Neighborhood Plan Meeting on Sept 7 Postponed

Neighborhood Plan Meeting on Sept 7 Postponed

The calendar of meetings relating to the Finn Hill neighborhood plan has changed. In brief, the City is postponing the open house on the neighborhood plan that was scheduled for September 7 at St John Vianney Church. The Planning Commission will also delay a public hearing on the plan that it had scheduled for September 14.

These changes were made by the Planning Commission at its meeting on August 24. The Commission has asked City staff to return on September 14th with more information about proposed street connections on Finn Hill. The Commission also wants staff to work further with FHNA on resolving outstanding issues on the Holmes Point Overlay ordinance. Some of the HPO issues might be brought back to the Commission for discussion on the 14th, but it is expected that most of the HPO items will be reviewed at a Commission meeting on the 28th.  A public hearing on the Finn Hill neighborhood plan will likely occur in October.

You can watch the Planning Commission’s August 24 meeting online. Public comment on the Holmes Point Overlay and proposed Finn Hill street connections starts at 1:06 during the meeting. There was extensive comment from Finn Hill residents, which clearly made an impact on the Commissioners and staff.

The Commissioners asked City staff for more information about the proposed street connections and expressed concern that Finn Hill citizens weren’t given notice of the City’s connection proposals during previous Finn Hill neighborhood plan events.

Likewise, many Commissioners felt that a variety of fundamental HPO issues have not yet been resolved. These include questions concerning the adequacy of the HPO’s tree credit standards to achieve 60% tree canopy coverage in the Holmes Point area, the adequacy of enforcement and notice provisions relating to tree removals, standards for allowing existing homeowners to remove trees, downzoning RSA 6 areas of Holmes Point, and expanding the footprint of the HPO.

Note that the City Council still intends to hold a public hearing on September 5 on the Council’s interim rule requiring integrated development plans (IDPs) in the Holmes Point area. IDPs require builders to file complete development plans (including tree removal/tree retention plans) before they can start grading work; the availability of these plans will help neighbors raise issues with the City about proposed developments before trees are removed.

It’s expected that the Master Builders Association will object to the imposition of IDPs at the September 5 meeting. So, if you want the Council to keep its IDP rule in place, it will be important to let the Council know how you feel.You can write to Council members at citycouncil@kirklandwa.gov. And, of course, consider going to the Council meeting and testifying. As we saw at the Planning Commission on August 24, personal comments from engaged citizens carry a lot of weight.

More information about street connections, the HPO, and the neighborhood plan will be coming in this weekend via email from FHNA. Stay tuned.

Scott Morris
President, Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 682, Kirkland WA 98083

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