Kirkland 2044 Comprehensive Plan Update

Paseo Verde TOD

In 2022-2024, the City of Kirkland is conducting a major update of the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is a guide for how we as a community will provide the public facilities and services to direct and manage growth. The update process will be an opportunity to think about the kind of community we want to become and believe we can achieve for the next 20 years to the year 2044. The target completion date for the updated Plan is May 2024.

Key Objectives for the K2044 Update Process:
  • Conduct an equitable and inclusive community engagement process to revisit the Vision Statement, Guiding Principles, Plan policies to evaluate if they express the community’s values and are relevant for the future
  • Ensure compliance with the state Growth Management Act (GMA), Puget Sound Regional Council Vision 2050 Multi-planning policies, and King Countywide Planning Policies


Join the Conversation

The city is in the process of designing a community engagement and outreach plan for the Comprehensive Plan update in 2022-2024. We would like your opinion on how best to communicate information to the community.

Fill out a brief survey

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:

  • Advance Social Justice, Equity, Inclusivity and Belonging initiatives- in the community engagement process and policies
  • Sustainability- to address human health, climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental protection in policies
  • Housing options for all and housing affordability- integrate into the Plan Regional Housing Strategy, Kirkland Housing Strategy Plan and Missing Middle Housing goals, new strategies to increase affordable housing options, implement code amendments to achieve housing goals
  • Mobility Connections to Regional Transit System and Accessibility- improve mobility, accessibility, non-motorized pedestrian and bicycle connections to major transit hubs in the city, to I-405/NE 85th Street BRT/Stride Station and regional transit facilities
  • Resiliency- ensure the community plans for future emergency/pandemic response resiliency, fiscal planning for future, and a thriving local economy
  • Smart City Initiatives- develop a Smart City Master Plan (SCMP) to guide advancements in 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.



How to Stay Involved

Community Engagement Plan
A community engagement plan is currently being developed. The goal is to deliver a meaningful and innovative community engagement process that 1) informs people about the K2044 plan; and 2) embodies the Council Goal for an “Inclusive and Equitable Community” by ensuring that all voices belong in this community conversation and will be heard. 

The engagement plan will incorporate recommendations from the draft Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging 5 Year Roadmap. The plan will engage community members underrepresented in civic life, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), youth, LGBTQIA , seniors, low income households, people experiencing homelessness, and immigrant communities including people facing language barriers.

Options for engagement will include in- person or virtual workshops, open houses, town halls, focus group stakeholder meetings, surveys, project webpage, interactive portal for comments, community events, and a virtual City Hall lobby. 

Here's how you can participate in planning for Kirkland's future for the next 20 years:

  • Sign up for the K2044 Plan email list to receive updates
  • Email your input to us at Janice Swenson, Senior Planner at
  • Attend Planning Commission public meetings- No meetings are currently scheduled
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.






If you are interested in submitting a request for a change in land use or code amendment to be considered as part of this process, see the Community Initiated Amendment Request webpage for information about the application submittal and review process. Applications are due by December 1, 2022.


Meeting Information

View meeting packet information for Planning Commission (PC), Transportation Commission (TC) and /or the City Council by clicking on the appropriate tab below to the Boards and Commission webpage.