West Seattle, Washington
A decision is in, and the hearing is off.
Checking the city files, we discovered that Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner has dismissed the most-recent 3050 Avalon Way project appeal filed by neighborhood group NERD (Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development):
As we reported three weeks ago, this all started when the group requested an interpretation of whether the city was properly treating the microhousing project as 14 “dwelling units” instead of 104 apartments. The latter number is how many “sleeping rooms” the project calls for, but they are clustered with 14 shared kitchens, and under the city rules that were in effect at the time of the application, each cluster with a kitchen constituted one “dwelling unit.” (The rules have since changed.) The number of units makes a big difference in how a development is reviewed – whether it will require Design Review, and what kind of environmental review. One year ago, the project had been under orders to either go through Design Review or make changes, as explained here; the developer opted for the latter.
After the interpretation arrived in August, affirming the “it’s 14 dwelling units, not 104 apartments” decision, NERD filed an appeal (read it here), contending among other things that the project shouldn’t have been considered as “vested” under the old rules. The case was to be argued in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers on November 5th.
Then after a pre-hearing conference in mid-September, both the city and the developer moved to dismiss the appeal. This past Wednesday, Tanner granted those motions (as detailed in the document embedded atop this report), ending the case and cancelling the November hearing. The ruling largely dwells on a technicality – saying that an appeal wasn’t filed against the Determination of (Environmental) Non-Significance for the project, and that because it wasn’t, the examiner did not have jurisdiction to consider an appeal of the interpretation.
A Hearing Examiner ruling is the city’s last word in a case like this, meaning that for a decision to be challenged any further, it would have to be taken to court. We have a message out asking NERD if they’re considering that. Otherwise, the project has its land-use permit, but appears to still be awaiting its construction permit.
Right about now, about a month into fall, for more than 20 years, this happens at Fauntleroy Creek: A ceremony to welcome the coho salmon spawners home – and then the watching and waiting. This afternoon, about 25 people gathered at the creek’s fish-ladder overlook to drum, dance, sing, and chant. Watershed steward Judy Pickens emceed:
Jamie Schilling led the music:
And the children led the way in joyfully participating, as you can see in our video:
Some had been there before, we saw when Judy asked for a show of hands. But no two autumns are alike, even if it is the “circle of life,” as noted on the sign Phil Sweetland hoisted for a call-and-response:
A bit of video:
Three years ago, 274 coho spawners showed up – the most ever. The following year, none. Then last year – 19, a few of which had shown up even before the welcoming ceremony. It’s impossible to predict, so the volunteer watch starts tomorrow; Judy said the tides are looking most promising starting next weekend. The mouth of the creek is near the ferry dock, across Fauntleroy Way from the overlook where the salmon-welcomers gathered late today.
When there are fish to see, by the way, the creek overlook will have a better view than years past, because of some recent trimming.
Maybe you’ll find this stolen bicycle dumped in the bushes somewhere – that’s what happens to so many stolen bikes. From Kathleen:
Unfortunately today my 14 year old brother rode his bike to the Delridge Library and left it unlocked when he went inside and it was gone when he came out. It’s a red and white Trek bicycle in an older youth size. Sadly it was the last gift our mom gave him before she passed away of cancer so it also has great sentimental value. I’ve reported it to the police but we don’t have a picture or serial number so it’s a long shot to get it back. Hopefully someone will see it somewhere.
As first reported here September 30th, Seattle Public Schools is planning to renovate, expand, and reopen EC Hughes Elementary as the new home of what’s currently Roxhill Elementary. Since our original report, the district has proposed a boundary change to get ready for that, with a meeting tomorrow (Monday) night to discuss it. These changes were NOT in the amended West Seattle boundaries that were circulating before a West Seattle meeting earlier this month, but the district says the new boundaries will go before the School Board for action in November, to take effect next fall, so now is the time to speak up. As you can see on the map above – click it to go to a full-size version on the SPS website – the changes for fall 2016 (though Hughes is not expected to reopen until 2018) now include moving two areas from West Seattle Elementary to Roxhill. Tomorrow’s meeting is set for 6:30 pm-7:15 pm at the Hughes building (7740 34th SW), with Spanish, Vietnamese, and Somali interpretation available.
9:28 AM: Two cars are seriously damaged after someone set them on fire in Sylvan Ridge, east of High Point, early this morning.
It happened around 4:40 am; the cars were parked in front of townhouses in the 2700 block of Sylvan Heights Drive [map]. Residents tell WSB the fire was set in some kind of container placed under the cars:
He also showed us damage inside his car, in the back seat, which held a car seat, not seen in our photo because the fire even triggered an airbag:
No one was hurt; another resident tells us the other burned car belongs to friends who were visiting from out of town, and she says fast action by neighbors kept the flames from spreading to nearby townhomes, which don’t have much setback from the street. This happened four days after an early-morning car fire at 30th and Graham, half a mile away; we never got final word on the cause of that one, but we’re checking with police about this morning’s fires and will be asking again about that one too.
12:50 PM UPDATE: Just talked with SPD spokesperson Officer Lauren Lovanhill. The 30th/Graham fire last week was NOT related – she says that report is in the system now and says the car owner was at the scene and told officers it seemed to be a mechanical problem that sparked when he was trying to start his car. She says that while the SPD Arson/Bomb Squad was notified about this morning’s incident, they didn’t go to the scene, so the investigation is in the hands of local officers, as well as the SFD investigator (Marshal 5), who did respond; no witnesses, so they have no suspect description(s) so far.
9:04 AM: The biggest boat on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, M/V Issaquah, is currently idled for “necessary repairs,” according to Washington State Ferries, so only the Tillikum and the un-mothballed Evergreen State are making the run right now, and that’s led to some cancellations. Best way to see which boat is where is by checking the Vessel Watch page.
11:53 AM: Not fixed yet, and WSF’s newest update says, “Drivers will encounter an estimated 1 hour wait departing the Vashon and Southworth terminals due to heavy vehicle traffic and necessary vessel repairs.”
12:17 PM: WSF has now officially put the two-boat schedule into action.
1:27 PM: Repairs are complete, says WSF, and the route is back to the three-boat schedule.
(Photo by Kevin Freitas: Mt. Baker, seen from West Seattle, at sunrise last Thursday)
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE AMATEUR RADIO CLUB: Monthly breakfast at Young’s Restaurant, 9:30 am, “open to members as well as non-members interested in Amateur Radio and emergency communication.” (9413 16th SW)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm today and every Sunday, in the street. (California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
MEET THE GREYHOUNDS: 11 am-1 pm at Mud Bay in The Admiral District, meet hounds from Greyhound Pets Inc. (2611 California SW)
JAMTIME, LIVE: 1-4 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), come enjoy live music on your Sunday afternoon. (5612 California SW)
SALMON DRUMMING: BYO drum(s) to Fauntleroy Creek’s fish-ladder overlook at 5 pm for the annual gathering to drum, sing, and dance to call the coho spawners home. (Fauntleroy Way SW [upper] & SW Director)
THAT’S JUST A SAMPLE … other listings for today, tomorrow, and beyond are on our complete calendar.