City Mtg Jan 23 on Revision of the Holmes Point Overlay

Finn Hill neighbors and friends: The Kirkland Planning Commission is holding a public hearing this week on several zoning code. Two of them are particularly relevant to Finn Hill residents: one is a revision of the Holmes Point Overlay (HPO) ordinance (see below) and the other is solar panel screening proposal (to be reviewed in a separate email). The Planning Commission meeting will be held on Thursday, January 23, starting at 7pm in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.


Update on January 22, 2014: The Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance (FHNA) Board sent a letter commenting on the proposed amendments to the Holmes Point Overlay (HPO) ordinance to the City of Kirkland Planning Commission. A copy of the proposed amendment, with two additional revisions recommended by the FHNA Board was also sent.


Holmes Point Overlay ordinance: This zoning ordinance was originally drafted in the 1990s by King County in conjunction with the Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance (FHNA’s former name) and was incorporated into the Kirkland zoning code when Finn Hill was annexed a few years ago. The Holmes Point Overlay applies to properties west of Juanita Drive. In general terms, it requires that a certain portion of residential lots be set aside for natural vegetation and that significant trees be preserved. The ordinance was drafted, in part, to reduce erosion and slides on the western face of Finn Hill.


The Planning Department’s modification of the overlay ordinance consists of wording changes designed to provide greater clarity on how a natural vegetation area on a property should be defined and on what types of shrubs and trees that should be planted and maintained in natural vegetation areas. A working group of FHNA members, consisting of current and past board members and drafters of the original ordinance, provided feedback to the city staff during the editing process. That working group supports the revisions. See attached proposal. The FHNA board has not yet taken a position on the overlay ordinance amendments.


The Planning Commission agenda and the staff memorandum describing all of the proposed zoning amendments should be available on the Planning Commission’s web page on Monday.  If you want to comment on these ordinance amendments, you can send an email to or present testimony at the public hearing itself.

Scott Morris
Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance – President
(formerly Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance) | 206-972-9493
PO Box 682, Kirkland WA 98083

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