LETTER | No Seaplane Noise in Kirkland

Editor:

I am strongly opposed to allowing seaplanes to operate at Carillon Point. Seaplanes are VERY LOUD. The noise will be deafening for anyone who lives near the waterfront or uses the waterfront. One seaplane pilot website says: “Seaplanes must be at or near full speed during takeoff. This means that the engine is operating at peak efficiency and produces volumes not dissimilar to a major urban airport takeoff.”

 

Visit Kenmore or Lake Union when the planes are flying. Is that what we want on the Kirkland waterfront? Is that the experience we want when we’re walking with friends, taking our kids to the beach, kayaking or paddleboarding, sitting at a summer concert or on a restaurant patio, or showing off our beautiful city to out-of-town guests?

If seaplanes are approved, there will be no going back. This is not something we should enter into lightly.

Numerous studies indicate the harmful effects of noise in our daily lives. Former U.S. Surgeon General William H. Stewart said in 1978, “Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.

 

One study in the Southern Medical Journal stated: “The potential health effects of noise pollution are numerous, pervasive, persistent, and medically and socially significant. The aim of enlightened governmental controls should be to protect citizens from the adverse effects of [noise] pollution.”

 

Once the float-planes are in, they are almost impossible to get out.

Kirkland is making a very important decision. If seaplanes are approved, there will be no going back. This is not something we should enter into lightly. It deserves more research and a thorough public process. Victoria's James Bay Neighborhood Association has been fighting seaplane noise for several years and says, “Once the float-planes are in, they are almost impossible to get out.”

 

If this permit is approved, it will set a precedent for allowing floatplanes elsewhere in Kirkland. Perhaps at Marina Park, or Anthony’s, or Juanita Beach. Perhaps at private docks. Carillon Point’s requested one flight per hour could become two or three or four times per hour in the future.

 

I urge everyone to really imagine the impact of seaplane noise on Kirkland, and to send your concerns to the Planning Department before June 20. Reference SHR16-00803 and send the email to CGeitz@kirklandwa.gov.

Karen Story