City Council to Vote on Chaffey Private Amendment Request

City Council to Vote on Chaffey Private Amendment Request

Dear Finn Hill residents:

I am writing once again about the Chaffey Private Amendment Request (File CAM 12-01477). This request seeks to rezone vacant, wooded property on Simonds Road, between 92nd and 100th Avenues, from RSA 4 (4 homes per acres) to RMA 3.6 or 5.0 (9 to 12 multifamily units per acre).  The City Council will consider this request at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 16.

FHNA has urged the City not to act on this significant matter until it has prepared a neighborhood plan for Finn Hill. (See attached letter.) If you agree, we urge you to send a note by Monday, April 15 to the City Council at citycouncil@kirklandwa.gov. We also encourage you to attend the meeting (details below) and testify in favor of postponing action on the request until a neighborhood plan has been developed.

Background

In brief, the landowner and the Chaffey Building Group want to replace existing single family home zoning with higher density multi-family zoning. The Chaffey PAR is summarized in the Planning Department’s memo to the City Council: http://www.kirklandwa.gov/Assets/City+Council/Council+Packets/041613/11a_NewBusiness.pdf.

At its meeting in mid-March, the Planning Commission voted 7-0 to recommend that the Council defer action on the Chaffey PAR until a Finn Hill neighborhood plan is in place. The vote reflected both the advice of the City’s Planning Department and the position of FHNA.

FHNA wrote to the Commission in advance of its meeting and spoke at the meeting itself. We made the following points:

  • The City should not rezone properties on Finn Hill until the community has had the opportunity to define its goals for the future development of the neighborhood – precisely what neighborhood plans are designed to do.
  • As a newly annexed area of Kirkland, Finn Hill doesn’t yet have such a plan but it is essential that we work with the City promptly to complete one.
  • The Chaffey Private Amendment Request raises complex zoning issues, involving a number of adjacent properties, and  the Planning Department staff has noted that the amendment would consume City resources that should be reserved for the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update and for neighborhood plans.

The Commissioners noted that Finn Hill residents strongly supported this position. The City received 49 emails about the Chaffey PAR, and almost all of them urged the City not to move ahead with the zoning request.

City Council Meeting

There is no guarantee that the Council will follow the Planning Commission’s recommendation. The Council has rejected Commissioners’ recommendations to defer action on PARs before. (The Holmes Point Business District PAR is a case in point.)

So, if you want the City to move ahead on a Finn Hill neighborhood plan before it commits Planning Department resources to a request for higher density zoning, it is very important that you let the City Council know how you feel!

  • Please email the Council immediately: citycouncil@kirklandwa.gov. Your note needn’t be a long one. It will be sufficient to say that you believe the interests of the Finn Hill neighborhood will be best served if the Chaffey Private Amendment Request is postponed until a Finn Hill neighborhood plan has been prepared.
  • Speak at the City Council meeting.  A brief statement, delivered personally, at the meeting has considerable impact. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 16 at 7pm on Tuesday, in Council Chambers at City Hall, 123 Fifth Avenue. (Agenda: http://www.kirklandwa.gov/depart/council/Agendas/agenda041613.htm.)

Please contact me if you have questions about this issue or if you are interested in speaking at the City Council meeting.

We will let you know next week how the Council voted on this issue.

Scott Morris

Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance – President

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