day : 13/07/2015 9 results

West Seattle Grand Parade 2015 countdown: The lineup meeting

July 13, 2015 11:10 pm
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 |   West Seattle Grand Parade | West Seattle news

West Seattle Grand Parade co-coordinator Dave Vague joked that it must be like watching sausage being made, or paint drying, to sit in on the annual lineup meeting at which parade entry forms go from paper to pixels to a plan. Nonetheless, they let us sit in on it anyway (best place to get parade-preview info) – and tonight at Pershing Hall in The Triangle, (from left in the photo above) he, Doreen Vague, Michelle Edwards, and Jim Edwards crafted the tentative running order for this Saturday’s parade.

More than 90 entries right now, including ones in which you’ll see people, as they roll down the route:


…and of course dancing, marching, riding on floats, etc. Did we mention cannon-blasting, too? Yes, classic parade stars including the Seafair Pirates are back – along with other Seafair faves (Clowns, Commodores, Scholarship Program candidates including last year’s West Seattle Hi-Yu Queen Lorelei McFadden). And this year’s Hi-Yu royalty will be on their “Around the Sound” float.

The parade, presented by the West Seattle Rotary Service Foundation, starts at 11 am Saturday at California/Lander and continues to California/Edmunds in The Junction. But don’t just show up at the last minute – for one, the Vancouver (BC) and Seattle Police motorcycle units tend to start sooner; for two, before all that, you can cheer on the Float Dodger 5K runners (or even better, be one of them – then take your place to parade-watch – you can register here), who leave California/Charlestown at 9:30 am. More parade-day info as the week rolls on toward Saturday, and our morning traffic reports will include reminders about street/parking/bus changes too.

WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’ countdown: Diaper dropoffs

Another of this weekend’s many big events – WestSide Baby‘s “Stuff the Bus” diaper-drive kickoff event! If you can’t make it to the HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) parking lot at 41st/Alaska during the 10 am-2 pm event on Sunday (July 19th), you can drop off diapers there all week long, and at other spots including the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. The sizes needed most: Newborn, size 6, and all sizes of pull-ups. The reason this is so important, as WestSide Baby points out: Diapers can’t be purchased using food stamps or other forms of government assistance, but cost up to $150/month, and families can’t just go without – besides the obvious health and comfort implications, child-care providers require diapers, and without child care, parents can’t get to their jobs. P.S. If you need a reminder about Sunday, you’ll get it from WS Baby’s “Stuff the Bus” contingent in the West Seattle Grand Parade on Saturday (11 am, California/Lander to California/Edmunds).

FOLLOWUP: Summer Fest robbery suspect makes court appearance; set free on personal recognizance

(WSB photo from Sunday: Suspect seated at right, face hidden behind officers)
In our as-it-happened coverage of West Seattle Summer Fest‘s third day, we reported on something unscheduled – a robbery, and quick capture of a suspect. Today, we have a followup: The 20-year-old Sunrise Heights man who was arrested for investigation of robbery had a bail hearing this afternoon; the judge allowed him to go free on “personal recognizance,” according to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe, with another appearance set for Wednesday. In probable-cause documents, police say he is the robber who “forcefully grabbed” a bag containing $4,500 from the hands of a vendor on the west side of the food court and took off running. The vendor yelled for help; people ran after the suspect and tackled him a short distance south of the food zone. Police working the festival took him into custody shortly thereafter. We’ve checked King County records, and the suspect does not appear to have a felony criminal history.

West Seattle Grand Parade’s Grand Marshal announced: King County Executive Dow Constantine

We’re counting down all week to this year’s West Seattle Grand Parade – 11 am Saturday (July 18th), rolling southbound on California SW from SW Lander to SW Edmunds – and this afternoon, parade organizers have just announced this year’s Grand Marshal: West Seattle born-and-raised King County Executive Dow Constantine.

(Constantine in another parade of sorts – with Schmitz Park students headed to Log House Museum totem-pole dedication June 2014)
He’s a graduate of West Seattle High School – the campus is steps from where he’ll ride onto the parade route Saturday as Grand Marshal – and is midway through his second term as King County Executive, which was preceded by service on the King County Council and in the State Senate and House, to which he was first elected in 1996. He and wife Shirley Carlson are raising their 1-year-old daughter Sabrina in the same neighborhood where he grew up. (added) His reaction to the Grand Parade Grand Marshal news: “The West Seattle Parade has been a highlight of our family’s summers my whole life. I’ve walked the parade as a Scout, marched in the school band, and appeared as both a candidate and as an elected official. This is the community that raised me, so being asked to serve as Grand Marshal of the parade means a lot to me personally.”

As for the parade itself, a little more background from the just-in announcement:

At this time the parade is scheduled to have more than 80 entries, including parade floats, marching bands, and the only appearance of the Vancouver Police Motorcycle Drill Team, as well as the Seattle Police Motorcycle Drill Team.

The West Seattle Parade Committee is a community service committee of the West Seattle Rotary Club Service Foundation.

We’ll be counting down to the parade all week with more information – and remember that it’s preceded by the 11 am Kiddie Parade – just be at California/Genesee and ready to roll southbound! In addition to Grand Marshal Constantine, another parade VIP has been selected, as previously mentioned here – longtime West Seattle Big Band leader and former WSHS music teacher Donn Weaver, who’ll receive the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Community Service at tomorrow night’s 7 pm Concert in the Park with the WSBB on the east lawn at Hiawatha. More pre-parade info to come!

Crime, lights, and art, at Tuesday night’s JuNO meeting

You’re invited to the next meeting of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, 6:30 pm Tuesday (July 14th) at the Senior Center of West Seattle. From JuNO director René Commons:

Please join us for this coming Tuesday night’s meeting at the West Seattle Senior Center – Nucor room, 6:30 pm.

Guest Speakers:

6:35: Kelly Enright, Customer Care Director, Seattle City Light
Topic: Improving Lighting in West Seattle
What is Seattle City Light doing to review and improve lighting in the West Seattle Junction Urban Hub village? Can the city be accountable to address much needed lighting improvements for public safety in our neighborhood

7:05 Jennifer Burbridge & Lt. Ron Smith, Seattle Police Department
Topic: SPD ‘Micro Community Policing Plans’
Jennifer & Lt. Smith will explain what MCPP is and lead us in ranking of priorities for improving safety in our Alaska Junction & Triangle neighborhoods. Can we ask for more boots on the ground? What are priorities for improvement?

7:20 Miguel Edwards – Sculptor Photographer
Equity / Junction 47 Selected artist
*Miguel will present initial concept for his art installation at the new Equity building in the columns at SW Alaska & 42nd Ave SW

All are welcome – the Senior Center is on the southeast corner of Oregon and California.

VIDEO: Housing-affordability committee report goes public; mayor announces ‘action plan’ including ‘inclusionary housing’ and upzoning

(What was the live-video window, then a placeholder screengrab, is now the archived video of Monday’s announcement)

11:12 AM: Click the “play” button to see the live Seattle Channel webcast that’s about to begin, with Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Mike O’Brien leading the presentation of the long-awaited report from the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee, created almost 10 months ago. The report is live here, and the “action plan” the mayor is announcing is here (and embedded below):

11:20 AM: The briefing has begun.

11:24 AM: Here’s the full text of the news release from the mayor’s office, hailing a “grand bargain” between developers and housing advocates, which includes a requirement for “affordable” units in all multi-family developments, and also increases allowable heights in certain zones:

Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Mike O’Brien today hailed an unprecedented agreement that will lead to at least 50,000 new homes in Seattle, including 20,000 affordable homes, over the next 10 years. Affordable housing will be included in nearly every residential development across Seattle as the rate of construction of new affordable homes triples.

“As Seattle expands and experiences rapid economic growth, more people are chasing a limited supply of housing. We are facing our worst housing affordability crisis in decades,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “My vision is a city where people who work in Seattle can afford to live here. Housing affordability is just one building block to a more equitable city. It goes hand in hand with our efforts on raising the minimum wage, providing preschool education for low-income children, and increasing access to parks and transit. We all share a responsibility in making Seattle affordable. Together, this plan will take us there.”

“Since 2013, the City Council has called for a robust, citywide, mandatory affordable housing program to help ensure that the people who work in this city can afford to live here. The combination of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and a Commercial Linkage Fee will ensure that as Seattle continues to grow, we are creating housing for all incomes,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien.

At the heart of the action plan to make Seattle affordable is Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, a requirement that developers reserve five to seven percent of units in every new multifamily building to be affordable for residents earning up to 60 percent of King County’s Area Median Income (AMI). Developers could opt to contribute to a fund for off-site construction of the units.

In 2015, 60 percent of AMI is $37,680 for an individual and $53,760 for a family of four. Current market-rate rents in new buildings on Seattle’s Capitol Hill currently average $1,887. In 2015, individuals with incomes of 60 percent of AMI pay $1,008 for income-restricted apartments.

New buildings will have taller height restrictions in existing multifamily residential, mixed-use and commercial zones throughout the city. A substantial portion of the additional development will occur within the existing Urban Centers and Urban Villages, designated two decades ago as the preferred location for denser housing. Only single-family zoning within Urban Villages and along major arterials will be converted to low-rise residential.

A map of the proposal, which was negotiated by Murray, O’Brien, developers and affordable housing advocates, shows where the growth could occur.

Here’s the aforementioned map – the mayor’s news release continues after it:

The action plan also includes a Commercial Linkage Fee on new commercial development, phased in over three years, to fund additional affordable housing for the lowest-income families. The linkage fee will range from $5 to $14 per square foot, based on the size and location of the commercial development.

When fully implemented, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and the Commercial Linkage Fee will lead to the construction of at least 6,000 new affordable homes over 10 years.

The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) advisory committee today delivered to the mayor 65 recommendations after 10 months of work. The consensus-driven proposal was crafted by a 28-member committee of affordable housing advocates, community voices, developers and housing experts appointed by the mayor and Seattle City Council last September.

“Many thanks to all the committee members and staff for an extraordinary amount of work over the past 10 months,” said HALA co-chairs David Wertheimer and Faith Li Pettis. “We were asked by the mayor and council to offer bold, new concepts in our approach to solving the affordable housing crisis. We think this plan fully delivers on that request. We were able to complete our task because we approached the challenge with a single, shared goal: to make Seattle affordable for all families. None of us got exactly the solution we may have envisioned at the outset, and every one of us had to give a little to reach this landmark agreement. In the end, we are confident that our collaboration will result in thousands of new affordable homes across our city.”

Murray immediately responded to the recommendations with his roadmap to make Seattle affordable, a path to reach his goal of 50,000 new homes, including 20,000 new homes for low- and moderate-income people, over the next decade. Some items in the action plan could be completed this year, while others will require at least two years to implement. In the coming weeks, the mayor will transmit to council a resolution to formalize the elements and framework of the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.

Today, about 45,000 households in Seattle spend more than half their incomes on housing. An estimated 2,800 people sleep outside each night in Seattle. Currently, about 700 income-restricted homes are built in Seattle each year.

The increased development capacity across the city will ensure increase supply of housing to respond to growing demand, as Seattle is forecast to add 120,000 residents over the next 20 years.

Single-family zones currently represent 65 percent of all land in Seattle. After the proposed zoning changes, single-family zones will still cover 61 percent of Seattle. HALA proposes code changes that will make it easier to build accessory dwelling units and backyard cottages (only one percent of homeowners have done so), as well as allow duplexes and triplexes, while preserving the character of single-family neighborhoods.

Residential development continues to be excluded from industrial areas under the proposal.

The City is currently engaged in a community process to update its Comprehensive Plan, called Seattle 2035. Over the past two decades, the Comprehensive Plan has been successful in locating 75 percent of Seattle’s new housing in Urban Centers and Urban Villages. The update, to be completed in 2016, contemplates expansion of Urban Villages and denser housing around transit hubs and light rail stations. HALA’s recommendations will be implemented in conjunction with the updated Comprehensive Plan.

Doubling of Housing Levy in 2016

To meet the needs of the Seattle’s lowest-income residents, those earning less than 30 percent of AMI, HALA also proposes to double the existing $145 million Seattle Housing Levy scheduled to expire in 2016. Over the past 30 years, the levy has funded $400 million to build and preserve nearly 12,000 units of affordable housing.

In 2015, 30 percent of AMI is $18,850 for an individual or $26,900 for a family of four.

This year, the City will award a record $42 million from the Housing Levy and the existing Incentive Zoning program for the development and preservation of low-income housing. The Seattle Office of Housing will issue project guidelines and invite partner applications later this week.

The HALA report also urges the Washington State Legislature to allow Seattle to adopt a 0.25 percent real estate excise tax dedicated to affordable housing development, as well as an increase in the State Housing Trust Fund.

To support moderate-income families, HALA recommends expanding the Multifamily Property Tax Exemption Program (MFTE) that is set to expire at the end of the year. Under MFTE, developers receive a tax exemption when they dedicate 20 percent of units in new buildings for moderate-income people, typically between 65 percent and 85 percent of AMI. HALA proposes to expand the program to all areas where multifamily housing can be built and incorporate a new incentive for three-bedroom units to extend program benefits to larger moderate-income families.

In 2015, 80 percent AMI is $46,100 for an individual and $65,800 for a family of four.

HALA recommends a range of tenant protections to ensure better access to housing, prevent housing discrimination and minimize displacement as rental and ownership costs increase across the city:

· Prevent displacement as rents increase across the city through a Preservation Property Tax Exemption and other mechanisms.

· Remove barriers to housing for renters with a criminal history that disproportionately impact people of color.

· Strengthen the Tenant Relocation Assistance paid to low-income renters who are displaced by new development.

· Develop new homeownership tools for Muslim buyers who cannot use conventional mortgage products due to their religious convictions.

· Establish new protections to prevent discrimination against renters due to their source of income.

HALA also recommends that the City continue to review parking policies that contribute to the growth of housing costs or inhibit development in single- and multifamily residential zones.

11:47 AM: We’ve added embedded versions of the key documents/maps mentioned so far. Also of note, but not mentioned in the news release above – the mayor mentioned that, as part of the “bargain,” a lawsuit has been settled. Council President Tim Burgess, meantime, mentioned he’s creating a new City Council committee on housing that will deal with this, starting later this month.

Four options for your West Seattle Monday, morning to night

July 13, 2015 10:30 am
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 |   West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

(Photo by Flickr member alextutu1821, shared via the WSB Flickr group)

Highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for today/tonight:

OPEN-HIVE DEMONSTRATION: 11 am at the West Seattle Bee Garden on the north side of High Point Commons Park – details in our calendar listing. If you didn’t see this in time, or couldn’t make it today, the listing has other upcoming dates for this demo! (31st/Graham)

MEMORY-LOSS CAREGIVERS/FRIENDS/FAMILY SUPPORT GROUP: 1:30-3 pm, it’s this group’s twice-monthly meeting at Providence Mount St. Vincent. (4831 35th SW)

PLANT-ID HIKE WITH NATURE CONSORTIUM: 6:30 pm tonight, it’s your chance to learn about “Plant Identification in Urban Forests.” Free, but please register ASAP to RSVP – details are in our calendar listing. The hike starts from Pigeon Point Park. (1901 SW Genesee)

EVENING BOOK GROUPS: 6:45 pm at both Southwest (35th/Henderson) and West Seattle (Admiral) (2306 42nd SW) Libraries. Southwest is reading “The Orchardist” by Amanda Coplin this month; at Admiral, the July book is “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach.

West Seattle development: Microhousing proposal on 36th SW

Today you can expect to hear a lot about housing, construction, and zoning, as the long-awaited Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory Committee report is going public at City Hall at 11 am. We’ll have the details when available. In the meantime, new project proposals continue to surface in city files daily, and we have another one to mention today:

MICROHOUSING ON 36TH SW: A brand-new early-stage plan in the files would replace that 95-year-old triplex at 4122 36th SW (map) with what’s described as a “4-story apartment building” featuring “small efficiency dwelling units” (SEDU), the official name for the studios more commonly known as microhousing. The site is zoned Lowrise 3; the potential number of units is not mentioned in what’s been filed so far. No offstreet parking is planned; it’s not required because of its proximity to what’s considered “frequent transit.”

SIDE NOTE: Two SEDU buildings are under construction in West Seattle right now – 5949 California SW (approximately 40 units) and 3268 Avalon Way SW (62 units), which is next to one of the two already-open SEDU buildings, 3266 SW Avalon Way.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Monday updates, and looking ahead

July 13, 2015 7:11 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No incidents so far this morning on the routes through/from West Seattle. One alert for today:

LANE CLOSURE AT FAUNTLEROY FERRY TERMINAL: As the Barton Pump Station Upgrade Project wraps up, the north lane at the ferry terminal next door is scheduled for closure until 2 pm today: “Crews will restripe the ferry holding lane and crosswalk, and install wiring for the north toll booth.”

LOOKING AHEAD: The West Seattle Grand Parade is next Saturday (July 18th), preceded by the Float Dodger 5K, and California SW will be closed from Lander to Edmunds that day until early afternoon while it’s all under way (watch for transit info later this week). And next Sunday (July 19th), the West Seattle Farmers’ Market returns to California SW between Alaska and Oregon, so the 7 am-4 pm Sunday road closure resumes.