Special bulletin for Holmes Point residents: Come to today’s Council meeting & support better rules to protect trees!

Special bulletin for Holmes Point residents: Come to today’s Council meeting & support better rules to protect trees!

Dear Holmes Point neighbors and friends, FHNA is writing to urge you to attend tonight’s City Council meeting on emergency legislation to help protect trees in the Holmes Point area. The Council will decide whether to keep or cancel a recent ordinance that should give you more say on tree preservation in Holmes Point housing developments. The Council meeting starts at 7:30pm – Tuesday, September 5 – and will be held in City Hall at 123 Fifth Avenue in downtown Kirkland.

As you may recall from earlier emails, the Kirkland City Council will hold a hearing tonight on an ordinance that requires integrated development plans (IDP) for all short plats and subdivisions in the Holmes Point area. The ordinance was adopted at FHNA’s request on an emergency basis in July and took effect immediately. The public hearing complies with a state law requiring public testimony on emergency legislation within 60 days after its adoption.

After the hearing, the City Council will decide either to keep the IDP requirement in place through the end of the year or to revoke the measure.

We understand that the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties opposes the imposition of IDPs and will ask the Council to eliminate the IDP requirement. It will be very helpful if we have a good turnout of Holmes Point residents who support the IDP rule.

What’s an IDP and how might it help save trees?

An IDP is a site plan that shows all of the proposed improvements in a development project before City permitting review begins. This means that the IDP should indicate not only the locations of streets and building lots but also how homes will be situated, driveways configured, and utilities installed. A complete tree plan, showing which trees will be removed and which will be retained on each lot, must also be submitted. Neighbors can view and comment on these plans before development activity begins. That doesn’t necessarily mean that more trees will be retained in the future. But IDPs do give neighbors more opportunity to raise concerns with the City before trees are cut down.

You can learn more by reading the staff memo to the City Council here. And you can see a copy of the Council’s meeting agenda here.

What can you do?

As noted above, attend tonight’s meeting and show support for IPDs in Holmes Point. And send a quick note to the Council telling Council members that you think the IDP ordinance should be retained. You can email Council members at citycouncil@kirklandwa.gov.

Scott Morris
President, Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance

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