Safety Improvements Coming to Municipal Garage, Council Regional Representation, New Public Art in 2019, and more!

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this week in kirkland

January 22, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Council Regional Committee Representation

City Council

In addition to the essential work that the City Council does in making policy decisions for Kirkland, City Councilmembers also represent the City of Kirkland on a number of important regional committees. During their City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 21 the Council approved committee assignments for 2020.

King Conservation District Advisory Committee: Councilmember Kelli Curtis (alternate)

Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) Growth Management Policy Board: Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold

Regional Law, Safety and Justice Committee: Councilmember Jon Pascal

Regional Transit Committee: Councilmember Jon Pascal

Regional Water Quality Committee: Mayor Penny Sweet

Solid Waste Advisory Committee: Mayor Penny Sweet

King County Cities Climate Collaboration: Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmember Kelli Curtis (alternate)

King County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Task force: Mayor Penny Sweet, Councilmember Toby Nixon (alternate)

Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee: Mayor Penny Sweet, Councilmember Toby Nixon (alternate)

Norcom Principal Delegate: Councilmember Jon Pascal

Public Issues Committee: Councilmember Kelli Curtis, Councilmember Tony Nixon (alternate)

PSRC Executive Board: Mayor Penny Sweet

PSRC Transit Oriented Development Advisory Committee: Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmember Amy Falcone (alternate)

Water Resource Inventory Area: Councilmember Neal Black, Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold

Cascade Water Alliance Board: Mayor Penny Sweet, Councilmember Jon Pascal (alternate)

Cascade Water Alliance Finance Committee: Mayor Penny Sweet (Chair)

Eastside Transportation Partnership: Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmember Neal Black, Councilmember Toby Nixon (alternate)

Eastside Human Services Forum Board: Councilmember Amy Falcone, Councilmember Toby Nixon (alternate)

Eastrail: Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmember Jon Pascal (alternate)

I-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Group: Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold

City Invests in Safety Improvements to Parking Garage

The City is investing in safety improvements to the municipal parking garage under the downtown library at 308 Kirkland Avenue.

A series of improvements scheduled to begin this winter will replace inoperable or damaged vehicle and pedestrian doors. In late January, the parking garage entrance/exit off Third Street will be inaccessible to vehicles for a few days while crews replace the doors. During this period, the entrance/exit leading to Kirkland Avenue will remain open. Subsequently, the garage entrance/exit down the ramp off Kirkland Avenue will be inaccessible to vehicles for a few days while crews replace the rolling gate. Signage will redirect drivers to use available entrances. By the end of March, pedestrian doors will also be repaired or replaced.

When the project is complete this spring, the garage will be able to be closed and locked for a set period during the night. This is part of a series of efforts to improve the safety, cleanliness, and management of the garage in response to concerns we heard from the community. The City will be hosting conversations through a variety of forums to discuss nighttime closure hours and operations of the garage moving forward. If you are interested in participating in these conversations, or you would like additional updates on this project, please sign up for emails at

Municipal Parking Garage

Joint Public Hearing Regarding Code Changes to Encourage Development of Accessory Dwelling Units

The public is invited to attend a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission and the Houghton Community Council at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, January 23 at Kirkland City Hall regarding two proposals that aim to address a need for more workforce housing. The proposals look at encouraging the development of smaller housing, which by its compact nature, is more affordable.

The City needs your feedback to ensure these regulations meet the housing needs of people who want to live here, while also ensuring new homes are compatible with our existing neighborhoods. The changes are described in two separate proposals:

The first proposal makes it easier to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). These provide flexible living spaces that are secondary to a traditional house, featuring their own kitchen, bathroom, living room and sleeping spaces. ADUs may be attached as an addition or within the existing structure, such as a mother-in-law unit, or detached as a separate building, like a carriage house or granny flat.

The second proposal makes it easier to build duplexes and triplexes, which look much like homes being built today, but provide separate living spaces for two or three households inside, and cottage homes, recognized by their smaller footprint, commonly clustered around shared open space.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to provide comment, please email Dorian Collins, Senior Planner before 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 23 at You can also send comments to the Kirkland City Council at, which is anticipated to consider adoption of new regulations in March. 

The staff reports for the meeting are available on the City website. 

missing middle housing

Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission and 4Culture Bring Public Art to Kirkland

Thanks to the Kirkland Cultural Arts Commission (KCAC) and King County nonprofit 4Culture, 2019 ended on a high note in terms of public art! The KCAC used funding available through 4Culture’s Arts Sustained Support grant program to complete multiple projects meant to make art more accessible to King County residents and visitors. Here are a few highlights:

Peace Has Come mural at Michaels in Juanita

4Culture funding enabled the KCAC to partner with Nathaniel Art for Peace Has Come, a mural that combines Nathaniel’s passion for raising awareness of endangered species with society’s eternal quest for peace. Located on the east side of the Michaels building, the radiant splashes of bright color feature an elephant with his trunk extended and grasping a white poppy, which is known as a symbol of peace.

Historic photos in the Peter Kirk Room at City Hall

The next time you visit City Hall, make sure you take time to enjoy the new exhibit of historic photos that decorate the walls of the Peter Kirk Room! This project, which involved collaboration with the Kirkland Heritage Society (KHS), reflects the KCAC’s genuine love for Kirkland’s vibrant history and the group’s desire to showcase that history whenever possible. Funding from 4Culture enabled the KCAC to partner with the heritage society to select 10 photos highlighting Kirkland’s early days and have them enlarged, transforming each photo into a piece of spectacular wall art!

Mirror Universe

If you were lucky enough to have attended December’s Google Lights celebration, you may have noticed the interactive display of illuminated art that stretched along the Cross Kirkland Corridor just south of the Google campus. Created by local artist Elise Koncsek, the series of 12 polyhedra sculptures emanated a kaleidoscope of gorgeous colors along with a short, thought-provoking series of ethereal messages meant to encourage observers to pause along the pathway and enjoy each piece.

And more

Additional projects made possible by 4Culture grant funding included support for the Park Lane Sculpture Garden, Studio East’s StoryBook Theater production of Beauty and the Beast, the Kirkland Downtown Association’s Art Stop at the Kirkland Wednesday Market and the KCAC’s Art Cart. Thanks to 4Culture for allowing Kirkland to enhance its community through public art! 

The KCAC is a volunteer board of community members dedicated to preserving, maintaining and enhancing artistic presence in the Kirkland community. For more information about the KCAC, visit: For more information about 4Culture, visit:


historic photo of three young girls in lake washington

Traffic Alerts Through January 29

Each week the City of Kirkland provides an ongoing list of traffic-affecting construction projects. We will list new projects first.  Please consider checking apps such as WAZE or other traffic apps before you drive.

Prep work for Totem Lake Connector pedestrian and bicycle bridge

Totem Lake Boulevard’s southbound lanes remain closed this month between 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street, while Kirkland’s contractor re-routes a sewer pipe away from the future location of the Totem Lake Connector pedestrian and bicycle bridge. Forma Construction has established a detour route for southbound traffic. Totem Lake Boulevard’s northbound lanes are open. Drivers should expect construction delays. Businesses are open during construction. 

Provide your Comments on 2020 Stormwater Management Program Plan

stormwater testing

Kirkland residents and businesses are encouraged to review the draft 2020 Stormwater Management Program Plan and submit comments or suggestions by March 16, 2020.

The draft 2020 Stormwater Management Program Plan describes actions that the City of Kirkland takes and will continue to take to reduce stormwater pollution. Examples of these actions are public education around natural yard care and vehicle maintenance, tracing and halting spills or dumping of pollutants into the municipal stormwater system, reviewing development plans to control stormwater pollution at construction sites, and maintaining the City’s network of stormwater pipes, ditches and ponds.

Stormwater pollution is a leading cause of pollution reaching Kirkland creeks, lakes and wetlands. This pollution comes from everyday activities such as driving, yard care, pet waste management, car washing and land development. Preventing stormwater pollution involves reducing the amount of pollution that we put onto the landscape (source control) and removing contaminants from runoff before it reaches local waters (treatment). 

Kirkland operates under a state-issued permit that allows the City to discharge stormwater from its public drainage system into rivers, lakes and streams as long as the City implements programs and works with its residents and businesses to reduce pollutants in stormwater. The City’s draft 2020 Stormwater Management Program Plan describes actions that the City will take in 2020 and beyond to maintain compliance with the permit and protect our lakes and streams.

The draft 2020 Stormwater Management Program Plan is available on the City website at: Kirkland website. Comments can be provided via email to Rachel Konrady at or via mail addressed to the City of Kirkland Public Works Department C/O Rachel Konrady, 123 Fifth Ave., Kirkland, WA 98033.

For more information about the City’s Storm and Surface Water Management Programs, visit: Kirkland Stormwater. To learn more about the State Department of Ecology stormwater permit, search “Phase II Western WA Stormwater Permit” at

Last Chance to Take the Safe and Active Transportation Survey

Our survey closes soon, and we still need your input to make walking and biking safer, easier, and more accessible for everyone. Safe and active transportation enables people of all ages and abilities/disabilities to get where they need to go safely and efficiently.

Please share your thoughts in our survey to help the City update our Active Transportation Plan and develop Safer Routes to School Action Plans. These plans guide the City's future investments in transportation infrastructure.

Take the survey here:

Thank you to the over 1000 people that have already taken the survey!

safe and active transportation survey

Upcoming Events

Officer Jennifer Matison with Dog



Emergency Preparedness for Pets w/ Animal Control Officer Jennifer Matison

Wednesday, January 29, 6 to 7 p.m. 

Kirkland City Hall

Join Animal Control Officer Jennifer Matison to learn about how to get your loved ones ready for disasters, whether they have fur or scales or feathers. This class will cover simple steps your entire household can take to get prepared, as well as animal-specific considerations to take into account when getting ready for emergencies. The class is free but registration is required. Sign up online at

For more information contact Kirkland Emergency Management at or (425) 587-3691, or visit