Letters to the Editor

Potala construction hours bad for Kirkland | Letter

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Letters
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I have worked with neighbors and other Kirkland citizens reviewing some of the city's responses to the Potala Village developer. Here's some things that appear very concerning.

Kirkland staff recently informed developer Lobsang Dargey's team that the hours for construction trucks was to be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Such has been the case with other developments, particularly along one of Kirkand's busiest arterials. This didn't seem to be well received as the Potala team argued that they would be slowed down by maybe a month. To this, staff seemed to indicate they would "work" with the developer.

Say what? Remember that we are talking a full parade of trucks for major excavation for months or years.

Is staff completely forgetting the traffic problems of Lake Street South during both the morning and the afternoon commute? All the more delay to discourage people from trying to get downtown to support those businesses.

As for the "threat" of a longer construction timeline, Dargey's Pogoda Village Everett project had originally had a completion timeline of spring 2012 but wont be completed until 2015 according to the Everett Herald. Kirkland is only the third such development for Path America LLC and we may have similar experience in Kirkland.

A recent headline in the Herald regarding the impact of Pogoda Village Bogda in Everett reads: "New construction harming existing Everett businesses."

Will the next headline about impacted businesses be in the Kirkland Reporter and local blogs?

Again, why in the world would staff budge at all on this? Normal construction hours should be 100 percent enforced. Not a minute more or you further impact an already overly impacted roadway. There should be steep fines for starting with these trucks before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m. What are our enforcement mechanisms? A phone call and request for compliance from the city? What can we learn from the Everett experience in the second article to make sure our streets are not so negatively impacted that Kirkland, as a whole, suffers during the years of construction? How will we make sure we have a mechanism that works to enforce compliance of Kirkland's rules?

Let's learn from the Everett situation. We need firm rules and we need to have a way to enforce them.

These need to be rules that the city imposes for the good of the citizens and business people who are already here. We don't need the next headline to be: "New construction harming Kirkland businesses."

Karen Levenson, Kirkland

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