Speed cams, school-zone beacons, ‘pedestrian zoning’ and more @ this quarter’s Morgan Community Association meeting

July 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

Transportation issues dominated this quarter’s Morgan Community Association meeting – with information of interest beyond Morgan’s borders.

SPEED CAMS: In addition to the two new ones that will be activated on Roxbury (by Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family School) this fall, dozens of other locations remain under evaluation around the city, according to SDOT‘s Brian Dougherty. Since the first one to be activated in West Seattle is on Fauntleroy Way near Gatewood Elementary, and since a flashing (cameraless) beacon recently went in on California SW near Gatewood, Dougherty was asked if the latter location would likely get a speed camera. He said he thought that 35th SW by Our Lady of Guadalupe – frequently staked out by the flexible-location “speed van” – would be a more-likely priority for another West Seattle speed cam. Once there’s a new list of proposals, they would require City Council approval, and you’ll recall that the money generated by the cams is all slated to go to school-safety projects. One such project is in the works for the aforementioned Fauntleroy crossing by Gatewood, at Myrtle – bulbs to shorten the crossing.

FLASHING BEACONS ON FAUNTLEROY: Dougherty also mentioned that new flashing school-zone beacons will go up on Fauntleroy Way before newly expanded Fairmount Park Elementary reopens this fall, so look for that work soon.

The meeting included even more transportation info – regarding the Fauntleroy/California intersection – click ahead: Click to read the rest of Speed cams, school-zone beacons, ‘pedestrian zoning’ and more @ this quarter’s Morgan Community Association meeting…

Tonight’s calendar highlight: Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights CC

June 3, 2014 at 10:08 am | In Arbor Heights, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, Westwood | 1 Comment

Thornton Creek did it – can Roxhill Bog do it too? That’s one of the neighborhood issues on the agenda for today’s featured calendar highlight, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting. Live/work in any of those neighborhoods? Go check out WWRHAH at 6:15 pm, Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson). See the agenda in our calendar listing, and the calendar itself has many more events for today/tonight, including nightlife!

Be part of this year’s Night Out! Signups, $ applications now open

May 30, 2014 at 10:20 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(You don’t HAVE to have a bouncy toy, but Hillcrest does – 2010 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Be part of the year’s biggest night of block parties, the 30th annual Night Out, on Tuesday, August 5th. Sounds like a long way away, but our area’s SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon sends word that registration is open NOW. If you sign up, you can close your street to traffic that night (provided you’re not on an arterial and a few other caveats) – go here as soon as you’re ready. Early party-planning also offers the chance to apply for a Department of Neighborhoods matching-fund grant – the deadline is June 23rd; find out about it here. More than 1,400 neighborhoods around Seattle had block parties last year – this year, join ‘em!

Townhouse-rezone endorsement and more @ Morgan Community Association’s quarterly meeting

April 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Morgan Community Association is now officially on the record as supporting the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene‘s proposed six-townhouse plan for land it owns south of the church and its parsonage at 42nd and Juneau.

The vote came at the end of last night’s meeting, after a return appearance by developer and area resident Joe Paar (above), who said he and the church – planning to sell the townhouses but retain ownership of “park” open space on the rest of the site – wanted MoCA’s blessing since they are about to take the first part of the rezoning proposal to the city. The room was full of church members/supporters, about triple MoCA’s usual turnout in the lower-level meeting area of The Kenney (WSB sponsor).

They had a multipage glossy color handout with renderings and Q/A on the project. (Previously, they set up a website.) A sign and painted-on-the-ground outlines are now set up, said Paar. He said they’re still working out where to put the park on the open space that will be left between the townhouses and 42nd SW. He said they’ve been designed to look like “Craftsman-style townhouses,” not the “modern” design that is prevalent in new construction today. The community will be asked to vote on color schemes.

He noted that he and church leadership already have made three appearances at MoCA and will be back often as the proposal proceeds – “you’re going to get sick of us.” A community garden and movie screen are proposed as part of the park section of the site. The project will require a zoning change, as noted previously. The townhouses will have a private porch transitioning into a semi-private yard, then a public path, and the community park area. Their garages won’t be connected to the homes – residents will have to walk to their homes, “which is intentional,” Paar said.

They propose 12 spaces of parking for the townhomes, in addition to 11 parking spaces for the church. The biggest townhomes will have 2 bedrooms and 2 baths in addition to basement space that could be used for a bedroom or office. It was reiterated that these will be sold, not rented, townhomes on fee-simple land. “Would somebody be allowed to buy them for an investment and rent them out?” an attendee asked. “That’s not what we’re looking to sell these for,” said Parr. The church retains ownership of the “park” portion of the land, as well as the parsonage house between the “park” site and the church building.

One attendee said “I commend you on how these buildings look; the buildings they’re building now, they look terrible.” Parr reiterated that he lives nearby and he was afraid a “bad-guy developer would get a hold of the site and build something (we didn’t want to see).”

He outlined a timeline:

*May 2014 – rezoning proposal going to City Council
*May 2015 – response expected from council
*Construction not expected until 2016 or even 2017

It’s a two-step rezoning process, he said, and it requires community support. So far, he says, they have 33 letters from neighbors voicing support, but they all but pleaded for MoCA’s support. The brochure they circulated even included a public accounting of what the church would do with the expected $760,000 revenue, including $200,000 work on the church’s exterior.

MoCA president Deb Barker stressed that the comprehensive-plan amendment being proposed here to facilitate a contract-rezone proposal would only affect the lots on the site. And Parr noted that what they were presenting involves the public benefit they would be required to provide. MoCA’s Eldon Olson said the “park” portion of the site – which would be open to the public but remain church-owned – was attractive, as urban areas are supposed to have more of those.

In the end, MoCA went on the record as voting unanimously to support the comprehensive-plan amendment proposed to change the zoning from single-family to Lowrise 1 on the site. Since MoCA allows anyone present to vote, those who came to show support were part of the vote too.

Earlier in the meeting:

Click to read the rest of Townhouse-rezone endorsement and more @ Morgan Community Association’s quarterly meeting…

Photos/updates: The city’s Neighborhood Summit @ Seattle Center

April 5, 2014 at 9:14 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

(Photos by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)

FIRST REPORT, 9:14 AM: We’re just arriving at Seattle Center to check out the Neighborhood Summit (agenda here) that’s a fulfillment of one of Mayor Ed Murray‘s campaign promises – under way at the Exhibition Hall (3rd/Mercer) until 1 pm.

(Video feed no longer active but keeping box as a placeholder for archived video Monday)
We’ll be adding some photos and updates, but for starters, clicking the “play” button above should take you to live coverage from Seattle Channel, including remarks from the mayor before 9:30 or so. If you’re there and posting to social-media channels, #SNS2014 is the hashtag. More to come.

10:03 AM UPDATE: We’ve been here for about 45 minutes. The mayor has spoken, stressing that this isn’t a self-contained event, but meant to be “the beginning of the conversation.” Here’s a 15-second Instagram video clip we took, panning the space here at the Exhibition Hall, as he spoke:

We’ve seen West Seattleites from Admiral, Arbor Heights, Fairmount, Genesee, Morgan, North Delridge, Pigeon Point, Westwood; we’ve seen South Park’ers. We’ll have a photo gallery later; we’ve put up cameraphone pix on our Twitter feed at twitter.com/westseattleblog (you should be able to see it even if you don’t use Twitter – that’s the web address). There IS password-free wi-fi here, and it seems to work pretty well.

10:32 AM UPDATE: Former City Councilmember Jim Street (above, at podium on the stage, with the mayor at left) is speaking and taking Q/A; most of those who’ve spoken seem to have issues more for current councilmembers – including land use – microhousing and rowhouses have come up. Now, a question about crime/public safety, which Street again can’t answer as he’s not a current councilmember. (Maybe the council should have been here. If they are, we haven’t seen them yet.)

11:34 AM UPDATE: We had to leave midway through, but coverage continues in the video window above (currently, it’s a discussion about the search for a new SDOT director) and on Twitter. Re: council presence, the mayor subsequently mentioned Councilmember Sally Bagshaw was there – not surprising since she chairs the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee – and there was a Twitter mention of Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

The first declared candidate for the West Seattle-specific City Council seat in next year’s elections (District 1), Chas Redmond, was there too (above right, with North Delridge’s Dorsol Plants at left).

12:23 PM UPDATE: Mayor is giving closing remarks (it’s open another half-hour, but speeches/discussions are ending onstage) and says more than 600 people participated in person, in addition to others online or watching the stream. He also gives a shoutout to Kathy Nyland, who put it together.

5:26 PM: Finally getting a chance to add our photos – interspersed above and below.

Above, Amanda Leonard and Holli Margell from North Delridge. Next, Sharonn Meeks from Fairmount and Cindi Barker from Morgan:

Cindi was also there for official “peer networking” regarding preparedness. Next, SPD’s crime-prevention coordinator for the Southwest (and South) Precinct, Mark Solomon:

Next, Jim Cavin from Admiral and Mary Fleck from the West Seattle Green Space Coalition:

Below, from left, Amanda Kay Helmick and Joe Szilagyi from WWRHAH and the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, with Deb Barker from Morgan:

Pete Spalding from Pigeon Point:

She’s not from West Seattle but much WS-related information has been shared over the years on the Seattle Schools Community Forum website by Melissa Westbrook:

(A few more to add – stand by)

Meantime, here are a few links potentially of interest:

-“Live blog” coverage by city staff, with notes, curated tweets (including a couple of ours) and photos

-Coalition for an Affordable Living Seattle was handing out flyers outside, headed “Developer impact fees now! Growth controls now!” with a URL that isn’t working, but we found them online here

Going to the city’s Neighborhood Summit? See the agenda

April 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

This Saturday at Seattle Center‘s Exhibition Hall (Mercer/3rd), Mayor Ed Murray hosts the “Neighborhood Summit” he promised to have within 100 days of taking office. If you’re thinking of going, the agenda is now available so you can make up your mind – or, if you know you’re going, you can preplan how to spend the four hours. See it here. Child care and light refreshments are promised; we see at least one West Seattle name on the list of “peer networking” participants – Cindi Barker, community-preparedness guru, who has provided lots of info here on WSB to help you get prepared. The summit’s scheduled 9 am-1 pm on Saturday, though the agenda looks conducive to dropping in for just part of it if you can’t commit to that entire time frame.

Pedestrian changes for business districts? City survey extended

March 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Almost every local community council got a visit in recent months from Aly Pennucci of the city Department of Planning and Development regarding potential changes in “pedestrian zoning” for business districts As part of the city’s comment-gathering, an online survey was made available. Community leaders just got word that the survey has been extended for another month – so if you haven’t taken it yet, go here. It’ll ask you first about a specific “region” – West Seattle is in the south region, so start there; next screen will ask you about specific zones. Our first coverage of this issue during a local community-council meeting was at the Morgan Community Association‘s meeting in January.

Admiral Neighborhood Association: Adopt-A-Street tomorrow; new meeting location

March 7, 2014 at 9:22 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | Comments Off

News from the Admiral Neighborhood Association:

ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP TOMORROW: Join ANA on Saturday morning by the main entrance of Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), 9 am, to help clean up nearby streets. As noted by ANA president David Whiting in the announcement, “As always beverages, refreshments and sack lunches are provided, as well as gloves and tools.” So all you have to bring is yourself! (Youth helpers welcome, too.)

MEETINGS MOVE TO THE SANCTUARY: After years of meeting in the basement at Admiral Congregational Church, ANA is moving its regular meeting site starting this month. Meetings will now be at The Sanctuary at Admiral (northeast corner of 42nd/Lander), starting next Tuesday (March 11th), 7 pm. Speaking of which:

TUESDAY’S AGENDA: Pedestrian retail zoning – a topic at several other local community-group meetings this winter – will be discussed, along with the WSHS “Steps at Stevens” pedestrian-connection project.

Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council looks back at Year 1, ahead at what’s in the works

March 7, 2014 at 8:59 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

One year into its existence, West Seattle’s newest community council – Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights, aka WWRHAH – has taken a look back at that momentous first year (here’s our report on their 2013 launch meeting). Chair Amanda Kay Helmick delivered a “state of the council” report at the monthly meeting earlier this week. It’s part of the meeting report that secretary Joe Szilagyi published to the WWRHAH website. He also noted toward the start of the report that the meeting (and therefore the wrapup) also touched on these questions:

How is the public feedback on the Roxbury safety study?

Are we going to re-channelize (road diet) Roxbury?

Should we have bike lanes on Roxbury?

Should we move some bus layovers to Roxbury from Westwood?

How are the safety changes going for the Westwood Rapid Ride stop?

Are buses causing shaking detectable as earthquakes on Barton, 26th, and Roxbury?

When will SDOT start working on 35th Ave SW safety?

Will re-hydrating the bog in Roxhill Park help reduce flooding across West Seattle?

Interested in any of the above? See the report here – and note that WWRHAH (all volunteers, like all local community councils) could use your help as its advocacy and other community work continues.

Mayor sets date for ‘Seattle Neighborhood Summit’: April 5th

February 10, 2014 at 2:54 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

Mayor Ed Murray promised he would hold a “Neighborhood Summit” within 100 days of taking office – and today he’s announced the place and date: 9 am-1 pm Saturday, April 5th, in the Pavilion Room at Seattle Center. From the announcement:

Summit planners say this is the first step in what they hope to be an ongoing relationship aimed at rebuilding the trust between the City and neighborhoods. In addition to holding this traditional forum, they plan to use social media and technology so more can participate whether or not they are able to attend.

That part of the effort starts now – with this new city website. It includes a survey to which you can respond right now; go here.

See which West Seattle spots are proposed for new ‘pedestrian zoning’ – and a dozen other topics @ Morgan Community Association

January 19, 2014 at 9:13 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“That was amazing,” exclaimed one attendee at the end of what was probably the busiest community-council meeting this month. In the basement at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), one room away from bingo, spanning 2 hours and 20 minutes on Wednesday night, it was the quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association, with sixteen items on the original agenda – not counting what president Deb Barker had said she was “adding and subtracting” in the minutes before the meeting.

Hottest of the 13 topics we’re recapping is one of interest even if you DON’T live or work in Morgan – yet another city zoning initiative, one that arrived with preliminary recommendations even before the “public engagement” phase had begun:


(Click image to see full-size citywide map)
PEDESTRIAN ZONE MAPPING PROJECT: The briefing was provided by city Department of Planning and Development rep Aly Pennucci. She says this zoning overlay, if ultimately approved and implemented, would “add some requirements for new development” – including that the ground level of buildings in designated “pedestrian zones” would include commercial activity. She says the project has “started and stopped a few times over the years.” In 2012, the City Council decided about 60 areas around the city could potentially be part of this zoning – they’re shown in the map excerpted above (see the full citywide map here), and here’s the list of proposed West Seattle zones – each name links to a city doc that, if you scroll down, shows a specific map of that area (the titles are exactly as designated by the city):

Delridge Way SW between SW Brandon St. and SW Juneau St.
Westwood Park (Delridge Way SW at SW Roxbury St.)
Morgan Junction
35th Ave. SW at SW Morgan St.
35th Ave. SW at SW Holden St.
35th Ave. SW at SW Barton St.
35th Ave. SW and SW Roxbury St.
Harbor Ave. SW – N of Fairmount Ave. SW
Admiral

In some areas, this zoning could potentially further reduce parking requirements, Pennucci noted – doubling the amount of commercial space exempt from the requirement (from 2,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet). She said this process also would formalize some of the emergency rules passed last fall after low-density commercial projects were proposed in high-density zones (specifically the potential CVS pharmacies here in West Seattle and a few other neighborhoods). She said it’s now time for community input – since what she called the “very preliminary recommendation” is out there. If an area disagrees with a recommendation to be included, the city wants to hear why, she said. Home page for the project is here; you can answer an online survey here.

The city’s assessment of Morgan Junction had holes poked into it from the start – no, it is NOT low auto/pedestrian-conflict zone, no, it is NOT a sidewalks-in-good-shape zone, pointed out Barker and MoCA vice president Chas Redmond. There are physical limitations to the space, Redmond pointed out, calling the zoning proposal “an attempt by DPD to put something into place that is not needed.”

“This is good feedback,” Pennucci responded, even as she continued to hear strong words of concern and criticism. One person finally observed that overall, “we have a lot of anger at DPD” – which Pennucci did not dispute, semi-laughing, “I feel it!” – so, she was told, some time should be taken to look more calmly at this before the city plows forward with it.

Then there was the point that this happened to be the first city presentation to a West Seattle neighborhood group, while nine proposed zones are on the “preliminary recommendation” map. This was noted by meeting attendee Dave Montoure, asking when the city would be presenting to the West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (both groups he has chaired). Bennucci replied she can be there by request, saying Morgan just put in an early request.

Before she wrapped up, Redmond speaks up again and says Morgan is already pedestrian-friendly, but some parts of this recommendation would go unnecessarily far: Until we “get rid of internal-combustion vehicles, we’re not going to get rid of the Shell station” (on California a block south of Fauntleroy), for example. And with increasing fury, he took issue with the fact that DPD had come forward with a “preliminary recommendation” before any community conversation.

Climbing out of the hot seat, Pennucci said final recommendations are supposed to be presented to Mayor Murray by late summer/early fall.

Now, highlights rom the rest of the MoCA agenda – shorter recaps ahead, starting with more development-related info:

Click to read the rest of See which West Seattle spots are proposed for new ‘pedestrian zoning’ – and a dozen other topics @ Morgan Community Association…

Neighbor Appreciation Day: 3 West Seattle fire-station open houses

January 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Plans are in the works for Seattle’s Neighbor Appreciation Day on February 8th – and fire-station open houses are among the most popular features every year. The schedule is out, and it looks like this year, you’ll be able to stop by Fire Station 11 at 16th/Holden in Highland Park, Fire Station 32 at 38th/Alaska in The Triangle, and/or Fire Station 37 at 35th/Holden in Sunrise Heights. Tour times on February 8th (a Saturday) will be 11 am-1 pm. What else can you do on Neighbor Appreciation Day? See the suggestions here (including e-card templates).

Roxhill Park safety updates, ideas @ WWRHAH: New police patrols, zero tolerance for youth drinking, more

November 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Less than a year into its existence, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council has taken on some of the area’s thorniest issues – safety in Roxhill Park, Westwood Village, and environs.

Chair Amanda Kay Helmick called it “the meat of the meeting” for WWRHAH last night; she was one of the volunteers who helped build Roxhill’s new Castle Park playground and says she’s there with her family at least three times a week. She wants to apply for a grant for the park – but wants public input “what should we do with the money?”

That opened a discussion about the park’s components – which go far beyond the newly renovated playground and the newly installed skatepark. Safety topped the list because of incidents in recent months from armed robberies to an incident just last weekend in which someone was threatened with a knife at the playground.

The discussion led to revelations including a Seattle Police announcement that the park now has regular foot patrols.

Click to read the rest of Roxhill Park safety updates, ideas @ WWRHAH: New police patrols, zero tolerance for youth drinking, more…

Morgan Community Association: The park, the tank, Rapid Ride revisited, and more

October 22, 2013 at 3:00 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

At its quarterly meeting, the Morgan Community Association voted to support the new West Seattle Transportation Coalition, got an update on the about-to-be-built sewer-overflow-control project at Lowman Beach, heard about efforts to improve cleanliness and safety at Morgan Junction Park, discussed a new development – and that was just the start:

(WSB photo, taken the day after the MoCA meeting)
FRIENDS OF MORGAN JUNCTION PARKS: In addition to the volunteer work this group is doing, talk turned to those who loiter in Morgan Junction Park. Park volunteers say they have engaged the people who hang out, but so far the loiterers are not complying with trash rules. And they say not enough people are calling 911 when they see rulebreaking; more should be making those calls, for wider community representation. The behavior is getting worse, it appears – one week earlier, there was a big drinking party, and a big bonfire was started in the park; Seattle Fire came but police were never able to respond because that happened concurrently with the Westwood Village-area stabbings. To address this, MoCA is working with police to find an official sign to put up regarding, “Drinking is against the rules, here’s who to call.” Also call in matters of public safety – somebody passed out, someone injured … “Don’t be shy,” said Friends of MJP’s Tod Rodman. “It’s your park – if people are there, the bad stuff will (recede),” added FoMJP’s Barry White.

Back to the group’s main work: One more planting and mulching event will be happening in early November, an afternoon event after the Seahawks game, White said. “It’s been a great ride, and we’re getting more and more people involved.” The triangle park just north of West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) had a great planting party recently with 20 volunteers from Peace Lutheran Church in Gatewood. The current planting project in the streetside strips by Thriftway is the store’s doing, it was revealed in subsequent discussion. Next, the Friends of MJP is going to look at the Fauntleroy/Juneau triangle property to find out how it can help.

Click to read the rest of Morgan Community Association: The park, the tank, Rapid Ride revisited, and more…

West Seattle’s top cops talk trends at Alki CC, WS Crime Prevention Council meetings, with Fauntleroy up next

September 23, 2013 at 4:08 am | In Crime, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | Comments Off

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

West Seattle’s two highest-ranking Seattle Police crimefighters are making the neighborhood rounds.

This Thursday, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler and operations Lt. Pierre Davis are scheduled to brief a Fauntleroy Community Association-organized crime-prevention meeting (as previewed here).

This past week, we heard from both at the Alki Community Council, and from Lt. Davis at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, which, because its originally scheduled guests had been postponed, turned into a lengthy Q/A session.

Ahead, key points from both meetings:

Click to read the rest of West Seattle’s top cops talk trends at Alki CC, WS Crime Prevention Council meetings, with Fauntleroy up next…

West Seattle Green Space Coalition forming to push for ‘balance’

September 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm | In Environment, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

A new West Seattle-wide effort to preserve and advocate for open space – as a balance to “high-density development” – is in its formative stage, we learned from Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council reps tabling outside the Farmers’ Market today.

The spark is the current Seattle City Light process to decide the fate of former substation sites, including six West Seattle properties. GSNC is advocating in particular for the open-space prospects of the one at 49th and Dakota. But they believe the entire multi-site process should be put on hold until the community has a chance to try to rally resources to keep at least some of the sites as open space. Today, they were collecting signatures on a petition asking City Light and the City Council to delay decisions until at least 2015. And they’re forming the West Seattle Green Space Coalition to advance this cause and related issues – here’s how it was explained atop the petition sheets:

There are two dates coming up soon that you’ll want to make note of, if you’re interested in fighting for green space:

-Next Saturday (September 28th), a formation meeting for the Green Space Coalition, 4:30 pm. (We’re verifying the location and will update the story with final word – update, High Point Branch Library, 35th/Raymond.)

-October 2nd, 6:30 pm at High Point Community Center, the official city public hearing on the ex-substation sites’ fate. (Here’s what GSNC wrote about this earlier.)

Video: Transit advocacy, development discussion top Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting

September 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm | In Arbor Heights, Development, Neighborhoods, Transportation, West Seattle news, Westwood | 3 Comments

Our video from last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meeting shows two of the meeting’s central discussions. In order, here’s what and who you’ll see on the video:
*From the start, Elena Perez for Getting It Right for West Seattle, the group lobbying for changes in the 4755 Fauntleroy Way project, proposed for ~370 apartments, ~600 parking spaces, a Whole Foods Market, and other TBA retail, before its Mayor McGinn-opposed alley vacation comes to a City Council vote this winter.

*21:47 in, chair Amanda Kay Helmick starts the discussion of forming a West Seattle Transit Coalition, born from WWRHAH’s intense focus on Metro cuts and changes affecting the area (such as the eventual Highway 99 tunnel), so that the peninsula has a unified voice. They have drafted a letter and have been circulating it among community groups; they plan to “ask for the moon” of what West Seattle needs regarding traffic, rather than complaining about what’s missing now. The possibility of requiring development impact fees for transit funding was also brought up. Next step is likely an organizing meeting later this month.

Before these discussions, the meeting started with an in-depth discussion of the concept of organizing and producing Roxhill Park Day next year, with both a mega-work party and a neighborhood festival, funded with the assistance of a hoped-for city grant (applications due soon). You can find more background on the WWRHAH website.

Next month, WWRHAH is scheduled to return to its first-Tuesday meeting schedule; you can watch for announcements at wwrhah.org, which is also where WWRHAH secretary Joe Szilagyi‘s meeting minutes will be published when they’re ready (at which time we’ll add a link here too).

ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: As promised, here’s the link to the newly published meeting minutes/notes on the WWRHAH site.

West Seattle Tuesday: Get involved in your ‘hood! 4 councils meet

September 10, 2013 at 10:52 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 4 Comments

West Seattle

(Photo by Mark Bauschke, shared via the WSB Flickr group)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – a big night for neighborhood-council meetings!

HIGH POINT NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: 6 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center. President Deborah Vandermar shares agenda highlights:

Our main focus will be organizing volunteers for High Point Night Out on September 15. This year we are hosting six picnics in six parks, all at once. Focus will be on kids.

All welcome; the center is at 6400 Sylvan Way.

WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 6:15 pm, upstairs at Southwest Branch Library. Agenda on the WWRHAH site – including discussion of forming a West Seattle Transit Coalition. All welcome! (35th/Henderson)

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: 7 pm, lower level of Admiral Congregational Church, all welcome. Agenda highlights from president David Whiting:

Our special guest this month will be Jake and Cathy Jaramillo, authors of the guide book on the stairway walks in Seattle. We’ll also debrief our concert series and prepare for our this Saturday’s Adopt-A-Street cleanup.

The church is at California/Hill.

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: Board meets 7 pm (public welcome!), Fauntleroy Schoolhouse conference room. (9131 California SW)

Also today/tonight:

RAISE A GUIDE PUPPY! West Seattle See Dogs needs puppy raisers. Come see what it’s all about at tonight’s meeting at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), 6:30 pm. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)

FAMILY STORY TIME: Tonight it’s at 7 pm at Delridge Branch Library. (5423 Delridge Way SW)

Nightlife too – see the listings and more of today’s happenings on our calendar.

West Seattle development: Proposal for Admiralty House site

August 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm | In Development, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

One month after the “closing sale” for Admiralty House Antiques, with owner Fred Dau deciding to fully retire and sell the site (as he told us in this interview), we were asked if there’s any news about what’s happening there now. Here’s what we have found: The building already has a sale pending, according to the online listing ($1,050,000) for the 2,200-square-foot building on a 5,700-square-foot site, recorded as two lots, zoned NC2-40 (mixed-use retail and residential up to 40 feet). We don’t know the buyer’s identity, but city records show a development proposal already has been submitted for part of the site, proposing a 3-unit rowhouse, with its address changed to 4304 SW Walker (Admiralty House is 2141 California SW). The project page on the city website has this notation: “Existing retail building to remain w/ no work or changes.”

Another neighborhood-council meeting ahead: Genesee-Schmitz

August 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm | In Genesee Hill, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | Comments Off

On Sunday, we previewed three neighborhood-council meetings happening this week and next – North Delridge Neighborhood Council (under way right now), Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council (tomorrow night), and the second meeting of the revived Junction Neighborhood Council (August 20th). Tonight, another one to add to the list: This Thursday, the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council meets, with two major items on the agenda: The future of the 50th/Dakota substation site (one of six West Seattle sites the city is reviewing), and the small-lot-development issue that’s affected neighborhoods including Benchview (which recently saw both a court victory and a re-filing). You are welcome to attend the GSNC meeting at 7 pm Thursday (August 15th) at West Side Presbyterian Church (3601 California SW).

In other news: North Delridge Neighborhood Council tonight

August 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm | In Delridge, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Before SPD, Metro, and others update the downtown shooting situation at 2 pm, we’re moving on to a few other stories – including the only major calendar reminder for tonight: At 6:30 pm, outdoors at Dragonfly (Garden) Pavilion (along 28th between Yancy and Genesee), the North Delridge Neighborhood Council invites you to its August meeting. Along with the latest on next Saturday’s NDNC-presented Delridge Day festival, lots more is on the agenda – here’s the preview on NDNC’s website.

Support your neighborhood! Community council meetings ahead

August 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Some community councils take August off – but not all, so here are three quick notes today on neighborhood groups that would love to see you this month if you live and/or work in their areas (or, really, even if you don’t):

(May 2013 aerial of Dragonfly Garden/Pavilion, by Long Bach Nguyen)
NORTH DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL: Though they are crazy-busy working on next Saturday’s Delridge Day festival (to which we’ll be counting down over the days ahead), NDNC also is having its regular second-Monday meeting tomorrow night (August 12), 6:30 pm, outdoors at Dragonfly (Garden) Pavilion. Here’s the agenda preview:

We’ll be planning for (Delridge Day) and hearing an update from Fair Elections Seattle. We have two support letters to discuss and approve, including (1) a letter of support for Delridge Grocery (for use in their grant applications) and (2) a letter supporting keeping STEM at Boren (with our belief that a stable, permanent school at that location is a benefit to the neighborhood). We will also discuss a voluntary alcohol deferment program that has been implemented in other areas of Seattle and whether that makes sense for North Delridge.

The full NDNC agenda is here; Dragonfly Pavilion is on 28th SW just south of SW Yancy.

WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Tuesday night (August 13th), West Seattle’s newest neighborhood council meets, 6:15 pm at Southwest Branch Library (35th/Henderson). Watch wwrhah.org for the agenda.

JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: JuNO, the community council for the West Seattle Junction/Triangle area and vicinity, relaunched last month (here’s our coverage) and with so much going on – not the least of which is major development – would like to see you get involved. The next meeting is at 6:30 pm Tuesday, August 20th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon). If there’s a topic you’d like to see addressed, be there.

Photos: West Seattle (and vicinity) block parties during record-setting Night Out

August 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm | In Crime, Neighborhoods, Safety, West Seattle news | 21 Comments

6:00 PM: Seattle Police say more Night Out block parties are registered for tonight than the city’s ever seen before – 1,427, a five percent increase from last year. We’re on our way to check out some of them.

We’d also love a photo from yours – editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks – updates to come!

6:21 PM: We’re starting in White Center, which is throwing a party in the downtown business district.

Several businesses have outdoor tables set up, Center Studio (WSB sponsor) has an outdoor workout going (photo above), and there’s a $2 food walk – here are Matt and Delia from Caffé Delia serving up Proletariat Pizza:

Speaking of pizza – West Seattle’s Pagliacci Pizza tells us they’re making surprise visits to block parties again this year too. Meantime, next – we head back north into Highland Park!

6:48 PM: That’s the group at Mary‘s block party on 17th SW in Highland Park. VERY bright sunshine tonight, as one young participant was all too aware of! From there, we headed into Westwood:

WWRHAH Community Council president Amanda Helmick invited us to stop by the party on 23rd SW – she’s at left in our photo with Joni Buckner (whose Head-to-Toe Day Spa in the Admiral District is a WSB sponsor). Amanda noted that they invited 22nd, 24th, and 25th SW neighbors too! Next WWRHAH meeting is a week from tonight, by the way. On to Arbor Heights:

7:06 PM: On 34th SW in AH, Block Watch captain JoDean Edelheit is proud of a great turnout tonight for their block party (above) – which is what we’re finding just about everywhere so far, good turnouts on a perfect night to be outside.

Also from 34th SW in Arbor Heights, where police stopped by (SPD and SFD were in circulation around the city), Christi shared this photo:

7:29 PM: Thanks to Marcia for sending that photo from Ocean View – which also had visitors from the Southwest Precinct. Our most recent stops, meantime, included two in Fauntleroy – neighbors of all ages are having a grand time by Fauntleroy Community Association board member Gary Dawson‘s house off upper Fauntleroy Way by the ferry dock:

A few blocks south of the ferry dock, Marty Westerman (left) and Gordon Wiehler, also from the FCA board, ponder the meatballs:

Thanks to everyone who is e-mailing us photos, too – we’re adding them from the mobile newsroom. Here’s one – from Genesee, at 40th and Andover, Jonathan French shared this photo:

He says the musical entertainment is being supplied by local home inspector Don Hartman and band.

7:59 PM: Only one hour to go! Thanks to Midge for the bouncy-house photo from 42nd SW in Fairmount Springs:

Midge says Pagliacci made one of their random surprise deliveries to their party! Meantime, from Rutan Place west of The Junction, John shares a group photo:

8:39 PM: Had to stop down to get the election links together, but we’ve continued to visit parties and we’re getting lots more photos in – we’ll keep adding past 9 pm. Another of our Highland Park stops was by invitation of Christie, who’s with husband Mike in our photo below:

Mike made “genuine Louisiana ribs” – that’s an exact quote – for the block party:

From 36th/Brandon/Findlay, Jenny shares this summer-evening scene:

Kathleen sends the next photo from SW Grayson, reporting, “We are rockin’ it in N. Admiral!”

8:57 PM: Minutes to go in the official window for Night Out, though some parties wrap up earlier, some last longer. One of the biggest ones we visited – in the Hansen View neighborhood, home to West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network leaders Karen Berge and Deb Greer:

In their neighborhood, we also found Buddy the dog …

Also at the party, Chris Dormaier from Sound Yoga (WSB sponsor), photographed with Tim Law:

Block Watches work, you’ll hear Deb and Karen and other leaders say, because of all the neighbors – and that’s really what Night Out is about:

If you don’t have a Block Watch but are interested in starting one, watch for the WSBWCN meetings – and check out this page on the SPD website. Still more party scenes to come – we’re back at HQ now.

10:03 PM: The first person to send us an invitation to her neighborhood’s Block Party this year was Nicole, from 52nd and Charlestown:

Nicole’s chicken played a big part in the Night Out event’s centerpiece, which you might call “chicken poop bingo”:

Half the proceeds were going to the West Seattle Food Bank. Meantime, the neighborhood you might describe as Upper Luna Park had a playful Night Out too, with water balloons:

Thanks to Erik for the photo. Meantime, from 16th and Trenton, Steve reports, “We had an awesome night with neighbors including those from up the street at Station 11 who came by with their truck for all the kids to explore. Perfect evening for it.” Here’s the photographic proof:

41st and Graham got a Seattle Fire Department visit too – thanks to Jenny for the photo:

From Gatewood, Tony‘s block party at California and Portland:

Frequent WSB contributor Long Bach Nguyen just sent a photo from that same party:

Music at 46th and Dakota – Cheryl says The Spyrographs were playing (and will be at Summer Concerts at The Mount [WSB sponsor]) two weeks from Friday, on August 23rd:

From North Admiral, Karyn tweeted her block-party scene:

Getting back to Gatewood, Mark Ahlness reports, “A great gathering at 39th SW and SW Elmgrove. Wonderful food and conversations with neighborhood regulars and many newcomers! In the picture, Grace welcomes everybody and gets things organized!”

From the 7100 block of 44th, Dan reports, “25 people out for the block party. Met a ton of great neighbors that we didn’t really know before.”

Meantime, our final stop of the night was at another Gatewood gathering – Paula had invited us to visit her neighbors’ gathering on SW Rose between 35th and 37th:

ADDED EARLY WEDNESDAY: More party photos received overnight – one from 12th SW between Barton and Henderson, where the party included breakdancing and live music: “Hosted by Danny and Marie Figgins in Highland Park! We love Night Out and hanging making new friends!”

Diane says her Night Out party in the Belvedere neighborhood brought together five blocks!

Edward photographed the neighbors in the 6700 block of 41st SW, where it’s a tradition to display “flags from countries, states neighbors are from”:

AND ANOTHER: Carrie Ann reports from the 42nd/Dakota-Andover block party: “This is a photo of our neighbor, Brad, a wonderful fiddle player and singer. One of the best parts of our annual block party is that, every year, we’re treated to a musical serenading by many of our extremely talented neighbors”:

Carrie Ann continues: “We even managed to lure in passersby who saw how much fun we were having, and invited them to join us in singing, dancing, and marshmallow roasting. I highly encourage everyone to reach out to their neighbors on this night, because you’ll learn so much and create priceless memories!”

P.S. Next year will be the thirtieth anniversary of Night Out!

Followup: Developers in Benchview lot-split fight propose a new plan

July 30, 2013 at 4:54 pm | In Development, Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 16 Comments

(3650 55th SW is the original address of the site in question; map is from King County Parcel Viewer)
A new development, so to speak, in the Benchview neighborhood clash between developers who bought an old house and want to add two new ones to its site, and the neighbors who say one additional home – already under construction northeast of the existing house – is plenty. You’ll recall that they went to court to challenge the city’s approval of three reshaped parcels for the site. They argued their case on Friday, July 19th (WSB coverage here), and King County Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman issued her ruling the following Wednesday, reported here Thursday – upholding the city’s decision/process on two technical points, but rejecting the boundaries of the “lot boundary adjustment.”

While the City Attorney’s Office told us last week they hadn’t decided whether to appeal the ruling, we just got word from Department of Planning and Development spokesperson Bryan Stevens that the site’s owners have filed a new plan:

I just wanted to let you and your readers know that the applicant of the Benchview lot boundary adjustment (LBA) has submitted a formal revision to their original permit. Since the Judge ruled that the parcel encompassing the existing house was too small, the applicant is now revising their LBA to increase the size of that parcel and maintain a total of three parcels. The proposed revision slightly reduces the parcel size of the house under construction, which enlarges the adjacent parcel with the existing house on the corner.

The parcel sizes are listed on this new city page for the project; we’re still seeking further documents showing the proposed boundaries and will add to this story as we find out more.

Demolition, bike lane, park concerns @ quarterly Morgan meeting

July 25, 2013 at 2:12 am | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

(2012 photo of Lowman Beach Park and CSO project site to its east, by Long Bach Nguyen)
Almost a year after King County fenced off the vacant homes/apartments on the Lowman Beach site of the future Murray Combined Sewer Overflow Control Project storage tank, demolition will begin soon. That’s what the Morgan Community Association heard at its July meeting, in an e-mail from county project rep Doug Marsano, read by MoCA president Deb Barker. Since the meeting, we have asked Marsano for more timetable specifics; his reply:

King County’s contractor Tiger Construction & Excavation is finalizing its safety and traffic control plans, so initial work will begin in early August. The contractor will start with hazardous-material abatement inside the buildings, which will last about two and a half weeks. After that, salvageable materials will be removed from the buildings and then demolition will occur. After the buildings are down, the contractor will fill in the foundations with soil to ensure the site remains stable and safe until facility construction begins later this year. The deconstruction work will be complete by the end of September.

The million-gallon tank is to be built on what were six residential lots in the 7000 block of Beach Drive, bought by the county – which had said it would acquire them via the “eminent domain” law if it had to – for a total of more than $4.3 million, according to public records. It is part of a project meant to reduce sewage/stormwater overflows into Puget Sound from the nearby Murray Pump Station. According to Marsano’s letter to MoCA, the facility contractor is Shimmick Construction of Oakland, California.

Ahead, other notes from MoCA’s meeting – including the city Bicycle Master Plan Update and safety/beautification concerns for Morgan Junction Park:

Click to read the rest of Demolition, bike lane, park concerns @ quarterly Morgan meeting…

Junction Neighborhood Organization re-launches in a time of change

July 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“Good turnout!” exclaimed René Commons as she walked into the lower-level meeting room at the Senior Center of West Seattle tonight, seeing 10 people who had come to help her re-launch the Junction Neighborhood Organization, more than a year after it went dormant.

Some of the meeting was about the business of organizing. Ed Pottharst (center in our top photo) from the city Department of Neighborhoods described how the Southwest District Council, made up of reps from community councils and organizations on the west side of West Seattle, works, and the issues it tackles, including reviewing community applications for certain city grants. The first question for him was, “What about eastern West Seattle?” As he explained, in Seattle’s 13-district system, the city has West Seattle split into two districts, Southwest and the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. Pottharst and colleagues Yun Pitre and Steve Louie, working out of the Neighborhood Service Center at the Southwest Teen Life Center and Pool, serve as liaisons to the city for not just the district councils but also the individual community groups.

Second topic, raised by Commons: “Do we need more park spaces in the area, with our density?”

Click to read the rest of Junction Neighborhood Organization re-launches in a time of change…

2 weeks till Night Out – organized/registered your block party yet?

July 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm | In Neighborhoods, Safety, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Two weeks till Night Out – the annual event bringing neighbors out of their homes and into the streets coast to coast, for block parties to strengthen ties and take a stand for neighborhood safety and solidarity – and to have fun. They’re always the first Tuesday night in August, so that’s August 6th, two weeks from tonight, 6-9 pm. The photo above is one of many we took on Night Out last year, featuring neighbors at 13th and Cambridge in Highland Park. To get permission to close your (non-arterial) street for the night, you need to register your party via the Seattle Police Night Out site – start here. And then, we invite you to let us know about your party, since we’re planning as-it-happens WSB coverage as usual and hoping to drop in on as many parties as we can get to in three hours. Just e-mail the location (cross-streets or block number) to editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

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