James Young, owner of Seaplane Scenics, speaks during a special meeting with the Hearing Examiner on Monday, Jan. 30 at Kirkland City Hall. JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD/Kirkland Reporter

No ruling from hearing examiner on seaplane company

Seaplanes on the Kirkland waterfront are on hold — at least for a few more weeks.

The hearing examiner took public comment and arguments from Citizens for a Livable Waterfront and Carillon Properties, which represents the aerial tour company Seaplane Scenics, on Monday, Jan. 30, at Kirkland City Hall.

No ruling was offered, as the hearing examiner requested additional briefing on Feb. 13 with a ruling as far out as Feb. 22. The next step would be a final ruling by the Washington Department of Ecology.

The tour company is seeking to operate float plane tours, which would board, taxi, take off and land on Lake Washington in front of Carillon Point, with up to 12 flights per day.

Seaplane Scenics would need a Shoreline Conditional Use Permit (SCUP) to operate, and the permit comes with a number of environmental stipulations, including wildlife impact and fuel spill management. The city issued a Determination of Nonsignificance in November, stating the operation would not be harmful to nearby wildlife.

Citizens for a Livable Waterfront, which is made up of local residents, many of whom live near the proposed operation, appealed the issuance to the Hearing Examiner on Jan. 30. The group argued a noise study done as part of the Determination of Nonsignificance was incomplete and did not include measurements taken by waterfront homes, near parks or up the slope of the hill.

Representatives from Carillon Point argued the city had fulfilled state-level requirements, and could not put the seaplane company through more stringent restrictions than required by law.

The second portion of the hearing dealt with the shoreline permit, and included considerable public input.

The City of Kirkland recommended the hearing examiner approve the shoreline permit for Seaplane Scenics. Under the city’s recommendations, the company could fly from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, with no flights on certain major holidays.

The citizen group had several key objections, including noise and safety for recreators. CLW brought seven speakers during the public comment period, with two additional speakers in opposition to the proposal.

Several local residents also spoke in favor of the seaplanes, as well as positive comments from Seattle-area seaplane pilots who were in attendance to advocate for seaplane activity.

More in Business

Theater announced for Totem Lake development

The theater tenant for The Village at Totem Lake has been announced.

CitySurf pop-up pool could open this summer on Eastside

A Sammamish couple hopes to break ground on a permanent indoor surf facility later this year.

Real estate embraces the digital era in creative ways

Kirkland’s MainStreet Property Group’s Junction Apartments in downtown Bothell topic of discussion at recent real estate symposium.

Two wineries move in with Teatro ZinZanni

Two local wineries will be sharing the old Redhook brewery in Woodinville with Teatro ZinZanni.

Sound Publishing appoints new president and vice president

Josh O’Connor is the new president and publisher while Terry Ward is the new vice president.

Everyday Athlete’s new location is at 264 Central Way. Photos courtesy of Everyday Athlete
Kirkland sports apparel store moves downtown

Everyday Athlete sees community support after a big move from Juanita.

Seattle head tax worries Eastside business organizations

Seattle has passed a head tax to help fund homelessness services.

Office space is tight all across the Eastside

The Broderick Group released a report detailing low office vacancy rates across Eastside cities.

Pot sales going strong in Kirkland

Kirkland’s Higher Leaf brought in $8.5 million between October 2016 and and the following Halloween.

Kirkland native moves solar business to Kenmore

Northwest Electric and Solar is open for business in Kenmore following a move from Seattle.

Ivar’s and Kidd Valley hold annual Teacher of the Year contest

The fifteenth annual contest awards two teachers with $500 in supplies and a party for their class.