Don Winters called the meeting to order. We had a turnout of about 40 members. City Council Member Toby Nixon was in attendance.
Chuck Pilcher told us about his proposal to change the name of the Kirkland's downtown area from the "Central Business District" to the "Central Waterfront District". Chuck feels that this is a more appropriate name and would change the way we think about downtown. He has written a white paper detailing the proposal and the reasoning behind it. Read it here.
Rich Lerz, CEO of Nytec Engineering, was our next guest. Nytec, 38 year old company, is opening a new office at 416 6th St. S. The building, which formerly housed the Kirkland Municipal Court and Studio East, is being completely renovated and expanded and will be LEED Platinum. Nytec has worked with Microsoft and other tech companies, helping them to bring hardware and software products to market. There will be about 100 employees at the location. Nytec has "adopted" a segment of the Cross Kirkland Corridor and will make some of their parking spaces available for public use on weekends. The building should be completed by March, when Nytec will hold a grand opening. Rich was assisted in his presentation by Nytec employees Alexandra Dorsett, Loma Gregg and Vince Ball.
Moss Bay Board member Aimee Voelz told us about a focus group that she attended, hosted by the City of Kirkland. The City, along with the Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods, recently established a program to reenergize Kirkland’s neighborhoods. On October 28th, the city invited representatives from each of Kirkland’s 14 neighborhood associations to provide input on what a success would look like for neighborhoods and for neighborhood associations. We learned that the city is launching a pilot program in the Juanita, Evergreen Hill and Finn Hill neighborhoods where $150,000 will be directed to minor transportation-related improvements in 2014. In 2015, a safety levy of $150,000 is available for updates like safe walk routes to schools, and pedestrian and bike safety. While we have the city’s focus, we have a great opportunity to work with the city on improvements or programs that we want to have in Moss Bay. To do this, we first need to get clear what Moss Bay’s Neighborhood Association’s mission should be. For example, Finn Hill rallies around their parks and open spaces. What do we want Moss Bay’s Neighborhood Association’s focus to be? Business and development issues and how they affect traffic, parking and noise? Protecting the unique character of downtown? Do we want to address issues that foster a sense of community, where people can get to know their neighbors? What about developing safety plans in case of emergencies? At the next meeting in January we’ll include time to develop the mission. We will also solicit feedback ahead of time by sending a survey to everyone who is on the Moss Bay mailing list.
The Kirkland Planning Department was on hand to lead us in a Kirkland 2035 visioning process. Eric Shields, Marilynne Beard, Teresa Swan, Janice Coogan and Kari Page, broke meeting attendees into four groups, with each group answering a number of questions about Kirkland's future and how we perceive it. The City is using this and other input methods to shape a major update to the Comprehensive Plan. Lots more info, videos, and ways to voice your opinions are located on the City web site here.
Our next meeting will be Jan 20, 2013 7PM at Heritage Hall, 203 Market. St.