West Seattle, Washington
Live/work in South Delridge? You’re invited to check out the South Delridge Community Group at 7 pm tomorrow night at 2 Fingers Social (9211 Delridge Way SW) – a new place, day, and time as the group resumes meetings. All ages are welcome at 2 Fingers until 8 pm, so you can bring your kid(s) to the meeting if you want/need to. Read more about the SDCG by going here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Some promising news emerged on multiple fronts at this month’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meeting.
CRIME DROP: WWRHAH was briefed by Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith. The area covered by this community group, he said, has had 56 incidents in tracked categories compared to 119 a year earlier. That includes one fewer robbery, one more aggravated assault, 7 crimes against persons compared to 5 – but property crime is down dramatically – one more burglary, one more commercial burglary (3 compared to 2), but larceny (much of it shoplifting) is down dramatically, about a fourth of what it was. Also: 15 car prowls compared to 17, 8 car thefts compared to 13. 49 property crimes in all – less than half it was at this point last year. Police continue working harder to get repeat offenders kept in jail – including for example making sure the “(law enforcement) objects to release” box is checked on reports.
The subject of the arrest of officer-assault suspect Jorge Cruz-Benitez two nights earlier came up; he was allegedly first spotted doing graffiti vandalism in the area (Delridge/Henderson). Lt. Smith echoed what we noted in a previous discussion, that not all tagging is gang-related. (This meeting was on Tuesday night; one night later, on Wednesday night, Cruz-Benitez was released from jail, according to the KC Jail Register.)
(Southwestern side of Roxhill Bog – WSB photo from 2014)
ROXHILL PARK AND BOG: WWRHAH has been pushing forever to get the bog water-flow fixed –
here’s an extensive report we published in 2014 – and is making progress. Your involvement can accelerate things. First:
This Saturday is Neighbor Day around the city – and one of the most popular aspects is the chance to visit local fire stations during Neighbor Day open houses. They’re not all open for the occasion but here are the ones on the list this time – 11 am-1 pm Saturday (February 10th) – in West Seattle:
-Fire Station 11 in Highland Park (16th/Holden)
-Fire Station 29 in North Admiral (2139 Ferry SW)
-Fire Station 32 in The Triangle (38th/Alaska)
-Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights (35th/Holden)
More about Neighbor Day as the week goes on!
P.S. Though the list on the city website does not include Station 32 right now, we doublechecked with SFD and they say the new station WILL have an open house too.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When a meeting room at the Sisson Building/Senior Center filled to overflowing last night for the Junction Neighborhood Organization‘s quarterly meeting, the biggest news was already a couple hours old – SDOT‘s announcement that the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is on hold.
For those who hadn’t already heard, JuNO director Amanda Sawyer recapped it at the start of the meeting. (SDOT did not send reps to talk about it, as had been the original plan before the suspension was announced.) She and West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Swift both stressed that since SDOT is saying it will reallocate the project funds – last described as $15 million to $18 million – to other WS projects, feedback to Councilmember Lisa Herbold is important. (Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
So that left the meeting devoted to two other big topics affecting The Junction – the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning proposal that has just gone into City Council review, and Sound Transit planning for West Seattle light rail, which is just starting its formal community-outreach process.
From the Highland Park Action Committee‘s January meeting:
‘I FOUND A NEEDLE, NOW WHAT?’ The Sharps Collection Pilot Program from Seattle Public Utilities gave a presentation. It was basically Needle 101 – where do discarded needles come from? Not just IV drug users – could be people with medical conditions that require injections, even pets that need shots, or allergy sufferers. In Seattle, it’s illegal to just throw needles in the trash, “for the safety of sanitation workers,” said the SPU presenters.
If you find a needle on public property:
(Fauntleroy Boulevard ‘final design’ – click here to see full-size image on city website)
You might recall that the Fauntleroy Boulevard project was long described as likely to start in “early 2018,” according to SDOT. Early 2018 is here, and not only is construction not imminent, some key project points haven’t even been announced yet – such as, whether Fauntleroy Way will be one-way or two ways during construction. But new information might be days away – for the first time in eight months, SDOT is scheduled to present a public update next Wednesday (January 31st). It’s on the agenda for the next Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting.
Also planned for the 6:30 pm meeting at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, updates on the Avalon Substation site, HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, what’s next for Sound Transit light-rail planning (including the speculative renderings first shown here earlier this month), and volunteering opportunities. The meeting is open to anyone and everyone who’s interested.
Toplines from last night’s Alki Community Council meeting:
59TH/ADMIRAL: The ACC discussed the intersection as a followup to recent changes made by SDOT as part of the ongoing Admiral Way Safety Project, as well as advocacy by the Traffic Safety Task Force set up by parents at nearby Alki Elementary. A key point of discussion was getting a full traffic signal – which the parents want – versus keeping the pedestrian-activated light on Admiral and stop signs on 59th. ACC president Tony Fragada will ask that the SDOT project manager come to their next meeting; he’s also hoping to talk with West Seattle-residing at-large City Councilmember Lorena González, who chairs the committee that oversees safety.
NOISE ENFORCEMENT: Jesse Robbins, who initiated the project that eventually led to Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s survey showing a high level of vehicle-noise concerns in the area, was back to visit (backstory is in our coverage of November’s ACC meeting). As previously reported, he and colleagues are working on a potential technology solution to the challenges that police say get in the way of enforcing noise laws (needing to hear/record/prove the violation, for example). He said they’ll be testing at an Eastside park twice in the next two weeks. Meantime, as previously reported, SPD is under orders to report to the City Council in March about enforcement-related issues; Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said those contributing to the report include the City Attorney’s Office, regarding the state of noise laws and how they could be amended, and financially focused personnel to look at how the issue might be addressed in the SPD budget. Robbins says they would like to run a test at Alki this summer, but that depends on how the SPD report turns out.
CRIME TRENDS: Nothing of note to report so far since the start of the year, Lt. Smith said, but 2017 did bring a bigger reduction in crime in the Southwest Precinct than other precincts in the city, he said. (You can crunch crime numbers from neighborhood level to citywide level any time by going here.)
MORE ALKI SIGNAGE? This was a community-member-led discussion on whether Alki might benefit from more signs, whether to remind people about the laws prohibiting dogs on the beach or to educate people about birds in the area (similar to The Whale Trail and Seal Sitters signage about marine mammals). Department of Neighborhoods rep Yun Pitre suggested this could be proposed for funding via the Your Voice, Your Choice process that’s under way now. The ACC will look into having a Seattle Parks rep come to a future meeting to discuss not only signage but also chronic issues with trash pickup at the beach.
The Alki Community Council meets on the third Thursday most months, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).
(WSB file photo)
As mentioned in our coverage of the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s recent meeting, organizers of the ANA-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha are gearing up to plan this year’s series. This announcement is just in from Stephanie Jordan:
The Admiral Neighborhood Association (ANA) is now accepting performer submissions for our 2018 Summer Concert Series at Hiawatha Park!
The ANA Summer Concert Series at Hiawatha is a free, family-friendly outdoor concert event held outside the Hiawatha Community Center on Thursday evenings in the summer. The series is produced by the Admiral Neighborhood Association in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Associated Recreation Council, and through the generous sponsorship of community businesses. Last year’s lineup can be viewed on the ANA website.
We are seeking performers for the following dates: July 19th, July 26th, August 2nd, August 9th, and August 16th.
Interested artists should provide:
1. a brief description of your musical style
2. links to website/music/video or other resources that will help us know your music better
3. contact information, including email
4. your fee for a 90-minute set
5. preferred dates (and any dates you are unavailable)
Please send all information to HiawathaConcerts@gmail.com . The committee will accept submissions through February 28th, 2018.
If you or your business is interested in sponsoring the 2018 ANA Summer Concert Series at Hiawatha Park, please contact Dave Weitzel at email@example.com.
We would also love to hear from community members! Tell us what you’d like to see more of, recommend your favorite performer or style of music, or just say hello!
You are welcome to comment below with recommendations, and/or e-mail the same address mentioned above – HiawathaConcerts@gmail.com – to reach Stephanie and the committee. This will be the 10th year for the series, launched in 2009!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The lower-level meeting room at The Kenney was full for tonight’s Morgan Community Association meeting, and everybody there had the chance to vote on some big decisions – including spending thousands of dollars:
MORGAN NEIGHBORHOOD FUND: MoCA has no dues but does have this fund that resulted from the settlement of the neighborhood appeal of the project that became the Viridian Apartments. In settling the appeal, its developers agreed to donate $25,000 to MoCA, though the organization was not a party to the appeal. MoCA has never done anything with the money, but now has two applications for a share of it.
Vice president Phil Tavel presented the applications – one for restoring and protecting the mural behind the California/Fauntleroy Starbucks/Peel & Press/etc. building.
(WSB file photo)
P&P (WSB sponsor) proprietor Dan Austin has been exploring the project for 2+ years; the family that owns the building has committed some money, and told Austin they have no plans to sell the building. The family says it’ll contribute $3,000; the total cost, Austin says, would be about $10,000 – $8,500 with a discount the artist has offered – and he’s applied for $5,000 from the fund.
The other proposal to spend some of the money was for contributing to the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability Final Environmental Impact Statement citywide-coalition appeal, which MoCA and dozens of other community groups around the city are supporting. The coalition has raised about $15,000 so far; MoCA is proposing contributing $5,000 from the fund.
City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is the latest addition to the agenda for the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting Wednesday night (January 17th). She’s scheduled for a briefing on District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) issues close to the start of the 7 pm meeting. MoCA also plans a discussion of HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning – it’s one of 30+ groups citywide appealing the Final Environmental Impact Statement – and potential changes to the city Comprehensive Plan addressing how it conflicts with the longstanding Morgan neighborhood plan. Plus, Seattle Parks is scheduled to update the Lowman Beach Park seawall situation, seven months after a public meeting about the options for replacing it (or not), and one month after releasing this feasibility study:
Wednesday’s meeting is at The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW). The full updated agenda is in our calendar listing.
Transportation questions dominated Q&A with City Councilmember Lisa Herbold at this month’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting.
Top of the list – the Admiral area’s dearth of Metro service, compared to West Seattle’s other urban areas. More than one attendee wondered why residents aren’t seeing return on the additional city taxes they’re paying for transit service.
Herbold said the city decided to go along with the county’s spending guidelines when the city-county partnership began, so right now, Metro’s priorities are focused on adding services to busy routes, and there’s no discussion of what to do about underserved areas. She thinks better metrics are needed to identify who needs better service. One suggestion: Invite Metro to Admiral for an open house, which could be a step toward showing what the area needs.
As she’s done at other community meetings, she also talked about the Alki-and-vicinity community survey that showed major concern about vehicle-noise issues; SPD is due to send a report to the council in March that will pave the way for working on enforcement, or on changing the laws to better facilitate it. Enforcement of the existing cruising ordinance is in the spotlight too.
And as she told the Southwest District Council last week, Councilmember Herbold mentioned the possibility of a West Seattle town hall with new Mayor Jenny Durkan. She says she’s confident it will happen, so watch for updates.
Also at the ANA meeting (which was held Tuesday night at The Sanctuary at Admiral):
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: Planning for this year’s series is about to begin; committee members are needed to help out. The first concert is set for July 19th.
MEETING SCHEDULE: ANA’s been talking for a long time about cutting back on the slate of monthly meetings, and is now looking at meeting every two months.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When a citywide coalition of community groups announced they would appeal the Environmental Impact Statement for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, three West Seattle groups were part of it. Now, a fourth has decided to join the appeal – the Fauntleroy Community Association. That decision happened during last night’s FCA board meeting, which as usual included a wide range of topics:
Last week, our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold brought updates on many issues to the Southwest District Council (WSB coverage here); your next chance to bring up a question or concer is next Tuesday, wen she’ll be at the Admiral Neighborhood Association. The full ANA agenda is in our calendar listing; they’ll also be launching planning for this year’s Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (which ANA presents). You’re also welcome to be at the meeting (7 pm Tuesday, The Sanctuary at Admiral, 42nd/Lander) to answer two calls for volunteers: Leading the area’s Emergency Communications Hub, and chairing a new committee to plan Admiral District holiday decorations.
That’s the “preferred alternative” map for proposed zoning changes to implement HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability in the Morgan Junction urban village, as included in the MHA Final Environmental Impact Statement issued by the city last month. The Morgan Community Association is one of the neighborhood groups that’s filed an appeal of that document, as well as joining in a separate citywide-coalition appeal. Tonight MoCA’s president Deb Barker sent out this community update on where things stand:
Dear Morgan Junction Community:
It’s the Holiday season and we know that you have a lot going on so we’ll keep this end-of-the-year summary brief.
The Morgan Community Association (MoCA) has been deeply engaged in the City’s HALA/MHA program changes for over a year, starting with our November 2016 HALA/MHA Workshop for District 1. We want to brief you on the current HALA/MHA status and how Morgan Junction is affected. If you have any questions – please ask.
Morgan Junction Comprehensive Plan Amendment. At a special Comprehensive Plan meeting on November 14, 2017, MoCA meeting attendees learned about some potential options to achieve housing results that address neighborhood concerns, and that would meet the Morgan Junction Plan Housing Goal. Attendees voted on the different options and endorsed a general policy statement of encouraging affordable, entry-level, family-sized owner-occupied housing within the urban village. In early December, MoCA focused on this policy concept in our comments to the City on their draft Comp plan amendment language. We also repeated our request for formal neighborhood-planning engagement to modify any portions of our neighborhood plan. The City Council will vote on Comprehensive Plan amendments later in 2018.
We are now taking steps to turn the policy concept into a tangible program, so that our community wishes are incorporated along with the MHA proposals that will be discussed for final adoption in 2018. We met with Councilmember Lisa Herbold in late December and have a meeting request in to Mayor Durkan to discuss the Special Review District idea.
Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Released. In mid-November, the City released its final EIS and proposed maps that up-zone all areas of the Morgan Junction Urban Village including eliminating all single-family zoning from the Urban Village. In the document, the City was dismissive of Morgan Junction’s concerns about flaws found in the original draft EIS.
Legal Appeal. In reviewing the City’s FEIS document, the MoCA Board came to the realization that the only recourse to have our specific Urban Village concerns addressed would be to file an appeal of the FEIS. Other neighborhoods were realizing that only legal action would force the City to provide a true neighborhood planning process to address the environmental impacts specific to neighborhoods as well as city-wide impacts. The November 27 FEIS appeal deadline was several months before scheduled Morgan Community Association member meetings, and the Board voted to file a placeholder appeal and bring the issue to the January 2018 Membership meeting. The Board also approved joining with a coalition of 26 neighborhood and other interested groups (the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity) seeking to require the City to adequately analyze, disclose and address the full impacts of its proposed up-zones, as well as provide a true alternative. Appeal efforts involve member commitment and funding, and a member group can withdraw at any time. The Seattle Hearing Examiner will hear the appeal starting on April 23, 2018.
What’s Next. MoCA’s next quarterly meeting is next month. There will be discussion about the MHA/FEIS, the appeal, the Comp Plan Amendment language and progress on the Special Review District policy concept as well as actions related to the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Fund. Please join us on January 17, 2018 at 7:00 at The Kenney to discuss the next steps and to vote on key policy issues. We look forward to seeing you.
Deb Barker, President
Morgan Community Association
The full agenda for the January 17th MoCA meeting is in our calendar listing.
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s last meeting of 2017 on Tuesday night brought a number of issues to the table.
Election of officers for the new year included president Larry Wymer and treasurer Carrie McCann continuing in their respective roles, but the vice-president and secretary positions remain available until the next meeting, or until someone comes forward to volunteer.
From noise to Hubs to HALA, here’s what else happened: Read More
Still a few more community meetings before holiday break – including the Admiral Neighborhood Association, 7 pm Tuesday (December 12th). Here’s the agenda, as announced by president Larry Wymer:
We welcome our Admiral neighbors to our last meeting of 2017 where we have a full agenda to address a variety of issues of interest to all, which includes:
1) ALKI PUBLIC SAFETY & HEALTH SURVEY (rescheduled from an earlier meeting)
Newell Aldrich, Legislative Assistant for City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, will be presenting the results of this recent survey initiated by Councilmember Herbold, which generated responses from 817 area residents (including 197 from Admiral). Mr. Aldrich will discuss both the survey, and the City Council’s response to it.
2) HALA MHA FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT COMMUNITY APPEALS
Seattle Fair Growth, along with at least 15 neighborhoods around the City, have filed an appeal, which Deb Barker will discuss.
3) EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION HUB (Volunteer needed)
The Admiral neighborhood is in need of a volunteer to take on the “Admiral Emergency Communication Hub Captain” position. This volunteer would help ensure Admiral is ready to be resilient after a disaster by setting up a communication point so Admiral neighbors can help Admiral neighbors, as well as maintain communication with other neighborhood hubs throughout West Seattle, and greater Seattle. If interested, please come find out more.
4) ADMIRAL CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS (Volunteers needed)
ANA would like to initiate a discussion among neighbors and businesses to consider establishing a committee to raise funds and assemble a group volunteers to purchase Christmas (and/or generic “holiday”) decorations which we would use to decorate the Admiral core in future years. Let’s discuss to gauge interest, and see if we can find volunteers!
5) ANA OFFICER NOMINATIONS/ELECTIONS – It’s that time!
ANA meets at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander), and all are welcome to attend.
Quick toplines from this past Tuesday night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meeting at Southwest Library:
CRIME TRENDS: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith said a major problem in the area – shoplifting at Westwood Village – is down significantly, after months of emphasis patrols. (More on that in our upcoming Southwest District Council report.) SPD’s work at Westwood will soon be enhanced by an observation station.
SAFETY: WWRHAH member Earl Lee reported that the long-awaited lighting of the bus stop across Barton from WW Village is up and working:
HALA UPZONING APPEAL: As reported previously, WWRHAH is participating in the citywide coalition that is appealing the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed upzoning in the city’s HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability plan. The coalition is now awaiting hearing dates, planning to go door to door to talk with neighbors, and raising money for legal help.
NO GENERAL MEETING IN JANUARY, BUT … Since the first Tuesday is the day after New Year’s, no general WWRHAH meeting until February. But watch wwrhah.org for TBA details of a January 9th meeting about Roxhill Park.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“I just want to thank you.”
Midway through our coffeehouse conversation with four local neighborhood-group reps about why they’re part of a citywide challenge to the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda upzoning plan, a woman walked up to the table and addressed that to them.
She admitted she had been eavesdropping and “figured out what you were talking about.” She says she lives in the Junction area – which is where we were talking – and doesn’t want the upzoning to happen.
But, she added, “I don’t know what I can do to help.” The four offered suggestions immediately. Earl Lee of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition said, “We need every soldier we can get.”
Amanda Sawyer, who has led the Junction Neighborhood Organization for half a year, mentioned JuNO’s Land Use Committee will be talking about HALA and the appeal at a meeting tomorrow (6:30 pm Thursday, December 7th, Senior Center of West Seattle).
Equipped with ideas, the woman moved on. The four were heartened by that unsolicited feedback. What their groups had joined is not universally popular – some supporters of the proposed upzoning accuse opponents of being elitist, wealthy, interested only in keeping their theoretical white-picket-fence gates slammed shut to newcomers.
Not at all, these four insist. But before we go further, introductions and backstory.
Tomorrow morning, the City Council takes its final votes on next year’s budget. One item that’s made the cut so far was the biggest topic at this past week’s Alki Community Council meeting:
When City Councilmember Lisa Herbold walked into Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting after an all-day budget session, members and attendees happened to be talking about the future conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. The discussion never did get around to any of the hot topics that had dominated the day – and some previous days – at City Hall, such as the “head tax” or encampment removals aka “sweeps.”
The RapidRide talk went on for a while, especially concerns that a lot of feedback already had been offered in previous discussions, mostly with SDOT during what was at the time referred only to the Delridge Multimodal Corridor process, but the next round of “engagement” seemed to be oblivious to that. Herbold said her office has been talking with King County/Metro and promised she personally would jump in after votes next week conclude the budget-change process – which she’s been leading as Budget Committee chair, a role gained in a domino process of sorts that began with former Mayor Ed Murray‘s resignation.
The road itself has enough trouble, one attendee said, without even the prospect of more, bigger buses, noting a big hole that we suspect was the same one called to our attention with photos on Twitter:
The Fauntleroy Community Association board just wrapped up tonight’s monthly meeting at its usual location, the historic Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, where more than 15 people crowded into the conference room, several drawn by the biggest topic on the agenda – this site about a block west:
REZONE PROPOSAL: We broke the news two weeks ago about an early-stage proposal to rezone and redevelop 9250 45th SW in the heart of Fauntleroy’s Endolyne business district. Since then, two FCA board members have talked with the site’s owners to find out more.
While the Admiral Neighborhood Association would usually meet this coming Tuesday – the second Tuesday of the month – the November meeting is canceled, president Larry Wymer tells us. But unlike many community groups, ANA will meet in December, so you can re-set your calendar for Tuesday, December 12th (7 pm, The Sanctuary at Admiral, 42nd/Lander).
(New ‘preferred alternative’ upzoning map for Morgan Junction; the interactive citywide map is here)
Even before Thursday’s release of the city’s “preferred alternative” for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, the Morgan Community Association was working to ensure that it doesn’t override a longstanding parts of the community-created neighborhood plan. MoCA had proposed amending the city’s Comprehensive Plan toward that end; then the city countered with its own amendment. What next? Here’s the MoCA reminder about its followup meeting next Tuesday:
As discussed at the October 2017 Morgan Community Association Quarterly Meeting, the MoCA board has reviewed all the moving pieces of MHA and the Comprehensive Plan Amendment proposed for the Morgan Junction Urban Village. We found gaps between what we have heard at the community meetings and what the city is proposing to do with the single family zoned lands inside our Urban Village. Those gaps include the character change of the single family zones, the loss of starter homes and owner occupancy, and few ways to address displacement.
We have identified some specific options to address those gaps to propose for community consideration at a meeting set for Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at The Kenney Community Room, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW. The meeting is set for 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
The community discussion and voting at this meeting will identify the Morgan Junction-endorsed options to move forward into a neighborhood planning process with the city. We encourage everyone who lives, works, shops, or enjoys the Morgan Junction area to come and weigh in!
We covered MoCA’s October discussion here.