West Seattle, Washington
9:04 PM: Just in from the Tacoma Dome – the West Seattle High School boys won their first game at the state 3A basketball tournament, 62-54 over Wilson HS (Tacoma), and that means they’re in the semifinals! Tomorrow (Friday) night at 9 pm, head coach Keffrey Fazio and the Wildcats will face the winner of the game that’s just about to start, Rainier Beach vs. Garfield.
P.S. Thanks to Tami Denton for score updates (added – and a photo) from the Dome! Our photographer took ill at the last minute so we couldn’t go to Tacoma tonight, but we will be there for tomorrow night’s big game.
10:59 PM UPDATE: Garfield beat Rainier Beach, 59-58, so that’s who West Seattle plays Friday night in the semifinals.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The mixed-use project planned on the current West Seattle PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) site is done with Design Review.
It got final Southwest Design Review Board approval after three meetings – one more than the minimum, two fewer than, for comparison, were needed seven-plus years ago for the nearby Admiral Safeway project (evoked repeatedly during these reviews for its less-than-ideal features).
Along with more than 20 members of the public, four board members were present – chair Todd Bronk, T. Frick McNamara, Alexandra Moravec, and Matt Zinski – as was the project’s assigned city planner, Crystal Torres.
Here’s how it unfolded: Read More
Winter still has two-plus weeks to go, and a National Weather Service alert warns us all that snow could hit again “at almost any time” Saturday through Monday:
… A return to cold and showery weather is expected from Friday night through Monday morning. The air mass should be sufficiently cold to support snow showers over the lowlands, especially during the cooler morning hours from Saturday through Monday.
It is too early to pinpoint specific snowfall amounts and locations. So the main message right now is simply to expect hit-and-miss snowfall accumulations of 1 inch or so at almost any time from Saturday through Monday. The cooler morning hours represent the more likely time of day to get accumulating snow. Air temperatures will generally be above freezing, so any snow accumulations are likely to melt a few hours after occurring.
Someone asked us that question recently, recalling that a miniature-golf course was supposed to have been built at the city-owned West Seattle Golf Course by now.
Indeed, it was on page 101 of the 757-page 2015-2016 budget plan announced by Mayor Murray in September 2014.
We published a followup about it two days later, with more details from the Parks Department, including that it “would be a replacement for the driving range that had been planned for the golf course.” (The driving-range plan was canceled amid a wave of concerns in 2011, after a quarter-million dollars had been spent on its design.)
In late 2015, we checked on the project’s status. Parks told us that the miniature-golf course was in the “planning, permitting, and budgeting stages” and that a community meeting was expected soon.
And that was the last we heard of it. 2016 went by. And then, here in early 2017, a reader question. We took it to Parks, and spokesperson Rachel Schulkin replied:
I have talked with our team here at Parks and Recreation about the mini golf project at West Seattle Golf Course.
What I have learned is that project is indefinitely on hold as the funding set aside for this development were required to address the emerging safety issues at the Jefferson Park golf course on Beacon Hill.
Recently there has been an increase in safety concerns from golf-ball trespass due to the age and decline of the trees that surround the golf course. The money originally slated for the mini golf is now held in reserve to go toward addressing these imminent safety issues.
We found a mention of the Jefferson problem in a course newsletter from last June, citing ball-trespass problems after “numerous trees” along the course were “removed or topped.” The newsletter also said that the city and course operator were “working toward a permanent solution” but didn’t get into funding details. We so far haven’t found any previous public mention of the plan to shelve the West Seattle miniature-golf course plan and move the money elsewhere.
–Tracy Record, WSB editor
Reader reports, plus a community-safety meeting, in Crime Watch this afternoon:
MAILBOXES TARGETED: We have two reports today from one Arbor Heights neighborhood – 41st SW between 102nd and 104th. First Denae e-mailed to say thieves broke into their mailbox while they were at work, and then Tommy messaged us to say theirs also was broken into: “After talking with the post office – they told us that a lot of other people were broken into on 42nd Ave. I think it would be good for people to keep a lookout for suspicious people near mailboxes.” If you experience mailbox/mail-related crime, report it to SPD (911 if it’s happening NOW or just happened) as well as the Postal Inspection Service.
CAR WINDOWS BROKEN: Two reports of this, from different areas. First, from Darren, with a photo: “Happened sometime last night/this am. We live on 60th between Admiral and Stevens. Police report filed.”
And from Isaac:
Just a quick FYI – Police woke us up around 2 am last night to let us know that someone had broken the drivers side window out of our car parked on 34th just in from the corner of SW Roxbury. Nothing was taken and it didn’t look like the car was ransacked at all. Just a busted window…
ABANDONED (STOLEN?) BIKE: Dennis sent the photo at midday today:
If you can’t tell – that’s the business parking lot on the northwest corner of Delridge/Andover.
COMMUNITY SAFETY CONVERSATION: Received an announcement today of a meeting Saturday afternoon facilitated by the Seattle Neighborhood Group for people in and around the 5400 block of Delridge Way SW. It’s set for 3-4:30 pm Saturday (March 4th) at the Delridge Library, which is in that block (5423 Delridge Way SW).
If you can spare a few hours to start off your Saturday, there are rewards in this for you beyond knowing you’ve helped clean up your community: It’s the quarterly Admiral Neighborhood Association Adopt-A-Street cleanup, and volunteers are vital. Meet up outside Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor) 8:45-9 am, then spend up to three hours cleaning up in the area, 9 am-noon. Treats and coffee are available, free, ahead of time, and you’ll be sent home with a sack lunch afterward. Tools and bags provided! Just show up.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Months before firefighters were called to engulfed-in-flames 9029 16th SW early Saturday morning (WSB coverage here), the 98-year-old house was charred and partly boarded up.
As we reported that morning, the Seattle Fire Department had sent “full responses” there for fires in 2012 – blamed on a cooking fire started by squatters – and in 2015. Neighbors wondered why what was left of the house was still standing.
As promised, we followed up.
First – the city Department of Construction and Inspections tells WSB it has issued two orders to the property’s owners since last weekend’s fire. One orders them to seal up the building on the rear of the site, deadline today. We went back to the house late yesterday and indeed found that happening:
The other order is to tear down what’s left of the burned-out main house, which now looks like this:
SDCI spokesperson Wendy Shark told WSB, “If the owner does not take steps to remove the fire-damaged structure quickly, additional enforcement action will ensue.” As for what “quickly” means, she said, “The owner must demolish (it), or obtain an engineer’s report showing the building is not unsafe, by March 28, 2017.” If they don’t? “Once the compliance date is past without compliance, the files may be referred to the Law Department for additional enforcement.”
As we also noted the morning of the most-recent fire – the cause of which could not be determined by SFD – a redevelopment proposal is on file for the site. While a mixed-use plan was filed with the city in September, county records show ownership was transferred from an individual to an LLC (with whom the same individual is listed as associated) in December, and no further activity on the proposal is shown in online files. But a document in the system related to the September proposal includes this notation by a representative for the ownership:
There is an abandoned structure on site, and might have been occupied by homeless people. The owner has got couples phone calls from city about this issue. We are wondering whether we could demolish the structure as soon as we submitted building permit.
The files don’t show how that question was answered – or even whether it was answered; the proposal had not progressed to the building-permit application stage. (We have an inquiry out to the person listed as a contact at the time. An update: The document with that inquiry, while related to the September proposal, carries the date February 17, 2017.) But it brings up the long-running issue of city policy regarding tearing down dilapidated, dangerous houses like this. It’s an issue almost everywhere such houses stand – we wrote about it back in 2009, when a North Delridge community advocate led city leaders on a tour of problem properties.
In this November 2016 Seattle Times story about the issue, it was mentioned that the city was considering changing the rules. So we asked SDCI’s Shark about that. She pointed us to this page of the city website, where proposed changes are detailed in this draft ordinance. Among other things, its summary says it would:
Demolition of Unfit Buildings (SMC 22.208.020)
Establish an expedited process for ordering the demolition of a vacant building that can be documented as hazardous.
Demolition of Housing (SMC 23.40.006)
In instances when a final redevelopment permit has not yet been issued, reduce the length of time that rental housing must sit vacant before a demolition permit can be issued (from 12 months to 4 months), and expand to apply to commercial, industrial, and multifamily zones (in addition to single-family zones)
Shark says the City Council “will likely consider the legislation next month.”
Meantime, what’s left of 9029 16th SW is still standing as of our last check about half an hour before we published this story. This type of structure poses a special hazard to firefighters, who had to make the call upon arrival Saturday morning to deal with it as a “derelict” structure, fighting the fire “defensively.” SFD spokesperson Kellie Randall told us the assessment is made on arrival, as part of a policy developed under SFD Chief Harold Scoggins. No one was injured, and firefighters found no one in the area upon arrival, but because of how ferociously the fire was burning (see our photo atop this story), people in neighboring residential buildings had to be evacuated for a while, for fear it would spread.
We’ll continue to watch the situation, especially whether it gets demolished before the aforementioned deadline.
(Editor’s note: Updated at 1:49 pm to reflect the February 2017 date of the development-proposal-related document asking about demolition possibilities.)
(Pine siskin, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Half a dozen highlights for the rest of your Thursday:
BLANKET DRIVE CONTINUES: As explained here, blankets for children served by Mary’s Place are being collected at Gatewood Elementary until 3:30 pm today, and again 7:30 am-3:30 pm on Friday. (4320 SW Myrtle)
DESIGN REVIEW FOR PCC-SITE PROJECT: 6:30 pm at the Sisson Building/Senior Center, the Southwest Design Review Board meets for what could be the final review of 2749 California SW, the four-story, 108-apartment, 158-offstreet-parking-space project that will also include a new 21,000-sf PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) store, all on the site of the current store.
(Rendering courtesy Hewitt Architects)
The rendering above is from the official “design packet,” which you can see here; see our coverage of the recent “sneak peek” community meeting here; see our coverage of the previous SWDRB meeting here. The meeting will include an opportunity for public comment. (4217 SW Oregon)
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: The West Seattle High School boys open state-tournament play tonight at the Tacoma Dome, vs. Wilson HS, at 7:15 pm. Brackets and ticket info are here; for directions and parking info, go here.
‘MILK LIKE SUGAR’ OPENING NIGHT: 7:30 pm at ArtsWest, it’s opening night for the new production “Milk Like Sugar” by Kirsten Greenidge. Synopsis, ticket info, and more are in our calendar listing. (4711 California SW)
CROSS RHYTHM TRIO: 8-11 pm, live music at Parliament Tavern, with Ben Bloom, Jason Gray, and Grant Schroff of Polyrhythmics providing “some funky, soulful grooves.” No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE …via our complete-calendar page.
That’s “The Sower” by West Seattle artist Sarah Mottaghinejad, just announced as the winner of this year’s West Seattle Garden Tour art competition:
The winning piece features cherry veneer, acrylic, watercolor, mica, and hollyhock seeds on a clay panel measuring 18” x 24”. The artwork will be featured on the 2017 Garden Tour’s marketing materials, including the official poster and ticket book. Ms. Mottaghinejad will also receive a $500 cash prize.
Ms. Mottaghinejad says she is a storyteller before anything else. As a letterpress printer and bookbinder, she mostly works with paper, but will use any medium that best tells the story. She has a master’s degree in Linguistics, but very little formal art training. She currently works as an instructional designer, practicing her art and craft on the weekends.
Read more about her and her work on the WSGT website. This year’s tour will be earlier than recent years – June 25th; the winning work will be auctioned in one of the gardens that day, with proceeds going toward this year’s nonprofit beneficiaries, which WSGT organizers plan to announce next week.
Love chili? Here’s where you’ll want to be on Saturday night:
(Video courtesy Klem Daniels Productions)
Thanks to Judy Pickens for the reminder:
The sixth annual Fauntleroy Chili Cook-Off gets under way Saturday evening at 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California Ave. SW). Chili lovers of all ages will be out in force to sample the favorite meat and vegetarian recipes of competitors. $10/person or $25/family at the door will get you sampling and voting, cornbread, condiments, beverage, and a root beer float to settle your stomach.
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:52 AM: Good morning! No incidents reported in our area, or on the major outbound routes, so far this morning.
VIADUCT CLOSURE REMINDER: Saturday 6 am-6 pm, Sunday 6 am-6 pm. The second day also has event closures scheduled in and north of the Battery Street Tunnel. Full details here.
9:10 AM: Late-commute trouble in two spots – a left-center-lane stall on northbound I-5 near Seneca, and a jackknifed semi that will be closing 15th/Spokane on Beacon Hill, not far from the east end of the West Seattle Bridge – police are figuring out how to deal with a semitruck full of hay.