West Seattle, Washington
Concluding an four-hour doubleheader meeting much less contentious than their previous one last month, the Southwest Design Review Board has just given thumbs-up to 4745 40th SW, an eight-story, 150-unit, 116-parking-space building on the southwest corner of 40th and Edmunds, south of land the city has just purchased for a future park.
The previous session was for 4535 44th SW (here’s our report). Four regular board members were the panel for this review – chair Myer Harrell, Daniel Skaggs, Todd Bronk, and Laird Bennion; also at the table, Bruce Rips, the city planner for this project. Like the earlier project, this one drew about 15 members of the public.
Andy Hoyer from Encore Architects led the presentation; see the packet here. Hoyer said he was excited to be presenting one of the first projects developed under guidelines in the relatively new West Seattle Triangle Plan; though this site technically isn’t in The Triangle, the plan’s area extended a bit further west, including this site.
In the first of two reviews tonight, the Southwest Design Review Board has just recommended final approval for the design of 4535 SW Alaska, an apartment building to be known as Lofts at The Junction.
All five regular board members were on hand for this meeting – chair Myer Harrell and members Todd Bronk, Laird Bennion, T. Frick McNamara, and Daniel Skaggs – along with planner Tami Garrett from the city Department of Planning and Development.
Though this project has been a source of controversy, fewer than 20 members of the public were on hand – perhaps because its most controversial point, the lack of parking, is not in the scope of the Design Review Board’s authority. (Dozens more attended a special neighbor-requested meeting about non-design concerns last month – here’s our coverage.)
Tonight’s review began with NK Architects‘ Jin Lee presenting (see the packet here) the latest design for the project, Lofts at The Junction, which as he put it is on “a truncated triangle … one block from the heart of The Junction.” It is proposed for five stories with 36 apartments and two live-work units on a site with significant west-east slope between Glenn Way to the west and 44th SW to the east.
If you’ve driven the high-rise West Seattle Bridge this evening, you might have noticed the new LED lights – Seattle City Light announced via Twitter that the installation is complete:
Driving the WS Bridge? Tonight it's lit by new LED streetlights. Crews installed 144 the past 2 days. Fixing power for 11 this weekend.
— Seattle City Light (@SEACityLight) December 6, 2013
The utility said last month that LED conversion was complete in its service area except for arterials and other major city roadways (including the bridge), where it’s under way now.
Just in from Sustainable West Seattle and the WS Tool Library – new details about tomorrow night’s all-ages Festivus party and fundraiser – the only public Festivus festivities announced in our area so far this season o’joy. In the spirit of the alternate holiday envisioned in the classic TV series “Seinfeld” (clip above), “airing of grievances and feats of strength will be included. Read on for the full lineup:
That’s the official West Seattle Junction Christmas tree, one of three in our area that will be officially lit by mid-weekend. Here’s the plan:
OLG, FRIDAY NIGHT: At 7 pm tomorrow (Friday, December 6th), you’re invited to gather beneath the highest-elevation Christmas tree in Seattle, the Our Lady of Guadalupe School and Parish tree at 35th/Myrtle. OLG calls it a “mingle and jingle” event – and it’s a food drive too – look for the sleigh created by Dave Fitton:
OLG hopes to fill the sleigh with canned-food donations. The event includes “caroling, cocoa, cookies, and Santa too,” continuing in the new gym north of the church right after the big tree’s lit.
JUNCTION, SATURDAY NIGHT: At 5 pm Saturday (December 7th), come to Junction Plaza Park at 42nd/Alaska for the gala West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays (co-sponsored by WSB) tree lighting. This year, local insurance agent/cowboy bandleader Brent Amacher will emcee, with performances by Endolyne Children’s Choir, the Chief Sealth International High School Marching Band, and singers Jay Cates and Mark Pickerel.
DELRIDGE TRIANGLE, SATURDAY NIGHT: Also at 5 pm Saturday, a ceremony will illuminate the official White Center Christmas tree in the Delridge Triangle Veterans’ Park (right outside Mac’s Triangle Pub at Delridge/16th/Roxbury).
This weekend is brimming with other holiday happenings too – bazaars, open houses, two Christmas Ship visits, music, more – we’re continuing to add them all to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events/Info Guide!
1:25 PM: This problem was first mentioned in our daily traffic watch, but since it hasn’t cleared yet, we’re escalating: There’s a multiple-vehicle crash just past the 99 ramp to the high-rise West Seattle Bridge, which is down to one lane at that spot – as currently shown on the “live” camera above – and WSB’ers tell us it’s backed up the Spokane Street Viaduct all the way to I-5. So if you have to get back to West Seattle sometime soon, consider taking 99 past the bridge, to enter via Highland Park. We’re checking to see if anyone was hurt in the crash.
2:04 PM: Bridge camera is showing a tow truck on scene.
4:03 PM: The scene is long cleared, but we have one other update: Only one person was taken to the hospital, according to Seattle Fire spokesperson Lt. Sue Stangl – and that was just as a precaution, as his injuries were believed to be minor.
Four weeks ago, the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council sent Metro Transit general manager Kevin Desmond a letter detailing community concerns specific to the expansion of the Roxhill Park/Westwood Village area as a transit hub, some of which were discussed again at this week’s WWRHAH meeting, as reported here last night. (added) Here’s the November WWRHAH letter:
Today, Desmond has answered that letter; we were CC’d on its reply, which we are publishing here in its entirety:
Thank you for your email of November 7, 2013 about the Transit Center located at the
Westwood Village Shopping Center near Roxhill Park. I appreciate you bringing the concerns of the Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council to my attention. Safety and security is a high priority for all of us involved in keeping transit riders and community members safe. I apologize for not getting back to you before your December 2nd meeting. We were working to make sure we had all the components to respond to your email as completely as possible.
In the fall of 2012, Metro implemented a series of route restructures in West Seattle that provided additional service to Westwood Village on the RapidRide C Line and Route 21, both of which end service on Southwest Barton Street adjacent to Roxhill Park. In addition, routes 22, 60, 125, and 560 were routed to the east side of Westwood Village along 25th Avenue Southwest. These changes have resulted in the creation of a new transit hub at Westwood Village that connects people to the many services offered there – shopping, dining, fitness, medical services, recreation, and other opportunities. Connections between transit services at Westwood Village also expand the number of places that people can travel and offer new mobility to many residents of West Seattle and beyond. As you have observed, these transit enhancements have generated new activity in and around the bus zone.
After receiving your email, we took some immediate actions to assess the situation in your community, including inspecting the stops involved and increasing Metro Transit Police patrols. Below you’ll find a summary of the steps we’ve taken:
By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog
This edition of The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge…
*On the 29th, around 10:30 a.m., a passing citizen’s phone call led officers to the high rise of the West Seattle Bridge, where a despondent man had his head in his hands. The man drove off but officers followed when they saw him raise his right hand and make the shape of a gun. Fellow drivers pulled aside because of the patrol car’s siren and officers were able to stop the driver on Highway 99 northbound. He cried and apologized saying that the gun in the center console was not loaded, but confirmed that he had, indeed, intended to jump from the bridge. Officers found many suicidal notes in the car. The man was taken to Harborview for treatment.
Just in case you have ties to Gatewood Elementary and heard something about a power outage – we went there to check as soon as people started texting us (206-293-6302, any time) about it. We confirmed at the school that while power WAS out for a few minutes, it’s back on now. Checking with Seattle City Light to see if they have information on what happened.
That’s the crane at 5020 California SW, where The Blake is under construction; so far, it’s the only one of West Seattle’s three current construction cranes bearing Christmas lights. Speaking of development, it’s the subject of two meetings that are among highlights for today/tonight from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and Holiday Guide:
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 11 am at Southwest Library. (35th/Henderson)
FREE ‘ON STAGE’ DISCUSSION @ ARTSWEST: As “Little Women: The Musical” continues at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), tonight it’s preceded by a “Stories of the Civil War” discussion event you can attend for free, 6-6:45 pm, even if you’re not staying for the 7:30 pm performance. Details here. (4711 California SW)
SHOP LATE THURSDAY – WEST SEATTLE CYCLERY SALE: Every Thursday until Christmas, many of The Junction’s independent local businesses are staying open until 9 pm for your gift-shopping convenience. Among them: West Seattle Cyclery (WSB sponsor), which has a one-day sale – good all day/night, 10 am-9 pm – for the occasion, 20 percent off all kids’ bicycles and accessories. (4508 California SW)
SHOP LATE THURSDAY – FLEURT OPEN HOUSE: While you’re in The Junction, stop by Fleurt (WSB sponsor) for the flower and gift shop’s Holiday Open House, featuring snacks and giveaways, 6-8 pm. (4536 California SW)
DESIGN REVIEW DOUBLEHEADER: Tonight’s meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board includes two Junction-area projects – 4535 44th SW (38 units, no parking spaces; see the packet here) at 6:30 pm, 4745 40th SW (150 units, 1,000 SF of commercial space, 116 parking spaces; see the packet here) at 8 pm, upstairs hall at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (California/Oregon)
FREE MOVIE TO HELP FREE ‘LOLITA’: At the Admiral Theater tonight, it’s the awareness-raising free movie mentioned here last month – local students have rented an auditorium to show “Lolita, Slave to Entertainment” as part of the campaign to free “Lolita,” originally known as Tokitae, the last surviving orca captured in Puget Sound, still captive at a Florida amusement park. Doors open 6:30 pm, movie at 7. (2343 California SW)
COMMUNITY MEETING ABOUT MORGAN JUNCTION DEVELOPMENT: 7 pm at The Kenney (WSB sponsor), community members including Morgan Community Association leaders have organized an unofficial meeting to talk about the 6917 California SW development (30 apartments, no parking spaces) and the development process in general, with city Department of Planning and Development managers on hand. All welcome. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
(East-facing camera on the West Seattle Bridge; see other cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:18 AM: Below freezing again this morning, with temps in the mid-20s right now. Two advisories: West Seattle Bridge lane closures again today, 10 am-4 pm, for LED streetlight installation. And the half-block construction-related closure of 42nd SW in The Junction, south of SW Alaska, continues each weekday 7 am-3:30 pm through the end of next week.
12:56 PM: Crash on the westbound bridge, high-rise vicinity.