LETTER | Kirkland Documents Calculate 18 Units/Acre where "Experts" see 177/Acre

Dear Editor:

 

Kirkland City Documents show development has occurred at 18 units per acre in Moss Bay outside of Central Business District and any development since the date of the Community Profile have been restricted to 12 units per acre.  If you look at the map they are consistently in that range < 24/acre. I cannot find any that are built to any higher density. http://www.kirklandwa.gov/Assets/CMO/CMO+PDFs/Kirkland+Community+Profile.pdf

 

BUT NOW... DON’T BELIEVE PAST DOCUMENTS… DON’T BELIEVE YOUR EYES…

EIS “EXPERTS” SEE 177/Acre !!!  So it must be true, right?

Environmental Impact Consultants identify a property built over the water (which is no longer  allowed) and since it has almost no land, it is at 177 units per acre.  With this they state that the proposal for the Potala property at 118 units per acre is within the range of what is built locally!!!

 

Now there's a good one!!!  I believe we have a place for comedy in town.  I didn't think it was in the city planning department, however.  This really makes a mockery of the process and likely harms the faith in other EIS in the future as well as the trust in our city employees since they supplied the documents that the consultants were to review.

 

Most all of the issues raised by neighbors during comment period are not addressed in the draft EIS.  Specifically, the density impact is brushed aside stating that it is a "proxy" for other things (size, scale).  Neighbors have clearly laid out that density is an independent variable and even the 2004 EIS for Kirkland states that intensity of residential uses is to be measured in dwellings per acre!!!  Did the consultants not read the prior EIS???  Did the planning department not even supply this most basic of documents?  Why not?

Oh, and the repeated promise was that the EIS would EXTENSIVELY review and discuss how the Potala project was aligned with the Residential Market - Commercial.  Well they typed the definition into the report and then failed to provide any indication of how the proposal could be considered a "VERY SMALL BUILDING."  A picture of the silhouette vs. the silhouette of surrounding properties makes this look like the hanger for a jumbo jet. While next door there are small condos and single family homes.  How is this a small building?  Is Boeing going to be relocating to the site?

 

I'd laugh hysterically if I weren't so saddened by the misrepresentations and how poorly it reflects on the way this department of our city operates.  I'd really like to get to the point where I can respect the work that comes out of our planning process.  Unfortunately with each new day the mis-representations seem more deliberate and incredibly blatant (such as this).  Tell me again how this proposal is a “very small building” and the “lowest intensity” as required by our Comprehensive Plan.  Are we just begging for legal trouble?

 

Karen Levenson