Free Parking | New City Website | Holiday Lights Contest Winners | Last Minute Gifts? Shop Local | Upcoming Events

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

December 23, 2020

city of kirkland washington

City of Kirkland Website Launched with New and Improved Design

City logo

As of December 18, 2020, the City of Kirkland’s website,, has been launched with a customer-focused design and new platform. The revamped website improves accessibility for all users and replaces the previous website platform which was outdated and no longer supported by the company that developed it. To create a website that would provide the public quick and easy access to city services, the City of Kirkland partnered with website developer OpenCities which supports more than 500 government websites.

“We are excited to provide a better way to access the information and services that our community needs and desires,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Jon Pascal. “Whether checking the latest city news, sharing input on decisions that affect the community, paying bills, submitting permits for home improvements, or seeking out parks and recreation programs, community members rely on the City’s website as a vital hub of information and engagement. We hope the community will explore the new site and help us identify any broken links that typically occur with website transitions.”

In June 2020, the City of Kirkland invited community members to take a short survey and attend a website design workshop to share their experience with the current City website and assist staff in developing a new website that better meets the needs of the public. Suggested improvements included better content organization; more intuitive navigation; a more prominent search bar; filtering by categories; and more icons, buttons, and inviting imagery. 

A main feature of the new website is an improved search bar, and users are encouraged to start there when searching for information. Also featured on the homepage are the six top services users have been known to search for: Pay A Utility Bill, Coming Up at Council, Work at the City, Our Kirkland (the customer service portal), Register for a Parks Class, and Review the City Budget Information. The new website provides ADA accessibility and includes site translation capabilities, and many of the City’s forms have been replaced with online forms that are easier to use and more efficient. 

The City of Kirkland website can still be found at the same main URL: While most of the site’s content has been transferred to the new site, there is still work being done to refine the new site. Because the new website uses customer-focused design and pages have been reorganized and reduced from 2,500 pages to 634 pages, information will be found in different locations compared to the previous website. City webpages bookmarked as favorites will need to be updated. 

The City will need the help of residents and businesses using the site to find errors common in website conversions. Anyone encountering a link to the old website will be led to a “404 page.” There, the user can fill out a form so issues can be tracked and fixed. Additionally, visitors to the new website are invited to complete a short survey located on the homepage. 

Have you checked out the site? Provide feedback here: New website feedback form

Website launch

Parking Fees and Time Limits to Be Suspended to Help Businesses

In Car Dining

To help downtown businesses, the City of Kirkland will not charge fees for parking in any of the City-owned downtown parking lots effective December 23, 2020 through March 1, 2021. During this same time period, the City will suspend enforcement of most time limitations for parking downtown. Time limitations will still be enforced for 15-minute curbside pickup spaces and stalls designated for the new Shop Local Kirkland in-car dining program located at Marina Park. Parking enforcement will continue to be in effect for vehicles parked in designated disabled parking spaces without disabled permits, as well as vehicles illegally parked in front of fire hydrants or blocking driveways or crosswalks.

“State restrictions in response to COVID-19 have been devastating for businesses that depend on in-person customer experiences,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Toby Nixon. “We must take appropriate measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, and for restaurants to reopen and for retail to operate at greater capacity. We encourage everyone to support our Kirkland businesses to help them weather this difficult time.” 

Under state restrictions, restaurants and bars are closed for indoor service, with to-go services and restricted outdoor dining allowed. In-store retail, grocery stores and personal services are limited to 25 percent of occupancy. 

To connect Kirkland businesses to customers, the City of Kirkland has created, a new digital marketplace that makes it possible to find and purchase the unique goods, gifts, food and services that Kirkland businesses offer, many with contactless pickup and delivery options. There are also newly designated in-car dining stalls at the Lakeshore Plaza Parking Lot at Marina Park. Several restaurants offer delivery to these parking stalls so diners can enjoy family-friendly, safe dining with views of the lake.

In addition to providing free downtown parking, designated curbside pickup and in-car dining spaces, and the website, the City of Kirkland distributed $1.1 million in CARES Act funds to small businesses. Earlier in 2020, the City collaborated with Google, the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce, and Banner Bank to create the Kirkland Small Business Relief Fund which provided grants to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits. More information is available at

Find Last Minute Gifts at

If you need last minute gift ideas, let Shop Local Kirkland inspire you! This ever-growing collection of Kirkland-based businesses is a great way to find something unique and special, while supporting Kirkland businesses during a critical time. Every dollar you spend supports our hardworking, resilient business owners, so check it out today! 


I-CERV Hosts Toy Drive with Help From City, Lake Washington School District and O'Brien Auto Group

Saturday's Winter Toy Drive hosted by the Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering (I-CERV) was a tremendous success with roughly 1,100 gift items collected in a two-hour period. This event was a collaboration between I-CERV, Lake Washington School District and O'Brien Auto Group, with strong support from the community, the Kirkland Fire Department, and the Redmond High School football team. Thanks to every community member who drove though this contactless event and dropped off a few toys. Because of you, the holidays just got a whole lot brighter for many LWSD families.

Toy drive image

NE 85th St Station Area Plan: Upcoming Community Workshop and Comment Period

Important community engagement events are coming up in early January.  Earlier this year, the community came together to share their vision for the Station Area Plan around the I-405/NE 85th Street Interchange. Based on that input, initial concepts were developed for land use, mobility, infrastructure, and environmental considerations. These initial concepts were presented to the community in June and we received valuable feedback. The Planning Commission and the City Council considered this feedback in developing three Station Area Plan alternatives for study. When the final plan is adopted, it will likely include a mixture of ideas from the three alternatives.

In the next phase of the project, we are asking for your input on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The Draft SEIS is a detailed analysis of each potential Station Area Plan alternative and will look at possible impacts and mitigation measures across elements such as air quality, aesthetics, stormwater management, transportation, housing, public services, and more. With input received through the below events, the City will begin to make decisions about which parts of each alternative should, or should not, be incorporated into the final Station Area plan.

Virtual Community Workshop: Thursday, January 7, 2021 from 6 - 8 pm! Community members can learn about the Station Area Plan and provide feedback to the project team. Registration is required in advance.  Register for the workshop now! 

Draft SEIS Comment Period: January 5 – February 5, 2021.  The Draft SEIS will be available on the project website January 5, 2021.  Review and provide comments to by February 5, 2021. 

You can learn more about the project, register for the community workshop, and view all published documents at the project website:


City Administrative Services - Holiday Hours

In observance of Christmas and New Year's Day, City services normally accessible through email, the Our Kirkland Customer Service portal, and over the phone will not be available after noon on Thursday, December 24, and Thursday, December 31, and all day on Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1. *Note: City facilities remain closed to the public in alignment with Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Washington plan for reopening. 

Thanks and happy holidays!

Happy Holidays

Parks & Community Services Announces Holiday Lights Contest Winners

Congratulations to the Newvine, Gurrad and Drews families for their amazing displays of lights and creativity. And thank you to everyone who participated and spread the cheer this holiday season. You truly made Kirkland more merry and bright!

Please enjoy all the fantastic Kirkland light displays in this awesome video!

Holiday Lights Snip

Kirkland Parks & Community Services Offers Three Opportunities for FUN!

Trivia Night to commemorate National Trivia Day on Monday, January 4 

Kirkland Parks and Community Services is celebrating National Trivia Day by hosting a fun-filled trivia event based on the famed television series, "The Office." This themed trivia night takes place 7 p.m., Monday, January 4 and is open to anyone who would like to compete. Participants will play three rounds with 10 questions each round. The winner gets a grand prize and, of course, bragging rights! If you love everything Dunder Mifflin, you are invited to join this free event at

Participants will need:
1. An account on
2. Phone/tablet/computer to answer trivia questions
3. Special apparel so that you can dress like your favorite Office character

Space is limited so sign up early to reserve a spot on the squad! Families are encouraged to play together! Participants only need to register one person per household. If you have questions about this event, please contact  

Show off your artistic abilities with Color Your World (ongoing)

Color your world gives you the opportunity to have your art featured on the Kirkland Parks & Community Services Facebook page! See the flyer below for more details about this fun chance to express yourself.

Color Your World

New Year's Day Kids Celebration on Friday, January 1

Visit the New Year's Day Kids Celebration Facebook Event Page on Friday, January 1, and get ready to party! This free, interactive virtual event will give you and your kids the chance to prepare some tasty treats, hear a special New Year's story, create some nifty crafts and toast 2021 Kirkland style!

Recommended supplies for the snacks include apple cider, ginger ale, pretzel rods, chocolate chips and sprinkles. For crafting, you'll want a balloon, paper towel tube, confetti, decorations, crayons, markers, stickers, a jar, ribbon, construction paper, paper and pen. These items will be used to make a New Year Popper and a 2021 Wish Jar. 

Parks party image

Guide to Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loans

As part of an end-of-year pandemic relief package, Congress has passed several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and created a “Second Draw” PPP for small businesses who have exhausted their initial loan. Other changes impact eligibility for initial PPP loans, the loan forgiveness process, and the tax treatment of PPP loans.  

Congress has also made changes to other programs – including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL Program), the Employee Retention Tax Credit, a Venue Grant program, and SBA loan programs –that will benefit small businesses. Here’s everything small business owners need to know now: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Guide to Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Loans.

Note: this bill has not yet been signed by the President. 

Do you need COVID-19-related business assistance? Don’t have a relationship with a commercial bank or similar financial service? Our partners at (re)STARTUP425 offer free, one-on-one business assistance to Eastside businesses. They can help business owners and nonprofits navigate city, state, federal, and private economic relief programs related to COVID-19. Visit the Business Response Team webpage for more. 

U.S. Chamber image

Traffic Alerts for the Week of December 23 - December 30

Totem Lake

Interwest Construction is closing Willows Road Northeast to southbound traffic, north of its intersection with Northeast 124th Street.

The four-week lane-closure continues until Jan. 11, when the City of Kirkland contractor plans to close Willows Road Northeast completely until Jan. 22.

Interwest will rely on 141st Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street to detour traffic around the closure.



A City of Kirkland contractor will be closing Northeast 116th Street’s center turn-lane starting Dec. 14 while its crews upgrade a series of crosswalks near McAuliffe Park and A.G. Bell Elementary School.

The center lane will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each work day.

Upcoming Events


Kirkland Arts Center

Registration Open for December Intensives/Winter 

Online, virtual classes plus live in-studio

Check out exciting offerings from new instructors and renowned returning instructors, like Michael Ottersen! Learn more about wheel throwing, charcoal portrait drawing, collage making, ceramics, painting, mixed media creation, and much more! Many classes available via Zoom, with some in-studio offerings available as well. 

For more information on winter classes, visit the Kirkland Arts Center website! To dive right in and register for classes, visit the class catalog

Twas the Night

Studio East Training for the Performing Arts Presents: 'Twas the Night... Reimagined!

Streaming online through Sunday December 27

Online, virtual event

Studio East presents ‘Twas the Night… Reimagined! This Eastside holiday tradition tells the famous poem through the eyes of, not only the humans involved, but the run-away mice, hungry cats, "hoofing" reindeer and the Big Guy himself. This year’s holiday musical will be a reimagined version touting a smaller cast of both kid and adult performers, new characters, and it will all be happening virtually.

 ‘Twas is available for the public to stream on the Studio East website. It is pay what you can and available through December 27. ‘Twas the Night… Reimagined is recommended for ages 4+ and has a running time of 2 hours. Stream the show at:

Window masks

King County presents: Window Masks 101 Workshop

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 29

Zoom webinar

An introduction to making and using window masks, aka "smile masks," during the pandemic.

Free and open to all! Preregistration required.

These reusable cloth masks with a clear plastic panel can help people communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing, in speech therapy, learning to read, or learning a language. Sewers and others involved with King County's innovative mask-making project will explain how to make and use window masks, and answer your questions!

For more information, visit the King County website.