From crime to arena to trash, hot topics @ Southwest, Delridge District Councils’ annual combined meeting

A police briefing – including the Delridge shots-fired incident from hours earlier – was part of last night’s combined Southwest District Council/Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Southwest Teen Life Center. City Councilmember Tim Burgess and County Assessor Lloyd Hara also talked with – and heard from – the councils, whose members represent community associations and other major organizations around West Seattle. Read on for the hot topics:

UPDATE FROM POLICE: Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis discussed two recent gunfire incidents, the one at Alki’s Whale Tail Park two weeks ago (WSB coverage here) and the one in Delridge just hours before the meeting. No new information regarding the Alki case, but he said police are hearing from Whale Tail neighbors more since the incident, and that’s a good thing. In the Delridge investigation (WSB coverage here) – where we had talked to him at the scene – Lt. Davis said police are seeking warrants to look at certain apartments/houses in that general area. Patrol officers have noticed “suspicious individuals” in the area in recent weeks, but they don’t seem to be associated with any one particular place – they move around between locations in the area of the incident.

COUNTY ASSESSOR’S UPDATE: Overall, home values in King County remain down, but city properties are holding their value better than rural properties, according to Assessor Lloyd Hara. He also mentioned noticing the uptick in commercial construction and single-family-home building since the third quarter of last year.

CITY COUNCILMEMBER BURGESS: Hara’s comment segued into one of Councilmember Tim Burgess‘s first comments, how the city Department of Planning and Development is fee-based, so staff cuts had come with a drop in the fees received by the department. The upswing in construction is part of the reason why budget cuts next time around likely won’t be as drastic. Burgess said Seattle still has it better than some cities, particularly in California, where he said there are places with “rolling fire-station closures” as well as deep cuts in police services and emergency food/housing.

On the proposed SODO arena: Burgess says it’s not a great deal for the city right now; he described himself as “agnostic” on the general idea of another arena, but regarding this specific proposal, he wants to see a better deal before he’d consider voting “yes.” He expects the council to vote before the next round of budgeting gets into high gear in September.

He was asked the pilot program to test every-other-week trash pickup – which was abruptly revealed in May (WSB coverage here) to include a West Seattle test zone, in Highland Park:

(Click to see full-size map, as PDF)
At last night’s meeting, North Delridge Neighborhood Council‘s Amanda Leonard and Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council‘s Pete Spalding both brought it up; Burgess said it was generating lots of e-mail. While the city might be saving money, he was told, the program was shifting the cost to people who might not be able to afford it – forcing them to get a bigger can, for example.

He also got an earful about SDOT and the various plans they keep bringing to Delridge – in particular, the South Delridge rechannelization plan that was suddenly revealed at the last Delridge District Council meeting (WSB coverage here – which included the following graphic):

The Delridge leaders told Burgess the group handling that plan seemed to be completely separate from and unaware of the work of the group that had been talking to them about a rechannelization plan on the north end of Delridge. The councilmember called that “unacceptable.”

The district councils’ regular meetings are: Southwest, 1st Wednesdays, 7 pm, South Seattle Community College board room; Delridge, 3rd Wednesdays, 7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

2 Replies to "From crime to arena to trash, hot topics @ Southwest, Delridge District Councils' annual combined meeting"

  • Scott July 20, 2012 (12:26 pm)

    “On the proposed SODO arena: Burgess says it’s not a great deal for the city right now; he described himself as “agnostic” on the general idea of another arena, but regarding this specific proposal, he wants to see a better deal before he’d consider voting “yes.” ”

    This statement concerns me. The more private funding the better, but I’m afraid you are going to blow this opportunity. This is a great deal and a gift to the region that will pay huge dividends in the future. To milk this deal for more is a risky proposition. There are extreme public friendly concessions and safeguards in this deal. We are looking at a huge private gift to our community. Please don’t be greedy, be reasonable, be responsible, look at the facts, and vote yes!


    -Building the Arena will require no new taxes.
    -One of the largest private investments for any Arena in North America
    -Public contribution to the Arena will be fully repaid by Arena generated revenues
    -Unprecedented taxpayer protections in place.
    -Studies show there will be a minimal effect on traffic in the area.
    -The Arena will boost the local economy

  • ChefJoe July 22, 2012 (10:09 am)

    -Building the arena and then not having it pay city/county taxes into the system (instead diverting those dollars into federally tax exempt bond payments) results in shortfalls in those city/county budgets that will need to be made up by others.
    -Hansen said in his live chat that most of his equity contribution to the deal will come from “returning” the city’s land payment as his form of cash equity in the arena. This may not be a $500M project afterall.
    -Those property taxes that increase a few bucks for everyone when the arena becomes owned by the city/county after construction end up being diverted to pay off the bonds. That’s 35M or ~10% of the payments that is coming directly from property taxpayers.
    -The protection is only as good as the contract with all parties… which LLC is signing it and do the private debt sources (banks) also agree with those provisions ?
    -Hansen’s study shows that the number of weekdays of the year with “no events” will drop from 137 to 76 and the number of days which will have traffic in the arena-sized 0-20k will increase from 22 to 74.

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