Annexation proponents “Citizens for One Kirkland” talked up reasons for the incorporation of their neighborhoods into the city at a community forum at Heritage Hall last Saturday.
Current plans for the Potential Annexation Area (PAA) neighborhoods of Kingsgate, Juanita and Finn Hill are still under review by City Council. The plans, if adopted, would nearly double the size of Kirkland and increase the population to approximately 80,000 residents. The Council was scheduled to discuss the issue at a Tuesday, April 15, study session after the Kirkland Courier-Reporter’s deadline.
“We recognize that there are a number of things that are going to be occurring in the PAA that do affect Kirkland,” said One Kirkland’s Johanna Palmer, a native of Rose Hill, Palmer. She said regulation of development, urban services, transportation and regional funding would all improve city-wide if annexation of the PAA occurred.
The majority of the approximately 40-person audience came from the PAA neighborhoods and supported the effort to enlarge.
But others in the PAA and Kirkland openly worried about the potential loss of privacy and freedoms brought by additional regulations that seemed to benefit everyone but them. Jan Yount, a 20-year resident, said Kirkland was beyond her family’s means and was happy to be a county resident. She viewed the rural nature of her Finn Hill neighborhood as a benefit in the midst of urban towns and conveniences nearby.
“Some of us chose that hill for its rural atmosphere,” she said. Her large RV would fall under new regulations limiting their size if her neighborhood became part of Kirkland.