For years, the city has been working on a plan to require earthquake-safety retrofits for unreinforced masonry (brick) buildings – the type that sustained the most damage during major earthquakes in 1949, 1965, and 2001. With the proposal getting closer to Seattle City Council consideration, and a presentation is planned in West Seattle at this Wednesday’s meeting of the Southwest District Council. According to documents on the city website, about 1,000 buildings in the city would be affected; they are primarily commercial and housing buildings, usually multiple stories, built with red bricks. According to a preliminary city survey, more than 50 of these buildings are believed to be in West Seattle; reviewing that list, we note that some are on development sites – including the California/Alaska corner building that’s just been demolished. The public is always welcome at Southwest District Council meetings; this one will be at 6:30 pm Wednesday (November 6), downstairs at Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The fall meeting season – after a summer break for many neighborhood/district councils – is off and running, with the Southwest District Council just wrapping up its September meeting, tackling topics from trees to Junction parking/development.
Co-chair Susan Ruppert, from the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council, led the meeting at Southwest Teen Life Center. Other organizations represented were the Admiral Neighborhood Association, Fairmount Community Association, Fauntleroy Community Association, Junction Neighborhood Organization, Morgan Community Association, the Senior Center of West Seattle, and the West Seattle Junction Association.
What you should know about what was discussed – ahead:
West Seattle microhousing: 3050 SW Avalon Way adds three stories; DPD director @ Southwest District CouncilJune 6, 2013 at 11:37 am | In Development, Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | 40 Comments
While “microhousing” – residential buildings with up to 8 individually rentable sleeping units sharing each kitchen – is old news for some neighborhoods in Seattle, it’s still somewhat new here in West Seattle, with several projects in the works but none yet completed. Today, two bits of news – first, a proposed microhousing building has revised its plan, triggering an official notice from the city today; second, we have toplines from Department of Planning and Development director Diane Sugimura‘s appearance at the Southwest District Council meeting last night.
First, the revised project at 3050 SW Avalon Way, currently the overgrown lot shown above: The revision notice says it is now proposed as a seven-story, 102-bedroom, no-parking building. It was proposed for four stories when we last mentioned it in March. The revision triggers a new comment period, through June 19th; here’s the form you can use to comment.
Ahead, what DPD director Sugimura told the district council last night – and the meeting attendee whose group is opposed to more regulation:
Two local meetings next week feature two hot topics:
MICROHOUSING @ SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: After stirring concern in other parts of the city, “microhousing” started turning up here (browse WSB development coverage), and now the City Council is considering setting new rules for it. Here’s the recent memo from Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Nick Licata and Council President Sally Clark to Department of Planning and Development director Diane Sugimura, who is scheduled to discuss microhousing at the Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting next Wednesday (June 5th). Also on the agenda: A Seattle Public Schools manager with updates on the school construction projects in the works here (which include the Fairmount Park addition and the new Arbor Heights and Genesee Hill schools). The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Wednesday, Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool (2801 SW Thistle).
METRO @ WWRHAH COUNCIL – AGENDA/GUESTS UPDATE: We’ve already mentioned that the new Westwood Roxhill Arbor Heights Community Council will focus its entire meeting on Metro next Tuesday (June 4th), and you’re invited even if you’re not within WWRHAH boundaries – there’ll be lots of time for community questions. WWRHAH chair Amanda Helmick has shared the agenda/guest list – read on:
Though this morning’s breaking news pre-empted our usual roundup of highlights from the calendar, we do want to call attention to one meeting tonight: The Southwest District Council is scheduled for a presentation by, and Q/A with, the developers of 4755 Fauntleroy, the 40th/Alaska/Fauntleroy/Edmunds megaproject with 370 apartments, a Whole Foods Market, and TBA drugstore. (Their planned appearance last month was postponed.) The agenda also includes a briefing on Seattle Parks‘ Legacy Plan (see the draft here) – which despite its name is about the future, not the past (as explained here). SW District Council meets at 6:30 pm in the lower-level meeting rooms at SW Teen Life Center/Pool (2801 SW Thistle).
As previewed here, you had a chance to ask questions directly of the man who runs the Seattle Department of Transportation if you had gone to the Southwest District Council meeting this past Wednesday night. A few people took advantage of the opportunity to bring up neighborhood problems as well as larger issues. We recorded the wide-ranging 47 minutes of Q/A on video. If you can’t spare 47 minutes to listen – here are direct links to some of the topics (note – if the links don’t go to the spots they should, drag the playback bar on the YouTube window of the full clip above to the minutes/seconds spot mentioned):
14:00 – The bus bulbs at California/Fauntleroy
16:00 – Bus lanes on SW Alaska
21:31 – With increased development in The Junction, how involved is SDOT? “There are days we can’t go to The Junction because there’s no place to park.” Density is based on the city’s Comprehensive Plan, Hahn noted. He cited South Lake Union rezoning. “With 1,000 more apartments going up in The Junction, does SDOT say, we need (something) to help with traffic … ?” Hahn observed that the same question came up at the Sustainable West Seattle Transportation Forum last year (here’s our coverage, with video), and mentioned the alley-vacation process (frequently covered here) requiring “public benefit” from the developer. He mentioned that one developer downtown wound up buying another streetcar for the city. So, he was asked, could developers buy another bus, or ?
27:30 – Who makes the decisions to add bus bulbs, reduce lanes, etc.? asked another attendee, and how can the “silent majority” have their feelings known? “It’s not like individuals are just making up stuff,” Hahn said, citing again the city’s Comprehensive Plan, ultimately saying it’s a reflection of the City Council. He also says they often hear from people with a specific interest, more bike facilities, for example, so whatever your opinion is, come to meetings and have it heard.
31:00: SW Alaska on the RapidRide route through The Triangle – including parking and traffic concerns as well as unfulfilled promises about making that stretch a “pedestrian corridor,” with street trees. Ongoing parking issues exist, with parking commitments made to businesses between 36th and 38th in jeopardy again. Hahn says he could come out to walk the area and see the issues.
39:00 – Density in The Junction is already 104 percent of what was projected, but the capacity of the street has been reduced.
At 41:50, Vlad Oustimovitch from the Fauntleroy Community Association summarized much of what had been said to Hahn in the preceding half-hour-plus: “It’s almost like somebody deliberately designed something to not work.”
SDOT will be back in West Seattle this week – at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting tomorrow (Monday) night (6:30 pm at the Delridge Library), for example, a rep will discuss the new parking restrictions on SW Genesee to make more room for buses (here’s our February story on those changes).
Got questions about potholes? Parking? Paving? Sidewalks or lack of them? Crosswalks? Bus bulbs? The man who’s in charge of the Seattle Department of Transportation – and therefore in charge of the streets, sidewalks, city-owned bridges (both West Seattle bridges over the Duwamish included) – will be in West Seattle for Q & A this Wednesday. SDOT director Peter Hahn is guest speaker at the Southwest District Council‘s monthly meeting at 6:30 pm Wednesday (March 6), Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle, adjacent to SW Pool). The public’s welcome, so if you have a question, concern, idea, kudo, be there and speak up.
Repave California? Stoplight at 47th/Admiral? Community-proposed projects presented to Southwest District CouncilJanuary 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm | In Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | Comments Off
(Story updated Thursday afternoon with documents for each road-project proposal)
(California Avenue section in need of repaving, per city-grant application)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
A new year brought new leadership for the Southwest District Council, as it met at a new time (earlier – 6:30 pm) in a new location (Southwest Teen Life Center).
New co-chairs Karl de Jong from the Admiral Neighborhood Association and Susan Ruppert from the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council presided over the biggest turnouts in a while, with more than 20 people on hand, including visitors making presentations about road projects proposed for city grant money – including repaving a stretch of California SW.
Read on for details of the proposals, which took up most of the meeting.
Starting with its January meeting – coming up next Wednesday (January 2) – the Southwest District Council is changing meeting times and locations. The council will continue meeting on first Wednesdays – but it’ll be at 6:30 pm, earlier than before, and the new location is the Southwest Teen Life Center/Pool building (2801 SW Thistle), Room 2. The agenda for next Wednesday includes presentations by West Seattleites applying for Neighborhood Street Fund grants – three proposals are from Morgan Junction, one from Admiral, and one from Arbor Heights. SWDC meetings are always open to the public; council members represent community councils and other organizations from around what the city has designated as the “Southwest District” – mostly western West Seattle (here’s the citywide map of districts). See next Wednesday’s full agenda here (PDF).
Can West Seattle’s past save its future? Southwest District Council continues preservation conversationOctober 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm | In Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | 10 Comments
(Image by Christopher Boffoli, meshing present and past along California SW north of SW Alaska in The Junction – click for larger view)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
As we continue to cover big new development projects like 4755 Fauntleroy Way (in-depth coverage here), some wonder if there’s still time to preserve some of what Southwest District Council leaders call West Seattle’s “Main Street character.”
Grappling with the topic over the past few months, a core group of the council’s members has been exploring whether historic-preservation options exist to serve that goal. Wednesday night’s monthly SWDC meeting continued the conversation, with special guest Karen Gordon, the City of Seattle’s Historic Preservation Officer.
Details on the discussion, what might happen next, and other toplines from the meeting – ahead:
How best to protect West Seattle’s character? Southwest District Council mulls historic-preservation possibilitiesSeptember 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm | In Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | 9 Comments
Could a historic district help keep the latest wave of intensive development from completely changing the face of the heart of West Seattle?
That was a big topic last night for the Southwest District Council, with five groups (West Seattle Junction Association, Alki Community Council, Morgan Community Association, Admiral Neighborhood Association, Fauntleroy Community Association) sending representatives to the group’s first post-summer meeting at South Seattle Community College.
Only one guest this time – Columbia City resident, property owner, and revitalization activist Rob Mohn, invited to talk with the SWDC about historic preservation and neighborhood revitalization. As SWDC co-chair Susan Melrose from the WSJA explained, community leaders are wondering what they can do to “preserve the charm” of the neighborhood even as redevelopment revs into higher gear.
Mohn says the Columbia City Landmark District – one of seven in the city – far predated him, founded in the late ’70s. He says that district has design-review authority for projects in the area it covers, instead of a city-convened volunteer Design Review Board like the Southwest DRB that has jurisdiction here. He said the district originally was founded with a lot of guidelines about renovations, “to preserve the stock of buildings during a time when (there wasn’t much development).” Now, there is development interest, he pointed out. The district is seen as a plus, he believes, because of the area’s “sense of place.” And because it’s helped preserve older building stock, rents are lower and a “funkier” mix of small businesses remains, he said. New building proposals – like a 65-foot, 193-unit apartment building over a supermarket that’s on the drawing board – are reviewed for compatibility. But even the existing buildings, he said, are catalogued as either contributing to the district or not contributing to it, with different standards and rules for the buildings in the latter category.
But – “I’m afraid (that) for you guys, the horse is already out of the barn,” he said, though council members pointed out that none of the “good” buildings are slated for redevelopment – yet.
Fauntleroy’s Vlad Oustimovitch brought up Ballard, which also has preserved its historic buildings via a historic district.
This discussion continued an exploration that began at SWDC meetings earlier this year, looking at possibilities for preservation – landmark status for individual buildings, or perhaps a district that would focus on West Seattle’s historic trolley network spanning all three junctions (Admiral, Alaska, Morgan). Melrose and Morgan’s Chas Redmond plan to walk the area to map its features.
“That’s what it’s ultimately about – people in the community getting organized, and (then) getting support from the larger community,” said Oustimovitch.
As he put it, it would be a “long and winding road” to develop a historic district – while suggesting there are two points to focus on first: Developing the narrative, and finding funding. The council itself has few resources – its members are volunteers representing local organizations. So the discussions will continue, while Redmond and Melrose do some initial work to explore possibilities. She said, “It’s an opportunity to galvanize the community and get people to work together.” The council also plans to invite Southwest Seattle Historical Society leadership to a conversation to help put all this in the area’s historical context. (“The trolley (network’s history) may or may not be the vehicle,” cautioned Oustimovitch.) The council hopes to reach beyond its mostly-western-West-Seattle borders for support, too.
The meeting started with notes from the neighborhoods that were represented:
*Admiral – Jim Cavin talked about the successful 4th of July Kids’ Parade (WSB coverage here) and the just-completed six-concert ANA-presented Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series.
*Alki – ACC president Tony Fragada said he will be attending tonight’s Ballard public meeting about the environmental assessment for the proposed Greener Skies package of flight-path changes and more (which he brought up during Mayor McGinn’s Town Hall in West Seattle last week, as reported here).
*Fauntleroy – Board member Oustimovitch mentioned the RapidRide station construction and the Barton Pump Station upgrade project next to the ferry dock, as well as the briefly proposed, then killed, Go Ape project (WSB coverage archive here). The Fauntleroy Fall Festival is happening on October 14th. He was asked about the Murray sewer-overflow-control project at Lowman Beach and reminded everyone of next Tuesday’s city hearing.
*Junction – Upcoming development and looking ahead to fall events, which start with the West Seattle Junction Car Show a week from Sunday.
*Morgan Junction – Board member Chas Redmond also mentioned the Murray CSO project hearing. MoCA is also talking with the city about whether park-levy money might be available to purchase the land immediately north of Morgan Junction Park (as reported here in June, it’s up for sale).
One more meeting note: The council’s meetings, long held at SSCC, might move next year; the Southwest Teen Life Center was mentioned as a possible new location. SWDC meets the first Wednesday of most months.
From crime to arena to trash, hot topics @ Southwest, Delridge District Councils’ annual combined meetingJuly 19, 2012 at 8:38 am | In Delridge District Council, Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | 2 Comments
A police briefing – including the Delridge shots-fired incident from hours earlier – was part of last night’s combined Southwest District Council/Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Southwest Teen Life Center. City Councilmember Tim Burgess and County Assessor Lloyd Hara also talked with – and heard from – the councils, whose members represent community associations and other major organizations around West Seattle. Read on for the hot topics: Click to read the rest of From crime to arena to trash, hot topics @ Southwest, Delridge District Councils’ annual combined meeting…
From a crime-trends update to a thorough Downtown Waterfront/Seawall briefing to updates on two city-led environmental projects (and how you can get involved with them), it was another info-packed Southwest District Council meeting last night: Click to read the rest of Southwest District Council: Crime trends; waterfront/seawall; more…
Southwest District Council: Crime prevention; RapidRide road-work updates; ‘car-free day’ update – and that’s just the startMarch 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm | In Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | 7 Comments
Lots of news to share from tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting in the board room at South Seattle Community College:
FIGHTING/PREVENTING CRIME: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis announced a public-safety forum for 7 pm March 29th at the precinct (Delridge/Webster), focused on a very specific section of northeastern West Seattle, from the bridge to Boren, centered on Delridge Way SW and the adjacent streets. Lt. Davis explained, “We want to try to strengthen the Block Watch capabilities (there) … (since) we really got hammered with petty crimes and burglaries” in recent months, though as he recapped, multiple arrests have made a big dent in that previous trend. He said the “if you see something, say something” philosophy is helping bring in more tips from citizens in other areas of West Seattle, but they would like to see more tips come in from the Delridge neighborhood, and are hoping that the forum might educate more people on best practices for preventing and reporting crime/suspicious activity.
Next, two reports from SDOT, on current work and a future event:
(Photo from Ventana Construction [WSB sponsor] Facebook page – work on SE corner of California/Findlay)
RAPIDRIDE-RELATED STREET/SIDEWALK WORK UPDATE: SDOT’s Jonathan Dong, who had spoken to the SWDC before about the construction, was there with James Sido, a rep from the construction company that’s working on the right-of-way changes (Tri-State) to facilitate RapidRide Line C, which Metro is launching to replace West Seattle’s Route 54 this fall. (We reported last month on the start of work in south West Seattle.) The Rose, Webster, and Myrtle stops on Fauntleroy have now received their new concrete, though Sido said that the Myrtle concrete “had an issue” and needs to be redone, which is “high on their priority list to get that area up to speed as quickly as they can.”
The work that’s happening in north Morgan Junction right now is drainage work, he said, with a new stop to be located there; he also mentioned the major work on the northbound side of California at Findlay. Sido explained that the landowner was going to have some side-sewer work done, and asked that this be folded into the RapidRide-related construction project. He says the next areas where you’ll see work crews are Fauntleroy/California near Zeeks Pizza and the southbound side of California at Findlay. They hope to have this segment of work “substantially completed” by May.
Dong reiterated, in response to a question, that stops further south, such as the Fauntleroy ferry dock vicinity and Westwood Village, are being handled by county crews. Morgan Community Association rep Chas Redmond asked SDOT’s Dong to make sure someone takes a look at the areas along California where Puget Sound Energy has done gas line work and left behind a “temporary patch.”
Dong says the rechannelization of SW Alaska – changing a car lane to a transit lane and removing some parking, among other changes that he acknowledged are “going to be the most visible change in the community” – will likely happen in early April. They want to “blanket the area for one or two blocks in both directions” with reminders, and Dong says that’ll happen about two weeks before the work is done. What’s holding up the scheduling right now is that they’re waiting on the traffic-signal work. The work will take a few days and will likely start around 7 am, said Sedo, though Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization suggested they might consider starting later to avoid rush-hour complications. Dong thinks the work will take two to four days, weather-dependent, of course. Karlovits and West Seattle Junction Association‘s Susan Melrose both stressed that the more warning, the better, since the lane and parking changes will be a surprise (if not shock) to some people, both shoppers, businesspeople/employees, and Junction-area residents.
Admiral Neighborhood Association vice president Karl de Jong asked the two if the projects were creating jobs in West Seattle, and also about what kind of labor and apprenticeship agreements were involved; they didn’t have answers but promised to get back to him. Next SDOT topic:
(WSB photo from 2011 Seattle Summer Streets on Alki)
SUMMER STREETS/CAR-FREE DAY: SDOT’s Sonia Palma talked about the 5th annual car-free day on Alki as part of Seattle Summer Streets. As reported here last month, the date this year is May 20th, starting with the West Seattle 5K (co-sponsored again this year by WSB). Palma says the street-closure plan is the same as last year, with a full closure from 63rd to Don Armeni for the race, and then, after 11 am or so, the closure only extending eastward to 58th SW for the Summer Streets remainder of the day. SDOT is currently looking for sponsors and organizations interested in participating, while also asking community reps to get the word out about the big day.
Even more from tonight’s meeting, including quick updates on key projects that individual groups are focusing on, ahead: Click to read the rest of Southwest District Council: Crime prevention; RapidRide road-work updates; ‘car-free day’ update – and that’s just the start…
Three major topics at this week’s monthly meeting of the Southwest District Council, comprised of reps from neighborhood groups and organizations, mostly around western West Seattle – Metro‘s first community discussion of its newly revised route-restructuring plan; Councilmember Sally Bagshaw talking about her priorities now that the committee she chairs is about neighborhoods as well as parks; and the first Gathering of Neighbors since 2010, with new coordinators this year. Details on all three topics, ahead: Click to read the rest of Southwest District Council: Metro’s plan; Bagshaw’s focus; Gathering of Neighbors…
Toplines from last night’s Southwest District Council meeting – with a wide-ranging agenda from street trees to bridge work to development, and beyond:
STREET-TREE ORDINANCE: Lots of discussion after we covered last month’s West Seattle community meeting about proposed changes to the city rules, which haven’t changed in half a century. City arborist Nolan Rundquist stressed that they are looking for as much comment and opinion as possible – here’s how – before this gets to the City Council. His summary: The proposed rule will better define who’s responsible for which trees, public or private, and a “no-fee permit process” will be put into place to deal with removal, pruning, replacement, etc., as well as who is allowed to handle such tasks. But he says “small work” – such as pruning branches that aren’t bigger than two inches in diameter – won’t require a permit.
FAUNTLEROY EXPRESSWAY: The council had invited project communications consultant Josh Stepherson back to provide an update once the intensive phase of the earthquake-safety work, with some overnight closures (next ones Jan. 9-12), got under way on the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. Morgan Community Association rep Chas Redmond asked about an anomaly he’d spotted (which we have noticed too, in late-night drives): Click to read the rest of Street trees, bridge project, more @ Southwest District Council…
A new year of community meetings gets started one week from tonight with the 7 pm January 4th meeting of the Southwest District Council (which includes reps from organizations around western West Seattle). On the agenda circulated today: A presentation on the Seattle Public Library‘s future, an appearance by City Council President Richard Conlin (days before the council chooses its next president), an update on the Fauntleroy Expressway project that’s been closing part of the West Seattle Bridge on recent nights, and an update on plans for a “street tree ordinance” (a hot topic here recently). The meeting’s open to anyone interested in attending; just find the board room at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW), in the Robert Smith Building that’s literally front and center on campus.
(Click to see full-size PDF)
When we first reported on Metro‘s proposed 2012 changes last week, it looked like your first chance to see an official presentation in West Seattle would be Metro’s November 9th and 17th meetings. Now there’s late word of an earlier chance: Metro’s now on the agenda for this Wednesday night’s meeting of the Southwest District Council, 7 pm at South Seattle Community College‘s board room, and yes, as always, it’s a public meeting. Also on the agenda: A presentation about the changes SDOT is making on West Seattle streets to accommodate next year’s Metro West Seattle RapidRide debut (including SW Alaska rechannelization). SSCC’s at 6000 16th SW; the board room is in the Robert Smith Building – campus map here, building map here.
P.S. An online survey about the Metro proposal is now available, with questions about how it would affect you – you can take the survey here.
The October 10th evening meeting we mentioned the other day is still in the process of being finalized, the city tells us – your chance to find out more about the Alaskan Way Viaduct closure and the post-closure, long-term Highway 99 picture – for those worried it’s too early, we’re also told that it will be open-house-style, and the short presentation won’t be before 6:30 or so. And it will definitely be in the commons at West Seattle High School. But if you can’t wait till then or can’t make it that night, next week’s Southwest District Council agenda is out, and AWV deputy project director Matt Preedy will be talking about it, and taking questions, shortly after the meeting’s start at 7 pm Wednesday, October 5th, board room at South Seattle Community College, everybody welcome. (Immediately after that, the SWDC will talk about the SW Alaska rechannelization plan – reported here two weeks ago.)
Two more notes from last night’s Southwest District Council meeting (the Fauntleroy Expressway Seismic Retrofit update, reported here earlier, was the first).
That’s a screenshot from seattle.changeby.us, which has just gone “live,” as Code for America‘s Anna Bloom told SWDC reps. She and other Code for America fellows have been working on projects for Seattle (among other cities) off and on for months, as local community groups (with whom they’ve met, while listening to needs and vetting ideas) are well aware. The site is meant to be collaborative – if you have an idea, you can type it in the Post-It Note-like space on the Change By Us home page, and then it’ll take you into the site, where you have the option to hook up with any similar proposals already in the system, or to just go ahead and launch yours. Bloom explained that it offers options for sharing your idea, in order to get others involved, and other ways to get traction. Now that it’s live, in “beta” mode, you’re invited to give it a try.
Second note: Waste Management Northwest, which handles much of the trash/recycling pickup around here, came to SWDC because it’s in the final stages of planning “Neighborhood Recycling Rewards.” It’s a contest aimed at helping Seattle boost its recycling rate (relatively high as it is, there’s room for it to rise), and it’s going to be in the “neighborhood vs. neighborhood” mode. Whichever WM-served neighborhood “reduces the most waste through increased recycling and composting” during the six-month contest will get $50,000 to use for some kind of community improvement project.
WMNW came to the council with a couple of questions – whether SWDC could be the official WS community partner, including helping decide what the “prize” might be if this area wins. Also to be decided: How to define a neighborhood for this competition, since West Seattle includes three different pickup-day zones. Will the entire peninsula be counted as one neighborhood? Just so happened that Delridge Neighborhoods District Council chair Mat McBride was at the meeting, and invited WM to to DNDC’s next gathering (7 pm September 21st, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center) to pitch there too. Once the contest is under way on September 30th, WM promises weekly online updates on neighborhood performance, and then an award ceremony next March.
Though the $2.4 million Fauntleroy Expressway Seismic Retrofit Project is already under way – that’s what you seein our photo, taken this morning along eastbound Spokane Street under The Bridge – the biggest effects on West Seattle’s already-beleaguered drivers/bus riders/bikers are yet to come. SDOT consultant Josh Stepherson was at last night’s Southwest District Council meeting at South Seattle Community College to deliver the latest words of warning.
We’ve reported on this project before. But in case you’ve missed it, a quick definition: The Fauntleroy Expressway is the half-mile-long section of the high-rise bridge between Delridge and Avalon/Harbor. It was built in 1963, and it needs to be reinforced in case of earthquake. Stepherson called it the “weakest link in the corridor for (potential) structural failure during an earthquake.” (Some work was done in 1994, as explained here, so it’s not completely unreinforced.)
The work under way right now is around three of its support columns. But the really big part of the project will involve lifting sections of the “expressway” to replace its weight-bearing pads – and when that happens, there will be closures and detours.
From last night’s Southwest District Council: Above, that’s SWDC co-chair Tony Fragada, also president of the Alki Community Council, peeking out from behind a map, as the council discussed plans to showcase neighborhood groups during the upcoming West Seattle Summer Fest (July 8-9-10 in The Junction). That’ll include ways, like the map, to show festivalgoers how to find the nearest neighborhood group (and how to know which neighborhood they’re in!) That was part of another busy agenda for SWDC, whose members represent community councils and other key organizations around the area. But one big topic took a fair amount of time – read on: Click to read the rest of Southwest District Council: Summer map; Admiral speed; Triangle…
(One of the graphics shown at last month’s Triangle open house)
From this week’s Southwest District Council meeting: SWDC members say they’re not clear about where city planning for the West Seattle Triangle‘s future really stands, despite last month’s community open house, and their own city briefing days before it. So they want the project’s lead city planners Susan McLain and Robert Scully to return before the council and outline exactly what they’re doing next with feedback from those meetings, as well as with the plan itself, and what they’ll be telling city leaders. SWDC members also would like to talk with Councilmember Sally Clark, whose Committee on the Built Environment would theoretically eventually consider the results of the Triangle process. SWDC co-chair Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association and past co-chair Erica Karlovits of the Junction Neighborhood Organization also questioned whether the Triangle planning process had adequate community representation/participation and had truly resulted in consensus.
Another topic of concern for the council – the ongoing changes in the Department of Neighborhoods, which (among other things) provides staff assistance for district councils (whose members are all volunteers) – more after the jump: Click to read the rest of What’s really next for The Triangle? SW Dist. Council wants to know…
From tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting – the monthly gathering (usually at South Seattle Community College) of reps from major community groups and organizations around what the city calls the Southwest District (basically western West Seattle) – first three presentations summarized at 8:23 pm, the rest added at 9:13 pm: Click to read the rest of SW District Council hears about Triangle, crime prevention, seawall…
(Taken from Alki by SapphiraFey, shared via the WSB Flickr group pool)
West Seattle’s first major community-group meeting of the year is tonight – Southwest District Council, 7 pm, South Seattle Community College board room. Two major topics: First, an update on the Alaskan Way Viaduct project (just as the tunnel contract is about to be signed); second, the Department of Neighborhoods changes that will directly affect the council’s operations – as first reported here Monday, DON director Stella Chao will be at the meeting to explain. … If you hear a hint of a familiar summertime sound in the sky this afternoon, no, you’re not hearing things – as noted on Tuesday, Blue Angels jet #7 is coming to Seattle for Seafair winter meetings today and tomorrow, and expected to fly into Boeing Field (which might mean a West Seattle sighting) early this afternoon … Check the WSB West Seattle Events page for tonight’s entertainment highlights; have a great day!
Three months after she faced the Southwest District Council (October photo at left) to explain a proposed budget cut that would have had a major effect on West Seattle, city Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao will be back before SWDC members this Wednesday.
This time, they’ll be waiting to hear why, even though that budget cut was canceled, a significant change has been made anyway (as first reported here last week). The original proposal was to close the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction that serves the district – in essence, western West Seattle — and to eliminate the position held by its Neighborhood District Coordinator, Stan Lock. The council protested mightily – not just against losing the person who is a city liaison for them and for the neighborhood organizations and institutions they represent, but also against having the center shut down, since potential development does not seem imminent for the site it’s on. The City Council canceled the cut.
But three other district coordinator jobs were cut, meaning there are now 10 coordinators to serve 13 districts around the city, and Chao’s “interim” plan is to organize them into three teams serving regions of districts. Lock is being moved to a team that does not serve West Seattle; the Southwest District will be part of the region served by a team including Delridge District Coordinator Ron Angeles, and that entire team will be based out of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. How is that supposed to work? That’s what the council will be asking Chao on Wednesday; their meeting starts at 7 and she’s expected around 7:45, board room at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW), all welcome.
New information tonight about another change resulting from city budget cuts – how the city’s Neighborhood Service Centers and District Councils will be staffed. You might recall the mayor originally proposed closing the Southwest Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction. Outcry, led by the Southwest District Council, helped cancel that plan – but we now know that the district coordinator who’s been based there, Stan Lock, is moving elsewhere in the city, as the Department of Neighborhoods reorganizes the coordinators who remain after it cut three jobs elsewhere. Details ahead: Click to read the rest of Changes for city Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction…
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