Council Places Park Ballot Measure Before Voters

Published on July 20, 2023

Park Ballot Header Image

Media Contact:
David Wolbrecht
Communications Program Manager 
(425) 587-3021

KIRKLAND, Wash. –  During its July 18, 2023, meeting, the Kirkland City Council acted on the recommendations of the Parks Funding Exploratory Committee and placed before Kirkland voters the option to expand aquatics, parks, and recreation facilities, operations, and programs.

“Last year, the City Council convened 45 Kirkland community members from all walks of life to advise the Council on whether to place a ballot measure before the voters,” said Councilmember Kelli Curtis.  “This thoughtful and innovative group – the Parks Funding Exploratory Committee – met from September to June and concluded new investments in our parks system were needed now, and that voters should be given the choice in November of 2023.  After months of deliberation, the City Council has acted on PFEC’s recommendations and has placed before Kirkland voters a comprehensive measure to expand aquatics, parks, and recreation facilities, operations, and programs in November.”

On July 18, the City Council adopted Ordinance O-4857, which responds to the needs and priorities identified by the community for accelerated investment in expanded aquatics, parks, and recreation facilities.  This ordinance builds on the input received from over 4,700 community members during the 2022 PROS Plan process, 45 community members who constituted the Parks Funding Exploratory Committee, the Kirkland Park Board, and the Kirkland Youth Council.

Ordinance O-4857 submits to the voters for the November 2023 ballot a levy lid lift proposition to expand aquatics, parks, and recreation facilities, operations, and programs. If approved, this proposition authorizes an increase in the City’s regular property tax levy by approximately $0.28054/$1,000 of assessed valuation (AV), generating approximately $10,800,000 for these purposes in 2024.  This would cost the owner of a 2024 median-valued home (estimated $1,000,000) about $280/year (approximately $23.33/month).

As stated in O-4857, the increased revenues would fund:

  • operations and programing at a new aquatic and recreation center (to be constructed separately)
  • nine year-round restrooms (three new and six winterized)
  • park safety and security including automatic gates and additional park rangers
  • new sport courts (including pickleball and volleyball)
  • increased beach lifeguard hours and water safety programs
  • expanded teen programs and Kirkland Teen Union Building operations
  • green loop trail networks
  • park and recreation operations, maintenance, and improvements

Ordinance O-4857 also states the City’s plan to construct a new 86,000 square foot aquatic and recreation center at the former Houghton Park & Ride.  This new facility would include indoor pools for swim lessons, swim teams, and lap swim and would help address the documented waitlist for swim lessons, which totaled over 10,500 in 2022. The facility would also feature family friendly warm water pools with lazy rivers, spray and play fun, and opportunities for birthday parties, senior programs, exercise classes and more.

In addition to expanded aquatics opportunities, the new facility identified in Ordinance O-4857 would include fitness rooms and equipment for aerobics, cycling, kickboxing, yoga, weight training, and other fitness programs, as well as gymnasiums for youth sports, sports leagues, clinics for basketball, volleyball, and pickleball, and more. It would also include multi-purpose space for dance, youth and adult drawing, and camps for computer programming, film, art, Legos, and science, martial arts classes, and more. These expanded recreation spaces would help address the community’s demonstrated need for such opportunities, as waitlist entries for gymnasiums, exercise rooms, and multipurpose rooms total more than 4,200. 

For more information or to request an informational presentation about the ballot measure, visit


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