Neighborhood Meeting – September 7 at 7pm – St. John Vianney Church

An important neighborhood meeting is coming up this Wednesday, September 7. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the formation of a Finn Hill neighborhood association. It is open to all Finn Hill residents. We hope you will make every effort to attend.

Time and Venue:

Wednesday, September 7, 7:00 p.m.
St. John Vianney Church, 12600 84th Avenue NE

Agenda:

  • Introductions / Purpose of the Meeting
  • General Announcements (Denny Fest, Council Candidate Forum, etc.)
  • Overview of Neighborhood Services & Association Roles 
  • Update on Park Funding Exploratory Committee 
  • Review of Draft Bylaws (click to view draft FHNA bylaws)

Background:

As you may know, each neighborhood in the City of Kirkland has a neighborhood organization. These organizations provide a convenient venue for citizens to meet city officials regularly and informally; and they can also be effective advocates for neighbors’ concerns at City Hall.

Since the annexation of the Finn Hill area into Kirkland in June, Finn Hill residents – some of whom are DCNA members – have been meeting to discuss what the Finn Hill neighborhood association should look like. One proposal is that DCNA should become the recognized association for the Finn Hill area (see map), changing its name to the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance and expanding its mission to embrace not only environmental stewardship issues but also other matters of interest to community at large (for example, zoning, transportation and public safety).

After extensive discussion, DCNA’s board supports expanding DCNA’s responsibilities to become a neighborhood association for all of Finn Hill. Finn Hill’s natural beauty, with its many parks and forested areas, is one of the main reasons people live here. In fact, by annexing this large swath of forested territory, Kirkland was able to achieve its goal of having a more than 40 percent tree canopy within its boundaries. By annexing Finn Hill, too, Kirkland annexed one of the most established neighborhood groups around. We believe we can enhance our parks and preserve the natural assets of our neighborhood most effectively if we are recognized by the city as a neighborhood association and if we do so as a representative for the entirety of Finn Hill. We also feel that by enhancing our environment, we can foster community and social cohesion. DCNA, with its Denny Fest and other community events, engages in activities that aren’t always strictly speaking just about “greening” but also about bringing neighbors together. 

We have considered concerns that DCNA’s environmental mission will be diluted if it takes on other issues. While we do not minimize that concern, we know that DCNA’s effectiveness has always been the result of our neighbors’ personal commitments to maintain trails, plant trees, and work with government officials to improve our parks and natural resources. So long as we continue to commit ourselves to those efforts, our neighborhood’s unique environmental character will be protected.

At the meeting, Kari Page, Kirkland’s neighborhood coordinator, will describe how the city’s other neighborhood associations operate and what issues they address. Also, the Finn Hill neighbors who have been active in exploring the formation of a neighborhood group will summarize proposed bylaws, which incorporate elements of DCNA’s current bylaws and features of other Kirkland neighborhood association bylaws (see attachment).

The September 7 meeting is your opportunity to learn more, to ask questions, make your own judgments, and provide feedback.

The meeting will determine where we go from here. If there is general support for expanding DCNA’s role and changing its name, we’ll call a general meeting of DCNA members to approve new bylaws in October or November. But your input is very important in this process, so please come on the 7th and let us know what you think. And if you have questions or comments prior to the meeting, please send us a comment on this website.

 

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