Cottage Grove neighbors gather to brainstorm safety solutions

A group of neighbors gathered last night to talk about what they could do to find solutions to recurring problems.

The area at issue is between 24th and 26th SW, and SW Hudson to SW Graham – part of the Cottage Grove area. Organizer Patrick Baer circulated an invitation saying:

The 5400 block of Delridge Way and surrounding community is having ongoing public safe issues including rampant drug activity, drinking in public, panhandling, and littering (needles). Despite the City of Seattle being fully aware of these issues, they are void of solutions or willingness to address them.

He made it clear at the start of the meeting at Delridge Library – which is in that area – that it wasn’t time to be spent listing complaints, but to brainstorm and plan action.

A city representative was there – Yun Pitre, this area’s community-engagement coordinator from the Department of Neighborhoods. She offered information on who to contact about several issues – including cleaning up the alley behind the library.
She also suggested researching whether the area could become an “alcohol-impact zone,” after some attendees mentioned problems with public inebriation that seemed to be linked to the convenience stores in the area.

Some of the public drinking was linked by attendees to residents at DESC’s Cottage Grove Commons supportive-housing complex, which has been open at 5444 Delridge Way SW since December 2013. They said a few people from the building seem to be frequent neighborhood troublemakers. Two DESC staffers were there – the building’s manager was unable to be present – and urged the neighbors to tell them about problems and to be specific about what and who they are seeing. Baer mentioned the “Good Neighbor” agreements that DESC had said its residents must sign, and asked about the status of those. The DESC representatives reiterated that it’s a matter of what gets reported – if no one calls about a problem, they won’t know.

Also discussed in terms of reporting problems: The city’s Find It, Fix It app, 206-684-CITY hotline, and e-mail use to get out the word when something’s happening. Neighbors being more visible and active in the neighborhood – something as simple as walking around more often – could make a difference, too.

14 Replies to "Cottage Grove neighbors gather to brainstorm safety solutions"

  • Question Authority January 23, 2018 (11:58 am)

    Who as a nearby resident would want to walk around more often just to be subjected to the problem?  How about the staff of the complex go out and witness and address it themselves per being a good neighbor.

    • Annoyed neighbor January 23, 2018 (6:08 pm)

      Agreed! Ever since this complex was built, there has been nothing but increased crime on that block. It doesn’t help that right across the street from Cottage Grove Commons is a small market that just fuels the alcoholism fire. Also, they have a crosswalk half a block away from their front door. Use it! I’d like to see a cop just sit there and ticket drunk jaywalkers who are endangering themselves and drivers on delridge. I am disgusted that the city spends my tax dollars to build a beautiful complex and see it just go to waste like many of the buildings downtown (Wintonia, Josephinum, etc). 

      • WSB January 23, 2018 (6:36 pm)

        “To waste”? Are there vacancies? I thought it was at capacity. Anyway, just for clarity’s sake, the city funded about a third of the project.

        • Westseattleite January 24, 2018 (6:22 pm)

          That’s good to know WSB about city funding. When I say “waste”, I mean residents trashing the building inside and out. People taking advantage of a beautiful opportunity to live there and ruining other’s opportunity who actually are proud to live there. I also know firsthand that the turnover of evictions are frequent there which makes me question their application process.

      • sam-c January 24, 2018 (10:09 am)

        They just spent a lot of money updating that crosswalk too. I kinda felt that they should have put all the crosswalk improvements a little further north, where everyone crosses anyway.

  • bolo January 23, 2018 (1:18 pm)

    Good to see that DESC is making a good attempt to be proactive about these problems. Maybe they could send some staffers around the area from time to time to see if any of their residents are “frequent neighborhood troublemakers” instead of relying solely on neighbors’ reports.

  • PatrickB January 23, 2018 (2:24 pm)

     WSB – Thank you for attending this meeting.  Your tireless work reporting on community
    meetings and events in West Seattle is highly valued and appreciated.  Patrick B

  • Lindsey January 23, 2018 (2:47 pm)

    I hope someone brought up the fact that Metro’s plan for the Rapid Ride H line will combine the Brandon and Juneau stops at Findlay, right on this trouble block. On paper, it’s a great plan, but I don’t think it will help the challenges on this block and may make it worse.

    • Jamie January 29, 2018 (3:24 am)

      That is a very very poor idea. I already use the Brandon stop to commute to work and there have been many many issues at that stop of behavior issues (ie very high, drunk and escalating) and safety concerns (ie waiting in the dark at 630a for bus with guy holding large butcher knife in plain sight). I will for sure not be moving my bus stop to the New combined one at Findlay right in front of DESC building. I will drive my car and park somewhere else on the line to take a safer bus stop!!!

  • AJP January 23, 2018 (3:20 pm)

    A preschool child was attacked by a dog yesterday outside SWEL. The dog was on a leash being held by its owner, and the owner smacked the dog and it let go. The child was wearing a thick jacket and got away uninjured. The owner ran away when he realized the police were coming. Luckily both he and the dog were caught. The dog, the owner, and the guy with the owner are frequently seen in the area. 

    • KES January 23, 2018 (5:31 pm)

      AJP, do you mind sharing a description of the dog? I’m happy to connect directly if you’d rather share privately.

      We live in 5200 block of Delridge and have a problem dog nearby, so wondering if it is the same one. I know the address where our problem dog resides and there were attempts by the owners to conceal or deny it living there after our last report, but it’s been out and about a lot again lately. 

      • Seattlite January 23, 2018 (7:14 pm)

        KES — Animal Control is a good contact for dog problems. I think community awareness regarding dog owners letting their dogs off leash in Lincoln Park, Lowman Park or anywhere in Seattle is very important.  Lincoln and Lowman Parks are areas where children play. Several parents I’ve spoken to are upset about the irresponsible dog owners.  I reported most of the instances to Animal Control who in turn contacts SPD for bicycle patrols (I think that’s what the guy said)  in the areas that are being reported with off leash dogs. Owners letting their dogs off leash are breaking the law and putting children/adults and other dogs at risk. 

        • KES January 24, 2018 (1:44 pm)

          yep, all our issues to date have been reported to AC, so hopefully the incident at the preschool was too. I am curious to know if it’s the same dog for my own safety and because I do know where this dog resides, but assume witnesses at the preschool wouldn’t necessarily know where it came from given the owner apparently ran away.

          all AC reports are tied to an address, so if it IS the same dog, this will connect the new report with any previous incidents and give AC something to go on. Without an address or any connection to previous history, there unfortunately isn’t a whole lot AC can do in most cases. 

  • Erithan January 23, 2018 (8:07 pm)

    Wonder if anything will be done, cops still ignore by rampant drug use/theft/public defication/urged nation etc where the “local boys” hang out outside QFC daily now. (Or Park).  

    I hope you you guys get a response, maybe junction will too eventually… (5 there in a literal smoke cloud when I walked over around 6)

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