Tuesday night was not much of a night for meeting-going, with slush and ice still on the roads, but hardy executive-board members Amanda Kay Helmick, Eric Iwamoto, and Kim Barnes were at the Southwest Library for February’s meeting of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, as were guests Lt. Ron Smith of the Southwest Precinct and Jordan Lowe from startup Josephine.com. Over the course of an hour, here are the toplines of what they talked about:
SOUTHWEST PRECINCT UPDATES: Lt. Smith said the Parks Department was cutting more vegetation by the Roxhill Park bus stop earlier in the day, to increase visibility to reduce crime and other problems. (Helmick mentioned that Metro is getting close to permits for the long-requested lighting alongside the park and is now projecting installation in March.) Businesses in the area are contacting police more often about problems. Then, area crime stats – “a huge increase in vehicle thefts” lately, especially Arbor Heights, Lt. Smith said. Six more than the area had seen by this time last year. But they’ve been making arrests, too. And car prowls are down, as are residential burglaries and robberies. So far this year, there’s been one non-residential burglary in the area, compared to none last year.
HALA REZONING: Barnes has been birddogging this and says that because turnout was low for November’s little-publicized Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda-related Community Design Workshop for the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village meeting was so anemic, the city Office of Planning and Community Development has offered to have another meeting for this area. It’ll be March 1st at Highland Park Improvement Club, start time TBA. They’ll go over notes from the November meeting and get into more details about how to provide community feedback on the proposed rezoning.
JOSEPHINE.COM: Jordan Lowe from Mount Baker was an invited guest to talk about this startup, which “allows home cooks to sell food to their neighbors.” He is one of those cooks and said he uses it as supplementary income. “I pick what I want to cook, how much I want to charge, put it on the website, people come and pick it up. … Over the last couple months we’ve been growing a lot in Seattle.” All cooks need to have a food handler’s permit, he said, and the company pays for it if necessary; they also check out the cooks’ kitchens. He went into some of the details. So far, West Seattle has “three or four people” who are going through the application process. Yes, there’s a catch – “we operate in a gray area,” as Lowe put it when we asked – the meals have to technically be considered “events” by health authorities rather than people making and selling food for purchase. The company started in California and expanded to Portland and Seattle.
NEXT WWRHAH MEETING: Councilmember Lisa Herbold is scheduled to be at the March WWRHAH meeting. The discussion of the group’s direction also has been moved to that meeting (6:15 pm, Tuesday, March 7th, Southwest Library, 35th SW/SW Henderson).