Kenmore still looking for a permanent public works shop location

The city council recently approved the continued use of the interim site.

The city of Kenmore still has yet to find a permanent location for a public works shop.

For the time being, it will continue to use the property at 6532 NE Bothell Way, which was approved for a year’s worth of use on Nov. 13, 2018 for a period lasting from Jan. 1, 2019 to Jan. 2, 2020.

The property is owned by the city and zoned downtown commercial. It’s subject to conditions and is dubbed a “construction and trade” use.

“We have been using the site for one year now and is coming up on expiration,” said Bryan Hampson, Kenmore’s development services director, at Kenmore’s Dec. 9 council meeting.

Because the city hasn’t found a long-term replacement for the interim location, the council approved a one-year extension to use the property at the meeting.

Currently, the site is being used as a sort of home base for equipment storage and more for city maintenance needs.

A public hearing was held at the council meeting regarding the renewal. This is required, Hampson said, since any temporary-use permit going for more than 90 days necessitates a council decision as well as a public hearing.

However, no one from the community signed up at the meeting to speak. The council similarly had no questions, though councilmember Joe Marshall did have inquiries regarding security and community feedback.

The one-year extension of the permit was ultimately unanimously approved. The city will continue looking for a permanent location for the public works shop in the meantime.

A need for a long-term site for public works maintenance needs came to the fore only recently. According to meeting documents, Kenmore has typically contracted various public and private entities for maintenance services in the past.

On Dec. 31, 2018, the 20-year contract Kenmore had with the city of Lake Forest Park to collaborate on park maintenance was officially terminated. Previously, each city had decided that, due to changing needs in their respective areas, it would be more conducive to have their own public works and park maintenance operation divisions, and that it would ultimately be more cost effective.

“The city has been working to find an appropriate location for a permanent public works/park shop,” meeting documents state. “We worked with a real-estate agent, checked real estate websites (Zillow, Redfin, etc.) and checked with the King County Parcel map to identify a 1.5-to-2-acre property to be used for this purpose within the city of Kenmore.”

The documents note, though, that the parcels identified on the map as being complementary to site needs were either in an ill-fitting location within a residential neighborhood or were not up for sale. Other sites that have been pursued as potential candidates have fallen through, either due to community opposition or high repair costs.

The most recent renewal lasts from Jan. 1, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021.

For the full conversation around the interim site’s permit extension, watch the Dec. 9 Kenmore City Council meeting online at For more background on the site and maintenance, go to