2/23/17 (7pm City Council Chambers) meeting is a Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council joint study session ONLY. There will be NO Open House prior to meeting. Public comment is encouraged. If you cannot attend, meeting is broadcast live on KGOV and will be uploaded to Kirkland City website within a day or so.
Sample Letter Regarding Development at the HENC
This letter was asked to be into the meeting minutes by a Central Houghton neighbor who is concerned with the plans for the Houghton Everest Neighborhood Center (HENC). It was suggested to be used as a template for people who would like to communicate with the City Council, the Planning Commission and the Houghton Community Council.
Email subject line: Ready for 850+ apartments in Houghton?
Ready for 850+ apartments, 5 stories at Houghton/Everest Neighborhood Center and 7-9x bigger??
Act now: and let your voice be heard if you want to give input for rezoning at the Houghton Everest Center, including nearby apartments, Met Market, PCC, office buildings, 7-11 & gas station. If you don’t act, be prepared for cranes to start digging underground parking and putting up 55’ tall - 5 story buildings with 1,000,000 square feet! This is only 20% smaller than the very large new Parkplace development called Kirkland Urban with 300 apartments and up to 5,500 additional workers. It is very similar in units and square feet to the large scale Village at Totem Lake under construction.
According to the city transportation expert: expect an increase of 3,300+ car trips/day here. Traffic could be 25% worse by 2035, increasing your 20 minute & 1.25 mile back-up to over 1.5 miles at one of the worst intersections in the City.
City web site: http://www.kirklandwa.gov/depart/planning/Development_Info/projects/he6th.htm
The City has already met Comprehensive Plan Growth Management goals and has in the pipeline 4,500 residential units, 746,000 sq. ft. of office space, and 760,000 sq. ft. of commercial/retail.
The City conducted a survey and held a workshop asking for input, residents overwhelmingly favored keeping low scale development and not adding to traffic. They asked to fix the traffic situation first.
To give input: act now and write emails and attend upcoming meetings. Next ones are Feb. 23 and March 23 at City Hall at 6:00 pm. Unless the City hears from many, many residents, they will proceed with zoning changes and there is no turning back.
Write to: the Kirkland Mayor, Kirkland City Council, Houghton Community Council, City Manager, City of Kirkland Planning Commission, and the Planning Department Staff.
Cut & Paste these email addresses into your letter. You can use the attached sample letter with your own modifications and name. DO NOT FORGET TO ADD YOUR NAME TO LETTER AT BOTTOM:
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; HoughtonCouncil@kirklandwa.gov; PlanningCommissioners@kirklandwa.gov; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
You can do this in less than 10 minutes. Ideally letters will be received by Feb. 22, but can be sent as late as early March.
If you want more information that can be used in writing letters, please email: email@example.com
Dear Mayor Walen and City Council Members,
cc: Houghton Community Council, Kirkland Planning Commission, City Manager and Planning Department staff
I am a Kirkland Resident and would like to convey my concerns with the proposed Houghton Neighborhood Center Plan. With the latest 5-story (55 foot tall) aggressive growth plan, I believe the following factors would negatively impact the infrastructure and livability of our treasured neighborhood areas of Houghton, Everest and Lakeview.
- Traffic Congestion – Per the transportation consultant’s estimates, this plan would increase traffic by an additional 10%, with 3300+ daily trips added at this intersection that is one of the worst in the city. Unlike Kirkland Urban and Totem Lake, the existing roadways are not sufficient to support the added traffic in this area.
- Over Growth and Excessive Density – According to the Growth Management goals, the city has already exceeded housing goals and there are 4,500 housing units already in the pipeline. Increasing the area’s density by 7 to 9X is excessive and unnecessary. This large plan will NOT increase retail for the neighborhood center, which was a goal of residents.
- Multi-family on 106th Avenue NE should remain at its current zoning. 106th Ave NE is an unusually narrow street and large scale buildings on both sides would tower over both the street and the beloved Cross Kirkland Corridor Trail. The multi-family here is a transition zone to nearby single family homes.
I understand that growth is inevitable as Kirkland is a desirable place to live and work; however, as elected officials of the residents, I urge the Council to listen to their constituents input via survey, letters and workshop and manage growth to take place where and when it is needed. Don’t change this already successful center.
Now that Everest Neighborhood has weighed in, the Houghton Everest Neighborhood Plan should be updated to a design that suits the neighborhood and then zoning guidelines should be carefully developed along with additional community input. Ideally, you would re-visit these plans after Kirkland Urban, Totem Lake, and Northwest University projects are completed to be able to more accurately evaluate the impact to the current infrastructure and livability to the proposed area in question.