West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the first time since the mayor’s announcement of a “safe lot” in Highland Park for people living in their RVs and cars, a community organization talked about it tonight with District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.
She arrived at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council‘s regularly scheduled meeting just in time for a discussion of the issue – a late add to the DNDC agenda, given that news of the plan for “safe lots” here and in Ballard was just announced Tuesday afternoon.
The City Council meets tomorrow (3:30 pm Thursday) to vote on the mayor’s emergency order paving the way for the lots, as well as three emergency sites (none in West Seattle). Introducing Herbold, DNDC chair Mat McBride said he understood the site would host 20 to 25 RVs. He also noted that Department of Neighborhoods director Kathy Nyland was on hand too. Herbold said she had asked for someone from the city Human Services Department to attend and was disappointed that no one was available.
Herbold said she “(felt) uncomfortable making a presentation on behalf of the executive (mayor)” because there still wasn’t much information on this sudden proposal. She said she didn’t initially realize the mayor’s office was talking about the lot adjacent to the former encampment site in Highland Park (at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way). She thought the plan sounded at first as if RVs that have been at the heart of an uproar in Magnolia were going to be moved here . “I’m interested in serving the community of folks who are already here” – meaning RV campers around West Seattle and South Park – “and getting THEM services. So that was one of the first things I asked.” She said the mayor’s order is “just a shell” and there’s a lot she wants to see worked out “so the nuts and bolts can be worked out in that 30-day period” (before the lot opens).
Tomorrow’s council vote is not required for the mayor’s order to take effect, she says, but “by voting on it, we have a chance to amend it.” She is hoping to see some language written into it regarding restroom access and other key things the people who use the lot will need.
A representative of Highland Park Improvement Club – directly up the hill from the site – wondered about the location given the unreliability, as she put it, of the Route 131 bus, and how people at the lot would be able to use it to get to water and food. Herbold said she expressed an interest in a route change toward that goal.
McBride said he would like to see from the city, “if we are going to host this – and I’m not saying I’m opposed – I would like the city to double down on the amount of services it’s providing; we’re talking about an area that historically has been underserved, and we need to correct that, particularly if we’re inviting a group of people who themselves are underserved … I would like the city to really acknowledge the fact that yes, yes, we’re doing this, and in doing this, we’re also going to do the following.”
One attendee said she is concerned that this lot will only serve people coming to the area and various unauthorized parking areas will remain around West Seattle.
Six notes/updates about West Seattle development:
PERCH PREVIEW BEFORE DESIGN REVIEW: Tomorrow night, the proposed 1250 Alki SW apartment building Perch goes back to the Southwest Design Review Board for a second round of Early Design Guidance. Here’s the packet (or view it embedded below):
The first meeting (official city report here) had a big turnout, with a large group of neighbors that’s been watching the ~100-unit project and voicing concerns. We talked earlier this week with developer SolTerra‘s president Brian Heather about changes that have been made and other key points.
SolTerra started as an energy company and then went into the development business; this is not only a design-build project, but the company plans to keep it and manage it after construction. “Our whole business model is predicated on the ability to hold onto the buildings,” said Heather. “We want to build a brand around sustainability.”
They’re going for LEED Platinum, one of a handful of multi-family mid-rise residential buildings with that designation. They’re using planted walls, dubbed “living walls,” for which they have a patent, to “break up” the massing (size and shape). They’ve also moved the courtyard space up to street level and into the center of the complex, and it will have seating open to anyone, more of a “public amenity,” said Heather. The total length of the building has as a result been reduced by about 30 feet, and more setbacks are included, which affects the sightlines. SolTerra makes its own heating and refrigeration units with a “heat-recovery system” that transfers energy between units as needed. And it will flush the toilets with graywater, storing rainwater on site.
They’re still planning some commercial space, “probably focused on micro-retail,” Heather said, perhaps a café, some small artists’ booths. And residents will have online profiles and ways to connect with others. They’ll also have access to SolTerra buildings elsewhere in Seattle and other cities. “If you live in one building, you live in all the buildings,” said Melissa Milburn of SolTerra.
Depending on what happens as the Design Review process and other reviews continue, SolTerra might break ground by year’s end, with Perch opening in early 2018. The Thursday night meeting is at 8 pm at the Sisson Building (home of the Senior Center of West Seattle), California/Oregon.
Other West Seattle development notes:
ANOTHER ALKI PROJECT: Alki is a construction hotspot these days, although nothing as big as Perch is on the drawing board otherwise. But projects like this keep turning up: The newest early-stage proposal for 2116 Alki Avenue SW is a six-unit condominium building with nine offstreet parking spaces.
CONSTRUCTION PERMITS SOUGHT FOR HOLDEN SUBDIVISION: City files show 15 construction-permit applications accepted for review, related to the planned subdivision of 18 single-family houses at 2646 SW Holden. It’s been a year since we noted a demolition permit was being sought for the vacant, vandalized house on the site. Other reviews remain in the works. Last August, the property went back on the market; the listing still appears to be active, at $2.4 million.
3050 AVALON FOR SALE: Speaking of listings – while working on this roundup, we found a new listing for 3050 SW Avalon Way (mis-listed as SE), planned site of a 104-unit microhousing project that’s gone through multiple rounds of controversy.
ALSO ON AVALON – 3039 TO DESIGN REVIEW: First Early Design Guidance meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board is planned for 3039 SW Avalon Way – seven stories, 71 apartments, 21 offstreet parking spaces – which we first mentioned back in October. The meeting is at 8 pm February 18th at the Senior Center.
DESIGN REVIEW ALSO SCHEDULED FOR 4801 FAUNTLEROY: That same night, February 18th, at 6:30 pm, the SWDRB will have the second and possibly final review for this four-story mixed-use building at Fauntleroy and Edmunds, including 53 apartments and about 2,500 square feet of retail.
ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY NOTE: If you’re anywhere within earshot of West Seattle’s Terminal 5 on Friday – you might hear this. The alert is from Peter McGraw at the Port of Seattle:
As you know, the Port of Seattle is in the process of making Terminal 5 ‘big ship ready.’ This includes a number of steps, including dredging and strengthening the dock for larger cranes, which requires installing new piles while we undergo our environmental impact statement (EIS).
Before any of this happens, we need to run a number of tests, which includes using what is called a rapid load test.
The first rapid load testing of piles as part of the design and permitting process for the Terminal 5 Improvements Project is expected to occur around mid-day on Friday, Jan. 22. An additional test may take place on Monday, Jan. 26.
The tests sound like a half-second cannon shot. The sound can be as loud as 145 decibels. A total of nine rapid load tests will occur between January and the end of March, with no more than one test occurring per day.
The test results may help reduce the number of piles required and the depth of pile installation, which in-turn would reduce noise associated with pile-driving during construction.
All tests will take place Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in compliance with the City of Seattle Noise Ordinance.
How loud is 145 decibels? On this list of “decibel equivalents,” that’s just below “Formula 1 race car full-throttle drive-by.”
FRIDAY UPDATE: We asked port spokesperson Peter McGraw if they have a time estimate – he says the latest is “between 12 and 12:30 pm.”
FOLLOWUP: New update, 12:50ish.
We start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup with good news:
STOLEN CAR FOUND: Brent reported his car stolen in The Junction six days ago. Today, Kathleen posted this comment that she spotted it in her neighborhood off Beach Drive. And Brent has just confirmed, they got the car back!
CAR PROWLS: Again last night, at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (full report to come), Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis acknowledged that car prowling is at the top of the crime list in this area right now. And more happened last night, according to Janet, whose car was broken into on the 5000 block of 36th SW, with unique items taken:
GLASSES SAMPLES STOLEN
INVU Sunglasses (35 styles, 3 colors each)
Scott Harris, Michael Ryen, Cinzia,
Côte d’Azur , and DB4k ophthalmics.
Keep an eye out, please. … I can replace things with insurance but I would love to help stop this repeat offender. I’m asking optical shops to ask for receipts when filling RXs for frames they didn’t sell.
She’s sure it’s a repeat offender because she wasn’t the only victim last night – she was at a local auto-glass shop for repairs this morning when two other break-in victims came in, and she saw another car on her street with broken glass this morning.
Just in from the team working on the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway, updates on what they’re doing now and plan to do next:
21st Ave SW between 22nd Ave SW and SW Dawson St
Crews recently completed drainage improvements just south of where 22nd Ave SW merges with 21st Ave SW. Crews will return next week to repair the curb on the west side of the merge and pave the remaining gravel areas north and south of the landing on the east side of 21st Ave SW.
Installation of the sidewalk on the west side of 21st Ave SW between 22nd Ave SW and SW Dawson St is currently underway and, weather permitting, should be complete by January 29.
17th Ave SW cul-de-sac between SW Myrtle and SW Webster streets
Once work on 21st Ave SW is complete, construction will continue on a pedestrian and bicycle pathway at the cul-de-sac on 17th Ave SW between SW Myrtle and SW Webster streets. This work will require water shut-offs while crews install steel casing to create the pathway. Seattle Public Utilities will provide advance notification of these shut-offs.
For information regarding water shut-offs, please call the SPU Residential Customer Service hotline at (206) 684-3000.
15th Ave SW and SW Holden St
The south side of the intersection at SW Holden St and 15th Ave SW will be closed until Friday, January 22, while crews complete installation of curb ramps and sidewalk. Those needing local access to 15th Ave SW are encouraged to use SW Kenyon St to the south.
The Delridge-Highland Park Neighborhood Greenway will connect West Seattle to White Center, running generally along 21st Ave SW in the north and 17th Ave SW in the south. Construction started in late August 2015 and will take approximately 6 months to complete, weather permitting.
One of the many twists and turns of the first-ever Seattle City Council District 1 race was the case of the signature-gathering candidate who fell just short of making it onto the ballot. Instead of paying the $1,200 fee to get onto the ballot, Amanda Kay Helmick, you’ll recall, decided to circulate petitions to get 1,200 signatures. We accompanied her to King County Elections HQ the day she turned them in (photo at right). When all were counted – and recounted – she was nine names short. It was an all-or-nothing situation – $1,200 or 1,200 names – period. So her seven-month campaign ended. But she vowed to fight for a better process. And now a bill has been introduced in the State Legislature … House Bill 2477, with sponsors including our area’s state Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon and Eileen Cody. If a candidate gathered at least 95 percent of the required number of valid signatures, s/he would have two weeks to cover the shortfall either with signatures or a dollar in lieu of each missing name. After a hearing Tuesday in the House Committee on State Government, that same committee is scheduled to consider the bill in executive session tomorrow.
Joe McDermott has made his decision: He’s in the race to succeed Jim McDermott.
Two weeks ago, after Congressmember McDermott announced he wasn’t running again, County Councilmember McDermott said he was thinking about it and would decide soon. This morning, he’s made the announcement via news release:
Third-generation resident of West Seattle, Chair of the King County Council and strong progressive Joe McDermott announced today his bid for Congress to represent Washington’s seventh congressional district (WA-07), which includes most of Seattle, Vashon Island, Burien, Normandy Park, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and Edmonds.
McDermott, who has the most experience of any candidate running for Congress, also announced his “Repeal Citizens United” pledge rejecting any dark money independent expenditure spending on his behalf.
“As the son of schoolteachers, I am running for Congress to ensure that middle class Washingtonians continue to have a strong voice in Washington, D.C. and that’s why overturning Citizens United and preventing dark money from destroying our politics will be my priority from my first day in office – so we can finally achieve the progressive results our families need.”
McDermott also pledged to make cracking down on gun violence a top priority. As Chair of the Seattle King County Board of Health, McDermott has led efforts to classify gun violence as a public health crisis – resulting in a program that has saved lives and has become a model for both state and federal governments.
“For too long, politicians in Washington DC have kowtowed to the National Rifle Association. It is past time that we pass tough background checks, ban military style assault weapons plaguing our communities and once and for all hold gun manufacturers liable for the over thirty thousand deaths they cause in our country every year,” said McDermott.
McDermott has served on the King County Council for the last five years and from 2001 through 2010, McDermott represented the 34th Legislative District in the Washington State Legislature.
Thanks to Don Brubeck for the view of the Duwamish from the Spokane Street fishing pier, photographed during what he describes as a “misty ride to work” today. From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LAFAYETTE KINDERGARTEN TOURS: 9:30-10:10 am today. If you don’t see this until it’s too late, note that Lafayette Elementary is also having tours on February 4th, 1:15 pm-2:15 pm. (California/Lander)
LAST DAY FOR GENERAL STORE SEATTLE’S CLOSING SALE: 10 am-6 pm today, it’s the final day of the closing sale for the all-local-merchandise The General Store Seattle (WSB sponsor) – 40 percent off everything, both in-store and online. (3400 Harbor SW)
SWEET PEA COTTAGE OPEN HOUSE: 4-6 pm at Sweet Pea Cottage preschool/kindergarten; kids and parents welcome. (7141 California SW)
SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: 4:15 pm at district HQ in SODO. Agenda includes vote to authorize possible closure of before-/after-school child-care programs around the district to make room for more school homerooms, as discussed at local board rep Leslie Harris‘s community-conversation meeting last weekend. (3rd S./S. Lander)
MoCA’S QUARTERLY MEETING: Special time, 6 pm, for the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting, so it’ll be done in time for the HALA discussion to follow (see next item). Agenda details here. At The Kenney (WSB sponsor), lower-level meeting rooms. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
ALL ABOUT HALA: The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda is one of the biggest topics in the city right now and will be for a long time. What’s it really about, and what do you need to know? A West Seattle-wide briefing will be presented tonight after the Morgan Community Association‘s regular quarterly meeting. The HALA discussion starts at 7 pm – details here. At The Kenney. (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
CYBERBULLYING: Parents from all over West Seattle are invited to tonight’s special presentation by the Madison Middle School PTSA with important information for families, 7 pm, as previewed here. (45th/Spokane)
DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD DISTRICT COUNCIL: 7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Discussion topics are expected to include the newly announced plan for a “safe parking” lot in Highland Park for people who live in their vehicles, and a discussion about the city’s forthcoming People, Dogs, and Parks Plan, with Citizens for Off-Leash Areas (COLA) providing a guest. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
LOTS MORE … on our full calendar.
BALLOTS GO OUT
6:38 AM: Good morning! No incidents in/from our area in the early going. Road-work notes:
*Lane closures on Highway 99 north of downtown continue. During the first full day, on Tuesday, most of the reported effects were in the southbound direction.
*Delridge/Highland Park Greenway work continues on multiple streets.
*If you’ve happened onto the nighttime closure of one block of Alaska west of Fauntleroy, here’s what it’s about.
8:12 AM: If you ride Sound Transit 560 – ST has just sent an alert that riders “should anticipate delays” on the route because of trouble on SB I-405.
It was a basketball battle at West Seattle High School on Tuesday night as the WSHS boys-varsity team faced Rainier Beach. Though halftime arrived with a 30-30 tie, the second half did not go the Wildcats’ way, and they finished with a 75-59 loss. Scoring was led by #1, Nate Pryor, with 14 points:
Right behind, #22 Yusuf Mohamed with 13.
The WSHS boys play at Ballard on Friday night, 8 pm scheduled tipoff.