Kelli Curtis Selected to Join City Council, School Zone Speed Enforcement Pilot, SMP Update, and more

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

February 20, 2019

city of kirkland washington

City Council Selects Kelli Curtis to fill Council Vacancy

council with Kelli Curtis

The Kirkland City Council has selected Kelli Curtis to fill the City Council vacancy created by the retirement of former Mayor Amy Walen.

Curtis was one of five finalists that was interviewed by the entire City Council during a special meeting on Tuesday, February 19. The City received 27 applications in total for the City Council position. Curtis will serve on the City Council until the November 2019 election results are certified. She has the option to file in May to run as a candidate in that election.

"The entire City Council was amazed by the caliber of applications that we received to fill the vacancy," said Mayor Penny Sweet. "We want to express our sincere thanks to everyone that applied, and we are very pleased to welcome Kelli Curtis to the Kirkland City Council."

“I am honored to have been chosen by the City Council to serve the Kirkland community,” said Curtis. “I look forward to joining my new colleagues in continuing to make this community a wonderful place to live, work and play.”

Curtis’ first meeting as the newly-appointed City Councilmember will be at the March 1 Council Retreat. Though she will be officially sworn in as a Councilmember prior to the March 1 retreat, there will also be a ceremonial swearing-in during the council meeting on Tuesday, March 5.

Curtis has been a Kirkland resident for over 25 years, and currently serves on the Houghton Community Council and the City of Kirkland Park Board.

Council Discusses School Zone Traffic Camera Pilot

School Speed Zone

The City Council continued discussing the implementation of school zone photo enforcement cameras at John Muir Elementary/Kamiakin Middle School, and Rose Hill Elementary school during their February 19 meeting. The primary goal of the pilot would be to use the automated enforcement cameras to reduce speeds in school zones
thereby reducing the risk of serious injuries or fatalities from collisions. Aside from the goal of traffic safety, the secondary goal of the project is to encourage people to use alternative modes to school, like walking or biking, rather than automobiles. The following are answers to frequently asked questions about the proposed pilot:

Why were the locations at John Muir Elementary/Kamiakin Middle School, and Rose Hill chosen for the pilot?

The two pilot locations were chosen based on information regarding traffic volumes, speed data and feedback from traffic enforcement officers.  Based on the data, two schools were recommended as sites for automated traffic safety cameras – John Muir Elementary/Kamiakin Middle School and Rose Hill Elementary. These two locations had the highest traffic volumes and incidents of excessive speed. A second study was conducted in May by an outside consultant that was specifically focused on the time periods before and after school hours when speed restrictions are in place. Over the two study days (May 3 and May 8), 81% of drivers in Rose Hill Elementary study-drivers exceeded the 20-mph speed limit and, of those, 34% exceeded 25 mph in the  school zone. At John Muir Elementary, where overall traffic volumes are higher, 81% of drivers exceeded the 20-mph speed limit and 47% of those exceeded 25 mph in the school zone.

When will the pilot begin?

The pilot is scheduled to begin in September 2019 to coincide with the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. Warnings will be issued for the first 30 days of photo enforcement and then citations will begin.

What times will the cameras be enforcing the speed limit?

Photo enforcement cameras will operate 30 minutes before and after the start of school and
30 minutes before and after the end of school (based on individual school start and stop times). Cameras near John Muir Elementary and Kamiakan Middle School will overlap to
allow enforcement consistent with each school’s start and stop times.

Will drivers be warned of speed photo enforcement?

In addition to a public outreach campaign, the City shall clearly mark all locations where automated traffic safety cameras are in use by placing signs in locations that clearly
indicate to the driver that he or she is entering a zone where traffic laws are enforced by an automated traffic safety camera.

How much will the fines be?

Council is currently considering establishing the fine for exceeding the school zone speed limit (20 mph) for speeds over 25 mph at $136 per incident. Additionally, a graduated fine is being considered for speeds over 30 mph at $250 per incident.

What if the driver is not the vehicle owner?

The registered owner would need to state, under oath, in a written statement to the court or in testimony before the court that the vehicle  involved was, at the time, stolen or in the care, custody, or control of some person other than the registered owner.

Will buses and City vehicles be subject to fines?

All vehicles, including City vehicles and buses, would be subject to infractions.

How much does the program cost?

The cost of each camera with installation is estimated at $120,000 which is amortized over the 5-year contract period. The contract includes a provision for early contract termination that provides for a recalculation of the payments needed to fulfill the City’s obligation.

What are next steps for the City Council?

The City Council is scheduled to adopt a final ordinance authorizing the use of cameras and a resolution setting fees at the March 5 City Council meeting. 


For more information visit the City website or contact Kellie Stickney at 

Community Invited to Participate in Shoreline Master Program 2019 Update


Kirkland community members are invited to attend two upcoming meetings regarding the update of the Shoreline Master Program (SMP), a set of land-use policies and regulations that guide how shoreline properties are used and developed.

The meetings are open to the public, and will take place at Kirkland City Hall (123 5th Avenue) in the Council Chambers on the following days (please check the City’s website to confirm dates in case of weather-related delays):

  • Houghton Community Council Study Session: 7 p.m., Monday, February 25, 2019
  • Planning Commission Study Session: 7 p.m., Thursday, February 28, 2019

The City’s current SMP was adopted in 2010. Periodic updates are mandated by the Washington State Shoreline Management Act to ensure consistency with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and development regulations, and to make updates to reflect new state law since the SMP’s adoption. The City’s SMP update is also an opportunity to improve the City’s shoreline regulations to assure that our natural resources are protected for future use.

Minor amendments to the City’s wetland and stream regulations will also be considered, to ensure consistency with the SMP, improve clarity, and confirm that the regulations reflect the most recent available science.

The update is expected to be complete by Fall 2019.

The City welcomes comments and participation from the community as it moves forward in the update process. Please direct comments to the Kirkland Planning Commission at: For more information about the SMP update process, please visit our website at:

Upcoming Events




Kirkland Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course

Class will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. starting March 6 and running through May 4.

Learn about personal preparedness, light search and rescue, fire suppression, disaster first aid and much more. This hands-on course is informative and fun. Students will attend 8 weeks of instruction including a final Saturday simulation drill; attendance at all sessions is required for graduation.  The course fee is $35 for Kirkland residents and $50 for non-residents. For all the details, and to register, go to

124th Street Project

Open House for 124th Ave NE Project

Kirkland Justice Center (11750 NE 118th Street) in Totem Lake

Tuesday, March 12, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

An open house on Tuesday, March 12, will offer the public an early look at how a five-lane 124th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 116th and 124th streets, will better accommodate driving, walking and bicycling.

Previously scheduled for Tuesday, February 12, the open house was postponed due to unsafe driving conditions caused by the recent snow storm. The March 12 open house takes place 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kirkland Justice Center (11750 NE 118th Street) in Totem Lake. An online open house is currently underway. During the open house community members can view concepts for the corridor and provide feedback on them. 

Visit or contact Senior Project Engineer Aparna Khanal,, (425) 587-3827 or Christian Knight, outreach,, (425) 587-3831.