Future Development of Kirkland
The Vision Statement is a verbal snapshot of Kirkland in the year 2022. It summarizes the desired character and characteristics of our community. It provides the ultimate goals for our community planning and development efforts.
The Vision Statement is an outgrowth of a community visioning process that occurred in 1992 and then again in 2002. The process in 1992 involved a series of community workshops in which approximately 250 Kirkland citizens worked to articulate commonly held desires for the Kirkland of the future. In 2002, the City sponsored an outreach program called “Community Conversations – Kirkland 2022.” The program centered around a video produced by the City about Kirkland’s past, present and future with three questions focusing on a preferred future vision. Nearly 1,000 people participated in one of the 51 conversations held by a wide range of groups in the community to discuss their preferred future in 20 years. In addition, individuals participated by viewing the video program on the City’s cable channel or on the City’s internet web site and responding to the questions by mail or e-mail to the City. The responses from all three formats were summarized into major themes reflecting commonly held desires and formed the basis for the Vision Statement. The community visioning program was awarded the Puget Sound Regional Council’s 2020 Vision Award for its high level of innovation, creativity and success.
The Vision Statement is intended to set a direction instead of being a mere prediction. Rather than describing the features of Kirkland as we think they are likely to be, it expresses what we would like our community to become and believe we can achieve. It acknowledges past and current trends and Kirkland’s relationship to external factors, but also assumes an ability to shape the future in a positive way. The Vision Statement, therefore, is optimistic, affirming and enhancing the best of our attributes, past and existing, and aspiring for those we hope to have.
A VISION FOR KIRKLAND
Kirkland in 2022 is an attractive, vibrant, and inviting place to live, work and visit. Our lakefront community, with its long shoreline, provides views and access to the lake and is a destination place for residents and visitors. Kirkland is a community with a smalltown feel, retaining its sense of history while adjusting gracefully to changes in the twenty-first century.
The City is a place where people are friendly and helpful, ideas are respected and action is taken based on collaborative decisions. We have a diverse population made up of various income and age groups from various ethnic and educational backgrounds. We are committed to developing and strengthening a healthy community by creating programs that assist those in need, encourage individual expressions and provide enrichment opportunities for an increasingly diverse population. High quality local schools are important to us. Our neighborhood, business, and civic associations; our faith-based groups; and our school organizations have strong citizen involvement.
Our neighborhoods are secure, stable and well-maintained, creating the foundation for our high quality of life. Each neighborhood has its own character which is a community asset. People from all economic, age, and ethnic groups live here in a variety of housing types. Our residential areas are well-maintained with single-family and multifamily homes and include traditional subdivisions, waterfront-oriented neighborhoods, urban villages and an equestrian community. We have worked to increase diversity and affordability, such as smaller homes on smaller lots, compact developments and accessory housing units. Mixed land uses in neighborhoods help to minimize driving. Many of our apartments and condominiums are close to commercial areas and transportation hubs.
Kirkland’s economy is strong and diverse. A healthy mix of businesses provides valuable economic returns including varied employment opportunities and high wages, a strong tax base with sustainable revenues that help fund public services, and a broad range of goods and services. Our business districts are attractive, distinctive and integral to the fabric of the City. Many serve as community gathering places and centers of cultural activity. Businesses choose to locate in Kirkland because of our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and because they are regarded as valued members of the community.
Downtown Kirkland is a vibrant focal point of our hometown with a rich mix of commercial, residential, civic, and cultural activities in a unique waterfront location. Our Downtown maintains a human scale through carefully planned pedestrian and transit-oriented development. Many residents and visitors come to enjoy our parks, festivals, open markets and community events.
Totem Lake Urban Center is an economic and employment center with a wide range of retail, office, industrial and light manufacturing uses as well as a regional medical center surrounded by related services. It is a compact mixed-use urban village with extensive pedestrian- and transit-oriented amenities, higher intensity residential development, public gathering places and cultural activities.
We accommodate growth and change while maintaining strong linkages with our past. Important historic landmarks are preserved, and new development occurs in a manner that is compatible with and respectful of its historic context.
Our transportation system offers a variety of ways to meet our mobility needs and provides efficient and convenient access to all areas of Kirkland and regional centers. Improved transit service and facilities allow us to commute within Kirkland and to other regional destinations without overburdening our neighborhood streets. The City is pedestrian-friendly. Paths for safe pedestrian, bicycle and other transportation modes interconnect all parts of the City. In addition to the transportation functions they provide, our streets and paths are people-friendly and provide public spaces where people socialize.
The City has excellent police and fire protection, dependable water and sewer service, and well-maintained public facilities. Emergency preparedness for natural or manmade disasters is a high priority. We work closely with other jurisdictions on regional issues that affect our community. For recreation, we like to bike or walk to one of our many parks. We have well-maintained playgrounds, play fields, sport courts, indoor facilities and trails in or near each neighborhood. Our recreational programs offer a variety of year-round activities for all ages. Public access to our waterfront is provided by an unparalleled and still-expanding system of parks, trails, and vistas.
We preserve an open space network of wetlands, stream corridors, and wooded hillsides. These natural systems provide habitat for fish and wildlife and serve important biological, hydrological and geological functions. Streets are lined with a variety of trees, and vegetation is abundant throughout the City. The water and air are clean. We consider community stewardship of the environment to be very important.
Kirkland in 2022 is a delightful place to call home.
View the complete Kirkland Comprehensive Plan here.