(Marination’s Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton, with Alki CC president Tony Fragada at right)
Marination proprietors Roz Edison and Kamala Saxton stole the show at last night’s Alki Community Council meeting, with an update on the sudden red-tape snag that pushed back their Seacrest Boathouse project – but that wasn’t the only meaty briefing on the agenda:
MARINATION/SEACREST UPDATE: Edison and Saxton came to the ACC meeting to update the group on the Seacrest situation (taking a break from their celebration of the first anniversary of their first bricks-and-mortar location, which is on Capitol Hill). They noted for those unfamiliar with their business that their food truck has been serving West Seattle for three years – usually selling out of food during its Saturday visits to 35th/Graham.
If you missed our most recent update – after they were chosen as Seacrest’s new restaurant concessionaire in a city Request for Proposals process, after previous concessionaire Alki Crab and Fish moved out, they suddenly were told that the city Department of Planning and Development had to review the project for an additional permit – because it had never been officially designated for restaurant use (despite the fact that’s what had been there for a decade-plus). In our last update, Marination wasn’t very hopeful of being able to open before late summer.
Last night, Edison described the situation as “a little incredible” – but had some good news for their supporters: She said they’ve been told “instead of being a 4-month review process, they’ll make it a 2-month review process,” after fairly high-level intervention involving both departments (Parks and DPD). Some “technicalities are being sorted out,” Edison said, and then they will be able to go The estimate is now “mid- to possibly late summer.” ACC attendees expressed regret. The restaurateurs/food-truck operators agreed: “There’s no one winning … Alki Crab and Fish could have stayed in business till this was resolved. Even DPD land use didn’t win – we would have paid the permit fee that much sooner.”
As previously reported here, Alki Kayak Tours is continuing to operate under a temporary agreement. One attendee asked why AKT can’t just be a direct concessionaire with the city, and Roz said that’s a good question – it seems Parks just prefers to have one concessionaire be a single point of contact. Edison and Saxton say there’s a lot of work to be done but during “this waiting period,” as Kamala put it, their contractors can’t even go in and do work. The Health Department has approved their plans, but everything is just waiting on the shoreline use permit, land use, and construction permits.
Asked if they might consider bringing their truck “Big Blue” to Alki in the meantime, Edison said they have it locked into a route “we’re pretty loyal to” – including the Saturday stops in High Point – so can’t change now, but once things get closer, they do hope to bring it here. They say they have had their liquor license approved already. They promise “we are wedded to be on Alki for the long term – 10 to 20 years in this area. … If we miss part of this summer, it’s OK, because we have another 10 summers (at least) here.” Saxton also said they would love to host an ACC meeting once they’re open; asked if they would return to the council in a month with an update, they said they would love to be back with an opening date. “We don’t think there’s an evil machine working against us,” Roz insisted – it’s just the way things have turned out.
BEACH SAND: An Alki resident has been talking with the Parks Department about the addition of what he described as too-rough sand to the beach late last year. His story: He noticed trucks dumping sand “just east of the Bathhouse” late last year, saying it “didn’t look like regular sand” – but it had been spread across the beach days later, almost all the way to the brick restroom structure. He asked Parks about it, saying it consisted of “coarse sand and rocks,” at least three inches deep. He said he heard back from Dan Johnson, acting Parks division directors, who explained that beach erosion had led them to bring in “recycled sand” from play areas that were undergoing renovation. However, McMahon said, the sand wasn’t placed in the area that Parks told him had been eroded. The letter to him said that the sand would be sifted before beach season, including “hand sifters” in the volleyball-playing area, and that “more beach-appropriate sand” would be brought in. The note also included an apology that there had been no notice about the “replenishment” sand. He followed up by meeting with Parks officials at the beach three weeks ago. They told him removal wasn’t possible. But they have since told him that they’ve begun the sifting operation and plan to work on that at least weekly.
(As we mentioned at the meeting, this sounded a lot like something first reported in the WSB Forums in May 2010, which we followed up with in the news section.) The resident said he plans to keep monitoring it, and ACC members expressed their appreciation. He will come back with a status report next month.
POLICE UPDATE: Lt. Pierre Davis from the Southwest Precinct told the ACC they’re getting ready for the warmer months, with an increased police presence promised at Alki, and he repeated the mantra: “If you see something, say something,” in terms of reporting unusual events/sightings/people in neighborhoods – the more 911 calls they get, the more resources they can deploy to an area. “If we get enough complaints about suspicious behavior, suspicious people, etc., we can look at the reports and say this specific area has (lots of) calls … we need to take a closer look at that,” he said, adding something police often reiterate: Press your point with 911, even if you aren’t sure they’re taking you seriously, and repeat that police have insisted the community call to report the type of thing you’re calling to report. And yes, he replied to a question, you can call 911 to report aggressive/reckless driving (such as the speeding, wheelie-popping motorcycles that have been known to visit Alki in the summertime).
Asked about the unsolved Beach Drive murder (ongoing WSB coverage here), Lt. Davis’s reply was much the same as at last Tuesday’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (WSB coverage here): “Detectives are following several leads … not sure where that is leading them … but the common-sense things still come to mind such as how you conduct yourself in neighborhoods, don’t go into areas that are not well-lit … (if you go out for a walk), go with somebody. … If you notice an area that is not well-lit that should be, like a street light that’s out, shrubbery that should be cut for public safety, let us know, because we have interagency meetings every month, Parks Department is there, Health Department, anything that might be (of concern) to you, we can plug (that) into every city agency … all of that stuff is good information.” He also repeated that a safety walk is in the works for Emma Schmitz Park, as has been mentioned at previous meetings, but no date is set yet; he did say it’ll happen late in the day, around 6 pm.
Before Lt. Davis spoke, ACC president Tony Fragada had reported talking with neighbors and businesspeople and hearing about increasing sightings of transients in the area, even a “family living in Schmitz Park.”
LANDSLIDE UPDATE: This is an ongoing effort for ACC. While it wasn’t a formal committee update, vice president Stone said mud removal is under way in the area near where she lives (the renowned “Flower Houses”) and the neighboring Alki Beach Towers condos. Some trees have been taken out, too, because they were in danger of coming down in a slide.
ALSO NOTED: Another reminder that Seattle Summer Streets (“car-free day”) is coming up, along with the West Seattle 5K (co-sponsored by WSB), on May 20th … Admiral Neighborhood Association vice president Karl de Jong was visiting and told the group it’s great to “cross-pollinate” neighborhood groups. He was asked about the campaign for a light at 47th/Admiral, which he says is 32nd of 33 on a city list that seems to be getting addressed at the rate of about two lights a year. He mentioned the demonstration they had last fall (WSB coverage here) to mark the fifth anniversary of the deadly pedestrian crash that killed Tatsuo Nakata in 2006, and he asked anyone with ideas about how to advance the signal campaign to please let ANA know – they’re trying to find “creative ways … to keep the city from saying ‘no’.”
The Alki Community Council meets on third Thursdays, 7 pm, Alki UCC Church; more info at alkinews.com.
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