City of Redmond senior planner Kim Dietz spoke at the Redmond Senior Center's First Friday Coffee Chat last week. Throughout her presentation

City of Redmond senior planner Kim Dietz spoke at the Redmond Senior Center's First Friday Coffee Chat last week. Throughout her presentation

Redmond senior planner Kim Dietz works with city neighborhoods to plan for future

As a senior planner, Kim Dietz works with all 10 neighborhoods that make up the 17-plus square miles of the City of Redmond.

As a senior planner, Kim Dietz works with all 10 neighborhoods that make up the 17-plus square miles of the City of Redmond.

Her work with the neighborhoods has put her in contact with many Redmond residents, but Dietz said most of the people she has worked with are in the workforce — she hasn’t had much contact with the city’s youth and senior populations. In an effort to reach out to more of the community as well as remedy the latter, Dietz spoke at this month’s First Friday Coffee Chat at the Redmond Senior Center (RSC) last week.

The chats began in fall 2009 as a way to give the public an opportunity to learn more about various city entities and departments.

During her presentation, Dietz introduced the audience to the ins and outs of her job, which is in the long-range division of the planning department. Dietz focuses on the comprehensive plan for Redmond and how things going on today will affect the city 20 years down the line. On Friday she discussed the city’s Neighborhood Network program, which began last year and looks at each neighborhood’s individual plan. From there, city staff work with residents to figure out what each neighborhood needs and wants and how the city can help.

“We work with citizens to work at a neighborhood scale,” Dietz said.

As a planner in the long-range division, she and her colleagues look at the city’s future 20 years down the line. They do this every five years and during the process, ask city residents for their input about what they anticipate needing in the future.

Dietz admitted that this is not always easy to do because 20 years is a long way out to think about and people’s needs during this time will change. For example, she said people with children may have different housing needs in 20 years because their kids are probably no longer living at home.

“We try to engage all ages in this process,” Dietz said about their efforts to get the whole picture for all residents.

She added that they look at all aspects of Redmond life: living, working, recreation and travel.

And in working with residents while updating the city’s comprehensive plan, Dietz said her department has addressed topics they never expected to such as the recent backyard chicken debate.

“We did not anticipate that one in the comprehensive plan, but it came from the community,” she said. “We’ll see what comes out of that discussion.”

Dietz shared with the audience various ways they could learn more about what’s happening in their neighborhood including the city website and Facebook. She said there is a Facebook page for all 10 neighborhoods.

Dietz has been with the city for about 15 years. The Pennsylvania native began with providing geographical information systems (GIS) support, which included mapping and data analysis. After doing this for a while she eventually began working more with the community and found she really enjoyed it.

“I really enjoy how the residents are passionate about the place they live,” Dietz said. “They truly are in a variety of ways.”

While she has been working in the planning department since the beginning, Dietz has also begun working with the City of Redmond’s historical preservation program, which focuses on the preservation of historical monuments and buildings in the city.

“We take care of the historical portion of the comprehensive plan,” Dietz told the audience at Friday’s chat.

She said the techniques they use to preserve building exteriors are the same used at the national level.

Currently, there are 16 historical landmarks in Redmond, most of which are downtown.

In addition to building preservation, Dietz is currently collecting photos from residents for a project for the city’s centennial celebration which kicks off at the end of the year. She said they are looking for historic photos that reflect iconic images of Redmond in a number of themes: culture, people, family, transportation and natural environment.

Dietz said they will collect photos through Aug. 20. They will take photo copies only and will give credit however the providers indicate. For more information, contact Dietz at kdietz@redmond.gov or (425) 556-2415.


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