Kirkland 2044 Comprehensive Plan Update


Every 8 years, our community comes together to create a vision and a long range planning document for Kirkland’s future called the Comprehensive Plan. We know growth is coming – more neighbors, more jobs, more housing and transportation options – and the Kirkland 2044 Comprehensive Plan update process will help us guide that growth over the next 20 years. Simultaneously the Transportation Master Plan is being updated. Add your voice to the conversation and help us shape how Kirkland looks in 20 years.

Applications for amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Map or Zoning Code initiated by the public are being accepted until December 30, 2022 at 4:00 pm. For information about the application and review process visit the Community-Initiated-Amendment-Request webpage.

Join the Conversation...

There are countless ways you can get involved

  • Sign up for the K2044 Comprehensive Plan email list on this webpage to receive updates about upcoming events and activities
  • Email your input to us at 
  • Attend your neighborhood association meeting- Here's a link to the Neighborhood Associations webpage
  • Attend Planning Commission public meetings- Here's a link to the Planning Commission webpage for meeting agendas
  • If you belong to a group or organization and would like a presentation about this update process, contact Katie Hogan at or 425-587-3289

To translate this page in another language than English, locate the green drop down menu at the top right-hand corner of this webpage. 

Learn more about the Comprehensive Plan Update Process

State, Regional, County Regulatory Requirements

The Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) requires each city and county to periodically review and, if needed, revise its comprehensive plan and development regulations as part of a periodic review cycle every eight years. Kirkland must plan for our share of King County's growth targets for housing, affordable housing and employment. See links below to state, regional, and county webpages describing the requirements for the Comprehensive Plan update:

 Kirkland’s Growth Targets for Housing and Employment allocation of King County's growth targets are described below:

Existing Housing Units 2018*

K2035 Plan additional housing unit capacity

Target K2044 new housing units

Existing Jobs 2018*

K2035 Plan additional jobs capacity

Target K2044 new jobs








Source: 2021 King County Urban Growth Capacity Report (Buildable Lands Report) and King County Countywide Planning Policies

Kirkland’s Affordable Housing Targets

Consistent with the GMA, the King County Planning Policies establish that cities must plan for affordable housing based on a range of income levels. The intended outcome of achieving this target would be to eliminate the cost- burden of all households expected to be cost-burdened in 2044. Below are Kirkland's preliminary affordable housing targets to plan for by 2044:

Household Income

Cost Burdened Households

(spending 30-49% of gross income), 2017

Severely Cost Burdened Households (spending 50% gross income), 2017

Estimated Cost Burdened Households, 2017

Percent of Income Group

Estimated Cost Burdened Households

Affordable Unit Deficit, 2044

<=30% AMI






31% - 50% AMI






51% - 80% AMI






81% - 100% AMI











Total Units Needed (less than 100% AMI) Per Year, 2017-44


Comprehensive Plan Basics

The Kirkland Comprehensive Plan consists of three main sections:

  1. General Elements chapters by topic area and an Implementation chapter. Some of these are required by the State Growth Management Act (GMA) and others are optional elements that are unique to Kirkland.
  2. Subarea Plan chapters (neighborhood plans and business district plans). These are optional chapter that are also unique to Kirkland.
  3. Shoreline Area chapter that is part of the City's Shoreline Master Program.

General Elements (* indicates the element is required under Growth Management Act):

  • Vision and Framework Goals
  • Introduction and General
  • Community Character (includes historic structures and places)
  • Natural Environment
  • Land Use*
  • Housing*
  • Economic Development
  • Transportation*
  • Parks, Recreation and Open Space
  • Utilities*
  • Public Services*
  • Human Services
  • Capital Facilities*
  • Implementation

The Comprehensive Plan adopts by references Functional Plans that help implement the adopted policies described in the Capital Facilities Element such as the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan (PROS), the Surface Water Master Plan (SWMP), the Sustainability Master Plan (SMP) or the Transportation Master Plan (TMP; vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, transit system).



Key Themes

Key themes to be woven into the revised Comprehensive Plan Update Plan:

  • Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity & Belonging (DEIB) initiatives
  • Promoting sustainability to address human health, economic opportunity, climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental protection
  • Ensuring affordable housing options for all
  • Developing accessible and mobile connections within Kirkland and to the regional transit system
  • Advocating resiliency to future emergencies and fiscal planning for a thriving local economy
  • Guiding innovation, technology, and resilience in six areas: Transportation & Mobility, City Infrastructure, Digital Transformation, Built Environment, Community Engagement 


Planning Process

The update process will be an opportunity to revisit the Vision Statement, Guiding Principles and policies to see if they are still relevant or need revising. The General Elements or chapters of the Comprehensive Plan contain policies that will be revised on a variety of topics will be updated including transportation, housing, land use.

A community engagement and visioning process will explore questions such as:

  • how can we accommodate and plan for growth?
  • how can we improve mobility around the city and to the region? how can we increase affordable housing opportunities?
  • how can we become a more welcoming and inclusive community?
  • how can we maintain and enhance our quality of life? 

Public comments received during the process, will be considered and incorporated into a draft vision statement, revised Comprehensive Plan and related code amendments. The Planning Commission will hold meetings and a public hearing on the draft Plan in 2024. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to City Council for a final decision on the amendments in mid 2024.



Schedule and Phasing for Update

The update process involves five key phases for 2022-2024 shown below. Community engagement opportunities will be provided throughout the process.  PBD-K2044-Comprehensive-Plan-Phases.pdf(PDF, 127KB)

K2044 Comprehensive Plan Update Phases

Environmental Review SEPA Process

Environmental Compliance (SEPA) EIS and Transportation Master Plan
For the K2044 Plan update an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will look at the broad city-wide analysis of potential impacts associated with amendments to the Plan or Zoning, various land use and transportation alternatives. The public is given an opportunity to help scope the EIS and comment on the draft EIS before finalized.

Revise Transportation Master Plan
A major part of the EIS will assess our transportation network (facilities, level of service, etc.) to be consistent with the land use plan at the appropriate funding and performance levels. The GMA requires that the Transportation Element be “consistent with and implements the land use element.” Consistency means that the transportation plan be sufficient in scope (projects, funding and level of service) to carry out the Land Use Element. Development of the Transportation Master Plan & Transportation Element will be guided by the Transportation Commission.

Consultant Services- Technical consulting services will be used to assist the City with the EIS and TMP. Planning and Public Works Department Transportation staff will coordinate with a consultant(s) to complete this work.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

Visit the Planning Commission or City Council agenda pages to view meeting materials prepared in advance of the meeting dates listed below.  Please note the dates shown below are subject to change.        

December 8, 2022: Planning Commission status update

December 13, 2022: City Council status update

January 11, 2023: Future of Kirkland Visioning Event (virtual; check back for event details)


December 8, 2022: Planning Commission Comprehensive Plan status update including Community Engagement Plan & Equity Review Report

April 28, 2022:  Planning Commission meeting K2044 Comprehensive Plan update overview

City Council

December 13, 2022: City Council Comprehensive Plan status update including Community Engagement Plan & Equity Review Report

April 19, 2022:  City Council briefing on 2044 Comprehensive Plan update(PDF, 6MB)