Both of West Seattle’s neighborhood-district councils have now had their first meetings since the city’s official severing of ties and financial support.
The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council met Wednesday night for the first time this year, continuing its third-Wednesday meetings but changing the location for the first quarter – it’s meeting at Highland Park Improvement Club through March rather than at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
One of the biggest topics of the meeting was another meeting – 7 pm next Wednesday (January 25th), also at HPIC, several local community councils are co-sponsoring the “State of Delridge” (as in, eastern West Seattle) with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
FROM HOMELESSNESS TO HALA: As Wednesday night’s meeting began, going around the room to hear from representatives of the organizations that comprise the DNDC, one of the main concerns was the city’s plan for a sanctioned encampment at the site where there’s now an unsanctioned camp on the Myers Way Parcels. DNDC chair Mat McBride said that while Delridge is ready to roll up its sleeves and take on the issue, the city in turn needs to give the neighborhood the tools it needs to help solve the problem for the long term. Among the area’s needs – more transportation, better schools, and better access to grocery stores. McBride observed that those are all things the neighborhoods have sought for years, but now those things are more critical than ever if the city and neighborhoods are to work together on homelessness.
(The encampment was made official by a mayoral emergency order earlier this week, subsequently approved unanimously by councilmembers including Herbold.)
The proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda also was brought up as a major issue. While the city had a Community Design Workshop for the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village in November, it was little-publicized and attendance was low. Reps from the Westwood-Roxhill Arbor Heights Community Council and South Delridge Community Group said they were taken aback by the “poor outreach.” WWRHAH’s Amanda Kay Helmick said that the input from those who did attend was good, though.
SPEAKING OF WWRHAH: Its meetings are moving to 6:15-7:45 pm on first Tuesdays as of next month, as Southwest Library is now booked o Mondays TFN. Next meeting: February 7th.
DELRIDGE GROCERY: Progress as the cooperative continues working toward opening a food store on the ground floor of Cottage Grove Commons (5444 Delridge Way SW). Delridge Grocery’s Doris Rahmig reported that the group has secured about $150,000 in grants and expects to have a buildout announcement within the next month or two.
SOUTHWEST YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES: Ron Angeles had an update on SWYFS’s project with the White Center Community Development Association and Capitol Hill Housing at the WC Food Bank site (8th SW/SW 108th). They’ll be working on funding for the previously discussed redevelopment that would include nonprofit organizations’ headquarters as well as affordable housing;
PUGET RIDGE: With a variety of community concerns (including those brought up at this week’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council), Amanda Kirk said the neighborhood is looking at monthly meetings to supplement its ongoing e-mail discussions.
The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meets third Wednesdays, 7 pm. As noted above, the meetings will be at the Highland Park Improvement Club (12th SW/SW Holden) in February and March.
Before then – the “State of Delridge” discussion with Councilmember Herbold is at 7 pm next Wednesday, January 25th, also at HPIC.