West Seattle, Washington
(UPDATED FRIDAY AFTERNOON with reader photo of electronic sign trailer now in place by Duwamish Head)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Operations Lt. Ron Smith said there wasn’t much that could be done about most of the complaints. But he said the area had some good news nonetheless, as he opened with the overview: “Crimes against persons (in the Alki area) are down 21 percent.” That’s largely attributable to a reduction in domestic-violence cases, he said. Property crimes are down 11 percent – “this is one of the few neighborhoods that have a 31 percent reduction in car prowls.”
As he had told the Delridge District Council last night, he and precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis are leading the planning for security for the upcoming Seattle Pride events, and also are meeting with owners of LGBTQA bars. Today, the Southwest Precinct had 11 officers working; on Saturday, they will have that same level of staffing, with two of the officers assigned to bicycle patrol.
“We are again doing a summer emphasis – not to the numbers that you and I would like, but we have to be somewhat responsible in the deployment of overtime,” he added. In terms of hiring, the real impact from the process might be as far as two years away, he said, which drew a loud sigh from one attendee. “The mayor’s keeping his commitment in trying to hire more officers,” but they are having more of a challenge getting good applicants, he said.
“I think our concerns in Alki are quality-of-life issues,” most of all, he said. Then ACC vice president Randie Stone opened the floor. One resident said they had been sending e-mail to Southwest/South Precincts’ Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon (who was in attendance) and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
She listed two issues: Read More
(WSB file photo)
West Seattle Fit4Mom‘s Emily Williams, who’s taking the parade-coordinator baton from Jackie Clough of Alki Party Treasures (WSB sponsor), said they’ve confirmed Mayor Ed Murray as the parade-kickoff speaker (a role held in years past by other local electeds including former Mayor Greg Nickels, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and County Council Chair Joe McDermott). The sound system and parade permits have all been handled, but contributions are still needed to cover the costs – the crowdfunding campaign is just past halfway to its goal.
Volunteers are also needed for parade day, which also features the traditional post-parade games at Hamilton Viewpoint Park, so if you’re not planning to be a participant or a spectator, maybe you can pitch in that way – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ANA will again sell concessions after the parade, which starts at 10 am on July 4th, from 44th/Sunset.
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: The six-Thursday-night free outdoor-concert series starts July 21st; the lineup’s due out soon – ANA’s Dave Weitzel said the selection committee will be making some decisions this week.
OTHER ISSUES: No HALA discussion – the promised city guest was a no-show. Next month, ANA plans to host City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, for topics including the “statement of legislative intent” that could affect the future of community and district councils (see our recent story here).
The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets second Tuesdays, 7 pm, at The Sanctuary @ Admiral (42nd/Lander).
(UPDATED 5:53 PM with comment from tree/lot’s owner)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Barely three blocks as the crow flies from where the illegal cutting of 100+ trees sparked a regional uproar, the potential legal cutting of a single tree is inspiring a quiet revolt.
Among the leaders – a neighborhood 9-year-old.
This tree and its situation are quite different from the now-notorious, deciduous-tree-dominated “clearcut” on public land in the Duwamish Head Greenbelt. This is an evergreen, on private land, a small lot over which it towers, a Ponderosa Pine labeled an “exceptional tree” by city standards, even in the arborist report for the proposal to build a house on the ~3000-square-foot site where it grows, at 3036 39th SW.
The city is currently in a comment period for the project, but as a standalone single-family-house proposal, it didn’t hit our radar until reader Catherine Darwin posted about it in the WSB Forums, starting the topic “Large Ponderosa Pine on 39th SW.” Read More
(WSB photo from October 3, 2015)
Remember that scene in Delridge last October, when Mayor Murray brought an army of city department heads for the first-ever Find It Fix It Community Walk in West Seattle? The next one, in the Roxhill area, is approaching, and it’ll be one of the major topics at Monday night’s meeting of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council. Specifically, according to the WWRHAH agenda, a city rep will be on hand to “discuss how (community members) can be partners and stakeholders” for the July 25th event. Another major topic: Improvements planned for the SW Barton crossing between the Longfellow Creek Trail/RapidRide stop and Westwood Village across the street. And some discussion time is set aside for the “future of neighborhood districts” report (same one at the heart of this WSB report published a few hours ago). WWRHAH meets at the Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson), upstairs meeting room, 6:15 pm, all welcome.
(Left, map of 13 Seattle “neighborhood districts”; right, map of 7 Seattle City Council districts. Both from seattle.gov)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When the city Department of Neighborhoods cut its staff of neighborhood-district coordinators 5+ years ago, neighborhood advocates were upset, to say the least.
Before the cuts, the city had one coordinator for each of the 13 neighborhood districts, including the two that comprise West Seattle – Delridge and Southwest.
It would be OK, city leaders assured local community leaders – while cutting three of those 13 jobs, they were restructuring the remaining coordinators into teams by region, with this area part of the South Region, to be served by three.
But in the years since – without any further announcements – it’s dropped to 8 coordinators for the 13 districts, and the regional structure has eroded, like a bluff falling into the sea as it’s battered by waves.
Now a potential tsunami is on the way – a formal review, stemming from City Council marching orders last year, looking at whether the 13-neighborhood-district system should realign with the new 7-district City Council map – and whether the district coordinators’ work as community-to-city liaisons should change.
Thinking about a block party for this year’s Night Out, now two months away (Tuesday, August 2nd)? The city Department of Neighborhoods invites you to apply for a grant from the Small Sparks Fund. Community groups can ask for up to $1,000 to pay for “Night Out activities such as outreach materials, cultural entertainment, music, food, and kids’ activities.” You need to register in the city’s application system, and then you have until July 1st to apply. Find out more here.
A little help can make a big difference. That proved true this morning in Gatewood, where resident Jill Boone decided to organize a spring cleanup once she found out nobody else had something planned for the area. Despite the chilly rain, a small, stalwart group got the job done:
We had three families for our Gatewood litter clean-up out in the rain this morning, picking up litter from the water tower Park to Holden, especially the bus stops. Two big bags of trash were picked up. If you are a smoker, please dispose of your cigarette butts somewhere besides the ground!!
Here are a few photos of the Morelands and the Boones. Many thanks to the City for Spring Cleanup support. We hope to do this again on a day when it’s a bit drier to be out and about.
Not too late for your own community cleanup!
Two community cleanups tomorrow! Start your weekend knowing you’ve done a good deed. First, from Jill:
Join us Saturday at 9:00 AM for a short litter cleanup in Gatewood. We are meeting at Myrtle and 35th near the water tower (park on Myrtle) at 9 AM and will do a cleanup along 35th to Henderson. Probably one to two hours max. Bring gloves and water, safety vests if you have them, and ORCA passes if you want to bus back to your car! I may have extra picker-uppers and vests, depending on how many extra folks come. Serious rain probably cancels.
We also have this announcement from Esperanza on Puget Ridge:
The Puget Ridge Neighborhood quarterly clean-up will be on Saturday.
Meet at 10:00 AM at 6559 18th Ave SW to pick up bags and form teams.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
A sunny Friday could bring another summer-size crowd to Alki Beach tonight. So you might be interested to know what Seattle Police told the Alki Community Council last night about what they’re up to.
The meeting started with a briefing, including crime stats, from Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith. He said assaults are up slightly from this time last year, with this year’s incidents including the shooting near Whale Tail Park back on April 30th. Residential burglaries are up – 11 in the area through this time last year, 15 this year. But property crimes in the Alki area are down 15 percent – with relatively few car prowls compared to some other areas of West Seattle and the rest of the city. And overall, he said, crime is down 11 percent.
For Alki Beach concerns in general, according to Lt. Smith, they started an “emphasis” a couple weeks ago – 4 officers working extra hours walking or riding bicycles on Friday/Saturday nights.
Before we get to today’s calendar highlights – if you live in and/or work at and/or visit Alki, you might want to know that the Alki Community Council has confirmed it is meeting tomorrow night for the first time in two months. On the agenda for the ACC meeting at 7 pm Thursday at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds) are updates from Seattle Police, both recent activity and the neighborhood policing plan, plus the Seattle Summer Parkways event planned for September 25th and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways‘ campaign for lower speed limits.
The future of two pieces of currently public property were major items at this month’s meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, whose president Larry Wymer led the meeting Tuesday nightat ANA’s usual meeting place, The Sanctuary at Admiral.
URBAN HOMESTEAD FOUNDATION: ANA is being asked to be the fiscal sponsor for the new Urban Homestead Foundation, which seeks to raise money to buy the city-surplus former Dakota Substation (50th SW/SW Dakota), which will take an estimated $600,000. Fiscal sponsorship does not involve raising or donating the money, but does involve being the recipient of record. ANA has the appropriate designation to serve as a fiscal sponsor for others.
Katie Stemp from Seattle Farm School is leading the project and spoke during the meeting:
Toplines from Tuesday night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting:
HOUSE OR PARKLAND? FCA talked about the proposal presented last month by Seattle Parks’ Chip Nevins, a potential trade between the city and county, involving the house next to Cove Park north of the ferry dock – 8923 Fauntleroy Way SW – which the county had bought to use as a construction office and staging area during the Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project, but no longer needs. It’s on a 35-foot-wide strip of beach just beyond the sign in the photo below:
FCA had understood that it would revert to single-family-house use, for which it’s zoned, after the project, though they haven’t yet discovered if that commitment is in writing somewhere. Nevins presented a proposal in which the county would trade it to the city in exchange for a street vacation giving it street-end land that’s part of the pump-station site. If the home site became parkland, it could expand Cove Park, a community-maintained sliver of beachfront.
Many details are yet to be worked out, including gathering of community feedback, with a public meeting set for May 24, 6:30 pm, at The Hall at Fauntleroy.
The FCA board decided not to take a position. But they do want to get out some information to clarify issues, questions, and misperceptions, and plan to publish it on the FCA website soon. For one, they think there may be a lack of awareness of the park that’s already there, possibly related to its below-street-level location as well as the fact it was closed for three years during the pump-station upgrade. They’re also concerned about the economic ramifications of turning the site into parkland and taking it out of the tax base. The property had sold for almost a million dollars before the project.
ENDOLYNE TRIANGLE WORK: Quick update on this, two months after SDOT’s Jim Curtin had come to the FCA board meeting to talk about the changes to be made to this area on the east side of the Endolyne business district. Marty Westerman, who’s been point person on the project, said Curtin told him the work will be done by the end of June; as the result of an informal vote at the end of last month’s FCA board meeting, the painted curb bulbs on the street will be brick red.
Thanks to Morgan Community Association president Deb Barker for forwarding the SDOT alert: The next phase of sidewalk work along the west side of California SW, south of Fauntleroy Way, is set to start next week.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will replace broken and uplifted sections of sidewalk on the west side of California Ave SW in front of Ivy Court Apartments and the Marnae Apartments in the middle of this block.
This project is immediately south of the sidewalk that SDOT replaced in 2015.
SDOT does not currently plan to remove the seven street trees here.
After the sidewalk is removed and tree roots are examined, SDOT Urban Forestry staff will examine the tree roots and determine if the roots can be pruned or if one or more trees need to be removed.
After the jump, full details on construction hours and temporary effects in the area:
Now the rest of the story from last night’s Morgan Community Association meeting:
FUTURE PARK-EXPANSION SITE: We reported last month on the last business leaving the Parks-owned commercial building at 6311 California SW that will be demolished to expand adjacent Morgan Junction Park. MoCA president Deb Barker said Parks sent word that they will soon be boarding up the building and ringing it with a chain-link fence and “no trespassing” signs, since they’re already having trouble with squatters who apparently have gotten in by breaking through the building’s “rotten” roof. The fencing will be removed for a mural project during the Morgan Junction Community Festival on June 18th; demolition of the building is expected soon after the festival, Barker said.
ABOUT THAT MURAL: MoCA is looking for someone to lead the project, which will guide local kids in creating a vision of the future park expansion. Interested? Contact MoCA ASAP – contact info’s on the group’s website.
AND SPEAKING OF THE FESTIVAL: MoCA’s been making progress signing up vendors and bands – nothing to announce just yet. The “Bite of Morgan” food samples, donated by local restaurants in recent years, will not be back this year. Food trucks, a popular feature the past few years, will be.
LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL: David Graves from Seattle Parks brought an update on the shifting seawall at Lowman Beach Park. The city is looking for a grant to study it, but even before that, there’s one big concern: Addressing the problem could require taking out the little park’s tennis court. Parks doesn’t know much about its usage before the Murray CSO storage-tank project took over much of the park but nonetheless promises to bring this issue and others regarding Lowman to the community, with public meetings expected.
SDOT GRANT: MoCA is proposing another use for $24,000 available from SDOT to buy “street furniture” – spending it instead on repairs for the gravel alley behind businesses on the east side of California SW north of Fauntleroy. This is something that’s been a thorn in the area’s side for a long time and has even been proposed for city grant funding before – most recently in 2013, when this WSB story explained the problem. The street furniture money had a caveat anyway – maintenance and liability insurance. MoCA leaders say in other neighborhoods, that’s a responsibility placed on business owners rather than a community council.
HALA FOCUS GROUP MEMBERS: The meeting also included a brief chat with locals who had been chosen for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda “focus group” neighborhood spots. As you can see on page 4 of this list, five people from the Morgan Junction Urban Village area were chosen, including MoCA board member Cindi Barker, who was on the original HALA advisory committee. In general, local reps hope to provide the focus group a perspective on what life south of downtown is like for people struggling to get by.
The Morgan Community Association meets quarterly on third Wednesdays, 7 pm, at The Kenney – keep up to date between meetings by checking in at morganjunction.org.
With Earth Day coming up, we have word of several community cleanups around West Seattle. Rather than lumping them together, we’re going to spotlight each one, starting with this one announced by the North Delridge Neighborhood Council:
The North Delridge Neighborhood Council long ago became the Adopt-a-Street owner of northern Delridge Way for purposes of once-a-quarter (or so) trash pick up.
We are calling on neighborhood volunteers to join us Saturday, April 23rd to help spruce up Delridge Way sidewalks and stairways.
Trash bags, gloves, pickers and other supplies are provided. You are also welcome to pick up trash bags and use them to pick up trash on your own street instead. You will just need to let me know where your full bags are located so I can coordinate pick up by the city.
This is a great family activity and you can participate for as little or as much time as you have to spare.
For those interested, we will be meeting a half hour early at Uptown Espresso for a neighborhood coffee social (and donut holes!) prior to heading out.
Date: Saturday, April 23
Time: 9:30 – coffee social; 10:00 – head out for trash pickup
Location: Meet at Uptown Espresso [Delridge] by 10:00 am
If you would like to help pick up trash at a different time or location, I am happy to deliver bags and supplies to you. Email Contact@ndnc.org if you’d like to arrange picking up bags with (beautification chair Kirsten Smith.
Thanks for participating in your community!
More announcements to come! Having a cleanup but not sure whether you’ve sent us word of it? email@example.com soon as you can – thanks!
(WSB photo from last October’s Find It, Fix It walk in Delridge)
At this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting – as noted in our coverage last week – we learned Mayor Murray’s Find It, Fix It Community Walks for this year would likely include one in the Roxhill area. Today, that’s just been confirmed. The exact date isn’t set yet, but the mayor’s office just announced this year’s list, and Roxhill is on it for sometime in July. (The first Find It, Fix It walk in West Seattle was in Delridge last October.) Read the full announcement after the jump, including how to get involved in advance:
If you’re not going out of town for spring break – take some time Tuesday and see what the Admiral Neighborhood Association is up to. New president Larry Wymer sends word of what’s on the agenda:
GROWTH IN SEATTLE, HALA, & THE GRAND BARGAIN
7:00 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Roger Valdez – Director of ‘Smart Growth Seattle’ – will discuss 21st century approaches for new and unique (and sometimes controversial) choices to help create a wide range of housing choices to address the varied needs of Seattle’s growing population, something of significant interest to us in the northern section of West Seattle as we witness significant changes along our major corridors. Roger will provide a perspective largely from the development community which is sure to provide for a lively Q&A.
Larry Wymer will provide an overview of the newly released Sound Transit 3 plan which will extend light rail into West Seattle, and what you can do to help influence the final design to reflect Admiral/West Seattle needs.
We will finalize our discussion, and establish the Association’s position, on the potential of lowering default speed limits within Seattle for non-arterial neighborhood streets to 20 mph, and 25 mph on selected arterials.
And finally, we will seek membership input as we work to refine our on-line presence & communications/ notifications protocols to best suit your needs.
The ANA meets at The Sanctuary at Admiral, at 2656 42nd Ave SW. Our monthly meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.
If you missed it, here’s our coverage of the March ANA meeting.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
With no guest speakers at this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting, plus a sparse turnout with potential factors including the crab-truck-crash traffic snarl and evening sunshine, the result Monday night at Southwest Library was a fast-moving mélange of mostly brief items.
NEIGHBORHOOD STREET FUND: Less than two weeks remain until the application deadline for this city grant money. While on one hand WWRHAH co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick said it was angering to have to apply for grants to get safety improvements on city streets, on the other hand, it’s time to go with the process. She is hoping the area will generate many proposals by the deadline. Her biggest idea, “Barton Complete”: A project to address crosing safety of Barton, including the area by Roxhill Park and the “wall of buses” zone – “you have buses lining up, cars coming, people trying to cross,” and a pedestrian was hit not that long ago. She’d like to see the crosswalk at the bus stop with flashing beacons as well as crosswalks at 25th and 29th, plus slower speeds between 26th and 29th on Barton. Co-chair Eric Iwamoto brought in the even-bigger picture of safety for Chief Sealth International High School students walking in the area, including across Trenton, and using bus stops.
Another potential site for a project: The park-like triangle in South Delridge, Another attendee said that features dropped toward the end of the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway route need to be pursued. Some discussion centered on how unfortunate it is that so many worthwhile projects are placed in competition with each other.
INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE: Chris Stripinis had an update on the big issue discussed last month – pavement damage and residential concerns in the Westwood area because of the huge increase in bus traffic since it became a “transit hub.” New temporary signs are up labeling 26th SW a 20 mph zone – very small signs, Stripinis pointed out. A discussion of bus speeds ensued. Stripinis also mentioned communication from Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office regarding pavement repairs in the area and the city telling Puget Sound Energy it’s up to them to make repairs happen by mid-April or else SDOT will do it and bill PSE for the costs.
ROXHILL PARK LIGHTS: Likely on track for fall, said Helmick.
ROXHILL-AREA FIND IT FIX IT WALK: One is in the early planning stages, Helmick has heard from the Department of Neighborhoods – no date yet. North Delridge hosted one last year. (Here’s what they’re all about.) Helmick noted that the multiple walking tours with various officials in the area
BOG COMMITTEE: Not represented at the meeting but a 12-page report was presented to the co-chairs. Grant-writing is what’s next, so they can “hire a consultant.”
ELECTIONS NEXT MONTH … for WWRHAH board positions – step up if you’d like to run!
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL … Wednesday, 6:30 pm at Senior Center of West Seattle, will include a guest with info about the latest plans for a ~2-week Highway 99 closure once the tunneling machine starts going beneath it.
SOUND TRANSIT 3 … A reminder that it’s time for input; besides the survey you’ll find at soundtransit3.org, remember the 5:30-7:30 pm April 26th open house at West Seattle High School, and the discussion at 6:30 pm April 28th @ Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.
DESIGN REVIEW CHANGES COMMENT DEADLINE … coming up this Friday; go here to find out more about the proposed changes and find the survey link for commenting.
CAMP LONG … Advisory Council needs new members – go here to find out how to apply.
CITY NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL TALKS BUDGETING … 11 am April 24th at City Hall.
WWRHAH meets on first Mondays, 6:15 pm, Southwest Library; watch for updates at wwrhah.org.
Live and/or work in Westwood, Roxhill, Arbor Heights, vicinity? Tomorrow (Monday, April 4th), go see what your community council is up to. The agenda includes updates on WWRHAH‘s committees – including Metro, Infrastructure, Roxhill Bog, and Roxhill Park – and new/old business including brainstorming ideas for seeking Neighborhood Street Fund money – two weeks left to apply! “Bring Your Thing,” exhorts co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick. Also planned: Talking about what’s next for ongoing issues including the Roxhill Park fen, the pavement problems along the Westwood-area “bus loop,” and lighting for the RapidRide stop across from Westwood Village. Just go grab yourself a seat in the upstairs meeting room at Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson), 6:15 start, 7:45 end (no overtime because that’s when the library closes).
Before the weekend ends – one last event report: Results of the Fairmount Ravine community cleanup. Again this year, we have the wrapup from John Lang, who is handing over the job of coordination from hereon out.
The 24th annual Fairmount Ravine Cleanup was a success on Saturday 3/12. Thank you to the 18 hardworking volunteers of all ages who participated; most of the group removed trash under the Admiral bridge, primarily the west side, and six others removed invasive ivy from the mature trees. The morning started damp but Mother Earth must have been pleased with the community’s effort because the cleanup ended in sunshine.
(WSB photo: Volunteers cleaning under the bridge)
The weather-protected area under the bridge continues to attract the homeless and partyers. It is the Admiral district’s version of the Jungle. They bring third-world sanitation with them as all their garbage is thrown downhill. Between 80-90 large garbage bags were filled with trash! This includes a couple hundred beer bottles, many broken, large furniture, broken bicycles etc. There was enough to fill up the DOC flatbed truck twice. We post signs a week in advance warning that the area will be cleaned and to have personal possessions removed.
(WSB photo: John Lang & Officer Flores)
Once again, we appreciate participation by [Community Police Team] officers Jon Flores and Kevin McDaniel, with the Seattle Police Department, providing security and helping with traffic control. Three cheers to our local merchants, Metropolitan Market and Starbucks, for their generous support of this community effort.
Thank you to everyone who made this year’s cleanup a success. A special shout out to Matt Algieri, who is taking over leadership of this annual event. The Fairmount Ravine cleanup is a great example of community pride and putting into action the teamwork necessary to tackle a difficult situation to generate positive results.
Not sure where Fairmount Ravine is? It goes beneath the Admiral Way Bridge, between Admiral and East Alki (here’s a map).
ADDED MONDAY: John just sent word that the total weight of what they picked up was 3,740 pounds … close to two tons.
Starting this month, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets on a new night – first Monday of the month. So that means Monday (March 7th) is its next meeting, and it’s your chance to hear from, and ask questions of, SDOT and Metro reps. Co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick just sent this note with agenda highlights including that part of the discussion:
Seattle Department of Transportation and Metro Transit: Bus Loop pavement conditions are causing rapid deterioration of the streets, houses on the loop are experiencing sizable shaking. We will also be discussing the Roxbury re-channel project. We will get an update on the addition of lighting at the bus hub as well and the addition of an Adaptive Street project at the Barton and Longfellow Creek crosswalk.
The meeting starts at 6:15 pm Monday, upstairs at Southwest Library, 35th SW and SW Henderson.
The question came in via the WSB Forums as well as via e-mail: Why were trees planted, and then removed, at the city-owned triangle in North Admiral that recently served as the temporary location of Fire Station 29?
Here’s what we’ve found out: SDOT urban foresters chose and planted the trees without knowing a key part of the site’s backstory – what was discussed with neighbors last year about the site’s future, after a last-minute city turnabout put the temporary station there in the first place.
SDOT’s Shane Dewald responded to our inquiry today:
Seattle Department of Transportation Urban Forestry staff are so often asked to plant more conifers in the street ROW. We strive to do so when we have adequate space to accommodate them in a manner that is compatible with public safety standards for sight distance. The California/ Hill / Ferry site appeared to be well suited for conifers, which were planted based on species selection and placement by a Forester for my office – before he or I were aware of the strong community interest in the use of this site as open space, or the extent of outreach that had conducted before the recent temporary use as a fire station (including the proposed layout of new trees in the plan that I have attached to this message).
SDOT was immediately contacted and we met on site with a neighbor representing the community interests and aware that the conifers were not compatible with the use of the site. We understood from our meeting that the conifers should be removed and replaced with deciduous trees for consistency with the restoration plan discussed during an outreach effort by FAS prior to the temporary use for fire station 29. Though SDOT asked if there might be a possibility that one of the conifers could remain, we were asked to find a new location for them all.
So what’s next for the restoration? Dewald says SDOT wondered about fruit-bearing trees, but the neighborhood wants to see “non-fruit bearing deciduous street trees … for minimum maintenance and optimum compatibility with the community use of the site.” They have a “hybrid variety of Tupelo” available, “tolerant of urban conditions, has relatively small leaves with an open growth habit that allows sun to filter through etc. If this tree sounds like a good option, I expect the installation of the new trees can be done as early as this Thursday!” But – given what’s happened so far – they’re checking with the neighborhood spokesperson first.