City Council advances Transit Oriented Development despite objections from neighborhoods

South Kirkland Park and Ride regulations move forward independently from the Central Houghton and Lakeview Neighborhood Plan process

At the September 21 Kirkland City Council meeting, the council approved the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) at the South Kirkland Park and Ride despite opposition from the neighborhood advisory groups. The plan is to include approximately 200 multi-family units in two 5 story buildings and a net increase of 250 park and ride spaces. The project would have a significant number of "affordable" units. The neighborhood concerns were considered and rejected by the council.

The council was concerned that a $6.25 million federal grant might be in jeopardy if action were not taken at this time. Also mentioned was notion that the TOD would put spread the city's targeted allocation of affordable housing units throughout the various neighborhoods.

Kirkland has advanced the TOD plan at the South Kirkland Park and Ride location without the cooperation of Bellevue. The site straddles the Bellevue/Kirkland border.

The council passed a voice vote on the TOD by a margin of 5 to 2. Council members Bob Sternoff and Dave Asher were the two "No" votes on this issue. The affordable housing component of this plan was cited by proponents as a primary benefit. The opposing viewpoint questioned the wisdom of ignoring the neighborhood advisory groups and the significance of the federal grant when compared to the entire cost of the proposed project.

South Kirkland Park and Ride TOD concept includes:

  • About 200 multifamily units, built in two structures, each about five stories above grade
  • Significant number of units to be affordable (Possibly up to 100 affordable units, possibly all for seniors)
  • Underground parking – some portion to be shared by TOD and park and ride users. Net increase of 250 additional park and ride stalls.
  • Existing or improved transit center
  • Pedestrian connection through site to BNSF corridor
  • Retained and enhanced vegetative buffers
  • Use of sustainable green building strategies
  • Streetscape development – retail spaces
  • Potential for coordinated future development with Bellevue