Mark Eliasen called the meeting to order. City Council Members Doreen Marchione, Bob Sternoff, and Dave Asher were in attendance.
Walt Krueger, President of Kirkland Kiwanis, told us about the upcoming pancake breakfast to benefit KITH (Kirkland Interfaith Transitions in Housing). The breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2011 from 7:30am – 11:30am and will be held at Peter Kirk Community Center, 352 Kirkland Ave. There is a $7 donation. Visit the Kiwanis web site for more info. The Moss Bay Neighborhood Association approved using our City neighborhood grant this year to benefit KITH.
Don Winters and Mark Eliasen reminded the group to be sure to track their hours performing volunteer work for projects benefiting the neighborhood, as we need to accumulate those in order to earn our grant funds from the City. Hours should be reported to Don Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Razore, owner of property at 434 Kirkland Way, was our next guest. Joe has a PAR request pending to change the zoning on the property. The changes would allow residential to be the predominant use. Currently the site is limited to 12% residential. In addition, the height allowed would increase from 3-5 stories to 8 stories, similar to the changes made in the zoning of Park Place, which is an adjacent property. This would result in a building height of 100'. Joe told us how he believes the buildings on the site would be more appealing with the increased height which would allow a smaller footprint and more step backs. The PAR is likely to be considered by the Planning Commission in 2012.
Lobsang Dargey, who presented at our March meeting about his planned Potala Village, gave us an update. The project is a 143 unit apartment building on 4 levels. Lobsang has agreed to meet the zoning requirements for parking rather than seek a parking modification. He feels that since the project is in a residential area, that this will keep overflow parking off local streets. There will be no retail at the site, as originally planned, but professional office instead. The project will be an environmentally friendly, "high end" quality building with a gym, conference center, and yoga. Environmental testing has been done and while the ground water is OK, the soil will need some cleanup due to previous uses, which included a dry cleaners and a gas station.
Teresa Swan, of the Kirkland Planning Dept, was on hand to help clarify zoning issues in relation to Potala Village. The height of the building is in relation to the "average building elevation" which means some areas of the building will be higher and others lower than the 30' allowed. A shoreline permit is required from the Dept of Ecology because part of the site is within 200' of Lake Washington. There is no design review necessary for this project because it is not in the Central Business District. For more information, including how to comment on the project, refer to the project data sheet.
Rob Butcher, editor of Kirkland Views, spoke about Kirkland Kudos. This is a program that recognizes businesses and individuals that are helping neighbors, picking up litter, sweeping sidewalks, participating in events and volunteering in our community.
Don Winters mentioned that the Kirkland Heritage Society is trying to finish the entry sidewalk at Heritage Hall by selling pavers engraved with names of the purchasers. A printable form is available here which can be mailed to the Heritage Society to order a paver. This is a very worthwhile project and a great way to have your name carved in stone.
Several "neighborhood updates" were also mentioned. Overlake Hospital has leased space on the northwest corner of 3rd St. and Central Way and will open a medical clinic there. The property at State St. and 2nd Ave. S. will not be sold to a prospective buyer as reported last meeting but is still be marketed by SRM Development as a 12 unit detached-condo project and a couple of developers are interested. Google is occupying the third building in their complex on 6th St. S.
AP Hurd of Touchstone Development reported in an email that they secured Design Review Board Approval for the Parkplace project in December 2010. They are continuing more detailed design and actively marketing the project to potential tenants and investors. The project is likely to be kicked off once a significant office prelease has been signed ensuring that capital can be secured to fully build out the first phase.
Dori Gillam of Senior Services told us about "Aging Your Way", a regional planning session for senior programs that was held on May 18.
Our next meeting will be May 16, 2011 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.