Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order. City Councilmembers Toby Nixon, Bob Sternoff and Dave Asher were in attendance.
Kirkland Police Officer Christa Gilland was our first guest. We hope to make a brief "police report" a regular part of our meetings. Christa, a 13 year Kirkland officer, told us how Kirkland is a safe city, with mostly property and vehicle type of crime. Christa mentioned police can be called on a non-emergency number, 425-577-5656, as well as 911. Society has become more isolated and Christa recommends keeping in touch with neighbors as a good way to stay safe. Christa answered a number of questions from our group.
Dave Tomson and Andy Loos of SRM Development told us about their plans to build a 180,000 sq. ft. project at 500 7th Ave S, known as the "Pace Site", with Google as the prospective tenant. It will be two floors of office over underground parking, and will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold building. It will be two buildings joined by covered atrium that will make it appear as single building. A roof deck with green landscaping is planned. Traffic will be kept off of 7th Ave. S. by means of curbing that prevents turning into or out of the project from the west. Also, a driveway will connect the new campus across the rail corridor trail to the existing Google site. A tunnel or bridge may be used to accomplish this. Google wants to improve their portion of the trail with amenities such as a pavement, sport courts and landscaping. There is to be a 100' total buffer along 7th Ave. S. Lighting will be shielded to minimize glare. Dave mentioned that Google wants to be a good neighbor and will be sensitive to neighbor's concerns. The project has passed the traffic concurrency test. A possible new traffic signal at 6th St. S. and Kirkland Ave. may be installed to mitigate traffic. The environmental cleanup at the former chemical plant site is in progress with monitoring wells in place. More work remains, but the site is expected to be "delisted" in the not-too-distant future. SRM hopes to have a lease in place within a few months and the project completed by mid 2015. Dave can be called at 425-629-4437 with any questions.
Our Neighborhood Business segment was next, with PJ Glassey, owner of X Gym at 120 Central Way. X Gym has been in Kirkland since 2004, and with 24 Hour Fitness moving to Totem Lake, will be the oldest fitness center in town. The exercise program, a unique system developed by PJ himself, consists of a 21 minute workout, two times per week. One-on-one personal training, advanced techniques and the latest machines are added perks. They cater to all ages, teen to 80s. An introductory session is free.
Robert Pantley and his daughter, Angela, gave us an update on their proposal to build "residential suites" in downtown Kirkland on the "Crab Cracker" site, located on Central Way. The project will have 11,000 sq. ft. of retail, 61 regular apartments, and 221 residential suites (we described the concept in the minutes of our last meeting). There will be 255 parking stalls, 17 more than required. Only half the tenants are expected to own cars. Retail will include an "urban hardware" store and a coffee shop. There will be a rotating art space that celebrates the living history of Kirkland. The building will be LEED Platinum Plus. An outdoor environment will be created with covered areas, green roofs and SPIN gardens. A pedestrian-friendly feel will be provided to increase foot traffic in the area. Design review should start in two months and Robert expects to break ground in about a year.
Don Winters updated the group on several projects planned for the Moss Bay Neighborhood. Potala Village developer Lobsang Dargey is suing the City over the rezone of his property on Lake St. and 10th Ave. S. He had planned to build 143 units, but would now be limited to 58 under the new rules.
Stuart McLeod received approval from the Design Review Board and is moving forward with the "Hector's project" on Lake St. They will next apply for a permit. The project could be finished in 2016. We plan to have architect Rick Chesmore give us a presentation at our next meeting in March.
CamWest Development has been in pre-permit talks with the Planning Dept. with tentative plans to build 17 single family condo units on the Kirkland Professional Center property on west side of State St. between 3rd and 5th Aves S. The project would be similar to Nettleton Commons. CamWest project "Kirkland Commons" at State St. and 2nd Ave. S. is under construction. 15 homes are being built, 9 of them separate homes of which 7 are sold and 6 Townhomes of which one is sold.
A project slated for the White Swan car wash property at 324 Central Way now has a zoning permit application under review. The proposed project would have 72 residential units in 3 to 4 floors of market rate apartments over 5000 sq. ft. of retail. Parking is proposed within a below-grade parking structure.
Planning documents, including conceptual drawings, are available here: Part 1 and Part 2
Our next meeting will be
Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order.
Robert Pantley was our first guest. Robert is a developer who wants to build "residential suites" in downtown Kirkland on the "Crab Cracker" site, located on Central Way. Residential suites fall somewhere between a hotel use and an apartment use, where a small unit -- between 160 and 340 square feet in this case -- is rented for longer periods than a hotel. The units will have bathrooms but share kitchen facilities and rent for substantially less than traditional apartments, about $600 to $800 per month. Robert told us about his existing similar projects in Redmond. The projects are built near transit centers and attract people who do not have automobiles. In Robert's Redmond project of 61 units, there are only 28 parking spots used. The proposed site on Central Way is 48,000 square feet and the project is to have several hundred units. On Oct 4 the Planning Commission is considering whether to amend the zoning code for some downtown and Totem Lake areas to allow residential suites. The City Council will take up the matter at their Oct. 16 meeting.
Two levies are up for vote in November and we had City people on hand to explain why the additional funding was needed. Ray Steiger, Director of Public Works explained the need for the Roads levy. Basically the needs of our roads system far exceed available funds and if we don't want to let our system fall into disrepair, then this funding is needed. The levy would cost the average homeowner about $77 per year.
Michael Cogle, Kirkland Parks Deputy Director, explained how parks bonds built Juanita Bay Park in 1978, and how another bond in 1989 led to the North Kirkland Community Center, among other things. The cost of the Parks levy would average about $55 per year.
We had a spirited pro and con forum, moderated by Bea Nahon. Chuck Pilcher spoke in favor of the roads levy and Bob Style spoke against. Bob felt that the City could easily fund roads if they managed their existing funds better. Scott Morris spoke in favor of the Parks levy, explaining that essential services have become so expensive that if we want good parks, more funding is necessary. Bob Style again took the "con" view.
Don Winters updated the group on several projects planned for the Moss Bay Neighborhood. The Hector's parcel, which has been under redevelopment, has undergone a change of plans. The parking will now be above ground on four levels above a single level of retail towards the rear of the parcel. Additional floors of office space will also be built. There will be a courtyard on Lake Street between Hector's and the Waterfront Market. This plan goes before the Design Review Board on Oct. 1. You can view the plans here. SRM Development plans to build a new campus on the "pace site", 500 7th Ave. S., for Google. The campus will be somewhat similar in size and style to the exiting campus on 6th St. S. SRM will come to a future meeting, probably in November, to brief us on the plans. CamWest Development has been in pre-permit talks with the Planning Dept. with tentative plans to build 17 single family condo units on the Kirkland Professional Center property on west side of State St. between 3rd and 5th Aves S. The project would be similar to Nettleton Commons. More pre-permit talks came from a developer who wants to build 80 units of residential above ground floor retail on the White Swan car wash property on Central Way.
Our next meeting will be November 19, 2012 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.
Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order. City Council Members Dave Asher, Doreen Marchione and Bob Sternoff were in attendance.
Our first guest was Ray Steiger, Kirkland Public Works Director. There are a number of capital project underway in Kirkland and Ray showed a PowerPoint slide show along with his presentation. The projects are listed on the City web site at: http://www.kirklandwa.gov/depart/Public_Works/Capital_Improvements.htm
Permanent bump-outs at pedestrian crossings on Central Way will be installed in the summer of 2012. The bump-outs have been there in temporary fashion for a few years. The "missing links" in the sidewalks at the intersection of 6th St. and Kirkland Ave. will be corrected with the construction of new segments of sidewalk and pedestrian ramps. The intersection of 68th St NE and 108th Ave NE in Houghton will be completed this summer. There will be a new right turn lane on 68th when making to turn onto northbound 108th (actually 6th St. S.).
Ray also talked about the rail corridor and how the City is in the process of buying the 5.75 mile Kirkland segment for $5 million. The sale will close on April 13. A celebration is planned. It is expected that improvements will start on the trail this summer with rail removal and crossing improvements.
Shelley Kloba, Moss Bay's liaison with the Parks Board, told us about upcoming parks projects and how a levy might be on the ballot to fund a wish list of projects.
Tia Scarce of the Kirkland Wildlife Habitat Team gave a presentation on certifying backyard habitats. Tia told us how we can encourage animals to thrive in our own backyards. Connect via Facebook with the Kirkland Community Wildlife Habitat. For more detailed info, go to the National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife Habitat page.
Kirkland Police Officer Kyle Thomas attended our meeting. Kyle mentioned how there has been an increase in daytime burglaries in Kirkland as well as increased vehicle prowls. A common tactic is for young thieves to check for unlocked car doors and then burglarize any left open. Kyle fielded a number of questions from our members.
Ron Hofilena, new owner of Saint James Espresso on Kirkland Ave., introduced himself and told us about his business. St. James will start serving beer and wine and may have an "open mike" program in the works. Ron hopes to attract visitors from the Performance Center, which is across the street from his business.
Ken Dueker, the Parking Advisory Board's liaison to Moss Bay, gave us the lowdown on the latest parking plan. The Board is proposing that two City pay lots, Lake / Central and Marina Park, go to all day pay parking at $1 per hour. Currently these lots are partial pay and partial free and the pay is only after 5PM. Note: this proposal was met with some skepticism at the City Council meeting Mar. 20.
Lobsang Dargey, principal of the proposed Potala Village project at Lake St. and 10th Ave. S., was our next guest, along with architect Justin Stewart. The zoning is currently being studied by Kirkland's Planning Commission, a situation which puts the project in limbo for the near future. Lobsang is considering a somewhat scaled-down version of the project with 120 units. The possibility of a courtyard facing the lake, rather than behind the building, is also being considered. As usual, nearby residents voiced concerns about the density and scale of the project.
Our next meeting will be May 21, 2012 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.
Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order. City Council Members Dave Asher, Doreen Marchione and Bob Sternoff were in attendance. The meeting was focused on the possible development of the Pace site on 7th Ave. S. Mark explained how the issue of this site being developed was the impetus behind the formation of the Moss Bay Neighborhood Association back in 1997 when another office complex was being proposed. You can read the minutes of our first meeting here. Mark detailed how our association fought to limit traffic on 7th Ave. S., eventually winning an appeal before the City Council to force the developer to limit access to the site from the east. The project was never built and the site has been vacant for years. An environmental cleanup has been ongoing for several years -- the result a chemical plant that operated previously.
Our first guest was Eric Shields, Kirkland Planning Director. Eric was nice enough to be our guest for the second meeting in a row. This time the topic was the proposed amendments to the Light Industrial Technology (LIT) and Planned Area 6G (PLA 6G). Specifically, SRM Development is applying for changes to the zoning of these areas because Google is considering expansion onto the Pace site which is just west of the existing Google campus. The amendments would (1) remove the two story restriction, but retain the 35' maximum height and (2) remove the 25' maximum height limit adjoining low density zones where the adjoining use is institutional (Lakeview Elementary in this case). The result of these amendments would be increased density of development on the 5 acre 'pace site' parcel. For more information read the memo prepared for the City Council. Eric answered many questions concerning the zoning amendments and how they would affect neighboring properties.
Our next guests were Andy Loos and Dave Tomson of SRM Development. SRM is looking at the Pace site as a possible expansion option for Google. Google currently leases their existing campus from SRM. The project would be about 170,000 square feet at current zoning and would have the potential to go to 225,000 if the zoning amendments are implemented. This would be larger than the existing Google campus. Parking would be underground with some surface parking. Various improvements to the neighborhood would be provided, probably including sidewalks on 7th Ave. S. Andy and Dave had a preliminary drawing of a possible development which showed how they planned to keep traffic from the project from using 7th Ave. S. with an angled drive into the project and a curb to prevent turns to the west.
Don Winters mentioned that the Kirkland's zoning code regulations for the Pace site specifies that "All vehicular access shall be from the east. The site access shall be configured to structurally prevent the use of 7th Ave. S. or other residential streets?" Don was wondering if the proposal will in fact keep traffic off 7th and what the residents could do if traffic from the site was using the street.
There will be a public hearing on the proposed amendments at the City Council meeting on Jan 17.
Kelly Ferron, Kirkland's Recycling Coordinator, gave an overview of recycling in the city. Kelly told us that recycling of metal and paper is straightforward, but plastics can be confusing. It's more accurate to recycle by the shape of the container. Electronics are now recyclable at single family residences in Kirkland by calling 24 hours in advance for a pickup. For more info, visit the City's recycling site.
Our next meeting will be March 19, 2012 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.