West Seattle, Washington
Two and a half weeks left to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the rezoning proposals in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) component. If you’re in the Junction area and still sorting it out, a local community group invites you to a workshop next Tuesday:
Mark Your Calendar – HALA DEIS Workshop on July 11, 2017 at 6:30 p.m at the West Seattle Senior Center
The Junction Land Use Committee (JLUC) will present a summary of key portions of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement related to the proposed upzones on the Junction Urban Village. The workshop will also include a description of the impact of the upzones, actions you can take, and ways to help you identify additional areas on which you might wish to comment. Location: 4217 SW Oregon.
(UPDATED FRIDAY AFTERNOON with letter-writing info for roundabout support)
DEPARTMENT OF NEIGHBORHOODS: Yun Pitre visited – she’s an 11-year city employee who was formerly a Neighborhood District Coordinator, now a Community Engagement Coordinator, one of four working with community groups around the city. She’s assigned to Districts 1 and 2. (That’s City Council districts, as in 7 of them, rather than the old not-numbered neighborhood districts, of which West Seattle had two.) “We’re still your liaisons to city government,” she affirmed, when asked what her role now means. HPAC co-chair Michele Witzki said she hopes the department will offer added resources. “One of the reasons they broke everything up was for equity – and now not only are we getting (fewer resources), but it seems we’re competing with some of the other (disadvantaged) neighborhoods that have (greater) needs.”
The weather will be beautiful … might as well beautify the neighborhood too. Tomorrow morning (Saturday, June 24th), you’re invited to join the next volunteer community cleanup in Morgan Junction, organized by Jill Boone. Meet by the ATM on the east side of California SW in the Teriyaki & Wok/Domino’s/gas-station lot for “a quick cleanup of California Ave and the Fauntleroy intersection and bus stops.” 9 am-10:30 am. The city’s providing litter grabbers and bags; Jill adds, “We also have a few kiddie grabbers this time and hopefully some small vests. Kids of all ages are welcome and leashed, friendly dogs. :) I will do a short safety talk at 9 AM so try to be on time. You might want to bring hand sanitizer and gloves too.” RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with how many adults and how many kids will participate.
The Alki Community Council met this week for the first time since last month’s deadly shooting.
No arrest yet, Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith told the group on Thursday night.
Aside from that high-profile crime, the area’s main ongoing problems – like the rest of West Seattle – remain car prowls and auto thefts, both of which are up this year from the same time last year. “Crimes against persons,” such as assaults, are down 17 percent. Read More
The Admiral Neighborhood Association should be ready to announce the lineup for this year’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha within a week or so.
That’s one of the toplines from the June ANA meeting this past Tuesday night at The Sanctuary @ Admiral.
(WSB file photo)
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: As announced earlier this year, the ANA-presented free concert series is set for six Thursday nights as usual, starting July 20th, 6:30 pm on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center – this year new volunteer organizers, Stephanie Jordan and Josephine Davis, are planning it and they told the meeting they’re close to finalizing the lineup.
4TH OF JULY KIDS’ PARADE: While ANA doesn’t coordinate the West Seattle 4th of July Kids’ Parade in North Admiral, it supports the event and participates in the Hamilton Viewpoint Park event that follows, with concession sales, and that was discussed too. FIT4MOM is presenting the parade this year and as noted here last week, a crowdfunding campaign is on to cover the increasing costs of permits – you can donate here. As it does every year, the parade starts at 10 am July 4th (a Tuesday this year) from 44th SW/Sunset (map); no preregistration necessary – kids and their families can just show up and be part of it.
PUBLIC SAFETY: Following up on concerns heightened since last month’s as-yet-unsolved deadly shooting at Alki, ANA and the Alki Community Council are looking at a joint public meeting about public-safety issues. Alex Clardy from Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office was at the meeting and offered to help coordinate, as Herbold had suggested a community meeting even before that flashpoint incident.
HALA REZONING: An early draft of an official ANA comment letter was circulated and discussed, but final action won’t be taken until next month’s meeting, which is still within the comment timeline for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that the city published a week ago. Also under consideration, an ANA-led walking tour of Admiral to point out key issues.
ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP: The rescheduled quarterly community cleanup is this Saturday (June 17th) – be at Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor) at 9 am; snacks and equipment are provided.
The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets second Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at The Sanctuary; next meeting will be July 11th, then no meeting in August.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This week, we’re getting community councils’ first public take on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement published for the rezoning that’s at the heart of the city Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability component.
Tonight, the Junction Neighborhood Organization talked about it during the first meeting led by new JuNO director Amanda Sawyer, who has taken over for longtime director René Commons, now serving as an advisor for the group. More than 20 people were in attendance.
LAND USE COMMITTEE ON HALA MHA DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: Five days after the debut of the document (here’s our first report), Rich Koehler from the JuNO Land Use Committee presented a briefing, saying he had read all 400+ pages of the HALA MHA DEIS.
Koehler noted first that some of the MHA-related changes would conflict with the Junction’s longstanding Neighborhood Plan, so JuNO submitted a proposed comprehensive-plan amendment seeking to resolve the conflicts by taking the single-family-zoned areas out of the rezoning proposal. They had almost 250 signatures of support. The Morgan Community Association has done something similar. The amendment’s fate is up to the City Council.
Regarding the Draft EIS itself, he explained that this type of document is intended to assess the impact of the potential zoning changes on environmental factors – not just ecological – including transportation, utilities, etc. In the HALA MHA DEIS, “two new maps” accompany the DEIS, beyond the proposed rezoning map first unveiled last October. One map is “slightly less intensive and aggressive than what was proposed in the past,” and the other is “significantly more aggressive.” One lens through which the alternatives are presented is trying to minimize potential displacement. Another is mitigation, “telling city decisionmakers, we studied this, and these are things you could do to mitigate the impact.” Read More
Toplines from tonight’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting:
HALA REZONING: The draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda is expected to be published Thursday. That’s what WWRHAH heard tonight from Morgan Community Association‘s Cindi Barker, who was on the original city-appointed HALA focus group and has been helping educate other community advocates about land-use issues including this one. With the draft EIS coming out this week, the comment period will continue into late June. She was asked if there’s talk of a District 1-wide response to HALA MHA, but so far individual groups are pursuing individual responses related to how it might affect their neighborhoods – MoCA for example is pursuing a comprehensive-plan amendment and is asking the city to engage in a full neighborhood-planning process, given the conflicts between MHA and the MJ neighborhood plan.
ROXHILL BOG: WWRHAH continues trying to get the city to address hydrology issues that have compromised the bog. Rory Denovan wrote to Seattle Parks but said the response so far wasn’t helpful. Meantime, a celebration of Roxhill Bog is planned 11 am-3 pm June 17th, with information and activities.
ROXBURY RECHANNELIZATION: As reported here earlier in the day, SDOT is floating further rechannelization options for SW Roxbury in connection with the 2019-or-so repaving between 16th SW and 35th SW. WWRHAH is concerned about the possibility that most of the center turn lane will be removed. They’re considering asking SDOT for data on the lane’s usage.
CRIME TRENDS: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said car prowls in the WWRHAH-covered area are down by about 50 percent from this time last year. Residential burglaries are down too. Shoplifting is up, and that figures heavily into stats for the area, because of Westwood Village.
WHAT’S NEXT: While WWRHAH won’t have its regular first-Tuesday meeting in July, since that’s Independence Day this year, they’ll likely have a special meeting just before or after that to talk about a response to the forthcoming HALA draft EIS.
Above (or in PDF here), you can see and learn about the nine West Seattle/South Park park/street projects that made the ballot for the first-ever Your Voice, Your Choice “participatory budgeting” vote. We first told you about the voting plan back in January, followed by the project-suggestion period in February, and then the final 10 for the West Seattle/South Park area in April (from 211 suggestions). Now the official ballots are out with nine projects in each city-council district; you can vote for three. $285,000 is allotted to each district (ours is #1), and that will cover three projects. Voting starts today and goes through the end of the month. You can start the online voting process by going here – or look for in-person voting at these upcoming West Seattle/South Park events and meetings listed here and below:
South Park Pride Picnic
Sunday, June 04, 2017
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Duwamish River Park, 7900 10th Ave S
Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Seattle Public Library – Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave SW
North Delridge Neighborhood Council
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW
West Seattle Farmers Market
Sunday, June 11, 2017
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Farmers Market, 44th Ave SW & SW Alaska St or park at Alaska & 42nd Ave SW
Stewart Manor Resident Council Meeting
Monday, June 12, 2017
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Stewart Manor, 6339 34th Ave SW
Morgan Junction Festival
Saturday, June 17, 2017
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Morgan Junction Park, 6413 California Ave SW
Delridge Neighborhood District Council
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW
The city says paper ballots also are available at all city-run community centers and libraries; the votes will be counted after June 30th, and winning projects announced by July 18th. Everyone 11 and up is eligible to vote.
During today’s shopping and selling, other community events included at least three cleanups. We hope they all went well! Tonight, we have a wrapup on last Sunday’s Morgan Junction cleanup, from organizer Jill Boone:
On Sunday morning, we had nine adults and nine kids of varying ages picking up litter all along California Avenue from Othello to Raymond. The area looks so clean now! We picked up five bags of trash.
Jill says they’re going to do it again on
June 17th June 24th – RSVP to her at email@example.com –
if you can’t make that date but are interested in helping with one or more during the summer, you can also use that address to join her notification list.
The biggest news at last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting was word of speed bumps on the way to another waterfront trouble spot. That was revealed during this month’s SPD briefing:
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT BRIEFING: Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores was at ANA to talk with attendees. He brought stats:
In Admiral, residential burglaries are down 7 percent year to year; 16 have been reported so far this year, compared to 23 by this time last year. Car prowls have been a big issue and year to date the numbers are up, 61 in Admiral year to date as of today, 41 to this time last year. The precinct is proactively patrolling West Seattle hotspots, including undercover – “you won’t see us there, but we’ll be there” – such as Lincoln Park.
Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, Officer Flores said, wants people to know that the precinct is working with the Traffic Enforcement division to have patrols on Alki this summer. And he also the SW Precinct Bicycle Team is now “fully functional” and will be deployed in Admiral and Alki this summer as things get busier. In general, as summer nears, Alki becomes the area where officers also are told to be if they are not on emergency responses somewhere else, “to set the tone.”
Officer Flores added that he is working with some neighborhoods on traffic calming and ongoing problems, such as the section of Beach Drive that worked with SDOT to get the OK for speed bumps.
The big news from last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting goes with the notebook pictured above: It’s full of contacts, cards, agendas, and other documents gathered by Amanda Kay Helmick, who has stepped down after four years of leadership with the group. Mat McBride is with her in our next photo – the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council chair who helped shepherd WWRHAH into existence:
(Here’s our report on WWRHAH’s first meeting in February 2013.) Eric Iwamoto has co-chaired WWRHAH with Helmick recently, and Kim Barnes has taken on a major role, especially regarding the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village’s destiny with HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, and other land-use issues, but the group hasn’t yet decided its leadership path forward. They’ll talk about it next month – when the major topic is expected to be the HALA MHA draft Environmental Impact Statement, due out soon – and they’re also planning a door-to-door campaign to reach people who might not have heard about WWRHAH.
Along with HALA, another major issue is how – whether – the future Delridge RapidRide H (Route 120 is converting in 2020) will relate to/engage with the area. Helmick said she had been trying to reach Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office and SDOT to get some key questions answered and so far had nothing but what she called “radio silence.” Here’s what she had sent:
At the WWRHAH meeting on Tuesday, our group made it very clear to SDOT that they needed to clarify their role in upgrading the 120. Specifically, SDOT needs to clarify whether it is planning the route, ie; removing / consolidating stops, or working on the pavement, roadway and pedestrian improvements.
Therese Casper from SDOT acknowledged the need for collaboration between SDOT and Metro on the routing issue. Metro has a known process for surveying their riders to find out where they are going, how far they have to walk, etc. Doug Johnson of Metro, who was at the meeting, acknowledged that is has been several years since a 120 survey was taken. We would like see SDOT start the collaboration by requesting Metro have the survey done before the design phase begins.
We also cannot stress enough the need for SDOT to consider the HALA/MHA upzone proposals in the Westwood Highland Park Urban Village. Currently, the 120 does not run through the heart of the Westwood Highland Park Urban Village. The folks in the Highland Park are cut off from bus service because of this, and the upgrade does nothing to rectify that. Comparably, the C Line, runs along California Ave SW specifically because of the Urban Village instead of taking the faster route along Fauntleroy Way.
Lastly, without significant attention paid to improving the ingress/egress to the peninsula, it doesn’t matter how fast you can get from Roxbury to the bridge. The City must find a way to improve this situation.
WWRHAH has been working on issues surrounding Metro and the impacts of bus service to the community for 4 years. We have seen very little in the way of solutions for our area, but we see the Move Seattle Levy as an opportunity to do something amazing that will improve mobility, connectivity and livability for an area that is under served.
Also at last night’s WWRHAH meeting:
CRIME UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said Westwood Village is still having shoplifting issues, and the precinct continues to work with management to get some structure in place that will allow police and businesses to work more efficiently in tackling the project.
COUNCIL CANDIDATE: City Council Position 8 candidate Dr. Hisam Goueli came to the WWRHAH meeting, mostly to listen to and learn about the area’s issues.
Transportation was front and center. Among other topics – Dr. Goueli mentioned he’s a doctor, and promptly was informed that West Seattle is without a hospital. He’s one of 10 candidates currently in the running for the citywide position that Councilmember Tim Burgess currently holds but is not seeking to keep.
WWRHAH needs you more than ever – and you’ll find them at 6:15 pm first Tuesdays in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library, 35th SW/SW Henderson.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
First, Delridge in 2015 …
Then, Roxhill/Westwood in 2016 …
Next, Highland Park in 2017.
Though it was semi-announced in early February, the date wasn’t set until very recently: Thursday, May 25th. The start time and route are not set yet. Those will be discussed at a series of meetings starting next week, according to two city/AmeriCorps reps who coordinate the Find It, Fix It Walks. Lemmis Stephens and Paige Madden came to HPAC’s meeting to talk about preparations for the event, starting with a public planning meeting next week. And they got an earful of skepticism and concerns, much along the lines of – “so, we find it, AND we then have to fix it?” from people who already spend much of their time volunteering for community-improvement projectsRead More
Two weeks from today – on Saturday, May 6th – the proposed Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) rezoning for Mandatory Housing Affordability will be spotlighted at another city “open house” in West Seattle.
More on the open house later. First: Community groups are continuing to discuss HALA, too, particularly as they await the draft Environmental Impact Statement. If you need a refresher – Mandatory Housing Affordability is supposed to add more development capacity in exchange for requiring developers to either include “affordable” units in their projects, or pay a fee into a city fund that will be used to build it somewhere else. (If you haven’t already checked what might change near you, here’s the interactive citywide map showing that.)
At the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting this past Wednesday night, MoCA president Deb Barker said the EIS is expected to be out in mid-May, which would open a public-comment period through June – which happens to be what the city had listed at previous meetings (including the Morgan “Community Design Workshop” last month) as the expected drop-dead comments-closed period. Read More
Water pollution, mass transit, and expanded jurisdiction were the three main agenda items for the Admiral Neighborhood Association on Tuesday night:
CHELAN CSO PROJECT: King County is planning another combined-sewer-overflow-control project, this one to reduce the 17 million gallons that the Chelan CSO outfall spills into the Duwamish River on average each year.
(UPDATED 3:06 PM with SDOT response on details of parking-change notification and sign installation)
Parking restrictions along a mile of southbound Fauntleroy Way, mostly alongside Lincoln Park, are expanding. We found out about that at last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting – but NOT because of any official briefing or other involvement; members, in fact, voiced displeasure with the idea.
Instead, the notification arrived as it had for some other area residents – via an SDOT-sent postal-mail postcard. (We asked SDOT this morning for a digital version – [added] see the PDF version here.) The postcard says that what is currently a 3-7 pm weekday prohibition on parking in the ferry-waiting zone, between SW Fontanelle and the terminal, will expand to 2-7 pm, and new signs will be installed soon.
(ADDED 3:06 PM: SDOT spokesperson Sue Romero tells WSB, “These mailers went out last Thursday and Friday (4/6 and 4/7) and were mailed to residents along Fauntleroy Way SW from SW Fontanelle to SW Barton St, and 1-2 blocks west. Sign installation is scheduled to begin tomorrow.”)
Tuesday night (April 11th) brings the next meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, and president Larry Wymer has announced that three topics are at the heart of the agenda:
*Light rail: What’s happened since the Sound Transit 3 vote? Light-rail plans for West Seattle will be discussed with the advocacy group Seattle Subway.
*Chelan combined-sewer-overflow project: A 4-million-gallon storage tank needs to be built to prevent overflows into the Duwamish River near Terminal 5, though the site has not yet been chosen. A project rep from King County will be at the meeting.
*Also: “Residents living to the immediate southeast of the current ANA ‘Sphere of Influence’ area (as included within our by-laws) will present their proposal to the group for consideration of officially expanding our boundaries to include their neighborhood.”
ANA’s meeting will start at 7 pm Tuesday at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander), all welcome.
Thanks to Marianne McCord from the South Delridge Community Group for that photo from today’s SDCG/Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council cleanup at 25th/Trenton. She reports 16 volunteers were there, as was SDOT‘s Natalie Graves from the Chief Sealth Walkway Neighborhood Street Fund project that’s planned in the area. She adds: “I want to give a shout out to our dedicated volunteers who attend monthly clean-ups around the South Delridge Neighborhood. They are making a difference!” Watch the SDCG website for word of its next meeting (usually third Sundays, but this month, that’s Easter).
Along the road and on the slope, another big haul in the annual Fairmount Ravine (north of here) cleanup today.
This was the 25th annual edition of the cleanup, this year coordinated by Matt Algieri, taking over for John Lang. Here are today’s volunteers, with Southwest Precinct Community Police Team Officers Jon Flores and Todd Wiebke:
They had piled up more than 80 bags – similar to last year – by the time a Department of Corrections community-work crew arrived for pickup and haulaway:
Before we get to previews for today, two reminders for tomorrow that a great way to start your weekend is to give a little of your time to help a local neighborhood shine. We have cleanups north and south, and every single extra person makes a big difference:
(Photo from 2013 Fairmount Ravine event)
25TH ANNUAL FAIRMOUNT RAVINE CLEANUP: As previewed here, this is not just a cleanup, but also some TLC for trees – ivy removal. 8:30-10:30 am Saturday; meet at Fairmount and Forest, at the top (south end) of the ravine [map]. We are told the Southwest Precinct Community Police Team will be helping this year too.
25TH AND TRENTON: The South Delridge Community Group and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council are teaming up at this site [map] and will be happy to see you join them here for one quick hour of work, 10 am-11 am Saturday.
One month ago today, we published our report on the launch meeting of the Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association, formed out of concerns related to the years-in-the-works, in-final-design-phase Fauntleroy Boulevard project. The group has just announced its second meeting, 7:30 pm Wednesday, April 19th, with a list of current/continuing questions and concerns:
The Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association will host this meeting to discuss the current status of the Fauntleroy Way Boulevard project. Our aim is to leave this meeting with a clearer understanding of the project with respect to the following Association interests:
– Traffic studies. Per SDOT, a new traffic study was ordered. Our requests for an update have gone unanswered, to date.
– Current design completion. We were informed the design is now at 90%, but have not received updates from the SDOT mailing list, from SDOT directly, or how any traffic study may have impacted design updates.
– Treed medians vs. left turn lanes. SDOT indicated that they were re-examining additional access along Fauntleroy Way in place of planned treed medians, but we have received no update, to date.
– Addition of crosswalks. Much of the justification for this project relates to pedestrian safety, but no additional crosswalks are planned. At our last meeting with SDOT, we were told this was being examined, but we have received no update, to date.
– Loading zones and temporary parking. Will there be any spaces along the street that allow for short-term parking, e.g. 3-minute loading and unloading.
– Construction worker parking. Given the squeeze on existing parking in the area, will workers be made to park outside the area of affected business to allow greater access by our patrons?
– Communication of the project to the neighborhood. What is SDOT’s plan for communicating traffic plans to the West Seattle community? Businesses would like some say in the way this is communicated to help keep our doors open.
– Signage for businesses during construction. We’ve been advised by OED that this is normally not planned for. Given the extended duration of this project, we would like to reach a compromise.
– Pedestrian access. Will pedestrians have access to the length of Fauntleroy Way throughout construction?
– Mitigation. We have been advised by OED that the only mitigating assistance the City will provide to impacted businesses will be in the form of access to construction updates and influence on project phasing and planning. We seek more clarity around this so that we can plan ahead to work together.
– Traffic re-routing plan. We would like any update available on the planned traffic re-routing during construction. Per the note on mitigation, our strong preference would be to keep traffic moving in both directions along Fauntleroy Way for the length of the project.
– 23rd Project. What has SDOT/the City learned from the 23rd Ave project that will positively impact the Fauntleroy Way project?
Please contact us with any questions or concerns:
Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association firstname.lastname@example.org
The April 19th meeting will be in the Rotary Room at the West Seattle YMCA (36th/Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor).
The annual Fairmount Ravine community cleanup and forest-restoration event is the longest-running event of its kind that we’ve heard of, at least in our decade of publishing WSB. This year’s edition is coming up next Saturday, and it’s the first one organized by Matt Algieri, after John Lang‘s many years of coordination. If you run, ride, walk, or drive through the ravine – consider starting next Saturday by helping out, even if you can only spare an hour:
Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group will sponsor the 25th Annual Spring Cleanup and Reforestation of Fairmount Ravine, Saturday, April 8th at 8:30 am. Meet at top of the ravine (Forest St. and Fairmount Ave.). Wear long, rugged clothing, boots and gloves. Bring a pruning saw or large loppers if interested in removing ivy from trees. Delicious beverages and food from our local merchants will be provided.
We extend a special invitation to those who use the ravine to access the waterfront; please donate an hour or two of your time to keep this greenbelt healthy and pristine. Plus, we will have a lot of fun and meet our neighbors. More info – call Matt at 206 747-4167.
West Seattle/South Park residents proposed more than 200 ways to spend almost $300,000 in city grant money for park/street projects … and tonight is your last chance to help decide which ones will move on to a vote. From Jenny Frankl at the Department of Neighborhoods:
This will be the final meeting to decide what projects will move forward. Meeting kicks off @ 5:30 p.m. @ the Southwest Branch of the Seattle Public Library (9010 35th Ave SW).
*If you are just now plugging into this process, first and foremost, welcome! Secondly, just wanted to quickly catch you up – In the previous three meetings for District 1, each D1 project that has been submitted has been reviewed and scored twice (with the exception of those listed below). This meeting tomorrow will be to select from the projects that received the highest scores from those two reviews.
*For those of you who have attended one of these prior meetings, this meeting will be slightly different than the others so far, so I also wanted to give you a better idea of what to expect.
We will be reviewing three sets of projects, that you can find on the updated District 1 Project Map:
*The projects that were scored the highest in the previous District 1 project development meetings and indicated by green pinpoints
*The projects that were scored twice, but the two scores varied greatly are indicated by yellow pinpoints
*The projects that still need to receive their second review are indicated by red pinpoints
In tonight’s meeting, you all will review the orange & red projects first. Once we receive their additional scores, we will tally up their collective scores, and add the highest scored projects to the other list of projects that have scored highly in this process. You will all then review and prioritize the overall list of highly-scored projects.
The goal for the meeting is to select 10 of these projects that will first advance to SDOT/Parks for a thorough feasibility and cost assessment, and then on to the ballot in June!
Anyone is welcome to participate tonight, whether you’ve been to one of the previous review meetings or not.
As first reported here back in January, this is the city’s new process replacing what had long been vetting of proposals and projects through neighborhood-district councils, until the mayor’s decision last year to cut the city’s ties with, and nominal funding for, those groups. (The two in West Seattle, Southwest and Delridge, are continuing on as independent organizations meeting monthly.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Riverview Playfield needs some TLC – including repairs for a restroom damaged by fire last year, the Highland Park Action Committee agreed last night, during a meeting that spanned a wide range of neighborhood concerns:
RIVERVIEW TLC AND FIRE REPAIRS: With improvements completed and under way at Westcrest Park and Highland Park, HPAC talked about supporting some attention for Riverview Playfield. Its then-three-year-old restroom/storage building was set on fire last June and still hasn’t been fixed; HPIC member Craig Rankin reported contacting Seattle Parks recently to ask about that and being told that staff is working on an estimate so it can be added to an “asset list” to be handled sometime in 2018-2023.
The fields are popular for sports, including being the home of West Seattle Baseball, so potential revenue loss for the city was discussed. HPAC hopes to have this and other Riverview needs on the list of stops for the Highland Park “Find It, Fix It Walk“ later this year.
Speaking of which …
WAITING TO FIND OUT ABOUT ‘FIND IT, FIX IT’: The plan to have one in HP was announced by a city rep almost two months ago at a community meeting about the sanctioned encampment on Myers Way. But there’s been no word of the date or of the start of a planning process.
So HPAC’s going to start talking about where they want to go on the walk and what they want to see accomplished. Besides Riverview, the Highland Park Way/Holden intersection – for which locals have long been trying to get safety upgrades – will be a prime spot to visit.
Speaking of the encampment …
COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR CAMP SECOND CHANCE: HPAC chair Gunner Scott asked if anyone would be able to represent HPAC on this newly formed group, part of the deal for the city sanctioning of the encampment. Scott noted that some of the services that they’ve requested for the camp and vicinity – lighting, Dumpster, etc. – are showing up (we recently reported the lighting installation). HPAC members also talked about getting solicited to join some of the regional groups that have sprung up to campaign against camps, and while HPAC has concerns about the city’s policies and plans, they’re skeptical of the groups’ motives and memberships and not planning to join.
YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE: Also on the community-advisory front, this ongoing new city process for vetting potential street/park grant projects was the subject of a discussion similar to the one at the Admiral Neighborhood Association last week – that the process as it is now is not nearly as effective and thorough as the old one done through district councils, where presentations of projects for review would include information from neighborhood residents who know the area. Scott had been to one of the “project development” meetings where he said people were asking each other, do you know this area? Is this something that’s needed?
It was also noted that $285,000 per council district seems to be less than was allocated before – “$2.85 per person,” as one attendee noted, since West Seattle has ~100,000. Also, chair Scott noted, the grant process has been under way for so many years, there should be an existing list of needs “instead of making us go through this crazy process.” And Scott noted that all the complaints about district councils not reaching out to enough people don’t seem to have been acted on by the city – and now they’ve turned what was a two-meeting process into a four-meetings-and-more process. One person said it was great that there were so many ideas from West Seattle – more than 200 (as reported here).
HPAC is considering sending a letter with the suggestion that basic needs be addressed in the future before another round of new ideas is solicited. Another suggestion was that proposals, especially those made repeatedly, exist in “living documents” within the city somewhere so there can be reference – “since this was first proposed in 1986, the population has tripled” type of information. One person said that it’s frustrating to see projects get requested year after year, but some projects not requested turn up seemingly overnight.
HPAC leadership will talk more about the issue. Co-chair Michele Witzki suggested getting a rep from Feet First to come talk with the group so they can learn more about effective advocacy.
CRIME UPDATES: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith presented the latest info as the meeting began: Auto theft is up, car prowls are down. Property crimes overall are down a third.
This week’s Seaview package-theft arrest was a springboard for a discussion of how security cameras really help police. Lt. Smith said, “The quality is so good – it’s amazing. For each car prowler or package thief we arrest, they’re good for many, many more.”
Would the precinct consider offering training on security-camera use and best practices? Lt. Smith will look into it. Maybe, he said, that could be a project for former intern Jennifer Burbridge, who he said has been hired as a full-time crime analyst – the first time the Southwest Precinct has had one.
A few more minutes of discussion with Lt. Smith touched on derelict properties, trespass agreements, and how to complain to the city. One attendee said it’s clear the rules/laws have to change – and that it’s time for citizens to apply pressure on that.
NEW LOOK FOR HPAC: Chair Scott had big props for artist Dina Lydia of digital-genie.com, who designed the new logo for the group (and took the photo below featuring the logo with, from left, Witzki, Scott, HPIC’s Christie Sjostrom, and Rankin):
HPAC will also be sending postcards to more than 2,000 people in the Highland Park area to let them know. They hope, among other things, to reduce community confusion between HPAC and HPIC (which is a community group too but not a community council – as the latter, HPAC addresses issues and takes action on them).
EVENTS AHEAD: HPAC hopes to have a neighborhood cleanup/barbecue this summer … HPIC events ahead include Corner Bar on April 7, Art Lounge on April 14, and the annual Uncorked benefit on May 20th – tickets will go on sale April 7th … watch for more info at hpic1919.org.
Highland Park Action Committee meets fourth Wednesdays most months, 7 pm, at Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden).