West Seattle, Washington
Two updates as the city continues collecting comments on proposed rezoning as part of the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of the city’s HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) initiative:
CITY’S TOP PLANNER RESPONDS TO REQUEST FOR EXTENSION: The Junction Neighborhood Organization asked for a six-month extension in the current feedback phase of the rezoning process. Here’s the full letter; one of the concerns: How the city did, and didn’t, inform those affected. Today JuNO director René Commons received a reply from Office of Planning and Community Development director Sam Assefa, who replied, in part:
… While I recognize that the City can always do more, we have worked conscientiously to offer many opportunities for the neighborhood to learn about HALA and MHA, and to weigh in. With regard to implementing zoning changes that create additional affordable housing, the initial draft maps were released to the public in mid-October last year and have been the subject of significant citywide community engagement and discussion ever since. In West Seattle, we have held at least 7 community meetings to provide information and to collect feedback. We anticipate many additional opportunities for the public to learn about the initial draft proposal, to share their perspectives, to see other alternatives to the initial draft proposal, and to weigh in on how these alternatives respond to the community priorities and concerns. We look forward to additional public meetings, open houses, and design workshops, both across the City and in your neighborhood, as we move forward in 2017.
We also continue to collect online comments at hala.consider.it. Of course, additional public process including environmental review, and City Council public hearings will take place before any zoning changes needed to implement MHA are made.
You can read Assefa’s full reply here. He didn’t elaborate on which meetings he was counting in the mention of 7 in West Seattle; the major city-organized meeting so far was the two-location December 7th “open house,” with the draft maps among a long list of topics on which participants were invited to comment. Meantime, city-organized “community design workshops” are continuing, with one set for The Junction on January 26th, 6-9 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle. That’s also the location for JuNO’s next meeting, 6:30 pm next Tuesday (January 17th).
ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Admiral has its own “community design workshop” set for February 11th (9:30 am-12:30 pm at West Seattle High School) Because of that upcoming event, this past Tuesday’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting had HALA rezoning on the agenda, and a bigger crowd than usual, about 40 people.
Deb Barker, a retired land-use planner whose volunteer public-service roles include being president of the Morgan Community Association, came to talk about the rezoning proposal. “It’s nothing that you really want to sit in a chair and have someone preach at you about,” she noted, adding that on first hearing about it, people’s eyes tend to glaze over. But people are hungry to find out more, she continued, mentioning the 130+-person turnout at the neighbors-briefing-neighbors event she and Cindi Barker led in Highland Park back in November (WSB coverage here).
On Tuesday, she asked who in themaudience had heard of HALA; most raised their hands.
“How many remember the 1998 Admiral Residential Urban Village plan?” A few hands went up for that.
“Anybody who’s going to redevelop is going to have to pay into a pot of money that goes to affordable housing” is how she summarized the Mandatory Housing Affordability concept, “the idea up for review right now.”
She also noted that while the draft map for the West Seattle Junction would expand the urban-village boundaries in some areas, that is NOT proposed for the Admiral Residential Urban Village.
Most of this section of Admiral’s meeting, though, was truly a case of “you had to be there” – Barker answered a few questions and then invited everyone over to the counter area in The Sanctuary’s main room for a look at some of the maps that she and Cindi had developed for their Highland Park meeting:
Then she mentioned the December 7th city “open house” that was meant to gather comments. She had developed a page of notes to help people read and comment on the draft maps and offered those again at the Admiral meeting too – find some of the links here. And from there, conversation ensued, all around the maps, and lasted well past the meeting’s projected end time.
WHAT’S NEXT: Along with the Junction and Admiral HALA rezoning “community design workshops” mentioned above, Morgan Junction is supposed to have one too – but the date is off the city calendar, so we’re awaiting word on its fate. Keep an eye on this page.
Announced tonight by West Seattle High School‘s Diversity Club adviser Jennifer Hall:
Former state Representatives Jesse Wineberry, Georgette Valle (now 92 years of age, and writing her fourth book), and Bruce Addison (the last Republican Washington state legislator to be elected from Seattle in over 18 years) have agreed to attend West Seattle High School’s Martin Luther King Day Assembly as honored guests.
These three individuals overcame personal differences to work closely together almost 30 years ago, to craft and pass Martin Luther King Day legislation in Washington State. Former Representative Wineberry will be the main speaker at the assembly. Wineberry will also serve as a keynote speaker at Seattle’s MLK Memorial Rally, after the march from Garfield High School on Monday, January 16.
School confidentiality rules prohibit video or audio recording by local news agencies at the assembly, but local community group representatives are not prohibited from attending. The morning assembly will be held at 10:35 AM. All visitors to West Seattle High School are required to sign in at the main office, and pick up a visitor’s badge.
If you’re interested in attending, RSVP to Jennifer Hall – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Addison and Valle are both former 34th District (which includes West Seattle) representatives; Wineberry served in the 43rd District.
After a few recent reader questions about the status of West Seattle’s future Whole Foods Market, planned for the north side of The Whittaker (WSB sponsor), we checked around – and just found out the new timeframe for its opening.
When last we checked, in June of last year, a Whole Foods spokesperson told WSB that the store was expected to open in the “second half of 2017.”
This afternoon, responding to our inquiry about the current timeline, Susan Livingston from Whole Foods told WSB: “We look forward to opening our doors in Summer, 2018.”
I’m delighted to share that we’ve updated our plans since we last shared them with your readers. Some of the new features include the addition of a tap room with lots of seating, an expanded Prepared Foods department with additional venues, and improved pedestrian connections. As with any project, weather and other factors can impact our schedule, but we’ll share details about our grand opening as we get closer to the actual date.
Livingston says that the “new features” are part of what has pushed back the timeline, and that it’s not unusual for “big-box anchor tenants” in projects like this to take longer than first expected.
When construction of The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW) began two years ago, WF was the only signed commercial tenant. Then last August, four more tenants were announced – MOD Pizza, BECU, CityMD, and T-Mobile, as shown in the latest site map above (the yellow spaces are still available, and one of them – AOL – is set aside for a restaurant). The aforementioned already-announced businesses are expected to open later this year, as are the apartments in the north building – the south building at The Whittaker is already leasing.
Four reader reports to share this afternoon:
STOLEN CAR: Matt‘s brother’s car was stolen today on 34th SW: “It was a green 1996 Honda Accord. Lic # AUK3613. The car is from Victoria B.C. and has a ‘Honda City Victoria’ license plate outline. It also has a ‘Sub Pop’ sticker on left side of the back bumper.” Call 911 if you see it.
STOLEN BICYCLE: From Chris:
My bike was stolen from our secured entry garage in the Alaska Junction (44th, between Alaska and Edmunds). Reported to SPD (2017-13425), and on bikeindex.com. I don’t know when the theft occurred, but I believe it was sometime between (Tuesday) night and (Wednesday) afternoon.
Bike is a 2015 Marin Lombard Elite 52cm (like this, except I had wrapped my handlebars in teal tape).
CAR PROWL FRUSTRATION: From John:
My wife’s car had the side window broken on Monday late afternoon, Lincoln Park South lot.
She’d semi-hidden a small backpack with a laptop, so that’s history. She just walked through that same parking lot this afternoon and noted four more fresh piles of shattered window glass – in addition to hers from Monday.
The SPD officer who took her report was sympathetic but resigned to this never-ending nuisance. I’d like to think that some special enforcement could be done in West Seattle where car prowls are endemic, like Lincoln Park’s middle and south parking lots. I’d think a few arrests here and there could slow the pace of this crime and perhaps even result in the criminals reconsidering their acting with impunity in the usual locations.
It just doesn’t seem like this cool community should have to put up with petty crime running rampant.
There have been arrests – but one challenge police and prosecutors have identified is that car prowling by itself is a misdemeanor and so that doesn’t necessarily keep the suspect behind bars for long unless there are other factors in the case, such as an arrest warrant already out for them.
PACKAGE-THEFT VICTIM’S THANKS: From Nathan:
I just want to say thank you to one of my excellent, anonymous, neighbors. Today I came home from work to find an opened package on my porch. The contents were on top of the package, and a note said it was found nearby, shredded and the contents strewn about. It was signed, “your neighbor on 48th”. This was near Hanford and 47th. Apparently the would-be thief didn’t think the $8 ethernet cable jacks I ordered could be traded for heroin or crack. The nice gesture of my neighbor restored some faith in humanity …
1:23 PM: If you’re seeing/hearing a major Seattle Fire/Police response in the Puget Ridge area – there’s an “assault with weapons” response in the 6500 block of 18th SW. No other details so far.
1:29 PM: Still no information about who was injured and how, but police are looking for one suspect – the partial description on the scanner is white, male, 6 feet tall, thin, no shirt.
1:34 PM: The incident is now described as a stabbing. If you’re hearing a helicopter in the area, it’s TV.
1:54 PM: SFD says the victim is a 34-year-old man taken to the hospital with a stab wound in his thigh.
2:26 PM Police still have 18th SW blocked in the 6500 block.
2:53 PM Update from SFD – victim’s wounds are more serious than first reported – now described as life-threatening.
The full “wolf moon” put on a show this morning (above) and last night (below). Looking ahead to tonight here are highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, starting with this month’s West Seattle Art Walk:
JANUARY ART WALK: 6-9 pm at venues around West Seattle. Here’s the venue list/map for this quarter:
We’ve heard directly from four venues:
–Viscon Cellars (5910 California SW; WSB sponsor) is featuring painter Lindsay Peyton
–ReMAX in The Junction (4400 SW Alaska) is featuring Judith Allison (until 8 pm)
–Wild Rose in The Junction (4529 California SW) is featuring photographer Jacob Smithers
–The Building in Gatewood (7150 44th SW) has several open studios tonight
Any others? email@example.com! Also please note that Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor) is not participating this month because it’s closed for its winter break until January 28th – but go see them during the February and March WSAWs!
3038 39TH SW APPEAL HEARING: Under way at the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown – public is welcome to observe (we’re here and the gallery is almost full – this is continuing until at least noon). Here’s our preview, published Wednesday. (700 5th Avenue)
CHIEF SEALTH IHS SHOWCASE/RESOURCE FAIR: Future high-school student in your family? 5:30-7:30 pm, you’re invited to come find out more about Chief Sealth International High School. A Family Engagement Resource Fair is also happening, and current students’ families are welcome too. Free dinner for all! Full details in our calendar listing. (2600 SW Thistle)
AFTER HOURS AT THE Y: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s After Hours event is at the newly expanded West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), 5:30-7:30 pm. $10 nonmembers, free for members. (36th SW/SW Snoqualmie)
PECOS PIT PARKING MEETING: 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building/Senior Center, tonight is the meeting for community comments on whether to extend the Pecos Pit Barbecue (WSB sponsor) use of the ex-substation site to the east. (4217 SW Oregon)
PARK BOARD CONSIDERS DOG PLAN: 6:30 pm at Seattle Parks HQ downtown, the “strategic plan” for future offleash and more will be considered by the Board of Parks Commissioners, as previewed here. (100 Dexter Ave. N.)
LOTS MORE … on our complete calendar!
9:25 AM: If you’re driving in Fauntleroy, be aware of this slide on Fauntleroy Place at Cloverdale (45th headed north becomes this street – here’s a map):
Thanks to Christopher Bell for the photo. We’re checking with Seattle Public Utilities about the report that this is the result of a water-main break.
11:10 AM UPDATE: From SPU’s Ingrid Goodwin: “SPU crews responded this morning to a break in a 1-inch plastic water service as well as a mud slide on Fauntleroy Place. A couple of truckloads of material slid from a green belt area into the roadway. SPU landslide engineers are performing a site evaluation of the hillside and water crews are working on the cleanup and repair. Water is back on for customers who were impacted.”
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7:06 AM: Another below-freezing morning – official temp 27 degrees right now – so be mindful again of icy spots. Otherwise, unlike yesterday morning, no incidents reported in/from West Seattle.
7:27 AM: Also unlike yesterday, we’re noticing some frost on cars parked on the street, so you might need to allow yourself some scraping time.
9:15 AM: If you’re driving in Fauntleroy, be aware of the slide on Fauntleroy Place at Cloverdale – covered in a separate story.
7:05 AM: Thanks to the texter who reported that water service is out for some High Point residents near 34th SW and SW Holly. They report Seattle Public Utilities says it’ll be out for a few hours.
12:45 PM: More info from SPU spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin: “SPU crews continue to work to repair a vertical break on an 8-inch water main on 34th Avenue SW. Water is anticipated to be back on for customers by 1:30 pm today and crews are expected to be done with the repair and off the street by 3 pm. Crews initially throttled the water main around 4:45 am, which caused some customers to be immediately out of water. About 68 water services are impacted.”