Council Recap | Mayor's State of the City Address | Community Conversations | Bus Service in Kirkland | Traffic Alerts

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this week in kirkland

February 16, 2022

city of kirkland washington

Table of Contents:

City Council Recap

City Council

The Kirkland City Council met on February 15, 2022 – here’s a brief overview of some of the items from the meeting:

Study Session – Joint Meeting with the Park Board: The Council and Park Board held a joint study session to discuss level of service for our parks, park acquisition and development strategy, and exploring an indoor recreation and aquatics facility. 

Study Session – East Link Bus Service: Staff from King County Metro and Sound Transit provided an overview about the East Link Connections project, which is intended to restructure bus service in anticipation of Sound Transit’s new Link light rail “2 Line” stations opening in 2023 and 2024.  The “2 Line” will connect downtown Seattle to Bellevue and Redmond. Opportunities for giving feedback to King County Metro and Sound Transit is provided later in this email.

Public Hearing on Kirkland Transportation Benefit District: The Council held a public hearing about the Council assuming the authority and functions of the Kirkland Transportation Benefit District.  After formally closing the hearing, the Council adopted Ordinance O-4783 to assume the authority and functions of the Kirkland Transportation Benefit District. This action did not change any fees or taxes. The City will undertake a significant public engagement process – anticipated to begin in March or April – prior to increasing any fees or taxes.

Proposed Expansion of School Zone Safety Camera Program: After receiving a presentation from City staff, the Council directed staff to proceed with an expansion of the school zone safety cameras program.  Additional cameras are planned to be in the vicinity of Lakeview Elementary and along 84th Avenue NE.  The additional cameras are anticipated to be in place for the start of the 2022 school year in the fall and will be preceded by a warning period to let drivers know of the new cameras.

Tree Code Amendment – Framework for Completion: The Council reviewed Part 4 of the draft amendments to Kirkland Zoning Code Chapter 95 (also known as the “Tree Code”). These amendments are the result of prior Council feedback and direction received during the November 16, January 4, and February 1 Council meetings.  Based on Council feedback during the meeting, staff will return to Council on March 1 for the Council’s final review and potential adoption of the amendments.

How to watch:

Kirkland City Council meetings are streamed live on the City of Kirkland Facebook page and the City YouTube channel, in addition to the livestream on the City website. Meetings are also televised on Comcast Cable Channel 21 and Ziply Cable Channel 31. Please note: City Council meetings will remain virtual until further notice.

To view the Council discussions on these agenda items, visit the Council webpage. The full agenda packet with information on each item is located on the City’s website.

The next regular City Council meeting is on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Community Conversations

The City highly values community involvement in our decision making. To help encourage you to get involved, we’re launching this new section of This Week in Kirkland.  The “Community Conversations” section will highlight some of the current opportunities for Kirkland community members to get involved in decisions that affect them. Do any of these interest you? Please join the conversation - we want to hear from you!

Community Conversations Feb 16Help guide how the City protects our lakes and streams
The City of Kirkland has posted its draft Stormwater Management Program Plan and invites community members to review and submit comments or suggestions by March 1, 2022. Read the draft plan online at Comments can be provided via e-mail to

How can we improve our draft Use of Force Dashboard?
The City of Kirkland welcomes input on a draft Police Use of Force Dashboard that makes available to the public data on use of force incidents from 2016 through 2020. To access the dashboard and provide input, visit the City’s website.

Have you read the draft Kirkland Native History Document?
The City has composed a hyper-local Native history of Kirkland in collaboration with local tribal leaders and Native experts and in consultation with a variety of historical sources. This document will serve as a guide to the City to make informed choices on practices, policies, official documents and public signage. Read the draft document and share your thoughts.

For more opportunities to provide feedback, please visit our Community Conversations webpage.

Have other feedback, questions, or requests for service?  You can always contact City staff through the Our Kirkland service portal, available on the web and mobile app. 

Make it So…Mayor Sweet Delivers State of the City Address

State of the City 2022Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet delivered her annual State of the City Address virtually on Thursday, Feb 10. The event was again hosted by the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce. With the theme of this year’s address as Engage! and incorporating themes of Star Trek, Mayor Sweet discussed the year in review and a look ahead:

"The voyages of the past two years have tried us and tempered us. We have emerged wiser, stronger, and more connected than ever. 

"The USS Kirkland is ready to launch again. The engines are warming, and the steam is rising. The countdown to ignition has begun! Together, let us boldly go where Kirkland has not gone before. Into the bright future that awaits, where everyone is welcome, everyone is safe, and everyone belongs.” 

If you missed it, you can watch a recording of the livestreamed event on the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce Facebook page

The Mayor’s address was followed by a question and answer session with the Mayor and the City Manager. The State of the City is a great way to learn more about major City projects, initiatives, efforts, and the future direction of the City.

Governor Inslee Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate in WA

Governor Inslee announced he’s lifting the state outdoor mask mandate on February 18, based on declining COVID hospitalization trends in our state and around the world. 

While hospitalization rates are trending downward, rates are still higher today than any other time during the pandemic, so caution is advised. The governor says we need to continue to adhere to Public Health guidelines to wear masks indoors, for now.

On Wednesday, Feb 16, King County announced that the local vaccination verification policy will end as of March 1, 2022, as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are declining.  For more information, visit the Public Health Insider blog.

Mask Mandate Update Feb 16

Statement by Mayor Penny Sweet about La Quinta

Mayor Penny Sweet read the following statement during the February 15, 2022 City Council meeting: 

As many of you in our community know, King County is considering the La Quinta Inn in Kirkland as a permanent supportive housing site. The County is conducting standard due diligence on that property before making a final decision and has not finalized the purchase. 

The County evaluated all potential hotel sites in Kirkland and identified La Quinta. While the Council strongly supports permanent supportive housing in Kirkland, we have been clear with King County that our support of La Quinta requires extensive community engagement and that legitimate concerns when identified are addressed. 

During our last Council meeting on February 1st, the City Manager summarized the statement he had issued earlier that day that outlined the City’s conditional support for the effort. The City Manager’s statement is available on the City’s website. 

Since that time, the City published a comprehensive informational website about King County’s potential purchase of La Quinta. Our staff have updated and added information to the website in response to many of the various questions and concerns we have been receiving from the community. This includes what the City knew and when we knew it. 

We also began direct engagement with stakeholders in the immediate surroundings of La Quinta, and we will expand that direct engagement if the County moves forward with the purchase. On February 9, Councilmembers Neal Black and Kelli Curtis and I attended a meeting with the school leadership, parents, and students of the Eastside Prep School. We were joined by the City Manager as well as King County representatives. We listened to the concerns raised, answered what questions we could, and intend to find more answers and solutions to the issues if the County moves forward. 

Please be assured that we are paying particular attention to the fears and concerns we are hearing about the safety and security of the students and families of the schools and daycares in proximity to the facility. We do hear you, and your feedback is actively informing our engagement strategies with the County, if the project moves forward. 

Our staff team has also been responding to many questions and concerns sent to the City by email, phone calls, and submissions to Our Kirkland. To date we’ve received hundreds from community members, and our staff are doing their best to respond. 

Finally, our staff are in close contact with King County about the project status, ways to address concerns from the community, and preparing for further community engagement. If the County moves forward with a purchase, the City is fully committed to ensuring that the site and its residents are good neighbors and that all legitimate community concerns, especially those involving safety, are addressed. If the County moves forward, the City will require extensive community engagement. The City will use community feedback to develop an agreement with King County related to the operations of the site, including assurances of community safety, identification of the site operator, and the development of the code of conduct for residents. 

The City’s highest priority is the health and safety of our community. We believe that permanent supportive housing can help improve the health and safety of our unhoused neighbors. We also believe that it can be accomplished while prioritizing the health and safety of our children, businesses, and everyone involved in the program. Together, we can be a model for other communities for how to get permanent supportive housing right.

There’s Still Time to Apply to Serve on a City Advisory Board

Apply for an Advisory Board PositionThe City is accepting applications for various volunteer boards and commissions through February 21, 2022.  The City’s volunteer boards and commissions are responsible for formulating new ideas, gathering information, hearing and receiving public comments, analyzing complex issues, and making recommendations for specific projects and policies.

Interested Kirkland residents, or those meeting the eligibility requirements, are invited to apply by submitting an application to the City Clerk by 4 p.m. on Monday, February 21, 2022. Eligibility requirements differ for each board or commission. Visit the Current Recruitment Positions page or call the City Clerk’s Office at 425-587-3190 to learn more about each board and find the community service application. Members of the advisory boards are appointed by the City Council. Virtual interviews will be held on the evenings of March 29 and/or March 31, 2022.

Vacancies are available on the following volunteer boards and commissions:

Youth-specific vacancies are available on the following volunteer board and commissions:

Most boards/commissions hold monthly evening meetings. For more information, visit the Current Recruitment Positions page on the City’s website.

Help Shape Bus Service on the Eastside

Bus Service on the EastsideKing County Metro and Sound Transit want to hear from you. They’re asking for input from Kirkland residents and transit riders about future bus and Link light rail service, scheduled to serve 10 new stations connecting the Eastside with Seattle in 2023.

They want your feedback on proposed changes for more than 50 Metro and Sound Transit bus routes, via a new Proposed Network Survey that’s open until March 7.

Service changes are proposed in: Bellevue, Bothell, Clyde Hill, Duvall, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Medina, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Shoreline, Seattle (Central District and Judkins Park), Woodinville and Yarrow Point.

For a complete list of bus routes affected, visit Metro and Sound Transit’s project virtual open house website available in English, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Tagalog or Vietnamese.

King County Parks’ Eastrail Will Soon Connect Kirkland and Woodinville

Eastrail expansionThe King County Parks’ Eastrail is expanding, and another piece of the Leafline trail network is becoming a reality. Construction's underway to complete a new 2+ mile segment of Eastrail that will connect Kirkland and Woodinville. This new section is slated to be completed by summer 2022.

The vision of the Eastrail is to be an uninterrupted 42-mile trail that will connect the Eastside like never before and provide the communities of Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville, Snohomish, and Redmond with new opportunities for non-motorized recreation and transportation.

Currently 13 miles of the Eastrail are open, 5 of which are owned by King County. The Eastrail has numerous trail sections including the Cross Kirkland Corridor and the Redmond Central Connector.

More information about the Eastrail can be found at the King County Parks website.

Tax Advising Support for Small Businesses

Do you have questions about business taxes, such as how to report funds received from COVID-19 pandemic relief programs? Are you a small business with 10 or fewer employees that is located in East King County? Consult a tax professional – for free! – with OneEastside SPARK.

OneEastside SPARK is offering no-cost, 1:1 advising appointments with a tax professional for East King County microenterprises. The service offers a 50-minute call with a tax professional for small businesses plus a 20-minute follow up call or email. This service is in English, with Vietnamese and Korean interpretation available. This service is being offered until April 30, 2022.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Employ no more than 10 people
  • Have a location in East King County

Next steps:

OneEastside SPARK 1-1 advising

Claim Rebates up to $3,000 through Kirkland’s Yard Smart Rain Rewards Program

YardSmart imageYard Smart Rain Rewards is an exciting opportunity for Kirkland homeowners to beautify their yards and help keep polluted rainwater runoff out of our creeks and lakes. Qualified homes can take advantage of free technical assistance and financial rebates up to $3,000 to install rain gardens, native landscaping, and rain capture cisterns on their property.

Find out if your home is eligible and schedule a free site visit today at

Traffic Alerts

Northeast 132nd Street – Totem Lake

Construction on Fire Station 27 has closed the parking lot that once connected Northeast 132nd and 128th streets. As such, the City is encouraging drivers to use the surrounding streets—rather than the adjacent parking lot—to reach their destinations.  The City is building a new fire station on Northeast 132nd Street to improve response times and protect firefighters’ health.


Market Street – Moss Bay

All aspects of the Market Street and Central Way intersection remain open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic while a Kirkland contractor awaits the end of a labor dispute that has halted the delivery of concrete to construction projects throughout the region.


124th Avenue Northeast - North Rose Hill

Franchised utility operators, such as Ziply and Comcast, are continuing to relocate their utilities this week along 124th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast 116th and 124th streets.  Crews are generally working from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but may work some nights from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

After Ziply relocates its fiber optic lines, other utility operators, such as Comcast, will be relocating their utilities through February. The City is coordinating the utility relocations as part its ambitious effort to improve the 124th Avenue Northeast corridor with five automotive lanes, wider sidewalks and elevated bicycle lanes.


Cross Kirkland Corridor – Totem Lake

Kirkland’s Totem Lake Connector contractor will maintain the detour around the Cross Kirkland Corridor between 120th Place Northeast and 128th Lane Northeast while construction on the pedestrian and bicycle bridge remains in suspension.

Maintaining the detour helps the City of Kirkland avoid the costs it would incur if it ordered Kraemer North America to restore the Cross Kirkland Corridor’s permanent route during the work-stoppage and then to re-establish the detour when work resumes.


Northeast 132nd Street at I-405 – Juanita/Kingsgate

Drivers may encounter single lane-closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. this week on and around Northeast 132nd Street at Interstate 405 while the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) contractor continues to prepare for the start of construction this spring.

WSDOT is building a new on-ramp for northbound Interstate 405 traffic and a new off-ramp for the interstate’s southbound traffic. The project will enhance sidewalks and bicycle lanes and will create roundabouts at the ramps’ Northeast 132nd Street intersections.

For questions about these closures, call WSDOT’s project hotline at 425-224-2433.


Sixth Street – Moss Bay

Drivers can expect intermittent delays on Sixth Street, east of Kirkland Urban, while private developers prepare Sixth Street’s intersection with Fourth Street for improvements that include traffic signal upgrades and a new right turn-lane. The concrete drivers’ strike is likely to delay completion of the work. 

Upcoming Events

Green Kirkland Event  

Join Green Kirkland Partnership for Forest Restoration Stewardship at O.O. Denny Park

Date: Saturday, February 19
O.O. Denny Park, 12302 Holmes Point Dr NE, Kirkland, WA 98034
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Pre-registration is requested.

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 will have healthy and thriving natural areas for years to come. All experience levels and ages are welcome following the safety and event guidelines. Tools and training are provided. Events are 100% outdoors and occur rain or shine!

Movie Night at Juanita Beach  

2022 Winter Drive-In Movie Series at Juanita Beach – “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

Date: Friday, March 5
Juanita Beach Park (NW parking lot) – 9703 NE Juanita Dr
Movie starts at 7:00 p.m. (Parking lot opens at 6:00 p.m.)
All ages

Experience a night under the starts with the beach as your backdrop at Juanita Beach Park with our 2022 Winter drive-in movies series. Watch on our new giant 12 foot LED movie screen! All ages are welcome and movies are rated PG-13 and under. Snack vendors will be on site. The event will be held rain or shine, with no refunds. Cars and trucks are acceptable, but please do not bring limos, RV's, buses, or alcohol. Please register for this event based on the size of your vehicle to help insure the best possible viewing for all. Advanced registration is required and fills up quickly!

Register online at: Parks Department Events Page

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