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Monthly Update – March 2014


March 18, 2014

Thank you to those who attended the second Brown Bag and the Feb. 27 Community Forum. We welcome our new Facebook fans! These monthly updates will be posted to the CKC webpage and emailed to CKC list serve subscribers (all 850+ of you!). If you have a topic you’re interested in, please send it to kpage@kirklandwa.gov.  

Brown Bag Series: Mark Your Calendar for March 24

The next Brown Bag will be on Monday, March 24, 12-1 p.m., Kirkland City Hall, Council Chambers. There seems to be continued interest in having face time with staff members about the CKC Master Plan and the Interim Trail and we will monitor attendance to evaluate whether to hold them monthly or every two months. This month, we will focus on the zoning regulations being drafted for properties adjacent to the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Email KPage@kirklandwa.gov with items you’d like to discuss.

Your Ideas Continued to Be Realized!

Another connection to the CKC is being pursued! Residents from the EverestCentral Houghton and Moss Bay Neighborhoods would like a way to walk from the Corridor to the Houghton Shopping Center and local shops and services. Share your ideas with us on where the connection should be located. E-mail kpage@kirklandwa.gov.   

Interim Trail

We are excited as you are to have the construction of the Interim Trail begin in June. Construction plans are being reviewed by our Regional easement holders on the Corridor. The City Council is expected to award the bid in June. By October, the interim trail is scheduled to be complete with all-weather crushed gavel with improved road crossings, and signage. Also, fencing for safety and wetland protection will be installed at specific locations. Send us your ideas on creative ways to celebrate the opening of the Trail.

Zoning: Planning Commission Public Hearing on Proposed Permanent Land Use Regulations for the CKC

The Interim Zoning regulations for the CKC adopted in Nov. 2013 expire in May 2014. Proposed permanent regulations are being considered by the Planning Commission at a public hearing to be held on April 10, 2014, 7 p.m., City Hall Council Chambers. Following is a summary of the proposed amendments (which do not apply to single-family zones):

  1. Allow restaurant or tavern uses for properties located within 150’ of the corridor in Totem Lake zones. Allow expanded accessory retail space for manufacturing uses on properties located within 150’ of the corridor in Totem Lake zones. These regulations would apply to the following Totem Lake zones: TL 7, TL 9A, TL 10B, TL 10C, TL 10D, and TL 10E. 
  2. Prohibit new Retail Storage facilities on properties within 150’ of adjoining the corridor. This regulation would apply to the following zones: BC, LIT, PLA 6G, TL 4A, TL 4C, TL 5, TL 7, TL 9A, TL 10B, and YBD 2 zones. 
  3. Establish a standard 10’ wide required yard (setback) from the corridor. These regulations would apply to all properties along the corridor, with the exception of single family zones. The increased setback does not apply to parking areas. 
  4. Establish basic site and building design standards for properties adjoining the corridor to ensure that site planning and building design orient appropriately to the corridor. These regulations would apply to all properties along the corridor, with the exception of single family zones. 
  5. Clarify exemptions for utilities in critical areas and associated buffers and add exemption for public trails. These regulations would apply to utility and public projects within the corridor.

Click here to view a map of the non-single-family residential zones along the Corridor. (PDF) 

To view the meeting Agenda and staff memo (posted after April 4, 2014), go to www.kirklandwa.gov and search “Planning Commission.” For specific questions, contact Jeremy McMahan, Planning & Community Development Department at 425-587-3229 or jmcmahan@kirklandwa.gov.
 
CKC Master Plan: Ready for Final Review 

Months of planning and public involvement have shaped the future of the Cross Kirkland Corridor as captured in the Draft CKC Master Plan. More than 60 people attended the presentations held at the Feb. 27 Community Forum. (View the Slide Show. Read the Public Involvement Report) (PDF)

The City Council will receive an update on the Master Plan on April 1 and May 20. Final adoption is expected at the Council’s June 17 meeting.

You will an opportunity to help prioritize some proposed projects in the Master Plan at Community Future Day, April 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Kirkland City Hall.

Mile Markers Being Installed

We are pleased to announce another “mile”stone is achieved! Mile marker signs are being installed. City Road Maintenance crews installed them starting from 108th Avenue NE up to Crestwoods Park and expect to finish the installation this week.

Parking on the Corridor
This month, staff began an outreach process to notify businesses and employees of upcoming parking restrictions on the CKC near 128th Lane NE in Totem Lake. Notices were delivered to businesses and placed on cars parked in the area. In April, “No Parking” signs will be posted. As construction of the Interim Trail approaches, the need to transition the parking off the corridor will become imminent.

U.S. Supreme Court Case Involving Rail Corridors

You may have heard about the case entitled Brandt Family Trust v. U.S. The case involves a rail corridor in Wyoming that was established pursuant to legislation adopted by Congress in 1875. The rail corridor was subsequently abandoned in 2004. It was never railbanked. The issue before the U.S. Supreme Court was whether, upon abandonment, the corridor is owned the adjoining property owners or the Federal Government. The Court ruled that, under the 1875 federal legislation, the railroad possessed an easement in the corridor and not outright ownership. The characterization of the railroad’s interest in the corridor as an easement means that, as a matter of general property law, ownership of the corridor is vested in the adjoining owners upon abandonment of the easement.

The case is distinguishable from the CKC in a several important respects. First, it involves abandoned rail right of way that was abandoned prior to the adoption of the Rails to Trails Act. It is important to remember that the CKC is railbanked right of way, which is different than abandonment. Railbanking under federal law allows for interim trail use while preserving rail rights of way for possible future rail use. As a result, there is no abandonment—the legal effect of railbanking is very different from abandonment.

Second, Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) acquired most of the CKC in fee simple (outright ownership). Also, BNSF acquired the Eastside Rail Corridor in a series of acquisitions from private property owners and not from the federal government. In contrast, the Court in the Brandt case found that rail right of way acquired under the 1875 federal legislation was an easement. The concept of abandonment applies to easements and not fee simple ownership.

Finally, the Rails to Trails Conservancy issued an analysis of the Brandt case noting that the case does not impact rail corridors that are railbanked under the Rails to Trails Act.

Keep in touch with us!

• CKC Coordinator: Kari Page, kpage@kirklandwa.gov, 425-587-3011
• Web: www.kirklandwa.gov/crosskirklandcorridor  
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/crosskirklandcorridor