– Starting on Wednesday, July 29, the City of Kirkland will be closing the parking lot and pier at Houghton Beach Park and the pier at David Brink Park. These closures are to help address the frequent large gatherings that have been occurring at these locations in violation of state health directives.
City staff will be onsite early in the morning on Wednesday, July 29, to lock the parking lot and place fencing on the piers. Implementing these closures became necessary to address large gatherings, illicit activities and continued non-compliance with the Governor’s mask mandate and group limits at these locations. According to Governor Inslee’s Safe Start plan, group sizes are currently limited to five people and face coverings are required in public spaces.
“We tried to avoid these closures through education efforts, mask distribution, signage, physical barriers and numerous warnings that closures would happen if these areas remained crowded,” said Parks and Community Services Director Lynn Zwaagstra. “We feel that these targeted closures are an unfortunate, but necessary measure to protect public safety during this pandemic.”
These are details of the closures:
• Houghton Beach Park, 5811 Lake Washington Blvd. Parking lot will be locked and access to the dock will be blocked.
• David Brink Park, 555 Lake Street South. Access to the dock will be blocked.
“We urge all residents and visitors to comply with the Governor’s directives,” said Zwaagstra. “If these steps are not effective, the City will have no option but to close all waterfront parks completely. This will penalize all those who are following the rules and we want to avoid that if possible.”
Previous actions taking by the City of Kirkland since April include:
-Installation of hundreds of signs providing public health information and directives
-Closure of park playgrounds and sports courts that attract groups larger than the current limit
-Cordoning off sports courts and playgrounds with caution tape and now with orange safety fencing
-Locking gates to sports courts with existing fencing
-Netting for volleyball and basketball courts removed
-Chain link fencing locked together and installed in volleyball courts to block use
-Implemented park ambassadors and beach ambassadors to educate patrons and distribute masks at City parks and beaches
-Provided additional police presence in parks during the evenings and on weekends when feasible
-Opened Lee Johnson field from 6 to 11p.m. daily for games and activities to attract folks to the very large open spaceClosed waterfront parks at 9 p.m.
-Public outreach campaigns with press releases, social media and educational videos
More information on how our Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department is responding to COVID-19 is available at www.kirklandwa.gov/playitsafe