What's Happening at Council, Tree Code Updates, Eastside Rail Corridor Gets a New Name

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this week in kirkland

January 10, 2019

city of kirkland washington

What's Happening at Council

City Council

The New Year is off to a busy start at the City of Kirkland! The City Council will be meeting next Tuesday, January 15, and there are a number of topics that will be of interest to Kirkland community members. The City Council will receive a presentation on the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report, which includes our first ever community-wide emissions report. Councilmembers will also receive a presentation on the Kingsgate Park and Ride Transit-Oriented Development Feasibility Study, and discuss their preliminary 2019-2020 City Work Program.

Later in the meeting, Council will continue discussion regarding approving a process for filling the Council vacancy created by the retirement of Councilmember Walen. Councilmember Walen announced her retirement from the Council, effective January 31, 2019, in order to devote her time to serving her constituents in the Washington State House of Representatives. The City Council will be opening the application process soon to fill the vacancy. The individual that is selected will serve on the Council through the certification of the November 2019 election. Any individual appointed may also file to run for the seat in that election. If you think that you might be interested in applying to fill the vacancy on the City Council, we strongly encourage you to review the materials on the City website

The complete agenda for the January 15 meeting will be available along with the Council Packet on the City website this Friday.

Tree Code Updates Continued

Demonstration of Lack of Species Diversity

The City of Kirkland is currently undergoing a project to update its tree code. To make sure the community has the opportunity to be engaged in this conversation we are publishing a series of informational articles. In the previous article, we looked at canopy cover, one of three performance measures used to determine if we achieved our goal of having a healthy, resilient urban forest with 40% canopy cover. In this article, we’ll look at another performance measure: tree species diversity.

Species diversity is important so that pests, disease or climate change won’t gravely impact large portions of our urban forest, like Dutch elm disease has done on the east coast. Rigorously regulating species diversity on private property is challenging, but the City can encourage it with tree giveaways and greater public awareness. To improve urban forest resiliency, we can manage our public trees with species diversity goals. Then, when trends arise, we can make minor code changes to help vary the composition of our urban forest.       

A recent study revealed one particular species has been planted excessively on development sites to meet tree code requirements. Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) represents about one-third of new plantings on over 150 lots created from short plats from 2008 to 2013. On many of those properties, very little other vegetation was present, so a serious pest or disease affecting arborvitae would result in a loss to canopy cover and community character. We wouldn’t want to ban planting any one tree species (unless it’s invasive), but a minor change to the existing code limiting the use of arborvitae on development sites can achieve greater species diversity over time. More information on the Tree Code Update is available on the City website.  

In the next article, we’ll look at the last of 3 urban forest performance measures: uneven-aged trees.   

Eastside Rail Corridor Gets a New Name

Eastside Rail Corridor

Tell us what you think! King County and their local partner cities and agencies want to hear your thoughts on four proposed new names for the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC).

The former railway turned multi-purpose corridor (trail, high-capacity transit and utility uses) connects the cities of Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville, and Redmond. In 2018, research was done, community members were interviewed and 2,000 online surveys were submitted to help shape the new name for the ERC. Take a minute to share your insights on the four proposed names.

Don’t worry, the Cross Kirkland Corridor and Redmond Central Connector names won’t change – only the ERC is being renamed.

We want to hear from you!   Take the survey: https://www.research.net/r/NAME_ERC

Join Us For Two Days of Service

The City of Kirkland’s Green Kirkland Partnership invites you to participate in one of four volunteer park restoration events held in observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Opportunities to volunteer will occur on both Friday, January 19, and Monday, January 21. 

Day of Service activities are focused on replacing invasive, non-native plants with healthy, native species including trees, shrubs and ground covers. Restoration events take place in the following four locations:

  • Juanita Beach Park, 9703 NE Juanita Drive, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, January 18, 2019;
  • O.O. Denny Park, 12032 Holmes Pt. Dr. NE, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, January 21, 2019;
  • North Rose Hill Woodlands Park, 9930 124th Ave. NE, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, January 21, 2019;
  • Rose Hill Meadows Park, 8212 124th Ave. NE, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, January 21, 2019

The Green Kirkland Partnership is an alliance between the City of Kirkland, nonprofit partners, local businesses and the community, which strives to sustain and preserve the health of Kirkland’s parks, open spaces and natural areas. The Partnership enjoys robust volunteer support and welcomes newcomers who wish to get involved.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring water and snacks, and dress warmly in layered clothing that can get dirty. Closed-toed shoes are required, and rain gear is advised. The City provides tools, gloves and training. Day of Service volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers age 14 through 17 attending without a parent or guardian must bring a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

Registration for the 2019 Day of Service events is available on the City website.

Green Kirkland Day!

Upcoming Events

Bike Share

Survey Deadline: January 18

We want to hear from you regarding how the City should respond to bike share bikes in our community.

Please visit www.kirklandwa.gov/bikesharepilot and provide feedback through our online survey https://www.research.net/r/kirklandbikeshare.


Off-Leash Dogs

Let's Talk: Off-Leash Dogs

The City is discussing how we should respond to off-leash dogs. 

Please visit www.kirklandwa.gov/offleashdogs and provide feedback through our online survey https://www.research.net/r/kirklandoffleashdogs.