NE 85th Street Station Area Plan


What's Happening Now: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Published (December 2021) 

View the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The Final SEIS incorporates the Station Area Preferred Plan Direction adopted by City Council in Resolution R-5503(PDF, 3MB) (December 2021). 

Learn About the Station Area Plan

Project Description

Sound Transit's ST3 Regional Transit System Plan is bringing a once-in-a-generation transit investment to Kirkland by redeveloping the interchange at 85th and I-405. The new interchange will include a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Station, expected to be complete in 2025. Kirkland's Station Area Plan will look at how we can make the most of this regional investment to create the best value and quality of life for Kirkland. The Station Area Planning process will provide the community with an opportunity to envision the future for this area.

The Station Area Plan will encourage an equitable and sustainable transit-oriented community as part of the significant growth expected in Greater Downtown Kirkland. It will build on recent efforts such as the Kirkland 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the Greater Downtown Kirkland Urban Center proposal, and other city-wide initiatives addressing housing, mobility, and sustainability. The final plan will provide a visual and policy framework for future redevelopment and growth within approximately a half-mile of the BRT station.

Public Participation

Incorporating community ideas is important to the success of the NE 85th Street Station Area Plan. The project's public engagement plan(PDF, 254KB):

  • Establishes our goals for engagement
  • Identifies project stakeholders
  • Talks about how we will reach out to the public
  • Shows how the community's feedback will be incorporated into decision-making

Opportunities for the community to engage with the project are organized into four phases:

  • Phase 1 - Opportunities and Challenges - in this phase we gathered feedback on what people already value about Kirkland, what they wanted to see for the future of the Station Area, and how people wanted to engage with the the project. We used what we learned to prepare an Opportunities and Challenges Report(PDF, 8MB), completed in March 2020.
  • Phase 2 - Concepts and Alternatives - in this phase we presented initial concepts for the Station Area to the community.  We used the feedback we received to develop three alternative plans for analysis  required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).This phase also included presenting the analysis of the initial alternatives in a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, which will give the community information to help us start choosing which options are best for the Station Area.
  • Phase 3 - Draft Plan - In this phase, we will respond to community input from Phase 2 and start identifying which options should be included in the final Station Area Plan.  We will also be talking to the community as we begin to draft a Form-based Code, which will guide the future form, massing, and design in the Station Area.
  • Phase 4 - Final Plan -In this phase, the community will have opportunities to learn the details of the final plan proposal, and can provide comments to City Councilmembers before they adopt the final Station Area Plan. 

Past Presentations

Project Documents

Fiscal Impacts and Community Benefits Analysis

Fiscal Impacts and Community Benefits Analysis - Executive Summary and Technical Memo(PDF, 3MB) (October 22, 2021)

Fiscal Impacts and Community Benefits Analysis - Appendices 

To support the Fiscal Impacts and Community Benefits Analysis assumptions, planning level Representative Infrastructure Studies were conducted to determine a set of representative infrastructure investments needed to maintain service levels in transportation, water and sewer, and stormwater, in alignment with the full 23-year buildout scenarios described for the two key development alternatives analyzed in the Technical Memo –  June Alternatives A and B. The purpose of the Infrastructure Studies was to inform an understanding of area-wide representative infrastructure and service needs and costs and for incorporation as assumptions in the fiscal analysis. Note that as “representative infrastructure,” these identified investments are ones that are likely to be similar in scale and type to those needed to support future Station Area development, but are likely to differ somewhat from the specific infrastructure investments that will ultimately be adopted for the Station Area. The representative investments identified in the Infrastructure Studies are distinct from and should not be construed as preferred plan recommendations or final project configurations, which will be developed in later stages of planning and are subject to City Council approval. 

Appendix 1: Supplemental Transportation Study(PDF, 5MB)

Appendix 2: Supplemental Water and Sewer Study(PDF, 5MB)

Appendix 3: Supplemental Stormwater Study(PDF, 10MB)


Project History

In 2016, Puget Sound voters approved the Sound Transit 3 plan, making BRT on the I-405 Corridor possible. BRT will allow for improved connections and commute times between Lynnwood, Kirkland, Bellevue and Burien. This new north-south BRT service will aid in accessing the new regional light rail lines scheduled to open by 2026.

In Kirkland, the I-405/85th Street Interchange will be reconstructed to comprise three levels. The lower level will be NE 85th Street, the mid-level will be devoted to transit, and the top level will be I-405. The BRT Station will be accessed by buses using inline access ramps. There is a focus on transit and non-motorized access to the BRT Station, as no Park and Ride is planned.

With the passage of the 2019-2020 budget, City Council authorized creation of a Station Area Plan associated with the Sound Transit Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station planned for the I-405/NE 85th Street interchange. This budget direction was affirmed on February 19, 2019 when the City Council adopted Resolution R-5356 approving the 2019-2020 Priority Goals and City Work Program.  One of the twelve City Work Plan initiatives related to developing the Station Area Plan is shown in the following excerpt from R-5356:

Continue partnerships with Sound Transit, the State Department of Transportation and King County Metro Transit to ensure that I-405 investments serve Kirkland’s mobility needs and maximize the benefit of Sound Transit’s NE 85th Street/I-405 Bus Rapid Transit interchange project by completing land use, zoning, and economic development plans for areas adjacent to the interchange project to further the goals of Balanced Transportation and Economic Development.

The City will continue to partner with Sound Transit, the Washington State Department of Transportation and King County Metro Transit to ensure that investments along I-405 serve Kirkland’s mobility needs and maximize the benefit of Sound Transit’s NE 85th/I-405 Bus Rapid Transit interchange project by completing a cohesive land use plan for areas adjacent to the interchange project.

The initial study area is generally the land within a 1/2 mile of the future BRT Station. The current land uses in the study area are a mix of multi-family, mixed-use, commercial/retail/office, schools, parks, and lower-density single-family residential uses. The final Station Area Plan boundaries will be defined through the process and may expand or contract beyond the ½-mile radius based on initial findings.

The City is interested in maximizing the use of the I-405/85th Street BRT Inline Station while continuing to build a vibrant, livable community that ensures land use and zoning are compatible with and support transit use. The challenge to integrate the interchange with the surrounding land uses will require a focus on creative urban design concepts. The subareas surrounding the interchange will contribute to transforming the current land uses to a denser, mixed-use community and will accommodate new residents, employees, and visitors who have better transportation choices.



Upcoming Meetings

Visit the Planning Commission or City Council agenda pages to view meeting materials prepared in advance of the meeting dates listed below.    


Past Public Meetings


Visit the Planning Commission Video Archives page to access video recordings of past meetings.

November 16, 2021: Joint City Council/Planning Commission Study Session Meeting Packet(PDF, 928KB) 

June 10, 2021: Planning Commission Meeting Packet (PDF, 3MB)

April 22, 2021: Planning Commission Meeting Packet (PDF, 2MB)

January 14, 2021: Planning Commission Meeting Packet 
                                    Part 1(PDF, 6MB)
                                    Part 2(PDF, 6MB)

June 25, 2020Planning Commission Meeting Packet(PDF, 3MB)