Monday, January 25, 2021


 Paddle boarding fun on flooded Sammamish River, 1/22/2021, by John Reinke

Friday, January 22, 2021

Affordable "Micro Suite" Apartments?

UNDER REVIEW:

Pixel Apartments: Overlake Description: with three levels parking Location: 15424 Bel-Red Road.  3360 SF rug warehouse torn down. 179 units; 374 SF per unit.Paid parking/107 stalls. Eight stories. Construction begins early 2022.  500 SF commercial space.

Harmony: Downtown Description:  The parcel is located on 164th Avenue NE and NE 87th Street and borders a mix of residential and commercial uses. An office building will be torn down. 

If approved, the five-story project will be two blocks from the Redmond Transit Center and within 0.5 miles from Bella Bottega.  The developer proposes a mixed-use building with approximately 250 square feet of commercial, 584 office,*91 residential suites and eight apartment units.  The 91 residential micro-unit suites will be 200 square feet. The studio apartments will range from 400 to 700 square feet. The ground floor includes an open space open to the public which includes covered and uncovered seating areas and landscaping. Forty-four stalls of paid parking will be provided to commercial and residential users. Parking won't be subterranean.  The developer is aiming for LEED Platinum status.

* Harmony residential unit numbers may increase to 104 units. 

-- Bob Yoder, 1/19/2021

Sources: DRB memos/ City staff/redmond.gov, Internet

An apartment building in Downtown Redmond advertises their 186 SF units at $905- $1200.  Parking is an additional $45/month. The apartments have a prime location close to the transit center and restaurants. Affordable for Redmond?  You could say so.  

Emerald Heights Expansion Is Close To Approval

The approval of this 2/3 story redevelopment has been in the works for years. Construction of a new 42-unit Independent Living Building and a new 54-unit Assisted Living Building within the existing Emerald Heights retirement community is involved.

 A HOA led by retired CM John Stilin took their case to the Washington Superior Court.  Their objections were NIMBY in nature. i.e. too many trees removed, incompatible with existing neighborhoods, traffic, etc. -- Bob Yoder 

Design Review Board memo:

Site & Background: The Emerald Heights campus currently includes: 333 independent living units, 56 assisted living/memory care units and 32 skilled nursing units, which total 421 units.   

The proposed project is located within the Education Hill neighborhood, in the Emerald Heights Retirement Community, which is located at 10901 176th Circle NE. The Emerald Heights community is located on 38.0 acres and was approved in November 1988 as a Planned Unit Development. 

The existing campus consists of 33 buildings, which includes 12 independent living duplex cottages to the west of the campus, an independent living apartment building to the south, a series of connected apartment buildings in the center of the campus, and various amenity and service buildings.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Redmond Mayor Angela Birney Elected Vice President Of Sound Cities Association


 Redmond Mayor Angela Birney has been elected Vice President of the Sound Cities Association (SCA), which represents 38 King County cities and provides a regional voice for more than one million people.

“Mayor Birney is a dynamic and well-respected regional leader,” said SCA Executive Director Deanna Dawson. “We are excited to have her in a leadership role at SCA.”

Mayor Birney’s colleague Councilmember Ed Prince of Renton was elected to be 2021 President of SCA. He echoed the praise for Birney, stating “Angela is one of the brightest and hardest working elected officials I know. She always comes to the table prepared to tackle challenges with common sense and compassion. I can think of no one I’d rather have by my side at the helm of SCA this year.

“I am honored to represent all of the sound cities in my new role as Vice President,” stated Redmond Mayor Angela Birney. “I am excited to work with our new president, Ed Prince, as well as the rest of the board and am looking forward to broadening my work with SCA.”

Mayor Birney was elected to the SCA Board in 2020. In addition, she serves as Redmond’s representative on the SCA Public Issues Committee (PIC) and on the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board, and as an SCA representative on the Regional Policy Committee (RPC) and the Governing Committee of the King County Regional Homelessness Authority.  She also serves on the Boards of Hopelink, the Cascade Water Alliance, and OneRedmond among her many volunteer activities.

Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman Is Spectacular


  2017 National Youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman delivering her spectacular poem at President Biden's inauguration 1/20/2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Redmond Community Space History

 History of community space in Redmond

From 2000 through 2017, the City of Redmond operated 72,300 square feet of community center space through the Old Redmond Schoolhouse, Old Firehouse Teen Center, and Redmond Senior Center. The Old Redmond Schoolhouse was the City's main community center through an inter-local agreement with Lake Washington School District. Annual usage of this 40,000 square foot space included 170,000 annual visitors, 125 large-scale rentals for cultural celebrations, dances and milestone moments, 35 ongoing community rentals, and a variety of recreation services.

In December 2017, the City relocated from the Old Redmond Schoolhouse to the Redmond Community Center at Marymoor Village (leased from the Lake Washington Institute of Technology), decreasing available space to 50,600 square feet. While many services, rentals and activities were relocated to the new community center, some ongoing community rentals, sports programs, and partnerships were canceled due to space limitations.

Monday, January 18, 2021

City Of Redmond Outdoor Covid Signs Are Well Done



The City does an excellent job on their Covid signs....professional, easy to understand and in good locations.  The yellow banner is hung at the Hartman Park soccer fields. (The pretty lady is my wife, Pam!)  Perrigo Park also has a field banner.  There were three "Sports Fields Open" sandwich boards surrounding Hartman Park sports field. The "No Gathering" sign is next to the Perrigo Park playground.  The Bike Park has a sign which includes "no gathering." Double click pics to enlarge them.

-- Bob Yoder, 1/18/2021

LWSD Covid-19 Outdoor Signage Needs Some Work



I found these LWSD notices on 1/18/2021 tied to the Redmond High tennis court fencing. They appear confusing and need updating. Redmond Middle School doesn't post any notices. Not to pick, but according to Governor Inslee's new restrictions (or guidelines?) there is no Phase 3.   King County is in Phase 1 as of January 11, 2021. According to King County's restrictions, it appears the tennis courts shouldn't be open until Phase 2.  I don't know why we can't consider them guidelines! I personally find the restrictions ridiculous, though do agree with 6-foot distancing and not crowding.  In Phase 2, up to 200 players and spectators are allowed on fields - but no tournaments. Geez. It appears LWSD closes their playgrounds at times but playgrounds are open in the City of Redmond.  My only ask is the District improve their signage and locations.  The C.O.R sets an outstanding example.  Posting professional outdoor signage would give confidence and calm to parents and the public. 

-- Bob Yoder, 1/18/2021, opinion
    Photos, Yoder

Friday, January 15, 2021

Un-named City Trail Is A Gem


One of the great things about Redmond is its neighborhood trails!  Lately I've been extremely stressed by the insurrection, pandemic and my personal health care issues.  Hiking on this forested trail, and others, is my "best personal practice" for dealing with stress and improving my mental health.  

 I was on a trail today leading me to this forest. Highly recommended -  birds flitting in thickets, no bikes, few hikers, greenery - a gem.  It's a mile or so.  The trailhead is at 104th / flashing crosswalk. It first parallels the western fencing of Redmond High School.  The forest  thickens as you approach the Emerald Heights eastern fencing.  Buffered residential properties are on the West.  

About two days ago we had blustery rain storm that dropped a tree on the trail; I had to turn back.  (I was surprised the trail was in Redmond's jurisdiction.)  Had it not been obstructed one can hike to the street, take  about 60 steps up the hill, then jag off the street to the trail on the right. The trail ends at 111th Street.  From there I walk to 166th and home.  

Happy hiking!  Bob Yoder, 1/15/2021


Sunday, January 10, 2021

New Sign Unites Our Community


A new trilingual sign staked at the entrance to Redmond Police Department headquarters comforts our community.  The sign was staked on January 9th, three days after the insurrection in our nation's Capital. 

Photo by John Reinke, 1/9/2001

Friday, January 8, 2021

Superintendent Jon Holmen Lays Out Plans For In-School Services

 Redmond, Wash. – At a live event on the evening of Wednesday, January 6, Lake Washington School District (LWSD) Superintendent, Dr. Jon Holmen, announced Pathway Forward, LWSD’s plan to return students to in-person learning for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

In-person services will begin on Thursday, February 4 for Kindergarten and first grade students, on Thursday, February 18 for second and third grade students, and on Thursday, February 25 for fourth and fifth grade students. Middle school and high school students will have in-person start dates in March. More details on the in-person model for secondary students will be released as they are developed.

Families will choose fully-remote or in-person services. Diagram

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

This pathway was developed using the latest orders, proclamations and guidance from: The Governor’s Office, the Washington State Department of Health, King County Public Health, the Department of Labor and Industry, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

To view a live recording of the event, click here.

For more information, visit: https://www.lwsd.org/pathway-forward.


-- LWSD Press Release, Shannon Parthemer

King County To Spend $7 million For COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

 King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove issued the following statement Friday after Executive Dow Constantine announced that King County will spend $7 million stand up mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics and mobile clinics with the first sites to be located in South King County where residents have been hard hit by the virus:

“It has saddened me every day to see people in my district, in South King County, take the hardest hit from COVID-19 during this pandemic. It is absolutely critical that we put our resources where our need is greatest.


“I applaud Dow Constantine’s investment to prioritize vaccinations in the south end, and to lay the groundwork to ensure that King County delivers the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as we can get doses.”


--King County Press Release

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Violence At U.S. Capital

 

NEWS: Executive Constantine statement on violence at U.S. Capitol

King County Executive Dow Constantine issued the following statement on the violence today at the U.S. Capitol:

"The scenes from the U.S. Capitol are an utterly predictable manifestation and culmination of the anti-democratic, anti-American fraud perpetrated by Donald Trump over the last four years.

"This is a sad, dark moment in our nation's history. I urge leaders at all levels of government and across the political spectrum to stand together in support of our nation, our constitution, and the peaceful transfer of power that these traitors are seeking in vain to disrupt."

-- King County Press Release

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Redmond's Woonerf

This Living Street abuts Mr. Pantley's painted Apartment Building "162-TEN." The street runs south on 162 Ave NE towards the Downtown park from 81st Street.

A Living Street is a street designed primarily with the interests of pedestrians and cyclists in mind.  Robert Pantley, an Eastside developer, has built Redmond's only living street. These roads are still available for use by motor vehicles, however their design aims to reduce both the speed and dominance of motorized transport.  Vehicles drive at the same speed as pedestrians walk. This is often achieved using the shared space approach, with greatly reduced demarcations between vehicle traffic and pedestrians. These street design principles first became popularized in the Netherlands during the 1970’s, and the Dutch word “woonerf” (Living Street) is often used as a synonym for living street.

Living streets protect water quality in rivers and streams by removing up to 90% of pollutants. They replenish groundwater supplies, absorb carbon, improve air quality and neighborhood aesthetics, and provide green connections between parks and open space.  An abundance of rain gardens and trees on this street remove pollutants.  Vegetated curb extensions improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, and calm traffic. 

Read More for Mr. Pantley's BIO and his fight against the COVID challenges to businesses and the neighborhoods.  425-828-4663, info@naturalbuilt.com

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A Message From The Mayor

"Hello, I’m Redmond Mayor Angela Birney. 2020 will certainly be a year we will never forget. As it comes to a close, I would like to thank the community for all of your efforts to keep yourselves, your families, and each other safe, along with your contributions and support for our local businesses and families during these challenging times. 

Over the last 12 months, city staff has adapted to new state restrictions and guidelines. We quickly moved to a partial remote work environment while creating and utilizing several digital solutions to help ensure continuity in our daily operations that include a variety of online permit and inspection services. 

Throughout this past year, we have continued to focus on delivering essential services and maintaining a high level of customer service while being able to:  1) Work with external stakeholders to complete a Long-Term Recovery Plan. This plan is our roadmap to achieving the community’s vision moving forward as we recover from COVID-19.  2) Contract with our non-profit partners to distribute almost $3 million in COVID-related funding to provide food, rental assistance, childcare subsidies, shelter services, small business grants, and personal protective equipment.  3) Create a variety of safe ways for the community to continue providing feedback and be involved in decision-making through virtual, online platforms.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Two 9-story Towers Approved By The City

The Twin Peaks Of Redmond

Project Summary:   The project includes the development of two 9-story towers (A&B) on the former Downtown Post Office site. The Post Office has since been demolished and the site is now vacant. The subject site is approximately 2.3 acres in area.  Tower “A” is intended to provide rental opportunities for new housing options within the City, as well as providing over 5,000 square feet of retail use. Tower “B” will exclusively provide office use -  which will compliment Tower “A.” It is not known if  "green roofs" will be installed.  Green roofs are on the Mayor's to-do list.  

The site is bound by NE 85th Street on the north; a 4-story multi-family building and 3-story multi-family complex located to the east; a Metro Park-N-Ride transit center to the south; and a City of Redmond Fire Station to the west. Across NE 85th Street, is both a one and a two-story retail and office buildings. The zoning surrounding the site in all directions is TSQ (Town Square) zone. 

The site is located within the Town Square (TSQ) district of the Downtown neighborhood. The intent of this district is to encourage higher intensity, multi-story, developments. It is envisioned that new development in this district be six (6) to eight (8) stories tall and include office, retail, and residential uses.

Ben Sticka, City Planner

Design Review Board, Memo excerpts and edits

10/1/2020

 

2020 Redmond Lights Extended For Safety

Downtown Park

Festivities have been extended this year (December 4 - January 3) to allow for physical distancing and safety precautions. I assume for physical distancing.) Redmond Lights is a celebration of light, art, and culture. This winter experience is a month-long art and light installation at Downtown Park. Follow the lights down Cleveland and 164th by foot or by car to Redmond Town Center where the festivities continue with Santa, business window decorating contests, and blinker stops. Honoring the holiday spirit that is an integral part of the community, this years’ experience will emphasize hope, joy, and safety in a new way.


13 art installations are on display in the Downtown Park.  "Mexican Lanterns" is just one.

Mexican Lanterns by Hinojos & Jimenez Art

Hinojos & Jimenez Art presents, "Mexican Lanterns", inspired by papel picado or "pecked paper," a popular design form in Mexico used in banners and festivals. The lanterns contain luminous and colorful patterns of angels, the three wise men's crowns, doves, and other rich cultural images for this holiday season.  Of note, Mr. Jimenez ran for City Council this year.

-- Redmond.gov, 12/28/2020

   Photos, Yoder

Monday, December 21, 2020

Washington State Received Its First Deliveries Of COVID Vaccines.

 On December 14, Washington State received its first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines. The first doses are being administered to high-risk healthcare workers and first responders, as well as residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Learn more about the vaccine at www.CovidVaccineWA.org and see FAQs.


You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 with your phone. Check out how you can enable or download WA Notify to receive an alert if you came in contact with someone who later tested positive.

Visit redmond.gov/COVID-19 for helpful resources, updates, recommendations, and status of City services.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

"How Can We Build Greener Roads?" By Jeralee Anderson, TEDx Everett

 

Redmond Councilmember Jeralee Anderson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Greenroads International, a globally recognized nonprofit organization leading the green transformation of the transportation industry and infrastructure through education and the independent third-party sustainability certification of transportation projects. Dr. Anderson is a licensed professional engineer in Washington State and California, and was recognized in 2013 by the Obama White House as a Transportation Champion of Change for the 21st Century. In 2018, Jeralee was elected to the Redmond City Council, serves as Council Vice President, and in 2019 was appointed to serve on the Washington State Public Works Board by Governor Jay Inslee.  

-- LinkedIn, 12/19/2020

Monday, December 14, 2020

Outdoor Eating In Redmond's COVID Economy

I've seen about seven outdoor eating tents (parklets) in the City; and thought I'd have happy hour at the Redmond Bar and Grill (RBG) to see what was inside. The biggest shocker was the TV! The waiter said the indoor restaurant was closed but there were about three of 10 tables available at 3:30pm.  With one side of the tent open, the we felt the ventilation was very good.  The waiter said it was first come first serve for dinner - no reservations.   The two heaters helped.  No traffic noise. In all I felt right at home as grilling on my backyard deck.  The nachos were great. The only problem is the high cost of living in Redmond.  Nachos and two beverages were $35.00 and we tipped over 20%.  My heart goes out to the restaurants surviving in this COVID economy.  Council is sensitive and approved a new ordinance extending the permit and allowing tents, I believe.  -- Bob Yoder, 12/14/2020


 


Friday, December 11, 2020

Council's Viewing Public Is Unengaged

1/6/2021 Great news!  Our representatives are now using their cameras!  Check their Tuesday business meetings out on RCTV (Channel 21.)  New time:  7 p.m.  

With Covid-19 fatigue setting in, the public viewing Council meetings wants to see their members LIVE - not just circles on a screen. We want to engage but with council members shutting down their cameras they lose us. With present technology like ZOOM there's no excuse for this; and I think all the members are given computers with cameras.  

When I watched a meeting last night Mayor Birney was seldom LIVE.  I saw the Mayor a few times on a split screen with the city lawyer.  (I've never seen a staff member on camera.) 

It was a total turnoff  when the Mayor was speaking for a long time but you couldn't see her because the City camera was way, way far in the back. All you could see were empty red chairs with yellow tape. That was it -  I changed channels.   

Some of the council members are awesome about using their cameras: Jessica Forsythe,Vanessa Kritzer. Jeralee Anderson, V.P. use them every time. Thank you!  Steve Fields is never on. I can't recall Varisha Khan or Tanika Padhye on camera. David Carson was LIVE early on but not lately.

As much as I complain about these logistics the bottom line is our Council is doing an outstanding job! They often have split decisions- demonstrating healthy conversations and debate. They've put in long hours and many nights working on the budget.  I wish I had the stamina to follow them more closely.  

-- Bob Yoder, opinion. 12/11/20