(WSB photo of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, from February 2012)
City Council President Sally Clark and Councilmember Nick Licata were among the guests at this month’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting – the holiday edition, held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center instead of the usual Delridge Library – and Youngstown’s new manager was on the agenda too.
As we showed you here on Monday, construction has officially begun at the site of DESC’s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project in the 5400 block of Delridge Way SW. A neighbor tells us he just found a flyer in his driveway for a briefing/Q&A session that the contractor Walsh Construction is offering to neighbors – at mid-afternoon tomorrow (3 pm Wednesday, Delridge Library), billed as an opportunity for them to ask questions and get answers about the work. Before hearing about the meeting, we had asked DESC executive director Bill Hobson about the status of the work, and he had confirmed that the contractor had just begun “mass excavation, meaning digging out the hole that will be the underground parking and doing foundation prep work.”
Meeting tonight, Delridge Produce Cooperative seeks new name as work on its potential new home ramps upNovember 26, 2012 at 11:22 am | In Delridge, DESC Delridge project, Development, West Seattle news | Comments Off
(WSB photo, taken this morning)
Two months after demolition of the old houses on the site, construction work is now ramping up at the site of DESC’s future 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing complex in the 5400 block of Delridge Way, north of SW Findlay. As noted in the project FAQ, onstruction is expected to last about a year.
And tonight, the nonprofit that is likely to open a co-op grocery store in the DESC building’s retail space has its next monthly meeting – with big issues including: How about a new name?
Name the Co-op!!! The Delridge Produce Cooperative idea has evolved from a plan for a co-op produce stand to a small, but full-service, community-owned multi-stakeholder grocery store! This means the store will not only be a source for healthy food, including meat, eggs, dairy and seafood but a support network and financial opportunity for large, small, and backyard farmers. The Co-op’s employees will also have an equal stake in the store. Our current name is misleading for some and we have received feedback regarding a name change. We wish to make another round of reusable strawberry bags and founding member t-shirts!! So, we need to choose our name! Please help.
They’re taking suggestions via their Facebook page. And whether you have an idea for a name, or not, you’re welcome at their meeting tonight:
We invite anyone with the time and inclination to join us at this very exciting step of the grocery store creation. We are welcoming founding Board Members and still looking for core volunteers to help at this stage.
Our November meeting is this Monday evening! All interested volunteers are needed to help plan our next steps. Teresa Young, Organizational Development Specialist from the Northwest Cooperative Development Center will join us to find out how the NWCDC can assist us at this stage. We are making final edits to our business plan and reviewing the first draft of our bylaws. This special meeting will be from 5:30-7:30pm, Monday November 26th at the Delridge Library.
Last time we checked in with DESC regarding status/timetable on the 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project, executive director Bill Hobson said construction was expected to start in the first half of November. However, we noticed there’s work on the site now – demolition crews (you can’t see the backhoe in our photo, but it’s there). So we checked back with Hobson, who explained via e-mail:
We are demolishing the buildings on the site under a separate demolition permit. We wanted to get this done during August just to get the site cleaned up, but the general contractor encountered significant amounts of asbestos that had to be abated per code and delayed the schedule. The demolition contractor mobilized on site Wednesday and has completed the prep work … and hopefully will have the buildings down and the site cleaned of in the next 10 work days. Actual construction will not begin until sometime between Nov 1st and 10th.
Things are very busy along that section of Delridge right now; SDOT is also doing sidewalk ramp work at the Delridge/Findlay intersection.
Two development updates this morning:
DESC DELRIDGE PROJECT SCHEDULE: We checked with DESC after noticing an online business-publication ad seeking “sub-bids” for this project – 66 units of “supportive housing” at 5444 Delridge Way SW, much-discussed since the project first came to light in June 2011 (all of our coverage is archived here, reverse chronological order). Its land-use permit was issued a month ago; the construction permit is still pending. According to DESC executive director Bill Hobson, Walsh Construction – whose portfolio includes Youngstown – is the general contractor, and that’s who is soliciting subcontractor bids right now. (Its ad describes the project as 75 units, its original size, but Hobson says that is a mistake, and it remains at 66.) Regarding when work will begin, he tells WSB, “We anticipate starting construction sometime in the first 2 weeks of November.”
FORMER ‘PSYCHIC BARBER’ SITE: We have reported on the building at 5247 California SW largely through the relocation of its longtime tenant, “Psychic Barber” Rick Cook, now at The Classic Barber Shop further north on California. He called our attention to the demolition work now under way behind the one-story commercial building, and we went by yesterday afternoon:
Rick says the house is gone as of early this morning, while the commercial building’s still standing. Timetable for its demolition isn’t as clear, as the proposal for a three-story building at the site, with underground parking, is still in the early stages. We’ll be following up with the owner, who didn’t want to discuss his plans in detail last time we checked.
(Updated post-Design Review renderings shown at May’s advisory-council meeting)
One year after we first reported on DESC’s 66-apartment Delridge Supportive Housing project, meant to get 66 homeless people off the streets, the plan has just cleared another hurdle. Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin from the city includes the decision granting a land-use permit (aka Master Use Permit) for the project at 5444 Delridge Way SW. Here’s the decision; the deadline for filing an appeal is July 9th. A community advisory committee continues to meet to discuss issues related to the project; its next meeting is scheduled for July 12th.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
That was a side note to a discussion with the team from SMR Architects, returning to West Seattle to discuss the 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project for the first time since the second and final Southwest Design Review Board meeting two months ago.
Instead of a presentation followed by Q/A, the presentation was punctuated by the half-dozen community members in attendance engaging the architects in conversation about various features of the building and site.
The Delridge Produce Cooperative board is about to take the next step toward potentially running a food store in the future Delridge Supportive Housing building: Next week, it’s expecting to submit a Memorandum of Understanding to DESC. That was one headline from Monday night’s DPC meeting at Delridge Library. Representing the co-op were board members Ariana Rose Taylor-Stanley and Ranette Iding; they were careful to say that the MOU is not a lease, nor a guarantee of one, but it will enable architects to move forward with planning the development of the ground-floor commercial space they’re likely to occupy in the building. DPC is hoping to find a community volunteer who can help them with the MOU.
If you have been following the saga of the Delridge Supportive Housing building that the Downtown Emergency Service Center plans to build in the 5400 block of Delridge, you know that DESC has committed to include a commercial space on the northwest side of the building, and that the Delridge Produce Cooperative is considered to be the likely tenant for that space, to open a “greengrocer”-type food store, as DPC describes it. But as DPC reps have been saying, it’s going to be a long road between now and the potential opening of that store in early 2014, and they can’t go it alone – they would love to have YOUR help. The community meeting mentioned by a DPC rep at last week’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting (WSB coverage here) is now two nights away, and DPC sent out a reminder about it today, – it’s part of the meeting’s listing on the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar (see the full announcement here). The DPC has been working for more than 3 years on a mission near and dear to many hearts in eastern West Seattle – more fresh food. They hope to enlist local residents to help toward that goal – from the meeting announcement:
We plan for a large part of our produce purchases to come from the Delridge community itself, and so we have a great need to reach out to neighbors to find and recruit members and growers. If we connect gardeners to the food hub that we are growing, we can all eat healthy, local food without paying the high prices that we are all used to seeing for organic produce at the grocery store.
If you can help with that – or in some other way – or just want to know more, the DPC hopes to see you at 6:30 pm Monday, Delridge Library (Delridge/Brandon).
Business was a big topic at Monday night’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting – local businesses present and potentially future. Read on for our toplines: Click to read the rest of North Delridge Neighborhood Council: Talking business…
A wide-ranging agenda Tuesday night for the third meeting of the Advisory Committee formed as a means of addressing community concerns regarding DESC‘s planned Delridge Supportive Housing project. (Our coverage of the first meeting is here, the second meeting here.) Above, our unedited video of the entire 2-hour meeting (makes better audio than video – we apologize for awkward angles on a few public commenters because of where they stood to speak in relation to where our photographer was positioned).
One longrunning point of contention related to the 66-unit DESC Delridge Supportive Housing project is finally settled.
Not long after DESC went public last June with news of its proposal to build the project to house formerly homeless people, many living with challenges such as mental illness and/or substance abuse, the question was asked: Will sex offenders be among the residents? As we reported on June 27th, DESC executive director Bill Hobson said they would not be allowed in the building’s population “if that’s what the neighborhood wants.” The request had not been formally made by any group representing the population, however, and the issue’s status came up in a mail-group discussion over the past week. That discussion concluded with Vonetta Mangaoang of the Delridge Alliance, a member of the project’s Advisory Committee, reporting late today:
Just this morning, Bill Hobson, in response to my request to have the issue of sex offender exclusion placed on tomorrow’s neighborhood advisory committee agenda, resolved the issue by simply stating that DESC will exclude sex offenders from their Delridge supportive housing facility. His quick and decisive action hopefully resolves neighbors’ concerns.
Thank you to each of you who pointed out the importance of this issue. I encourage neighbors to continue to actively communicate with your neighborhood representatives on DESC’s community advisory committee (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Delridge streetfront view, from project renderings shown to Design Review Board)
Delridge Community Forum, one of the groups that has been closely tracking DESC’s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project, reports that the state Housing Finance Commission approved its request for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (explained here). (We have messages out to WSHFC’s media liaison.) That follows approvals for city, county, and state funding. Land-use and construction permits are still pending with the city; DESC hopes to start construction by year’s end. The project’s Community Advisory Committee, meantime, meets next Tuesday (March 27), 6:30 pm, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (see the agenda here).
(A design rendering shown at the March 8th SW Design Review Board meeting)
Tomorrow’s the day the Washington State Housing Finance Commission will look at the tax-credit financing proposed to comprise most of the money for DESC‘s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project. Full details are on the Delridge Community Forum website, but to summarize it: This funding would allow private investment in the project, with the private investor(s) getting Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in exchange. The project (5444 Delridge Way SW) already has been approved for public funding from the city, county, and state. The Thursday meeting, which includes a public-comment period (other ways to comment are explained on the DCF site), is at 1 pm, downtown at 1000 Second Avenue (28th floor).
In advance of the meeting, the anonymous “Concerned Delridge Neighbor” who has been diving into some of the issues the project has raised – such as, is Delridge already bearing more than its share of very-low-income housing? – published an open letter to the WSHFC, with data about the area’s poverty. (If you have already been following this via the North Delridge mailing list, where questions were raised about the data’s accuracy/source, note that “Concerned Delridge Neighbor” has published a postscript citing the source.)
Quick topline as a 3 3/4-hour Southwest Design Review Board meeting wraps up: DESC‘s Delridge Supportive Housing project won a unanimous board vote recommending design approval, with a variety of conditions; the first project on the night’s agenda, what turns out to be a 2-phase, 43-unit-total project on 20th SW in South Delridge, will advance from Early Design Guidance to the second round.
ADDED: The 20th SW recap: Click to read the rest of Design Review doubleheader: DESC project OK’d, with conditions…
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight (8 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle), the Southwest Design Review Board takes its second, and possibly final, look at DESC’s Delridge Supportive Housing Project, a proposed 66-unit housing complex for homeless people living with challenges such as mental illness and/or substance abuse.
It’s the second community meeting this week related to the project. On Tuesday night, the project’s Advisory Committee met for the second time. During that meeting, DESC distributed a printed list of its answers to community questions about the project, which have since been published online (see them here).
One section of note, since the topic has come up in multiple discussions:
DESC runs a criminal background check on all potential tenants prior to offering an apartment, but they are not prohibited from being housed due to a criminal background, including sex offenses. We do screen out those whose criminal histories indicate that they would be a threat to vulnerable people. Even though sex offenses are not prevalent among DESC’s target population, contrary public perception is so strong that DESC has informed Delridge neighbors that we will exclude sex offenders from living at our Delridge location if such a request is made to DESC by the organized neighborhood group. So far, that request has not been made.
The FAQ wasn’t discussed during the meeting, but many other topics were. Read on: Click to read the rest of DESC Delridge project: Advisory Committee’s second meeting…
Two notes about the DESC Delridge Supportive Housing project – first, the “packet” for this Thursday’s Design Review Board meeting (8 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle) is available online – download it here. Also, tonight is the second meeting of the Community Advisory Committee, which is tasked with prioritizing community concerns and will again listen to public comment; it meets at 6 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way).
For those tracking the DESC 66-unit “supportive housing” complex planned at 5444 Delridge Way SW (map), two meetings are on the schedule this week. Tuesday (6 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW) the Advisory Committee meets for a second time, with another opportunity for public comment. Thursday, it’s the second, and possibly final, Southwest Design Review Board session to look at the project. It’s the second project on the schedule, 8 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle, California/Oregon. (The “packet” for the first project to be considered that night, an unrelated 20-unit proposal at 9051 20th SW, is available online, but the DESC “packet” is not, yet.) More information and links are in a DESC-meetings preview published on the North Delridge Neighborhood Council website.
Three West Seattle notices are in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, all related to projects in eastern West Seattle. Two are for the 66-unit DESC Delridge homeless-housing project; as reported here previously, its second Southwest Design Review Board meeting is set for 8 pm March 8th, Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon). 1 week later, as the North Delridge Neighborhood Council previously announced, the city will hold a public meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (6:30 pm March 15th) to hear comments about the environmental-review process for the project (“environmental” also includes issues such as traffic and noise). The third notice is for the first Design Review Board session (noted here 3 weeks ago) to be held at the Senior Center at 6:30 pm March 8th, immediately before the DESC project discussion – for a 3-story, 20-unit project at 9051 20th SW.
It’s been eight months since first word that the Downtown Emergency Service Center planned to build a “supportive housing” project at 5444 Delridge Way – downsized slightly to 66 units, each one to become home to a formerly homeless person living with mental illness and possibly substance abuse. Tuesday night, a new advisory committee met for the first time, expressly to listen to whatever community members wanted to say about the project, even if they had said it somewhere before.
The results are in our video clip, unedited, recording all 13 speakers, who comprised almost half the crowd. (There would have been more, suggested one speaker, if the community had any reason to trust DESC would truly listen and act on the concerns voiced.) They voiced concerns and criticisms, some with fury, some with disappointment, some with skepticism, some with scorn. While understanding the need for the work DESC does, this just isn’t the right site, many said – in one speaker’s words, putting an at-risk community on top of an at-risk community.
DESC director Bill Hobson is co-chair of the new committee, along with longtime community activist/advocate Pete Spalding of Pigeon Point. But this hearing wasn’t for back-and-forth discussion, or even for DESC to respond to concerns – it was meant to be 100 percent for anyone who wanted to speak, to do so.
Meantime, the project still has hurdles to clear – as reported here earlier this week, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission has a public hearing downtown at 1 pm Thursday for projects seeking Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, including this one; on March 8th, it’s the second Design Review Board hearing for the project. Other key dates and input opportunities are detailed here.
Turns out there are two public hearings this week related to the 66-unit DESC homeless-housing project planned for 5444 Delridge Way SW (the site at right). The first one has already been announced – Tuesday night (February 21), 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, everyone with something to say about the project is invited to come say it to the Delridge Supportive Housing Advisory Committee, which is tasked for starters with identifying community concerns regarding the project. What they hear at this first hearing will shape their focus in the months ahead. The second one is a Thursday public hearing before the Washington State Housing Finance Commission; one of the remaining pieces of funding for the project comes from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and it’s up to the commission to decide who gets them. The DESC Delridge project is part of a sizable list of projects up for tax credits this year – the credits actually go to investors in exchange for their help in financing a project like this. The hearing is at 1 pm Thursday (February 23rd) in the commission’s board room at their downtown offices, on the 28th floor at 1000 Second Avenue. The official notice also includes information on how you can send written comments, if you can’t be at the hearing, as well as these words of warning: “The Commission will not consider testimony and written comments regarding land use, zoning, and environmental regulation.”
DESC Delridge project: Advisory committee sets public hearing date; Design Review moved up to March 8thFebruary 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm | In Delridge, DESC Delridge project, West Seattle news | 2 Comments
There’s one more week to go for public comment on the land-use-permit application for the DESC Delridge project (details here). And we just discovered tonight that the tentative date for the project’s next Design Review Board meeting has been moved up two weeks to March 8 (West Seattle Senior Center, 8 pm). But those are not the only opportunities you have for input on the proposed 66-unit homeless-housing project at 5444 Delridge Way SW. We’ve reported before on the community advisory group formed as part of the process – and tonight, its first public meeting has just been announced for February 21st. The official announcement was sent by Pete Spalding, who is co-chairing the group: Click to read the rest of DESC Delridge project: Advisory committee sets public hearing date; Design Review moved up to March 8th…
10:59 AM:The main point of the big sign that’s up on the site of the planned 66-unit DESC homeless-housing project at 5444 Delridge is to let people in the area know that the land-use-permit application is officially in, and that this is their chance to send the city comments. And in fact, the only West Seattle item on the Land Use Information Bulletin circulated this morning by the city is official electronic notice of this – including a February 15th deadline for comments. Here’s the notice; here’s the e-mail comment form. One other update: The North Delridge Neighborhood Council website now features the newest information on the community advisory committee that will “gather input and prioritize the neighborhood’s concerns …” The date for its first community meeting is not finalized yet, though.
11:46 AM UPDATE: The date for the DESC project’s next Design Review meeting IS tentatively set, however, we just discovered – 8 pm on March 22nd. (No location listed yet.)
Four lots were for sale on the east side of Delridge, north of SW Findlay, when the Downtown Emergency Service Center bought the site of its planned 66-unit homeless-housing complex. DESC bought three of them. The fourth, south of the project site, is still for sale – and now it has a sign that shouldn’t be there: The official Department of Planning and Development sign letting the neighborhood know that the land-use-permit application for the project has been filed. (As of two days ago, according to the DPD website.) According to a conversation on the North Delridge mailing list, the city has been notified that the project site is actually further north, and says the mistake will be fixed. Meantime, we checked today with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission to see if DESC’s revised application for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits is in yet, with the January 31st deadline pending. They haven’t received it yet, according to spokesperson Bill Wortley. As first reported here in early January, the number of units in the project has been reduced from 75 to 66, since the city says data didn’t support a waiver allowing that many extra extremely-low-income-housing units in the area after all. In addition to the pending round of tax-credit funding, the project also needs at least one more Design Review Board meeting before gaining final city approval; no date set yet. And the Delridge Alliance advisory group – explained on the North Delridge Neighborhood Council website – is expected to lead a public meeting about the project soon.
3:51 PM: The sign already has been moved and is now on the north end of the site.
(LOOKING FOR SNOW COVERAGE? UPDATES ARE HERE)
New details today about the Delridge Alliance, the advisory group that DESC committed to help convene as its Delridge Supportive Housing project plan continues. Until now, the newest major development is what we reported two weeks ago – that the plan is down to 66 units from the previous 75 because of a city decision (explained here); DESC’s Bill Hobson subsequently confirmed to WSB that the project is moving ahead:
Yes, we are proceeding. Clearly, the 75-unit plan presented at (Design Review) will now have to be modified somewhat but our architects assure me that modification will not be substantial and it will be under the WSHFC per-unit cost ceiling. And, the modification will respect the recommendations they received at EDG.
Now, the advisory-group details: This morning, North Delridge Neighborhood Council website features a detailed update this morning from Vonetta Mangaoang, who’s part of the advisory group, with details on who’s on it so far, the positions still open, what it’s about, and what happens next. Read it here. (No date set yet for the project’s second Design Review meeting, by the way.)
Walking tour today, DESC project group meeting ahead, more: North Delridge Neighborhood Council notesJanuary 11, 2012 at 9:57 am | In Delridge, DESC Delridge project, West Seattle news | Comments Off
By Karen Berge
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The Downtown Emergency Service Center‘s (DESC) Delridge Supportive Housing project was the major discussion topic at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council (NDNC) January monthly meeting on Monday evening.
This first meeting of the new year, held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, kicked off with brief introductions and reflections on New Year’s resolutions from the 15 neighborhood attendees. After that, meeting business quickly got underway. The very full agenda also included a proposal for a new committee on Community Design and Land Use; details about today’s North Delridge Walking Tour with City Council and SDOT representatives; information about potential Bridging the Gap grant projects; discussion of the recent request to the city regarding an update to the Delridge Neighborhood Plan; and other items and announcements.
First, since it’s about an event happening today:
NORTH DELRIDGE WALKING TOUR:
Jake Vanderplas, NDNC Transportation Committee chair, briefed the group on
details about the North Delridge walking tour set for 3-4:30 pm today (meet outside the Delridge Community Center). Tour participants will include City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, representative(s) from SDOT, members of NDNC, and any other interested Delridge neighbors or others who wish to attend. Issues include large and small items relating to bike, pedestrian, transit or driving safety (for example, a Walk-signal button that doesn’t activate the signal light when pressed). If you know of additional issues or sites that should be addressed/visited on the tour, they suggest that you post a comment on their site. A new pedestrian issue that was brought up during this meeting is an asphalt sidewalk with a mailbox positioned inconveniently in the very center of the walkway.
Next Monday, when the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meets (agenda/time/location here), the Downtown Emergency Service Center‘s proposed “supportive housing” project will be on the agenda again, as it’s been for most meetings since news of the plan broke at NDNC’s meeting last June. The group also is helping recruit members for the community advisory group about the project, the Delridge Alliance (here’s how to apply). And tonight, we have more information about the major development we first reported two days ago – the city’s decision to cut the number of units allowed in the project, from 75 to 66. We finally heard from DESC, which had no comment aside from confirming the new unit count that we found in documents filed with the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, which will review the agency’s application for key Low-Income Housing Tax Credits financing. DESC executive director Bill Hobson referred us to the city Office of Housing for the explanation. WSHFC provided us with a copy of the internal city memo that spells it out.
We don’t have a scanner handy, so we’re transcribing it. It’s dated December 12, to Office of Housing director Rick Hooper from staffer Maureen Kostyack, who attended the second of two private-home meetings where neighborhood concerns about the project were discussed. The subject is “Siting Policy Waiver for DESC Delridge Supportive Housing” and it’s on OH letterhead. (It also reveals that the roots of this project go back as early as 2010.): Click to read the rest of Followup: City explains change in approved number of units for DESC Delridge project…
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