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Neighborhood Planning

Neighborhood Plan Update Logo

This page is portal to the City's neighborhood planning process. it provides links to current and past neighborhood plan updates. It also contains resources for you to learn more about what's involved in developing neighborhood plans. The neighborhood plans are updated on a rotating basis. Every neighborhood plan update process incorporates public participation. If you want to get involved and add your voice to the vision for your neighborhood's future, you've come to the right place.

Neighborhoods are a fundamental building block of Kirkland. For cities such as Kirkland, the term "neighborhood" refers to a larger geographic area the residents usually think. In this context, Kirkland has 14 neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Plans
Each neighborhood has its own plan, which is a document that charts the course for its future. The core purpose of each plan is to help define - through goals, objectives and policies - how each neighborhood should promote mobility, accommodate forecasted household and job growth, and provide open space and recreational opportunities, and other vital services, all in line with the City's Comprehensive Plan. In fact, these neighborhood plans make up Chapter 15 of the City's Comprehensive Plan.

Greater Downtown Urban Center Application
Urban Centers are regionally-designated places that contain a mix of uses and activities, are connected by efficient transportation, and are well-suited to accommodate future growth. The City already contains one Urban Center – in Totem Lake – which was designated in 2003. Evaluating Downtown Kirkland as an Urban Center is referenced in Policy LU 5.5 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, with the primary objective of more effectively positioning Kirkland to secure transportation funding. Establishing Greater Downtown Kirkland as an Urban Center is identified as a project in the adopted 2019-21 Planning Work Program. The City is currently requesting that King County and PSRC adopt the Greater Downtown Kirkland Urban Center.  The County and PSRC are requiring the City to submit, as part of the Urban Center application, a consolidated plan for the Greater Downtown Urban Center (PDF 8.9 MB). The purpose of this plan is to provide one document that contains all the policies relevant to the planning of the proposed Urban Center. This plan contains no new policies or goals beyond those in already-adopted City policy documents, and primarily comprises the Moss Bay Neighborhood Plan, but integrates additional policies from the Rose Hill, Everest, Highlands, and Norkirk neighborhood plans.

In-progress Neighborhood Plan Updates

In 2019-2020 the Market, Norkirk, Highlands Neighborhood Plans and Market Street Corridor Plan will be updated using one consolidated public involvement process. A separate web page has been created to inform the public as to the progress of the update, timelines, and opportunities for public involvement. 

2018 Neighborhood Plan Update and 2019 Proposed Code Amendments
In 2018 the City updated the Rose Hill and Bridle Trails Neighborhood Plans. See a separate web page dedicated to this update, including key documents, timelines and various opportunities for public involvement. In 2019 code amendments are proposed to implement the adopted Rose Hill Neighborhood Plan policies. Visit the webpage for information on the project.

Neighborhood Planning Framework
The City is utilizing its draft Neighborhood Planning Framework (PDF 295KB), which is a new approach to the neighborhood plan update process. The framework will help the community and City staff navigate the neighborhood planning process in order to build better plans.

The framework was based on public feedback. It provides a starting point for creating a schedule and work program that are customized to the needs of the neighborhood. The framework also establishes expectations for both the neighborhood and City staff throughout the planning process. Lastly, it includes a cookbook of policies to help the community design policies that will shape its future. 

Neighborhood Planning Resources
Here are some resources to learn more about neighborhood planning, good principles or urban design and the City's Comprehensive Plan:
Kirkland 2035 Comprehensive Plan (including all existing neighborhood plans):
- Comprehensive Plan Basics
- Amanda Burden's TED Talk on Making Public Spaces Worklinks to external site

Planning & Building Department
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

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