What next for neighborhood planning? Pivotal meeting tonight

October 27, 2009 3:53 pm
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 |   Neighborhoods | West Seattle news

That’s City Councilmember Sally Clark (Avalon Glassworks glass pumpkin in the foreground) at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce office last Thursday, when we sat in on the monthly “Lunch with LEO” (local elected official) brownbag at which she guested. Clark chairs the council’s Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee; a related issue we asked her about is coming to a head tonight, and while the meeting is not in West Seattle, it’s open to the public and those with an interest in neighborhood planning will want to attend.

This all links to the big event at Youngstown last July, in which more than 100 people from five West Seattle “neighborhood plan areas” showed up to talk about what’s changed since the Neighborhood Plans were approved a decade ago, and what should happen next. (The followup to that meeting is coming up Nov. 5 at Mercer Middle School on Beacon Hill, and it’s important to be there too.) The big questions now include, what happens with the neighborhood plan update process; will the city budget ehough money next year to continue proceeding with some plan updates each year; and whether a few updates per year is fast enough. That issue is so far up in the air, there’s a question about whether the citywide Neighborhood Plan Advisory Committee will even continue to exist – Councilmember Clark told us on Thursday that if it doesn’t, perhaps there could be a citizen committee as an adjunct to the Seattle Planning Commission paying attention to planning issues.

So tonight, the Advisory Committee has a special meeting to discuss its future, and to clarify city government’s commitment to the process. (Thanks to West Seattle NPAC rep Sharonn Meeks for the tip.) The meeting starts at 6:15 pm at City Hall downtown (Bertha Knight Landes Room) and a public-comment period is scheduled close to the end, around 8:10 pm.

EARLY WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Meeks says the committee voted to continue its work; now the question remains how the funding will fare in the budgeting process.

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