Two big topics on the agenda for last night’s Alki Community Council meeting, and we have video of both. First – the week’s second discussion of Sub Pop Records‘ August 11th Alki Beach 30th-anniversary megaparty:
“We’re really excited,” declared Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper as she led the briefing and discussion, as she had at the Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting two nights earlier. Most of the details were the same – as reported in WSB coverage that night – but we heard a few other details, as well as Alki residents’ questions:
The event’s fundraising component will benefit the Alki-based Southwest Seattle Historical Society (whose executive director Jeff McCord was present, as he was at ANA on Tuesday night) and a to-be-announced nonprofit “serving the homeless communities.”
As noted earlier, Alki Avenue will be closed between 57th SW and 63rd SW (you might remember that closure footprint from some of the “car-free day” events in past years). There will be four stages – one on each side of Alki Bathhouse, one by Blue Moon Burgers (57th), and one focused on family/kid entertainment on Alki Playfield. Two acts have been announced already for that stage – The Not-Its and the West Seattle School of Rock. The party’s full lineup will be announced May 29th, Sub Pop said in Admiral on Tuesday. The final band, Jasper promised last night, will be a “wonderful band and not crazy-crazy loud.”
Jasper again recounted Sub Pop’s 25th anniversary party success in Georgetown – which had three stages, closed Airport Way, and drew 30,000 people. “It went very, very well.” They also got feedback afterward that it had “lifted the community” and introduced attendees to Georgetown businesses that are still feeling the boost five years later. (SWSHS’s McCord confirmed that a major supporter of his organization, West Seattle and Georgetown property owner/entrepreneur John Bennett, vouches for the success of the party five years ago.)
A full third of Sub Pop’s staff (including Jasper herself) are West Seattleites, she reiterated: “We show our faces here, we’re proud to live here, we want this to be positive for everybody.” That includes being sure that local residents will be able to get to and from their homes.
Planning has been under way for months already (even before the party was publicly announced in January) and Sub Pop is focusing on every detail possible: “We will have toilets everywhere, trash containers everywhere, volunteers” … and that includes an extra post-event cleanup on Monday, August 13th, partnering with Puget Soundkeeper. “Our goal is to leave the space better than we found it.”
They’re working on transportation, from bikeshares to buses and beyond. And Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith, in attendance at ACC as usual, confirmed they are meeting with police to plan as well – he said the SPD Traffic Section is already planning to have all-hands-on-deck that day and night.
Discussion/question touched on a wide range of topics, including the need to work more closely with Seattle Parks given how much of the public space in Alki is under its auspices, and attention to details such as tides (event day is a new moon with a 12-foot high tide at 6:33 pm, we note from the tide chart).
One attendee suggested that road closures go beyond the 57th/63rd extent listed, and Lt. Smith confirmed they’re looking at a “soft closure” that could go as far as California/Harbor. Another wanted to be sure all groups that regularly use Alki are fully informed of this – the Alki Volleyball Association, for example.
Alki Playfield will be the location of one of the three planned beer gardens. What if park property is damaged? asked one attendee. “We have good insurance,” Jasper replied. And in response to a safety question a few minutes later, she said they plan to have many additional security staffers, in addition to the police who plan to work the event.
Again, you can listen to the 43-minute unedited video above to hear the entire briefing/Q&A session. Sub Pop offered to come back to each monthly ACC meeting before the event, promising “continued conversation.”
HALA UPZONING AND THE APPEAL: The City Council continues its consideration of the proposed legislation for upzoning in urban villages and multifamily/commercial property citywide, for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability component. Meantime, the appeal filed by a coalition of community groups around the city is also proceeding, challenging the Final Environmental Impact Statement for HALA MHA as insufficient in addressing neighborhoods’ unique components, among other things. One of the local groups involved in the coalition, and pursuing its own appeal, is the Junction Neighborhood Organization; Christy Tobin-Presser from its Land Use Committee talked to the ACC about where things stand, from her perspective as a volunteer neighborhood advocate:
Following Tobin-Presser’s presentation, the ACC talked about whether to join the appeal coalition, which would require a $750 buy-in. After a somewhat extensive discussion, they decided to table the motion and pick it up again, likely next month unless the board considers it between monthly meetings. Tobin-Presser reiterated what appeal participants have said previously – they are not seeking to stop HALA MHA, but to get environmental-impact studies for each neighborhood, so unique factors are addressed. In Q&A, when asked where new Mayor Jenny Durkan stands, Tobin-Presser said they believe she’s “open to compromise” but that she might not have been if an appeal wasn’t being pursued.
The hearing before the city’s Hearing Examiner, by the way, is now scheduled for June. Other next steps, along with City Council meetings/hearings, include open houses and hearings in City Council districts – the ones for West Seattle/South Park, aka District 1, are set for May 9th and June 5th (details here).
The Alki Community Council meets on third Thursdays most months, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).