The Kirkland City Council is expected to approve Tuesday night the purchase of 5.9 acres of a forested ravine with a year-round creek that tumbles down Finn Hill before joining another 16 acres of public green space and entering Juanita Creek.
It would be the first purchase by the city of green space or potential parkland inside any of the three northern neighborhoods annexed by Kirkland in 2011.
Part of the Inglemoor Highlands plat on the northeast side of Finn Hill, bordered by 88th Avenue NE at its high point, the city acquired the property for a bargain price of $4,700 at a December foreclosure auction.
The city council will be asked by city staff to approve a resolution accepting the purchase.
The undeveloped parcel was identified by members of the Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance as a potential city greenbelt. With the lower 16 acres of the ravine already in public ownership, the purchase would result in 22 acres of continuous forest.
Alliance members see the purchase as a potential way to link neighborhoods on Finn Hill.
“One of the things about Finn Hill that is different from the rest of Kirkland is we don’t have a lot of sidewalks,” said Jon Pascal, who lives not far from the parcel and is a member of the alliance, as well as being a member of the Kirkland Planning Commission.
“But we do have these little fingers of forest and green space. Why not build trails? It would be a lot cheaper than building sidewalks.”
There are no current plans to build a trail in the ravine, which drops through a few different neighborhoods before reaching 100th Ave and Juanita Creek.
Alliance members identified the property as a potential acquisition and then discovered it was for sale in the foreclosure sale. It had been owned by a private individual who had not paid taxes on the property in three years and had no plans for it.
“It’s a great story because it shows some collaboration,” said Pascal. “The stream corridor is not really develop-able. It connects to the 16-acre parcel, so it really preserves 22 acres.”
See the attached PDF file for details.