West Seattle, Washington
Five development notes tonight:
ANOTHER DESIGN REVIEW MEETING SET: The Southwest Design Review Board hasn’t had a reason to meet since May 1st, but next month is getting busier. A second project has been added to the schedule for July 10th’s meeting, which already had the 7520 35th SW eye-clinic project on the docket for 6:30 pm. The 8 pm slot is now scheduled for the third Early Design Guidance review of 3824 California SW, the former Charlestown Café site. Two months have passed since the second EDG meeting for the townhouse/live-work-unit project (WSB coverage here). The July 10th reviews will be at the SWDRB’s usual meeting site, the Senior Center of West Seattle (WSB sponsor) at California/Oregon in The Junction.
ANOTHER CORNER ROWHOUSE ON FAUNTLEROY WAY: One block south of the south end of 4755 Fauntleroy Way (The Whittaker), a 65-year-old duplex on a LR-1-zoned corner at 5003 Fauntleroy is proposed to be demolished and replaced by a 7-unit rowhouse.
It’s a few blocks north of Fauntleroy/Findlay, where the 5-unit corner rowhouse mentioned here a few times is almost complete.
LAND USE APPROVAL FOR ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY DEMOLITION: Days after the last school year for the old Arbor Heights Elementary ended, the city has published a notice of land-use approval for its demolition. The publication opens a 2-week appeal window, until July 7th.
APPEAL HEARING SET FOR 3078 SW AVALON: Permits for the 102-apartment building planned at 3078 SW Avalon Way are being appealed by the group Seattle Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development, founded in an adjacent neighborhood. They’re scheduled to go before the city Hearing Examiner on September 8th. The project received a key land-use approval last month.
REMINDER – ‘LET’S TALK’ WITH DPD ON SATURDAY: Interested in development/land use? Set aside 9:30-11:30 am Saturday morning to meet with DPD director Diane Sugimura and others from the city, specific to West Seattle issues and policy – here’s our most-recent preview.
After receiving two inquiries this hour regarding someone going door-to-door in Arbor Heights asking if people are interested in selling their homes, we’re wondering if this is happening on a more widespread basis, and if you have any firsthand experience with it. Both people who mentioned it say the man didn’t offer a card – one family said “no” and he left, the other pointed out houses for sale nearby, and they were given a handwritten note with a phone number. If you work in real estate or development, is this a legit, common tactic? We have heard realtors say they need more houses to sell, but not necessarily that they’re going door-to-door looking for them.
Together, we as a city are excited to begin a new day for public safety in Seattle. pic.twitter.com/0cygyNFkwV
— Ed Murray (@Mayor_Ed_Murray) June 23, 2014
Kathleen O’Toole is being sworn in right now as Seattle Police Chief (update – live video feed is over, archived video added below), right after the City Council voted 8-1 to confirm her appointment (the “no” vote was Councilmember Kshama Sawant).
The official announcement notes that she “began work with the Boston Police Department in 1979 and has over three decades of experience as a police officer, Commissioner, Chief Inspector, and attorney.” She has listed her four top priorities as “1) restoring public trust, 2) restoring SPD pride and professionalism, 3) addressing crime and quality of life issues, and 4) promoting best business practices” and promises “during the first 90 days to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the police department, which would culminate in a plan of action with measurable goals and objectives.” The City Council, meantime, told her their major expectations – “focused and proactive crime reduction using evidence-based methods to reduce the most serious neighborhood crime problems; positively change the culture at SPD and attitudes related to the practice of collecting and reporting the required data for the six new policies developed as part of the Settlement Agreement; build community relationships in all neighborhoods with a consistent visible presence; and, prioritize buildout of the Business Intelligence System.” Chief O’Toole will be accountable for a $290 million budget and 2,000 SPD employees.
The newest mixed-use building to open in West Seattle has its first retail tenant: Emerald Water Anglers is expecting to open by the end of this week at the southeast corner of 42nd/Oregon, ground floor of Oregon 42. EWA, founded in 1999, describes itself as Seattle’s only full-service fly-fishing outfitter, with guide services as well as retail gear sales (including Patagonia). Here’s another reason to visit their store:
Artist Chris Haberman is painting a mural inside the store today. He says it’s meant to tell the story of the fly-fishing waterways of the Northwest. Haberman is based in Portland; this is his 35th mural, first one in Seattle. Meantime, we’ll update when we hear which day Emerald Water Anglers plans to open the Junction store.
Continuing to followup on incidents that made news over the weekend – Seattle Police confirm the empty car that went into the water off Emma Schmitz Viewpoint on Beach Drive (map) was stolen. Beach Drive Blog not only reported the incident early Sunday (photo at right is republished with their permission) but also, based nearby, was on the scene before authorities, and checked in case anyone was in the car. According to the official SPD report, the car was stolen from a Queen Anne man who didn’t even know it was missing until an officer showed up at his house, but said he had left his keys inside it. The SPD report says the ignition key was found inside the car, which was locked with its windows rolled up when found upside down in a foot of water. Police believe the car was pushed off the embankment but haven’t found any witnesses yet. Later Sunday morning, BDB published aftermath photos and reported potential seawall damage; we have an inquiry out to Seattle Parks today to see if they have assessed the site yet to find out if repairs will be needed. (Earlier this year, BDB reported city plans for a new seawall there next year.)
Back on Friday night, we published a traffic alert after getting reader tips about an incident on southbound I-5 by the West Seattle Bridge exit – a man hit after apparently jumping out of a moving car. Today, the State Patrol says the man did not survive; 28-year-old Daniel Quintana-Martinez died at Harborview Medical Center on Saturday afternoon. WSP says it’s still investigating the circumstances.
There is an incident blocking all lanes of East Marginal Way SB just south of Spokane St. Use Alt routes pic.twitter.com/ivmFKEWfY9
— seattledot (@seattledot) June 10, 2014
(Above, SDOT tweet with traffic-cam screen grab shortly after crash happened)
Two weeks ago, an almost-citywide traffic jam resulted when four miles of southbound Highway 99 were closed for five hours while Seattle Police investigated a head-on crash at East Marginal/Idaho/Nevada (map). As we have noted, investigative closures of that duration are not unusual when SPD’s Traffic Collision Investigation Squad is assigned to gather evidence at a scene. But questions persisted about why traffic wasn’t allowed to continue at least as far as the West Seattle Bridge, and what kind of consultation was made between city departments and officials as traffic continued to back up on alternate north-south routes as a result.
As noted in our first major followup, the decision on when and what to close rested solely with SPD. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen sent the acting leaders of that agency and SDOT a list of questions, published here. This morning, Councilmember Rasmussen shared the reply from SPD, and said that SDOT has told him theirs is in progress. One key point from the SPD reply signed by SPD Traffic Section Acting Captain Ken Hicks – the department feared that allowing anyone onto 99 between the Battery Street Tunnel and the crash scene would have led to drivers getting stuck “in an area without services,” surmising that traffic jams on surface streets were safer for drivers. Read the entire reply for yourself, ahead:
TWO MORE WADING POOLS OPEN TODAY: First day of the season for Delridge and South Park wading pools starts at noon; Delridge is open until 6:45, SP until 7 pm. They are not open every day; in this area, only Lincoln Park’s wading pool is, as is the Highland Park spraypark. Full citywide schedule (including addresses) can be seen here.
ADOPTION/FOSTER CARE INFORMATION: Ever thought about being an adoptive or foster parent? Families Like Ours is at the South Park Library tonight for an informational session, and it’s the only one planned right now in this general area. 6:30 pm. (8604 8th Avenue South)
FINAL DESIGN WORKSHOP FOR ‘STEPS AT STEVENS’: The proposed “neighborhood-connectivity project” leading into West Seattle High School from California SW has its third and final design workshop tonight, 7 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church next to the school – details in our calendar listing. (California/Hanford)
(WS high/low bridges and Highway 99 views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
The weekend road work is over and it’s on with the first week of summer!
WHAT’S NEXT: According to WSDOT, two lanes will close next weekend on Northbound I-5 at the West Seattle Bridge, late Friday night to early Monday morning (June 30th), as the expansion-joint project continues.
If you haven’t browsed the calendar lately and have missed earlier previews – here’s a quick look at three major local events NEXT weekend:
FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY MORNING – WEST SEATTLE RELAY FOR LIFE: You are welcome to drop by West Seattle Stadium to experience the ceremonies and cheer the West Seattle Relay for Life walkers, raising money for the American Cancer Society.
(WSB photo from June 2013 Relay for Life)
They start at 7 pm Friday and go all night and into the morning. Highlights include the survivors’ lap at 7:30 pm (right after the opening ceremony), the luminaria ceremony (honoring those who are fighting cancer and those who have in the past) at 10 pm, and the closing ceremonies at 11:30 am. The stadium’s off 35th just about a block south of Avalon.
SATURDAY MORNING/AFTERNOON – SEAFAIR PIRATES’ LANDING: Somewhere around or after 11:30 am Saturday, the Seafair Pirates will get the summer party started on Alki by appearing offshore and storming ashore.
(2012 WSB photo by Nick Adams)
The actual landing is just part of the festival-like atmosphere set up at the beach, both sides of the boardwalk, usually including bouncy rides and vendor booths, and the popular West Seattle Kiwanis-provided pirate hats for the first wee ones to arrive. Soon as we can dig more details out of the treasure chest, we’ll share them.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING – SOUTH PARK BRIDGE PARTY: Exactly four years after the old South Park Bridge closed (June 30, 2010) with a feisty sort-of wake, the brand-new one opens Monday (June 30, 2014), the day after a major party. The celebration starts at noon Sunday (June 29), with a dedication ceremony at 3 pm, a parade across the bridge at 4:30 pm, and Lucha Libre (Mexican-style masked wrestling) in the street at 6 pm – more info here. The partying will be mostly north of the central SP intersection of 14th Avenue S./S. Cloverdale – here’s a map.