Council Recap | 85th St Station Area Plan | Got Trees? | 2021 Shop Local Pledge | Traffic Alerts

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this week in kirkland

January 6, 2021

city of kirkland washington

Council Recap


Last night, Tuesday, January 5, was the first City Council meeting of the year. Thanks to all who attended the meeting, which took place via the Zoom videoconferencing platform in alignment with current public health recommendations and guidelines.

The public is always welcome at Council meetings, which are a great way to have your voice heard while gaining a better understanding of how your City government operates. The public comment period, identified as "Items from the Audience" on the Council agenda, is your chance to address the Council directly, with both compliments and concerns.

For more information about Council meetings, including the Zoom link and instructions for providing public comment, please visit the City website. To view this council meeting or any past council meeting, go to Watch Council Meetings on the City’s website.

Here are a few highlights from the first Council meeting of 2021:

Study Session: Municipal Court Update

At the January 5 study session, the Council received an overview of the structure of the Kirkland Municipal Court, discussed impacts of the pandemic on operations, and learned more about the upcoming implementation of a Community Court. The Kirkland Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction and an independent branch of government.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Proclamation

In 1994, Congress initiated the King Holiday and Service Act, challenging Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of community volunteer service in honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  At the January 5 meeting, the Council proclaimed January 18, 2021 the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and encouraged all Kirkland residents and businesses to serve their neighbors and community on this day and throughout the year.  Join Green Kirkland in the MLK, Jr. Day of Service at Juanita Beach Park or Rose Hill Woodlands Park.

R-5434 Early Action Review

Following the tragic killing of George Floyd by a police officer on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, numerous marches and rallies were held in Kirkland calling for an end to structural racism and for the City to demonstrate that Black lives matter.  On June 16, 2020, the Council directed the City Manager to develop a framework for the City’s response to the community and on August 4, 2020, Council adopted Resolution R-5434, committing to several actions related to examining and dismantling institutional and structural racism in Kirkland. At the January 5 meeting, the Council received a briefing on early actions conducted in 2020 to implement Resolution R-5434. The Early Action Update can be found on the City of Kirkland website.

Rental Assistance Policy Options

The City Council received a general briefing from the City Manager related to rental assistance policy options available to the City of Kirkland. Residential tenants, small businesses and nonprofit organizations continue to suffer severe economic disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as do many residential and commercial landlords, property owners and property managers. This discussion included existing efforts at the federal and state levels, as well as local policy and funding options.

The next City Council meeting takes place Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Community Invited to Comment on NE 85th St. Station Area Plan Options

As of January 5, 2021, a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the NE 85th St. Station Area Plan is available for review at and the City of Kirkland is seeking input from the community during a formal comment period from January 5 through February 5, 2021. The community is also invited to participate in a virtual community workshop on Thursday, January 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

“We are working toward a regional gateway that supports transit, creates opportunity for all, and reflects Kirkland’s unique identity, and we would love to hear from the community,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Kelli Curtis. “The Station Area Plan will create a new future for the area around Sound Transit’s planned Bus Rapid Transit Station at the I-405/NE 85th Street Interchange. This is an important opportunity to help us prioritize options and pick the best plan for this area.”

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 the City 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, the City is seeking 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. The community’s input will be taken into consideration as decisions are made 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.

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

To learn more about this project, register for the community workshop, watch the below video featuring Councilmember Kelli Curtis, and view all published documents at the project website:

SAP video image

New Year, New Commitment to Shopping Local!

SLK logo

Here we are at the top of a brand-new year, and it’s more important than ever to support our local businesses, nonprofits, arts organizations and service entities. makes it easy and convenient to support your favorite local small businesses by showcasing them on a digital main street! Take the 2021 Shop Local Pledge by making a commitment to regularly purchase products or services through Shop Local Kirkland.

New businesses are being added frequently so check back often to see the latest. You never know what you’ll find on Shop Local Kirkland!

Along with safe, contactless pickup and delivery options offered by many businesses, Shop Local Kirkland has rolled out In-Car Dining, which transforms your vehicle into a mobile dining room! Enjoy the beautiful view at Marina Park from one of the designated free In-Car Dining parking spaces, and get your favorite takeout delivered right to your car.

To see participating restaurants, visit: and select “In-Car Dining.”  

Order take out

Cutthroat Trout in Juanita Creek Leaps into the New Year

Happy 2021!

We ran into this one-of-a-kind New Year’s celebration in the stretch of Juanita Creek that runs through Kirkland’s Windsor Vista Park. We are thrilled to see this energetic cutthroat trout enjoying our watershed.

Cutthroat are a species of trout that migrate from Lake Washington up into our smaller streams this time of year to spawn. This popular game species uses our local waterways for foraging and as a migratory corridor to access their spawning habitat. This one is doing its best to navigate a beaver dam built by one of the industrious beavers who call Kirkland home.

Learn what you can do to protect and improve the quality of water in our local creeks at

Happy New Year Kirkland!

Fish vid image

Got Trees? Free Christmas Tree Collection Takes Place January 4 Through January 15


Kirkland offers free Christmas tree collection during the first two full weeks of January (Monday, January 4 - Friday, January 15). Place undecorated, unflocked natural trees under 6-feet tall next to your cart on your regular service day during the first two weeks of January. Trees taller than 6-feet should be cut into segments up to 6-feet long.

Collected trees will be composted by Cedar Grove.

Apartment and condo-dwellers also have access to Christmas tree collection next to their dumpsters on specific dates. For those who live in apartments in the northern part of Kirkland (Juanita, Finn Hill, Kingsgate, Totem Lake), trees will be collected on Mondays and Thursdays (January 4, 7, 11, 14); apartment residents in the southern part of Kirkland will have trees collected on Tuesdays and Fridays (January 5, 8, 12, 15). See our Christmas tree collection map(PDF, 5MB) for additional details.

Artificial trees must be disposed in the garbage – there is no recycling option – so if you are ready to switch away from an artificial tree, see if you can find someone else who can use it before resorting to the trash can.

To learn more about recycling in the City of Kirkland, visit:


Traffic Alerts for the Week of January 6 Through January 13

Totem Lake

Willows Road Northeast remains closed until Jan. 11 to southbound traffic, north of its intersection with Northeast 124th Street.

Interwest Construction will maintain the closure to southbound traffic until Jan. 22, when the contractor plans to close Willows Road Northeast completely. Interwest will rely on 141st Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street to detour traffic around the closure.

This project, referred to as the Willows Road Regional Trail Connection, will complete a gap in King County’s regional trail network, progressing toward a more complete network that connects the Totem Lake and Redmond urban centers, the Woodinville Wine Country and the Willows Road high-tech corridor.



A City of Kirkland contractor is closing Northeast 116th Street’s center turn-lane through February 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.

Westwater Construction is also closing an additional lane from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., with flaggers maintaining the flow of two-way traffic.

This project improves pedestrian safety in the Juanita neighborhood with a total of four upgraded crosswalks along Northeast 116th Street, between 104th Avenue Northeast and 113th Place Northeast. These improvements will increase safety for those walking between destinations north of Northeast 116th Street, like McAuliffe Park, and destinations south of the Northeast 116th Street, like Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School.



Marshbank Construction suspended work in mid-December and will return in spring to repave 108th Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 53rd Street to Northeast 68th Street.

This project involved Marshbank replacing water and sewer 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.


Upcoming Events


Kirkland Performance Center: A Virtual Concert with Chris King & the Gutterballs

8 p.m. Thursday, January 7

Live, virtual show

Chris King & the Gutterballs know the secret to creative success; movement is key to progress. Whether by gusts of tornado-wind or rubber against the road, to push forward is all there is in life, buoyed and scarred by love. The band infuses this propelling urgency in all of its performances, into all of its songs and it starts with King’s dynamic, uncorked-fire-hydrant voice.

The band, Chris King on guitar and vocals, Malcom Roberts on Bass, and Tom Meyers on drums, have released three full-length records, Hidin' Out in 2014, Cocktails in 2016, and most recently, Pain Waves in 2019.

Visit the Kirkland Performance Center Facebook page to view this livestream. 

Color Your World

Kirkland Parks & Community Services presents "Color Your World!"


Online event

Skin comes in many different colors, and all are beautiful. Draw a picture of yourself, show us the color of your skin, hair and eyes. Let us see how beautiful and proud you are!

Email your picture with your name to Your art will be featured on the Kirkland Parks & Community Services Facebook page! 

Green Kirkland

Green Kirkland Partnership presents MLK Jr. Day of Service at Juanita Beach Park and North Rose Hill Woodlands Park

10 a.m. to noon, Monday, January 18

IMPORTANT NOTE: These events are outdoor events. *Pre-registration is required for all participants to ensure we are following public health guidelines and have enough tools/space. There are no drop-in options at any event at this time.

Join the Green Kirkland Partnership and volunteer for a fun day of environmental stewardship at Juanita Beach Park and North Rose Hill Woodlands Park!

Volunteers will help restore critical habitat by removing invasive plants such as blackberry or ivy, planting native plants, and pitching-in with stewardship tasks like mulching and weeding. With your help, this park with have healthy and thriving natural areas for years to come!

All COVID-19 protocols will be in place. Pre-registration is required. Facial coverings and social distancing are mandatory. For more information about these events and to register, visit the Green Kirkland Partnership webpage.