Comments on: No environmental review for new Arbor Heights Elementary? Neighbors’ concerns aired at appeal hearing http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/ West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:53:18 +0200 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 By: anonyme http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1325379 anonyme Thu, 15 May 2014 22:48:28 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1325379 Again - as a matter of fact, I HAVE been involved with providing input outside of the comments section, so perhaps you shouldn't pre-judge what others should, shouldn't, have, or have not done without having any information on which to base your accusation of wasted energy or lack of involvement. Even if that were not the case, everyone is allowed an opinion, even when it doesn't fit into your narrow view of allowed formats. The WSB happens to be a highly respected and valuable forum for such discussions. In fact, most of us would have no idea what was going on with either AHE or any other neighborhood project if not for the WSB. The problem has been that SPS has not been welcoming of public involvement, and opportunities for input have been few, far between, and orchestrated to have as little impact as possible. The "rush" that others have mentioned has to do with this lack of transparency. It's also painfully apparent that you do not live in the vicinity of the school, based on your comment that "There are several side streets that safely and properly provide parking." Uh, really? My main concern remains with the extra traffic (300 ADDITIONAL trips per day, estimated) in an area that does not have the infrastructure to handle this amount of traffic. These small side streets are already treacherous due to school traffic, and an increase of this magnitude would make life in the vicinity of the school both miserable and dangerous. Again – as a matter of fact, I HAVE been involved with providing input outside of the comments section, so perhaps you shouldn’t pre-judge what others should, shouldn’t, have, or have not done without having any information on which to base your accusation of wasted energy or lack of involvement. Even if that were not the case, everyone is allowed an opinion, even when it doesn’t fit into your narrow view of allowed formats. The WSB happens to be a highly respected and valuable forum for such discussions. In fact, most of us would have no idea what was going on with either AHE or any other neighborhood project if not for the WSB.

The problem has been that SPS has not been welcoming of public involvement, and opportunities for input have been few, far between, and orchestrated to have as little impact as possible. The “rush” that others have mentioned has to do with this lack of transparency.

It’s also painfully apparent that you do not live in the vicinity of the school, based on your comment that “There are several side streets that safely and properly provide parking.” Uh, really? My main concern remains with the extra traffic (300 ADDITIONAL trips per day, estimated) in an area that does not have the infrastructure to handle this amount of traffic. These small side streets are already treacherous due to school traffic, and an increase of this magnitude would make life in the vicinity of the school both miserable and dangerous.

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By: WS Skookum http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1323405 WS Skookum Wed, 14 May 2014 15:49:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1323405 The appellant to the SEPA hearing (Chris Jackins) has a decades long history of challenging possibly every single Seattle Public Schools projects. Does he ever challenge anything that doesn't involve Seattle Public Schools? Mr Jackins attended one of the Arbor Heights Elementary community presentations but did not ask any questions or make any comments. He waited until the last day of the SEPA public comment period to file for an extension, then waited until the last day of the extended period to file an appeal. Is this due public process or merely obstructionism? What has been the cost to taxpayers to accommodate his mission? The appellant to the SEPA hearing (Chris Jackins) has a decades long history of challenging possibly every single Seattle Public Schools projects. Does he ever challenge anything that doesn’t involve Seattle Public Schools? Mr Jackins attended one of the Arbor Heights Elementary community presentations but did not ask any questions or make any comments. He waited until the last day of the SEPA public comment period to file for an extension, then waited until the last day of the extended period to file an appeal. Is this due public process or merely obstructionism? What has been the cost to taxpayers to accommodate his mission?

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By: WS Skookum http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1323385 WS Skookum Wed, 14 May 2014 15:31:51 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1323385 The new school design includes 55 on-site parking stalls, 48 more than at present. The new school may not have any more students than are currently enrolled or it may have nearly double; to characterize this as a 20-30x" increase is not accurate. The big change to traffic in the neighborhood is not coming from AHES but from the Westside School moving into the church on 104th east of 35th. Was there a cry for an environmental review of that project? Perhaps there should have been. There have been public notices, community input, and public presentations and hearings on AHES for a year now. The new school design includes 55 on-site parking stalls, 48 more than at present.
The new school may not have any more students than are currently enrolled or it may have nearly double; to characterize this as a 20-30x” increase is not accurate.
The big change to traffic in the neighborhood is not coming from AHES but from the Westside School moving into the church on 104th east of 35th.
Was there a cry for an environmental review of that project? Perhaps there should have been. There have been public notices, community input, and public presentations and hearings on AHES for a year now.

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By: Again http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1321611 Again Tue, 13 May 2014 14:02:29 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1321611 Anonyme, the WS comments section is not where neighborhood input is being collected. Please contact the school, district or attend a planning meeting to have your concerns evaluated. If you haven't noticed, there is no, nor has there been, off street parking for AHES. Just where do you expect people to park? There are several side streets that safely and properly provide parking. As previously mentioned, this is not an alarming problem. It's easy to point fingers and cry poor planning. Have you been a part of such a large scale planning project? I don't think anyone is saying 'shut up', it's just insulting that so many people come to the blog to complain about imperfections when their energy could so better serve by getting involved. Anonyme, the WS comments section is not where neighborhood input is being collected. Please contact the school, district or attend a planning meeting to have your concerns evaluated. If you haven’t noticed, there is no, nor has there been, off street parking for AHES. Just where do you expect people to park? There are several side streets that safely and properly provide parking. As previously mentioned, this is not an alarming problem. It’s easy to point fingers and cry poor planning. Have you been a part of such a large scale planning project? I don’t think anyone is saying ‘shut up’, it’s just insulting that so many people come to the blog to complain about imperfections when their energy could so better serve by getting involved.

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By: AHMom2 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1320777 AHMom2 Tue, 13 May 2014 01:52:34 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1320777 Wow, I am really confused about the AH/STEM merger?? I think that at one time there was a consideration to do that, since AH numbers have been low and STEM needed a building, but I don't think that is the case now. It is not going to be any easy two years at Boren. STEM will not be able to grow and AH will be cramped in portables and also limited for growth. On the flip side it could also be an awesome collaboration of curriculum and the two communities. I hope that everybody goes in with the best intentions for our kids and seeing the "glass half full." Wow, I am really confused about the AH/STEM merger?? I think that at one time there was a consideration to do that, since AH numbers have been low and STEM needed a building, but I don’t think that is the case now.

It is not going to be any easy two years at Boren. STEM will not be able to grow and AH will be cramped in portables and also limited for growth. On the flip side it could also be an awesome collaboration of curriculum and the two communities. I hope that everybody goes in with the best intentions for our kids and seeing the “glass half full.”

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By: RickMo http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1320183 RickMo Mon, 12 May 2014 16:00:51 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1320183 I'm not opposed to a new school and, when we moved here 10 years ago, we fully expected to have some future impact from the growing school. I do question some of the decisions that have been made around traffic and safety. If the school has to leave orange traffic cones strewn all over the streets around 104th and 37th, clearly they themselves see this as a traffic and safety issue. When I have to complain about these cones being left there 24/7, or complain about the school official who insisted on screaming at the kids through her megaphone twice a day, or leave notes on parents' cars for blocking my driveway, yeah - I'm going to have concerns. We have just as much right to question any departures to code as the school district has a right to request them - particularly when the negative impacts can be mitigated and avoided. I’m not opposed to a new school and, when we moved here 10 years ago, we fully expected to have some future impact from the growing school. I do question some of the decisions that have been made around traffic and safety. If the school has to leave orange traffic cones strewn all over the streets around 104th and 37th, clearly they themselves see this as a traffic and safety issue. When I have to complain about these cones being left there 24/7, or complain about the school official who insisted on screaming at the kids through her megaphone twice a day, or leave notes on parents’ cars for blocking my driveway, yeah – I’m going to have concerns. We have just as much right to question any departures to code as the school district has a right to request them – particularly when the negative impacts can be mitigated and avoided.

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By: StringCheese http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1320168 StringCheese Mon, 12 May 2014 15:46:40 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1320168 Doh, it appears that you haven't received all of the facts. Yes, some of AH's classrooms will be in portables. The rest will be in the north wing of the school. With every possible classroom space being used, the existing portables (used by every school that has used Boren for the past twenty years) are being utilized. STEM is merely maintaining their current classrooms. The two communities are will be sharing a library, lunchroom, and playground. How else was this supposed to work? Better yet, how, exactly, is this STEM's fault? From your tone, I am guessing you are simply angered by STEM's actual existence. For that, I will not apologize. Doh, it appears that you haven’t received all of the facts. Yes, some of AH’s classrooms will be in portables. The rest will be in the north wing of the school. With every possible classroom space being used, the existing portables (used by every school that has used Boren for the past twenty years) are being utilized. STEM is merely maintaining their current classrooms. The two communities are will be sharing a library, lunchroom, and playground. How else was this supposed to work? Better yet, how, exactly, is this STEM’s fault? From your tone, I am guessing you are simply angered by STEM’s actual existence. For that, I will not apologize.

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By: Doh! http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1320099 Doh! Mon, 12 May 2014 14:57:07 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1320099 STEM will <i>create</i> more capacity problems in WS. When the inevitable high school capacity crisis hits, we will need Boren to house Denny. Then STEM will be merged with AH (although i don't see why they would welcome it, given the treatment they've received of late. Portables, indeed. STEM will create more capacity problems in WS. When the inevitable high school capacity crisis hits, we will need Boren to house Denny. Then STEM will be merged with AH (although i don’t see why they would welcome it, given the treatment they’ve received of late. Portables, indeed.

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By: StringCheese http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1319269 StringCheese Sun, 11 May 2014 18:32:32 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1319269 AH Parent, there will be no merging of AH and STEM. There are great plans in place for Boren K-8 STEM that will result in 450 elementary and 300-400 middle school seats. Boren will be completely and wonderfully used while continuing to address K-5 capacity issues and future MS capacity issues. AH will offer other wonderful opportunities to folks in the AH zone and beyond. Two schools, two amazing opportunities that are unique to West Seattle. Here's to a bright future! AH Parent, there will be no merging of AH and STEM. There are great plans in place for Boren K-8 STEM that will result in 450 elementary and 300-400 middle school seats. Boren will be completely and wonderfully used while continuing to address K-5 capacity issues and future MS capacity issues. AH will offer other wonderful opportunities to folks in the AH zone and beyond. Two schools, two amazing opportunities that are unique to West Seattle. Here’s to a bright future!

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By: AHMom2 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1318371 AHMom2 Sun, 11 May 2014 03:27:26 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1318371 There will be sidewalks on both sides of 104th. There will be sidewalks on both sides of 104th.

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By: jwright http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1318338 jwright Sun, 11 May 2014 02:59:53 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1318338 The "polite and thoughtful concerns" about the electronic signboard at Madison deserved to be brushed aside. They were alarmist hyperbole at its most ridiculous. I'll entertain gripes from people who have lived in the neighborhood since before Arbor Heights Elementary was originally built. Everyone else? Not so much. The “polite and thoughtful concerns” about the electronic signboard at Madison deserved to be brushed aside. They were alarmist hyperbole at its most ridiculous.

I’ll entertain gripes from people who have lived in the neighborhood since before Arbor Heights Elementary was originally built. Everyone else? Not so much.

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By: AHMom2 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1318242 AHMom2 Sun, 11 May 2014 01:59:22 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1318242 AHE has at one time had close to or over 500 students. Currently, with 350 it feels cramped. I work in one the portable classrooms which house all of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classes. The rooms are cramped. I am tripping over chairs and desks on a daily basis. The calling the new school mega is ridiculous. At the most it will hold 600, but projection is about 500. Who knows how long it will take to fill up. Pathfinder is about 500 right? Fairmont will be about 500, Gatewood was close to 500 last year. STEM will be about 500 and Roxhill is over 400 and busting at the seams, Schmitz Park is over 500 and is projected at 600, Lafayette (if I have read the info. correctly) is the most overcrowded school in WS and one of the most in the district. Roxhill and Lafayette need new facilities. Folks, get used the big schools, because our Superindent does not believe in small neighborhood schools. In fact, Seattle is one of the few metro. cities that has smaller neighborhood schools. Most have schools that house between 800 and 1,000. Private is a good option if you don't like the numbers. One of the positives of a big school is more resources. One more thing, the only schools that I have been to WS that I have seen adequate parking are Pathfinder and WSE. I have been to Schmitz and parking is a mess, as is Roxhill and I cannot even fathom how bad the parking is going to be at FP with an entrance on a crowded dead end street and a small roadway between condos and the school running west. Most will probably be parking on Fauntleroy and that is a very busy street with many speeding drivers in the AM. AHE has at one time had close to or over 500 students. Currently, with 350 it feels cramped. I work in one the portable classrooms which house all of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade classes. The rooms are cramped. I am tripping over chairs and desks on a daily basis. The calling the new school mega is ridiculous. At the most it will hold 600, but projection is about 500. Who knows how long it will take to fill up. Pathfinder is about 500 right? Fairmont will be about 500, Gatewood was close to 500 last year. STEM will be about 500 and Roxhill is over 400 and busting at the seams, Schmitz Park is over 500 and is projected at 600, Lafayette (if I have read the info. correctly) is the most overcrowded school in WS and one of the most in the district. Roxhill and Lafayette need new facilities. Folks, get used the big schools, because our Superindent does not believe in small neighborhood schools. In fact, Seattle is one of the few metro. cities that has smaller neighborhood schools. Most have schools that house between 800 and 1,000. Private is a good option if you don’t like the numbers. One of the positives of a big school is more resources. One more thing, the only schools that I have been to WS that I have seen adequate parking are Pathfinder and WSE. I have been to Schmitz and parking is a mess, as is Roxhill and I cannot even fathom how bad the parking is going to be at FP with an entrance on a crowded dead end street and a small roadway between condos and the school running west. Most will probably be parking on Fauntleroy and that is a very busy street with many speeding drivers in the AM.

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By: AHMom2 http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1318231 AHMom2 Sun, 11 May 2014 01:49:13 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1318231 Excuse me Ocean, but the District is not rushing into a rebuild of AH. In fact it is LONG OVERDUE. I was a parent at AH when Ms. Bailey was in a car collision at 35th and 104th. That was one collision and there have been many all over West Seattle on 35th. AH now has a crossing guard and lot of police presence for several years following that accident and it is a much safer corner. I live a few blocks from that corner and walk my children to school on a regular basis and never have had any issues. What I hope Ocean is that you are not someone who is posting the comment, because you don't want AH at Boren. Excuse me Ocean, but the District is not rushing into a rebuild of AH. In fact it is LONG OVERDUE. I was a parent at AH when Ms. Bailey was in a car collision at 35th and 104th. That was one collision and there have been many all over West Seattle on 35th. AH now has a crossing guard and lot of police presence for several years following that accident and it is a much safer corner. I live a few blocks from that corner and walk my children to school on a regular basis and never have had any issues.

What I hope Ocean is that you are not someone who is posting the comment, because you don’t want AH at Boren.

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By: WsEd http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1317864 WsEd Sat, 10 May 2014 21:05:46 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1317864 Watch and see I bet the plan for traffic will be to add more traffic cameras. The long term plan is always revenue generation, not safety. Mark my words once this is built AH will be getting speed traps installed. I would be OK with it if the revenue from the tickets went to the schools in these zones instead of the police. Watch and see I bet the plan for traffic will be to add more traffic cameras. The long term plan is always revenue generation, not safety. Mark my words once this is built AH will be getting speed traps installed. I would be OK with it if the revenue from the tickets went to the schools in these zones instead of the police.

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By: anonyme http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/no-environmental-review-for-new-arbor-heights-elementary-neighbors-concerns-aired-at-appeal-hearing/#comment-1317470 anonyme Sat, 10 May 2014 17:23:52 +0000 http://westseattleblog.com/?p=272738#comment-1317470 AH parent, it is truly unfortunate that you choose to characterize neighborhood input and involvement in the planning process as "bickering and nit-picking". "Supportive" need not = ignorant and silent. A collaborative effort between all entities involved will mean the best possible result. Recognition and definition of the potential problems IS a contribution; if you have a solution, aside from telling everyone else to just shut up, you are welcome to propose one. BTW, NO ONE said that there was a line of cars on 35th - so there's nothing to "debunk". The lines of cars I see are on 36th, 37th, and 102nd. AHE is several blocks from where I live, so I did not "choose" to live near a school. While you are correct that a certain amount of disruption is to be expected in the area, many of us are realizing, realistically, that poor planning could easily turn minor disruptions into major problems for our neighborhood. Accept that not everyone agrees with you. AH parent, it is truly unfortunate that you choose to characterize neighborhood input and involvement in the planning process as “bickering and nit-picking”. “Supportive” need not = ignorant and silent. A collaborative effort between all entities involved will mean the best possible result. Recognition and definition of the potential problems IS a contribution; if you have a solution, aside from telling everyone else to just shut up, you are welcome to propose one.

BTW, NO ONE said that there was a line of cars on 35th – so there’s nothing to “debunk”. The lines of cars I see are on 36th, 37th, and 102nd. AHE is several blocks from where I live, so I did not “choose” to live near a school. While you are correct that a certain amount of disruption is to be expected in the area, many of us are realizing, realistically, that poor planning could easily turn minor disruptions into major problems for our neighborhood. Accept that not everyone agrees with you.

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