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HALA REZONING: City’s top planner thinks you’ve heard a lot about it. Also: Admiral Neighborhood Association chat

Two updates as the city continues collecting comments on proposed rezoning as part of the Mandatory Housing Affordability component of the city’s HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) initiative:

CITY’S TOP PLANNER RESPONDS TO REQUEST FOR EXTENSION: The Junction Neighborhood Organization asked for a six-month extension in the current feedback phase of the rezoning process. Here’s the full letter; one of the concerns: How the city did, and didn’t, inform those affected. Today JuNO director René Commons received a reply from Office of Planning and Community Development director Sam Assefa, who replied, in part:

… While I recognize that the City can always do more, we have worked conscientiously to offer many opportunities for the neighborhood to learn about HALA and MHA, and to weigh in. With regard to implementing zoning changes that create additional affordable housing, the initial draft maps were released to the public in mid-October last year and have been the subject of significant citywide community engagement and discussion ever since. In West Seattle, we have held at least 7 community meetings to provide information and to collect feedback. We anticipate many additional opportunities for the public to learn about the initial draft proposal, to share their perspectives, to see other alternatives to the initial draft proposal, and to weigh in on how these alternatives respond to the community priorities and concerns. We look forward to additional public meetings, open houses, and design workshops, both across the City and in your neighborhood, as we move forward in 2017.

We also continue to collect online comments at hala.consider.it. Of course, additional public process including environmental review, and City Council public hearings will take place before any zoning changes needed to implement MHA are made.

You can read Assefa’s full reply here. He didn’t elaborate on which meetings he was counting in the mention of 7 in West Seattle; the major city-organized meeting so far was the two-location December 7th “open house,” with the draft maps among a long list of topics on which participants were invited to comment. Meantime, city-organized “community design workshops” are continuing, with one set for The Junction on January 26th, 6-9 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle. That’s also the location for JuNO’s next meeting, 6:30 pm next Tuesday (January 17th).

ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Admiral has its own “community design workshop” set for February 11th (9:30 am-12:30 pm at West Seattle High School) Because of that upcoming event, this past Tuesday’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting had HALA rezoning on the agenda, and a bigger crowd than usual, about 40 people.

Deb Barker, a retired land-use planner whose volunteer public-service roles include being president of the Morgan Community Association, came to talk about the rezoning proposal. “It’s nothing that you really want to sit in a chair and have someone preach at you about,” she noted, adding that on first hearing about it, people’s eyes tend to glaze over. But people are hungry to find out more, she continued, mentioning the 130+-person turnout at the neighbors-briefing-neighbors event she and Cindi Barker led in Highland Park back in November (WSB coverage here).

On Tuesday, she asked who in themaudience had heard of HALA; most raised their hands.

“How many remember the 1998 Admiral Residential Urban Village plan?” A few hands went up for that.

“Anybody who’s going to redevelop is going to have to pay into a pot of money that goes to affordable housing” is how she summarized the Mandatory Housing Affordability concept, “the idea up for review right now.”

She also noted that while the draft map for the West Seattle Junction would expand the urban-village boundaries in some areas, that is NOT proposed for the Admiral Residential Urban Village.

Most of this section of Admiral’s meeting, though, was truly a case of “you had to be there” – Barker answered a few questions and then invited everyone over to the counter area in The Sanctuary’s main room for a look at some of the maps that she and Cindi had developed for their Highland Park meeting:

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(Photo by Ted Stevens)

Then she mentioned the December 7th city “open house” that was meant to gather comments. She had developed a page of notes to help people read and comment on the draft maps and offered those again at the Admiral meeting too – find some of the links here. And from there, conversation ensued, all around the maps, and lasted well past the meeting’s projected end time.

WHAT’S NEXT: Along with the Junction and Admiral HALA rezoning “community design workshops” mentioned above, Morgan Junction is supposed to have one too – but the date is off the city calendar, so we’re awaiting word on its fate. Keep an eye on this page.

@ Fauntleroy Community Association: Ex-substation; Schoolhouse centennial; crime…

Toplines from Tuesday night’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse:

EX-SUBSTATION SITE: The group looking into buying Seattle City Light‘s former Fauntleroy Substation site at 4520 Brace Point Drive has not yet come up with the funding to do that; the city is offering it at $250,000. City Light has given them a little more time, community members were still talking before the holiday season about the possibility of bringing in some major donors.

SCHOOLHOUSE CENTENNIAL: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse turns 100 this year, and the big party is 11:30 am-3:30 pm on Sunday, May 21st. If you went to Fauntleroy Elementary at the schoolhouse, organizers are looking for photos and other memorabilia – you’re invited to loan or donate it. Here’s one photo already awaiting the event:

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If you have something of interest for the celebration, e-mail faunt.schoolhouse100years@gmail.com – they’re also seeking memorabilia from longtime schoolhouse tenant Fauntleroy Children’s Center.

CRIME UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith brought the newest stats. Car prowls are still the biggest problem – 11 in the past four weeks. Also of note, five larceny-level thefts and two stolen cars.

MEETING CHANGE FOR NEXT MONTH: Since the second Tuesday in February is Valentine’s Day, the board is switching its meeting to Wednesday, February 15th (still 7 pm, at the schoolhouse, 9131 California SW).

MYERS WAY ENCAMPMENT: City Council committee briefing tomorrow; WWRHAH letter, post-meeting

Two updates related to the city’s plans to change a Myers Way encampment from unsanctioned to sanctioned, one of three new authorized encampments announced almost two weeks ago:

CITY COUNCIL BRIEFING TOMORROW: When the council’s Human Services and Public Health Committee meets at 2 pm Wednesday (City Hall, downtown), its agenda includes an update from the city’s director of homelessness George Scarola on the interim plan that includes three “new” authorized encampments, including one on Myers Way in southeast West Seattle. Here’s the slide deck just added to the meeting agenda:

(If you can’t read it via the embedded document, here’s a direct link to it on the city website.) Two notes of local interest – one, it says the city is still talking with potential operators of the Myers Way encampment, which suggests that Camp Second Chance, which has been there without authorization since July, might not be the operator after all. Second, it mentions showers open for use at Delridge Community Center “since December 1st”; our understanding is that they’ve been available longer than that. Tomorrow’s meeting, by the way, as with most Council meetings, has a public-comment period, and will be live on Seattle Channel (cable 21, seattlechannel.org).

COMMUNITY CONCERNS: Following up on last week’s meeting at Greenbridge about news of the authorized encampment (WSB coverage here), Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council chair Amanda Kay Helmick has sent Scarola this letter voicing community concerns. We were copied and are publishing it in its entirety below: Read More

TUESDAY: Renters’ advocacy on Admiral Neighborhood Association agenda

Amplifying the voices of Seattle renters is the spotlight issue on the Admiral Neighborhood Association agenda this Tuesday (7 pm, December 13th). Here’s the announcement from ANA president Larry Wymer:

Zachary DeWolf – a communications, policy, and community-development professional – is both director of communications and education with Pride Foundation, and president of the Capitol Hill Community Council. Following Mayor Murray’s cutting of formal ties with the neighborhood district-council system, contending that they don’t adequately reflect the full diversity of their neighborhoods, Mr. DeWolf (along with Joel Sisolak, who launched the Capitol Hill Renter Initiative and hosted the Capitol Hill Renter Summit) will describe his and Joel’s efforts to lead a citywide effort to initiate a renters’ commission that would help assure that city policymakers considers the effects on renters who typically are younger, less wealthy, less white, and less car-dependent than their home-owning counterparts.

Ultimately, this is about including voices that are all-too-often left out of the critical conversations that are shaping the future of our city.

We will also complete Nominations for Admiral Neighborhood Association officers for 2017, with Elections to follow (hopefully) at this meeting, or a meeting in the near future.

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.

AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: 2-location city ‘open house’ at Youngstown & Shelby’s, to talk HALA rezoning, parking policy, parks’ future, Fauntleroy Boulevard, more

5:59 PM: We have crews at both locations of the city “open house” we’ve been talking about for weeks (our final “guide” to it is here) – first crew at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) [photo below], second crew at Shelby’s Ice Creamery and Bistro (4752 California SW).

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Here’s what you can expect:

-Most of the easels with information and space for feedback are devoted to the HALA rezoning – upzoning “urban villages, and commercial/multifamily property everywhere, to give developers/builders added capacity in exchange for requiring them to build part of their projects as “affordable housing” or pay a certain percentage into a city fund for it to be built somewhere else.

-You’ll also find the maps – two sets showing current zoning (the multicolor maps) and proposed upzoning (these maps are mostly green) on tables.

-At the SDOT/SDCI station, there’s an easel with information about the potential parking-policy changes, and lots of informational sheets about other projects/initiatives – Fauntleroy Boulevard (as previewed), Residential Parking Zone policy changes, West Seattle Greenway (the next “greenway” in our area, with the route yet to be finalized), RapidRide expansion (Delridge, in a few years). Also you can learn about the Department of Construction and Inspections and how you might interact with it even if you’re not a builder (they handle noise complaints, for example).

Lots of conversation under way here in the Youngstown Theater. And a big table with snacks. This is on at both locations until 7:30 pm.

6:04 PM: First report from our crew at Shelby’s – it’s swamped.

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(It was originally the only location for this event, though community advocates had warned the city that more room would be needed.) At both locations, you can write your feedback on the HALA rezoning proposals (which also is being accepted via e-mail at halainfo@seattle.gov and the special site hala.consider.it).

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At Youngstown, we’ve seen some early feedback too.

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More to come. Again, the city promised that what’s available to ask about and comment on is identical at both locations.

6:25 PM: Just talked to Andra Kranzler from Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office, who is at Youngstown to see how it’s going. Steady stream here, and a continued crowd at Shelby’s in The Junction:

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6:54 PM: The buzz of conversation goes on here at Youngstown – and more feedback has appeared on easels:

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We listened in as some attendees talked about the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village map. Some wondered how the future potential annexation of White Center might play into decisions made now.

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While SDOT had said the Fauntleroy Boulevard project – recently “re-initiated” – would be featured, we found only an info-sheet. No model, map, or other detailed display.

At Shelby’s, the rezoning maps were on display in booths – like the one where we found Eric Iwamoto, co-chair of the Southwest District Council (which had to cancel its meeting, when the city decided to schedule this on the same night):

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We’re headed back over there to see how this wraps up.

7:34 PM: We’ve asked city reps for an attendance count here at Shelby’s – where in the early going it was jampacked, and dozens are still here now.

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City reps say they won’t be able to put the count together until tomorrow. Meantime, though the official end time has passed, conversations and comments continue:

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7:45 PM: We’re in the Parks/Greenways room at Shelby’s. One line item notes that a 34th SW greenway will connect people to Walt Hundley Playfield in 2017, with “bike ramps/bike racks (to) conect to existing paths and High Point Community Center.” Looks like this is close to a wrap, so we’re leaving and will be following up tomorrow.

Rezoning, parking, streetlights @ Junction Neighborhood Organization

December 7, 2016 3:12 pm
|    Comments Off on Rezoning, parking, streetlights @ Junction Neighborhood Organization
 |   Development | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Meeting last night at the Sisson Building/Senior Center, the Junction Neighborhood Organization also was looking ahead to tonight’s city-organized “open house” about topics from housing to roads to parks to parking – though it had two other major topics.

First:

REZONING ACTION PLAN: On the eve of the city’s big “open house,” JuNO director René Commons talked about community concerns, especially about how poorly the city had been communicating about the rezoning that is part of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability component. The area is just now feeling the effects of changes in the late ’90s, she noted, with major projects. So input means more now than ever.

“This is a draft proposal… and activism matters,” said Commons. “It’s about not being angry, but about being passionate – to make change, good change.”

One attendee brought up that “this is not the only upzone we’ll be dealing with – Sound Transit 3 will put two elevated stations in our area, and these stations are big, and each one comes with a ‘station overlay,’ to ensure that there’s adequate density around the stations, to make them more viable… (but) people working on HALA are not necessarily talking to the people working on ST3.” For one, he said, the area should have options – “at least two materially different proposals” – for how to accommodate growth, not just the “blanket approach that every urban village should be treated the same way.”

Another attendee talked about finally hearing about the proposed upzoning in late October from coverage on WSB – “oh, that’s my street!” She tried to find out if she had missed some outreach that would have helped her understand; no, she hadn’t. Even the city’s title “Mandatory Housing Affordability” was not conducive to helping people understand about rezoning – “it sounded like somebody’s finally doing something about the rising rents, and that’s not it at all.”

So what kind of feedback should JuNO offer, tonight and beyond? Read More

Rezoning, parks, roads, parking, more at city’s 2-location Wednesday ‘open house’ in West Seattle

We’ve been talking about this for weeks – and now it’s one day away. Here are the final toplines for tomorrow night’s big city open house – offering info and taking comments on several major initiatives.

WHEN
5:30-7:30 pm Wednesday, December 7th

WHERE
Two locations that the city tells us will BOTH have the same departments, initiatives, programs represented, so you can choose either one:

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW in North Delridge)
Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery (4752 California SW in The Junction)

FORMAT
Drop in when you can, for two minutes or two hours. No presentations – you’ll find maps, screens, easels, city employees

WHAT TOPICS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO ASK ABOUT/COMMENT ON
*The marquee project – the draft rezoning proposals for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability component (here’s our coverage of last week’s community-organized workshop) ADDED: Here are “simplified” versions of the rezoning maps for this area, showing only what’s being proposed

Also, as reported here previously (the links go either to recent WSB stories or city webpages):

*The “re-initiated” Fauntleroy Boulevard project
*City parking policy
*Seattle Parks Development Plan, Gap Analysis (is there enough park space near your home?), acquisition strategy
*Greenways, including the future West Seattle Greenway with planning tied to 35th Avenue SW Phase II
*RapidRideDelridge is scheduled to get the next one in West Seattle

This is as close to an all-inclusive list as we’ve been able to get, but there could be more, so we highly encourage you to go or at least send a representative of your neighborhood to share comments and report back. Many of these programs also have ways to comment online but nothing says you care like showing up in person.

ALSO AT WEDNESDAY’S OPEN HOUSE: City parking policy. Plus, another venue change

As we’ve been discussing, the multi-department city “open house” Wednesday night in West Seattle is offering discussion and comment opportunities on more than the biggest topic, the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda rezoning. (And we have just learned a NEW venue is being added – more on that at the end of this story.)

One of those topics is city parking policy.

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We photographed that easel on Saturday at the Bitter Lake Community Center, during the north-end version of the same type of “open house” that’s set to happen here Wednesday night. We went to get an idea of how information will be presented and how comments will be taken. The parking-policy info was on a lone board set up by the Department of Construction and Inspections and is related to this page on the department’s website. It’s been broadened to “residential transportation options,” including this:

We are working with SDOT staff to consider improvements for managing on-street parking. Our effort also includes clarifying the rules that relate to parking and frequent transit service availability in Urban Centers and Urban Villages. …

…Our recommendations will:

Provide integrated and accessible transportation choices that are readily available for Seattle’s growing population – such as ORCA passes, car and bike sharing and shared parking.

Support Comprehensive Plan goals to encourage growth in Urban Centers.

Retain and enhance Seattle neighborhoods’ walkable and livable urban qualities, which are essential and preferable to automobile‐oriented public places and buildings.

Prioritize housing affordability to preserve and enhance the ability of persons of all economic means to be able to live in Seattle. Parking is a significant cost factor for developers.

Help ensure that racial and socio‐economic equity is a key consideration in setting parking policies.

Manage on‐ and off‐street parking most efficiently.

Promote designs for better quality, more secure, and more comfortable bicycle storage facilities.

Achieve local and regional environmental objectives through sound choices to achieve air quality, climate change, and natural environmental protection goals.

It’s been four years now since a city “director’s rule” lessened the requirements for offstreet parking in new apartment projects, and the number of buildings without it has continued to rise citywide, according to a Seattle Times story published this weekend. So if this topic interests you, be ready to offer feedback on Wednesday.

THIRD VENUE: Just as we prepared to publish this, we got word from the city that they are adding a third concurrent venue on Wednesday night – Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. To recap, the city originally set the open house for an 80-capacity space at Shelby’s in The Junction (4752 California SW), despite community advocates warning the city that a bigger venue would be needed. Last week, the city added Uptown Espresso across the street from Shelby’s. And today, comes news they are also adding Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW). We’re working to clarify whether all the same initiatives will be showcased at each of these venues during the drop-in “open house” time slot, 5:30-7:30 pm on Wednesday, December 7th – more later! (11:38 AM UPDATE: Now there’s word that Uptown is scratched, and Shelby’s and Youngstown are the official venues.)

P.S. If you missed our earlier reports on other topics that will be included – the best list we have so far is here (with further details on the Fauntleroy Boulevard component here).

HALA REZONING: 2 neighborhood groups to discuss before city’s Wednesday open house

Wednesday, proposed rezoning for the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda is the biggest (but not only) topic at the multi-department city “open house” in The Junction. Before then, two West Seattle neighborhood groups are talking about it, and you’re invited:

MONDAY – WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS: 6:15 pm tomorrow (Monday, December 5th), the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets at Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson), and the central item on the agenda is the draft rezoning map for the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village.

(Direct link to draft Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village rezoning map)

Notes co-chair Amanda Kay Helmick, “We will answer questions as best we can, but all feedback should be directed to the City.” (Those three ways are via hala.consider.it, e-mailing halainfo@seattle.gov, or Wednesday’s “open house,” 5:30-7:30 pm at Shelby’s and Uptown Espresso in The Junction, on opposite sides of the California/Edmunds intersection.)

TUESDAY- JUNCTION NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATION: The draft rezoning map for the West Seattle Junction Hub Urban Village also expands its boundaries.

(Direct link to draft West Seattle Junction rezoning map)

JuNO organized a much-attended presentation/discussion back on November 15th (WSB coverage here) and now plans to discuss the map as well as an action plan for communicating concerns during a 6:30 pm meeting Tuesday (December 6th) at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). The agenda also includes updates on city lighting in the Junction, and discussion of a Residential Parking Zone application.

SIDE NOTE: Speaking of parking, our next planned story tonight includes the city’s ongoing review of parking policies and how you’ll be asked to comment on that topic, too, at the big Wednesday open house.

SATURDAY: Admiral Neighborhood Adopt-a-Street cleanup

Grab your umbrella, or pull up your rain hood, if needed and join in the last Admiral Neighborhood Association Adopt-a-Street Cleanup of the year tomorrow. ANA president Larry Wymer sends word that they’ll be out Saturday morning – meet at 9 am at Metropolitan Market (41st/42nd/Admiral; WSB sponsor) for treats and to get your (provided) tools/bags, then head on out. Afterward, you get a free sack lunch!

P.S. ANA’s next meeting is set for 7 pm Tuesday, December 13th, at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd SW/SW Lander). All welcome.

West Seattle weekend scene: South Delridge Neighborhood Group’s gathering

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ORIGINAL REPORT, SUNDAY NIGHT: Thanks to Dina Lydia Johnson for the photo from today’s meeting of the relatively new South Delridge Neighborhood Group. We mentioned the SDNG twice this week – once in this announcement of the meeting, and again as the group was officially added to the voting membership of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. Like most neighborhood groups, they’re on hiatus in December, so your next chance to check them out will be the third Sunday in January – 10 am January 15th, at 3.14 Bakery (9602 16th SW)southdelridge@gmail.com is where to e-mail if you’re looking for info sooner.

MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: SDNG co-chair Marianne McCord says the group decided on a change for January – they will join with Highland Park Action Committee to co-host a meeting on HPAC’s regular meeting date, time, and place, which is 7 pm, fourth Wednesday, at Highland Park Improvement Club, and after that, “SDCG will resume meeting on the 3rd Sundays at 3.14 Bakery at 10 am in February” – 9602 16th SW.

Get connected with South Seattle College’s future: Join this committee

November 20, 2016 9:52 am
|    Comments Off on Get connected with South Seattle College’s future: Join this committee
 |   Neighborhoods | Puget Ridge | West Seattle news

Here’s a way to get involved with the future of West Seattle’s own institution of higher learning. The announcement is from the city:

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is seeking interested community members from surrounding neighborhoods to participate on the South Seattle College Standing Advisory Committee. This committee provides feedback on projects planned and under development by the college to ensure it complies with its Master Plan. The Master Plan describes zoning rules, long-range planning of the property, and transportation planning.

Sound interesting? Full details are in this announcement. Background on the committee’s work last decade is here.

Delridge Neighborhoods District Council expands, even as city ties are severed

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By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Even as the City Council gets closer to finalizing the city budget containing the resolution formalizing the mayor’s slashing of ties with neighborhood district councils, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council is charging forward, and even growing.

Here’s what happened at its meeting last night:

DISTRICT COUNCIL’S FUTURE: Chair Mat McBride says that so far, discussions have focused on having the group work more as a cooperative as it goes forward, centered on how the groups at the table can “assist each other” in meeting their goals for the Delridge community. Certainly the group might still seek the occasional city presentation, but those likely won’t be as common, as the focus will remain more intra-Delridge.

One member asked what engagement with the city will look like from now on. “What do you think it should look like?” asked Pete Spalding. “I think it’s up to us now.”

Other topics of discussion included where to meet – an issue now that the city will no longer be providing the ~$500 annual funding that covered costs of renting meeting venues. It was decided that at least for the first quarter of next year, the group will meet at Highland Park Improvement Club. The meetings will still be 7 pm on third Wednesdays. As per longstanding tradition, DNDC won’t meet in December, so its next meeting will be January 18th.

What about the area covered by the council? asked one member – should it be smaller? larger? Could be bigger, McBride acknowledged. Some wondered if South Park might be a good addition. In the meantime, the list of member groups/organizations/institutions grew by one last night: Read More

South Delridge Community Group: You’re invited!

November 16, 2016 7:47 pm
|    Comments Off on South Delridge Community Group: You’re invited!
 |   Delridge | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

Live/work in the South Delridge area? The new South Delridge Community Group welcomes your participation. From co-chair Marianne McCord:

The South Delridge Community Group consists of concerned, motivated neighbors who have come together to create a vibrant community and provide a voice for the neighborhood within the city of Seattle. It will provide leadership in addressing community needs and communicate with governmental agencies in an effort to represent our interests. The South Delridge Community Group encourages neighbors to know one another and to participate within our community.

We meet the third Sunday of every month (except December and August) at 10 am. Right now, we are meeting at 3.14 Bakery, 9602 16th SW, just south of Roxbury. We hope to nail down a more-permanent space in the near future. We also sponsor monthly clean-up efforts within our neighborhood on the second Saturday of every month (except December) at 10 am. We have already logged in over 250 volunteer hours! We are very proud of our active participation and look forward to expanding our volunteer activities. Our group’s email address is: southdelridge@gmail.com.

If you haven’t already checked the calendar – this means the SDCG’s next meeting is THIS Sunday (November 20th), 10 am.

P.S. As we publish this, we’re covering the monthly meeting of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, which has just added the South Delridge Community Group as an official member organization. More on the DNDC meeting in a separate report later.

TOMORROW: Live/work in Westwood, Roxhill, Arbor Heights? Check out what’s your community council is up to

November 6, 2016 1:12 pm
|    Comments Off on TOMORROW: Live/work in Westwood, Roxhill, Arbor Heights? Check out what’s your community council is up to
 |   Arbor Heights | Neighborhoods | West Seattle news | Westwood

Tomorrow (Monday) night, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council meets, and you’re invited. We have added the full agenda to the meeting’s listing on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar; major items include another update on the action plan resulting from July’s Find It, Fix It Walk, and a look ahead to Green Seattle Day volunteering on November 12th. The meeting starts at 6:15 pm, upstairs at Southwest Library (35th SW/SW Henderson).

Homelessness panel, roundabout regret @ Highland Park Action Committee

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Highland Park Action Committee and guests listened on Wednesday night to three women with unique perspectives on how to help people experiencing homelessness: Two advocates who work with them, and one woman who lost her home when she lost her job.

Also discussed: The recent decision not to provide Neighborhood Street Fund money to the roundabout that is seen as a solution to the Highland Park Way/Holden traffic trouble.

First, the panel, which you also can watch/listen to via our unedited video above:

HPAC chair Gunner Scott moderated the discussion, saying he had experienced homelessness in his youth and is still somewhat shocked to realize he is now, in his 40s, a homeowner. He asked for understanding and civility.

The panelists: Read More

Festival future, Lowman Beach, park expansion, more @ Morgan Community Association

The most-important agenda at the quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting this past Wednesday was the briefing on the then-impending release of the draft rezoning maps for Morgan Junction and West Seattle’s three other “urban villages.” We covered that part of the meeting in this report on Thursday, when the four maps went public for Morgan, Admiral, Westwood-Highland Park, and The Junction. So today, we’re publishing the rest of the toplines from the MoCA meeting, which touched on many other topics, with updates that might interest you even if you don’t live/work in Morgan:

LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL, WITH A SURVEY FOR YOU

Read More

@ Fauntleroy Community Association: ‘Quick’ response to oppose City Council park-camping proposal; first word of WSF meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Fauntleroy Community Association board vows “quick” action to let the City Council know it’s against proposed legislation that could change the rules about camping in city parks (the subject of this much-commented-on WSB report last Friday). That was one of the major topics on its agenda last night:

CAMPING IN PARKS? FCA’s jurisdiction includes Lincoln Park, and that made the proposed legislation a major topic at tonight’s meeting. Several members, said president Mike Dey, had asked whether FCA would consider “getting involved” as an organization, and if so, what would the response be, and that’s how it ended up on the agenda.

One attendee said she had never come to a neighborhood meeting before, until she saw this was on the agenda. “This is something that I’m passionate about, I cannot have my kids’ safety” (jeopardized). She said that her job brings her into contact with families experiencing homelessness, but a park is not the appropriate place for anyone to live.

All it does is degrade neighborhoods AND people, said one FCA board member. It’s going to perpetuate the problem.

“It’s not a solution, it’s a nightmare,” said another one.

“What if we did a survey, and put data” behind the response? suggested another member. Unfortunately, time’s running out, the point was made.

Is this an issue on which to burn political capital? was one question. Public opinion seems overwhelmingly against it. But is the council listening? Most didn’t think so: “I’m scared to death they’re going to approve it.”

After a further short round of discussion, the FCA board voted unanimously to draft and send a letter expressing opposition to the ordinance. “We will respond, and will respond quickly” was the promise.

The discussion happened at mid-meeting, but even before the meeting began, it was the major topic of discussion. Referring to the incident earlier in the day in which Seattle Police shot and killed one of two people in a reported knife fight near the clearing of “The Jungle” on Beacon Hill, one person said, “Hoping this doesn’t happen at Lincoln Park.”

Another expressed interest in acquiring a tent “because I am ready to go camp outside the mayor’s office.”

The agenda is now up for the 9:30 am Friday meeting at which the City Council’s Human Services and Public Health Committee is scheduled to consider the proposal, but as of this writing (11 am Wednesday) the updated version of the legislation is not yet available online. (Added 12:28 pm: There are multiple reports that the committee will not VOTE on Friday. But the meeting is still scheduled.)

Next hottest topic:

FERRY UPDATES: This briefing by Gary Dawson, FCA’s point person on Washington State Ferries-related issues, brought first word that WSF is planning public meetings to talk about the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route’s issues. Read More

@ Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council: Streets, school, safety

October 11, 2016 10:44 pm
|    Comments Off on @ Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council: Streets, school, safety
 |   Neighborhoods | Pigeon Point | West Seattle news

Traffic and crime/safety issues are in our toplines from last night’s Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting:

TRAFFIC: SDOT‘s Jim Curtin was the guest, to talk about and listen to a variety of neighborhood issues. Among them: Overgrowth on 21st and 22nd SW that makes it difficult for drivers to see when making a left turn. The blackberries are close enough to scratch your car sometimes. One attendee said part of the overgrowth is on private property, in which case, they were told, the Department of Construction and Inspections would have to be involved. Curtin talked about some work ahead on Delridge that should be done soon if the weather cooperates, the painting of a “fog line”/”edge line” to define the travel lanes north of Orchard, as first described in this WSB report from last January.

(WSB photo from January, looking north on Delridge near Myrtle – existing ‘fog line’ is toward the left)

Lanes that in some places are up to 20 feet wide will be restriped to 11 feet.

Bus and dropoff traffic at Pathfinder K-8 was a topic too. Principal David Dockendorf said his school is starting new safety patrols to help with crossing and traffic, especially where the buses load and unload. One attendee said buses were using a route that they supposedly weren’t allowed to; they were directed to contact Seattle Public Schools‘ transportation department.

Any way to have Pigeon Point solid-waste pickup scheduled to happen outside school-dropoff hours, to reduce traffic conflicts? asked one person. Curtin said he would look into that.

CRIME/SAFETY: From the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct, commander Capt. Pierre Davis, Operations Lt. Ron Smith, and researcher Jennifer Burbridge were all in attendance. She circulated the newest micro-policing plan for Pigeon Point and announced the upcoming citywide Public Safety Survey (which will be available online starting Saturday). Responses will be crucial, said Capt. Davis, to augment planning for neighborhoods’ safety needs, besides what 911-call data reveals. He also urged people to call 911 when something’s happening, and said they still believe crime is under-reported. And he announced that five new officers have just been assigned to the precinct.

Attendees brought up concerns about camping in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Lt. Smith said Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke continues to be the point person for homelessness-related issues (he’s reachable at todd.wiebke@seattle.gov).

One more note: The SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster) will again be a dropoff spot for Drug Takeback Day, 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, October 22nd.

ON PIGEON POINT? Invitation for Monday night

October 9, 2016 10:39 am
|    Comments Off on ON PIGEON POINT? Invitation for Monday night
 |   Neighborhoods | Pigeon Point | West Seattle news

Just in case anyone on Pigeon Point hasn’t already heard … your neighborhood council meets tomorrow (Monday) night – 7 pm in the library at Pathfinder K-8 – and is hoping you’ll be there. Pete Spalding shared the agenda overview, featuring guests you’ll probably have questions for:

We will begin with the principal of Pathfinder giving us a beginning of the school year update and an opportunity for neighbors to ask questions.

Then we will be joined by Jim Curtin from SDOT. Jim will give us an update on local transportation projects that will impact us in the next few months. Neighbors will have a chance to ask Jim questions about neighborhood transportation issues.

And then we will have Pierre Davis and Jennifer Burbridge with SPD join us to give us an update on our neighborhood policing plan.

Pathfinder is at 1901 SW Genesee.

Neighborhood District Councils’ future: City Council committee briefing Wednesday

Two months after Mayor Murray announced his plan to end city support for the 13 Neighborhood District Councils in Seattle and invent a new “engagement” strategy, a City Council committee will get a related briefing tomorrow.

This news comes tonight from the office of City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. She had requested the briefing, and, her office says, they just discovered it at the end of tomorrow’s seven-pages-long agenda for the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, and Finance Committee, of which she is vice chair. (The meeting is set to start at 9:30 am; this item is expected around 11:30 am.)

The briefing, to be led by Department of Neighborhoods director Kathy Nyland, is specifically about her department’s response to the council’s request last year that the DoN review how the new City Council districts would interact with the longstanding 13 neighborhood districts. The mayor didn’t wait for the report to come out in mid-July (WSB coverage here) before making his surprise announcement about ending support for the Neighborhood District Councils.

His announcement set a September 26th deadline – less than a week away – to “develop a proposed City Council resolution with mayoral concurrence that memorializes the community outreach and engagement principles outlined in” (the mayor’s announcement), and that would officially cut off city support ($500/year for each all-volunteer district council’s expenses, plus some city staff time). The agenda for the committee meeting doesn’t include any such document, so we don’t know its status.

Later tomorrow, by the way, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council – whose members are from community councils and other organizations in eastern West Seattle – will have its monthly meeting (7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW), and the district councils’ future was already on the agenda, as previewed here. Along with Councilmember Herbold, Councilmembers Tim Burgess – who chairs the committee that’s hosting tomorrow’s briefing – Lorena González, and Mike O’Brien are likely to be there. You’re invited, too.

P.S. The district council for western West Seattle, Southwest DC, already had its September meeting (WSB coverage here), and voted to continue on as an organization even if city support is formally severed.

@ Admiral Neighborhood Association: SDOT’s pre-restriping Q&A; vehicle-noise researcher; concert-series help, anyone?

From last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting:

img_6385

SDOT’S ADMIRAL WAY PROJECT UPDATE: SDOT’s Dawn Schellenberg and Sam Woods returned with an update, less than two weeks before the restriping of Admiral Way is set to start. Schellenberg reiterated the goals – to lower speeds, reduce collisions, make it “comfortable” for people to ride bicycles – and that the project has been a year and a half in the making. She recapped the final version of the plan, announced via e-mail in July, including where the center turn lane will be kept and where it will not. Another mailer is going out soon, she said, before pausing for Q & A.

“Why did the city spend money repainting parts of that corridor” before the current striping is set to be changed? asked ANA’s Mark Jacobs. “That seems like such a waste of money – literally within the past month they’ve been out repainting.”

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