Meeting Notes- 2/9/21

2/9/21 - South Rose Hill-Bridle Trails Neighborhood Association General Meeting

Board member Karina O’Malley called the meeting to order shortly after 7:00 pm.

41 attended this virtual meeting including King County Solid Waste Division Director Pat McLaughlin and King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, District 6.

Secretary Betsy Lewis introduced Margaret Bay, Project Manager, King County Solid Waste, who presented an overview of the process to select a Transfer/Recycling Station to replace the Houghton Transfer Station. Connect to the link for more information on this project:

Ms. Bay announced that in response to the Neighborhood Association’s request, the deadline to comment via the survey on the above website has been extended to February 18. To access the survey, click on the language preference. The survey form will then open.

Also, comments and questions can be sent to

President Chris Kagen encouraged attendees to email him at to request that they be added to the Neighborhood Association’s email distribution list to receive meeting notices, agendas, and minutes OR

Sign up for SRH/BT Association notices:

Other key dates:

Site will be selected: end of 2022

New Transfer station opens: 2027

Ms. Bay and Mr. McLaughin took questions from attendees.

Questions submitted via chat appear below.

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 07:19 PM

What happened to the other 11 sites? Is the full evaluation available?

From Jill and Brian Lucht to Everyone: 07:23 PM

I would like to understand why the BASS criteria did not consider residential impacts?

From GennZ to Everyone: 07:23 PM

The number of children on 116th has grown - especially with the new development. The transfer station, promised to be removed for decades, presents a huge risk to families. As traffic has increased on 116th with the addition of huge number of houses in the area and since the 405 addition of the toll lanes, the number of trucks going up and down the road,

From Kent Sullivan to Everyone: 07:24 PM

(not a question) I believe the person who asked about what happened to land previously purchased refers to the last time this came up (Councilperson Jane Hague). There was a County-owned site in Woodinville that was developed as affordable housing, I believe.

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 07:24 PM

Are you aware of the long history of the Houghton Transfer Center site and the agreements to close the facility? This has been ongoing for well over 20 years.

From GennZ to Everyone: 07:24 PM

jake braking and honking at cars that don't give them enough room to go around the corner at 60th and 116th. It is a distinct neighborhood challenge

From Jill and Brian Lucht to Everyone: 07:26 PM

Did the site selection downselect include the cost imposed on the commercial trash services. It seems a more central location would be weighted higher.

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 07:28 PM

I would like to see the full evaluation of the 15 sites.

From Kent Sullivan to Everyone: 07:29 PM

8 acres is obviously a lot smaller than 20. Is there material available that describes what features would be prioritized for the smallest site (and how features are added as the site gets larger?

From Kristin LD to Everyone: 07:30 PM

there are many daycare centers surrounding the Kirkland sites. those are small businesses that will be greatly negatively impacted by a transfer station in the immediate vicinity

From paula goelzer to Everyone: 07:32 PM

I was under the impression that building was not allowed on an abandoned landfill - I believe there were issues with methane? When did that change? Why are we not discussing building on that site?

From Clarissa to Everyone: 07:32 PM

Will King County be sharing the formula for weighting the various factors in deciding on a new site? I understand King County already owns the Houghton site, but can we be assured the residential impact isn’t outweighed by property cost?

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 07:35 PM

There are a number of historical agreements between the county and the City of Kirkland that led to an agreement to close the current site. It is unfortunate that 2 of the 4 remaining sites are on the current site or the adjacent park and ride, which is undersized. If the county had done this evaluation 10-15 years ago when promised, there would have been many available sites. Now saying that other sites are not available due to development is not a reasonable response, other than purely from a cost basis (which is important but not an overriding criterion).

From Curtis Brown to Everyone: 07:35 PM

Why one large site instead of two smaller sites which may be easier to find and require shorter trips for the garbage trucks?

From GennZ to Everyone: 07:38 PM

Does King County own or lease this current site?

From Kristin LD to Everyone: 07:40 PMwhat does this do to property values of homes adjacent to the Kirkland sites? What research has been done on how this will affect homeowners investments (versus a commercial tenant in other sites)?

From Kent Sullivan to Everyone: 07:41 PM

(not a question) As a 20-year SRH/BT resident, I am dismayed that the existing site is among those being considered given the (admittedly, non-binding) promises that have been made and broken over the years. The optics of this aren't good... (shades of bad faith or at least bad faith-adjacent)

From Susan Baird-Joshi, Park Board Chair, Kirkland to Everyone: 07:42 PM

Can one of the attendees post links to information about the agreements between Kirkland and King County regarding the closure of Houghton?

From Clarissa to Everyone: 07:43 PM

If the county is open to a smaller site and the county were to select the current Houghton site, would the county consider not utilizing the entire footprint of the park and simply constructing on a small portion of the site?

From jameshoff to Everyone: 07:44 PM

Why a site of 5.1 acres when your own criteria called for 8 or more acres?

Answer: The City of Kirkland raised that site as an option.

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 07:44 PM

Why were the prior 'albeit nonbinding' agreements to close the Houghton Site not factored in explicitly within the screening process? It seems that County Staff is generally unaware of those agreements made over several years.

From GennZ to Everyone: 07:44 PM

Having just counted, there are, bare minimum, 30 children under 9 between 60th and 68th on 116th. Why would this even be a consideration to remain in this neighborhood when the promise has been made decades ago? how is it equitable to have it near a school (either place in bridle trails is near an elementary school) when there are commercial zones that would be reasonable?

From Clarissa to Everyone: 07:45 PM

Is there any precedent for repurposing parks land within King County for purposes that reduce public and green space availability?

From Jill and Brian Lucht to Everyone: 07:46 PM

As the population grows to east, why would you consider putting this station in the south west corner of the area? It should be in the middle. Also, why put it so close to the Factoria transfer station.

From paula goelzer to Everyone: 07:47 PM

Was the smaller site in Seattle right off the freeway, which already backs up with morning and evening commutes and high school students trying to get to school?

From Gao to Everyone: 07:48 PM

Why taking up the entire area of 25.4 acres? This seems to [be] a huge waste of county resource.

From jameshoff to Everyone: 07:48 PM

Based upon the answer to the 5.1 vs. 8 acres criteria should we now believe your stated criteria are not to be followed?

From Curtis Brown to Everyone: 07:48 PMStatement, not question: Changing the park and ride to transfer station would take something that is of benefit from the community vs. other sites that do not. Utilization may change dramatically depending on final 85th 405 rapid transit pans.

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 07:48 PM

What does King County Metro have to say about closing the park and ride in light of Bus Rapid Transit coming to I-405?

From Clarissa to Everyone: 07:49 PM

Comment only: The smallest transfer station I’m aware of in N. Seattle is in-between Wallingford and Fremont.

From Jill and Brian Lucht to Everyone: 07:51 PM

How is the Redmond site application to rezone to residential impacting the selection?

From Me to Everyone: 07:53 PM

Question for Claudia Balducci on Metro and WSDOT's commitment to not re-purpose the Houghton Park & Ride lot and Metro's plans for outreach on future plans for that Park & Ride, which outreach was to commence early in 2021?

From Kristin LD to Everyone: 07:53 PM

what is the specific criteria for distance from schools?

From Deirdre Johnson to Everyone: 07:54 PM

According to the King County Solid Waste 1992 Transfer System Recommendations

From Clarissa to Everyone: 07:54 PM

Is the utilization assessment of the Metro P&R based on data pre-covid?

From Craig Brown Neighborhood Board Member to Everyone: 07:58 PM

In the November 1, 2004 Revised Houghton Transfer Station Position Statement from the City of Kirkland, it was stated that "Kirkland's ultimate goal is to close the Houghton Transfer Station". Is the City of Kirkland now recommending possible sites, as it was mentioned that they suggested the Park & Ride?

From Deirdre Johnson to Everyone: 07:59 PM

1992 Transfer System Recommendation: "Northeast Lake Washington Transfer Station - Begin design work in 1994, completion in 2000. Houghton Transfer Station - Close in 2000, after new Northeast Lake Washington is completed." So the agreements have been in place for a much longer time. Can you please consider these?

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 08:00 PM

Why was close proximity to residential areas not one of the automatic exclusion criteria?

From Kristin LD to Everyone: 08:00 PM

is there a “front runner” among the 4 sites? There have been many positive comments from the board around the existing location, is that the preferred location for future?

From Jill and Brian Lucht to Everyone: 08:01 PM(Clarification) I wanted to clarify that in your last meeting the commercial usage member highlighted that the Kirkland sites are less desirable due to being more west based on routes.

From Bill Matzen to Everyone: 08:05 PM

I'm sorry if this has already been answered (we arrived late) -- if selected, are you intending to build on top of the closed landfill? Is that wise given settling and potential contamination and increased costs?

From Kathleen Thornton to Everyone: 08:07 PMWith all due respect it feels like there is a bias towards replacing the transfer station vs exploring the other sites. It feels like we are raising enough concerns that the bias should be in the opposite direction.

From Phil Allen to Everyone: 08:12 PM

Curtis Brown and others have hit upon a great idea. Having 2 smaller sites in different jurisdictions (2 x 5-7 acre sites) would greatly increase the number of options in the overall region, most likely at reduced overall land acquisiton, environmental impact, and goodwill cost. If distance is the largest operational cost, multiple sites result in reduced distances/driving times. It's understandable why the individual cities would like there to be one site as it is more likely to not be present within their municipal boundaries. Which King County official should we all contact to propose this?

From Claudia Balducci to Everyone: 08:07 PM

This has been very helpful for me to hear the community questions and Solid Waste answers. I will be following this study as it goes forward and am available for discussion with constituents or a visit to a future meeting. We are at the early stages of a long study and decision making process and I am glad so many neighbors are engaged and getting involved early. Thanks for letting me attend and observe tonight. I have to hop off now but look forward to future interactions!


From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 08:23 PM

I appreciate the difficulty in doing this siting analysis, since most 'available' sites are no longer available, at least at a reasonable cost. But moving to the easiest sites (i.e. already owned by the County) is too expedient and should be reexamined.

From Clarissa to Everyone: 08:23 PM

Comment: Echoing Heidi Burke family. My family quite recently (a couple months ago) purchased a home just west of the Houghton site. We are a young family and this is our first home. My partner and I definitely hoped to utilize the P&R and would love to see Metro offer more service to the site. We don’t need to park there as we can walk, but we selected our home for proximity to walkable green spaces and public transit. That was some of our “pass/fail” criteria. We were also operating under the same understanding that the plan was to close Houghton eventually. We are quite heartbroken that the Houghton site is even being considered.

From Kristin LD to Everyone: 08:24 PM

is it possible to get contact info for the community members on this call? There is clearly a common alignment amongst us and it would behoove us to use our voices collectively in this ongoing evaluation

From GennZ to Everyone: 08:24 PM


From John Marsh (Neighborhood Board Member) to Everyone: 08:27 PM

+1 agreed

From Kristin LD to Everyone: 08:27 PM

isn’t bridle trails state park 1k feet from the current site? are the ball fields considered a park?

From Brittany Tinker to Everyone: 08:27 PM

I agree with Kristin LD - we should ensure we have a collective voice to do what's in the best interest of our neighborhood

From Clarissa to Everyone: 08:29 PM

Comment to neighbors: If it’s allowed: I made a google doc if you want to add your name and email to stay in touch.

Updated doc permissions to allow editing, sorry for the error.

From polly young to Everyone: 08:29 PM

Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station Project website:

From Don Samdahl to Everyone: 08:30 PM

Please provide more technical basis for the 100 foot spacing to residences and the criterion that states that 'relatively few' residences affected.

From Karina O'Malley to Everyone: 08:30 PM

Sign up for SRH/BT Assoc notices:

Additional questions & comments:

--How is data on the Park & Ride lot being compiled?

--Question on building on the closed landfill. A: Would not build on top of the landfill. Would excavate the portion we would use.

--Surprised you don’t know the history -- all the way back to Houghton. There are lots of documents. It is interesting to see the work of all the people involved. Pres.Kagen: these documents are available for the asking.

--The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is clear: Move the transfer station elsewhere.

--The Park & Ride lot does not meet your criteria. That’s troublesome to hear. Are we really being heard?

--Is Bridle Trails State park 1000 feet from the current transfer station site? Answer: Need to check that. That may affect where construction occurs on that site.

--I used the Park & Ride lot when I worked in Seattle. Service from the Park & Ride lot needs to resume!

--Criteria is 100 feet from residences and close to relatively few residences.

--If the [current transfer station and park & Ride lot] are actively pursued, what is the best use of these sites over the next 50 years? The concern is that we are only looking at these sites’ best use is as a transfer station. We need to involve the neighborhood and City Council on this.

--Site Advisory Group (SAG) did their own criteria of important things to them. What was important to their community, their business, their own interests. Technical staff and Cities created their own sets of criteria.

--Do we know where all SAG members reside? Several are from Kirkland, but none live in our area. Answer: We did attempt extensive outreach. Went to Cities on how to do that outreach.

--Can seepage be considered? Groundwater contamination? Wildlife impact? Answer: this won’t be forthcoming until we do the EIS.

--Can we get an update on [closed landfill] upkeep? A-will make that available.

--Suggestion: Make the current transfer station a parking lot for a park.

--We need the Park & Ride lot. It make no sense to take these 2 sites.

--Re the closed landfill: It is open space. Methane test monitors are all around the perimeter. Don’t disturb it. Leave the trash buried. A: We are very aware of the methane gas monitoring. All expertise would be utilized so there is no risk.

--Using the Park & Ride lot for school transfer is more appropriate use than a transfer station.

--Is there any precedent in King County for re-purposing park land? A: We did not include using park land as one of the criteria because the County might be able to purchase a better piece of land for a park.

--Why consider putting it in the southwest corner of the service area? A: The transfer station would be a community amenity; for example with walking trails.

--Re size of parcel: A: We did not reach out to KC Metro on the Park and Ride lot. We did not talk to the property owners before selecting the 4 sites.

--County: We will share our methodology and the logic for our decision.

--Does King County own the current transfer station site? .A; Yes.

--What does this do to the adjacent properties? Particularly interested in property values. A: That will be part of the EIS. The County also undertakes an equity review, looking at demographics and a wide range of factors.

--What is understood of past agreements between City of Kirkland and the County on closing the current site and why are these agreements not being addressed? A: KC Solid Waste Comp Plan 2001 states Houghton and Renton will be closed when replacement capacity is identified.

--Is the County open to a smaller site? If the current site is chosen, would you just use the current transfer station’s footprint and not the entire 25+ acres? A: Can look at that during the design process.

--Why a site of 5.1 acres when your criteria is 8 acres minimum?

--A more central location would be weighted more due to haulage costs.

A: We considered travel time to keep costs down for commercial haulers.

--If a smaller site is chosen, what features will be prioritized? A: When we know the site we will look at that more closely.

--Why select one site over instead choosing two smaller sites? A: Cities and residents would prefer one facility. It is more expensive to develop two smaller sites than one larger site.

--Methane issues--why are we considering building on that site? A: It? would require excavation. What kind of cover and we would have to relocate the waste safely.

--Will King County share the formula? Can we assured that the fact that King Co. owns one of the sites will not outweigh impact to residents? A: No, we are not weighting County-owned property more highly.

Other Topics

The traffic cameras on NE 80th will be turned back on soon.

From Susan Baird-Joshi, Park Board Chair, Kirkland to Everyone: 08:16 PM

In the interest of time, I will give a written report.

The Park Board is resuming meetings the second Wednesday of the month.

We are online and hold public comments.

Tomorrow's meeting includes artwork for Juanita Beach.

March's meeting may include discussions of dog parks and art for 132nd Square and Juanita Beach.

The Juanita Beach Park playground is finished.

The Train Park near North Kirkland Community Center is now a Space Park.

Permitting and work on 132nd Square Park where there will be artificial turf and a water retention tank for storm water will be starting soon.

I love visiting this neighborhood group! You are so engaged!

Thanks for Chris for including me on the agenda.

Have a great evening!

Susan Baird-Joshi, Kirkland Park Board Chair, 2020

The agenda item “Recycling Basics” will be moved to a future meeting.

Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:00 pm.

Next meeting: Tuesday, March 9 @ 7:00 pm. Agenda and zoom invite forthcoming.

Respectfully submitted,

Betsy Lewis