Saturday, July 31, 2021

Lamenting About Downtown Redmond

I've heard some say "they're trying to turn Redmond into Bellevue." That wouldn't be much of a problem if we had all the space of Bellevue. (I think Bellevue is a lovely city--it's classy, clean, safe and I haven't noticed the aggressiveness of beggars there like in Redmond.) But trying to squeeze so many high rises into our little town on a bog is an eye sore. We're basically leveling our town and cramming everything in. When brand new, some high rises may look tidy and clean, but most of them look drab. Honestly, they remind me of Cabrini-Green projects in Chicago. :( As they age and get dirty/moldy they'll become an eyesore to many (to me they already are). And they obstruct Redmond's natural beauty and cast big shadows on an otherwise coveted sunny day. Perhaps this could alter downtown Redmond's microclimate as well. It all makes me sad.

--- Anonymous, 2/23/2019

Redmond Pool Outdoor Art

 


Do you see: 5 bicycles?  A flying fish?  A salmon?  Moose?  Whale?  Squid?  A Dog?  Dog bone? Bass? My daughter? Three fish?

The Pool is Open

The Redmond Pools was previously closed for a two-phase improvement project. Construction was completed at the end of April 2021, and the pool is open. The City's Operational partner, Wave Aquatics, has information on programs and activities. To plan your visit, please go to www.waveaquatics.org Again, the pool is open.  I saw few swimmers there today, Saturday.  Go for it!  It's an awesome renovation. The City did a great job!

-- Bob Yoder & redmond.gov, 7/31/2021

   Photo, Yoder

Friday, July 30, 2021

Redmond Light Rail Station Art

The two images on the left @ Overlake Village Station
 Three images on the right @ Redmond Technology Station 

When light rail begins servicing Redmond’s Overlake neighborhood in 2023, riders will experience more than fast, convenient connections throughout the region. Sound Transit commissioned four artists for the Overlake Village Station and Redmond Technology Station.

-- redmond.gov

The commissioned art is paid by the City of Redmond.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

UPDATED: Bulldozer Treads On Redmond's Oldest Park



When will it stop!  Though necessary, now Anderson Park is under siege! 😏 I had a nice 10-minute talk with city worker Dan about the project.  Apparently, a water leak under the plaza between the restrooms and Adair House triggered the construction. They're replacing 1960's pipe with new. One badly diseased tree will be removed.

Dan is a 30-year parks operations employee and loves his job.  He remembers when Mayor Ives would stop by and give updates on Microsoft permitting.  He recalled the loss of 17 trees to a winter storm in Grasslawn Park.  The "thinning" ultimately improved aesthetics; and park maintenance was simplified.  We discussed the cottonwood problem at Idylwood Park. He called them self-pruning; when fishing he never camps below one.  Apparently, they suck up water during the dry days and their limbs get heavy -- crack!  Dan knows more about cottonwoods than most, including me.  

Anderson Park is precious; it's Redmond's first park. It's bothersome to see the ground disturbed. I'll never forget the time when the two wellheads were installed.

-- Bob Yoder, 7/29/2021
    Photo, Yoder
 
 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

OPINION: Observations of a Pandemic Council Meeting

City Hall chambers / (r-l) Stuart, city clerk, Mayor Birney, Padhye, Carson,
Anderson, Helland, Beverley - photo Yoder)

Thanks to new work habits brought on by the pandemic only three (of seven) council members attended this study session meeting.  Some are at home, a cafe, etc. working remotely.  Most report they "are attending;" though one member rarely participates.  The quality of the meetings has taken a turn for the worse. I hope Mayor Birney can call them in.  After all, council members are city employees, paid $18,648 annually. As is, when a member is speaking remotely you can never see him/her.

I must say this meeting was vibrant despite the lack of physical presence.  Two very interesting land use projects were studied, guided by Planning Director Carol Helland.  She is amazing; her work is brilliant. Council member David Carson led the discussion and appeared the decision-maker in the Pier 67 session.  Council member Jeralee Anderson (center) was thrilled the Marymoor development would be LEED certified....one of her requests.  President Tanika Padhye discouraged "pocket zoning." 

The lady in the audience (of 2) dressed in pink is Melissa Stuart. She was the only one wearing a mask. Ms. Stuart is running for Council Seat No. 4.  I learned she would be the only council member living in Overlake. This is key!  She's very kind. 

-- Bob Yoder, 7/28/2021

 (Tip: Go to the city Facebook page for active viewing and commenting.) 👀  

Comments?

click to enlarge

The solicitation is taped to a pole on the SE corner of 166th Ave NE & Redmond Way. He/she posted their Paypal account. Wool socks are available at most churches and some nonprofits.  Email info@redmond.gov for assistence.

Photo/ Bob Yoder

June Monthly Finance Report

Redmond Finance Director Chip Corder

June 27th, 2021 Monthly Finance Report:  

Total revenues are ahead of target by approximately 35%, or $16.5 million.

· Sales tax exceeds target by approximately 77%, or $9.1 million. One-time sales tax on construction continues to be the revenue driver at $7.6 million for the year, with $1.3 million received in June. 

· Utility taxes are below target by approximately 1.9%, or $113,000. This is an improvement over prior months due to a large payment received for unpaid electric utility taxes. 

· Intergovernmental revenue is ahead of target by approximately 73%, or $5.1 million, mostly due to the receipt of the 2021 American Rescue Act Plan allocation. 

· License & permit revenues exceed target by 34%, or $2.3 million. · Total expenditures are below target by approximately 8.50%, or $4.3 million.

-- redmond.gov

Monday, July 26, 2021

Flex Warehouse Project Abuts S.E. Redmond Park


A Redmond warehouse (Internet)
Click the FLEX hyperlink for a video of the project.

The FLEX warehouse/office site is located in a unique location in that a residential development is under construction to the east, SE Redmond Park is located to the south along with single-family residential.  It's 1.5 miles from the light rail. West of the site are light industrial uses, and to the north are industrial uses on the Cadman site.  188th Ave. NE & NE 68th St.  

The project proposes one two-story with 140,000 sf of office and industrial/warehouse space. A surface parking lot is proposed with 270 parking spaces with associated parking lot landscaping. With SE Redmond Park located to the south of the project site, a pedestrian connection is proposed, along with two pedestrian plazas and space for food trucks. The project is in a unique location and will be highly visible as it is surrounded by three streets to the north, east and west, and is also adjacent to SE Redmond Park. 

The project is very well landscaped (Yoder.)  It includes landscaped areas along the perimeter of the site to provide visual screening. The landscape screening includes multiple layers of plantings comprised of low plantings, 75% landscape screening, and solid landscape screening. The surface parking lot and its landscaping also provide a visual buffer from the residential homes soon to be located to the east. 

-- Design Review Board, 7/26/2021. This project is still under review by the Design Review Board.  You may make comment.

Have you heard about the SE Redmond Park?  SE Redmond Park


New Washington State Legislation Prohibits Neck Restraints

 


Auburn Police demonstrating a neck restraint. 
This guy is talking into a microphone - he can breath
Different from a choke hold, a carotid (neck) restraint does not cut off oxygen but instead puts pressure on the carotid arteries to diminish blood-flow to the brain and where properly deployed will render a subject unconscious in 4-7 seconds. (Internet)

The Washington State Legislature recently passed several bills that impact law enforcement procedures, tactics, and operations across the state. As the Redmond Police Department incorporates these changes, I’d like to share a summary with the community.

Effective July 25, 2021

  • House Bill 1054 (Tactics) prohibits using a chokehold OR neck restraint, prohibits military equipment, restricts vehicular pursuits, and prohibits firing a weapon at a moving vehicle. Redmond already prohibits chokeholds (but neck restraints?) and firing at moving vehicles, and our existing pursuit policy is as restrictive as the new legislation. Redmond’s only military surplus equipment (which is not subject to this bill as it is not armored) is a repurposed Ford F850 box truck (previously a Naval Mobile Dental Services Unit), used by crisis negotiators as a place to coordinate, meet, and communicate with subjects during an on-scene response.
--Redmond Police Chief Darrell Howe
  Edited excerpt from City press release, 7/25/2021

Friday, July 23, 2021

Sunrise Apartments Most Innovative In Redmond


The proposed building is a six-story, mixed-use apartment building, only a five minute walk to light rail. It is located at the intersection of 164th and NE 85th Street.  A single family home, vacant lot (Brown Bag restaurant)  dentist office and strip mall (Herfy's Burger) across from 164th are on the site. The building is designed with a hint of orange in concert with the name "Sunrise Apartments."  This is a big breakthrough for Redmond from mustard colors; the Design Review Board still challenged them on the color! 

It consists of 1,991 sf of commercial retail space at the ground level with varying amenity spaces throughout. On levels two through six, there are 93 residential units. 83 internal parking stalls are provided at the ground level within the building with a three level car stacker system, as well as an additional subterranean level with additional parking spaces. 

One of the common open space features is located on the roof top. (see video.)  The deck itself features group seating, four Magnolia trees, Italian Cyprus, raised planters, a turf lawn gathering area, an outdoor kitchen, a green wall system, and a 42” height seating bar with canary lights draped over the central seating area.  The supposed "eclectic" SE Redmond Marymoor neighborhood could learn from this innovative developer.  

On the street level, the creative plaza design provides a sense of reprieve for pedestrians by incorporating seating areas within the vegetation and trees.  The building is set-back significantly providing wide sidewalks (see video.)

Of note, the interesting design of a double height indoor resident open space referred to as the “Sky Lounge” is located at the 6th level. It provides visual interest for the public while also providing a unique indoor recreational space for the residents, filled with natural light and broad views of the skyline.

Pictures and details at this link.

--- Design Review Board memo, 2/21/2021
     Opinion, Yoder



Thursday, July 22, 2021

McDonald's is Concocting Something New

Double click to enlarge (see the pandemic-related sign?) Photo by Pam Yoder

Most of Redmond's original, long standing buildings are being torn down, thanks to the Growth Management Act.  This one passed the test and instead will be remodeled. (B. Yoder)

McDonald's is located within the "Anderson Park zone."  ACCORDING TO THE CITY PLANNERS, the Anderson Park zone "encourages development of a mix of multistory residential and office buildings and allows limited retail space in order to provide convenient access without diluting the more concentrated retail cores of the Old Town and Town Center zones. The Anderson Park zone also enhances the long-term pedestrian character of Redmond Way and Cleveland Street by including street-level building and landscape design.

The McDonald's remodel proposes to enhance the overall appearance of the building with an upgrade to the exterior building materials and change to the roofline. Overall, the intention of the building design is a more contemporary appearance closer in character to the new nearby contemporary construction. All existing trees on-site are to be retained and existing landscaping protected where possible. The proposed modification to the drive-thru lane (2 lanes) includes new landscaping, which provides more parking lot landscaping and more screening of the drive-thru from the parking lot."

For details go to this link.   

Design Review Board, 7/22/2021

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Downtown Park Will Soon be Surrounded by Apartments

"Porch + Park" - double click to enlarge/Photo Yoder

Construction of the six story "Porch + Park" mixed use project is well under way.  You are looking west from the western most part of the Downtown Park. (A concrete "plaza" borders the grass.) When the project is complete the Park will be fully surrounded by retail, restaurants, apartments and condominiums; except for the pavillion and Stone House on the eastside.  Apartment buildings dominate by far.  

FLASH:  I was driving by the Park at 7:30 tonight (Wednesday.)  It was vibrant and loaded with people!  I've never seen so many without an event. Mayor Birney must be very happy.  

Credit, Porch + Park website

-- Bob Yoder, 7/21/2021 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Popular Rockin' on the River Moves to Redmond City Hall Great Lawn

The Rockin' on the River free summer concerts return on Friday, August 6, and Saturday, August 7. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. on the great lawn next to Redmond City Hall. We invite you to bring low beach chairs, blankets, and picnic dinners to enjoy during the show.  Kiwanis Club will provide ice cream, chips and drinks.  

Friday, August 6 Petty Thief
Saturday, August 7 - Cherry, Cherry with Mainstreet - Bob Seger Tribute opening

2021 Rockin' on the River

Public Transportation

Parking

Free parking is available at:
8711 160th Ave NE
Redmond, WA 98052

Food and Drinks

Redmond Kiwanis Club will be selling ice cream bars, chips, and soft drinks.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Redmond Council Candidate Janet Richards Walks For Mental Health

 I'm endorsing Janet Manuel Richards! Go Janet!  (Bob Yoder)

Janet Manuel Richards (r) and daughter Jada Walk for Mental Health

"I'm so proud of Jada, she was the youngest person walking today at the Kirkland Marina park location. We walked for all the youth in Redmond who need and have needed mental health support during this difficult year. No one should be shamed or embarrassed about seeking professional help to be as healthy as they can be."

-- Janet Manuel Richards


OneRedmond 2021 State of the City Summit Featuring Mayor Birney


For the mayor's talk advance to minute 5:20

Mayor’s Biography

Term: 2020-2023

Elected as Mayor in 2019, Angela Birney is now in her first term as Mayor of Redmond. The community of over 69,900 is home to a variety of several large industries such as aerospace, high tech, video game production, and biotech, as well as thousands of small businesses where over 85,000 people are employed.

As Mayor, she is the executive leader, with oversight of eight departments and over 600 employees. The Mayor collaborates with Council to set the strategy, vision, and policies for the City of Redmond.

The Mayor serves on the Hopelink Board of Directors, OneRedmond Board, Cascade Water Alliance Board, King County Council Regional Policy Committee, King County Regional Homelessness Authority, King County Climate Initiatives, Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board, I-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Committee, Sound Cities Association Board, serving as Board Vice-President, and Sound Cities Association Public Issues Committee.

Mayor Birney was elected to City Council in 2015 and served as Council President from 2018 to 2019. Prior to her Council service, she was the chair of the Redmond Parks and Trails Commission and volunteered her time at several different organizations throughout the Redmond community. She is a 2017 Leadership Eastside graduate.

Angela is a Washington native and grew up in Eastern Washington. She moved to Redmond in 1998. Formerly a middle school science teacher, she earned a Master of Education from Heritage University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology Education from Eastern Washington University. She lives on Education Hill with her husband and daughters.

Friday, July 16, 2021

UPDTED: City Leadership Leads the Way as Redmond Solar Champions

 

Internet image:  Puget Sound

Redmond, WA –The City of Redmond launched an investment campaign this week inviting the community to purchase solar panels at the new Redmond Senior & Community Center. Community members who invest in the new building help move the building toward the carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability goals identified during the community feedback for this project.

Leading the way in this sustainability initiative and purchasing the first solar panels are Mayor Angela Birney, City Council President Tanika Padhye, Council Member Vanessa Kritzer, Chief Operating Officer Malisa Files, and city directors Carrie Hite (Parks), Dave Juarez and family (Public Works), and Carol Helland (Planning).

There are 500 solar panels available to be sponsored as an individual, family, group, or business. This gift is tax deductible and will leave a green legacy helping Redmond meet its sustainability goals. Additional opportunities to become a Founding Member in this project will launch on August 9.

“The Redmond Senior & Community Center is a legacy project that will meet a multitude of Redmond’s priorities and needs for community recreation and gathering space,” said Mayor Angela Birney. “We invite you to join us in the opportunity to be a Solar Champion and commit to Redmond’s sustainable future for generations to come.”

For additional information on the Redmond Senior & Community Center project and how to become a partner in this Community Investment Campaign, visit www.redmond.gov/RSCC.

For questions and more information, contact Communications Manager Jill Smith at jesmith@redmond.gov or 425-556-2448.

The following is financial information from a renewable energy solar company:   Sunbridge Solar of Washington State: 

  • 9.4 year payback - not counting sales tax exemptions, 26% federal tax credit, and net metering potential.
-- Bob Yoder, 7/16/21

King County Purchases Redmond Hotel For Housing Homeless

Photo credit:  Redmond Reporter
King County has purchased the former Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond, its fourth hotel purchase through the Health through Housing Initiative. King County Executive Dow Constantine joined Redmond Mayor Angela Birney and other guests at a news conference today to announce the $28.25 million purchase of the hotel, which will soon provide housing for up to 144 people experiencing homelessness.

"Across King County, communities are stepping up to the challenge of addressing chronic homelessness, and I am excited to partner with Mayor Birney and the City of Redmond on the next step of Health through Housing," said Executive Constantine. "Health Through Housing is built on partnerships to bring in our neighbors from off the street, and I’m thankful for Mayor Birney and the City to bring this vision to life for the people of King County."

The former Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond is located [near Microsoft] at 2122 152nd Ave. NE and is conveniently located near transportation options and other services. It was constructed in 1984 and contains 144 units and sits on approximately 1.94 acres.

Health through Housing is a regional approach to addressing chronic homelessness on a countywide scale. By the end of 2022, King County will partner with local jurisdictions to create up to 1,600 emergency housing and permanent supportive housing units for people experiencing chronic homelessness. The County is acquiring existing facilities, like the Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond, to quickly create housing that is dignified, protective and service enriched.

In addition to a room to call their own, the hotel will offer residents 24/7 onsite staffing that will include case management and access to physical and behavioral health services. A competitive process will determine the onsite service provider before the facility is operational later this year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

August Primary Voting Guidance

 


Hello Bob,

Thank you for your email regarding the August Primary Election.  Ballots will be mailed out on Wednesday, July 14.  If you do not receive your ballot at the xxx Ave NE address by end of mail delivery time on Tuesday, July 20, please contact us and we'll be more than happy to reissue a ballot to you as soon as possible. 

If you have any other questions, comments or requests, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Thank you,
Julie Hayashi
Administrator II
King County Elections
206-296-VOTE (8683)

kingcounty.gov/elections

Monday, July 12, 2021

The "Spark" Project, Will The Building Have Color, Be Eclectic?

"Pure Redmond Apartments." For Redmond, this is eclectic. 

The Spark project is located on NE 67th Court and 176th Ave on an approximately 93,500 sf lot. The project site is long, narrow, and primarily flat. The site fronts NE 76th Court where light rail station will be constructed approximately 0.5 miles north of the site. 

The site currently houses an industrial building with multiple businesses, including an auto repair shop, HVAC contactor, and gym use. The site is adjacent to the Marymoor Village Community Center to the south, LMC South Park future development to the east, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound to the north, and office and commercial uses to the east and less than a block to Marymoor Park. 

The project is approximately 215 residential dwelling units, five to ten Live/Work units and approximately 2,000 sf of micro retail. The project is proposed to be five stories, including two stories of parking, one of which is semi subterranean.  

Spark is located in the "Marymoor Design District" neighborhood. It's a moderately dense mixed-use neighborhood. Key features are the future light rail station, allowance of existing industrial uses, and the proximity to a major regional park. The City Council stressed the word “eclectic” when initiating the Marymoor Design District. The City Council’s intent was to have an eclectic neighborhood through place making and architecture. The Marymoor Design District will be visibly different than the building forms that have been constructed in the Downtown and Overlake urban centers.  [designed colors?]

One of the prominent features of the Spark is the proposed urban forest bisecting the project site. The urban forest intends to preserve many of the existing trees on site for a more natural feel. The urban forest will be heavily landscaped and will include areas for community activities, areas for gathering, and a play area which includes stumps and rocks for interactive play. The urban forest provides connection from NE 67th Court to the Marymoor Village Community Center and a pedestrian path to the south of the building to connect to the future 174th Avenue NE.

-- Design Review Board, 6/2021