Thanks to so many people participating in the Houghton Everest Neighborhood Center Comprehensive Plan and Zoning update process. The following summarizes what has happened since the March 23 public hearing at which several hundred attended and more than 40 people spoke and provided written comments to the City’s Planning Commission (PC) and Houghton Community Council (HCC).
The public hearing was just the start of the discussions on what will ultimately be adopted by the City Council. The following summarizes the meetings that have be held, where the PC and HCC have landed on major topics, and the next steps.
You still have opportunities to provide input to the City Council as it takes up the discussion on June 6. More direction on that is provided below.
Since the March 23rd meeting, the HCC and PC have discussed and deliberated on recommendations for the HENC Comprehensive Plan amendments and associated changes to the City zoning code at several meetings:
• HCC – March 27
• PC – April 13
• HCC – April 24
• PC – May 11
• HCC – May 15
• PC – May 25
In addition, the City’s Design Review Board (DRB) met Monday May 22 to discuss staff’s proposed Design Guidelines for the HENC, as well as input from the HCC and PC.
The packets and information from all the previous PC and HCC meetings can be found at the following webpages:
Current Recommendations for HENC Plan Amendments and Zoning
Following the public input and several rounds of deliberations, the PC and HCC have agreed on many of the key items for the HENC. However, there are a few items where the HCC and PC do not fully agree. Because the HCC has the authority to potentially veto the Plan and zoning changes for the Houghton area (south of NE 68th Street) the PC and HCC have gone back and forth to resolve any differences. The HCC has identified one policy/code change that they indicated they would strongly consider vetoing the Plan/zoning for. They also identified several other items that they want passed on to the City Council for consideration, should the PC not support. These agreements and disagreements for the major items for the Plan and zoning are summarized in the table at the end of this post. The table references the three subareas of the HENC. These are described and shown below.
How Can You Add to the Discussion with the City Council?
The City Council will receive the recommendations of the PC and HCC at a Study Session at its June 6 meeting. The Study Session is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm, with the regular meeting starting at 7:30 pm. You can provide input to the City Council up to the date they take final action to approve the Plan amendments and associated zoning changes. We do not know when the City Council will take action on the HENC, so the sooner you get your comments in, the better.
Your input to the City Council should focus on the proposed Plan and zoning changes because that is what they will be addressing in their meetings. You should let the City Council know what PC and HCC recommendations you support and which ones you don’t. It’s always good to provide at least a brief reason as to why you support or disagree with the PC and/or HCC recommendations.
Your letter or email should reference the project name and number:
Houghton Everest Neighborhood Center, Permit Number CAM16-0274
The following provides the City Council’s email addresses. You should also copy Angela Ruggeri, Senior Planner. If you want to you also can copy the Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council.
Houghton Everest Neighborhood Center Zoning Districts
• HENC 1 – this includes the core commercial area of the HENC, including the Metropolitan Market/Bartell Drug site, Starbucks, Bank of America, PCC site, Shamiana, Menchie’s, Teriyaki Madness, and the offices north of NE 68th Street and east of the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC).
• HENC 2 – covers the existing apartments between the CKC and
106th Avenue NE. The HENC 2 site originally included two additional parcels south of the boundary shown in the graphic. These two properties (shown in light green) are owned by the City of Kirkland and were deleted from the HENC 2 zone during the course of the PC/HCC review.
• HENC 3 – includes properties immediately east of 6th Street S/108th Avenue NE. The existing 7/11, dry cleaners, and Shell service station are part of HENC 3. The parcel immediately east of the 7/11 and dry cleaners is also included in HENC 3.
• Other areas – the existing PR 3.6 zone area including the Northwest University office building and other offices east of the Shell station are part of the planning study area but are not included in the special zoning districts.
The Public Hearing packet is up on the City of Kirkland website at:
Please look through and join us at the Public Hearing this Thursday March 23 at City Hall. Open House from 6-7. Public Hearing starts at 7pm in City Council Chambers.
Below are the 5 documents for the March 23rd meeting:
As many are aware, the Houghton Everest Neighborhood Center (HENC) is being looked at as part of a zoning change. There was a meeting at Northwest University in which people discussed design aspects they would like to see as part of the HENC and 6th Street Corridor Study. We've hosted a number of post-it fests to better understand our neighborhood concerns and desires.
The HENC process continues on with these upcoming meetings:
To be clear, I am a big fan of the Houghton Community Council. As the City of Kirkland has grown, the HCC has provided a mechanism for providing more granular control over land use issues which affect us here in the Houghton Neighborhoods.
HCC's formation was an essential condition for the citizens of the City of Houghton to approve a merger with the City of Kirkland in 1968. It preserves local control over land use decisions within Houghton to protect the character of the community. HCC has worked very effectively with Kirkland's city council and staff for over forty years. HCC does not vote on matters outside it’s boundaries.
Please find the press release here and application here for the open position on the Houghton Community Council. You can take a look at them below.
This is a great opportunity to be involved in your neighborhood and have a voice in community matters.
Application Deadline is March 31.
Don’t delay, apply today!
October 10, 2017
*Please note that the default day for meetings is the second Tuesday of the month.