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Pool on Pause, Crime Alert, Board of Directors Re-Elected

The pool is ‘on pause,’ for now, Kirkland’s Director of Parks told a group of 50 or so residents convened for Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance’s general meeting November 19th. The city is looking at an array of new potential site options in response to residents’ objections to two sites in Juanita’s neighborhood. Jenny Schroeder, Director of Parks, presented a thorough review of the status and history of the proposed Aquatic, Recreation and Community Center (ARC) for Kirkland. All points in the presentation can be found on the city’s ARC site www.kirklandwa.gov/kirklandarc.org. There was a good round of questions from the audience on traffic, site location, usage of current parks, and exploring commercial building sites, particularly in Totem Lake. Karen Lightfelt of the Juanita Neighborhood Association presented their opposition to siting the Aquatic Center on behalf of the Juanita Beach parkland. The November neighborhood meeting also sailed smoothly through a number of other issues, including the Board election.  All six members up for re-election were re-elected to the board: Kurt Brunnenkant, Jeanette Leach, Ted McCagg, Scott Morris, Mathew Pruitt, Kathy Schuler. The Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance Board presented 2014 highlights from the Annual Report.  The 2014 annual report is available here. Policy Committee highlights included an overview of the board’s involvement with the new fire station; engagement with the city and county on acquiring undeveloped land adjacent to Juanita Heights Park, and an overview of the neighborhood safety program 2015 funding opportunities. Stewardship Committee highlights included an overview of 2014 work and activities in our Finn Hill parks. Communication and Community Development Committee highlights included a number of unique neighborhood events and initiatives occurring on Finn Hill, a full list is in the annual report. Among the events: DennyFest, The Fourth of July Parade, and Christmas Ships. Board member wrapped up reaffirming the impact that the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance and all...

FHNA 2014 Annual Report

 Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance (November 2013 – November 2014) Cohesive Community Connected by Woodlands & Waterways Committed to Neighborhood Stewardship “The mission of the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance is to coordinate our active community of residents and regional partners to preserve, protect, and restore Finn Hill’s extraordinary natural environment, and to promote the welfare of the Finn Hill community by engaging in civic issues.” View PDF of Annual Report, Click Here   Highlights of 2014 Policy & Planning Participated: We joined the Juanita Drive Corridor Study Advisory Committee and helped advise on most vital safety improvements. We worked with the fire station siting study advisory committee to review potential locations for a new fire station for the eastern side of Finn Hill. We participated in the City’s study of 100th Avenue improvements, providing comments on the types of projects desired and the overall goals of the study. We played a part in the City’s Neighborhood Safety Program pilot project and submitted project requests for 4 safety projects in the neighborhood. Three of the 4 project proposals were accepted and ultimately funded, including crosswalks on 90th Avenue NE, walkway improvements along 84th Avenue NE, and a new crossing of Juanita Drive at Big Finn Hill Park. Worked with the City: We were involved in the improving and updating of the Holmes Point Overlay, testifying in city meetings and recommending zoning improvements (protecting significant trees and natural vegetation areas.) We worked to limit zoning changes in the absence of a Neighborhood Plan along Juanita Drive in the Holmes Point Commercial Area. We opened negotiations to acquire woodlands next to Juanita Heights Park, in order to expand parks and open trails to Juanita Beach and preserve eastern slope of Finn Hill; purchased property appraisal and began funding discussions with City and County officials. We engaged on a variety of other parks, planning, transportation, and land use...

January Finn Hill Neighborhood Meeting Summary

Dear Finn Hill neighbors and friends: Here’s a snapshot of what happened at our members’ meeting on Wednesday, January 15: Bylaws amendment: The members approved an amendment to the FHNA bylaws that allows our treasurer to sign FHNA checks so long as he or she has obtained prior approval in writing from another FHNA officer. (Previously, we needed to have another office sign the checks themselves, which led to delays in issuing reimbursements to vendors and to volunteers who had purchased supplies for FHNA events like DennyFest.) The amendment affected Article V, Section 1.c of the bylaws. The revision is shown on the attached marked draft. A clean version of the revised bylaws is also attached. We’ll post the amended bylaws on the FHNA website, too.   Master Transportation Plan: Dave Godfrey of the City’s Public Works Department reviewed the City’s schedule to revise its transportation plan as a part of the Comprehensive Plan update. More information about the timetable for the plan is available on the City of Kirkland’s transportation web page.   Kirkland Comprehensive Plan Visioning:  Kirkland city officials led the audience in small group discussions about how residents want Kirkland to evolve through 2035. The groups’ input will be factored into the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which will be developed over the course of the next 18 months. Very briefly, most of the discussion groups felt that Kirkland should protect and enhance its open spaces and concentrate areas of higher residential density and commercial/retail development in specific areas around the city, which could serve as neighborhood centers. Each meeting attendee was asked to provide a single word to describe his or her vision for Kirkland in 2035. These suggestions were blended through the magic of software into a word cloud, aka a wordle. (No surprise: the prominent word in our wordle was “Green”. We’ll post it on FHNA website...

FHNA 2013 Annual Report

Annual Report (November 2012 – November 2013) Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance: Cohesive Community Connected by Woodlands & Waterways, Committed to Neighborhood Stewardship. Our Mission: “The mission of the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance is to coordinate our active community of residents and regional partners to preserve, protect, and restore Finn Hill’s extraordinary natural environment, and to promote the welfare of the Finn Hill community by engaging in civic issues.” View PDF of Annual Report, Click Here   Highlights of 2012 – 2013 Policy and Planning Worked with the City of Kirkland to purchase and preserve 5 acres of open space in NE Finn Hill and 2.16 acres adjacent to Juanita Heights Park. Created a park and open space “hot sheet” of potential parcels of land on Finn Hill to preserve or develop as neighborhood pocket parks. Organized a tour of these with Parks, Planning, and Public Works staff from the City. Participated in Juanita Drive Corridor Study Advisory Committee. Participated in the County’s Park Levy Task Force. Endorsed and promoted both Kirkland and King County Park Levies. Organized and held a City Council Candidate Forum. Worked with the City to purchase and install school zone flashing beacons at Sandburg, FHMS, and Thoreau. Coordinated with the City on a variety of other parks, planning, transportation, and land use issues. Worked with the City to improve and update the Holmes Point Overlay ordinance (protecting significant trees and natural vegetation areas). Worked to limit zoning changes in the absence of a Neighborhood Plan along Juanita Drive in the Holmes Point Commercial Area. Continue to build momentum to develop a Neighborhood Plan for Finn Hill, offering Alliance resources to minimize the burden on the City for doing it.   Parks and Stewardship Participated in a citizens’ group advising King County Parks on plans for trail maintenance and development in Big Finn Hill Parks. Organized...

Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance Annual Meeting – Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dear Finn Hill neighbors and friends: The Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance is holding its annual members’ meeting next Wednesday, November 6, at 7pm in the Finn Hill Middle School cafeteria. (8040 Northeast 132nd Street Kirkland, WA 98034.) This is a public meeting and all Finn Hill residents are encouraged to attend. We have some important official business to address and then we’ll cover several local government initiatives that will significantly affect us on Finn Hill. Agenda items include: Election of FHNA directors:  The terms for 5 seats on our 11 person board of directors expire this year, so members will be asked to vote on candidates to fill these positions. Three of our current directors whose terms expire seek re-election:  Connie Winter, Francesca Lyman, and Jeanette Leach. Two directors whose terms expire have decided that they do not wish to continue on the board: Ellen Haas and Meg Tally. We are soliciting nominations for candidates to fill the seats to be voted on. If you wish to serve or would like to recommend a candidate, please contact me by email as soon as possible: scott@finnhillalliance.org. Annual Report:  We’ll give you a brief overview of what FHNA did over the past 12 months, including how much money it raised through donations and how it spent those funds. Juanita Drive Corridor Study:  If you have been to one of our last few meetings, you heard about the City’s study to improve safety on this arterial; you may even have commented on some suggested improvements (roundabouts, medians, sidewalks, and crosswalks). The study phase is just about to conclude, and the City’s consultants will provide a status report on which recommendations will be submitted to the City Council for approval. You’ll have an opportunity to comment and ask questions. Designation of $185,000 for Improvements  to Finn Hill Parks:  The Finn Hill Park and...

Neighborhood Plan Meeting on Tues, June 25

Dear Finn Hill Neighbors: Do you want to know what Finn Hill could look like in 5 years, or 10, or 25? Do you want to have an impact on how our neighborhood evolves? The Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance has scheduled a neighborhood meeting to peer into the future with Kirkland Planning Director Eric Shields and Deputy Planning Paul Stewart on Tuesday, June 25, at 7pm in the Cafeteria of Finn Hill Middle School at 8040 NE 132nd St. The meeting will focus on: how much more growth Finn Hill is expected to absorb under the current zoning plan (inherited from the County), where growth is most likely to occur on Finn Hill, whether the County’s zoning decisions make sense, whether those decisions can be changed, and how the City will contend with laws that require it to absorb projected growth in its Comprehensive Plan update. (For a City staff memo on development capacity in Kirkland’s neighborhoods, click here.) Typically, we find out about land use activities when it’s too late to make a difference. Once postings go up on a property to announce a short plat application or permit request, there’s little chance to rewrite the rules. But getting a long-term view of what the zoning map looks like offers an opportunity to ask fundamental questions while there may still be time to rethink the plan. It allows us as a community to send clear messages to our public officials about what we want and what we hope to avoid. FHNA has been advocating for a Finn Hill neighborhood plan since we were annexed by the City 2 years ago. Kirkland’s planning resources are currently focused on a citywide Comprehensive Plan update, mandated by state law, but our meeting on June 25 will give us an opportunity to talk to Kirkland’s Planning Department about the development issues that concern...

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