Kirkland City Council approves amendments to environmental planned action ordinance, zoning codes and design guidelines for Parkplace redevelopment

 

Planning Commission recommendations adopted by Council

 

Following a public hearing on February 17, 2015, the Kirkland City Council unanimously adopted three ordinances that approve amendments to the environmental planned action ordinance, zoning code, and master plan and design guidelines related to the revitalization of Kirkland Parkplace.  The adoption of Ordinance 4473 amends an environmental document called a planned action ordinance that was approved in 2008 when plans to redevelop the retail center into a mixed use development were first submitted to the City by a previous developer.  The adoption of Ordinance 4474 approves changes to the zoning requirements requested by the current developer, Talon Private Capital.  These changes add residential square footage, an increased incentive for a movie theater, a bank drive through, and a 10% affordable housing requirement.  The adoption of Ordinance 4475 approves amendments to the Master Plan and Design Guidelines for Parkplace originally approved in 2008.  Public testimony in support of the proposed ordinances was given during the public hearing; no testimony in opposition was given.  By approving the ordinances, the City Council accepted the recommendations of the City’s Planning Commission.  To view the comprehensive staff memo and video from the meeting, go to www.kirklandwa.gov, search “On Demand” and select the February 17 Council meeting.

 

Several City Council members shared that they were impressed with the outreach that Talon Private Capital, the developer, conducted with neighborhood and community groups. 

 

“The vision for this redevelopment is well thought out and is in complete alignment with the City’s goals for housing, neighborhoods, open spaces, and economic development,” notes Mayor Amy Walen.  “I want to thank the property owner, developer, community, staff and Planning Commission for their commitment to this project.”

 

In October 2014, the Kirkland Planning Commission began its review of requests made by Talon Private Capital to redevelop Parkplaceand considered zoning code changes, amendments to the original Master Plan and Design Guidelines for Parkplace. Talon’s project proposes a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented development.  Talon’s proposal is expected to have 1,175,000 square feet, which is significantly less than the original 1,750,000 square feet plans by Touchstone, the previous developer.  It includes 650,000 square feet of office, 225,000 square feet of retail/commercial and 300,000 square feet of residential (approximately 300 units.)  The new proposal does not seek additional height. The current zoning code allows for up to eight stories.  

 

The Parkplace property is now owned by KPP Development LLP.

 

“The Planning Commission’s recommendations and the City Council’s actions do not constitute approval of a specific design of the project,” explains Angela Ruggeri, Senior Planner.  “The next step for the developer is to submit plans to be reviewed by the City’s Design Review Board.” 

 

The Design Review Board (DRB) typically meets the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m., Kirkland City Hall. Following approval by the DRB, Talon would have five years to submit construction permits or the DRB decision becomes void. To receive DRB meeting information via email, go to www.kirklandwa.gov and search “Design Review Board.” 

 

The Master Plan and Design Guidelines for Parkplace were originally codified in Kirkland Municipal Code (KMC) 3.30.040(4) and provide a framework for the design and development of the project.  Because Talon’s proposal differs from the original proposal, this document needed to be updated to reflect basic project parameters regarding site planning, building design, public access and amenities, and the design of streets.

 

The intent of the Planned Action is to conduct early environmental review to comply with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements and to ensure that impacts and mitigation measures for the project are identified upfront.   An environmental impact statement (EIS) and supplemental EIS were completed for the original proposal and an addendum to the EIS and Supplemental EIS has been completed based on the newest proposal.