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Is Kirkland quaint? | Letter
Several people have mentioned in the Kirkland Reporter that we must halt development and keep downtown small and quaint. I agree that five-story buildings along the waterfront would negatively impact the small town feel of our community.
I question the “small is beautiful” attitude, though, when I know that the people complaining also shop at Costco, Home Depot, Bellevue Square and the Internet. Even if small shops selling similar household items move into downtown Kirkland, I don’t believe it would change people’s shopping habits. Smaller establishments can’t give the same discounts that big box stores do.
In my opinion, there is nothing quaint about the waterfront area where more than half of the businesses specialize in one type of beauty treatment or another. I don’t need to have my nails done, get a tattoo or buy a bong.
That said, Kirkland does have some wonderful restaurants to choose from where you can find many types of ethnic food: pad Thai, gyros, tacos, or a plate of pasta. On the whole, those restaurants would do well in a small building or a large one, as long as the food is good and there are Kirklanders that patronize them. The same is true for trendy coffee shops — you find them everywhere.
There was a time back in the 70s when Kirkland truly was a small town. We had a JC Penney, a Ben Franklin, a drug store and a hardware store. Those days are past — this is 2013!
But all is not lost — within a 6-mile radius you can still go to a Ben Franklin, an Ace Hardware or a JC Penney store. We can’t go back to the 70s, nor can we expect to have a vibrant community by staying where we are now with an overabundance of beauty salons, banks, and coffee shops.
We can all contribute to improving our community by shopping locally (rather than the Internet) and patronizing smaller stores. But more importantly, we need to get beyond complaining and put our heads together to design a well thought out comprehensive plan that will bring us into the future with a community that we can all feel at home in. Now is your opportunity!
Margarette Bull, Kirkland