Huge turnout for Study Sessions | Letter to the Editor
September 27, 2012 · 8:47 AM
A year and a half later, citizens are more involved and more incensed than ever about the Potala project on Lake Street and 10th Avenue South. That was clearly apparent by the huge turnout for the city council study session Sept. 18 on amendments to our commercial zoning code as developed and presented by the Planning Commission - at the City Council’s request.
There were approximately 50 concerned citizens in attendance, packing the Peter Kirk room to the gills. Seating was quickly overwhelmed and latecomers had to stand or sit on the floor with their backs against the walls. This is truly remarkable for a grass-roots movement. STOP (“Support The Ordinances and Plans”) started in early 2011 with a small contingent of concerned neighbors and has grown now to involve some 1,000 followers, at least 500 of whom have been publicly identified. The movement grows every week.
Usually such “protests” peter out after a couple of meetings, but the Potala issue has definitely caught the imagination of Kirkland citizens and many visitors as well. The involvement, the passion, and the commitment, have only grown, and for that the STOP leadership team can only say “thank you” to those who have given their time to be involved. Clearly, these people love Kirkland and see the value of protecting our amazing pedestrian-friendly waterfront boulevards and vistas. These folks hope that the City will do the right thing and insist on an appropriate development plan for the Potala site, consistent with the scale and density of the neighborhood - and most of all, consistent with the vision for these parcels as dictated by the Kirkland Comprehensive Plan.
Many thanks to the hundreds of petition signers, the writers of hundreds if not thousands of letters to city officials, and the constant resolve of the “red shirt team” for a history making level of participation. And many thanks to the Kirkland Reporter, The Seattle Times and the two major blogs for keeping Kirkland residents informed of the outrageous Potala development.
The Council will now vote on the matter at its meeting on Oct. 2. Based on what we saw last night, there remains no indication that the Council has any plans whatsoever to “do the right thing.”
Chuck Pilcher, Kirkland