Sat in on tonight’s monthly meeting of the Southwest District Council and brought back lots of quick updates on West Seattle goings-on plus heard new and interesting things from the group’s guest speaker, City Council President Richard Conlin (left), who also spoke to the Alki Community Council’s last meeting (WSB coverage here):
In bullet-point format:
BRIDGING THE GAP: Short presentation on what the city’s done as part of this voter-approved program last year — lots of numbers, this many miles of paving, this many miles of sidewalk — you can check out the official report here. Note that West Seattleite Ann Martin co-chairs the Bridging the Gap citizen oversight committee, and she noted that it’s meeting in West Seattle on April 15, 6:30 pm @ Youngstown Arts Center, public comment invited and encouraged.
WEST SEATTLE WALKING TRAILS MAP: If you missed our previous post on the draft version of this map and the request for your comments, check it out here; one of the key people making it happen, local activist/organizer Chas Redmond, said tonight that next Monday is the deadline for comments on this first draft version. (Our report explains how to have your say.)
SPRING CLEAN – HOW ABOUT CLEANING UP THE END OF THE BRIDGE FROM WALKING ON LOGS TO 35TH/FAUNTLEROY? This idea started to get serious traction toward the end of the meeting, as the group discussed the city’s upcoming Spring Clean campaign. If you’d be interested in joining an effort to clean up that section of the gateway to West Seattle, pipe up in comments here.
ZERO-WASTE CAMPAIGN FOR JUNCTION BUSINESSES: Dave Montoure of the West Seattle Junction Association (and West 5) mentioned that more than 30 businesses are kicking off this new strategy starting next month.
That dovetailed with one of the many topics touched on by Council President Conlin. Here are the highlights from what he told the Southwest District Council tonight:
ZERO-WASTE STRATEGY, CONTINUED: Conlin says details on this will come out soon and he thinks it will be “really exciting.” He also promised new proposals to keep “styrofoam and plastic bags” out of the waste stream.
DISASTER READINESS: Conlin mentioned a drill was under way today at the city’s new Emergency Operations Center, focusing on what might happen if — heaven forbid — a 7.0 quake struck. He said one of the scenarios included loss of the high bridge (someone sensibly said, OK, so what conclusions did you reach about how to get help to West Seattle if that happens? and Conlin replied somewhat sheepishly that the low bridge did NOT collapse in the scenario); he says one of the city’s big points to make in this arena is that it’s not just about how you get immediate help, it’s how communities will be able to help themselves — “building resilience in the community.” This, like many areas of emphasis he mentioned, has its own subtitle: the “Resilient City Strategy.”
SEATTLE’S URBAN FOREST: Funny this came up, considering we had been talking about this just hours earlier. Conlin says this will be a “major priority” — he says Seattle currently has 18 percent tree cover and should have 30%-40%, so he vows the city will take steps to “increase” tree cover, including “new regulations and incentives to protect trees on private property.” (We plan to contact him tomorrow for more details on what this might entail.)
MULTI-FAMILY ZONING REGULATIONS: This is something that’s had a lot of people up in arms, or at least deeply concerned, for months, and it’s not settled yet. (We reported on it here last October, with the help of JuNO president Erica Karlovits, who is on the Southwest District Council along with other neighborhood-group leaders.) Conlin acknowledged this one is a very sensitive issue — although he says he hasn’t “seen the legislation yet” — and says there’s no timetable yet for getting it before the council but that there’s a timetable to SET a timetable – and that will happen by the end of March.
NO MORE TOO-FAST ACTION: Conlin also said, along those lines, that he will no longer let resolutions be introduced and approved on the same day – they generally need more time for public scrutiny.
MEGAHOUSE LEGISLATION: He’s still working on this issue that he had talked about while visiting the Alki group earlier this year. It’s been “very frustrating,” though, he noted.
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