LETTER | BN Zoning Mess - A Second Path Forward

Dear Editor: As surprising as it might seem, the developer's attorney for the BN property on Lake St S and the neighbors concerned about application of the Comprehensive plan seem to agree on one thing.  Spot zoning is bad.

It is obviously fine to adopt uniform zoning that applies to all sites designated the same by the Comprehensive Plan.  This is what the developer's attorney is asking for and also this is what the neighbors are requesting.

That being said, here's a second path forward:

1) Neighborhood Business lot coverage at 60% - Both within the state of WA and in other states this low intensity use is generally 40-60% lot coverage - BN(1) lot coverage is lower than 60% so this would work at both BN sites - The other Residential Market has lot coverage maximum of 60% so they'd be the same - The surrounding properties in both BN and Res Mkt zones are 50-60% so they fit with neighborhood - This action ensures that uniform zoning applies to all BN and all Residential markets !!!!

2) Reasonable Density Cap -  Both within the state of WA and in other states this low intensity use generally carries a cap of 8-18 un -  This could be applied to both BN Lake St S and BN(1) South Rose Hill -  The other Residential Market has a density cap of 12 dwellings per acre -  The surrounding residences have density caps of 12 dwellings per acre -  The Lake St S BN is also part of a large contiguous area that was down-zoned so it must continue  to honor that reduced zoning - to remove this restriction on just one developer's property would be spot-zoning -  This action ensures that uniform zoning applies to all BN and all Res Mkts as well as all down-zoned properties along the Boulevard

3) Common Open Space - Both within the state of WA and in other states multifamily housing must provide 200-300 sq ft / unit - This is required in Kirkland for multifamily - There is no reason this cannot be applied to both the S Rose Hill and Lake St S BN properties - The other Residential Market property is required to provide 200 sq ft of open space per unit - The properties surrounding both BN zones an both Res Mkt zones also all require 200 sq ft / unit - It is unthinkable to create hundreds of tiny apartments with no where to go but hang out on city streets - This action ensures that uniform zoning applies to all BN and all Res Mkts - This action makes development fit better within existing neighborhoods.

So there are three steps moving towards the requirement that the city design and adopt zoning that "will fully implement the Comprehensive Plan for Residential Markets."  The planning department has been instructed to make this change through laws (Ordinances) passed on several occasions by several different City Councils.  The fact that the work was never completed has landed us in this huge mess.  Hopefully we can get the city to take clearly consistent steps to finally get their work done.

Karen Levenson