West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
If you like to be the first to know – Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting was full of looking into the future, including two major draft reports due out soon and updates from our area’s city councilmember. If you weren’t there, get ready to get informed on all of the above and then some:
TERMINAL 5 DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT OUT SOON: Paul Meyer from the Port of Seattle said he was at DNDC to get that message out. At one point, you might recall, the modernization project planned for Terminal 5 wasn’t going to have an environmental impact statement, which sparked a neighborhood protest including a petition drive. But then the port said it would need one after all because prospective clients for the new terminal were making it clear its operations would be more sizable than expected.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
What they have in common is that both are available for community-proposed projects, and both were at the heart of this month’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, which focused on different stages of the processes for the two city funds with similar names.
NEIGHBORHOOD STREET FUND: Megan McCoy from the city presented information about this grant program, which is handled by SDOT (as opposed to the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund, which is administered by the Department of Neighborhoods) and is accepting applications now. It involves larger projects, and runs on a 3-year cycle – time to design and then build the projects – $8 million per cycle (up to $1 million/project), funded by the Move Seattle levy that voters approved last year.
Project locations have to be fully in city right-of-way (streets, sidewalks), need to not trigger a lengthy environmental process, and must meet warrants and guidelines – in other words, be necessary as defined by city rules/laws/guidelines.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the first time since the mayor’s announcement of a “safe lot” in Highland Park for people living in their RVs and cars, a community organization talked about it tonight with District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
She arrived at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council‘s regularly scheduled meeting just in time for a discussion of the issue – a late add to the DNDC agenda, given that news of the plan for “safe lots” here and in Ballard was just announced Tuesday afternoon.
The City Council meets tomorrow (3:30 pm Thursday) to vote on the mayor’s emergency order paving the way for the lots, as well as three emergency sites (none in West Seattle). Introducing Herbold, DNDC chair Mat McBride said he understood the site would host 20 to 25 RVs. He also noted that Department of Neighborhoods director Kathy Nyland was on hand too. Herbold said she had asked for someone from the city Human Services Department to attend and was disappointed that no one was available.
Herbold said she “(felt) uncomfortable making a presentation on behalf of the executive (mayor)” because there still wasn’t much information on this sudden proposal. She said she didn’t initially realize the mayor’s office was talking about the lot adjacent to the former encampment site in Highland Park (at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way). She thought the plan sounded at first as if RVs that have been at the heart of an uproar in Magnolia were going to be moved here . “I’m interested in serving the community of folks who are already here” – meaning RV campers around West Seattle and South Park – “and getting THEM services. So that was one of the first things I asked.” She said the mayor’s order is “just a shell” and there’s a lot she wants to see worked out “so the nuts and bolts can be worked out in that 30-day period” (before the lot opens).
Tomorrow’s council vote is not required for the mayor’s order to take effect, she says, but “by voting on it, we have a chance to amend it.” She is hoping to see some language written into it regarding restroom access and other key things the people who use the lot will need.
A representative of Highland Park Improvement Club – directly up the hill from the site – wondered about the location given the unreliability, as she put it, of the Route 131 bus, and how people at the lot would be able to use it to get to water and food. Herbold said she expressed an interest in a route change toward that goal.
McBride said he would like to see from the city, “if we are going to host this – and I’m not saying I’m opposed – I would like the city to double down on the amount of services it’s providing; we’re talking about an area that historically has been underserved, and we need to correct that, particularly if we’re inviting a group of people who themselves are underserved … I would like the city to really acknowledge the fact that yes, yes, we’re doing this, and in doing this, we’re also going to do the following.”
One attendee said she is concerned that this lot will only serve people coming to the area and various unauthorized parking areas will remain around West Seattle.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Popcorn and cheering.
Those were the highlights of the opening moments of this month’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center this past Wednesday night.
Chair Mat McBride wasn’t kidding when he declared it was an “exciting lineup.”
The cheering was for each person in attendance, as they went around the room to have everyone introduce her/himself. Extra cheers were awarded to three community members who showed up just to see what was happening in their neighborhood. By way of explanation, West Seattle has two city-determined “districts,” Southwest and Delridge, and the council for each district includes reps from neighborhood councils and major organizations/institutions in the area. Those in attendance at this meeting Wednesday night included reps from the Camp Long Advisory Council, Delridge Neighborhood Development Association, Highland Park Action Committee, Highland Park Improvement Club, High Point Open Spaces Association, North Delridge Neighborhood Council, Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, Seattle Nature Alliance, Southwest Precinct, Southwest Youth and Family Services, Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council. City reps included neighborhood district coordinator Kerry Wade, and reps from the mayor’s office and Seattle Parks, there to talk about scheduled agenda items.
Parks’ move toward a new plan for off-leash dog areas was the spotlight topic. But first:
Updates were the order of the night at last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center:
(WSB photo from January, when the barricades/cones went up in the future work zone)
DELRIDGE/ANDOVER PROJECT: Alicia Molina from SDOT said the start of this six-week project – originally planned for this week, as previously reported – has now been postponed until March 2nd. Once the work gets under way, the first three weeks will be focused on the Delridge/Andover intersection, including some pedestrian detours; then “the sidewalk section” will be the focus of the second three weeks, and the connection from Delridge/Andover/23rd will be closed for part of that time. 23rd will be closed to vehicle traffic at times, she says, but there won’t be much other effect on vehicle traffic. The sidewalk – to be shared by walking/running/bicycling traffic – will more than double in spots, six feet to 13 feet, she said.
From transportation to tax returns, briefings, updates, and announcements spanned two busy hours at tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting:
DELRIDGE MULTIMODAL CORRIDOR: SDOT‘s Sara Zora provided the briefing on this, which traces to an idea that Delridge neighborhood advocates have been discussing for a while. The concept of viewing a road as a “multimodal corridor” is at a “very conceptual level,” Zora said. Delridge is one of 10 corridors SDOT will be looking at in 2015, all “major arterials” to be reviewed through the “complete streets” prism.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
We’ve learned that the city has scrapped proposed changes to the Neighborhood Matching Fund process – changes strongly opposed by West Seattle’s two District Councils.
This came to light after the Department of Neighborhoods sent out a news release today containing deadlines and other information about this year’s process and timelines for seeking the NMF grants. Noting that the announcement made no mention of the proposed changes, we asked DoN spokesperson Lois Maag to verify that they indeed were not being implemented; Maag confirmed that it’s “status quo” for this year, and said that council chairs had recently been sent word of that.
The proposals primarily involved who could apply for the grants and who from the neighborhoods would vet applications. They were presented (and criticized) at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council‘s October meeting (WSB coverage here) and the Southwest District Council‘s November meeting (WSB coverage here). The potential removal of District Councils from the application-vetting process was a particular sticking point.
We confirmed tonight with DNDC chair Mat McBride that DoN indeed had sent word the changes weren’t going forward. In her memo, department director Bernie Matsuno said in part:
… Over the past year, an NMF Advisory Committee deliberated and developed several proposals for the program. Due to the feedback received regarding these recommendations, we are not moving forward at this time. … We will continue engaging the community and having a more robust conversation about any possible improvements to the NMF program.
Meantime – if you are interested in finding out about this year’s grant opportunities, all the information is in the full news release made public today. One West Seattle-specific date – those interested in applying for a grant from the Large Project Fund (deadline May 4th) must attend a workshop, and the only one in West Seattle is set for Tuesday, March 10, 6 pm, High Point Community Center (6420 34th SW).
One more neighborhood meeting to recap from this past week, before the new week arrives: The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. Guests included Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, but the crime/safety discussion was subdued compared to concerns over proposed changes in the city’s Neighborhood Matching Funds – a key source of funding for community-initiated projects, often involving parks or roads:
(Terminal 5, photographed earlier this week by Don Brubeck)
A triple bill of transportation-related guests at last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting – Seattle Port Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, City Councilmember (chairing its Transportation Committee) Tom Rasmussen, and just-confirmed SDOT director Scott Kubly, who, in his third West Seattle appearance in two weeks, heard about safety concerns outside two local schools.
First: With the expanse of closed-and-idle Terminal 5 in the line of sight for thousands of West Seattleites daily, its future was a major topic for Commissioner Gregoire.
Scott Kubly has just been officially confirmed as the new Seattle Department of Transportation director. He’s made two official West Seattle appearances already, both covered here – last week’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting (link includes our video) and the September 3rd Southwest District Council meeting. If you have a question or suggestion for Kubly, you have one more near-future chance in West Seattle: He’s scheduled to be at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting this Wednesday (September 17, 7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center at 4408 Delridge Way SW).
Local community leaders have been working on more ways to convene discussions about one of our area’s hottest current topics, development. And while covering tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting (full report to come separately), we got semi-early word of an event in the works, and wanted to let you know to save the date: On June 4th, DNDC will join the Southwest District Council on the SWDC’s regular meeting night, to host City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who chairs the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee (which this week alone has handled issues from small-lot development to microhousing). Some details are still being worked out, including the venue/time, but if you want to hear about and talk about where things stand and where they’re going, save the night of June 4th.
With three representatives from the city Department of Planning and Development due at last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, we thought video might be in order. The interactions, in fact, were tense at times.
Land use and planning was the night’s theme. Before we started rolling, attendees at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center heard from their crosstown counterpart Southwest District Council‘s co-chairs Sharonn Meeks and Vlad Oustimovitch, talking about the West Seattle Land Use Committee that SWDC is launching with hopes of peninsula-wide involvement. (Stay tuned for news of its first meeting and how to get involved.)
The DPD presenters began with the Seattle 2035 comprehensive-plan-update process we’ve mentioned a few times (including the sparse-in-many-ways “open house” here a week ago). DNDC members’ pointed questions for DPD rep Patrice Carroll included North Delridge‘s Michael Taylor-Judd wondering why the city is looking ahead 20 years when current problems (including exceeded growth targets and inadequate transportation to handle who’s here now and who’s on the way shortly) don’t seem to be getting addressed. WWRHAH‘s Amanda Kay Helmick noted that none of the DPD handouts even mentioned West Seattle.
Second DPD rep was Aly Pennucci, who’s been making neighborhood-meeting rounds for three months talking about the potential rezoning for “pedestrian retail areas.” In the case of Delridge, it was pointed out, that too seems to be looking past a problem – how can you dither about tweaking business districts when there isn’t much commercial space available?
Third up from DPD was David Goldberg, talking about a new project to create a “Healthy Living Framework” for Delridge. A somewhat jargonistic handout was provided, including this paragraph:
“The planning process and resulting action plan will serve to engage the full range of community stakeholders including historically underrepresented communities. The outreach and engagement will focus on the opportunity areas, but may expand to address priorities for historically underrepresented communities. The process will also convene an advisory committee envisioned to transform into or help establish and ongoing and representative implementation committee.”
Part of the preceding bullet points (we don’t have an electronic version of this two-sided handout yet but are looking for) included a mention of “future SDOT improvements along Delridge,” but the DPD rep didn’t have information about upcoming Delridge projects, at and around Andover, which was a point of concern for Pigeon Point‘s Pete Spalding.
ALSO AT THE MEETING: Our crew had to leave after the DPD presentations, so we apologize that we don’t have Cindi Barker‘s land-use-primer presentation on video (but there’s lots of context and info in this one we recorded last fall). In a non-DPD item, North Delridge’s Patrick Baer announced that the city had agreed to fix the asphalt-covered planting strip that resulted from the recent Delridge/Findlay project mentioned here, for which Baer was the original proposer. Here’s our photo from this morning:
We have since confirmed the de-asphalting plan with SDOT’s John Vander Sluis, who says, “Based on public feedback, SDOT will be removing the asphalt and working with the community on the installation of a landscaped planting strip. … The decision to remove the asphalt was made late last week, so I don’t have details on schedule at this point.”
DNDC meets third Wednesdays at Youngstown, 7 pm.
If you’re concerned about development, it might be “the city department you love to hate” – the city Department of Planning and Development. Land use, zoning, permitting, reviewing – all under the DPD’s umbrella. You’re invited to tomorrow night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting to hear from and talk with three DPD reps AND a community expert on grass-roots land-use research/activism. DNDC chair Mat McBride asked us to share the agenda :
DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 – 7:00 pm
7:10 p.m. Seattle 2035 – Patrice Carroll and Nicolas Welch, Department of Planning and Development
7:40 p.m. Pedestrian zones – Aly Pennucci, Department of Planning and Development
8:00 p.m. North Delridge Community Development Action Plan – David Goldberg, Department of Planning and Development
8:20 p.m. (What citizens should know, from a grass-roots perspective) – Cindi Barker
The DNDC includes reps from community councils and other orgs around eastern West Seattle, but you’re welcome no matter where in the area you’re from. If you are researching development in your own neighborhood, Cindi Barker’s information might be particularly helpful. Tomorrow’s meeting is at 7 pm in room 106 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).
(Delridge District Council chair Mat McBride & City Councilmember Sally Clark)
Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting featured a special guest – but first, the centerpiece: Pitches on applications for the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund – one big responsibility for district councils is to review applications like these and decide which ones to recommend the city fund. Here are the presentations made, in chronological order:
Don’t just sit there – ‘get civic’! That’s the message we were asked to share with you by Mat McBride, chair of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, in advance of its monthly meeting tomorrow night:
After reading multiple comments about civics education (and lack thereof) for both kids and adults on WSB, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council decided to engage. It’s not uncommon for City Councilmembers to attend our meetings, but usually it’s to announce a particular initiative. As our political climate is changing we feel that inviting all of our councilmembers to attend is important for two reasons: for them to get to know (better) the eastern half of our beautiful peninsula, and to get to know You (the people they work for). Our first representative in this series is Sally Clark, whose bio and committee info can be found here.
District Council meetings are always open to the public. But I want to specifically encourage you to take this opportunity to lean in. Having a personal, intimate conversation with your elected, policy-making representative is both powerful and empowering. All ages are welcome (one of my fondest memories is of a young man – working on a civics merit badge – who came to a DNDC meeting and had a great dialogue, with again, Sally Clark). So bring your questions, bring your ideas, and get engaged. Get civic.
Here are five more reasons to do that: The newest applications for the Parks and Neighborhood Streets Fund, which DNDC will review tomorrow night before making recommendations to the city on which to prioritize for potential funding. These are community-member-proposed projects and they’re not big enough to trigger further levels of meetings/feedback so this is when to take a look. The application docs are linked below:
*Rapid flashing beacons for 11th/Holden
*26th Avenue SW Greenway crosswalks
*5950 Delridge Way crossing
*Planning/design study for Puget Boulevard Trail
*Roxhill Park improvements
*SW Juneau staircase improvements
Check out the council at 7 pm Wednesday (March 19th), Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).
Big community participation at the first Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting of the year, with more than two dozen people crowding into a cozy conference room at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center last night. The agenda was weighted toward transportation topics — including the Bicycle Master Plan Update, community proposals for Bridging the Gap levy-funded grant money, and, kicking off the meeting, the latest on the Delridge repaving project:
(WSB photo from today – Delridge project pieces including manhole components have arrived)
DELRIDGE REPAVING, AFTER WEEK 1: Communications lead LeAnne Nelson and SDOT’s new paving-program manager Sue Byers opened with a quick update on the project, just finishing its first week. Nelson mentioned the changes made early on, including the 4-way stop at Barton/25th and the turn restrictions at Delridge/Trenton. She says it’s tentatively planned that the 2nd and 3rd weekends in February are when the two intersections (Delridge/Trenton and Delridge/Henderson) will be closed in both directions for work. Taking questions from those in attendance, the SDOT duo were asked about the Delridge/Trenton signal and why it hasn’t just been switched to 4-way flashing given the restrictions; they said they would have an engineer check on it. Cement grinding is now starting, the SDOT team noted, and this phase, they say, is still on track for completion around the end of February. (Updated detour map and other info is on this page of the city website.)
DNDC chair Mat McBride led the meeting. He pronounced it “very exciting” since, as he said, there’s been talk of “cross-pollinating” neighborhood councils. Among the topics:
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK, AND ART NEARBY: In about two weeks, Burien-based TF Sahli Construction will start construction of the long-awaited Highland Park Spraypark. We confirmed that today with Seattle Parks project manager Kelly Goold, who couldn’t be at last night’s meeting but sent the info with the team that came to talk about a proposed art project next to the spraypark.
About two dozen people filled a room at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council‘s September meeting on Wednesday night – and about half were city employees, mostly to talk about projects previewed here earlier, repaving the south mile of Delridge next year (map above), and reducing combined-sewer overflows into Longfellow Creek. Read on for the toplines on those topics and other key points:
(Click image to see larger version as PDF)
If you’ve seen the term CSO (Combined-Sewer Overflows) go by here in the past three-plus years, it was likely in connection with the King County projects meant to reduce overflows at the county-run Murray (Lowman Beach) and Barton (Fauntleroy ferry dock) Pump Stations. However – the city of Seattle is under orders (as part of this agreement with the feds) to cut down on overflows from some of their pump stations too, and that includes two spots in West Seattle where overflows go into Longfellow Creek (see the map above). As was the case for the county, possible solutions might include “roadside raingardens” – the city’s term – in planting strips, or extra storage.
Tonight at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, as mentioned briefly in our morning preview, reps from Seattle Public Utilities will talk about its CSO challenges and possible solutions. As noted on this city webpage with an overview of the problem, the BIG discussion is coming up at an October 4th public meeting (6 pm at the Salvation Army, 9050 16th SW). But if you would like to get in on the start of this discussion, tonight’s District Council meeting is open to the public as always – 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW).
A police briefing – including the Delridge shots-fired incident from hours earlier – was part of last night’s combined Southwest District Council/Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Southwest Teen Life Center. City Councilmember Tim Burgess and County Assessor Lloyd Hara also talked with – and heard from – the councils, whose members represent community associations and other major organizations around West Seattle. Read on for the hot topics:Read More
By Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
When we saw the agenda for last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, featuring an SDOT presentation about “Delridge rechannelization,” we expected more information about this – rechannelization planned in connection with Metro Route 120 changes on the north end of Delridge.
This presentation was about a new plan for mid-to-south Delridge rechannelization – and as you can see if you watch our video from last night’s meeting, its details surprised the District Council members too:
The South Delridge rechannelization plan, the SDOT reps said, is bundled with the forthcoming resurfacing/repaving of the same stretch, which was most recently detailed during Mayor McGinn‘s Town Hall in The Junction on May 3rd (as mentioned in our report on that meeting).
Read on for details of what the city unveiled last night, including the graphics of what the configurations are supposed to look like for each affected stretch, and news of one block where parking will undergo a dramatic change:Read More
(King County rendering from March community meeting in Sunrise Heights)
Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council includes an update on one of the most vigorously debated public-works projects planned for West Seattle, the Barton Pump Station basin combined-sewer-overflow-control project – “bioswales” (raingardens) in planting strips along multiple streets in the Sunrise Heights/Westwood area, to reduce the water going into the system and downhill to the pump station. The presentation, including project manager Mary Wohleb, is scheduled for around 7:20 pm during the DNDC meeting, which begins at 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). The county’s most recent community presentations were in March; here’s our coverage.