West Seattle, Washington
Notes from the city Department of Planning and Development files, including two new early-stage projects we’vd, updates on ongoing projects, and proposals linked in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin:
31 APARTMENTS AT 9021 17TH SW: A 10,000-square-foot lot in South Delridge that changed hands last month is proposed for a 31-unit, 31-parking-space apartment building. AKA Investors LLC bought the Lowrise 3-zoned site in May for $475,000. Notations on the early-stage city project page for the apartment building suggest it will go through Design Review. This is in the pre-application stage so you’re not likely to see a formal notice any time soon. Before last month’s sale, this site previously had a pending proposal for two houses and two townhouses.
4 TOWNHOUSES ON PIGEON POINT: 3856 21st SW is now proposed for four townhouses; previously, a six-unit rowhouse building was planned. This too is in the pre-application stage.
Also on Pigeon Point:
LAND USE APPROVALS FOR 3816 & 3806 22ND SW: Near from the aforementioned townhouse plan, these approval notices – here and here – were published today for two single-family houses and a two-unit townhouse (3816) and four single-family houses (3806). Publication of the notices opens a two-week period for appeals, a process explained here.
In Morgan Junction:
NEXT STEP IN REZONE FOR TOWNHOUSES ON CHURCH LAND: The LUIB includes this DPD decision that no significant environmental effects are expected from a list of proposed amendments to the city Comprehensive Plan. The list includes the amendment that would set the stage for a rezone of the parcel on which the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene in Morgan Junction wants to partner with a local builder to build six townhouses that it would sell to raise money to renovate its 42nd/Juneau building (the prospective building site is immediately to the south). We’ve been covering the process since the proposal first turned up almost two years ago. A comment/appeal period is now open; this page explains that process.
DESIGN REVIEW NOTICES IN TODAY’S LAND USE INFORMATION BULLETIN: We’ve published word of these reviews already, but the formal notices finally arrived in today’s city-circulated LUIB:
Both of those Design Review Board meetings will be at the Senior Center of West Seattle. And an update:
FORMER CAFE SITE: Thanks to Bryce for this photo of the former Charlestown Café site, fully cleared, one week after the two-day demolition was completed:
Haven’t been out to the monthly West Seattle Art Walk yet tonight? You have until 9 pm – find the map/venue list in our daily preview, pick a spot, and go! Maybe VAIN (4513 California SW; WSB sponsor) in The Junction, where you’ll find Julee Nicklaus, whose show “Expressive Espresso” features work painted in coffee! Remember that most shows debuting on Art Walk night (like this one) are up at the host businesses/venues for the rest of the month, so if you just couldn’t get out tonight … stop by another time soon.
Most of this will be happening south of us, but this alert just sent out by the King County Sheriff’s Office mentions that helicopter activity might be visible, so take note (and we’ll remind you again Tuesday):
On Tuesday June 16th, the King County Sheriff’s Office TAC 30 team (our department’s tactical unit) will be hosting a multi-agency maritime operations exercise in the area of the Des Moines waterfront. Citizens may see our helicopter flying from the Alki Point area south to Dumas Bay. Hours of the exercise will be from approximately 8am until 5pm.
The main landing zone for the helicopter will be the Des Moines Marina. Agencies participating in the exercise include the Seattle Police, Bainbridge Island Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and King County Medic One.
There will be numerous law enforcement boats involved in the exercise, along with one boat from the King County Water Taxi. During the exercise there will be no public access to the pier.
(From left: Chelsie, Steve, Lynna, Julia Tran, O.D.)
It’s hard to believe that we have been in West Seattle for two years now. When we set up in Morgan Junction, we knew that it was a quaint yet vibrant community, but to our amazement and blessing, we have been astonished at how we have been accepted and welcomed to the West Seattle family. Our expectations on every front have been eclipsed by the people and their “family first” attitude. We love everything about West Seattle and look forward to more “family” time with everyone here!! Thank you to everyone who has been part of West Seattle Vision.
To celebrate West Seattle Vision‘s two years, we are having a 20/20 Anniversary Sale from now until the end of June. Our patients will receive $20 off on an annual supply of contact lenses and 20% off on the first complete pair of eyewear. (This promotion does not apply toward the purchase of Maui Jim and Zeal sunwear and the use of Vision Service Plan [VSP] benefits.) We are open Tuesday through Saturday for you to come in and seek out that new look for the year! For every face, there is a frame! Come check us out at 6505 California SW (206-829-9688) and say hello!
We thank the doctors and staff of West Seattle Vision for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
2:35 PM: If you’ve been wondering about the police search in Arbor Heights, around the 9800 block of 33rd SW – police have been looking for a man whom we heard described at one point as carrying a pillowcase. We’re still seeking official comment from police but one neighbor tells us this started with a call about a potential burglary. More info as we get it.
2:42 PM: From the scanner, the suspect is described as a white man in his 30s, slender, dark hoodie, tan shirt beneath it, jeans. And we just talked with Det. Drew Fowler from SPD media relations, who says it actually started as a report about a person behaving suspiciously – walking inbetween homes, not known to neighbors, and then when police showed up, he started to run. However, according to Det. Fowler, they can’t call him a burglary suspect until they have confirmed a burglary somewhere. He’s not in custody yet.
(First 2 WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
FIRST REPORT, 2:17 PM: Seattle Fire is on the way to a water-rescue call in the 1900 block of Harbor Avenue SW. We’ll be updating as we find out more.
2:23 PM: SFD tweets that the call went out as “swimmer in distress.” The person they’re trying to help is now reported to be near a barge off Jack Block Park. Via scanner: They are talking with him and he told them he would like some help.
2:26 PM: The swimmer is reported to be backpaddling toward the shore from about 100 yards out. U.S. Coast Guard has also been summoned to help.
2:28 PM: The swimmer, a man believed to be in his mid-20s, is now reported to be out of the water. A Coast Guard boat will be taking him to meet up with a medic unit at a nearby dock.
2:44 PM: Our crew says the swimmer is alert and conscious and now in a medic unit. SFD medics are now checking him out for possible early stages of hypothermia.
(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
POSTSCRIPT: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports authorities believe the man jumped into the water in the Salty’s (WSB sponsor) area – with his shoes on – and started swimming east, for reasons unknown.
As the City Council gets deeper into shaping the “Move Seattle” transportation levy proposed for the November ballot, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition has just announced its official statement on what it wants to see in the levy:
West Seattle has been working to resolve its transportation challenges for 125 years. We initiated Puget Sound’s first ferry service in 1888 and we built America’s first municipally funded commuter rail system in 1906. Today, that extensive rail line is gone, replaced by inadequate bus service and single lane choke points that hamper the mobility of our 100,000 citizens.
Seattle has not supported or expanded our historically great transportation ideas. Thanks to the lags and half measures the city has offered over the years, there’s widespread perception here that West Seattle and its transportation issues are not, and never have been priorities for the City of Seattle.
It took the City five years to re-build the South Park Bridge after significant lobbying efforts of citizens, six years to rebuild Seattle’s Spokane St. bridge after a freighter rammed the old one in 1978, and decades to re-start the seasonal cross bay West Seattle Water Taxi to downtown. After significant citizens efforts and pressure, the City is finally addressing safety and speeding issues on SW Roxbury Street and 35th Ave SW.
As our Peninsula population increases, traffic increases and further chokes ingress-egress. Our two bridges are gridlocked for hours every day now — with 93,000 vehicles crossing West Seattle’s high bridge, and 13,000 crossing the low bridge. Together, these bridges are Seattle’s busiest, non-freeway traffic corridor, carrying more human and freight volume than any other city bridge. By the time Move Seattle expires, West Seattle’s population in our Alaska Junction and Triangle areas alone will grow to equal or surpass that of Ballard.
Move Seattle fails to address West Seattle’s key issue — getting into and out of the peninsula, safely and efficiently. While the WSTC appreciates and supports the proposals West Seattle pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, we ask the Mayor and City Council to support and clearly define Council Member Tom Rasmussen’s amendment to Move Seattle. We would like the levy to:
Provide a fully funded, integrated, West Seattle Peninsula ingress-egress plan with a scope of work, timeline, and funding source. Its structure should be fully compatible with conversion to a future Sound Transit dedicated right-of-way, Light Rail or Bus Rapid Transit system.
In Sound Transit polling, more than 94% of West Seattle residents supported a dedicated solution for the people living in District 1. Currently, all of West Seattle’s transportation hopes and dreams seem to be bolted to the forthcoming Sound Transit 3 (ST3) proposal. Meaning, West Seattle’s transportation fate is now in the hands of Olympia legislators, the Sound Transit Tri-County Board, and competition from regional and local interests who also need ST3 resources.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down for West Seattle as our population and development density increase, and the Port gears up with planned expansions on Terminal 5, where freight and industrial growth will further choke traffic flows to SR 99, I-5, I-90, Marginal and Alaskan Ways. It’s a perfect storm of adverse effects on our situation.
West Seattle and South Park need a solution today. We cannot wait for some future, theoretical ST3 or ST4 package. We expect our leaders and elected officials to do whatever it takes to move the people of District 1 now.
We wrote about Councilmember Rasmussen’s proposed amendment, mentioned above, back on Monday.
P.S. Haven’t shared your comments on the levy yet? This page on the city website explains how.
It’s West Seattle Art Walk night! That tops our quick look at what’s ahead for the rest of your Thursday. The Art Walk runs 6-9 pm – here’s the list/map of where you’re invited to come see art, and, at many stops, to meet the artists:
Make your plan by browsing the artist/venue previews on the official WS Art Walk website.
Also happening later today/tonight:
STORMWATER POLLUTION SOLUTIONS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD: Come to a community-planning workshop for pollution reduction in the Longfellow Creek Watershed, at the bioswale in the Denny International Middle School parking lot this afternoon! 3:30-5 pm. RSVP if you can to email@example.com, or just show up! (2601 SW Kenyon)
POP-UP JEWELRY SHOW AT THE LONGHOUSE: 5:30-8:30 pm, stop by the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse for a pop-up jewelry show by Heidi Leonard. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)
TOTEM CRUISE INFO/RECEPTION: All are welcome at the Log House Museum 6-8 pm tonight, not only to find out about the upcoming Totem Pole Cruise, but also to enjoy chowder and treats and hear about local history, as previewed here. (61st/Stevens)
CONGRATS, SLHS CLASS OF 2015! Seattle Lutheran High School‘s Class of 2015 graduates tonight at 7:30 pm in the Menashe Family Gym on campus. (4100 SW Genesee)
MORE FOR TODAY/TONIGHT/TOMORROW/BEYOND … there for the browsing, when you visit our calendar.
Thanks to Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, for sharing the video and the following report as the first round of restoration work continues at the city-landmark Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge:
Alki Homestead owner Dennis Schilling and his crew, including his son, Matt, worked on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, to haul out no longer functioning kitchen equipment and other detritus and to build and test an outdoor wooden shelf or sling to hold new logs in position when rotted logs (with blue tape) on the southeast corner are replaced. (The kitchen is not part of the city-landmarked features of the building, and replacement of the southeast-corner logs was given administrative approval by city landmarks staff in January.) Restoration work on the 1904 city landmark began this spring and will continue steadily through the summer and beyond. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society will provide periodic video updates such as this one.
Schilling, who previously gained West Seattle fame for restoring the once-marked-for-teardown Shoremont Apartments on Alki three years ago, bought the Homestead in March, as first reported here. You can check out the SWSHS’s ongoing reports on this page of the organization’s website; WSB coverage of the Homestead, going back even before the 2009 fire, is archived here, newest-to-oldest.
By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
West Seattle High School has announced that Darnell Taylor will succeed Sonya Elliott as head coach of its girls-varsity basketball team.
“Coach Taylor lives in the West Seattle community and wants to see our Girls Basketball program succeed at the highest level,” WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold tells WSB. “He will demand a lot of the players, and, by doing so, will be able to build relationships, not only with the girls on the team but the community, as well.“
Taylor, 36, spent the 2014-15 season as an assistant at Liberty High School in Renton, helping head coach Carly Fromdahl guide the Patriots to a district championship. Despite the success, Taylor tells WSB that the commute from his West Seattle home to the east side of Renton was forcing him to consider taking a break from high-school coaching, as he had prior to last season to be able to help at home with the pending birth of his son DJ, now 3 years old (with his dad in the photo, above right).
Thanks to the many people who’ve sent us this link – if you haven’t already seen it, data reporter Gene Balk at The Seattle Times (WSB partner) says people interested in getting out of the Bay Area are zeroing in on West Seattle – in a BIG way, at least according to one real-estate website. Doesn’t surprise us – when we got here from San Diego in 1991, we found more than a few other ex-Californians in WS. But that was pre-consumer Internet, so, no data-crunching possible! Any recent Bay Area arrivals within sight of these pixels, would love to hear how you wound up here – comments or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
So far, nothing out of the ordinary reported in the outbound commute.
SATURDAY CLOSURE ON NORTHBOUND 99: Daily reminder that northbound Highway 99, including the Alaskan Way Viaduct, from south of West Seattle to lower Queen Anne, is one of the roads around the area Saturday that will be closed to vehicles during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon/Half Marathon. The 99 closure is scheduled for 5 am-3:30 pm Saturday. See all marathon-related area closures here.
Click the picture to see a Seattle Municipal Archives page with a larger version of the image.
7:42 AM: If you’re heading this way from north of downtown soon – Southbound 99 has a problem:
Southbound Battery St tunnel is closed due to sprinkler activation. All lanes closed. pic.twitter.com/PvFT7UGsnz
— seattledot (@seattledot) June 11, 2015
A crash also is reported on northbound 4th Avenue S. at Spokane – the SFD response is closed so it might not be a long-running problem.
8:03 AM: SDOT just tweeted that the scene on NB 4th Avenue S. is clear and all lanes are open. The southbound Battery St. Tunnel is NOT, yet.
8:15 AM: And now the southbound Battery St. Tunnel **is** open again, per SDOT. The surface is wet, though. There was some confusion about whether the NB side had been affected; Marco tweeted that while signage suggested it was, it was NOT, and remained open through this.
8:24 AM – ANOTHER WEEKEND NOTE: Haven’t mentioned this yet but Sunday brings the summer-schedule change for Washington State Ferries.
8:25 AM: The “low bridge” has closed to vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians so that vessel(s) can pass. If you didn’t already know this – the closures and reopenings are all noted on the @SDOTbridges Twitter account, as is this one.
Lots of laughter Wednesday night at the Senior Center of West Seattle sendoff for now-retired longtime executive director Karen Sisson – a party with a nautical theme, as she and husband Doug Sisson were vowing to spend more time on their boat.
Before they could sail into the sunset, there was an acknowledgment of a big tribute on land – naming the Senior Center’s home the Sisson Building:
The rededication was officially proclaimed by County Executive Dow Constantine, preceding a champagne toast for Sisson, fitting given that her most-mentioned accomplishment was getting the law changed to create a specific class of liquor licenses for Senior Centers, though it could be argued that the now-renamed Sisson Building represented an even-bigger achievement, owned by the Senior Center in no small part thanks to Sisson’s effort during her quarter-century there.
Even more of Sisson’s accomplishments were recounted in the mayoral proclamation read at the party, declaring Wednesday “Karen Sisson Day” in Seattle:
Sisson herself spoke about the job she felt she was “born to do” – working with seniors – more than 40 years, in Walla Walla for 18 before her quarter-century in West Seattle:
She is considered both tough and fun; her long tenure at the center ended suddenly last summer in a clash with the citywide nonprofit that staffs it, but the center brought her back for a time as a consultant, and then a few months ago, planning began for this retirement party, featuring everything from hors d’oeuvres to The Ukes:
It was planned by a committee including board member Nancy Sorensen, who emceed.