Morgan Community Association: Sewer project update; RapidRide; trees…

Can you imagine yourself gazing at Puget Sound views and potentially “sub-alpine meadow” landscaping from atop the sewer-overflow-reduction facility to be built across from Lowman Beach? A county rep brought the newest design plans to Wednesday night’s Morgan Community Association meeting, which also included a RapidRide update – read on:

“This meeting got much smaller in the past week,” observed president Deb Barker, a reference to the demise of the Lincoln Park Go Ape proposal last week – originally, the first public presentation about it was scheduled to be at MoCA’s meeting. Moot point now, but plenty to talk about anyway:

MURRAY CSO PROJECT UPDATE: Doug Marsano from King County Wastewater Treatment Division presented an update on the million-gallon-storage-tank project planned across the street from Lowman Beach Park, intended to keep Murray Pump Station from getting overloaded during big storms. The entire residential block across from the park has been purchased and vacated by the county, with demolition to follow, later this year.

The presentation included that rendering of what the front of the facility would look like if you were standing on Beach Drive looking southeast, and “an updated version” of the overall design concept Marsano showed MoCA at their last quarterly meeting three months ago. He says its goals include “a less industrial feel” for the facility, and traffic calming. They’re currently adding “architectural and landscaping details,” Marsano explained. He showed views – all of which you can see in this slide deck – including what it will look like if you are on Beach Drive two years after it’s built:

And then, there’s the 20-year view:

The exterior also is envisioned as including steel louvers, gray textured concrete, “semi-translucent glazing” (glass), tile accents, “rammed earth,” and steel-cable guardrails, as shown here:

Art principles were discussed too:

Landscaping will “ultimately mask the facility,” he added, “but it’s going to take some time to grow.” The facility will have a green roof, with three concepts under consideration, including an “alpine meadow theme”:

Robert Horner is the artist chosen for the site, Marsano said; he uses “rammed earth” and other types of soils, “putting an incredible amount of pressure on them,” to create a material that is “stronger than concrete” and is “trusted in many places in the world.” It’ll be sealed so that it’ll be graffiti-resistant, he explained. Themes will include the path that water takes from the mountains to the beach, resonant with the facility’s purpose to help protect water quality. There’ll be “shallow ponds” in the art installation with recirculated water from the tank (not sewage, it was clarified, but clean water used in “tipping buckets” that supply the tank as part of the process).

Marsano noted that the community has said they would like the site to “sort of disappear,” and the vegetation has been chosen to help provide that kind of screening – in the 20-year view shown above.

He said some of the permitting authorities have been looking at the design. But much of it is “up for public comment now,” Marsano stressed, until at least July 27th – (here’s how)

Lowman Beach resident Ron Sterling said that neighbors are requesting a public hearing on the permits required for the project, and said he is gathering signatures to get one – he needs 50, he said. He voiced concern about 13 feet of Beach Drive that he said the county is “taking” from SDOT, while Marsano countered by saying that narrowing the road is what SDOT directed them to do. (This county document from last spring says SDOT rejected a proposal for a 34-foot-wide roadway in favor of changing Beach Drive to be 25 feet wide.)

The Design Advisory Group is continuing to meet every other month, and will likely meet again in September. Redmond said that panels for the construction fencing will be painted in a community effort on August 18th.

Marsano also addressed the Seattle Fire Department‘s interest in training at the deconstruction site before the buildings are taken down. (Earlier Wednesday, in fact, a WSB reader saw Ladder 11 there, and an SFD spokesperson told us that they were scoping it out for possibilities.) Sterling said there are security issues at the sites; Marsano said anyone who notices such things should report them. He said they visit weekly but aren’t there around the clock and won’t catch everything.

RAPID RIDE: Doug Johnson from Metro noted that West Seattle’s C Line will connect to Ballard’s new D Line, so one bus can get you all the way there when they launch this fall – all trips will be “interlined.” (And apparently there will be one schedule for both routes.) “There’s a lot of change coming in the area this fall,” he noted, since other routes will see changes too (as previously discussed). He called it “probably one of the biggest service changes that Metro has done in many years,” especially when you consider the end of the Ride Free Area downtown around that same time. Here’s the latest on construction, he said:
–All construction is complete on the stations except for the two by the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, which should be done by mid-August, he said
–All the other stations and stops along the line are done except for 35th/Avalon northbound and Avalon/Yancy, where “a few parts” are still missing, he said.
–He said the lighting, bus-information boards, fare payment, and other tech elements are ready to be activated; testing will be starting in late August. And he mentioned they’re already starting to train and qualify drivers on the coaches and routes – which is why we noticed a RapidRide bus turning from Fauntleroy onto Alaska earlier in the day.

You might even see two in West Seattle at a time.
–September 29th remains the scheduled start date, and “we anticipate everything being ready to go.”
There also will be a RapidRide bus at Delridge Day on August 18th, as well as in the West Seattle Grand Parade this Saturday.

IN MOTION: Sunny Knott said they wouldn’t usually do “In Motion” in one neighborhood two years in a row, but because of the “big service change” they hope the bus-use-encouraging, car-use-discouraging program will help people get used to it.

President Barker asked both Metro reps how they plan to educate people about “what’s different”; Knott said that education on use of ORCA cards will be part of the In Motion program. Since everyone can enter through any door, Johnson was asked, how do they know if you paid? It’s the “honor system,” he acknowledged, but there are “roving fare inspectors” – and so far, he said, “it seems to be working fairly well.” Redmond pointed out that the transfer function is built into the card, which works on multiple transit systems.

TREE AMBASSADOR PROGRAM: Sean Gamble and Joanna Clark said this is a new program that they and president Barker have been accepted into; it’s funded by the U.S. Forest Service to “empower citizens to become stewards of the urban forest.” (Read about it on the city website.) Components include finding out how to get free trees and watering bag, how to organize community “tree walks,” how to support fruit trees, invasive-species removal, and public-spaces renewal. Two local sites are under consideration for the latter – Fauntleroy/Morgan and Fauntleroy/Juneau, the little triangular public areas in the bus-stop vicinity. Clark said they have no specific ideas for “what needs to be in that space,” but possibilities include new trees and mulching. SDOT would be responsible for caring for any new trees that were planted. Signs will be put up at the sites with contact info; otherwise, contact MoCA if you are interested in pitching in. (There’s contact forms on this page; they also will likely set up something on the MoCA Facebook page.)

WEST SEATTLE HI-YU: President James Kline and Senior Court Queen Kayli Schulz spoke to MoCA, talking about how – like most nonprofits – they rely on volunteerism and donations.

Queen Kayli explained that she just graduated from Holy Names as a valedictorian and is going to Clark University in Massachusetts this fall. She’ll be studying microbiology or biochemistry, and considering going into immunology, possibly as a doctor. She and the Junior Court will be in this Saturday’s parade. They talked about the scholarship fund, which benefits from button sales and from sponsorships – MoCA had voted last year to be a Hi-Yu sponsor. Before their appearance ended, they were asked what Hi-Yu means. (You know, right?) Kline pointed out that Hi-Yu dates back to 1934, long before even Seafair. (That’s the first year there was a parade, too – even though it’s not the Hi-Yu Parade any longer, it’s the descendant of that parade.) They talked about how the float is built atop a 1967 Buick – and how it’s the last Seattle community-built float, and they’re trying to keep that afloat – if you will – as long as they can. Longtime Hi-Yu volunteer Carol Winston piped up from the audience that float storage remains the biggest challenge.

MORGAN JUNCTION COMMUNITY FESTIVAL RECAP: President Deb Barker recapped the rain-and-wind-shortened festival (WSB coverage here), noting they did get through the first-ever Bark of Morgan pet parade and the Bite of Morgan food tasting before the rainout, termed a “force majeure” by vice president Chas Redmond, who had organized the music/entertainment – which made it through three acts before the ground-fault protectors on the professional equipment forced them to stop and to call the remaining bands to cancel their appearances. “That was the seventh Morgan Festival – six out of seven (with) sunshine, that’s pretty good odds,” said Redmond. President Barker said there was one more factor that proved somewhat problematic – they are used to having volunteers to set up and break down but this year they didn’t have enough, so they had to hire people to help.

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: Night Out is coming up in less than three weeks, August 7th (register with SPD here) … Alki Art Fair, for which Redmond is also planning the music, is July 28-29 … Seattle Police’s Picnic at the Precinct is planned for 1-4 pm by the Southwest Precinct (on Webster west of Delridge) …

NEW SECRETARY: Sean Gamble was elected to take over the MoCA secretary position recently relinquished by Kate Gill de la Garza.

The Morgan Community Association meets quarterly, and its next meeting is in October – keep an eye on for the agenda.

5 Replies to "Morgan Community Association: Sewer project update; RapidRide; trees..."

  • poor memory July 20, 2012 (8:58 am)

    “they were asked what Hi-Yu means. (You know, right?)”
    no, i forgot – what does it mean?
    was there supposed to be a link to the meaning?

    • WSB July 20, 2012 (9:29 am)

      Poor Memory, that was a test to see if anybody was reading the fine print. “Chinook jargon for ‘plenty'” is the answer. Thanks for reading! – TR

  • Duckitude July 20, 2012 (9:01 am)

    Thank you for the comprehensive report about the MOCA meeting.

    Unfortunately, the commentary related to design aspects of the Murray CSO facility is uncritical to a fault. Not that the WSB should be engaged in critical review, so no problem there.

    I guess critical, analytical review of details is up to us poor saps, called “the most tortured residents” and recreationists who use the current park and roadway and the current miserable sidewalks for walking, running, biking, etc.

    I have to get to work, so this will be a short intro to what will come later.
    The idea that the viewpoint will offer anything particularly special is, well, a very uncritical appraisal of what you will see from that viewpoint. There is no plan to put the multitude of utility wires underground and eliminate the three very obtrusive telephone poles. SO, YES, if you can mind-shop out those elements, you may be able to get a view that is somewhat pristine. Good luck on that.
    Next, if you think that the current architectual features will not be perfect for late-night partying, graffitti, and all kinds of other activities that will degrade not only the experience but also the site itself on a regular basis, you don’t know jack about how this area is already used for such activities and this will just give it more of a draw. Almost private…
    You will note that there is no mention, whatsoever, of lighting or lighting materials, etc. (Unless, I missed that somewhere.)
    I could go on… but don’t have time right now.
    Significantly uncritical acceptance of what a government plans for you, even if they did it with the so-called help of so-called advisory committees, is really not very helpful.
    And, those residents of this area most affected and to be tortured the most by this further exponential industrialization of the area, have had the least say in what is going to take place. Truly rude behavior by any government, and, in this instance, quite unforgiveable.

  • Morgan Resident July 20, 2012 (7:09 pm)

    Duckitude, Nice duck display.

    We all deal with poles and wires impeding our views. Removing them just for the view seems frivolous.

    No matter what was installed as far as architecture is concerned, it could attract anyone. Look at the Morgan Park. Or any park. It’s up to the residents to make a stand with the help of the police to prevent it.

    Lighting was addressed in the meeting. Go to the meetings. It’s your only way to get involved and get heard. BTW how many area residents are on the committee?

    Should the county continue to pump sewage into the sound? When you moved in was the pump station already in place? Industrialization? They are building you a park to hide a building? Your welcome.

  • Duckitude July 20, 2012 (11:34 pm)

    Heck, I don’t personally care about wires and poles or the view from up the hill… right? I have a great view, and don’t need to worry about it. However, I do care for what other people might want to see. Why spend a bunch of money making it nice for viewing, when you are going to basically create a great place to view wires at eye level. Just saying…
    It seems rather impossible to carry on a rational discussion at the WSB with folks like Morgan Resident adding nothing to the discussion except trying to make me or anyone else who want to discuss details and their take on things without somebody figuring out a way to be condescending…
    So, Morgan Res, if lighting was addressed, where is it in the plans? Addressed isn’t what I was looking for… actual decisions would be nice.
    I was a hard-working and highly contributing member of the CAG last year and invested more than 100 hours in that advisory endeavor, along with a substantial number of neighbors (about 17 at most meetings). If you think that advisory committees such as the CAG last year have a real influence on outcomes, you would be significantly wrong. King County’s final decision was made after the CAG was dismissed and they chose the very last option that was on CAG’s table, and I mean barely on the table. Won’t be going down that road again. It is a sham process, meant to impress or meet public process requirements, but no real, effective vote.
    I attended half of the DAG meetings, and knew the documents and discussions as well as any “official” member. I chose not to attempt to be a member of the DAG because, honestly, King County does what it wants to do no matter what. The process is so guided it is almost obnoxious. For instance, apparently, SDOT is dictating major design elements that will have major impacts on traditional users of the Lowman Beach Recreational area. Does the DAG get to vote on that? Apparently not, unless King County is lying about SDOT’s role.
    Should the county pump sewage into the sound? That is not the issue, really. To try to imply that I am pro-sewage pumping skirts the issues I brought up entirely and is a truly adolescent tactic. Try high school again. Or, hone up on your debate skills….
    You might ask traditional, long-time users of the Lowman Beach recreational area and the safety it allows bikers, runners, walkers and kayakers, due to how wide the street is now, whether they used it knowing that someday they would not be able to use it…
    The idea that a big industrialization of an area should be expected or thought of as rational based on an existing small industrialization carries practically no weight as a legitimate argument.
    Personally, I don’t give a crap how much they want to industrialize and disappear an entire neighborhood. No skin off my nose. I rent. I can move anywhere, anytime. However, I do care about the principles of neighborliness, fair play, democracy, and logic and reason. Clearly, all you care about is putting me down.

Sorry, comment time is over.