I recently attended an open house for the new Google facility located off 6th Street South.
As a resident of the Everest neighborhood, I, along with my neighbors, have followed this development closely.
While I quickly surmised that the purpose of this event was for the city and the developer to congratulate each other for this project, I found one of the speeches to be a bit shocking.
It was by Bill Vadino of the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce. He portrayed a very “business vs. residents” attitude and talked about the big battle over the Bank of America property downtown.
Vadino said that everyone needed to keep fighting — giving the impression that members of the business community need to be prepared to battle the residents over all new developments.
Does the Chamber really consider the residents to be the “enemy” because they want to protect what makes Kirkland attractive to all of us (businesses included) and the residents want the city to follow the zoning codes that are in place?
The fact that this new Google development is located in a residential neighborhood, and the obvious disdain for the people living next to this property displayed by the Chamber, made for a rather unwelcoming feeling from a residents point of view.
From what I understand, the Kirkland Alliance of Neighborhoods (KAN) focuses on representing the interests of the residents. It looks like KAN is sorely needed to be a voice for the residents in this current hostile climate.
~Deb Peterson, Kirkland