West Seattle, Washington
The city is looking to change the rules regarding backyard cottages and in-law apartments, but is under orders to do an environmental review of the process first, as the result of a challenge by a community group in Queen Anne. The review process has just begun, according to a city announcement today requesting your comments – via e-mail as well as an upcoming West Seattle meeting. Here’s the announcement:
Today we announced the beginning of the environmental review process to study the potential effects of removing barriers to building accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single-family zones. ADUs include backyard cottages, known as Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs), and in-law apartments, known as Attached Accessory Dwelling Units (AADUs).
The first phase of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process is to determine the scope of the study, and we want your input on what to consider and analyze as we explore allowing more ADUs in Seattle’s neighborhoods.
ADUs are small, secondary dwelling units inside, attached to, or in the rear yard of a single-family house. The City’s proposal involves allowing both an in-law apartment and a backyard cottage on the same lot, removing the existing off-street parking and owner-occupancy requirements, and changing some development standards that regulate the size and location of backyard cottages. Based on a decision from the City’s Hearing Examiner in December 2016, we’re preparing an EIS to review the potential environmental impacts of this proposal.
During the scoping phase, you can help us determine the alternatives we’ll study, potential environmental impacts to consider, and possible measures to avoid or reduce the effects of the proposal. Comments are due by 5:00 p.m. on November 1, 2017. You can give us your input in several ways:
by email: ADUEIS@seattle.gov
by mail to Aly Pennucci, Council Central Staff, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025
in person at our two public scoping meetings.
One of those meetings is in West Seattle: Tuesday, October 17, 6:00-7:30 pm. at High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Ave SW.
An important thing to note: The meeting is NOT going to be a deep dive into the proposal – as noted here, it’s been added to the agenda for what was already an “open house”-style meeting about an even-more-complicated issue, whether to change the city’s Comprehensive Plan to remove language that, for some neighborhoods, conflicts with proposed HALA upzoning. That part of the meeting affects three specific “urban village” areas of West Seattle – The Junction, Morgan Junction, and Westwood-Highland Park – but the dwelling-unit part of the meeting involves neighborhoods citywide. We first wrote about the city’s plan in July.
The international Plant for the Planet youth movement is having its next daylong Plant for the Planet Academy for interested kids this Saturday (October 7th), 8:30 am-3:30 pm, at Puget Ridge Cohousing (7020 18th SW). The flyer above explains, including how to register – it’s free but your interested 8- to 14-year-old needs to sign up ahead of time (here’s the direct link). It’s a day-long workshop to find out “how they can take action to protect and heal our environment, as part of Plant For The Planet – an international group of 63,000+ young people worldwide who are planting trees and leading communities to solve the climate crisis now.” As explained on the flyer, there’s an optional 2-hour parent workshop too. (If you can’t see the flyer embedded above, here’s a PDF version.)
From the WSB inbox today – two photos of bicycles that appear to be abandoned, both orange. This one, in The Triangle:
This one, off Harbor Avenue SW:
If either one is potentially yours, let us know.
Thanks to the parents who just shared this:
Dear Denny and Chief Sealth Scholars and Families,
We want to share information with you regarding an incident that was reported this morning involving two of our 10th-grade scholars on their way to school. At 8 a.m. this morning, two 10th-graders, one boy and one girl, were walking to school on 25th Ave SW between Westwood Village and SW Thistle St., when they were approached by an adult stranger on foot. The man got close to the girl and made inappropriate suggestive comments to her. The man was wearing a black sweatshirt with his hood on. The two scholars did everything right — they attempted to ignore him, started walking more quickly to get away from him and went straight into the school to report it. Chief Sealth staff called the police, who responded quickly to take a statement. The police will be in the area, along with extra school staff, during dismissal and arrival times as they follow-up on this incident.
As a precaution, we are reminding our scholars about walking safety tips. We would appreciate your help by having a similar conversation at home. The walking safety advice includes:
• Pay close attention to your surroundings, avoid “automatic pilot.”
• Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
• Use common sense; plan your route to avoid uninhabited parks, parking lots, garages and alleyways.
• Stick to well-lit areas.
• Develop a plan before you see trouble. Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
• If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction.
• Consider wearing clothing and shoes that you can move freely and quickly in, especially when walking or waiting for the bus.
• Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
• Always plan your route and stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid shortcuts. Walk confidently. Scan your surroundings and make eye contact with people.
• Avoid walking alone at night. As much as possible, walk or travel with a friend, even during the daytime.
• Immediately report anything suspicious to trusted adults (school staff and family members).
As always, thank you for your help and partnership!
Jeff Clark, Principal, Denny International High School
Aida Fraser-Hammer, Principal, Chief Sealth International High School
That’s the same area where SDOT cut plans for pathway improvements, saying a developer will likely have to make them within “several years.” That will be discussed at tomorrow night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meeting, 6:15 pm Tuesday at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW).
PS: While processing this for publication, we also received a copy directly from the principals.
1:53 PM: You might be seeing the engines and trucks and/or hearing the sirens – big Seattle Fire “heavy rescue” dispatch is headed to 16th SW/SW Lander on Harbor Island. Via scanner, the incident is described as an overturned semi-truck. Updates to come.
1:56 PM: Most of the units are being dismissed – no injuries. SDOT is being requested for cleanup of a fuel spill.
3:35 PM: We went over to Harbor Island within the past hour to see if the truck was still there. As you can see in our photo, added above, a tow truck had arrived to work on pulling the trailer upright. No traffic effects.
1:37 PM: Thanks to the parents who shared the communication from the Vashon School District, which has hundreds of “commuter” students, most from West Seattle:
Vashon High School students have been dismissed for the day due to a bomb threat at the school. Law enforcement is on site doing an investigation, and expect to be in the building for the remainder of the day. Students and staff will not have access to the building for the remainder of the day.
The announcement from superintendent Michael Soltman goes on to say that bus riders and walkers already have been sent home in those respective ways and “ferry commuter students” will be on an upcoming sailing, adding “Vashon Island High School sport practices, games and club activities have been cancelled.” Everyone is OK, and the island’s other two public schools remain in session. We’ll be checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office about the investigation.
2:01 PM: We checked with Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff’s Office, and here’s what she says investigators discovered:
The school found what they said was a suspicious device in a locker. The school was evacuated. Turns out it was a portable cooler and the battery was beeping that it was low. The student was supposed to have it so it was a false alarm.
Set your calendar for 5-9 pm Wednesday, October 11th – West Seattle Night Out for Disaster Relief. Three local service organizations – the Rotary Club of West Seattle, Kiwanis Club of West Seattle, and Lions Club of West Seattle – are organizing this as “a community response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the Mexico City earthquake.” On that night, the announcement explains, participating restaurants and businesses “will accept donations and donate a percentage of your bill to disaster relief.” More information – including the list of participants – to come.
Thanks to Olivia for the tip – she saw the sign by The Swinery‘s door while passing by en route elsewhere. We checked it out, and here’s what’s up: The sign is an alert that if you walk in, you might be filmed by Lando Productions. They tell us they’re working on a new Food Network show – so new, it doesn’t even have an official title yet (and they’re not at liberty to disclose its working title). The crew is one of two working in different regions to gather footage – they’re on the West Coast, another is in the Mountain Time zone. They’ll be there again tomorrow and possibly part of Wednesday. The only impact to customers is that sandwiches and fries won’t be available today until after 1 pm because the crew is working in the area where those are prepared. Otherwise, the shop (3207 California SW) is open.
(Pileated woodpecker, photographed in Fauntleroy Park by Mark Wangerin)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for the rest of your Monday:
HOMEWORK HELP: 4-7:30 pm, drop-in homework help at High Point Library. (35th SW/SW Raymond)
‘TEMPORARY ART IN PARKS’ WORKSHOP: Artists – if you’re interested in applying for a Temporary Art in Parks grant, you’re encouraged to attend this workshop first. 5:30-7 pm at Southwest Library. (9010 35th SW)
MONDAY NIGHT MEDITATION: Five-week series starts at 7 pm tonight at Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor) – taught by Linda Fane, themed “Understanding the Mind.” Full details in our calendar listing. (5639 California SW)
‘ROOTED IN PEACE’: Special documentary screening at the Admiral Theater, 7 pm: “Award-winning filmmaker and environmental activist Greg Reitman shares his journey of self-analysis with audiences seeking inner peace in a world full of people dominated by war, affected by global warming or haunted by inner conflict.” More info in our calendar listing. (2343 California SW)
PUGET RIDGE COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Puget Ridge Cohousing. (7020 18th SW)
MONDAY QUIZ: 7:30 pm at The Skylark, all ages, no cover, prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)
LOOK INTO THE FUTURE … see what else is happening this week by checking our complete-calendar page, which is updated multiple times daily.
6:35 AM: Thanks for the texts – the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct is blocked, all lanes, by an incident near Seneca. More to come.
6:44 AM: The incident has been described both as a collision and as a vehicle fire. It already has NB 99 backed up all the way past the West Seattle Bridge.
7 AM: SDOT says one northbound lane is now open. Backups stretch to the 1st Avenue S. Bridge, though. Though Metro has not issued an official alert, some buses have rerouted, we’re hearing via comments and Twitter.
7:14 AM: Commenter and texter say the vehicle involved was labeled as being from Cupcake Royale. We haven’t heard whether anyone was hurt.
7:21 AM: If you’re on Delridge, note that two Seattle Fire units are headed to Louisa Boren STEM K-8 school for an automatic fire alarm. **No** word of an actual fire, but just in case you see the response while stuck in bridge/Viaduct-bound traffic and wonder.
7:30 AM: Back on the NB Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle Fire has cleared the scene, and no medic unit was involved, so if anyone was hurt, it wasn’t major. But the lane closures remain.
7:41 AM: The aforementioned fire-alarm call at STEM K-8 has closed, no fire, SFD units back in service. Meantime, on NB I-5 on the north side of downtown, an SFD aid response has blocked a lane, so I-5 as an alternative to 99 has one more challenge right now.
7:44 AM: Metro has now sent an alert about the reroutes that readers have been mentioning:
Transit Alert – Expect service delays on rts 21, 55, 56, 57, 113, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125 & the C Line due to a blockage on SR-99/Seneca St.
— King County Metro 🚌 (@kcmetrobus) October 2, 2017
7:50 AM: The NB I-5 incident has cleared.
8:12 AM: NB 99 has NOT cleared. Here’s the camera we’re watching.
8:20 AM: Looks like a tow truck has shown up at the 99 scene. (Added a few minutes later, screengrab from the SDOT webcam):
8:29 AM: Tow truck’s taken it away. Waiting for word of reopening.
8:32 AM: And that word has just come – all lanes open again – with the caveat about “residual delays.”
8:39 AM: Now that the incident is closed – a reminder that the Viaduct will be *deliberately* closed this weekend for its twice-yearly inspection closure as well as some other work – northbound all weekend (late Friday night to early Monday morning), southbound 5 am-6 pm Saturday and again Sunday (if needed).
9:18 AM: No further incidents. Thanks again to the first person who tipped us to the trouble in the early going – our breaking news hotline, text or voice, 24/7, is 206-293-6302.
9:30 AM: And now … word of a crash on the eastbound bridge, no injuries. Waiting for word on exactly where.
9:36 AM: Looks to be somewhere on the high-rise, per where SDOT is turning one of the bridge cameras.
9:41 AM: From SDOT:
There is a collision on the West Seattle Bridge mid span blocking the left EB lane. Use caution. pic.twitter.com/DdRJF3tyK9
— seattledot (@seattledot) October 2, 2017
9:49 AM: SDOT says the bridge crash has cleared.
10:14 AM: We’re working on a Viaduct followup but in the meantime, via Twitter, we shared a photo by Brian, who was on scene right after the van fire erupted, and also, Cupcake Royale says its driver is OK.