Should we let a developer threaten us into building an

Should we let a developer threaten us into building an extreme project? That’s what seems to have happened with Parkplace.

  • Monday, November 17, 2008 5:16pm
  • Opinion

Parkplace opposition

Should we let a developer threaten us into building an extreme project? That’s what seems to have happened with Parkplace.

On Nov. 13, the Planning Commission selected the lesser of two evils by rubber stamping Touchstone’s 1.8 million square foot Parkplace proposal with multiple eight-story, 115-foot tall buildings. They even said it will have many adverse effects on our city.

Developer Doug Howe’s Nov. 3 letter to the city says it all. In it he says “there is no middle ground.” The only compromise, in his eyes, would be to take advantage of an oversight in our city zoning and build a five-story office-only project. He’s holding the city hostage, offering sales tax revenue if we pay the ransom with our city skyline and comprehensive plan.

It’s time to expose Touchtone’s alternative for what it really is —- a threat. The ball now lies with City Council. It’s time for compromise on Parkplace.

Cami Keyes, Kirkland

At the Kirkland Planning Commission’s Public Hearing on Oct. 23 regarding Touchstone Corporation’s Comprehensive Plan variance request for Parkplace, Touchstone pleaded with the Planning Commission to allow for the eight-story height variance because the project would become a panacea for all of Kirkland’s shopping needs, including the ability to shop for “socks, shoes, underwear, nails , drill bits, hammers and toilet seats.”

Touchstone’s plan for the property is for upscale retail that will pay upscale rent. Only the highest priced fashion socks and underwear will be available, and standard retail hardware proprietors will not be able to afford high priced rents to sell nails, hammers, drill bits and toilet seats.

All the impressive architectural renderings showing sparkling water fountains, massive artwork and beautiful promenades are not guaranteed, and promises for a new, affordable health club or a new state-of-the-art movie theatre are not a given.

Let’s not be lulled into thinking that Touchstone has our best interests at heart. The developer wants to maximize their return on investment at Parkplace and making underwear and toilet seats available to the citizens of Kirkland does not fit with their plans.

Dave Garland, Kirkland


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.
It’s time to talk turkey about turkeys | Guest column

So how do you feel about turkeys? When I was 12 years… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Not much changed from what we knew on election night | Roegner

This column was due before the election was certified. However, not much… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Washington’s secretary of state leaves big shoes to fill | Roegner

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recently announced she will leave her state… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: A story of resettlement | Guest column

The wind is strong. It carries the colored leaves of fall to… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
The rest of the story: Sound Transit, Rolovich and Lambert | Roegner

All of the reporters I know are ethical and trustworthy. But I… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
When it comes to power, Washington may be falling behind | Brunell

For years, Washington state masked its high business and regulatory costs with… Continue reading

tsr
Domestic violence victims need more housing options

Column: As a result of stay-at-home measures from the pandemic, domestic violence rates have worsened in King County.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Why should the threat to Taiwan concern us in WA? | Brunell

Unfortunately, what happens in Taiwan doesn’t just stay in Taiwan — it… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Our economy works when consumers pick winners | Brunell

Poland and America are like two trains passing each other in opposite… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Big-time politics: Redistricting for 2022 elections | Roegner

Based on new census data, which shows Washington state has grown by… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading