West Seattle Blog... » Highland Park http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Playground plea for Westcrest Park: Please don’t take the toys! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/playground-plea-for-westcrest-park-please-dont-take-the-toys/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/playground-plea-for-westcrest-park-please-dont-take-the-toys/#comments Sun, 04 Oct 2015 17:44:44 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324773 This reader report is from Vanessa, whose daughter plays at Westcrest Park:

Recently kids in Highland Park have started donating riding toys to the playground at Westcrest. Everyone here loves Ercolini with all the riding toys, and the new playground and trails are a perfect place to ride.

Unfortunately most of the toys have been stolen from the playground. Everything has been clearly marked “donated to Westcrest playground.” There are a few toys that are still there but the thieves have taken a big wheel, a tricycle, and a push car. The kids that are donating these toys are also frequent visitors to the park and one mother shared how her girls were upset to go back and see that the toys they put there to share with their neighbors had been stolen.

Maybe you could share this story in Crime Watch or somewhere. I know that there isn’t actually a crime here but it’s still a bummer to see this happening.

That’s Vanessa’s daughter in the photo, taken last weekend, featuring a donated toy that’s since disappeared.

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@ Highland Park Action Committee: Crime, safety, cleanup, special events this fall … http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/highland-park-action-committee-crime-safety-cleanup-special-events-this-fall/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/highland-park-action-committee-crime-safety-cleanup-special-events-this-fall/#comments Sat, 26 Sep 2015 03:13:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323863 By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Highland Park Action Committee reconvened after summer recess with an information-packed meeting. Crime and safety comprise a major concern, as is the case for most neighborhood groups, so that’s where the meeting on Wednesday night at Highland Park Improvement Club began.

CRIME, SAFETY, AND THE POLICING PLAN: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith was at HPAC to talk about crime and safety. HPAC meetings previously have been attended by one or both of the Community Police Team officers who, as we’ve reported in coverage of other meetings, have advanced – Erin Nicholson is now an acting sergeant in another precinct, and in line for a promotion; Jonathan Kiehn has been working on a citywide technology-related project. (As he had told the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network the previous night, there are three “very good candidates” who will get tryouts in the role before they decide who will succeed Nicholson and Kiehn.)

First, it was a review of HP’s “micropolicing plan” – the first version of the plan listed five primary concerns for HP:

1. Property Crimes (including auto theft, burglary, and car prowls)
2. Transient camps in the greenbelt areas
3. Recurring graffiti and property damage at Highland Park Elementary School
4. Drug activity in the parks in the area
5. Traffic and speeding concerns near schools and in residential areas

Lt. Smith pointed out that the concerns all over West Seattle change seasonally – so the plan should be considered “organic,” certain to be modified. Attendee questions/concerns included diversion programs and whether responding officers had any way of knowing the history of ongoing incidents at specific addresses, if they hadn’t been there before. To the latter concern, Lt. Smith said Officer Kiehn is working on a project that could help ensure that any responding officer around the city will have access to that kind of information – a “dashboard” that will bring up more kinds of contextual info. He also said SPD is getting more interdepartmental cooperation than ever before. And, he said, officers are getting more training than ever before – they are all to be trained for crisis intervention, not just some.

One attendee asked about a neighbor shouting racist epithets; Lt. Smith explained that it would have to cross the line of being a threat, or a crime in another way, before being a situation for police.

Then Lt. Smith went through a crime-trends briefing similar to what we’ve reported from the recent West Seattle Crime Prevention Council (WSB coverage here) and West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network (WSB coverage here) meetings, but tackling some of the other categories – domestic violence, for example, is down 55 percent year to year. Non-domestic-violence assault is down about a third. “Crimes against persons” is down 43 percent. Property crimes remain the top concern for every community group, according to Lt. Smith. In this area, residential burglaries are down 15 percent, while nonresidential burglaries are up 36 percent (though that’s not a large number – 15 year-to-date in the Highland Park area); theft/larceny are up 14 percent, 84 year-to-date this year, 74 by this point in 2014. Car prowls are down – 104 to this point last year, 81 this year. Auto theft is holding steady – 82 year to date last year, 81 this year. “They’re stealing cars from the north end (of the city) and dumping them here, then stealing cars here and dumping them in south King County.” Few are stripped – it’s joyriding or otherwise getting from point to point. “A lot of them are juveniles,” said Lt. Smith, asked by an attendee about the general age of thieves.

DUWAMISH CLEANUP UPDATE: EPA reps came to HPAC to find out how the community “might want to be informed and involved” as the Lower Duwamish Cleanup proceeds. They explained that’s a natural evolution of what’s happening as the cleanup moves from input on the plan to execution of it, and invited people to talk about their involvement with and interest in the river. They asked whether people would want health warnings, maritime information, frequent updates, occasional updates, etc. The questions:

1. How do you get info from the EPA?
2. How do you want to be involved in a community advisory group?
3. What kind of information do you want/need about the cleanup? (Health warnings, monitoring data, traffic changes, info on daily activities, job opportunities, cleanup progress)
4. How often do you want to hear about the cleanup?

Asked about specific sources through which they would want to get this kind of info, members mentioned WSB and Facebook. They also suggested speaking to people in simple language, not getting too technical. Boeing, the city, the county, and the port are responsible parties and all need to be getting information out, she said.

Another attendee wanted to know how to find out more about specific contaminated properties in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, which is part of the river’s watershed.

The Duwamish Rowing Club was mentioned by an HPAC attendee as a good source to contact. The vibrant community around the river was mentioned, and the importance of helping them know about the accessibility, the timeline, any limitations, etc.

Community involvement will be vital when the cleanup plan starts getting designed, the EPA reps say, adding that actual cleanup “construction” is likely to start around 2018.

Visiting this meeting is “super helpful,” attendees said. That preceded a question: “So when the EPA is done, what is the river going to look like?” And what happens when the dredging begins, wondered HPAC co-chair Billy Stauffer – “a massive plume of contaminants?” The EPA rep said the crews would be working on containment but certainly would have to get notices out in advance. They were asked to be sure to get the health warnings out in multiple languages – in our area, for example, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Somali, for starters.

This is all part of a Community Involvement Plan (the original one is dated 2002!) that they’re updating. They hope to have a draft reviewed and finalized by December, and will likely return to HPAC in January with a copy, and updates.

SURPLUS PROPERTY: When the Seattle City Light surplus substations (our coverage from earlier this week is here and here) came up, co-chair Carolyn Stauffer says they’re still pushing for a rezone for the Dumar property: “There’s still room for us to get our voices heard.” The vote is not likely now before December. She also mentioned that they’re glad King County is expected to take over the “White Center” site in south Highland Park. With ex-Nickelsville site back in possible future play for futuer encampment, Stauffer hopes to speak to the mayor’s office about it. Food Lifeline, south of South Park. (She met with Hyeok Kim and had a list of what they would need for the site to be successful.)

EVENTS COMING UP: Also mentioned at the HPAC meeting

*Compost giveaway in the works at HPIC, 11 am-3 pm on October 4th – half a yard available if you haul it away.

*Harvest dinner – - 6 pm October 10th, real plates, silverware, glasses, bring a dish to share! Highland Park’s Got Talent is putting out feelers – “there’s going to be a gong and everything!” – find out more on the HPIC website.

*HPIC movie night on October 16th – let’s just say, “Who you gonna call?”

*Design charrette – Blair Johnson explained, “What can we do with this building to make it work better, make it more open to the community so as they (pass) by,” and that’s what’ll be discussed 10 am-2 pm October 25th. They hope to narrow down to “plan for the facility that we can present to the community – ‘here’s what we would like to do with the building, we need to raise some funds’” – grants, community donations, business donations.

*Holiday bazaar ahead – the “call for vendors” is here; the bazaar is 10 am=3 pm on Saturday, November 14th.

Highland Park Action Committee meets at HP Improvement Club (12th SW & SW Holden) on fourth Wednesdays, 7 pm.

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UPDATE: Fire response at 9th and Cloverdale http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/fire-response-headed-for-9th-and-cloverdale/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/fire-response-headed-for-9th-and-cloverdale/#comments Sat, 12 Sep 2015 22:27:23 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322667 3:27 PM: Seattle Fire is sending a full-size response to the 8600 block of 9th SW in Highland Park for a possible house fire. More to come.

3:32 PM: The first units on scene say it appears to be just a fireplace problem, so the response is being scaled back. Our crew, on arrival, has confirmed: Fire in fireplace, flue not opened, smoke got out of control, no problem otherwise.

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Next phase of Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway: 21st SW repairs start Monday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/next-phase-of-delridge-highland-park-neighborhood-greenway-21st-sw-repairs-start-monday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/next-phase-of-delridge-highland-park-neighborhood-greenway-21st-sw-repairs-start-monday/#comments Sat, 12 Sep 2015 05:12:20 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322612 The first phase of Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway work began last month with repaving and other work on SW Myrtle, east of Sanislo Elementary. Now a new phase starts Monday, also with a road closure, according to this alert from SDOT:

Construction on the Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway has begun. The Delridge Greenway will connect West Seattle to White Center and run generally north-south on 21st and 17th avenues SW. See the fact sheet for specific improvements planned for the corridor. You can also view a PDF of the full project plans.

What’s happening now?

Beginning Monday, September 14, SDOT will be making street repairs on southbound 21st Ave SW between SW Andover and SW Genesee streets. This work is expected to take 3-5 days to complete. The following traffic and parking changes will be in place during this phase of construction:

· Southbound 21st Ave SW will be closed to through traffic between SW Andover and SW Genesee streets.
· Local access will be maintained.
· Southbound through traffic on 21st Ave SW should use an alternative route such as:
o From 21st Ave SW travel east on SW Charlestown St to 20th Ave SW
o Then travel south on 20th Ave SW to SW Genesee St
· Northbound 21st Ave SW will operate as usual between SW Genesee and SW Andover streets
· Residents and travelers should expect parking restrictions in the project area

Continuing work:

Work began on SW Andover St between 22nd Ave SW and 21st Ave this week and will continue through early October:
· The contractor will widen the sidewalk along SW Andover St between 22nd Ave S and 21st Ave S.
· Curb ramps will be installed at SW Andover St and 22nd Ave S. Curb ramps and new crossing improvements will be installed at SW Andover St and 21st Ave S.

As construction progresses throughout the corridor, you can expect the following:
· Temporary on-street parking restrictions
· Short-term single lane closures, where needed
· Pedestrian and bicyclist detours
· Noise, dust, and vibration typical of construction
· Weekday work hours from 7 AM to 5 PM

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Driver crashes through fence, into Highland Park apartment http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/driver-crashes-through-fence-into-highland-park-apartment/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/driver-crashes-through-fence-into-highland-park-apartment/#comments Sun, 06 Sep 2015 22:13:33 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322012

Thanks to the texter who let us know about this – a driver crashing through a fence and into the edge of the apartment building on the southwest corner of 15th SW and SW Holden. When we got over there, the car was already out of the building and firefighters were covering up a basement window that had been broken out.

They told us no one was seriously hurt.

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UPDATE: Flipped-car crash on Highland Park Way http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/heavy-rescue-response-headed-for-flipped-car-crash-on-highland-park-way/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/heavy-rescue-response-headed-for-flipped-car-crash-on-highland-park-way/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2015 09:56:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320662

(WSB photo by Tracy Record)

2:56 AM: If you’re hearing the sirens in southeast West Seattle – Seattle Fire and Police are headed to a crash involving an overturned vehicle on the Highland Park Way hill. No word yet on injuries.

3:06 AM: The SFD response has been canceled, generally an indication of no serious injuries.

3:55 AM: The crash was midway on the hill, south/west-bound side. Trying to determine that, we were stopped for a short time as the tow truck brought the vehicle upright and temporarily blocked all lanes (that’s over now). We weren’t able to talk with police to get information but will follow up when we can.

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Reader report: Cleanup crew at Highland Park ‘nuisance house’ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/reader-report-cleanup-crew-at-highland-park-nuisance-house/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/reader-report-cleanup-crew-at-highland-park-nuisance-house/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 06:12:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319250

The photos are from Dina Johnson, showing a house in the 9200 block of 12th Avenue SW being cleared out today by a company called Aftermath (specializing in, according to its website, “trauma cleaning and biohazard removal”).

Dina says the house generated complaints for years, and that the crew told neighbors “this dumpster they’re loading is the SECOND one – the first was filled up with every kind of trash – in one room ‘up to the ceiling’,” including what was described as “drug paraphernalia.”

The home’s owner died earlier this year; city records show complaints and citations about junk storage over the years.

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Crash blocks 8th SW in Highland Park http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/traffic-alert-crash-blocks-8th-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/traffic-alert-crash-blocks-8th-sw/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 19:52:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319108

(ADDED 1:06 PM: WSB photo)

Thanks to the tipster who let us know about a crash at 8th south of Barton. We just got to the scene; 8th remains blocked south of Barton while tow trucks are awaited. Police tell us one person was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The tipster says a Route 131 bus has been stuck at the scene too.

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You can help! Be part of the ‘town hall’ about Highland Park Elementary http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/you-can-help-be-part-of-the-town-hall-about-highland-park-elementary/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/you-can-help-be-part-of-the-town-hall-about-highland-park-elementary/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 21:17:45 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=318768

On August 17th of last year, an important conversation was convened at the Highland Park Improvement Club – community, city, and school leaders talking about how best to support Highland Park Elementary School.

On August 17th of this year – two weeks from tonight – you’re invited to the school library for the next installment in that conversation. Announced today:

*Highland Park Elementary School Town Hall Meeting*

Monday, August 17, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
Highland Park Elementary School Library, 1012 SW Trenton

The Highland Park Elementary PTA invites the community to a meeting to discuss our neighborhood school. We will learn about results from this past year, what the plan is for continued improvement, and the long-term vision for the future of Highland Park Elementary.

*Questions? Contact HPE PTA President Holly Briscoe, hollybriscoe@hotmail.com*

The school’s population continues to grow, projected at about 385 students in the coming school year.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Police investigating attack on teen http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-crime-watch-police-investigating-attack-on-teen/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-crime-watch-police-investigating-attack-on-teen/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:36:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=318608 Just published on SPD Blotter:

Detectives are asking for your help finding a man who attacked a girl late Wednesday night.

A 15-year-old female was walking along 14 Ave. SW approaching SW Cambridge St. at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday when a Hispanic male in his mid 40s grabbed her from behind, tried to cover her mouth, and began pulling her toward a parked SUV.

The girl screamed, alerting two witnesses who stopped to help. The suspect fled to his waiting blue SUV, possibly a newer Jeep, with a plate beginning in “A,” and sped off, leaving the girl behind.

Detectives are now requesting your assistance in finding the suspect. Witnesses said the suspect is heavyset, five foot eleven, and was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt. If you have any information in this case, please call (206)625-5011 and speak with officers.

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PHOTOS: Celebrating Westcrest Park’s expansion http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/photos-celebrating-westcrest-parks-expansion/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/photos-celebrating-westcrest-parks-expansion/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 00:45:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=317979

More than six years ago, work began to “bury” West Seattle Reservoir in Highland Park, creating land for a Westcrest Park expansion. And now, the park work is finally done. A ribboncutting ceremony this morning kicked off the official celebration, two weeks after the fences came down to open the expansion to the public. See the man with the white beard helping cut the ribbon? That’s Marshall Dunston, who named the park Westcrest decades ago:

We’re told that was the result of a contest (update: see a 1976 photo on the Parks website). At the podium in the photo above is Brian Hawksford, who represented Mayor Murray’s office today; Michael Shiosaki from Seattle Parks represented Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre. Also represented in abundance: West Seattleites having fun at the 20-acre park expansion!

In addition to the newly built features including ziplines and play equipment, Parks brought in a bouncy house for today’s celebration:

Also invited, local food vendors, including White Center-headquartered Full Tilt Ice Cream, whose founder Justin Cline was staffing the truck:

If you haven’t checked out the park, the expansion end is near 8th/Cloverdale.

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SATURDAY: Westcrest Park celebration to include bouncy house, art dedication, obstacle course, food truck, music… http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/saturday-westcrest-park-celebration-to-include-bouncy-house/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/saturday-westcrest-park-celebration-to-include-bouncy-house/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 21:37:27 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=317368

2:37 PM: When Seattle Parks officially opened the five-years-in-the-making Westcrest Park expansion almost two weeks ago, they mentioned a July 25th celebration. That’s coming up Saturday, and today Parks shared more details: Music, balsa-wood planemaking, a bouncy house, and an obstacle course from Camp Long will all be part of the 11 am-1 pm party next Saturday. Plus the dedication of Flyers (part of which is in our photo above), the park expansion’s wind-spun public art by David Boyer. If you’re new – this all happened because the city decided to bury what had been an open-air reservoir in this area of Westcrest Park, and that made room for more park space on top, including a new permanent play area.

6:16 PM: We’ve verified a few more details with Parks spokesperson Karen O’Connor: The What Up Dog food truck will be there (maybe you’ve seen it recently at Don Armeni Boat Ramp) and music will be by Correo Aereo.

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Open house tomorrow to show off Fire Station 11′s million-dollar upgrade http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/open-house-tomorrow-to-show-off-fire-station-11s-million-dollar-upgrade/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/open-house-tomorrow-to-show-off-fire-station-11s-million-dollar-upgrade/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 15:37:06 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=316927 Just announced by the Seattle Fire Department: You’re invited to an open house 11 am-1 pm tomorrow at Fire Station 11 in Highland Park (northeast corner of 16th/Holden) to see the results of its million-dollar safety upgrade. See the details here. (The time is concurrent with the West Seattle Grand Parade, but if you want to go to both, our tip – watch the parade from the start of the route at California/Lander.) SFD has two other projects under way in West Seattle – upgrades at FS 29 in Admiral and a complete rebuild of FS 32 in The Triangle; both are at interim locations as a result.

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The wait is over: Westcrest Park expansion atop West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/the-wait-is-over-westcrest-park-expansion-finally-opens-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/the-wait-is-over-westcrest-park-expansion-finally-opens-tomorrow/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 21:05:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=315887

(City of Seattle photo by Jason Huff: ‘Flyers,’ installed @ park expansion last year)
More than five years in the making, the Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir finally opens tomorrow.

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Seattle Parks and Recreation will open the 20-acre expansion of Westcrest Park at the West Seattle Reservoir, located at 9000 8th Ave. SW in the Highland Park neighborhood of West Seattle. The new park expansion is the fifth reservoir lid-park collaboration between Seattle Parks and Recreation and Seattle Public Utilities (SPU).

The 20-acre expansion of the park captures panoramic views of the mountains and city skyline, while integrating a range of multi-generational amenities. Features include a flexible great lawn, a new play area with two zip-lines and a hillside slides, swaths of native prairie, strolling paths, parking and streetscape improvements, restrooms, and public art.

(Added: WSB photo taken today)
A mix of oak species will provide strategic shading, frame views and contribute to Seattle’s urban forest and habitat for generations to come. Site Workshop collaborated with the community, Seattle Parks and Recreation and SPU on designing the park and Mid-Mountain Construction built the park.

A new public artwork by David Boyer, “Flyers,” was installed in the park [photo above]. The piece consists of 15 bird- and plane-like kinetic sculptures mounted on steel poles. Grouped in three locations around the park, the sculptures will move to face the wind and the articulating tails will pivot as the wind blows. His inspiration for Flyers comes from airplanes in the SeaTac flight path and birds in the Duwamish Greenbelt. The artist worked with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation and local community members to develop the wind-driven artwork. Flyers was commissioned with SPU and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s 1% for Art Funds and managed by the Office of Arts and Culture.

In addition, the Department of Neighborhoods constructed a P-Patch in Westcrest Park featured in our park design. This feature is funded by the community garden funding included in the Parks and Green Spaces Levy.

Seattle Public Utilities has replaced open reservoirs with underground structures to improve the quality and security of Seattle’s water supply. That replacement also provided for new park space at Jefferson Park, Cal Anderson Park, Myrtle Reservoir Park and Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host a community celebration for Westcrest Park expansion at West Seattle Reservoir on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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City-authorized West Seattle encampment? Former site listed as ‘potential future’ site on new map the mayor just made public http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/city-authorized-west-seattle-encampment-former-site-listed-as-possible-future-site-on-new-map-the-mayor-just-made-public/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/city-authorized-west-seattle-encampment-former-site-listed-as-possible-future-site-on-new-map-the-mayor-just-made-public/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 23:56:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=315078

When the city launched a process to come up with three sites to house up to 100 homeless people each, it was promised that they’d come up with a list of city-owned properties as the next step. Now, we have the first list. No West Seattle sites on the “preferred” list, but one familiar site is on the “potential future locations” list – while the address on the new map (7115 2nd Avenue SW) is slightly different, the “Glassyard” description indicates it’s at the site of the original home of the encampment calling itself “Nickelsville” (which was evicted almost two years ago). See the map above; here’s what the mayor’s office announced:

Today Mayor Ed Murray released a map of City-owned properties most suitable for new permitted encampments to serve at least 200 individuals experiencing homelessness. The mayor will transmit a resolution on the encampment sites to the Seattle City Council tomorrow.

The three preferred City-owned sites for 2015 are:

· 2826 NW Market Street for approximately 52 residents.
· 3234 17th Avenue W for approximately 70 residents.
· S. Industrial Way between 5th and 6th Avenue S for approximately 78 residents.

Four City-owned sites were identified as potential future locations:

· 8030 15th Avenue NW for approximately 36 residents.
· 3830 4th Avenue NE for approximately 64 residents.
· 7115 2nd Avenue SW for approximately 95 residents.
· 7110 Rainier Avenue S for approximately 32 residents.

“Permitted encampments are not a permanent solution to the crisis of homelessness we are experiencing in Seattle,” said Murray. “These encampments will provide a safer community environment than sleeping under a highway overpass or on a park bench. Residents will have improved access to services and we hope to open the door to permanent housing as quickly as we can.”

This year the mayor proposed and the City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance that allows up to three permitted encampments of no more than 100 persons each on City-owned or private property. Each location will be permitted for one year, with the possibility of permit renewal for an additional year. Each site must be vacant for one year between encampments.

“The One Night Count, tells us that there were over 2800 people in our community living without shelter this year,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Identifying city-owned sites for transitional encampments is an important next step. I look forward to working with community to establish up to three sites where people can stay safely and in community as we seek permanent housing solutions.”

“I am right by Mayor Murray’s side as we create safe spaces for community members who are without shelter,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. “Managed encampments will offer the most basic resources for people, such as a 24-hour shelter with public health services, hygiene facilities, and potentially access to electricity. I wholeheartedly support this approach which will make our city better for all of us.”

Before recommending the sites, Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development reviewed more than 135 vacant City-owned parcels. The ordinance adopted by the Council limits encampment locations to unused property in non-residential zones, excluding park properties. Each encampment must be at least one mile from other legal encampments.

The City estimates that one-time start-up costs for the encampments will be $32,000, with annual lease costs and services for encampment residents of approximately $200,000 already provided in the 2015 budget.

Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) has selected two encampment operators through a qualification review process: SHARE and Nickelsville. The encampment ordinance requires that operators have prior experience managing shelters, low-income housing or homeless encampments. The Murray Administration continues to reach out to other faith-based and non-profit organizations that may be interested in operating an encampment.

The encampment operators are responsible for safety and security within the camp and residents will be screened by the operators for acceptance. A third organization, Low Income Housing Institute, will provide case management services to individuals living in the encampments.

HSD contractors and staff will make regular site visits to support SHARE and Nickelsville, and coordinate public health, medical outreach and food assistance.

“A place to store your things, sit and talk with friends, and rest your head at night are taken for granted by most of us,” said Mark Putnam of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. “For many, however, these are not givens. Encampments can offer a temporary safe place for people to be human, while working to get back into stable housing.”

“The Mayor rightly sees the crisis facing people experiencing homelessness as requiring a response that includes the safety and community of sanctioned encampments,” said Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. “We welcome this step to expand the continuum of care to meet this most basic of human needs.”

Encampment operators will form a Community Advisory Committee to respond to community concerns, review operations standards, and work with neighbors when encampments move to new permitted sites.

More information is available on HSD’s website.

On that page you’ll find this FAQ as well as backstory. The previous encampment site was known as 7116 W. Marginal Way SW so we have a followup question out to the mayor’s office regarding the address discrepancy.

5:04 PM: Quick reply from Murray spokesperson Jason Kelly, just after we published this: He confirms the “potential future location” on 2nd SW is the same site where there’s been an encampment in the past, an SDOT-owned parcel adjoining state-owned land.

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