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Innovative - Responsive - Professional
Design Board Review
Planning Department
Design Review (DR) was authorized by the City Council to promote overall coherence of the community's visual and
historic character. The DR process is structured to allow the City and the applicant to work closely and cooperatively to
balance this goal with the desired diversity of project architecture.
This permit application packet is designed to obtain all the information necessary to allow the City to make a well
informed decision on your application. The attached application checklist identifies the materials you must submit to
complete your application. All application materials are public information.
You must schedule a pre-design conference with a planner from the Planning and Building Department well in
advance of submitting your application for Design Review to discuss your proposal and obtain guidance on the
information you must submit. Visit
or call (425) 587-3600 to schedule an appointment.
Your application will be evaluated on the basis of the information you provide, the City's Design Guidelines, Design
Regulations, the criteria listed in the pertinent sections of the Kirkland Zoning Code, other City regulatory ordinances,
and inspection of the property.
City documents such as the Design Guidelines and Zoning Ordinance can also be found online at
The City of Kirkland's Design Review Board (DRB) wants to help applicants to be successful in finding the best possible
design solutions for the project and the community. To assist in achieving that goal, Kirkland's process establishes three
steps. These steps are intended to follow the applicant's design development process by providing appropriate
feedback at the proper time.
The following information intended to provide insights and tips into the Design Board Review process. It is still
important to review and complete the appropriate application forms and submittal checklists to make sure you have a
complete application.
Step 1: Pre-Design Conference. This is a required coordination meeting with staff and can be scheduled by using the
City's pre-submittal conference application.
Step 2: Conceptual Design Conference (CDC). This is a preliminary meeting with the DRB to review the site context and
project objectives prior to detailed project design work. The meeting will be scheduled by the project planner following
receipt of an application with required materials and fees.
Step 3: Design Response Conference (DRC). This is the formal design review meeting(s) with the DRB and includes
public notice and public comment. The meeting will be scheduled following receipt of an application with required
materials and fees. The complete application must be submitted within six months following the CDC or a new CDC will
be required.
Complete this form to submit at City Hall. Or, use to submit your application entirely online.
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Applicants should approach the Department of Planning and Community Development as early as possible in their
process of property acquisition or project planning. At the Pre-Design Conference, a planner will be assigned to your
project and will assist you scheduling and preparing for a Conceptual Design Conference with the DRB at the earliest
possible date. Where appropriate, the project planner will coordinate the Pre-Design Conference with other
Development Services staff to provide insight on other key development issues.
At the Conceptual Design Conference (CDC), the applicant should discuss the opportunities and constraints of the
project site and vicinity, together with the conceptual development program (including one or more conceptual site
plan and massing diagrams). The DRB will identify high priority guidelines and regulations for the proposed project and
what materials will be required for the design review application. Following the Conceptual Design Conference, staff
will send out a written summary of DRB direction. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their design development in
response to the conceptual design conference with the project planner before making the formal Design Response
Conference application.
Some tips to help you at the Conceptual Design stage:
1) Applicants should not submit a specific project design for the Conceptual Design Conference. The DRB will not
conduct design review at this meeting and applicants will likely be frustrated if conceptual direction differens
from their investment in a specific project design. More importantly, because public notice of the application
has not been given, the DRB will not be prepared to provide specific direction prior to hearing from the
2) Illustrate your thought process to the DRB through the alternative (minimum of three) massing and siting concepts;
what options have been considered, and why do those options work or not work. If a preferred scheme is presented,
explain why it is preferred.
3) The project planner can provide successful examples of previous submittals.
4) Please limit your presentation to approximately 10 minutes.
5) Following the project presentations, the DRB will ask clarifying questions of staff and the applicant then
deliberate amongst themselves to arrive at recommendations.
6) If direction from the DRB is unclear to you, ask questions of the DRB to ensure that there is a mutual
understanding of expectations.
7) Prepare your DRB presentation either in a PowerPoint show or on presentation boards. Your project planner
can assist you in presenting on the City's computer and projector or you can bring your own equipment. For
presentation boards, graphics should be large and clear from a distance.
8) Include a presentation of the vicinity and site, starting with your observations on the bigger-scale streetscape,
architectural and urban design context, as well as the opportunities and constraints of the site itself. Continue
with your development objectives, and follow with a description of your siting and design concept(s). You may
also want to share alternative concepts.
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The presentation and materials for the Design Response Conference (DRC) should indicate how project design responds
to each of the design guideline priorities the DRB established at the first meeting.
Some tips to help you at the Design Response stage:
1) Be sure that your application is submitted within six months following the CDC or a new CDC will be required.
2) Review the application checklist with the project planner to ensure that all required materials are submitted.
These materials will be sent to the DRB members in advance.
3) Illustrate the design process to the DRB and explain how it has evolved from the basic organizational schemes
and siting/massing concepts since the Conceptual Conference.
4) Make sure to include a concise description of any proposed design departures or minor variations. It is
imperative that the DRB understand the exact nature and extent of the development standards you area
requesting. You have the burden of proof to indicate how your request meets applicable criteria.
5) Please limit your presentation to approximately 10 minutes.
6) Following the project presentations, the DRB will ask clarifying questions of staff and the applicant then
deliberate amongst themselves to arrive at recommendations.
7) Anticipate at least two meetings to achieve project approval and use that span to refine the project in
accordance with DRB direction. Expect the first meeting to focus primarily on building massing and general site
planning issues. Discuss with your planner limiting the submittal materials to those appropriate to assist in that
initial review. Expecting approval at the first meeting will likely be frustrating given the range of materials and
public comment that must be discussed and decided at this stage.
8) If direction from the DRB is unclear to you, please ask questions of the DRB to ensure that there is a mutual
understanding of expectations.
9) Prepare your presentation either in a PowerPoint show or on presentation boards.
10) During your presentation, remember that neighbors and other members of the public will be in attendance and
commenting on the design. Your presentation and materials should help educate lay people about the design
solutions and how the project fits into its context.
Alternate Formats: Persons with disabilities may request materials in alternative formats.
Persons with hearing impairments may access the Washington State Telecommunications
Relay Service at 711.
Title VI: Kirkland's policy is to fully comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by prohibiting
discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin or sex in the
provision of benefits and services resulting from its programs and activities. Any person who
believes his/her Title VI protection has been violated, may file a complaint with the City. To
request an alternate format, file a complaint or for questions about Kirkland's Title VI
Program, contact the Title VI Coordinator at 425-587-3011 or
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Please check appropriate review process:
Administrative Design Review (ADR)
Design Response Conference (DRC)
Conceptual Design Conference (CDC)
Conceptual Master Plan
City State Zip Code
Prefer written correspondence by email provided. Prefer written correspondence by address provided.
Note: If the primary contact/applicant is not the property owner, the appliant must be authorized as an agent (see page 2).
City State Zip Code
An electronic copy of or a web link to the staff report, meeting agendas and the notice
of final decision will be emailed to the applicant at the above listed email address. If
you prefer to receive a paper copy, they are available upon request. Do you want a
copy of these materials to be sent to the property owner's email address?
Yes No
Property is zone: Property is presently used as:
Site Address Parcel #
Have there been any previous zoning permits for the subject property? If so, what is case number?
Have you met with a planner prior to submitting your application for a pre-design conference?
If so, what was the planner's name? Date of Pre-design Conference:
Your application will not be processed until all documents listed on the application checklist are submitted.
You may also need approvals from other city departments. Please check this before beginning any activity. If your site is
adjacent to the lake, or contains a historic building or area, you may need a permit from the state or federal government.
Description of Work:
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The undersigned property owners, under penalty of perjury, each state that we are all of the legal owners of the
property described in Exhibit A, which is attached as page 3 of this application.
We designate, with respect to this application, to act as our agent:
I/we acknowledge that by signing this application I/we are authorizing employees or agents of the City of Kirkland to
enter onto the property which is the subject of this application during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday
through Friday, for the sole purpose of making any inspection of the limited area of the property which is necessary to
process this application. In the event the City determines that such an inspection is necessary during a different time or
day, the applicant(s) further agrees that City employees or agents may enter the property during such other times and
days as necessary for such inspection upon 24 hours notice to applicant(s), which notice will be deemed received when
given either verbally or in writing.
The undersigned in making this application certifies under penalty of perjury, the truth and/or accuracy of all
statements, designs, plans and/or specifications submitted with said application and hereby agrees to defend, pay, and
save harmless the City of Kirkland, its officers, employees, and agents from any and all claims, including costs, expenses
and attorney's fees incurred in investigation and defense of said claims whether real or imaginary which may be
hereafter made by any person including the undersigned, his successors, assigns, employees, and agents, and arising
out of reliance by the City of Kirkland, its officers, employees and agents upon any maps, designs, drawings, plans or
specifications, or any factual statements, including the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom contained in said
application or submitted along with said application.
I certify (or declare) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington that the above answers are true
and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that the lead agency is relying on them to make its decision.
Applicant Property Owner #1
Signature: Signature:
Name: Name:
Address: Address:
City/State/Zip: City/State/Zip:
Phone: Phone:
Agent (other than applicant) Property Owner #2
Signature: Signature:
Name: Name:
Address: Address:
City/State/Zip: City/State/Zip:
Phone: Phone:
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