9. Urban Design

Goal N-14: Provide transitions between the low density residential core and adjacent higher intensity uses.

Policy N-14.1: Address transition impacts and protect nearby low density residential character with site and building development regulations for the industrial area, Planned Area 7, and the Market Street Corridor.

Landscape buffers are used to soften and separate uses by creating a transition zone. In addition, the building mass and height of higher density structures should be restricted to prevent overwhelming adjoining low density uses.

Goal N-15: Provide streetscape, gateway and public art improvements that contribute to a sense of neighborhood identity and enhanced visual quality.

Policy N-15.1: Construct and improve gateway features at the locations identified in Figure N-7.

An existing gateway sign is located on 6th Street north of 7th Avenue. Other desired locations are shown in Figure N-7. The City should pursue opportunities to work with private property owners to install gateway features as part of future development. In other instances, public investment will be necessary. Depending on the location, improvements such as landscaping, signs, public art, structures, or other features that identify the neighborhood could be included.

Goal N-16: Preserve public view corridors within the neighborhood, especially those of Lake Washington, and the Olympic Mountains.

Policy N-16.1: Preserve the public view corridors of Lake Washington, Seattle, and the Olympic Mountains from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Streets (Figure N-7).

View from intersection at 9th Avenue and 1st Street

The street system provides Kirkland neighborhoods with a number of local and regional views. View corridors that lie within the public domain are valuable for the beauty, sense of orientation, and identity that they impart to neighborhoods. The Norkirk public view corridors should be preserved and enhanced for the enjoyment of current and future residents. One means of doing this may be the undergrounding of utilities.

Goal N-17: Encourage design that builds community.

Policy N-17.1: Establish development standards that contribute to a vibrant neighborhood.

Building and site design should respond to both the conditions of the site and the surrounding neighborhood. A variety of forms and materials result in homes with their own individual character, thus reducing monotony. Appropriate building setbacks, garage treatments, sidewalks, alley access, and architectural elements, such as entry porches, help foster a pedestrian orientation and encourage greater interaction between neighbors.

Policy N-17.2: Enhance neighborhood compatibility through multifamily and commercial building and site design standards in the Market Street Corridor.

Building and site design standards should address issues such as building placement on the site, site access and on-site circulation by vehicles and pedestrians, building scale, site lighting, signs, landscaping (including that for parking lots), preservation of existing vegetation, and buffers between multifamily and commercial developments and single-family housing.

Policy N-17.3: Encourage the appropriate scale for single-family development.

Appropriate scale results in the perception that new houses are in proportion with their lots. Setbacks, building mass, lot coverage, landscaping and building height all contribute to houses that successfully fit into the neighborhood.

Figure N-7: Norkirk Urban Design Features