Again this year, West Seattle American Legion Post 160 and Auxiliary are inviting local veterans and their families – all branches, active duty or reserve – to a free dinner commemorating Veterans Day. The gourmet Italian dinner will be served 5-8 pm this Sunday night (November 10) at the West Seattle Veterans’ Center (longtime home to Post 160), 3618 SW Alaska in The Triangle. Here’s more info via the official flyer.
As the state’s newly legalized recreational-marijuana industry gets closer to launch, the medical-marijuana industry says it’s fighting for its life – and a new group of growers is organizing, with its first meeting scheduled for West Seattle this week. The group is calling itself the Association of Cannabis Breeders and Growers, and organizer Chris Kelly of Green Lion Farms says they are inviting anyone and everyone interested in saving the medical-marijuana industry to come to its kickoff meeting at 8 pm Wednesday (November 6th) at the VFW Hall in The Triangle (3601 SW Alaska). (There’s a Facebook event page for the meeting here.)
The location of the Bright Horizons-West Seattle child-care center right across the street from Seattle Fire Department Station 32 in The Triangle presents some opportunities – including this one: A costume parade.
More photos ahead:
With eight days until the next Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the mixed-use development planned at 4435 35th SW, its new “packet” is out with renderings and other information for the board to consider, publicly viewable via the city Department of Planning and Development website. You can see it in its entirety here; above is a rendering by architects GGLO showing a feature that sparked some buzz at the previous meeting in June (WSB coverage here), a “hillclimb” on the south side of the site, going up to other parts of The Triangle and leading toward The Junction. According to the packet, the project is currently planned for ~159 residential units, 153 underground parking spaces (it’s in an area where the city does not require any parking at all because of nearby frequent transit), and more than 12,000 square feet of commercial/retail area. This site originally came to the board in 2009, then went on hold, changing architects and developers (now Trinsic) before returning with a new design proposal earlier this year. The Design Review meeting is set for 6:30 pm October 10th at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon); as always, the meeting will include a public-comment period.
Though the official notice won’t go out until next week, the city’s master schedule now shows October 10th as the date for the next Southwest Design Review Board meeting. One project is on the agenda so far: 4435 35th SW, a six-story mixed-use building proposed for ~160 apartments, about the same number of parking spaces, and ~16,000 square feet of commercial space. Its site (map) is on the west side of 35th SW, currently holding an empty lot and The Bridge (which is moving to under-renovation 6301 California SW). The 35th SW project has had two Early Design Guidance meetings over the span of four years – after one for the original proposal in 2009, development plans went on the back burner until this year, when a new proposal passed EDG in June. The revised design proposal isn’t available yet but should be at least a week before the next meeting, 6:30 pm October 10th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).
Followup: $ for 47th/Admiral signal, Fauntleroy ‘green boulevard’ design advance in council committeeJune 19, 2013 at 11:37 am | In Transportation, Triangle, West Seattle news | 17 Comments
(WSB photo looking east toward 47th/Admiral, 2011)
City money for a full traffic signal at 47th/Admiral just advanced one step closer to reality, after the City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee voted to send a package of midyear budget changes to the full council. We reported Tuesday on the council’s decision to go for the full half-million-dollar signal, which neighborhood advocates have requested for years. No councilmembers voiced opposition.
Immediately after that signal was discussed, another six-digit West Seattle item popped up – another $200,000 for designing “Green Boulevard” changes for Fauntleroy Way through The Triangle.
(One of two “green boulevard” options shown by SDOT last year)
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, long an advocate of the concept, described it as a “slowly progressing project” and yet one that’s needed as the area continues to develop as a residential/commercial area. The city’s 2012 budget, as reported here in 2011, included $250,000 to start design; if the additional $200,000 is finalized, that will get the design process to 60 percent. The “boulevard,” Rasmussen noted at today’s meeting, involves “primarily pedestrian improvements – sidewalks, curb bulbs, etc.” We’re checking for updated design documents, since it’s been almost a year since the last public discussion (see materials from that July 2012 open house here). Today’s committee meeting, meantime, was not a final vote on these and other spending proposals, so if you have something to say pro/con/otherwise, you can find contact information for councilmembers here.
For kids, today’s Fire Station 32 open house in The Triangle was a chance to get an up-close look at Engine 32, otherwise only publicly viewable when roaring down the street with lights and siren. For other visitors, it was a chance to preview the station’s future:
Renderings on easels and cardboard models on tables were used for an early look at what the all-new Station 32 will be like.
It’ll be a three-story structure, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, built on the same site as the current one at 37th and Alaska:
The construction is still a ways off – about a year and a half, according to the timetable the city gave us for this story we published three months ago; the station will have to relocate during construction. Once it’s done, it’ll have an expanded role in SFD operations, as explained on the project webpage.
The West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) closed early last night because of a power outage on its block in The Triangle, and the Y’s Josh Sutton tells WSB it won’t be able to reopen until at least 9 this morning – we’ll update when there’s word it’s ready to open. (This is just the Triangle location; the Fauntleroy location is open as usual.)
The chillier, cloudier weather did NOT mean a break from dunk-tank duty for Josh Sutton from the West Seattle and Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor), but as usual, he was smiling anyway. The rain isn’t expected in till later, so the bouncy toys and other outdoor activities remained available too:
Indoor fun, too! If you see this right after we publish it, you have till 1 pm to get over to the Y’s main location in The Triangle; one component of HK Day – no joining fees for new memberships – does continue all weekend.
Even as the apartment-building boom proceeds in the Junction/Triangle area, a different type of construction project is on the drawing boards: The new Fire Station 32. This has been in the works for a long time, but is just now moving closer to reality; this week, the city applied for permits for the Fire Levy-funded project. The plan is to demolish the current station and build a new one on the same site (38th/Alaska), described in the city’s online files as “a new 3-story structure with basement, elevated parking deck and site walls.”
We took a few followup questions to city spokesperson Katherine Schubert-Knapp, who replies that (a) there’s no design yet – “we’re in the schematic design phase with our architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson“; (b) the interim site for relocating the station during construction has not yet been chosen; (c) the timeline envisions demolition around “the end of 2014-beginning of 2015. The station construction is expected to be complete by first quarter 2016.”
While Station 32 is already key to responses in West Seattle, as home to an engine, ladder truck, and Medic 32, the city’s summary of the project says, “As part of the rebuild, Station 32 is slated for major improvements and conversion to the lead station for Battalion VII, which covers all of West Seattle, southwest Seattle, and Harbor Island, and the industrial areas lining both sides of the Duwamish River.”
If you noticed the Potter Construction (WSB sponsor) sign in the window of the former West Seattle Motors/Bob Ochsner Cars site along Fauntleroy Way in The Triangle – here’s what’s up: The West Seattle Y (WSB sponsor) is taking over the space. It’s already being used for extra parking – 18 more spaces, as announced to Y members a few months back, says Josh Sutton at the Y, adding, “We’re on track to start using the space for fitness classes (quantity/type still to be determined) in the next month or so. Right now we’re cleaning it up and getting it ready – so stay posted. Big thanks goes to Potter Construction for donating a chunk of the renovation costs.” (Proprietor Gary Potter is on the Y’s board.)
The first phase of the West Seattle Triangle Parking Plan has been finalized after the last round of neighborhood input.
(Click to see entire mailer as a PDF)
Thanks to Sharonn Meeks of the Fairmount Community Association – that’s the neighborhood just south of, and uphill from, Alaska in The Triangle – for sharing the news that SDOT has sent a final mailer to residents in the area – see it here. There are two differences from the “proposed plan” sent around last month – as reported here – and one is a big one: Fairmount neighbors appealed a proposal to allow parking on both sides of 37th SW in Fairmount, explaining that the two sides of the street were developed 30 years apart, with different lot sizes/shapes, which means driveways don’t align – for the homes who have them – and allowing parking on both sides could hamper fire-truck access. The other change is that SDOT “will evaluate potential sites for additional bike parking at the beginning of 2013,” according to the city’s project manager Kiersten Grove, who says the plan overall is meant to “facilitate better parking turnover for West Seattle Triangle businesses and provide additional parking for the residents of the area.” It’ll be sent to the City Council for review next month, as explained here.
There’s a new proposal for changes to parking in The Triangle and in the Fairmount neighborhood to its south – see the map above. It’s being circulated after the city’s followup conversations with the Triangle Advisory Group and other neighbors. So far, the postcard above has only gone out to homes/businesses in the immediate area – but it’s certainly of wider interest, so we are sharing it here. An online survey is open right now (go here), and/or you can send comments by Monday, November 26, to email@example.com.
Thanks to everyone who has pointed out that branding work has been proceeding quickly on the new Fauntleroy Shell station at Fauntleroy/Alaska (that’s its official name, according to the city business license). We’ve been working to find out when they expect to open, and finally reached someone today by phone – they say it could be as soon as this Friday, depending on how “network installation” work goes. For those wondering “why two Shell stations at the same intersection?” – please remember that the pre-existing one is going to be part of the 4755 Fauntleroy Way mega-project. That does not mean it’s closing any time soon – but eventually (though the land deal for that project won’t be done till next year, according to the developers, and construction may not start till 2014).
Another stolen vehicle to watch for: From Brady via Twitter, “My black ’99 Subaru Outback Sport was stolen last night outside of the Link Apts (38th & Alaska)! WA license 045VTO.” As Seattle Police note in their @getyourcarback tweets – if you see a known stolen car, call 911.
Almost a year and a half after it closed during a conversion from 76 to Arco, the gas station/mini-mart on the east side of the Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection appears to be on the way to reopening, under new ownership. We checked its status after a tip from Paul of PB&J Textiles (WSB sponsor); he noticed the fence that had ringed it for a year was down and the site appeared “cleaned up.” It was fenced off last January and then listed for sale; county property records show the $1.3 million sale to PacWest Energy LLC closed a week and a half ago, and city online records show an application for a sign permit – under the Shell brand. What we’ve found online so far indicates that PacWest is a joint venture between Shell and Idaho-based Jacksons Food Stores. Does this mean anything for the also-Shell-branded station across the intersection? We’ll be checking on that, and on the timetable for this one.
We’re at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction (northeast corner of California/Oregon), where the big upstairs meeting room is the site of the first open house for the Fauntleroy Way Green Boulevard proposal (official city website here). Five SDOT staffers are here, answering questions and talking with people at two identical tables, each of which is set up with a long rectangular map showing the area under consideration, Fauntleroy between 35th SW and SW Alaska. There are also stacks of forms on which you can write your thoughts. Also here, Brian Hawksford from the office of City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, the West Seattleite who chairs the council’s Transportation Committee. What SDOT is hearing from participants so far includes questions about : They’re asking about a water line under the road. Some have suggested trees and raised planters. A concern was voiced about the safety of people walking over to Trader Joe’s, including from Link Apartments across Fauntleroy. Would this mean no bus service on Fauntleroy? planners were asked. Some are also asking about bicycle access (Seattle Bike Blog asked the question in this story). And there are questions about whether the “boulevard” concept could continue further south on Fauntleroy. The open house continues till 6 pm – just drop by, ask a question, write a comment (or e-mail one later – contact info’s at the end here).
5:17 PM UPDATE: We asked what happens next – answer, in addition to taking comments, here and via e-mail, SDOT is also doing traffic/pedestrian studies in the area, to see which of the potential alternatives might work best. Then they’ll come up with the “10 percent conceptual design concept” by the end of the year, before this proceeds further; right now, as was pointed out to us last week, that’s all the funding this project has ($250,000) – more funding would have to be budgeted for full design, let alone construction. As for whether more public meetings are planned – that’s still up in the air; this is the only one they originally planned, SDOT says (though it was not officially announced till this week, aside from postcards that arrived in some nearby homes last week, which is how we indirectly found out about the meeting last Friday).
(Rendering of potential Fauntleroy Way ‘green boulevard,’ from June 2011 Triangle open house)
FIRST REPORT, 10:05 AM: Thanks to Sharonn Meeks of the Fairmount Community Association for sharing a photo of a postcard she just received in postal mail at her home, so we can share the info with you – we have not seen any other mention of this yet, and it’s less than a week away: The city has scheduled its first open house on the Fauntleroy Way “Green Boulevard” concept – after including $250,000 in this year’s budget to study the idea of turning Fauntleroy Way into a “boulevard,” with a treed median, through The Triangle, between 35th SW and SW Alaska. Love the idea? Don’t like the idea? Want to know more? We’re asking SDOT when some kind of formal announcement is forthcoming, but the postcard Sharonn received says the open house is at 4 pm next Thursday (July 19th) at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon). It also includes a city website address that as of this writing doesn’t appear to be working yet. We’ll update when we get more info from SDOT.
4:41 PM UPDATE: Some more info from SDOT re: the open house:
The open house will provide community members an opportunity to provide input on conceptual design alternatives for the Fauntleroy Way SW Green Boulevard Project. The project itself is between 35th Ave SW and SW Alaska Street on Fauntleroy Way SW and seeks to transform this section of the corridor into more of a gateway into West Seattle. The alternatives could include elements such as a landscaped boulevard, planted medians, better pedestrian zones, lighting and better crossing movements. This is all part of a larger plan that originates from the West Seattle Streetscapes Concept Plan.
We are inviting community members to come to the open house to review the alternatives, share their thoughts on the conceptual design plan and generally let us know what is most important to them about this section of the corridor.
SDOT’s Marybeth Turner also points out that “funding right now only allows for a conceptual design (10 percent) and a proposed alternative to be selected this year. Funding would still need to be secured to move this project into a design greater than 10 percent and then into physical construction.”
Josh Sutton from the West Seattle Y (WSB sponsor) caught this view of an unusual sight at the development site across the street from the Y’s HQ in The Triangle – a spiral staircase being hoisted into place. The 62-apartment development at 36th/Snoqualmie is Harbor/Urban‘s Nova, one of three major developments under construction in West Seattle right now, along with Youngstown Flats (26th/Dakota in North Delridge) and Oregon 42 (where the recent 3-home demolition is over and excavation is beginning) at 42nd/Oregon in The Junction.
Next chapter in the saga of the shuttered, fenced-off gas station at a very prominent spot, Fauntleroy/Alaska in The Triangle: It’s now officially up for sale, asking price $1.4 million. Back in August, its former owner told us – months after closing it while in the process of changing brands – that he expected it to be taken over by a bank, and the new listing confirms that (“property is being sold as-is through receivership”). They’ve put out a “call for offers” with a March 21st deadline. (Here’s the brokers’ website, photos and all.)
The folks at Chaco Canyon Café, the organic vegetarian/vegan restaurant at Link (WSB sponsor) in The Triangle, are inviting artists to come show their stuff. Here’s the invitation we were asked to share:
Call to West Seattle Artists! Chaco Canyon Café is looking for your art to display on our walls!
1. West Seattle and White Center artists preferred.
2. Paintings preferred and we welcome pieces with a bright and vibrant color palette.
3. Artists must be willing to keep their work here for a minimum of 6 months and to host at least one Art Walk event during that period.
4. Have approx. 12 large pieces, or an equivalent number of small or medium pieces available for display.
5. Have all work neatly and appropriately framed with the ability to hang from a single hook provided.
6. Be ready and able to put up art during the week of March 19th.
For those interested, please e-mail photographs of your works to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to come to a decision by the beginning of March.
Just four months after opening, the Corner Store and Deli in The Triangle is closed. The white and red posted flyers on the left side of the door are eviction notices and court documents that just turned up.
As some WSB’ers had pointed out in notes asking about the store’s status, it hadn’t been open much, if at all, lately; we don’t recall seeing its doors open for at least a week and a half. The space at 4415 Fauntleroy Way SW had previously long been known as Tervo’s Mini-Mart.
The fate of the ex-76 station at Fauntleroy/Alaska has entered a new phase: A fence went up this afternoon, with a “No Trespassing” sign and a note directing anyone interested to contact a California company for information. You might recall that the station was being converted from a 76 station to an Arco station about a year ago, and then abruptly shut down. Back in August, after notes from neighbors upset that the site was continually being trashed in ways big and small, we reported that it had been cleaned up – and that its owner told WSB he didn’t expect to reopen it, and thought it would soon be “taken over by a bank.” (Here’s that story.) We can’t find any evidence of that in public records, but we have a message out to the company whose number is on the sign on the new fence. This gas-station site, incidentally, is part of what the City Council just rezoned to 85-foot-maximum-height development (20 feet higher than before).
Meantime, you might have noticed the land-use sign up on the kitty-corner Shell station; it was briefly up for sale last year, but is now in the process of getting approvals for underground tank replacement.
Two reader reports to share tonight – first, a stolen car resembling the one in the photo sent by Rob, who hopes his car will be found:
Stolen from my driveway near 37th and Alaska on Tuesday (12/27/2011) between 7:30 PM and 9:30 PM.
The car is a 1998 Subaru Legacy GT Sedan (not the ubiquitous wagon). It is a lovely dark-green color with some minor dents in the right-rear corner. It has Washington truck plates (so the license# begins with an “A” and ends with an “F”). It has a distinctive hood vent and a tasteful rear spoiler, as you can almost see in (the) photo. I have filed a report with the police.
Second, A shares the story of a car whose driver was taking an odd path early today:
Approximately 0530 Wednesday morning, my partner noticed a white Nissan with license plate number 200-Z(xx) pulling in and out of driveways along 35th avenue SW before the turn onto Marine View Drive SW. After being noticed, the car then drove back up 35th to 106th and made a right heading towards White Center. Police were notified, please be on the lookout and report further suspicious behavior.
2:07 PM: Click the “play” button and you’ll see the live video stream of this afternoon’s Seattle City Council meeting, which has just begun, with two items of particular note on the agenda: West Seattle Triangle rezoning (approved by the council’s Committee on the Built Environment three weeks ago) and the plastic-bag ban. We’ll add updates here if and when the public-comment period at the meeting’s start includes Triangle comments, as well as when the Triangle and bag-ban items come up.
2:22 PM: The public-comment period ended with no one stepping up to the podium to talk about Triangle rezoning, which is a few items away on the agenda. Most of the commenters talked about the plastic-bag ban, including, as seen in our framegrab above, the “Bagmonster Singers,” who serenaded councilmembers with a song to the tune of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
2:31 PM: And here’s the Triangle item, which is actually two items – rezoning/changing development standards, and recommending a parking study for the area. Councilmember Sally Clark opens by saying it all dates back to the closure of the Huling Brothers auto properties (briefly Gee Automotive after Huling) and concern over what would happen to the area with so much vacant land. She hands the microphone to Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who as she said has been closely involved in planning for the area’s future. He says RapidRide (scheduled to start in 2012) also was a spark to get the process going, beginning with an “urban-design framework.” He notes that it included a plan for The Triangle’s “streetscapes,” including the Fauntleroy Way “boulevard” concept (the new city budget includes planning money) and SW Snoqualmie as a “festival” street. And of course, it includes rezoning – “neighborhood commercial” that “encourages pedestrian-friendly development” for much of the heart of The Triangle, which he says will also strengthen the pedestrian connection between The Junction and The Triangle. The latter was not recommended for more height, he explains, so as not to put “more pressure” for sales/development of existing commercial properties – but the Fauntleroy/Alaska/Edmunds area includes more than 2 blocks that will be rezoned to 85 feet (20 feet higher than the current zoning).
2:40 PM: Council President Richard Conlin says “congratulations” and notes the importance of the legislation to West Seattle’s future, before Rasmussen reads the list of Triangle Advisory Committee members and also acknowledges DPD and Council staffers for their work. No comments from other councilmembers. The rezoning/development standards bill (read it here) passes unanimously 9-0, as does the recommendation for a parking study. No other councilmembers comment.
2:45 PM: Now Councilmember Mike O’Brien is explaining the plastic-bag ban. You can still use plastic bags for meat and produce in grocery stores, he notes. For this too, no councilmembers are commenting or asking questions, except for Council President Conlin, who thanks O’Brien, who in turn thanks “partners” for help with the bill (including WSB sponsors PCC Natural Markets and Metropolitan Market). The bill passes unanimously; there’s applause in council chambers.
If you have anything to say to the City Council before their final vote on West Seattle Triangle (and vicinity) rezoning, Monday afternoon is your last chance – in the public-comment period at the start of their 2 pm meeting (here’s the agenda). If you’ve missed the previous coverage, the rezoning is detailed in the ordinance the council will consider. You can read it here (that’s where we got the map you see above). Two of the main points: Most of The Triangle itself is rezoned from “commercial” to “neighborhood commercial,” which means different standards for future development, particularly stipulations about street-level features; several chunks of land, including some that are west/southwest of The Triangle itself, get 20 more feet of height, to an 85-foot maximum. That includes, for example, what are currently the sites of Les Schwab Tires, Cycle U (future Highline Medical), West Seattle Produce, WSP’s former site across Fauntleroy, the two gas-station sites across from each other at Alaska/Fauntleroy, Howden-Kennedy, and more – see the map (sorry we don’t have a larger version, but many browsers can zoom). The council also will vote on a resolution asking SDOT to do a parking study for The Triangle, since the topic came up so often in the process that preceded this. Side note: Right after taking up The Triangle, the council moves to a final vote on the plastic-bag ban.
Thanks to Josh Sutton from the West Seattle Y (WSB sponsor) – he took the photo as demolition began on the site kitty-corner from the Y that will become Harbor Properties‘ next West Seattle apartment building, Nova. Harbor opened Link a few blocks away earlier this year and also owns Mural in The Junction (both are WSB sponsors). Nova’s at 4600 36th SW (just north of The Grove) and is designed for five stories, 62 apartments, 36 parking spaces (it’s close to the forthcoming RapidRide, and the city now does not require parking for developments close to major transit).
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