Archive for December 3, 2011

STOP (“Support The Ordinances & Plan”)

Header photo: Traffic stretching to Carillon point, looking south from NE 62nd Street, June, 2012, by Mark Taylor

STOP is a group of over 500 Kirkland citizens attempting to mitigate the Potala Village project, a hyper-dense apartment development proposed on Lake Street at 10th Avenue South.

For the latest updates from the City of Kirkland, click here.

The problem is that the Comprehensive Plan for this parcel on Kirkland’s waterfront never got codified in the Zoning Code. Once recognized in late 2010, the City, the developer and STOP have made efforts at mitigation, but the developer insists on a hyper-dense apartment project. After an unfavorable ruling in King County Superior Court, the City and STOP are now working to challenge the developer’s demands at the Washington State Court of Appeals. We must work together so that this property is developed with respect for Kirkland’s signature waterfront boulevard.

We are pro-development. The involved parcel – commonly known as the “Michael’s Dry Cleaning” lot on Lake Washington Boulevard – is more in need of improvement than any other in the area. But a developer found a loophole and is proposing a project that is out of scale for the neighborhood, out of compliance with Kirkland’s vision for the property, will create worse traffic problems, and diminish the asset value of Kirkland’s waterfront.

This site is provided by “STOP” (“Support The Ordinances & Plan”), a group Kirkland citizens concerned about the City’s failure to limit residential density in BN (Neighborhood Business) zones. Inconsistencies, errors and oversights in zoning and planning are the problem, and Potala Village is just one example. Originally planned at 183 tiny units on 1.2 acres, the project is still far too large at the planned 98 units. Underground parking for around 200 cars will be necessary. There will be only 1 driveway, directly onto Lake Street (as currently configured). The project of 116 dwelling units per acre sits next to single family homes and medium-density condos of 12 units per acre MAX. To see just how huge this development will be, click here for an aerial view of the neighborhood

NOTE: To receive information about this project directly from the City Planning Department, click here and sign up for the ListServ by entering your email address and preference for the “Potala” information.

A guide to this website:

  • To learn more about “STOP” and an example of the zoning problem, click “The Issue” tab above.
  • To review STOP’s efforts to date, click the “Mitigation” tab.
  • To view a history of the subject property, click the “Property History” tab.
  • For answers to Frequently Asked Questions, click the “FAQs” tab.
  • To view documents, such as the Kirkland Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code, click the “Resources” tab above.
  • To learn more about how to support this effort, including the online petition to limit residential density, click the “Support” tab.
  • To ask a question or provide input, use the “Contact” tab above, or click here. This page also has email contacts for the Kirkland City Council and Planning Commission.

Over a year ago, one of our STOP team members met with a former City Council member. The purpose of the meeting was to seek out his advice on how best to “fight City Hall.” That advice? “Show up! Speak up! And keep it up!” 

That has been our motto for the past 2 1/2 years. Thanks to all for your support.