Public Comments and Procedures

Planning & Building Department 

In response to guidance from Public Health Seattle-King County, in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Hearing Examiner, Planning Commission, Houghton Community Council and the Design Review Board regular meetings will be held virtually online using the Zoom platform and the public will not be allowed to attend in-person.

You may watch a live feed of the meeting online by joining the meeting via Zoom Webinar, or listen to the meeting over the telephone. Review their webpages to access agenda and Zoom information. 

Public comment is accepted by:

  • Oral testimony for a project during the meeting.
  • Emailing the project planner.
  • Writing a letter to the project planner.

 

Rules of Procedure


Hearing Examiner - Appeals(PDF, 40KB)

  • The purpose of the hearing examiner is to separate the application of city regulations from planning, policy making and legislative functions, and to provide a high level of expertise. The hearing examiner conducts administrative and quasi-judicial hearings arising from the application of the Kirkland Zoning Code and the rules and procedures of the Kirkland Municipal Code. The decisions are made to further the best interest of the community and ensures fairness and due process. The city manager contracts with one or more persons to fill this position.

Hearing Examiner - Applications(PDF, 45KB)

  • The Rules of Procedure for Applications before the City of Kirkland Hearing Examiner. Applications are considered by the Hearing Examiner at a public hearing held for the purpose of gathering evidence from which the Hearing Examiner will prepare a decision, or a recommendation to the City Council, on an application.

Hearing Examiner - Code Enforcement(PDF, 31KB)

  • The purpose of the hearing examiner is to separate the application of city regulations from planning, policy making and legislative functions, and to provide a high level of expertise. The hearing examiner conducts administrative and quasi-judicial hearings arising from the application of the Kirkland Zoning Code and the rules and procedures of the Kirkland Municipal Code. The decisions are made to further the best interest of the community and ensures fairness and due process. The city manager contracts with one or more persons to fill this position.

Planning Commission(PDF, 197KB)

  • The Planning Commission advises the City Council on all matters relating to the Kirkland Comprehensive Plan and land use regulations. The seven members are appointed by the Council to four-year terms.

Design Review Board(PDF, 37KB)

  • The Design Review Board (DRB) reviews projects for consistency with applicable business district design guidelines and approved master plans. The seven member are appointment by the City Council to four-year terms.

Houghton Community Council

  • The Houghton Community Council is constituted differently and has a slightly different mission than City advisory boards and commissions. It consists of seven members, elected every four years. The members live in the area formerly designated as the Town of Houghton, which was annexed by the City of Kirkland in August 1968. This body exercises both advisory and approval authority over most matters related to zoning regulations and land use within the Houghton area. No other board or commission in the City exercises jurisdictional authority, and the they are one of only two community councils in the state of Washington.

Meetings

The Hearing Examiner, Planning Commission, Houghton Community Council and the Design Review Board provide opportunities for public comment at all Regular Meetings. 

At the beginning of regular meetings, the public is invited to provide input on agenda items, which are not of a quasi-judicial nature, or any topic not on the agenda. Below are the procedures that will be followed for public comment:

  • During the Responses From the Audience segment of the meetings, members of the public may address the body for three (3) minutes on any topic including agenda items. 
  • Individuals willing to speak during the Response From the Audience segment will be called to speak, generally in the order in which they have raised their virtual hand during Zoom meetings or order in which they signed the sign in sheet during in-person meetings. 

 

Options for Attending Virtual Meetings

Watch live Zoom video:

Check meeting agendas and access Zoom meeting links on the Hearing Examiner, Planning Commission, Houghton Community Council and the Design Review Board webpages.

Joining Zoom Meeting via Your Computer:
  • Check your computer sound settings to make sure your speaker is working.
  • Check your computer volume to make sure you will be able to clearly hear the meeting.
  • Be sure you are in an area with a strong internet signal so you can maintain a good connection.
  • You can listen over your computer speakers or using earbuds so as to block out surrounding noise.

 

Join Zoom Meeting via Phone:
  • Call the "dial in" number on the meeting agenda and you will be able to listen and provide public comment via your phone. If you dial a toll number, your carrier rates will apply. 
  • You will be prompted to enter the meeting ID followed by #. This passcode will be included on the meeting agenda.  This only applies if you have joined on the computer or mobile device or are a panelist in a webinar. Press # to skip.
  • If the meeting has not already started, you will be prompted to press # to wait if you are a participant.
  • Zoom phone controls for participants: Zoom audience members will be alerted to "raise virtual hand" at the appropriate time in the meeting. Press *6 to toggle mute and unmute. Press *9 to raise virtual hand.

 

 

Guidelines and Tips


When your name is called, for in-person meetings you will step to the podium and speak clearly into the microphone. If an online meeting, you will raise your virtual hand and wait to be called on and unmuted. Make sure you are in an area with strong internet signal and your volume is on and your device is loud enough to be recorded.

  • Please be advised that each speaker's testimony is being recorded.
  • Give your name , city of residence, and email address. You may be asked to spell your email address for accuracy. 
  • Remember the three (3) minute time limit and make sure you have time for your most important points. 
  • Try not to repeat what others have said but highlight those issues that have not already been raised. 
  • If more than five (5) speakers wish to speak on the same topic and hold the same position, pick one or two spokesperson(s) and have all those who agree raise their hands. 
  • All comments should be addressed to the hearing body and not individual members. 
  • Questions will not be answered during a speaker’s turn at the podium but may be addressed by the hearing body at the end of the public comment period. 

 

Public Comments

We value community input and look forward to hearing from you on agenda items. There are opportunities for providing public comment on any project. Join the Zoom meeting to provide verbal public comment during the Comments From the Audience portion of the meeting, or by submitting written comment in advance of the meeting. Be advised that your comments during the Zoom meeting are being recorded; each speaker is allotted three (3) minutes with the exception of the Houghton Community Council, where speakers are allotted five (5) minutes. The recording secretary will act as the timekeeper. Remember, all information provided is a considered a public record and subject to disclosure upon request. 

You can also submit a Public Comment by emailing the project planner prior to the meeting. See meeting agenda or use staff directory for all staff email addresses.

You can get the meeting information off of the Public Notice (either posted on the large white sign erected in the subject property, the bulletin board at City Hall, online on the Planning Public Notices page or Public Meeting Calendar, or the publishing notice in the Seattle Times). Make a note of the deadline date, the hearing date, and the hearing body.

  • The deadline date is the last day you may submit written comments if you will not attend the public hearing of if there will be a hearing on the proposal/project.
  • The hearing date is the day you may submit written and/or oral comments if you will attend the public hearing.
  • The hearing body is the group or individual who will consider the written and oral testimony.


Written comments will be presented to Hearing Examiner, Planning Commission, Houghton Community Council, or Design Review Board the night of the meeting if received by 4:00 PM. Otherwise, they will be given the following day.

To find out more information contact the City staff planner whose name and telephone number appears on the Public Notice or agenda and/or come to the Kirkland Planning and Building Department between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM and request to see the project file (the project file is noted in the public notice or agenda). The file will contain proposed site plans and building elevations (if applicable) and other information.

Should you have additional questions, please contact the Planning and Building Department at 425-587-3600.

Notice of Disclosure

The City of Kirkland will enter all comments received into the public record and may make these comments, and any attachments or other supporting materials, including any business or personal information (name, address, email address, phone, etc.) that you provide available for public review. This information may be released on the City's website. Comments received are part of the public record and subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, RCW 42.56.

Do not include any information in your comment or supporting materials that you do not wish to be made public.

 

Ways to Communicate

  • Mail: City of Kirkland, Planning and Building Department, 123 5th Avenue, Kirkland, WA 98033.
  • Public Comment:  Provide public comment on agenda items during the meeting, Your comments will become part of the official meeting record as public testimony and is subject to public disclosure. 
  • Email: Email the project planner directly.