By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When a citywide coalition of community groups announced they would appeal the Environmental Impact Statement for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, three West Seattle groups were part of it. Now, a fourth has decided to join the appeal – the Fauntleroy Community Association. That decision happened during last night’s FCA board meeting, which as usual included a wide range of topics:
HALA MHA APPEAL: FCA president Mike Dey talked about having gone to a community meeting in The Junction and listening to the arguments about why this is being appealed, including a central argument for appellants – that the citywide proposal treats all neighborhoods the same way, with no accounting for or consideration of their differences. (For example, Fauntleroy and Morgan Junction deal with the traffic to and from the ferry terminal.)
Dey suggested FCA contribute $500 to the appeal and officially sign onto it so that FCA is on record as saying the don’t think the EIS was done correctly. He made it clear that even if the coalition wins the appeal, that “doesn’t mean the end of HALA” but could mean the EIS would be redone in a way that gives each neighborhood unique consideration. He said it’s important in the prism of the Joslin Building (9250 45th SW) rezone proposal, which could get even more height under HALA MHA.
Before the vote, board member Alexis Zolner wondered if FCA should seek wider community input first. It was subsequently pointed out that HALA’s been discussed by FCA before (and was on this meeting’s agenda) but no one has to date shown up to speak in favor of it. It was also pointed out that seeking to join the appeal is not a statement of opposition to HALA MHA and affordable housing – they just want the EIS redone to address neighborhoods’ unique conditions. FCA becomes the fourth West Seattle community council joining the appeal, after the Junction Neighborhood Organization, Morgan Community Association, and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition.
9250 45TH SW (JOSLIN BUILDING) REZONE: Vicki Schmitz-Block reported on the subcommittee that’s been researching this rezoning/redevelopment proposal for the parcel at the heart of the Endolyne Triangle (first reported by WSB, in October). For one, she said, the subcommittee recommends that FCA get involved with the HALA MHA FEIS appeal. They also want to invite the developer to come “tell us what they are proposing, at a public meeting” for the wider community, ideally later this month. “I think it’s important that the community hear firsthand from them, and then we’ll have a better idea of what the community (thinks).” FCA might call a meeting even if the prospective builders don’t want to make a presentation. Since the last FCA board meeting, the subcommittee has spoken with Councilmember Lisa Herbold, though she was clear that because she might have to vote on the proposed rezone (a “quasi-judicial” matter), her freedom to comment is limited. It was noted for anyone interested that 3029937 is the land-use permit number for the project as it makes its way through the city system. FCA will assemble online resources/links related to the proposal.
PARKING POLICY: The rezone discussion veered into this current citywide proposal and how Fauntleroy will and won’t be affected. FCA has been concerned about park-and-hide prevalence in neighborhoods near the ferry terminal and RapidRide stops, as well as car-share parking, but their appeal for expanded restrictions (Fauntleroy has West Seattle’s only RPZ) was denied last year. Some attendees mentioned reporting parking violations on their respective blocks and often getting good results.
51ST SW CONCERNS: FCA heard from a resident of 51st SW who said her area has had four landslides in recent years “emanating from 47th SW” to the east and is concerned that the city is not taking a big-picture look at the area. “With this propensity for density,” she said, they’re wondering “if more building permits” are on the way. Two owners on 47th have addressed water issues, another has “water still flowing,” she said. “We don’t want to be the next Perkins Lane,” referring to the Magnolia bluffside street hit hard by slides years ago. She mentioned one lot for sale in the area. “There is no oversight in total. … Everybody had their geotech report, everybody had surveyors come out, everyone was told ‘build a retaining wall’ … you have nobody with an umbrella looking at the whole street.” Another resident said, “Unless someone dies, they really don’t care.” FCA board members suggested they talk with Councilmember Lisa Herbold to let her know they’re looking for a coordinated response from the city.
TRIANGLE TASK FORCE: Gary Dawson, who is on this Washington State Ferries citizens’ advisory committee as well as his longtime involvement in Fauntleroy’s Ferry Advisory Committee, told his fellow board members that the task force is extending its work for another year. He said he’s continuing because he feels that if there’s talk about Fauntleroy ferry service, Fauntleroy needs to be represented. (The task force meetings are open to the public; next one is 4:30 pm January 18th at Fauntleroy Church‘s Fellowship Hall.)
COMMUNITY SURVEY: FCA’s periodic community survey will be going out soon, and will be announced in a variety of ways – we’ll publish the link here, Fauntleroy residents will get postal-mail postcards, etc.
WEBSITE UPDATE: New webmaster Bill Wellington has just updated the FCA website at fauntleroy.net, and its usability on mobile devices has been improved, too. You’ll see more information there in the months ahead.
ANNUAL MEETING AND FOOD FEST: 6 pm, Tuesday, March 20th will be this year’s date for the big meeting – “to get our community together and understand what FCA is, to have people pay their dues, and also to vote on the incoming board of directors,” as board member David Haggerty put it. Community organizations and area restaurants are invited to participate.
ENDOLYNE TRIANGLE PLANTERS: New planters are about to arrive and so are 1500 tulip bulbs, to be planted Saturday morning (January 13th) starting at 9 am – volunteer help welcome; bring gloves and a trowel. The tulips will be purple.
RAPIDRIDE STOP SAFETY: FCA board member Marty Westerman, who’s also on the West Seattle Transportation Coalition board, said they’re campaigning for improved crossing safety at Rose Street’s RapidRide stop. He also noted that a Washington State Ferries rep is due to speak at the next WSTC meeting, 6:30 pm January 25 (Neighborhood House High Point, 6400 Sylvan Way SW).