Kirkland 2044 Comprehensive Plan Update

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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.

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

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
2019-2044

Existing Jobs 2018*

K2035 Plan additional jobs capacity

Target K2044 new jobs

2019-2044

38,656

13,352

13,200

49,280

18,139

26,490

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

274

2,735

3,009

91%

4,374

31% - 50% AMI

935

1,285

2,220

74%

3,227

51% - 80% AMI

1,584

615

2,199

64%

3,196

81% - 100% AMI

929

225

1,154

45%

1,677

Total

3,722

4,860

8,582

12,474

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

462

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 and Community Engagement

Community Engagement Opportunities
The graphic below shows the 2023 schedule for community engagement for each chapter of the Comprehensive Plan and Transportation Master Plan update. Focus groups, surveys, events will be held to discuss each chapter topic area. Focus groups are currently being formed. Are you interested in being on a focus group? Contact Katie Hogan to get involved at khogan@kirklandwa.gov or 425-587-3289.

Community Engagement Schedule In 2023(PDF, 109KB)

Learn more about Focus Groups here(PDF, 800KB)

The visioning and community engagement 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? 

Planning Process and Phasing
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 updated including transportation, housing, land use.
Public comments received during the process will be considered and incorporated into a 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.

(PDF, 90KB)Planning Process Phasing Graphic 2023-2024(PDF, 90KB)

 

 

 

 

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. 

K2044-Phasing-122022.jpg

 

 

 

Focus Group Information

Focus Groups are being formed for different topic areas that relate to the chapters of the Comprehensive Plan. The Focus Groups will meet to discuss if the existing policies need to be revised for the future of Kirkland. See the informational flyer and schedule below for when the Groups will meet in 2023. 

Focus-Group-Informational-Flyer.pdf(PDF, 800KB)
Schedule-for-community-conversations-focus-groups.ashx.pdf(PDF, 109KB)

 

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.

Documents, Community Engagement Comments, Presentations

January 11, 2023 Visioning Event- The City hosted a virtual Visioning Event on January 11th to hear what Kirkland community members envision for the City’s future. Here are 5 unique and thought-provoking ideas or opportunities to address challenges that we heard from community members to help us start thinking about Kirkland’s future:

  • Increase alternative transportation modes such as point-to-point shuttles, more charging systems, and rapid electrification of the City; rethink transportation corridors instead of just amending
  • Listen to people that can’t afford to live in Kirkland today or don’t have the opportunity to live here
  • More creative housing opportunities such as co-housing with shared resources; reinforce the idea of creative missing middle housing options and go beyond just duplexes and triplexes
  • Finding alternative ways to generate tax revenue as we transition away from a car-centric Kirkland
  • Set specific sustainability goal for a “Zero Carbon City by 2044” 

To view all the comments received at this event click on this community comments document(PDF, 807KB)

Documents:

Community Engagement Plan(PDF, 5MB)  for Comprehensive Plan update-Broadview Planning 12-2022
Equity Review Report(PDF, 4MB) for Comprehensive Plan update EcoNorthwest 12-2022

Presentations:
City Council  briefing #2 12-13-2022 presentation(PDF, 3MB)
City Council 4-19-2022 presentation(PPTX, 645KB)
Planning Commission briefing #2 12-8-2022 presentation(PPTX, 3MB)
Planning Commission 4-28-2022 presentation(PPTX, 651KB)
Transportation Commission 7-27-2022 presentation(PPTX, 645KB)
Transportation Commission 1-25-2023 presentation

Kirkland Comprehensive Plan (adopted 2015)

 

Kirkland Smart City Master Plan

In 2023, the City of Kirkland is creating its first Smart City Master Plan to use innovative technology solutions for operational efficiency and to connect people. See the Smart City Master Plan handout(PDF, 236KB)  for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

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.