West Seattle, Washington
That’s Alki resident Steve Cuddy, explaining to city planning reps tonight why a fence in front of the proposed 5-unit development at 59th/Stevens (city project page here) would dangerously limit visibility for people crossing 59th to Alki Playfield or Elementary. Neighbors gathered at the Admiral library branch for a meeting called because they gathered signatures to demand one.
We’ve told you before about the controversy over this development, most recently when it was discussed at last week’s Alki Community Council meeting (WSB coverage here). The lot is about 7500 square feet, with one single-family home on it now, and a plan to tear that down to make way for two houses plus a three-unit townhouse building:
Most neighbors say they’re not opposed to development at the site, but they have concerns about this plan. In addition to the visibility concerns discussed by Cuddy in the video clip above, they are worried about the shadows they say the 3-story buildings will cast on Alki Playfield and Playground, and they believe those shadows might be a violation of city codes. (See the codes by scrolling to section Q here; also, here’s a gallery of diagrams and photos collected by neighbors at this site, including photos showing how narrow the street can be; neighbor Laura Chassagne says it’s in effect a one-way street at many times of the day.) The alley to the west also is a concern (same one where we showed you then-newly installed speed-limit signs in January), with beach cruisers often using it as a shortcut, and fears that added housing units will mean added clutter with trash, recycling, and yard-waste containers. Another area resident, Steve Turpin, expressed further concerns about whether the existing house, built in 1925, has been assessed for possible toxics concerns when it’s torn down, given its proximity to the playground, playfield, and school. City planners will review this input before ruling on the proposal — you can send them comments by clicking the link next to “Public Involvement” atop this page. (Also worth noting again, the house and land, currently owned by West Seattle-based Cobb Construction, is back on the market.)
Almost every week for the past few months, we’ve walked into Room 145 at Chief Sealth High School and sat down with two of the students in Sam Reed‘s Web Design II class to talk over a project that was part of an ambitious effort he launched this semester — pairing student teams with small-business proprietors to create websites in a real vendor/client type of atmosphere. (He asked WSB last November to put out the call for small-business volunteers, and got more than three dozen responses!) Tonight, Reed organized a reception for the students, their families, and the “clients” to see the sites unveiled — here’s how it went:Read More
Thanks to Shannon for that photo of tonight’s sunset, taken from Fauntleroy. We consider this the last night of spring, since it’ll be Memorial Day weekend by tomorrow night and that’s the unofficial summer kickoff even if the solstice is four weeks away!
This time last night, 35th/Holden Chevron was at $3.99/gallon for regular, which wasn’t the highest in West Seattle, since we’d noted earlier that Barnecut’s Shell was the first WS station to break $4/regular, at $4.03 by midday yesterday. In the past 24 hours, however, 35th/Holden has pumped that price up a full dime … as you can see at left. Don’t know if it’s the highest in WS at the moment as we haven’t done a full survey, but gave us a double-take.
We reported last week that, after asking the Parks Department for comment from superintendent Tim Gallagher on why a skate feature was suddenly on the back burner for the Myrtle Reservoir park as of the public meeting three weeks ago, we finally got a sort of form letter back, and were continuing to pursue comment. A short time ago, we finally talked with Gallagher by phone — he says there’s a meeting next week involving the “skate community” and if they are enthusiastic about the prospects of a High Point skatepark — the other West Seattle site (besides Myrtle) mentioned in the citywide Skatepark Plan as a possible location (they’re just a block apart, as shown in the photo above) — that could move forward relatively quickly. Here’s what else he had to say:Read More
Just got word of a unique competition at Chief Sealth High School tonight and an invitation for you to attend — 120 students from Sealth, Ballard, and Franklin High Schools are competing in the final round of the Seattle Academy of Financeâ€™s Annual Case Competition. Working in 4-person teams, the students got a “business case” six days ago and have had to work to solve it – tonight, they present their proposals to corporate and faculty judges. It’s happening 7:30 pm in the Sealth “Little Auditorium.” (Read the full news release here.) Just so happens part of Team WSB was already going to be at Sealth tonight for a smaller event celebrating a project we told you about last November – business teacher Sam Reed‘s Web Design students have been designing websites for volunteer small-business participants (including a side project we had been contemplating) and tonight, with those participants on hand as well as their families, the students unveil their work. We’ll be there to cover both.
One of the distinctive art features at Fauntleroy’s Cove Park, the little pocket of public waterfront immediately north of the ferry dock, is missing from its perch today (photos added 1:50 pm). It’s a raven that looks over the beach as part of the depiction of a legend about how the sun was created. Overnight, someone apparently knocked the raven down. Gary Dawson of the Fauntleroy Community Association, which maintains Cove Park, says a State Patrol officer called him around 7:45 this morning to say he had the raven — brought to him by someone who found it in the sand. He’s keeping it right now while repairs are strategized and showed it to us a short time ago – it appears to have been broken off right where it was attached to its perch:
Artist Tom Jay sculpted the raven for Cove Park, where it was installed in 2000, the year the park was dedicated. The Fauntleroy Community Association has reported the apparent vandalism to police.
(photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
2 1/2 months after we first told you about West Seattle-residing City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s renewed push to try to ease rush-hour traffic by keeping the low bridge (Spokane Street Swing Bridge) from opening during certain times of the day, the proposal is now officially open for your comments, and the clock is ticking toward a decision. As the U.S. Coast Guard‘s regional bridge commander Austin Pratt had explained in our followups (coverage here and here), a two-month comment period was to open as soon as notice of the proposed rule change was published in the Federal Register; he just called to let us (and you) know that the notice was published today, triggering the start of a public-comment period lasting until July 21st. He also sent a copy of the relevant pages of the Federal Register; see them here. Excerpted from that, the specific rule language is as follows:
The proposed rule would enable the Seattle Department of Transportation
(SDOT), the owner of the Spokane Street Bridge, to keep the draws of that bridge in the closed position in order to help alleviate roadway traffic Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with the proviso that openings shall be provided at any time for vessels of 5000 gross tons or more.
Whether you want to express support for this or opposition, what’s REALLY important now is following the official procedure for commenting (there’s also an official procedure for requesting a public meeting on this) – read on for those specifics:Read More
Two highlights from the slate of events on tonight’s agenda (see the Events list page for more):
ALKI PROJECT MEETING: Neighbors gathered signatures to force an official city meeting to review the proposal to replace a house at 59th/Stevens, across from Alki Elementary and Playfield, with a five-unit development. As explained at the last Alki Community Council meeting (WSB coverage here), they are concerned the three-story buildings will put much of the playfield in shadows at key times of the day (our coverage included graphics they created). The meeting’s at the Admiral (West Seattle) Library branch, 6:30 pm.