By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Fauntleroy Community Association‘s always-popular annual membership meeting – known as the Food Fest – is days away. And that was one of several major discussion items at last night’s FCA board meeting – as well as an unexpected announcement.
FAUNTLEROY FOOD FEST: The annual FCA membership meeting is set for 6 pm Tuesday, March 20th, at The Hall at Fauntleroy. So far, eight confirmed food vendors and a multitude of community groups. The bites are free but the big point of this gathering is for Fauntleroy residents, businesses, etc., to renew their annual memberships, and to vote for officers. FCA will also be collecting non-perishable food donations, so bring something for the White Center Food Bank (which serves West Seattle from SW Myrtle southward). The Seattle Police Mobile Precinct is scheduled to be there too for visitors to tour. And Gary Dawson, Fauntleroy’s longtime liaison with Washington State Ferries, says Jon Vezina from WSF will be the first WSF rep at the Food Fest in years. Stop by, ask questions about the forthcoming dock replacement, or anything else. They’re also considering having a HALA upzoning info table too.
JOSLIN BUILDING UPDATE: FCA continues to closely monitor the potential redevelopment of the 9250 45th SW site in the Endolyne business district (first reported here last October).
Board member Alexis Zolner provided a briefing on the newest documents made publicly available – including minutes of a meeting between the city and project reps. (Find the latest docs here.)
She honed in on details such as City Light saying poles need to be 14 feet from the building, and the need for an on-site vault if the number of units hits a certain level. SDOT was there too and said they might accept extending curbs – narrowing 45th SW – which could take care of the pole-spacing issue. Curb extensions and parking changes might be considered for SW Brace Point Drive too. Zolner said they have a land-use expert involved in helping them review the proposal, which is likely to be a “contract rezone,” and with HALA upzoning, could eventually wind up as NC3-65, double the current height (and more). NC3 would mean big enough to have space for multiple retailers “to allow for comparison shopping,” which seems to outstrip the current status/size of the commercial district there.
It was reiterated that this proposal remains early-stage – no formal application yet. Zolner and several others went to the Southwest Design Review Board‘s most-recent meeting just to see how it works. They got to see the Early Design Guidance review of an Alki project that, she reported, did not go well and resulted in a decision that the project needs another EDG review. FCA will work to mobilize the community when it’s time for the Joslin Building site project to go to the board. (No date yet.) One attendee says it seems unlikely a rezone would be granted for two more stories on top of the one additional floor that HALA would enable.
A major FCA concern regarding the potential project includes the fact that it would not be required to have residential parking (since RapidRide provides what the city considers “frequent transit”). So they’re asking merchants in the area to survey their customers about what kind of transportation people use to get to the businesses. Zolner also said that she’s talked to people in the area who aren’t aware of this proposal but should be.
Ensuing discussion made it clear that FCA is not opposing redevelopment of the site – it’s the potentially massive increase in size that is of concern. “We don’t have to be shy about the fact we care about our neighborhood … when it’s this out of scale, I don’t think it’s a NIMBY thing,” said one attendee.
CRIME/SAFETY: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith had the year-to-date crime stats for Fauntleroy, compared to year-to-date last year: one incident of lewd conduct compared to a year earlier – property crime is down 19 percent overall, 5 burglaries, same as this time last year, theft/larceny is double last year at this time, car prowls are down 41 percent (11 fewer), auto theft double last year.
One recent arson incident, he mentioned – the vehicle set afire by Southwest Athletic Complex (new detail – an accelerant was used). Shots-fired incidents in all of the precinct (West Seattle/South Park), eight so far this year, West has 9, South has 11. “We’re starting to get some funding for quality-of-life issues, trying to increase staffing but struggling to maintain it – this is the generation where people are starting to retire. We still have a large list of officers that want to come to Southwest Precinct but the other precincts aren’t willing to let them leave.” FCA board member Vicki Schmitz Block asked about the woman who sleeps outdoors in The Junction; Lt. Smith said she continues to refuse services, and of course cannot be forced to accept them. A brief discussion of unauthorized camping in general ensued. Lt. Smith noted that when it comes to finding help for people struggling with substance abuse, for example, the city of Spokane has more beds than Seattle.
FCA WEBSITE: Semi-new board member Bill Wellington took this over a few months back and has made some updates and changes but wants the FCA overall, when it can, to determine “what (we) want the website to be,” and also whether other online forms of communication, such as Twitter, can play a role. His questions include, who’s the audience for the website – certainly it’s a place to concentrate information when there are hot topics like the Joslin Building rezone/redevelopment, but in quieter times, what’s its role? The consensus right now is to have a deeper discussion in a few months.
SURVEY: If you live/work in Fauntleroy, have you answered the FCA survey yet? 411 responses so far, reports FCA board member Shannon Ninburg, running ahead of last year already, but they would still love to have more – it’s a meaty survey with questions about hot issues including crime/safety and development, among other things. You have until the end of the month – go here.
PLANTERS: Watch the planters around the Endolyne Triangle area for spring flowers!
FAUNTLEROY/ROSE SIGNAL: FCA is focusing on advocating for this to be funded in the Your Voice, Your Choice process; the nearest project-review meeting is coming up on March 26th (5:30-7:30 pm, Southwest Library, 9010 35th SW). FCA board member Marty Westerman says 20,000 crossings happen there each year.
TRIANGLE ROUTE TASK FORCE: Gary Dawson noted that the group is now meeting every other month. He says Monday was the first day of changed procedures and task-force members were asked to observe (we’re following up with WSF about this). Their next meeting is 4:30-7 pm March 29th at Fauntleroy Church.
LEAVING THE BOARD: Dawson had a personal announcement – he said not only is he is completing his fourth term on the Ferry Advisory Committee for Fauntleroy and is not seeking a fifth, but he also will be leaving the FCA board after more than 20 years. He lauded the talent of new board members as well as veterans and said it’s time to make room for others. “We will miss your contributions immensely,” FCA president Mike Dey told him, and others echoed the warm words.
The Fauntleroy Community Association board meets most months, second Tuesdays, 7 pm, at the schoolhouse (9131 California SW), all welcome, but especially invites you to the aforementioned Food Fest next week. And you can check in between meetings at fauntleroy.net.