting will be held November 21.
Meeting Notes - March 21, 2005
Meeting called to order 7:00 pm
City of Kirkland Surface Water Master Plan Update
Scott Gonsar, City of Kirkland, Surface Water Utility Engineer, presented the following information about the City of Kirkland Surface Water Master Plan.
For more information contact City of Kirkland, Department of Public Works at 425-587-3800
Kirkland Sidewalk Bond Exploratory Committee
Norm Storm, City of Kirkland Transportation Commission and chair of the Sidewalk Bond Exploratory Committee
Ray Steiger, City of Kirkland, Interim Director of Public Works and Capital Improvements Manager
The City is trying to gauge whether or not citizens are interested in moving forward on a $15 million Sidewalk Bond that would be put for a vote in February 2006. The estimated tax cost is $53/year for a $400,000 home over 20 years.
6th St S between the Old Court House @ 5th Pl S and Kirkland Way
Please contact Ray Steiger or Daren Grilley, City of Kirkland Department of Public Works at 425-587-3800.
Special Guest: Kirkland City Manager, Dave Ramsay
Dave Ramsay took us for "a walk around town"
Chaffey Building Project
Allowable heights for this project depend on the first floor use. If the first floor is "superior retail" than 5 stories (or 55’) is allowed otherwise only 4 stories (or 45’) is permitted. There are a lot of questions about what constitutes superior retail. In all cases setbacks are required.
Two options are currently before the Design Review Board. The Board has questions about both and will be discussing them at their April 21 meeting.
If you have concerns about the Chaffey Building Project you are encouraged to attend meetings and write letters to the Design Review Board, City Hall, 123 Fifth Ave.
Big White Ship
A new breakwater is scheduled to begin construction on April 1, which would eliminate the need for the Big White Ship that is docked at the marina near Anthony’s Homeport at the end of 2nd Ave S. The Big White Ship will be removed before Oct ’05.
The City is adding 65 extra parking spaces to downtown Kirkland. Reconfiguration of the parking lot at Marina Park is expected to add approximately 25 additional parking spaces and 40 on-street parking spaces will be added on Central Way.
The City is also evaluating options for some type of parking structure.
Kirkland Hardware site (near QFC) on Kirkland Way
Microsoft has signed a long-term lease for the old Kirkland Hardware store. The building will be rehabbed and the parking lot reserved for employees.
For more information see article in King County Journal 3-23-05: http://www.kingcountyjournal.com/sited/story/html/202043
Lake and Central Lessons Learned
A $400,000 donation was made to the Cascade Land Conservancy that must be matched with in kind funds or volunteer hours for removal of invasive ivy on trees in the City. A workshop on how to remove ivy will be held March 29 at City Hall.
Totem Lake Mall
A major addition is in the works, which includes a 10-story bed tower and a state of the art emergency room and a transit center.
Check out the cottage housing development in North Rose Hill by Mark Twain at 128th Ave NE.
Completion of the west side of the Juanita Village development is underway. There is no grocery store at this time.
Annexation of Finn Hill, Juanita and Kingsgate
35,000 residents from Finn Hill, Juanita and Kingsgate would be added with annexation which would nearly double the size of Kirkland
$3 million gap: The cost to support these neighborhoods with police, fire and other City services is approximately $3 million more than the potential tax revenue than they bring in.
The City is looking for legislation to close the gap.
Juanita Beach master plan is in progress. Check out the City’s website for more information:
Waverly Park is in the 1st stage with construction expected to begin this summer on improvements such as irrigation and landscaping and eventually an historic garden.
Save the Animals
$200,000 is needed to keep 3 Animal Statues in Kirkland – the rabbits, the deer and the bears
Contributions collected so far amount to $140,000 which is enough to save 2 of them
Deadline for contributions is June/July 2005
Contact the City of Kirkland for details
We are officially out of recession with revenues back to 2000 levels
Sales tax revenue is up 6-7%
However costs are growing particularly with staffing needs in the fire and police departments
There is no specific tax strategy to meet the shortfalls at this time
Vacant City Council Seat
Nona Ganz was appointed to fill Tom Dillon’s seat on the Council
Items from the audience
Do we have plans for new retail?
We have hopes particularly at Totem Lake Mall. There is intense competition for quality retail establishments in the surrounding area. The high-end retailers have what’s called a "radius clause" which prohibits the same type of store from opening another shop within 10 or 15 miles. Unfortunately Bellevue Square is within the boundaries of most radius clauses and prevents Kirkland from having similar stores high-end retail.
What’s happening with regard to a traffic light at Lake and Market?
Nothing at this time but a light has been proposed.
What is the compulsion to annex our neighbors to the north?
The Kirkland Hotel Project presented by Don Holt
Don Holt, part owner of the old wine shop on the corner of 3rd St and Kirkland Way presented his plans for a hotel on the site.
Don also owns Kirkland Square (Blockbuster Video and Subway site) and he has worked in Kirkland since 1991. When he was trying to decide what to do with the property on 3rd and Kirkland he asked Kirkland residents what is missing downtown? The answer is a hotel.
Don says he has building permits in hand but has had a few struggles securing financing and now is awaiting an appraisal which should be ready in a few weeks.
The hotel is expected to be less expensive than the Woodmark and will include a parking structure, which he hopes to make available to the public for a minimal fee of about $1/hour.
The parking garage will have valet parking and access will be from the alley.
Features of the hotel:
Old Safeway site: retail/condominium project reduced from 4 stories to 3 and from 160 to 120 units. Construction has begun.
75 Kirkland Way site – mixed use /condo: All of the units have been presold.
Pace site – 7th Ave S – 2 blocks east of State St
Kari Page, City of Kirkland Neighborhood Services Coordinator
Kari presented a slide show which included the projects Moss Bay voted on three years ago – steps in David Brink Park that connect the Lake St sidewalk on the north end to the sidewalk below along the waterfront and flower pots that decorate downtown.
Send in your ideas for projects:
Revision of the Bylaws were accepted with no objections
May 16, 2005 (Third Monday of odd months)
Heritage Hall 7-9 pm
Submit topics for next meeting to the board prior to May 5.
Board meets 1st Thurs odd months
Meeting Notes - January 24, 2005
Meeting called to order 7:00 pm
I. Lake & Central development - presentation by Glenn Peterson
Due to a conflict with the Lake & Central Workshop which was taking place at the same time as the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association meeting, Glenn Peterson was moved ahead on the agenda. He gave his report on Lake & Central before returning to the Workshop at the Senior Center.
Glenn introduced himself as a member of the 12 person steering committee that was commissioned by the City to review the Lake & Central development proposal by Milliken-Martin. Glenn is the Kirkland Downtown on the Lake Representative. The Lake & Central Steering Committee includes 6 CIVIK members (Citizens for a Viable Kirkland) and 6 others. Their first charge was to find out what people think of the proposed building.
On December 30 Milliken-Martin presented a revised proposal to the City and asked that the City Council make a decision whether or not to move forward with the sale of the Lake & Central parking lot property at the February 15, 2005 City Council meeting. The new proposal includes a building with:
Lake & Central Workshop B – at the Senior Center
Sat, Feb 5 at 10 – 1 pm and
Mon, Feb 7 at 7 – 9:30 pm
At this second round of Workshops the changes that were proposed during the first round of Workshops will be presented for comment.
Discussion regarding the Lake & Central proposal continued regarding the replacement of 58 existing parking spaces on the site. The current rendering does not provide for the replacement of these parking spaces on site due to downsizing of the building project from the original proposal. Proceeds from the sale of the land must be used for equivalent parking. The land is expected to sell for $2 million and there has been talk of using that money to purchase 250-300 parking stalls in a proposed parking garage behind Hector’s Restaurant on Lake Street and Kirkland Avenue. The question remains whether or not this site can be secured for a parking garage prior to Feb 15.
II Election of Officers
A. PACE site development - presentation by Bruce Knowlton, VP CamWest
CamWest development plans for the PACE Chemical site include a residential construction project of 64 homes. However, prior to purchasing the property CamWest wants to get an understanding of any residual chemicals on the property. Testing of the land and run off from the property is underway with boring in the street and on the site. They expect to know the results in about 2 weeks time. Prior to closing on the property the current owner is expected to produce clean test results once per quarter. After the current testing phase is done the design phase will begin to take shape. Bruce agreed to email our neighborhood association co-chair and webmaster, Don Winters, when sale of the property closes.
Questions from neighbors were answered including:
What are you finding on the property? Oil, diesel, gas, vinyl chloride
What will the homes look like? It’s too early to talk about design however some of the homes are expected to be similar to CamWest’s 3rd Av S development which is east of State St and the development will most likely include some larger single family homes along 7th Av S.
B. Green Funeral Home – Bruce Knowlton reported that the property is no longer available for sale, CamWest was close to making a deal however as of one week ago it had not sold.
Green is expected to be vacating the building on 1/31 however there is talk that an employee has been given right of first refusal to purchase the property and may continue operations.
The Green Funeral Home mansion was built in 1914 by Clark Nettleton, one-time publisher of the Seattle PI. Right now there is nothing in place to stop anyone from tearing it down. It’s not listed on the National Register.
C. Old Safeway Site –the City approved a 4 story building. There was talk that a nearby condominium association was planning to appeal the development. As a result the developer has now downsized his plans to a 3 story condominium project with retail on the bottom floor including 2 courtyards.
D. Old Grape Choice site – hotel project
Owners: Don Holt 425-822-2290 and Bill Corbett
There has been a delay in getting permits however they expect to tear down the existing building in 30-60 days. Hotel details:
Note--Since our meeting, an article appeared in the King County Journal explaining that the project was awaiting financing: http://www.kingcountyjournal.com/sited/story/html/184632
E. Kirkland Central – mixed use/condo development at 75 Kirkland Way
G. Transit Center – will remain on 3rd St where it currently resides between Kirkland Ave and Central Way
K. Rail trail – no news
IV. Grant Applications -
Annual membership dues – $15
Discussed annual matching grant application to the City for $3,500. A suggestion was made that give our $3,500 to the Centennial fund and match it with volunteer hours at the Centennial Celebration
No one volunteered to lead a committee
V. No New Business
VI. Next Meeting March 21, 2005 (Third Monday of odd months)
Heritage Hall 7-9 pm
Agenda & minutes available at www.mossbay.org
Meeting adjourned early at 8:30 pm (Lake & Central meeting was still in session until 9:30 pm and many left early to attend)