From last night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting at Youngstown Arts Center, lots of updates, including new information about what’ll be the biggest Delridge Day event ever, as well as this fall’s Gathering of Neighbors. Read on for the full report:
Without a guest speaker (though there will be several next month – more on that later in this story), the bulk of the meeting focused on reports from individual participants.
Pete Spalding talked about Pigeon Point frustrations trying to nail down information on the impending 23rd SW road closure we’ve been covering here. No one disputed that the developer has done what city rules require him to do – but the general consensus is that those rules don’t go far enough; they only require notification fairly late in the game (signs that popped up on Delridge last week were the first anyone had heard), and direct notification only for nearby residents, never mind the hundreds if not thousands who use the street.
Ron Angeles, Delridge District coordinator for the Department of Neighborhoods, said he was frustrated too, as the rules don’t require notification of something like this to come to his attention either – despite his key role in helping get information from the city to local residents – ideally, he said, there’d have been a community meeting ahead of time so residents could get answers and voice concerns.
Spalding also mentioned the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council‘s new leadership and website upgrades in the works, and on behalf of the West Seattle Food Bank, for which he’s the immediate past president of the board, he reminded everyone its Instruments of Change fundraiser is coming up April 30th.
From Highland Park Action Committee, chair Dan Mullins invited everyone to his group’s regular meetings, fourth Wednesday of the month (next one Feb. 24).
Matt McBride from the Camp Long Advisory Council ran the meeting in the absence of chair Pablo Lambinicio. He said the Camp Long Lodge, currently closed for renovations, remains on track to reopen in “the June-July time frame.”
Aviva from Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle reminded the group about Saturday’s Seed Swap ‘n’ Sale and talked about the new addition – bring old shovels/garden tools for “recycling” into art projects (as reported here). Community Harvest also has a community meeting in the works regarding an exploratory proposal for a community-orchard project, “to see what we have developed so far” – no date set yet.
Derek Birnie from Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association was asked about King County Food and Fitness Initiative progress – particularly the “Healthy Corner Store” project, which is in place at the Super 24 and will be extended to others, he said – “We’re in the process of identifying the next round of stores we’re going to be recruiting.” Birnie also talked about the “Clean Greens” effort to bring locally grown produce to Delridge; he says they’re working to be able to sell some in front of the Super 24 store on certain days, “inside the store on others” – right now, he says, they’re just sorting out some issues about how to make sure food-bank vouchers are used for “appropriate healthy foods.”
And the perennial question, will Delridge ever get a grocery store? Birnie says he and others are “in conversation with various grocery chains around what was missing from the High Point discussion, so that we might learn from it” — that refers to the future mixed-use development at 35th/Graham that at one point was considered for a grocery store, but then couldn’t attract one. For Delridge in general, he says, “a couple chains that don’t have a big footprint in Seattle … might be a better fit.”
He was asked about the KCFFI’s focus in White Center, where it’s in place as well as in Delridge; there, he said, since grocery/fresh food access is not as much of an issue, “the effort’s been more to focus on restaurants … improve people’s access to healthy, affordable food through restaurants … we’re approaching restaurants one at a time.”
After that, Birnie launched into the Delridge Day update, joined by Spalding and Angeles. The festival, set for June 5th, has “grown into something huge” – with Seattle Parks and Sustainable West Seattle among the partners, and a schedule for the day kicking off with a community cleanup. Next, a scavenger hunt that’ll focus on Delridge Community Center – the festival site, instead of the previous Youngstown location – and neighborhood parks. There will be a photo contest too, with a committee choosing the best 12 pictures to turn into a Delridge calendar; other prizes will include one for the group that picks up the most trash during the community cleanup.
With so much going on, they can use more volunteer personpower. The overall planning meetings are the first Wednesday of each month, 4:30 pm, at Youngstown; subcommittees are meeting at other times. If you’d like to help, contact Birnie through dnda.org or Angeles at the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center.
New information about another big event followed – it’s been reported before that the fifth Gathering of Neighbors will be on November 6th, but Spalding said it’s just been confirmed, the newly renovated Chief Sealth High School – which reopens this September – will be the site of the event – planned for the big new Galleria that will connect Sealth with the new Denny International Middle School campus next door. The G-o-N, like Delridge Day, has a big slate of partners too – DNDA, Department of Neighborhoods, local neighborhood groups, and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Planning meetings for this are under way too; Birnie says a goal this year is to “find out what the needs of the participating organizations are” – for example, many groups want to “build their volunteer base and engage more neighbors” – then, to structure the event correspondingly.
And before the group wrapped up, there was talk about the future of the West Seattle Corporate Center building at Delridge/Andover, in the wake of the death of the building’s owner, Tom Stewart. Birnie planned to contact the building’s management to see if this would lead to any changes in how the building – former headquarters to Stewart’s company Services Group of America – is operated, and whether there is any potential for its open space to be used to address community needs such as a shortage of health-care facilities.
NEXT MONTH: City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, as well as city guests discussing proposed White Center (etc.) annexation, Camp Long, and the Historic Preservation program; in April, Council President Richard Conlin is scheduled.
The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meets the third Wednesday of each month, 7 pm, Youngstown Arts Center.