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Houghton Community Municipal Corporation

Proposition No. 1
Continuation of the Community Municipal Corporation

The community council of the Houghton Community Municipal Corporation adopted Resolution No. 2021-3 concerning this proposition to continue the existence of the Houghton Community Municipal Corporation. Pursuant to RCW 35.14.060, the community municipal corporation expires on December 31, 2021. This proposition would continue the existence of the Houghton Community Municipal Corporation for an additional four years until December 31, 2025.


For continuation of the community municipal corporation

Against continuation of the community municipal corporation

In 1968 the cities of Houghton and Kirkland were consolidated.  The voters in Houghton also voted to establish within the former City of Houghton a community municipal corporation.  Its governing body is the Houghton Community Council, composed of seven members elected for four year terms by the voters within Houghton.  The Houghton Community Municipal Corporation also has a term of four years and then expires unless continued for an additional four years by majority vote of the electors within Houghton.  The current four year term expires December 31, 2021, unless extended at the general election to be held November 2, 2021. 


Under the Community Municipal Corporations law (35.14 RCW) the adoption, amendment, authorization or other approval by the Kirkland City Council of any ordinance or resolution applying to land, buildings or structures within the Houghton Community Municipal Corporation becomes effective within Houghton only on approval of the Community Council or by failure of the Community Council to disapprove the ordinance or resolution within 60 days of its final enactment by the Kirkland City Council as to the following:  comprehensive plan; zoning ordinance; conditional use permit, special exception or variance; subdivision ordinance; subdivision plat; or planned unit development.  In addition to its disapproval jurisdiction, the Houghton Community Council has authority to make recommendations to the Kirkland City Council and City Manager on any issues which may directly or indirectly affect the area within Houghton. 

Currently city planning, large development projects, goals of increased density and major employers have an amplified voice over neighborhood residents regarding quality of life. The Houghton Community Council (“HCC”) is a grassroots effort addressing zoning and growth concerns like housing, traffic, overcrowded schools, and neighborhood amenities within the Houghton area. For decades, HCC has protected and shaped land use policy, including most recently: tree canopy protections; guidance on managing homeless encampments; influencing the Northwest University Master Plan; and rightsizing the upzone of the Houghton/Everest Neighborhood Center. As new land use and zoning proposals arise, HCC provides a steady hand in collaboration with the City for an optimal outcome for our residents.  

The HCC was formed as a condition to the annexation of the Town of Houghton to the City of Kirkland in 1968. The seven-member elected council exercises both advisory and approval authority over matters related to zoning and land use within Houghton. HCC members work directly with city staff, Planning Commission and City Council to align the needs of our community with the City’s economic development and growth agenda.  There has never been a more crucial time to back continuance of the Houghton Community Council. Please vote “Yes!” 

Submitted by: Heidi Donovan, Jennifer Loy, Marvin Scott,

Throughout its history, Kirkland has grown and evolved, and will continue to do so. In order to grow thoughtfully and fairly, it needs comprehensive, integrated planning for the city as a whole, where every Kirklander has an equal voice. That is not the case now. 


Currently, Houghton is the only Kirkland neighborhood with veto power over land use regulations in its area. No other neighborhood has this power. Imagine if every neighborhood had similar veto power -- city planning would be impossible. When only one neighborhood has this power, it is unfair and undemocratic. 


Community councils like Houghton’s were designed to ease the transition when two cities merged. Today, 53 years after the Houghton/Kirkland merger, the HCC is one of only two community councils remaining in Washington with that veto power -- the rest have been disbanded. The HCC long ago fulfilled its intended purpose. It is time for it to go. 

If you believe in a comprehensive vision for the city, if you believe every voter in every neighborhood should have equal weight -- if you value fairness, inclusiveness, and efficiency -- then you must vote No on continuing the special privilege of HCC.

Submitted by: Jennifer Jaeger, Beverly Marcus,

Kirklanders desire diverse, inclusive, and welcoming neighborhoods. In rapid growth areas, residents often feel their voice is marginalized in planning decisions. Grassroots community organizations like HCC provide access and empower residents to participate in local governmental decision making. HCC collaboration provides efficiency, transparency, and legitimacy to local neighborhood planning. The HCC has influenced policies that serve as guidelines for best practices throughout the city.


Vote “Yes" to keep our Houghton Community Council.

Submitted by: Heidi Donovan, Jennifer Loy, Marvin Scott,

We’re not voting on whether grassroots community input should influence city planning -- of course it should! We have institutions, like the 13 neighborhood associations, that support that.


What’s on the ballot today is whether just one Kirkland neighborhood should also have a community council with veto power. We say no. The HCC is an antidemocratic body and its members almost always run unopposed. Give every Kirklander equal opportunity to shape Kirkland’s future: Vote no!

Submitted by: Jennifer Jaeger, Beverly Marcus,

Simple majority (RCW 35.14.060) 

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

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