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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

How does annexation into Kirkland impact our covenants?

There are no changes to our covenants and rules as a result of being annexed into Kirkland. As was the case prior to annexation with regarding to the zoning code and ordinances of King County, the covenants and rules of the association — which you contractually agreed to when you bought your property — apply simultaneously with whatever codes and ordinances the government establishes. What that means is whichever of the two is more restrictive applies. For example, the city zoning code allows chickens to be kept on property in the annexation area, but our covenants (Article X, Section 10) do not allow any poultry to be kept, and the more restrictive rule applies. Covenants and rules are enforced by the Association, and any Kingsgate 3&4 property owner can sue to enforce covenants as well; the city is not directly involved in enforcing Association covenants or rules. Likewise, the Association is not directly involved in enforcing city ordinance or codes, although any homeowner may report violations to the city.

What do we do when we see vehicles that are junk, inoperable, abandoned, unlicensed, or improperly parked?

If the problem vehicle is parked on the street, contact the Kirkland Police non-emergency line at 425-587-3400. If the problem vehicle is parked in a driveway or yard, contact a member of the Association board of directors as listed on the Contact Us page. Of course, it is always nice if you contact your neighbor directly first and try to work out your concerns with them.

What do we do when we see someone violating Park or Pool rules?

If you feel safe doing so, please point out the violation to the person or persons involved; sometimes, they just don’t know the rule exists. If you’d rather not intervene yourself, and the violation happens at a time when the pool is open, contact a lifeguard at the pool for assistance. At other times, call or email a member of the Association Board of Trustees as listed on the Contact Us page. If you see trespassers in the Park or Pool area after closing, don’t hesitate to call 911 and report it to the Kirkland Police as well.

How can I become involved with the homeowners association?

Thanks for your interest! We welcome and appreciate involvement from everyone who lives in Kingsgate 3&4. There are many ways to get involved with the Association, including serving on any of the committees listed on the Contact Us page, helping with recreational events such as the Easter Egg Hunt, Spring Fling, and 4th of July Parade and Picnic, and other activities at the park and pool. Just contact any officer or member of the Board as listed on the Contact Us page, and we’ll convey your interest to the right person. If you’re interested in serving on the Board, let us know at any time, and we’ll contact you about vacancies when they arise or in preparation for the board election at the next Annual Meeting.

Why aren’t dogs allowed in the park?

The Board has considered this many times over the years, and consistently retained the policy of not allowing dogs in the park. It’s not just a matter of the poop that’s not scooped. Even when dogs are kept on leashes, many people, particularly young children, are scared or intimidated by dogs that jump or bark. The park is for the enjoyment of all residents, and the consensus has been that having dogs in the park, even on leashes, reduces that enjoyment for a number of people. All of our streets have sidewalks which are available for walking dogs.

Why do we pay for nightly security patrols at the park?

In years past, we’ve had recurring problems with young people gathering in the park after it is closed, leaving behind empty alcohol containers and cigarette butts (including some smoldering in the dry material) as well as vandalism. We tried having late-night security patrols by residents, but it is hard for volunteers to consistently patrol the park late at night; those in the park late at night were often abusive and threatening to adults who tried to enforce the rules. The county sheriff has been chronically understaffed, taking a long time to respond if they could come at all. The board decided to hire a professional security patrol; the cost is relatively low for the service provided, which, in addition to making sure nobody is in the park after closing, also includes verifying that gates are locked as well as doors and windows on the pool house. We have had few problems with late-night gatherings in the park, or instances of trash or vandalism, since starting the patrols.

Why doesn’t the Association issue covenant violations or fines for junk cars in the street?

The covenants give the Association authority to enforce the rules only on residential lots and in the common areas, and not on public property. We can respond to persistent problems of junk vehicles (and other rule violations) on residential lots through fines and court orders, based on that authority. But because the streets and sidewalks belong to the government rather than to the homeowners or the Association, we must depend on neighborly persuasion, and, if necessary, the police and zoning code enforcers, to deal with junk vehicles and similar problems. Fortunately we’ve had relatively few such problems, and when they’ve occurred, a call to the Abandoned Vehicle Hotline has usually had the desired results.

Can senior citizens be allowed to pay lower dues?

Not without amending the covenants (which would require a petition signed by at least 75% (225) of the homeowners). Article VI, section 5 states “Both annual and special assessments must be fixed at a uniform rate for all Lots”.

Why can’t people who use the pool pay for it, and those who don’t pay lower dues?

Article 5, section 1(b) of the Covenants do allow for a fee to be charged for using the pool. However, Article IV section 2 of the Bylaws require a petition signed by at least two-thirds of the membership (200 homeowners) before such a fee could be introduced. If such a fee were created, everyone’s dues would still be the same (because of the rule mentioned above), but dues could be lowered for everyone as a result of the increased revenue.

Why don’t we raise extra money by allowing outside memberships for the pool like other nearby homeowner associations?

The Board has considered this several times over the years, and always settled on keeping our park and pool for the exclusive use of homwowners and residents and their families and guests. There is a different atmosphere and feeling of community, safety, and trust, when the facility is for private use, and we believe this outweighs the possible financial benefits of selling outside memberships.

Why is so much emphasis placed on the park and pool? Why does the Board seem to do so much for families with children, and not for seniors?

According to Article VIII of the Bylaws, the Board has three major responsibilities:

  • Administration (setting the amount of assessments and collecting them, record-keeping, supervising officers and employees, having officers be bonded as necessary, issuing certificates saying that assessments have been paid, and acquiring insurance on Association property);
  • Adopting and publishing rules, and enforcing rules and covenants;
  • Maintaining and operating the park, pool, and other common areas.

When everything is running smoothly (rules and covenants are being obeyed, dues are paid on time, officers are doing their jobs, etc.) then the first two of these are “invisible” (except to the Board members doing the work). Thus, operating and maintaining the park and pool can appear to be all the Association does. Likewise, unless there are recalcitrant covenant violators or homeowners delinquent in payment of assessments who require expenditures on legal fees, the first two areas above actually cost relatively little; the maintenance of the pool and park are, without a doubt, the most expensive obligation of the Association and the bulk of the annual budget. At the same time, the pool and park are viewed by many who do not use them as being primarily for the benefit of families with children, since children are, day-to-day, the most frequent users of these facilities. It can thus sometimes appear that the Association is run primarily to benefit families with children, but this is actually just a manifestation of the relative visibility of the duties and responsibilities of the Association mandated by the Bylaws. The Board always welcomes input on how the Association can be of greater value to those residents who have no children at home, within the scope and limits of the Association’s powers.

Why do private parties and swimming lessons cost so much?

Because these services are conducted while the pool is closed to other homeowners, the Board feels that those who actually host private parties and take swimming lessons should cover the cost of those services. These activities should neither be subsidized by the Association nor subsidize other services — just pay their own way. In accordance with government regulations and safe practices, the Association requires two certified lifeguards to be on duty at all times the pool is open, allowing one guard to always have their eyes on the pool while the other is enforcing rules, answering the phone, or otherwise engaged. When you factor in the cost of government-mandated benefits, the hourly charge for private parties just about exactly covers the cost of paying for the lifeguards. Likewise, the cost of salaries for teachers and lifeguards for swimming lessons just about exactly match the total revenue from lessons each summer.

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