The Kirkland City Council unanimously approved an ordinance during a special meeting Aug. 2 to add 1.29 acres to McAuliffe Park.
“McAuliffe Park is a treasured and historic landmark of our city,” council member Dave Asher said in a press release. “Our plan for urban change throughout the city has been to preserve and expand open spaces like McAuliffe Park when feasible. It’s a rare opportunity to expand one of our existing parks, and we’re excited about this opportunity to invest in precious, green space.”
The ordinance passed authorizes the Kirkland city manager to proceed with the purchase and sale agreement of a property adjacent to the park, called the Richards Property, which contains a dense stand of mature Douglas fir trees.
The city’s Parks Department previously identified the property as a “key acquisition target” and included it in its overall Park Acquisition Strategy report presented to the council at the June retreat, according to the press release. Had the property been redeveloped for residential purposes, city staff estimate about six to eight home could have been built there.
“Acquiring the Richards Property in order to expand McAuliffe Park supports the City Council’s broader plan for urban change, which keeps density to specific areas like Downtown and Totem Lake while preserving and expanding open spaces in other neighborhoods,” according to the release.
The park, which features historical structures and offers a variety of recreation opportunities, covers 11.6 acres in the Juanita Neighborhood. The city created the park through a series of land acquisitions between 1998 and 2001.