Parks 2023 Ballot Measure Initiative

Photo collage: pickleball player, playground, women in pool

Accelerating the Future of Our Parks and Recreation

Over the last year, thousands of Kirkland community members have told the City how much they love Kirkland’s parks system, trails and recreation programs and that they desire more park facilities and recreational opportunities. The City’s 2022 PROS Plan together with the City's capital improvement plan, outlines a path for the City’s continued investment in parks and recreation.

However, the City Council has heard that many in our community want the City to accelerate the timeline on delivering on what the community is asking for. Therefore, City Council adopted Resolution 5514 at its March 1, 2022 meeting directing staff to explore potential comprehensive Parks ballot measure options to be placed before Kirkland voters in 2023. In August 2022, City Council re-stablished a Parks Funding Exploratory Committee (PFEC), made up of representatives from across Kirkland, to lead the community input process and provide recommendations to the City Council in March 2023 on whether and how to best proceed with ballot measure(s) in 2023.

Parks Funding Exploratory Committee (PFEC)

About PFEC

The Parks Funding Exploratory Committee (PFEC) was re-established by City Council at their Special August 3, 2022 meeting to lead the community input process and provide recommendations for a potential ballot measure(s) to Kirkland City Council by 2023 including:

  • Recommended capital investments
  • Recommended operating investments
  • Recommended funding mechanism(s) to cover increased costs

PFEC is meeting approximately twice a month from September 2022 through February 2023. The Committee will compile and make recommendations to City Council in the spring of 2023 regarding what potential ballot measure(s) should include and what funding mechanisms to use. Based on community input, City Council will make a final decision on ballot measure(s) in late spring or early summer of 2023.

PFEC is chaired by Councilmember Kelli Curtis and is comprised of over 43 diverse stakeholders that have an interest in Kirkland’s parks and recreation services. As much as possible, PFEC members reflect the diversity of Kirkland, including with respect to race; ethnicity; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; status as a homeowner or renter; neighborhood; family composition; languages spoken; policy perspective; and age. 

PFEC Updates

Date Meeting Highlights
January 26, 2023 TOPIC: Investment Element Options

At their ninth meeting, the committee received the results of the recreation facility feasibility study and continued its discussion of potential parks ballot measure elements. 

January 12, 2023 TOPIC: Investment Element Options

At their eighth meeting, the committee reviewed potential ballot elements including related capital and operating cost information. These elements build on priorities identified in the PROS Plan and significant community input.

January 9 or January 21, 2023

TOPIC: Facility Tour

Rescheduled from December 1, 2022.

Committee members will tour the Sammamish Community and Aquatic Center on either January 9 or January 21, 2023.

December 8, 2022

TOPIC: WA State Property Taxes, Ballot Funding Mechanisms, Kirkland Budget, & Ballot Measure History

At their seventh meeting, the committee learned about the City of Kirkland budget, ballot measures history, and funding mechanism options.

November 10, 2022

TOPIC: Parks & Rec 101: Current Operations & Future Possibilities: Recreation and Administrative Focus 

At their fifth meeting, the committee learned about what goes into the City’s recreation programs, classes, and community events. They dug deeper into recommendations from the 2022 Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan. The committee also received an overview of population projecting and city planning. 

October 27, 2022

TOPIC: Facility Feasibility Study Update  

At the fourth meeting, PFEC received an update from Opsis Architecture on the facilities feasibility study.

October 13, 2022

TOPIC: Parks & Rec 101: Current Operations & Future Possibilities: Maintenance Focus 

At the third PFEC meeting, the Committee received an overview of the 2022 Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan and an introduction to what it takes to maintain parks in Kirkland. The committee dove into the findings and recommendations of the PROS Plan related to park operations and maintenance. 

September 29, 2022

TOPIC: Peter Kirk Park and Community Center Tour, PFEC Roadmap, Benefits of Parks & Rec, and Aquatics in Kirkland

At the second meeting on September 29, 2022, the committee reviewed the PFEC Roadmap and toured the Peter Kirk Community Center, Peter Kirk Pool, and Peter Kirk Park in small groups. They also received a high level overview of the Parks and Community Services department structure and funding, learn about existing aquatics in Kirkland and consider future aquatics possibilities.

September 15, 2022

TOPIC: Welcome, Overview and Park Tour

The Parks Funding Exploratory Committee held its first meeting on September 15, 2022 at Juanita Beach Park. At this first meeting the committee received an overview of the process including why City Council established the group. The group also toured Juanita Beach Park which was recently renovated in 2020.

        

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Parks 2023 Ballot Measure Initiative?

Exploring potential Parks 2023 Ballot Measure(s) are part of the City's 2021-2022 Work Program.

This project will consist of many phases and include opportunities for community engagement.

  • Summer 2022: Began feasibility study and costing analysis for potential ballot measure investments
  • Summer 2022: City Council established a Parks Funding Exploratory Committee made up of representatives from community groups and at-large community members
  • September 2022 - February 2023: Parks Funding Exploratory Committee to gather community input and review information about potential investments
  • Spring 2023: Parks Funding Exploratory Committee to make recommendation for potential ballot measure investments and funding mechanisms to City Council
  • Summer 2023: City Council to decide what ballot measure options to bring to voters and to pass a resolution to initiate the public voting process
  • Fall 2023: City to provide educational information about the ballot measure(s)
  • November 2023: General election

What might a measure include?

The Kirkland community will be pivotal in determining what to include in the Parks 2023 Ballot Measure(s).  

A Parks Funding Exploratory Committee (PFEC), made up of over 40 Kirkland community members, is meeting from September 2022 through February 2023 to review investment options and funding mechanisms. PFEC is comprised of members that reflect the diversity of Kirkland, including with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, economic status, neighborhood, family composition, languages spoken, neurodiversity, and physical, mental or sensory ability.

The Committee will make recommendations to City Council in the spring of 2023 regarding what the ballot measure(s) should include. Then based on input from the Committee and other community feedback, City Council will make a final decision regarding ballot measure options in the summer of 2023 to be placed on the November 2023 ballot.

Community feedback over the past few years, including over 4,700 Kirkland community members who provided input as part of the 2022 Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) Plan update, has shown a strong desire to add an aquatic center and additional indoor recreation space in Kirkland. Community and aquatic centers contain different types of amenities and features.

Below are inspirational images of the type of things that could be considered by the Parks Funding Exploratory Committee. Photos are credited as listed.

How can I get involved?

How can I request a speaker?

 
Thank you for contacting us to request a City of Kirkland staff speaker to talk about potential 2023 Parks Ballot Measure(s). Use this form to request a staff speaker at least 4 weeks prior to the event date. Please provide as much detail as possible so we can do our best to meet your needs.


       

Background & Milestones