Letter | Questions regarding the South Kirkland Park & Ride plans

List of questions for the Lakeview Neighborhood regarding the South Kirkland Park & Ride:

  • Why 200 housing units and not some other figure?
  • Is the location and design subject to review by the Design Review Committee and Houghton Community Council?
  • The percentage of affordable housing units is normally 10%.  Why is 50% proposed?
  • If affordable housing is built, the existing social economics of the community at that location would be more amenable to higher income residents.  Why are low income units being considered at that location?  The subsidy would be too high and unnecessary.
  • Other areas like Totem Lake already have mixed uses amenable to mass transit.  Since Totem Lake commercial redevelopment has not occurred, it would be a better location to encourage the type of mixed use development that is more appropriate for mass transit while at the same time producing greater revenues for the city.    The South Kirkland area is more expensive than other areas in the city.  Affordable housing should go where the land is more affordable.  Why not develop more affordable housing in those areas?
  • What mixed uses are proposed for the South Kirkland area?     Will more parking be required in addition to the proposed housing units and future mass transit development?
  • There are several managers of affordable housing units including federal, state, county, and private party managers.  What type of management is being considered, how will they be managed, and by who?
  • From what I’ve seen about the criteria used to determine the financial qualifications of the renters, it only addresses income and does not adequately address expenditures.  What will be done to insure rents will be paid on time and to prevent possible future payments failures?
  • What is the time limit, if any, that renters are expected to become self sufficient without being subsidized?
  • What is the expected turnover rate for rental units?
  • Two parking spaces per unit have proven to be inadequate and cause excessive street parking in lanes that should be used to move traffic and ease congestion.  It also results in traffic avoiding parked cars just to get by which does not promote automobile or pedestrian safety.  Are current and future parking requirements justified?
  • Traffic will increase.  Has the concurrency provision of the Growth Management Act been met? More traffic without additional road capacity doesn’t hack it.  METRO should be required to mitigate their impacts by paying Kirkland for the required improvements.
  • With increased arterial traffic using residential streets to get around congestion, what needs to be done to prevent the additional traffic Kirkland’s South Park & Ride will generate from doing the same thing?
  • Many times planning decisions do not take into consideration the fiscal impacts of their decisions on the budget.  Given the city’s adopted service levels, will the land use decisions in Kirkland’s South Park & Ride require another fire station, more police patrols, more parks, and additional human services?  Will the mixed uses provide enough revenue to pay for new services?
  • The need for additional bus service in lieu of rail or additional road capacity has not served Kirkland very well.  It has not reduced congestion.  However, if the current transportation proposals are pursued, it will allow those people outside the city to commute to work in Kirkland.  The idea that Kirkland or any city needs to have enough affordable housing within their borders becomes more unrealistic.  The more successful the transportation system is, the less the need for people in the service industries to live in Kirkland.  In the process of providing countywide services, it should be determined if the proposed land use for the Kirkland South Park & Ride will benefit Kirkland?  Just because Metro has money available to invest in Kirkland’s South Park & Ride, it serves their purposes more than Kirkland’s.   It only exasperates our problem.   We get back $1 million for every $3 million we pay other agencies.  That’s money we could be using to benefit Kirkland.
  • Kirkland now has 16 different neighborhoods.  Will the city honor the desires of the Lakeview neighborhood?
  • It brings up the final and most important question:  Will METRO’s proposed use of Kirkland’s South Park & Ride change the ambiance of the Lakeview Neighborhood; and if so, for better or worse? If the answer is for the worse, there is no need for future discussion.  If the Lakeview Advisory Group feels the need to allow development provided the impacts can be mitigated without adding to our cost, then we need to do all that is possible to protect what we already have.  It’s why we moved here in the first place.

Sincerely,

Bob Style