The future of two pieces of currently public property were major items at this month’s meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, whose president Larry Wymer led the meeting Tuesday nightat ANA’s usual meeting place, The Sanctuary at Admiral.
URBAN HOMESTEAD FOUNDATION: ANA is being asked to be the fiscal sponsor for the new Urban Homestead Foundation, which seeks to raise money to buy the city-surplus former Dakota Substation (50th SW/SW Dakota), which will take an estimated $600,000. Fiscal sponsorship does not involve raising or donating the money, but does involve being the recipient of record. ANA has the appropriate designation to serve as a fiscal sponsor for others.
Katie Stemp from Seattle Farm School is leading the project and spoke during the meeting:
“What our aim is to provide … a beautiful educational and community gathering hub across the street from the new Genesee Hill Elementary School. … The city of Seattle has given us until December 2017 to raise the money to purchase it … before they put it on the market for anybody else to buy.” Here’s the official city aerial (a few years old, as the buildings at the bottom are the portables from when the old Genesee Hill Elementary site, where the new GHE is almost complete, housed Pathfinder K-8):
Stemp continued, “It’s a little under 10,000 square feet, with 20 mature trees on the property, six of them exceptional status, birch, pine, a Lebanon cedar, Japanese maples, Pacific Madrone, and a beautiful giant cherry tree right on the corner.” They want to save those trees and add more to make the site “an urban demonstration garden.” They would build an education center on the paved part of the site, including spaces for classes, crafts, the new West Seattle Seed Lending Library (temporarily in a health office). … The education center itself will be an example of green building, with ‘straw bale’ type building,” among other sustainable features, even a windmill. “We want to have the community involved.”
They already have a design in progress, with a farmhouse look to it, and plan for students to come to the site for a “home-economics curriculum .. and the whole property will be available for anyone in the community to use.” It also would “provide a buffer” from the huge new school that’s across the street, and they are already partnering with the school and staff “and want to embrace our other local schools to see how we can enrich their curriculum at all.”
The fiscal sponsorship would be temporary, as the foundation is seeking its own tax-exempt status. Asked what happens if they don’t raise the full purchase price, Stemp said that they will at least have enough for a down payment and will then have a mortgage for which they would have to fundraise. The results of the discussion: ANA leadership will make the final decision on whether to grant the group’s request.
TERMINAL 5 DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: As has been announced at other community meetings we’ve covered recently, Port reps came to ANA to make sure this group is aware the Terminal 5 Modernization Project‘s draft Environmental Impact Statement is about to go public. The project is meant to upgrade the terminal to be able to handle the huge new ships that are emerging in the cargo-moving world. As he told the Southwest District Council earlier this month, the draft EIS is expected to be out May 23rd, with meetings, primarily for “spoken public comment,” but also featuring open-house information and presentations (likely at 6:30 pm) on June 7th at Georgetown campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), 5:30-8:30 pm, and June 9th at Alki Masonic Center, 5:30-8:30 pm. The comment period would run to June 21st and the final EIS then would come out
SUMMER CONCERTS AT HIAWATHA: The series is getting closer,, and ANA needs more committee members to help get ready for it.
ADOPT-A-STREET CLEANUP: The next one is in June – join ANA at 9 am at Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor) on Saturday, June 4th.
WEST SEATTLE 4TH OF JULY KIDS’ PARADE: It’s on again this year, with a leadership transition in progress. ANA presents the concessions every year as a fundraiser and is still deciding what they’ll be doing this year.
SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL UPDATES: Our report on last week’s SWDC meeting is still in the works. When we publish it, it will include the items that ANA’s representative to the council, immediate past president David Whiting (who is SWDC co-chair), mentioned, including the Neighborhood Street Fund projects proposed by community members, which SWDC members are reviewing so they can decide which projects advance to the next round of review. A proposal for the Harbor/Avalon/Spokane intersection under the bridge won an advisory vote of those in attendance, with the Morgan Junction RapidRide stop woes in second.
He also talked about the concerns swirling around the Department of Neighborhoods‘ response to the City Council’s request last year that it review several issues related to district councils and neighborhood district coordinators, including whether the city’s 13 neighborhood districts (West Seattle is split into two, Southwest and Delridge) should be realigned with the 7 new City Council districts. The draft report by DoN’s Tom Van Bronkhorst is out (read it here) and does not make a recommendation, but presents issues to the council. A lively discussion started, but couldn’t go too far because of the agenda, so ANA is hoping to bring Van Bronkhorst as well as City Councilmember Lisa Herbold to talk about it, maybe as soon as next month.
The Admiral Neighborhood Association meets second Tuesdays, 7 pm, at The Sanctuary at Admiral. P.S. ANA is still looking for a vice president! Come to the next meeting to find out more.