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August 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm #604615
Someone’s definitely not happy with the Murray CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) project that’s going in across from Lowman Beach.
Here’s the official City/County version:
And the unofficial response . . .
There are also several smaller posters tacked to utility poles in the neighborhood decrying the effect that the project will have on bicyclists, runners, and other park users.
Look for an addendum from Tracy below, reminding us that WSB has been covering the Murray CSO story all along. Which of course it has.
(Notice that no one’s been putting up giant yard signs criticizing the Blog’s role in all this. I think that’s significant.)August 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm #768816
Sadly “it is destruction of an area and part of a neighborhood” instead of putting this project in a parking lot underground or else where. I would not be a very happy camper if I lived there either. It will affect me in my neighborhood too – Sunrise Heights is getting the bioswales like it or not.August 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm #768817
What was the rationale for not putting it under a parking lot? Do you remember? (I don’t know; I’m asking.)August 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm #768818
You’d have to research it – I’m sure if you do a search here you could find the info. – not sure myself just know it was an option I believe to put in Lincoln Park area.August 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm #768819
the trees in front of my house aren’t so happy abut the bioswales either
still waiting to see if they will be removed in favor of a hole in the ground
in my opinion.. choosing a historic neighborhood and historic park for this project was short sighted at best… no matter how they replace it.. it won’t be what it was.August 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm #768820
There is a lot of history here. There was a proposal to put it under the park itself, but that would have removed the tennis court, and the neighborhood freaked about this. I won’t get into whether this was right or wrong, there are feelings on all sides.
Instead I really wonder if people think there is an “ideal” location for a sewer treatment plant? I mean, it seems like siting a jail in a sense, like there is never going to be a good place for this. Also, it isn’t something that can easily be placed anywhere (for most cost efficient and useful engineering it needs to be at the right place in terms of “gravity” pulling the sewage downhill). To me, it is simply a “vexing” issue – not easily solved or sited but something that needs to be done to save our Sound/Whales/Fish.
I am not playing dumb here, I am honestly interested in what people think about siting public facilities like these…August 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm #768821
well there is that strip of land at the bottom of the park .. between Lincoln and Lowry parks ;->
i am guessing they would have had to buy just about the same number of houses to make that work..
of course.. those houses would have been more expensive and the people who own them have more political pull…
just saying.August 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm #768822
Well to me it looks like it’s gonna be better than it was before. The apartments they’re tearing down are oogly and it goes without saying that the public (runners and bicyclists included) had no access to the land those buildings were on.
By contrast, when the CSO is done, people will be able to use that space to take in some great views of the Sound, and it seems like there’s going to be a net increase in the amount of tree cover and plants there.
It’s too bad about the disruption to the neighborhood while the project is under construction, but that will be temporary, whereas the overall benefit to the public and the environment will be permanent.August 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm #768823
JoB, where is Lowry Park? I do think one of the issues when building public projects is the cost of the land needed to site them. I would be super curious to know what the general “uptick” in cost was to move the park from *below ground* at Lowman to where all the private houses/apartments are that had to be bought or taken by eminent domain behind it.
I guess what this says is that in Seattle we are OK with a higher cost of projects (i.e. taxes and or utility fees) to save certain amenities like a tennis court. That is one expensive tennis court!August 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm #768824
I don’t even know where to begin to explain the background here. If you are interested (hi, D) please search on Murray CSO, here and the web in general. The parking lot possibility came up lwo and a half years ago:
Re: the sign, yes, it dovetails with a website that the person you mention has had up for a while:
The very very general explanation from the county is that to capture enough of the flow to divert a potential overflow, they have to be close to the pump station itself, which IS underground at Lowman Beach Park, and therefore they are building the storage/diversion tank across the street. There were maps, percentages, flow charts (literally and figuratively).
The county announced its decisions for Murray and Barton overflow control in late 2010:
Sorry about the broken images – I guess I linked out to the county website imagery, not our usual method unless we’re in a rush, and they have since changed their entire domain, therefore breaking direct links.
p.s. Regarding why not tear up the park instead of the private property across the street: There is a city rule along the lines of, if you take parkland, it must be replaced in-kind. To get a waterfront property in Seattle like Lowman Beach Park would be virtually impossible, and would likely have cost – if even available anywhere – a whole lot more than the parcels across the street.
It is, as Duckie writes, the destruction of a neighborhood. But I say that in the most factual, not opinionated way. People lived in those homes. They had to leave. The homes will be torn down and will no longer be homes. It will be a big public works facility, albeit with viewpoints and so forth on top. But the county is under orders from the state to reduce pollution.August 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm #768825
Thanks TR. I agree that this is a big change to that neighborhood, and thank you for the “in kind” information about replacing anything taken away. That totally changes the calculus for what I stated above.
The one thing about the homes that are being destroyed is that 1) by statute owners were to be paid fair market value (although a bummer in a down market) and 2) renters were to be paid relocation for displacement (could never get county to verify how much and what reg they were following State vs. Federal). It would be awesome if someone who was displaced would comment here on how that process went for them with the County…August 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm #768826
I wouldn’t call it the destruction of a neighborhood. Rather, it’s the destruction of some multifamily rental buildings within a neighborhood.
A good comparison would be the old Denny Middle School conversion project, which, in terms of built square footage that was torn down, was probably comparable to the Murray project.
And just like the Denny conversion, the Murray CSO will leave the area greener and more accessible to the public.
The main difference is that with Denny nobody was forced to sell their property and nobody was thrown out their home. Of course people being thrown out of their homes is traumatic, yes? But it’s not quite the same thing as a neighborhood being destroyed.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with Duckie’s sign. After all, he does so much for Lowman Beach. If anyone’s earned the right to quack, it’s him.
Metro, you’re . . .
You’re . . .
You’re . . .
De-THPIC-able!!August 29, 2012 at 12:43 am #768827
DBP — ya gotsta keep up with the news; King County took over water quality responsibilities from Metro about 20 years ago.
Face it, folks, the public utlilities have to go somewhere, unless you want to stop flushing and showering and washing clothes. This is an urban setting and there are some functional restrictions in siting the plant, as Tracy mentioned. You can be all paranoid and speculate about the rich people forcing the poor renters to take the brunt, but you’ve got not a shred of anything resembling proof.
As far as Duckitude, look up the old threads about his neighbors complaining about him allegedly operating a business in a residential zoning area.
The reality is that a small number of people got to enjoy a beautiful setting for a number of years; now things are changing and maybe more of the public will be able enjoy the park.August 29, 2012 at 7:15 am #768828
I haven’t checked our photos yet – am going to have to take a nap before adding to the story later this morning – but Duckie was at tonight’s mayoral town hall in a bit of a costume. He did not ask the mayor a question, however. I don’t know whether that was because he didn’t sign up, or because they ran out of time before getting to his # – my followup time after the mayor closed out was taken up by the tale of the Roxbury shooting, and then a conversation with one remaining tabler about a new surprise city project …August 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm #768829
“JoB, where is Lowry Park?”
i was very tired when i posted..
i used the wrong park name
sorry:(August 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm #768830
Hi All: Yes, it’s me… and, given what has been written about me in this thread, so far, I guess I got a lot of ‘splainin to do.
There is a ton of misunderstanding and spinning going on in this thread so far, so my work is cut out for me. I don’t know if I can cover it all in one post.
However, I will say a couple of things.
I handed what I wanted to say to the Mayor to him directly. You can read what I handed to him at whatnowwestseattle.com at this page http://whatnowwestseattle.wordpress.com/posts/
Mayor McGinn was very personable and as he scanned the opinion piece, he assured me that he and his office would take a closer look at what is going in the Lowman Park Neighborhood.
As for the allegations in this thread by metrognome that “neighbors” (plural) complained about me operating a business in a residential neighborhood — it is way off topic and, I guess, meant to impugn the messenger (the usual tactic found all over the place in this blog and others). Generally, this is known as a “cheap shot.”
Fact is, if you have done your homework, and I don’t see anyone here who looks like they have — the 17-member Community Advisory Group (I was an active member) that “assisted” King County Wastewater in siting the underground sewage tank spent close to 60-100 hours each during June to October 2011, and were ultimately betrayed. You can read about the betrayal in the opinion piece “The Case of the Missing Neighborhood.” To do your homework properly, you should read the final reports that have been issued. You can find them at http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Construction/Seattle/BeachCSO/Library/TechInfo/WS-FacPlan.aspx.
As for the definition of “neighborhood”? As for the definition of “ugly” or “oogly” homes? Wow. Lots of inhumanity around…. Whatever you think is “pretty” or “architecturally” sleek is tantamount to you forcing your value system on other people’s value system (control freaks unite!). Within limits, our value systems, each one of them, deserve respect. In fact, those “ugly” homes are more along the lines of historic cottage and “play” houses. In other words, the product of love and personal sweat and not so much your basic corporate/developer/architect so-called “pretty” ideas or upscale “gentrification.” If your definition of a neighborhood is a more-or-less empty parkland (not park, because there is no space for picnicking or playing) as compared to a thriving, populated by non-transient visitors, home-sweet-homes, you have my sympathy.
As for my involvement in advocating for the Lowman Beach Park neighborhood, I have been doing it since 2004. You can read a lot about that history at http://www.ronsterling.com/protectlowmanpark.htm
As for the “mandate” to “clean up and protect Puget Sound”? There are mandates and there are mandates. In other words, pick one. They are not all the same, and this state decided on mandates that are unscientific and rationally unsupportable based on event numbers rather than yearly volume of spills into the Sound. In addition, there is no significant data that shows that limiting spills to one per year (on average over a 30-year period), per every single outfall (hundreds of them) will do anything more significant than just fixing the historically large spill sites first, then focusing on other run-off capture. The state decided to set spill limits to one per year. The feds had recommended a limit of 4-6 per year. What the hidden agenda is for “new-oil profits” (alleged ecology spending) is difficult to know. I can tell you this. Washington State knows how to keep contractors wealthy at the expense of ratepayers and taxpayers.August 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm #768831
Duckitude, let’s say your assertion about a “hidden agenda” related to the construction of CSO projects is correct.
How then would you recommend King County deal with raw sewage overflow into the Puget Sound as a result of our outdated combined sewer system?
Or, is your contention that the current number of overflow events is acceptable for our environment?August 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm #768832
Yeah, as a matter of fact, open spaces DO count as part of a neighborhood, in my opinion. And how does putting a public green space in where some old apartments used to be count as “gentrification”? ‘Splain that one to me, if you please.
Dux, were you one of the property owners that was forced to sell? If so, I can understand why you’d be pissed. But if not, I really don’t get it. Your property value is likely to increase as a result of this. And with good reason.August 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm #768833
I believe Dux rents his house next to Lowman. Although if I recall, most of the most vocal proponents of NOT siting the new CSO project in Lowman were homeowners in the neighborhood. I would be curious is Duckitude knew of anyone who was relocated and could encourage them to post their experience here…August 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm #768834
As usual… the self-interest perspective reigns. Don’t know what to say. I rent. I don’t own. I think bulldozing homes for the purpose of unneeded green space in this area is pretty ludicrous. You’re welcome to be ludicrous… really.
Such community spirit, my dear DBP. And, it’s Duckitude to you… not “dux.” Grow up.
As for renter’s experiences with “relocation” and owner’s experiences with being bought out. Yes. Does it matter, really?
So, the renter’s were rumored to be offered $20,000 each (it’s confidential, I imagine, so no one is going to talk about it, probably). Same thing with the selling prices… jacked up so no one would resist and confidential. As for the threat of eminent domain, if you don’t accept the offer as an owner of a “needed” property, the risk you take is an all or nothing risk. No one goes down that road. People like to refer to the hold-out in Ballard… that was a private acquisition, not government.
Purhase and destruction of valuable and unreplaceable rental units was the last thing on the list of all residents of both this neighborhood (owners and renters) and tons of other folks from close-by neighborhoods. Siting was recommended and doable in some other place.
What I know of renters is that several resisted and held out until eviction was on the table. But, as you can see from all this, you can’t fight city hall.August 29, 2012 at 5:40 pm #768835
@Duck, I meant no judgement in citing that you are a renter vs. owner. Truly. But I do think that if you are going to raise the “fighting the City Hall” issue, whether one is a wealthy homeowner matters in this dynamic. Many of the folks that fought Lowman were VERY wealthy waterfront homeowners and whether we like it or not, that kind of voice seems to resonate more loudly with elected officials. I guess from their perspective, they pay a lot of property tax so are entitled to have a louder voice? In this situation, they actually won – no CSO project in the park. So, you can actually fight and win.
Now, whether it should have been cited where it is is another issue. I am still seriously curious as to whether you have an opinion on the question I posed to you above – should KC not be controlling overflows at all? If not, is your contention simply that the project should have been placed somewhere else?August 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm #768836August 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm #768837
2 Much WhineParticipant
I am surprised that with a name like “Duckitude” anyone would take offense to being called “Dux” for short. Sounds like somebody gets their feathers ruffled pretty easily. . . . .August 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm #768838
@ 2 Much Whine – in case you don’t know, in real life “Duckitude” has the letters “MD” following his real name. And I was taught at an early age that if a person is a doctor, you address them accordingly.
“DR Duckitude” might be more appropriate here :)August 29, 2012 at 8:32 pm #768839
I really don’t care what one calls oneself, or what one wants to call oneself. What I dislike is condescension on a posters part. Wow…there are so many things that one could have called Dr. Duckitude…but “dux”? Objections? well, OK, I guess…but not a reason to upbraid the person who wrote it. While it’s a serious subject matter, sometimes we need to lighten up just a little, not take ourselves so seriously. Upset over a harmless name? There are so many things in this world to really get upset over, I guess i don’t understand the attitude.Sigh.
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