SEC charges Potala Village Developer with Defrauding Investors

The Seattle Times has published this article of particular interest to Kirkland:

SEC charges local developer defrauded immigrant investors

Federal regulators allege Seattle area developer Lobsang Dargey has “fraudulently raised at least $125 million” by selling securities to more than 250 mostly foreign investors seeking U.S. residency through a controversial visa program...

Developer Lobsang Dargey has targeted Chinese investors seeking a visa through the federal EB-5 program to fund two real-estate projects — a high-rise Seattle tower and a mixed-use development in Everett.

Read the full Seattle Times article by Sanjay Bhatt

LETTER | Potala should get no special treatment

To whom it may concern:  


My wife and I have been citizens of Kirkland for the past 16 years, living at 421 2nd St. W and at 631 Market St, #301.  


My main comment on the Potala Proposal is that the developer does not deserve any special treatment and should meet all zoning and design regulations without exception.  It appears that the developer started with a ridiculous and outlandish proposal, so that the current proposal would seem reasonable, which it is NOT.  


Kirkland does not need additional development at the present time.  There are plenty of dump trucks adding to our traffic and plenty of construction projects blocking sidewalks and roadways.   I recognize that the developer has a right to speedy decisions once he has submitted a proposal that meets all the zoning and development rules.  He has not done so and Kirkland does not currently need his project.  


To be specific about the issues: 


1) The building is too tall.

2) The building does not meet lot coverage regs.

3) The building does not meet setback requirements

4) The building is out of character for the neighborhood.  

5) The proposed “Community Gathering Area” is a sunless hole.

6) Due to reduced setbacks, the building puts nearby building in shadow for much of the day.

7) Windows looking directly into adjacent building windows.

8) Token retail space with inadequate parking.  


I specifically request consideration of this email by the DRB, not as part of a count.   I also specifically note that I wish to retain my right to appeal any decision of the DRB relative to the Potala Proposal.



Bob McConnell

Juanita Beach Park swim area closed until further notice due to elevated fecal coliform levels




Water quality monitoring continues


For public health protection, the city of Kirkland has closed the swimming beach at Juanita Beach Park after being notified by King County Department of Water and Land Resources Division of elevated fecal coliform levels. As part of King County’s swimming beach monitoring program, samples were taken from Kirkland’s Juanita Beach this week and tested by the King County Environmental Lab and evaluated by Public Health- Seattle and King County. The closure is expected through the weekend of August 21 – 23 and possibly longer. The swimming area is currently posted as “No swimming” and “No wading.” For the current status of the swimming area at Juanita Beach, please call 425-587-3860.

Dangerous prank at Juanita Beach Park leads to vehicular assault arrest by Kirkland Police


At approximately 1:30 a.m. on August 19, 2015, Kirkland Police Officers were patrolling Juanita Beach Park, located in the 9700 Block of NE Juanita Drive, when they observed a vehicle enter the Park with one female laying on the roof and another female standing halfway out of the sunroof.  The Officers pursued the vehicle on foot attempting to stop it, concerned for the safety of the females.  As the vehicle made a sudden turn the female laying on the roof was ejected and sustained serious injuries, and was transported to Harborview Medical Center.  The male driver of the vehicle was arrested for investigation of Vehicular Assault and Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Salary Commission holds September 29 public meeting to discuss possible adjustments to Kirkland City Council salaries

The City of Kirkland Salary Commission is holding a meeting on September 29, 2015, 5 p.m., at Kirkland City Hall Council Chamber to receive public input and discuss possible adjustments to the salaries of the Mayor and Council Members.  

The current salary for the Mayor is $1,428 per month and the current salary for Council Members is $1,122 per month. In addition, the Mayor and Council Members receive life insurance and have the option of: 1) having the City pay for their participation, as individuals, in the City’s medical, dental and vision benefits programs; or 2) in lieu of receiving medical, dental or vision benefits, be paid an allowance of $300 per month. The Mayor and Council Members also receive a monthly car allowance of $225.00. Public comment may be given at the meeting or may be submitted in writing to: Salary Commission c/o City Attorney’s Office at 123 Fifth Avenue, Kirkland, WA 98033 or prior to 5:00 on September 29, 2015. If the Salary Commission elects to change the salaries of the Mayor and City Council Members, it files the salary adjustment with the City Clerk and the adjustment automatically becomes effective. 

The Salary Commission is made up of three residents who are appointed for staggered terms by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council. For more information on the Salary Commission go to and search Salary Commission.

Google Opens New Recreational Area Along Cross Kirkland Corridor


On Aug. 31, Google and Kirkland residents will celebrate a new, highly-anticipated recreational space along the Cross Kirkland Corridor next to Google’s Kirkland campus. The $3 million project transformed a section of the abandoned rail corridor into a public open space with new recreational opportunities for Kirkland’s residents, as well as Google employees.  The new area features a sand volleyball court, basketball court, Crossfit/TRX fitness section and zip line. Media is invited to tour the space during the public celebration event, open for everyone in the community to enjoy, and interview Google spokespeople and local leaders.

Mayor Amy Walen will be joined by Darcy Nothnagle, Head of External Affairs for NW Region, Google and members of the public, as the public is invited to take part in the celebration on Monday, August 31 from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm. The Speaking program begins at 5:15 pm.




LETTER | Potala Village – Complaints Must be In Writing or by Testimony at Aug 24th Meeting

Dear Editor:

The Posted Notice for Potala Village Design Response Conference states that anyone who does not write to the City or speak at the August 24th hearing will not be allowed to appeal the project!!!  Keeping in mind that there have been HUNDREDS of citizens voicing opposition, this is s a recipe for many long days and nights of reading by the Design Review Board Members and a VERY VERY VERY LONG Public Meeting.  It is not good enough to just show up you must speak to preserve appeal rights – Previously written letters have been held back from the Design Review Board and not shared. Those signing petitions are also said to not qualify as candidates who can appeal (Keep in mind that this is the City’s comment.  It is unclear if this barrier to citizen rights would be upheld by courts). 

Recently, the Design Review Board has been limiting comments to 3 minutes which seems to be a new departure from past meeting tapes we’ve reviewed.  As one can imagine, 3 minutes is insufficient time to scrape the surface of what the Citizens find objectionable.  There are parts of the proposal believed to be incompatible with the changed zoning.  There are Comprehensive Plan conflicts and there seem to be no attempts to address items identified for mitigation by the Final Environmental Impact Statement. 

Having the DRB restrict comments seems at odds with the websites claim that DRB “encourages public comment” and wants to hear the concerns of the public.  Also, it is concerning that the developer can share his “sales pitch” for a very long time and then take a second “at bat” once public comment is closed.  Prior to the Conceptual Design Conference, citizens had asked about the measurements of the building footprint.  These were left off of the DRB packet.  The developer held that information back until the public had commented and public comment was closed. In their second opportunity to “pitch” the project they dropped the bombshell.  The footprint would be much bigger than the project that went through DRB review.  At this point the audience was muzzled with audience comments closed!

Many Citizens saw the unit count decrease from 143 to 59 and may wonder why concern remains.

Here’s what seems to have happened – Compared to the project that was submitted to the EIS for review, the current proposal appears to be bigger and more concerning than original concept:

1) Taller, 2) Greater Lot Coverage,3) Closer to neighboring properties and lot lines,  4) Less “Neighborhood Compatibility” in Design Character, 5) Shadow Issues impacting usability of the “Community Gathering Area” Courtyard and Sidewalks6) Shadow negatively impacting the Sun PV Residences and Neighbor Properties,  7) Windows staring into neighbor bedroom windows, 7) Insufficient “token” Neighborhood Businesses, and more.

Karen Levenson

Kirkland Police investigating motor vehicle-bicycle collision; Bicyclist critically injured


At approximately 6:25 a.m. on August 17, 2015, Kirkland Police responded to a report of an accident involving a vehicle and bicycle at 20th Avenue and Market Street.    An adult female was critically injured and transported to Harborview Hospital. The driver of the truck was not injured.  The collision occurred between the two as the cyclist was headed west on 20thAvenue toward Market Street and the pickup truck was southbound on Market Street attempting a left turn onto 20th Avenue. Both the cyclist and the driver of the pickup truck are residents of Kirkland. The Kirkland Police Traffic Unit arrived on scene to conduct the investigation into the collision. The investigation is ongoing at this time.