[box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"]The following letter was sent from For Kirkland, a group "dedicated to creating a healthy, sustainable city by promoting service to the community, active citizen engagement in city decision making, and a robust, honest dialogue regarding issues facing our community and region."[/box]
TOD is Win-Win-Win
Dear Kirkland City Council,
For Kirkland supports Transit Oriented Development. It is Win-Win-Win! We are a Washington State non-profit organization dedicated to creating a healthy, sustainable city by promoting service to the community, active citizen engagement in city decision making, and a robust, honest dialogue regarding issues facing our community and region.
While other cities are looking at how to change their existing business areas to accommodate transit, Kirkland has an opportunity to plan for a transit-oriented community in an integrated way with business development in the proposed Yarrow Bay Business District. The first step is with the Transit Oriented Development at the South Kirkland Park & Ride.
After lengthy deliberation and much involvement within the community, the City Council will be looking at a proposal in June to change zoning to enable this TOD at the South Kirkland Park and Ride. The zoning changes would allow for housing, but also put in strong standards about how the site will develop.
For Kirkland supports the TOD and believes that these changes are a win-win-win for Kirkland.
The South Kirkland Park and Ride is over capacity on a daily basis. Commuters who have not arrived by 9:30 AM overflow into the neighborhoods and park their cars there. This will only get worse as tolling on the SR520 Bridge begins later this summer and when more Kirkland residents explore riding transit.
King County—which owns this Park & Ride—received a $6.25 million federal grant to increase parking capacity at the Park & Ride and wants to build a transit-oriented development. This mixed use development would provide commercial space and housing, and will add 250 new spaces to the Park & Ride in addition to the needs of new residents and businesses.
The County will include affordable housing in addition to market rate housing in the TOD. In addition to expanding the affordable housing in Kirkland, convenient access to transit would allow the residents to be less dependent on cars. Recent service changes have increased bus frequency to about 10 minutes.
This TOD will be an anchor for the proposed Yarrow Bay Business District. Plans could enable redevelopment of the southern gateway of Kirkland pedestrian-friendly area with new businesses, residents, and neighborhood services.
After a lengthy review period and much participation within the community, recommendations by the Planning Commission and Houghton Community Council will address community concerns. The Design Review Board would approve the design of the TOD, provide for appropriate scale and modulation, and ensure safe, friendly pedestrian connections to the Park and Ride, and in the future to the BNSF corridor.
This kind of development—and more importantly—this kind of partnership and creativity is exactly what Kirkland needs.
Thank you for your consideration of our position.
Dan Krehbiel, President