City Council honors Sanika Datar, Council Meeting Recap, COVID-19 Update, Brownie Troop Visits Fire Station 26, News from Waste Management and More!

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this week in kirkland

March 18, 2020

city of kirkland washington

City Council Recognizes Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program State Honoree Sanika Datar

Sanika Datar

During the virtual City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 17, the City Council read a proclamation recognizing Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program State Honoree Sanika Datar.

Sanika was selected for her leadership in her school’s Community Stewardship Projects, which provide students with opportunities for active involvement in both environmental and social stewardship. Sanika celebrated Earth Day 2019 by hosting an event in her backyard to educate her younger sister and other preschoolers in her Finn Hill neighborhood on things they can do to help care for our planet’s natural environment, including a scavenger hunt in a nearby park to locate recyclable items and a hands-on opportunity to learn the proper way to recycle different types of items. Sanika not only embraced her own passion for environmental advocacy, good stewardship and volunteerism, but also taught and inspired others. Sanika’s further volunteer efforts including planting trees and removing invasive species from local wooded areas.

For more information on the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program, please visit:

Council Meeting Recap

Council meeting photo virtual meeting

In response to guidance from Public Health – Seattle & King County, the City Council held its first ever “virtual” meeting on Tuesday, March 17, with Councilmembers attending remotely using video conferencing technology provided by Zoom. Here are a few highlights from the meeting:

ComSAG update

Due to resources being redirected to the City’s response to COVID-19 staff brought only a summary of the ComSAG report to last night’s Council Meeting. Given the magnitude of the potential investments staff felt it was important to get the most relevant information to the Council and the public as quickly as possible. The full ComSAG report will be transmitted to the Council in April. To watch last night’s presentation, please visit the City Council’s webpage and click on the agenda item titled “Community Safety Advisory Group Update.”

The ComSAG’s recommendation to the Council came after five months of meetings to educate group members and discuss what elements of this potential ballot measure the ComSAG believes are most important for the City. The ComSAG is recommending two measures be placed on the November 3, 2020 ballot for Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

  • A permanent levy of $0.124/$1,000 to fund 24 new firefighter/EMTs.
  • An excess levy (bond) of $0.101/$1,000 to pay for capital improvements to existing fire stations and the construction of a new station.

Together these measures would provide for a new Fire Station 27, station renovations and seismic retrofits for Fire Station 21 (Forbes Creek), Fire Station 22 (Houghton) and Fire Station 26 (N. Rose Hill), as well as improved response times, and firefighter/EMT health and safety improvements. The Council will continue reviewing these recommendations over the next three months and initiate an extensive public outreach program, including a community survey, prior to making any final decisions. 

If the Council authorized both ballot measures as recommended, the total for both would be $0.225 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, and an annual median-home cost of $164.34. For more information on the ComSAG, please visit the ComSAG webpage.

Missing Middle Housing

The City Council approved sweeping changes to the Zoning Code to allow for more compact and affordable housing throughout all single-family zones. The new rules encourage the development of accessory dwelling units (including backyard cottages and mother-in-law units), duplexes, triplexes, and cottages in all single-family zones in the city. Instead of building one 3,000-square-foot single family house, the new rules allow a property owner to build two 1,500-square foot duplex units (with accessory dwelling units), providing more opportunities for home ownership and compact, workforce housing. In areas with good bus service, parking requirements are reduced, allowing for more greenspace and reduced stormwater pollution.  

COVID-19 Update

The Council received an update on the City’s response to COVID-19 and launched a discussion on ways to mitigate the detrimental impacts COVID-19 is having on the Kirkland community.

Temporary relief from parking fees

The City Council has directed that for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, the City of Kirkland will suspend parking enforcement of time limitations for parking downtown and will not charge fees for parking in any of the City-owned downtown parking lots.  Parking in fire lanes and handicapped spaces (without a valid permit) remains prohibited and will be enforced. 

March 18 Update on City Operations and Kirkland First Responders

City logo

The City continues to operate its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate our response to the presence of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our community.

Update on First Responders

The Kirkland Fire and Police Departments remain fully staffed and responding to calls as normal.  City first responders have CDC recommended personal protection equipment and are following recommended protocols.

The City of Kirkland currently has five firefighters and zero police officers in quarantine. Thirty-seven firefighters have now been released after completing their recommended quarantine period. All five first responders are in isolation or quarantine at home.

All of our first responders that are currently symptomatic are in the process of being tested. We’ve had twenty-five tests come back negative, and one positive test for COVID-19. For the tests results that have been negative, first responders will remain in quarantine for the entire 14-day period recommended by Public Health – Seattle & King County. We have received questions regarding criteria for testing our firefighters. Testing criteria is established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In King County, testing is managed by Public Health – Seattle & King County. At this time the CDC is recommending that clinicians use their judgement to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. More information on testing requirements is available on the CDC website.

While the City appreciates the outpouring of support and concern from the community for our first responders, the City cannot accept donations at this time.

Updates on City Operations

All City facilities are currently closed to the public. Many City services are available online at: All City evening meetings except for City Council meetings have been cancelled until the end of March. This includes Commissions, Boards, and all Neighborhood Association meetings.

Recreation Registration and Parks Operations                  

The City has also cancelled all recreation programming, classes, and facility rentals through Friday, April 24. That includes community centers, recreation programs, facility rentals, athletic fields and picnic shelters. While the City encourages informal use of the parks, please be mindful of the recommended social distancing and proper handwashing and sanitation. Community centers, athletic fields and picnic shelters are anticipated to reopen on April 27, pending any additional guidelines from the state. In addition, YMCA has closed KTUB, the Kirkland Teen Center, at Peter Kirk Park through Tuesday, March 31.

The annual boating season begins April 1. The city’s boat launch will remain in the open position throughout the month of April. Boat launch cards will be required beginning May 1. All boaters are encouraged to purchase their boat launch card online or by phone. Purchased cards will be mailed.

All parks and recreation business can be conducted online at or by phone at 425-587-3300. Anyone unable to utilize a credit card for online transactions is encouraged to call the customer service center at 425-587-3300. Alternate payment methods such as cash, check or scholarship can be arranged.

Spring and summer recreation program registration begins March 19. Registration will proceed as scheduled, opening at 6 a.m. on March 19 at However, only programs beginning in May will be available for registration. Programs are expected to resume in May, pending any additional guidelines received by the Washington State Department of Public Health.

The parks maintenance center customer counter will be closed. All business should be directed to 425-587-3340. Issues in the parks can be reported at

Court Operations

In order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Court lobby services are closed to walk-in visitors, but available by phone at 425-587-3160, until further notice.  This is a proactive measure to ensure the health, well-being, and safety of our community members and employees.  

Members of staff are available by phone, 425-587-3160 or email, to assist customers and answer questions.  To make payments, you may mail, use our drop box located near the front entrance, or post payments online

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Court will reschedule all March hearings except for mandatory DV/DUI charges (which must be heard the next judicial day) and in-custody defendants.  The Court will tentatively resume normal operations on April 1, 2020.

Police Operations

The Kirkland Police Department lobby in the Kirkland Justice Center is now closed to the public. For questions or services, the public may utilize the phone located outside the lobby to speak with staff. Police public records requests can be made by logging on to our website at Pet licensing can still be completed through Pet Data at

Guidance from the State and Federal Governments

Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee ordered statewide closure of food establishments to sit-in service and the prohibition of gatherings of more than 50 people. In addition, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, issued a parallel local Health Officer Order for King County to prohibit gatherings of fewer than 50 people unless measures are taken by event organizers to minimize risk. Dr. Duchin also ordered the closure of food establishments except for pick-up and delivery. More information is available on the Public Health Seattle-King County website.

For more information on newly announced assistance for workers, renters and businesses visit:

Update from Lake Washington School District

Based on Governor Inslee’s announcement on March 12, the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will now be closed through April 24 and will re-evaluate any further closures during that time. For more information visit the Lake Washington School District website.

The City will continue to update its website with information on the COVID-19 outbreak.

Brownie Troop 41224 Visits Fire Station 26

Brownie Troop 41224 delivered cookies this morning to Fire Station 26 along with cards and messages of thanks in chalk. Chief Joe Sanford and Mayor Penny Sweet joined the crew of Fire Station 26 (everyone followed guidance for appropriate social distancing).

The troop got to see how firefighters put on their gear and see a fire engine!

Thank you to Brownie Troop 41224 and to our Kirkland firefighters!

Girl Scouts

Waste Management Announces: Residential Collection Continuing as Usual

Waste Management Logo

Collection continuing as usual!

Effective March 18, Waste Management is temporarily closing residential call centers to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This temporary closure is in response to the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health districts and state mandates to implement stringent social distancing practices to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. To help maintain continuity of operations, Waste Management is currently working to facilitate remote work capabilities for its call center staff, with the goal of resuming residential call handling as soon as possible. At this time there is no impact to scheduled residential collection service. This temporary closure of the call center impacts residential customers only. Commercial customer service is not impacted. For updates and additional information, please visit:

For questions on your account, to set up a new account, or for any billing questions, please contact the City of Kirkland Utility Billing at

For the following requests, please contact Waste Management digital support:

  • Service level changes/Changing your cart size
  • Report a missed pick-up
  • Report a damaged or missing cart

Check the Waste Management Service Alerts webpage for updates!

Public Health - Seattle & King County COVID-19 update for March 18, 2020

Public health logo

Public Health reminds people to access the informational resources on Public Health Insider. We are reporting 44 new cases today, bringing the official case count in King County to 562. In addition, 10 new deaths are reported, bringing the total of confirmed deaths in King County to 56.

Public Health has been publishing blogs on our Public Health Insider with a wealth of content about COVID-19. Here are a few recent highlights:

COVID-19 is spreading in King County. We expect the case count to double every 5–7 days unless these orders to stay away from others are followed diligently. Already, we can expect that anyone we come into contact with may be infected because there is wide-spread infection in our community. It's critical to minimize the number of people who get seriously ill at the same time. If too many people get sick all at once, this will put too much of a burden on our health care system. If that happens, people at highest risk – people over 60, and with underlying health conditions – may not be able to get the care they need if they get seriously ill.

Follow the guidance for anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 and their contacts on how to prevent the spread to others.

Case updates
Public Health – Seattle & King County is reporting the following confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 through 11:59 p.m. on 3/17/20

  • 562 confirmed cases (up 44 from yesterday)
  • 56 confirmed deaths (up 10 from yesterday)

These additional deaths include:

  • A woman in her 90s, who died at Life Care Center on 3/6
  • A woman in her 60s, who died at Life Care on 3/16
  • A man ins 90s, who died at Life Care on 3/17
  • A man in his 70s, who died at Life Care on 3/17
  • A man in his 80s, who died at Life Care on 2/28
  • A man in his 90s, who died on 3/15
  • A woman in her 70s, who died at Overlake Medical Center on 3/16
  • A man in his 70s, who died at University of Washington Medical Center on 3/17
  • A man in his 60s, who died at Harborview Medical Center on 3/16
  • A man in his 70s, who died on 3/16

Of the 56 deaths reported, 35 are confirmed to be associated with Life Care Center of Kirkland.

Isolation and quarantine facilities update

There are three King County residents needing a safe place for isolation and quarantine who have been admitted to the facility in Kent. Individuals can only be placed into these sites after a health professional with Public Health — Seattle & King County has determined that they need isolation or quarantine. The number of persons in King County's isolation and quarantine sites will be included in regular updates provided by Public Health — Seattle & King County. No other identifying or personal information will be provided.

Coming this Saturday: Major Bus Route Changes in Our Area!

South Kirkland Park and Ride pic

We collaborated with King County Metro and 80 other local community organizations to increase transportation services and support the needs of our growing region. Starting this Saturday, March 21, Metro will provide you with more service, increased evening and weekend options, and better connections to Sound Transit Link light rail and RapidRide. To learn more about what’s changing and to see whether your route is affected, visit:

Also starting March 21, new routes may mean new connections to Sound Transit Link light rail or buses, including route 255 to UW light rail station. If you pay cash to ride a Metro bus, your paper transfer will not be accepted on Sound Transit services and you will need to pay separately for that portion of your trip. With an ORCA card you only have to pay the difference between your two fares when you transfer. For more information on ORCA cards please visit:

Traffic Alerts for March 19 through 26

Totem Lake Boulevard daytime and nighttime work continues (Totem Lake)

Totem Lake drivers will continue to experience traffic delays on Totem Lake Boulevard and Northeast 124th Street this week while contractors from the City of Kirkland and the Northshore Utility District continue to prepare the urban center for its expanding population of workers and residents.

Marshbank Construction has closed three of Totem Lake Boulevard’s five lanes between 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street until May while its crews rebuild the road and install a new retaining wall that will help support the road. To build that wall throughout the next few weeks, Marshbank Construction will be closing Bank of America’s north entrance, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

As such, drivers will have access to one northbound and one southbound lane. A pedestrian detour is in place along the southwest side of Totem Lake Boulevard. King County Metro has temporarily relocated the northbound bus stop along Totem Lake Boulevard to 120th Avenue Northeast. 

Meanwhile, the Northshore Utility District is closing a short section of Northeast 124th Street during the next two weeks so its contractors can upgrade the area’s sewer and stormwater systems.

The 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. closures begin March 10 and end on March 24, near 124th Street’s intersection with the Cross Kirkland Corridor.  

For more information, visit: or

108th Avenue Northeast water and sewer upgrade

A City of Kirkland contractor plans to begin on March 23 the eight-month process of upgrading an aging water and sewer main along 108th Avenue Northeast.

Marshbank Construction is replacing the two systems—both more than five decades old—to increase their capacities to serve Kirkland’s growing population and to reduce the systems’ needs for maintenance.

That need is most urgent in the sewer line, which runs from Northeast 68th Street to Northeast 53rd Street. Settling soil has created a sag in the sewer line, allowing sewage to accumulate there and requiring maintenance crews to periodically flush the line.

The contractor is also replacing the water main between Northeast 68th and 60th streets.

Marshbank expects to complete the upgrades by December. 

For more information, visit:

Cross Kirkland Corridor segment closed for ditch maintenance 

The Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC) is closed from 52nd Street to 108th Avenue Northeast 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Friday, March 20, for ditch maintenance. City public works staff is addressing dirt that is blocking a ditch and diverting water onto private property. Reader Boards detailing the closure have been in place since Friday, March 6. Detour maps are available at closure points and A-boards are placed at crossings.

Totem Lake Traffic Alerts for March 18

Cancelled Events

Out of an abundance of caution and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the following events are canceled:

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows through April 30 are postponed
For more information, visit:

Kirkland Parks and Community Services Job Fair 
Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Kirkland Parks Maintenance Facility
For more information, visit:

The Kiwanis Club of Kirkland's 46th Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday, April 12 1:30 p.m.
Peter Kirk Park
For more information, visit: