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City of Kirkland

Proposition No. 1
Levy Lid Lift for Expanded Aquatics, Recreation, and Parks Facilities, Operations, and Programs

The Kirkland City Council adopted Ordinance No. O-4857 concerning funding for expanded aquatics, recreation, and parks facilities, operations, and programs. This proposition funds aquatic and recreation center operations, parks maintenance, year-round restrooms, park rangers, beach lifeguards, sports courts, teen services, and green loop trail networks by increasing the City's regular property tax levy to a maximum rate of $1.38386/$1,000 of assessed valuation (generating approximately $10,800,000 for these purposes) for collection in 2024. The 2024 levy amount will be the basis to calculate subsequent levies (RCW 84.55). Qualifying seniors, disabled veterans, and others would be exempt (RCW 84.36).


Should this proposition be approved:




Kirkland has proposed a levy lid lift to expand aquatics, recreation, and parks facilities, operations, and programs. If approved, Kirkland’s regular property tax levy would increase by approximately $0.28054/$1,000 of assessed valuation (AV) to a maximum total rate of $1.38386/$1,000 AV, generating approximately $10,800,000 for these purposes in 2024. Ordinance O-4857 commits Kirkland to collect only what is needed for these investments. This incremental increase is ongoing after 2024 to fund the expanded parks programs and services described below.


As described in Ordinance O-4857, Kirkland would construct a new 86,000-square-foot aquatic and recreation center with warm water and lap pools, two gyms, classrooms, fitness rooms, and community spaces at Houghton Park & Ride off I-405 at NE 70th Place. Construction would be funded separately by the City. Ballot measure revenue would fund operations and programming at the center.


This measure would also provide the following enhancements and annual operations: 9 year-round restrooms; park safety and security including additional park rangers and automatic gates; new sport courts including pickleball and volleyball; expanded beach lifeguard hours; new water safety programs; Kirkland Teen Union Building services, programs, and classes; green loop trail networks; and park and recreation operations, maintenance, and improvements. These investments were selected based on community input from the PROS Plan, Parks Funding Exploratory Committee, Park Board, and Kirkland Youth Council.


The cost to a 2024 median-valued home (estimated $1,000,000) is about $280/year. Estimate your cost: King County Assessor’s Taxpayer Transparency Tool: Qualifying seniors, disabled veterans, and others are exempt.

Now is the time to answer Kirkland’s need for affordable access to year-round aquatics and recreation. We’ve consistently funded our wonderful parks, which make Kirkland an exceptional place to live, work, and play. But we haven’t kept pace with the growing demand for public swim and gym facilities.


We’ve outgrown our summer-only, over 50-year-old Peter Kirk Pool. The 2022 waitlist for swim lessons was 10,500; 50% of children and adults who want lessons can’t get them. Drowning is a leading cause of death among America’s youth and a disproportionate risk for people of color: as a waterfront city, we must expand access to essential swim lessons. Residents of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds will benefit from an indoor year-round center that offers lessons, a recreational pool, a lazy river, lap swimming, senior programs, fitness classes, two gyms, and community rooms.


Proposition 1 lets us build the center we need plus provide more year-round restrooms, expanded trails, pickleball courts, and safer parks and beaches – all top-rated by the thousands of residents surveyed for the 2022 PROS Plan.


Waiting only means higher costs. Vote “Yes” for Proposition 1, a financially and socially responsible measure, benefiting every resident for generations to come.


Submitted by: Susan Pappalardo, Scott Morris, Jory Hamilton,

Kirkland needs an aquatics/rec center.  This proposal is way expensive, misleading, and needs a re-do.


The City proposes a permanent $10,800,000 annual levy and uses $6,033,000 of it yearly plus financial maneuvering to borrow to build the center.  The tax continues forever after the City pays off the loan.  Demand a regular bond so the tax stops when the loan is paid.  A more central location should be selected.  The Houghton P&R location is hard to get to from Finn Hill, Juanita, and Kingsgate by car, bike and bus. 


The City doesn’t talk about the planned $1,560 yearly family membership fee – on top of the $250-$700 annual homeowner tax increase; likely $110-200 for apartment renters.  The proposed $108,000,000 build cost is too expensive because 86,000 square feet is larger than necessary and includes elements deemed unimportant in multiple community surveys.  Sammamish’s sensible 69,000 square foot center has similar aquatics and exercise features without the excess and is operated by the YMCA solely on memberships ($1,848 for a family) at no cost to taxpayers. 


Over 10 years, Kirkland’s 2-year budget has nearly doubled to $1,056,494,327 despite a mere 10% increase in population.  Taxpayers deserve a break.  Vote “No”.  Demand a re-do. 


Submitted by: Vince Campos, Ken MacKenzie, Yuri Yulaev,

The opponents want another “re-do”. They said that in 2015. More waiting means higher costs and unmet needs. 


Proposition 1 reflects substantial community input and professional analysis. The aquatic center is right-sized for anticipated growth. Houghton is easily accessible. Permanent financing to cover capital costs, future maintenance, and ongoing park operations is responsible and good stewardship. A public facility will discount fees for residents and all incomes. Vote Yes Now.


Submitted by: Susan Pappalardo, Scott Morris, Jory Hamilton,

Proposition 1 says that taxpayers (homeowners and renters) pay to build the center, operate it, and membership to use it.  An aquatics center where membership fees pay all operating costs will be more equitable and self-sustaining.

The proposition’s explanation is intended to distract.  A tiny amount is for parks: only 3 new restrooms, 3 sports courts, 1 new park ranger, and perhaps 1 hour more hour/day for lifeguards, and almost nothing for water safety programs.

Submitted by: Vince Campos, Ken MacKenzie, Yuri Yulaev,

Simple Majority (RCW 84.55.050)

For questions about this measure, contact: Kevin Raymond, City Attorney, (425) 587-3031,

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