LETTER: Citizen’s Attorneys Say Potala Village Violates City Codes

Dear Editor:

On a day when Lobsang Dargey invited neighbors to join him in a prayer ceremony with Tibetan Monks, neighbor attorney, Brian Lawler, communicated his client’s request that the City deny the building permit for Potala Village. 

An invitation was sent to “Neighbors of the Property” on behalf of Lobsang Dargey.  The invitation was to a blessing ceremony with traditional prayers, the burning of incense and other Tibetan Buddhist rites, performed by a group of Buddhist monks.

Neighbors would love to see the property developed but certainly do not consider the current proposal “a blessing.” In fact, Brian Lawler ends his letter by stating “this grossly out of scale project advances no important City Planning policies or goals.” 

The neighbor complaint is that the Potala Village Permit Application, bearing the PathAmerica logo, continues to introduce numerous violations of Ordinances, Comprehensive Plan, Zoning and Municipal Codes as well as Mandatory Public Works policies.  These are the laws of Kirkland which the developer seems to ignore.

These violations include ground floor uses that do not fulfill the letter or the intent of the zoning code, improper driveway access onto roadways reserved for uses assigned to Principal Arterials, and improper spacing with adjacent driveway and those of the residential properties across the street. 

Citizens believe that having garbage in the front of the building is contrary to codes and/or shoreline regulations. Neighbors all keep their garbage out of public view. Potala should too.

Two weeks ago, the neighbor group S.T.O.P. (aka Support The Ordinances & Plan), once again enlisted the help of their Attorney David Mann.  STOP identified that the project needs to require a Supplemental Environmental Impact Study.  They demonstrated that the lot coverage presented to the consultants for review was 36,385 sq ft and the FEIS identified “negative impacts due to incompatible size and scale.”  But rather than scaling the building smaller, it has grown to 41,489 sq ft of lot coverage.  This runs contrary to the EIS mitigations and has never undergone EIS review.  Also, Mr. Mann points out that lot coverage increase of more than 10% requires a new application for Shorelines Substantial Development Permit.

It seems that neighbors will be spending their time insisting that the laws of their city are upheld rather than attending prayer rituals.

Karen Levenson