Take our EMS Ballot Measure Survey, Council Recap, Important Reminders for Safe Boating Week, Local Teens Invited to QuaranTeen Summit, Celebrate National Correctional Officers Week, Traffic Alerts and More!

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this week in kirkland

May 6, 2020

city of kirkland washington

The City Needs Your Advice About a Potential Fire & Emergency Medical Services Ballot Measure

For the past four years the City Council has explored a potential Fire & Emergency Medical Services ballot measure to improve response times throughout Kirkland. Our community safety advisory group, formed last October, recommended that the Council place two property tax measures on this year’s November ballot.  The first measure would build a new fire station and seismically retrofit and renovate our existing fire stations. The second measure would hire new firefighters, who are also emergency medical technicians. These recommendations were made in February, just before the virus outbreak in Kirkland.

The Council recognizes that COVID-19’s economic impact makes this a difficult time for new taxes. But every investment recommended by the advisory group also reinforces the City’s ability to serve the community during the pandemic. So, the Council is asking our residents whether Kirkland should keep exploring these ballot measures.

No final decision has been made. The Council is asking for your input to help guide their decision. Please help us by filling out this brief survey. For more information about the potential measure, please watch our video

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Council Recap

City Council

COVID-19 Update

Last night’s May 5 COVID-19 update at the City Council meeting included presentations from Fire Chief Joe Sanford, Police Chief Cherie Harris, and City Manager Kurt Triplett. Presentations include metrics on personal protective equipment stocks, call volumes, response times, and other trends related to the pandemic response. You can view just this portion of the Council meeting here

COVID-19 Update Image

Communications Master Use Permit with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC

The Council approved a Communications Master Use Permit (CMUP) with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC (“AT&T,” which is the parent company of New Cingular Wireless), for an initial term of ten years to facilitate its deployment of small cell wireless technology in the City. The City was able to negotiate additional, favorable terms in the CMUP that will allow a renegotiation of the permit in the event the laws governing small cell are changed at either the federal or State level. More information, including the background for the discussion and the ordinance is available on the City website.

Tree Enforcement Regulations

The City Council adopted updates to Chapter 1.12.100 of the Kirkland Municipal Code, approving the amendments to the Tree Code Enforcement regulations.  The updated codes are intended as deterrent to illegal tree removal or damage.  The amended codes are needed to prevent long-term damage to the City’s urban forest by strengthening code enforcement of tree regulations and increasing civil penalties for illegal tree removal or damage.  The urban forest provides important public safety benefits such as improving air and water quality and helping prevent flooding, erosion and landslide risks. 

The following is a list of the updates completed:

  • Increase civil penalty fines for illegal tree removal or damage based on tree size and location within protected areas. 
  • Address situations where a tree has been illegally removed and attempts are made to conceal the evidence.
  • Adds the authority to assess treble damages for illegal public tree removal or damage per RCW 64.12.030
  • Clarifies the definition and fines for “repeat violations,” with fines increasing with each repeat violation.
  • The ANSI Standards were included in the proposed code to provide clarity on pruning limitations.  
  • Clarifications and adjustments were made to the restoration and replacement standards, taking into consideration the availability of native trees from local plant nurseries.

The City Council will continue working through the pending Tree Retention Codes of Kirkland Zoning Code Chapter 95 once the state lifts the restriction of hosting open public meetings. 

Important Reminders for Safe Boating Week

Image for boating safety month

During their Tuesday, May 5 meeting the City Council proclaimed Safe Boating Week as May 16-22 in Kirkland.

Washington State waters have been utilized for everything from generating economic opportunity to affording families opportunities for recreation. The importance of our lakes and rivers cannot be overemphasized. Safe Boating Week is an important opportunity to remind ourselves that protecting the future of our water ways rests on each of us.

COVID-19 is forcing everyone to navigate uncharted waters, including boaters. Many people are wondering if they can go boating, who they can boat with, and where they can go once they leave the dock. On Monday, April 27, Governor Jay Inslee eased restrictions on recreational boating and fishing, as long as specific social distancing guidelines are followed. In many areas, the water is open, however, it’s more important than ever that boaters are responsible to limit unnecessary risk not only to themselves, but to other boaters, law enforcement, and first responders.

“Boating is a wonderful activity to engage in during these challenging times that allows us to enjoy the outdoors while social distancing,” said Fire Chief Joseph Sanford. “Please remember that though we may be enjoying warm days very soon, the water in Lake Washington is still very cold. Always take proper safety precautions, and never drink and boat.”

The Safe Boating Campaign, led by the National Safe Boating Council, offers these tips for practicing social distancing and safety while boating:

  1. Follow state and local guidance from public health officials, marine law enforcement agencies, department of natural resources, park services and others.
  2. Stay in your local community.
  3. Limit the people aboard your boat to people in your immediate household. No guests, no friends, no grandparents that don’t live in your house.
  4. File a float plan. Make sure a loved one or friend knows the details of your trip in the event of an emergency.
  5. Everyone should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when you’re on the water.
  6. Stay at least six feet away from other people who do not live in your house.
  7. Maintain safe distance at the fuel dock or loading up at the marina.
  8. Wash hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer.
  9. Go right from your house to the boat and back so that you don’t have unnecessary contact with anyone.
  10. Carry all required boating safety equipment such as flares, navigation light, a horn or whistle, a first aid kit.
  11. Pack food, water and other things you may need as restaurants and marina stores may not be open.
  12. Be sure to have at least two communication devices that work when wet, such as satellite phones, emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB), VHF radios and personal locator beacons (PLB). Cell phones are often not reliable in an emergency situation.
  13. Don’t go boating if someone in your household is sick.
  14. Don’t drink and boat.

Local Teens Invited to Participate in QuaranTeen Summit

KYC logo

A virtual discussion about issues important to teens during COVID-19

Local teens are invited to a virtual zoom summit to talk about mental health, physical health, school, and relationships, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event is hosted by the Kirkland Youth Council (KYC) and the City of Kirkland to offer teens an outlet to discuss the challenges of being in quarantine.

“In a time of great uncertainty, the 21st Century QuaranTeen Summit will answer all of the questions teens have about mental health, wellness, social health, and academics by a panel of experts,” said Max Reisman, a Senior at Tesla STEM High School and the co-chair of KYC. “We also hope to foster a discussion around living and working at home: from sharing ideas on how to connect with friends or create your personal space in your house, to exercise routines and ideas on how to maintain physical health. Teens who attend the Summit will learn how to prosper academically and socially in our uncertain environment and become more resilient in the future.”

Participants will not be on video, but they will have the opportunity to submit questions throughout the event. Panelists that will be featured at the event will include:

Heidi Biehl - Lake Washington Physical Therapy & Juanita High Track Coach

Michelle Brode - Youth Eastside Services

Jon Holmen - Deputy Superintendent & Incoming Superintendent

Christina Hunsberger - Counselor, Juanita High

Chase Stevens - Counselor, Inglemoor High

The event is open to all middle school and high school age students. Participants can join the webinar using the information below:


Password: 115830

Or iPhone one-tap :

    US: +12133388477,92797250069# or 8884754499,92797250069# (Toll Free)

Or Telephone:

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

        US: +1 213 338 8477 or 888 475 4499 (Toll Free) or 877 853 5257 (Toll Free)

    Webinar ID: 927 9725 0069

    International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/ab5IJxEm7G

For more information on the event, contact Regi Schubiger, Program Coordinator, at rschubiger@kirklandwa.gov or call (425) 587-3323.

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Celebrate Drinking Water Week May 3 Through May 9

Drinking water week

Who doesn't enjoy a cool glass of water? The next time you reach for a sip remember that it's Drinking Water Week and your water utility is working hard around the clock to make sure you always have safe water. Interested in learning more about our drinking water in Kirkland? Our 2020 Water Quality Report is available on our website. 

Help Public Health Leaders Track the Spread of Coronavirus

SCAN is helping Public Health - Seattle & King County track and understand the virus in King County. SCAN has tested 8,443 at-home kits for COVID-19 since March 23, finding 72 previously undetected cases across the county.

Volunteers from south King County, children and teens are still needed to understand how the virus spreads. Help protect our community; enroll at the SCAN Public Health - Seattle & King County website

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City Council Recognizes Kirkland Corrections Staff for National Correctional Officers Week

This week is National Correctional Officers Week, and our City Council wanted to thank our Kirkland corrections officers for all of their hard work 24/7/365. To learn more about our corrections officers visit our Kirkland Corrections webpage

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Traffic Alerts for the Week of May 6 Through May 12

Neighborhood Safety Program

A Kirkland contractor is closing a short section of a pedestrian walkway at 87th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 134th Street.

NPM Construction is also shifting traffic at the intersection.

The contractor is building a bus landing, a short section of sidewalk and an access ramp at the corner.

The pedestrian safety project is one of seven projects from the 2019 Neighborhood Safety Program that NPM Construction will be building until August throughout Kirkland.  

For more information, visit the Neighborhood Safety Program webpage  

Totem Lake Boulevard

Kirkland’s Totem Lake Gateway contractor will be closing a short section of sidewalk until June near 120th Avenue Northeast’s intersection with Northeast 128th Street.

Marshbank Construction is rebuilding the sidewalk and repaving the street, from the crosswalk at Northeast 128th Street to the south, 250 feet.

The contractor will begin grinding that section of 120th Avenue Northeast the week of May 11. When it does, it will close two of the street’s lanes.

Meanwhile, Marshbank is continuing to close all but one of the arterial's five lanes. 

Commuters have access to one of the Boulevard's southbound lanes until Gov. Jay Inslee ends the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation. Marshbank Construction, the contractor, has established a detour for northbound Totem Lake Boulevard traffic.

The extra lane is allowing Marshbank’s crews to work more efficiently while they rebuild the street and install a new retaining wall that will help support the road. Marshbank's crews are also closing two lanes along 120th Avenue Northeast and Totem Lake Way while they rebuild the sidewalk and roadway. The sidewalk on the southeast side of the road, in front of Café Veloce, remains closed as well.

For more information, visit: www.kirklandwa.gov/totemlakeconnector or www.kirklandwa.gov/totemlake 

Cross Kirkland Corridor in Totem Lake

Marshbank Construction is closing until mid-May a 250-foot section of the Cross Kirkland Corridor in Totem Lake while its crews build a retaining wall that will support Totem Lake Boulevard. The Totem Lake Gateway contractor is closing the corridor at its intersection with Totem Lake Boulevard. Fencing prevents southbound trail users from entering the construction site. Orange detour signs direct people who are walking and bicycling to use the sidewalk on Northeast 124th Street and 128th Lane Northeast.

108th Avenue Northeast

Drivers should continue to expect minor traffic delays this month on 108th Avenue Northeast while a Kirkland contractor upgrades an aging water and sewer main along the north-to-south arterial.

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 spring of 2021. 

For more information, visit: www.kirklandwa.gov/108thavewatersewer

Central Way and Market Street

Starting on Monday, May 11, Puget Sound Energy will have multiple detour routes in place along Market Street and Central Way as crews work to relocate underground power transmission lines. The detour routes are dynamic, shifting on a regular basis to accommodate multiple crews working on the same project. Most lane closures will occur in the northbound lanes on Market Street. Crews will work on Central Way to the north, on Market Street, and on 16th Avenue to the south. The work schedule is 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. PSE’s anticipated completion timeframe is early July.

Cancelled Events

In alignment with the recent extension of Gov. Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, and because continued physical distancing is critical to halting the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

KU Kids at Kirkland Urban
Saturday, May 9, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Kirkland Urban
425 Urban Plaza
For more information, visit: https://www.kirklandurban.com/event/ku-kids/2145540093/

Mother's Day Half Marathon
Sunday, May 10
Juanita Beach Park
9703 N.E. Juanita Drive
For more information, visit: https://runsignup.com/Race/WA/Kirkland/MothersDayHalf5k

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)
Thursday, May 21 through Monday, May 25
Kirkland Performance Center
350 Kirkland Avenue
For more information on SIFF, including Virtual SIFF Cinema, please visit: https://www.siff.net/virtual-siff-cinema

Recycling Collection Event

Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
11605 132nd Ave. N.E.
For more information, visit: https://www.kirklandwa.gov/depart/Public_Works/solidwaste.htm

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events through May 21 are cancelled
For more information, visit: https://kirklandchamber.org/

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows have been postponed until further notice
For more information, visit: http://www.kpcenter.org