Council Decisions on Summer Parks Activities and Facilities, Council Recap, City Hosts First Ever Virtual Ground Breaking, Take the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey, Gov. Inslee Issues Guidance for Pet Grooming Operations and Announces Restart of Medical Services, Upcoming Virtual Events, and More!

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this week in kirkland

May 20, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Council Makes Decisions on Summer Parks Activities and Facilities

City Council

Since the moment we became aware of COVID-19’s presence in Kirkland, the City Council has been focused first and foremost on the safety of our community members and staff. We know that we have all made tremendous sacrifices to protect the health of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. We’ve been reminded recently that surviving a pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. We all must prepare ourselves for the arduous road to recovery. Kirklanders are not the type to stop halfway. We are innovators and entrepreneurs, and most importantly, we are people that care about others and about our community.

During our recent May 19 meeting the City Council had to make difficult decisions regarding reopening parks facilities and summer programming. Thankfully we have found a path to allow some of our beloved activities to continue this summer. Farmers’ Markets will not look like they have in the past, but they will be open. Organized athletics will be able to start in Phase 3. Unfortunately, other activities such as summer festivals and our City pools will not be available this summer. Like the rest of the world, we are striving to find the balance between our community’s need for social and physical activity, community concerns, human service needs, and public health and safety requirements to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

We are grateful for everyone who took the time to send in comments about the proposed plan for this summer. We want to assure you that we read every comment, and we take very seriously all the input that we received.

The decisions that were made by the Council evaluated potential summer programs, facility and field rentals and events against guiding criteria, including: protecting community and employee health and safety; community needs during the pandemic; new financial challenges faced by the City from the pandemic; staff capacity to support programs and services; and creating certainty for families, organizations and vendors to plan.

All elements of the reopening will be guided by the industry standards laid out in Governor Inslee’s “Safe Start” guidance. The development of this guidance is ongoing and is subject to change determined by public health data. There are still some items under evaluation, such as whether we’ll be able to provide lifeguards at swim beaches this summer. We are committed to keeping you updated with the latest information.

All refunds will begin to be processed on Tuesday, May 26. Community members do not have to take any action to receive a refund.

The following is a summary of the plan for parks programming and facilities that was approved by the City Council for this summer:

Supporting Community Needs

As part of the proposal some City recreation staff and Green Kirkland Partnership staff will be reallocated to serve as parks ambassadors and to support ongoing or emerging parks monitoring and human service needs during all “Safe Start” phases this summer. This increased monitoring will begin immediately.

Parks and Community Services staff may offer virtual programming free of charge during the summer, including online instructional programs, art and science events, and virtual community-building social, cultural and athletic events.

“Safe Start” Phase 1

Parks, trails, beachfront parks, dog parks, docks and piers, Marina Park moorage, boat launches, the Marina Park restroom and the cemetery are currently open. The Wednesday and Friday Markets will be opening in early June. The Wednesday Market will be set up as a walk-thru with controlled entry and exit to regulate crowd size, and the Juanita Beach Friday Market will be a drive-thru market. These decisions comply with Phase 1 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan.  All open parks and facilities will remain open throughout the summer consistent with Phase 1 guidelines.

“Safe Start” Phase 2

When Phase 2 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan is authorized, Parks & Community Services will reopen all public park restrooms, picnic shelters, tennis and pickleball courts, the waterfront trails, and may allow park vendors to operate in City parks.

“Safe Start” Phase 3

When Phase 3 of the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan is authorized, Parks and Community Services will reopen all park playgrounds, park pavilions, sports courts for basketball and volleyball, and athletic fields. Athletic field use by organized sports leagues and programs will also be allowed during this phase. Any organization renting field space will be required to submit a plan detailing how they will keep players, coaches, support staff and spectators safe during field use. Organizations will also be required to sign indemnification contracts with the City. Failure to implement approved plans will result in the termination of rental agreements. Staff may also offer “Pop-up” programming in the parks.

Summer Facility Closures and Program Cancellations Through September 1, 2020

  • The Peter Kirk Pool shall be closed for the summer season.
  • The North Kirkland Community Center and the Peter Kirk Community Center shall be closed for public use through September 1, 2020 except to provide selected senior services and support for human service needs.
  • All public, private and non-profit special events that use City facilities and infrastructure are cancelled through September 1, 2020. Special events may be rescheduled after September 1 if authorized by the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan.
  • Green Kirkland Partnership restoration events are suspended until September 1, 2020.
  • All current parks recreational programming is cancelled through September 1, 2020 to allow City recreation staff to prepare for COVID-19 modified programming after September 1.

We know that this summer will be different than any we’ve experienced in 100 years. We wish that this wasn’t our reality. Like you, we will miss organized athletics, graduations, summer celebrations, the 4th of July parade and fireworks, neighborhood parties and barbecues, and musical entertainment at the Farmers’ market. Thank you so much for making these sacrifices to protect the health of others. Things may never return to how they were, but together we will find a path to a new normal where we thrive together. Please continue to support each other by staying together while staying apart.

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Council Recap

EMS Week in Kirkland

The City Council proclaimed May 17-23, 2020 as “Emergency Medical Services Week” in Kirkland. The Kirkland Fire Department is part of the regional Medic One/Emergency Medical Services. Through innovative training, regional collaboration and progressive programming, cardiac arrest victims are two to three times more likely to survive in Seattle & King County than in other communities. The City of Kirkland Fire Department has provided life-saving services since 1890 and responds to over 8,000 emergency medical calls each year.

In February 2020, Kirkland became the first national epicenter for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite approximately 70 first responders being either under quarantine or isolation during the early months of the pandemic, Kirkland firefighters stepped up to fill in the gaps and continued to fully staff our lifesaving operations. The brave men and women of the Kirkland fire department continue to put themselves at risk to save the lives of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. The collaborative culture in the King County Emergency Medical Services system led to regional implementation of strategies that have protected the health and safety of emergency medical service teams and patients. Staff of the Kirkland Fire Department have served as regional and national leaders on the COVID-19 response by sharing lessons learned and best practices with other jurisdictions.

Thank you to our Kirkland firefighters for your bravery and dedication to serving our community.

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COVID-19 Update

During the May 19 Council meeting, City Manager Kurt Triplett provided an update on the City's COVID-19 response. The update focused on budget implications, including impacts on staffing such as voluntary separations & freezing vacancies. View the update here

COVID-19 update

Potential Fire and EMS Ballot Measure

The City Council received results on two surveys related to two potential November Emergency Medical Services ballot measures. Results of the survey are currently available in the City Council packet and by watching the meeting online. These results will be made available on the 2020 Fire and Emergency Medical Services Ballot Measure website within the next week. The City Council understands that COVID-19 has had a significant economic impact on our community and has asked staff to return in June with additional options for a single measure with an overall cost of less than or equal to the ComSAG’s recommendation of $0.225/$1,000 of assessed valuation. 

City Hosts First Ever Virtual Ground Breaking at Totem Lake Park

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We are pleased to announce that we have broke ground on the construction of Totem Lake Park. Please join us for our first ever Virtual Ground Breaking!

This first phase of construction will build a restroom, picnic and play areas, as well as a 10-foot-wide boardwalk that will connect the park to the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Construction completion is scheduled for 2021.

Virtual ground breaking

Take the COVID-19 Business Impact Survey by May 21

Business owners, nonprofits, and independent workers are encouraged to participate in the new COVID-19 Business Impact Survey published today by the City of Seattle Government Office of Economic Development, Greater Seattle Partners, and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. By taking the survey, you will inform regional efforts to support businesses, nonprofits, and independent workers in recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

This survey builds on an earlier survey and will measure potential changes to COVID-19 impacts over time, seek to further understand operational changes businesses have implemented since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and evaluate the impact private and public funding have had on the ability of businesses to stay afloat.

The survey will be open until May 21. The survey is available in the following languages: Amharic, Chinese - Traditional, English, Japanese, Korean, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese

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Ismaili Muslim Community of Kirkland Donates PPE to the Kirkland Police Department

Thank you to the Ismaili Muslim Community of Kirkland for their generous donation of personal protection equipment, including face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, to our Kirkland Police Department.

We are so grateful for the continued support from our community during these challenging times. For more information on how to help during COVID-19, visit the City webpage.  

Ismaili Muslim Community of Kirkland

Gov. Inslee Issues Additional Guidance for Pet Grooming Operations in Phase 2

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On Monday, May 18, Gov. Jay Inslee issued guidance for resuming pet grooming operations in Phase 2.

Through the Washington "Safe Start" plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in phases, with adequate safety and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks.

Additionally, counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply for a variance to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state. County variance applications will be approved or denied by the secretary of the Department of Health. Ten counties have received the variance.

For counties granted variance to move to Phase 2, pet grooming operations may resume, effective May 18. 

Guidance documents: 

Visit the Governor's webpage for a full list of guidance for all current businesses

Gov. Inslee Announces Restart of All Medical Services in Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee announced on May 18 the state's plan for all elective procedures to resume. Each medical or dental practice will assess their own readiness and their communities’ COVID-19 activity to determine whether, and to what degree, they will reopen.

“Our health care system was one of the first in the nation to be hit with COVID-19 cases when there was much we were still learning about the novel virus. Because of the great work of our health care system and communities, we managed the peak of COVID-19 activity in April without having a crisis in our hospitals,” Inslee said. “This plan was developed with many partners in our health care delivery system — including nurses, surgeons, pediatricians, dentists, community health clinics and hospitals.”

Aside from being determined by the COVID-19 activity in different regions of the state, the reopening of health care services are based on three standards of care. Readiness will be determined by the availability of PPE, hospital capacity and more. 

Under this plan, each health care or dental provider must meet certain criteria to be able to begin performing elective procedures. Each provider evaluates their readiness to begin and must maintain standards to continue to see patients.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

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Traffic Alerts for the Week of May 20 Through May 27

Totem Lake Park

Construction begins Monday on the Totem Lake Park renovation. Wyser Construction’s traffic impacts will be mostly limited to the staging area, which is the parking lot previously owned by the Yuppie Pawn Shop. However, the contractor’s trucks will be using Totem Lake streets, such as 120th Avenue Northeast, for access. For more information, visit:

Neighborhood Safety Program

Drivers should expect minor traffic delays at seven locations this month while Kirkland’s contractor implements the 2019 Neighborhood Safety Program.

NPM Construction is improving safety on Lakeview’s Lakeview Drive, Houghton’s 108th Avenue Northeast, North Rose Hill’s Slater Avenue, Kingsgate’s Northeast 132nd Street, Finn Hill’s 87th Avenue Northeast, Norkirk’s Northeast 87th Street and Juanita’s Northeast 120th Street. NPM Construction will be building these projects until August.  

For more information, visit: 

Totem Lake Boulevard

Marshbank is continuing to close all but one of Totem Lake Boulevard’s five lanes between Northeast 124th Street and 120th Avenue Northeast.

Marshbank Construction 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.

For more information, visit or

Cross Kirkland Corridor in Totem Lake

The Northshore Utility District is slowing access to a short section of the Cross Kirkland Corridor that extends south a few hundred feet from the corridor’s intersection with Northeast 124th Street.

People who are riding bicycles will have to dismount before entering the four-foot-wide section of trail.

The restricted access allows the Northshore Utility District to complete its installation of a sewer force main that will improve the reliability of Totem Lake’s sewer system.

A section of the Cross Kirkland Corridor in Totem Lake remains closed until June while Marshbank’s crews rebuild Totem Lake Boulevard. The closed section starts where the CKC intersects Totem Lake Boulevard, and it extends northeast along the trail for 250 feet. Fencing prevents southbound trail users from entering the construction site, and orange detour signs direct people walking and biking to use the sidewalk on Northeast 124th Street and 128th Lane Northeast.

Restricted access at south side of 124th Street.

108th Avenue Northeast

Drivers should continue to expect minor traffic impacts 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:

Upcoming Virtual Events

Online plant walk image

Green Kirkland Partnership Online Plant Walk

7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 28

Join the Green Kirkland Partnership for an online plant walk and natural area tour on Thursday, May 28, from 7 to 8 p.m.

You’ll see fun plants, cool habitat features and learn about steps that volunteers are taking to restore a natural area at one of your local Kirkland parks. Visit the Green Kirkland webpage for more details and to register.

7 Hills of Kirkland

7 Hills of Kirkland: Shifting Gears

May 1 through May 30, 2020

Virtual Event

7 Hills of Kirkland is now virtual! 

Visit the Attain Housing website today to learn more about digital participation in 7 Hills of Kirkland, and to experience firsthand what can be done to transform a negative situation into an opportunity! Rather than just a one-day event, 7 Hills of Kirkland takes place throughout the entire month of May, featuring cycling challenges, weekly mileage and elevation goals and community support.

Riders who join the challenge will enjoy GPS routes, rider leaderboards (to spark your competitive edge), games, contests and amazing prizes from all your favorite Kirkland businesses, To register, visit the website!

Kirkland Urban

KU Kids at Home by Kirkland Urban

10 a.m., Saturday, June 13

Virtual Event

KU Kids is now virtual! This free, family-friendly series takes place on the second Saturday of the month from now through August! Join in the fun at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, as Julie from Clown Buggie Entertainment takes over Kirkland Urban’s Facebook page to host a craft-a-long creating melted crayon art on canvas and answering questions along the way. To participate, guests can pick up a free craft kit on Thursday, June 11, from Shake Shack, Mud Bay or Restore at Kirkland Urban. Follow Kirkland Urban on social media (@kirklandurban on Instagram and Kirkland Urban on Facebook) for more details as they are announced, or visit the Kirkland Urban website!

Cancelled Events

Because continued physical distancing is critical to halting the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

Kirkland Parks Facility Closures and Program Cancellations
Facilities are closed through September 1, 2020 as outlined below:

• The Peter Kirk Pool shall be closed for the summer season.
• The North Kirkland Community Center and the Peter Kirk Community Center shall be closed for public use through September 1, 2020 except to provide selected senior services and support for human service needs.
• All public, private and non-profit special events that use City facilities and infrastructure are cancelled through September 1, 2020. Special events may be rescheduled after September 1 if authorized by the Governor’s “Safe Start” reopening plan.
• Green Kirkland Partnership restoration events are suspended until September 1, 2020.
• All current parks recreational programming is cancelled through September 1, 2020 to allow City recreation staff to prepare for COVID-19 modified programming after September 1.

For more information on summer facility closures, visit the City newsroom

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:

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events are cancelled until further notice
For more information, visit:

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows have been postponed until further notice
For more information, visit: