I have worked with neighbors and other Kirkland citizens reviewing some of the city's responses to Potala Village Developer. Here's some things that appear very concerning.
TRUCK HOURS TO AVOID PEAK TRAFFIC - OR NO??
Kirkland Staff recently informed Mr Dargey's team that the hours for Construction Trucks was to be 9AM-3PM. Such has been the case with other developments, particularly along one of Kirkand's busiest arterials. This didn't seem to be well received as the Potala Team argued that they would be slowed down by maybe a month. To this, staff seemed to indicate they would "work" with the developer
SAY WHAT???? Why in heaven's name would there be special treatment?? Why not impose the standard hours for this arterial?? Remember that we are talking a full parade of trucks for major excavation?? For months or years!!!
Is staff completely forgetting the traffic problems of Lake St S / Lake Washington Boulevard during both the morning and the afternoon commute?
Is staff completely ignoring the fact traffic along Lake St/LWB is citied as a reason more people don't come downtown to shop and dine?
As for the "threat" of a longer construction timeline, see the most recent article in the Everett Herald. Mr Dargey's Pogoda Village Project and Everett Hampton Inn were anticipated originally for completion in the Spring of 2012, ( http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20130326/NEWS01/703269928 ) It is now anticipated for completion in the spring of 2015. With this being only the 3rd development from ground up for Path America LLC, (Potala Village Everett - Completed, Pogoda Village Bogda - Under construction for a while now), we may have similar experience in Kirkland
See the recent report of Everett Experience with Mr Dargey's Commercial Project "New Construction Harming Existing Everett Businesses" http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20140117/NEWS01/140119180
Will the next headline about impacted businesses be in the Kirkland Newspaper and Blogs?
Again, why in the world would staff budge at all on this? 9AM-3PM should be 100% enforced. Not a minute more or you further impact an already overly impacted roadway. There should be steep fines for starting with these trucks before 9am or after 3pm. What are our enforcement mechanisms? A phone call and request for compliance from the city? What can we learn from the Everett experience in the second article to make sure our streets are not so negatively impacted that Kirkland, as a whole, suffers during the years of construction? How will we make sure we have a mechanism that works to enforce compliance of Kirkland's rules?
LIMITED CONSTRUCTION HOURS - OR NO??
Mr. Dargey's team was also given the city's construction hours. They are really generous. 7AM-8PM (13 hours) Mon-Friday and 9AM-6PM (9 hours) on Saturday. Imagine if you are one of the neighbors next door. There is construction on this gigantic building from the moment you are up and getting ready for work until the time you are getting ready for bed. Not a moment without huge activity next door... Noise, Dust, and lots of commotion with construction crews nearly in your living room with you. Hardly a restful place, except maybe Sundays.
But, wait, when Mr Dargey's team was told that no work should take place on site outside of these hours, what was their answer??? "Some work may take place outside of these hours provided that it is not noise producing."
SO WHO MAKES THE RULES??? The City? or The Developer? It would be impossible to do work on site without ANY noise. So who decides when the noise is considered "NOISE PRODUCING?" Does it have to meet the very high threshold of the city's noise ordinance? How about if it is just below that threshold and really irritation to neighbors that have not had a break from the noise for 3 years??? What are the penalties for producing noise? Why is the door left open for construction crews to be on site 24-7? What about dust and just the overall inconvenience of having folks work on a building that is a mere 15 feet from your property line. Again, if what one reads in the 2nd Everett article is predictive of what the neighbors will experience, it is certainly more than just a noise issue!!
How come every rule of the city seems to have the developer stating that they may not be able to meet the letter of the law, but they believe their alternate "meets the intent."
I'll bet those who are eventually in the Potala Village Traffic jams will not believe rush hour Construction Trucks "meet the intent."
I'll bet the downtown businesses, if their business slows farther, will not believe rush hour Construction Trucks "meet the intent."
I'll bet the neighbors who are faced by construction crews almost non-stop will not believe this "meets the intent."
Let's learn from the Everett situation. We need firm rules and we need to have a way to enforce them. These need to be rules that the city imposes for the good of the citizens and business people who are already here. We don't need the next headline to be "New Construction Harming Kirkland Businesses."