VIDEO: Sub Pop party discussion #2, plus HALA upzoning appeal, @ Alki Community Council

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).

12 Replies to "VIDEO: Sub Pop party discussion #2, plus HALA upzoning appeal, @ Alki Community Council"

  • Alkiguy March 17, 2018 (3:54 pm)

    I’m sorry I wasn’t there, other obligations. WSB  Was there talk about parking? Living near the beach big events alway’s have people parking in front of hydrants, blocking sidewalks, alley access etc. I have called  about this but the meter maids never seem to show up to ticket/tow. 

  • AlkiWendy March 17, 2018 (6:37 pm)

    I did attend the meeting and have the same concerns as you do regarding traffic and parking.  Sub Pop said they will attend the Alki Community Council Meetings every month to bring us up to date on the planning.  And they said they want to hear suggestions from the community.

  • jm18 March 18, 2018 (10:07 am)

    It’s not everyday that events happen at Alki. I live in one of the junctions, on a daily basis people block our driveway, on both sides. There is no street parking, daily, due to daily events in West Seattle.  Parking enforcement probably does not prioritize once or twice a year beach events for ticketing. They always come within the hour where I live, due to it being daily. I wish it were only once in a while. Look on the bright side, you’re in close proximity to wonderful events!

  • alkiguy March 18, 2018 (3:41 pm)

    JM18. I am fortunate as I have an assigned parking place. The parking issues are a daily problem on nice day’s. My complaint with the meter maids, and police is that they drive right by clear violators without ticketing.  I have called 911 for car’s blocking ally’s. 3 hours later the people leave-no ticket. Last summer at the bicycle Sunday(misnamed, as the majority of people drive they’re bicycle to the beach)i notified a meter maid listening to the music at 61st and Alki of cars blocking sidewalk and hydrant a block away at 61st and Stevens. He smiled, and continued to listen to the music. The cars left,@ 2 hours later-no ticket.  

    • WSB March 18, 2018 (3:56 pm)

      Just a datapoint, the city didn’t have a car-free day at Alki last year, so you might be recalling 2016, which was the last one. Not seeing any hint it’ll happen this year but we’ll be checking.

      • scubafrog March 18, 2018 (8:31 pm)

        Bummer, I loved the car-free days.  At first I was skeptical but grew to LOVE them.

        As an aside, the CEO of Sub Pop Megan appears to lack utter empathy.  Bringing 40k people to people’s neighborhoods (Greenwood, now Alki).  Never her own neighborhood, however……….

        • Al March 22, 2018 (6:44 am)

          Megan is the CEO of a company that has decided to spend tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring musicians from around the world to perform for free to a community they live in and yet that’s a lack of empathy? They’ve attended 3 community events just this last week to make sure they are addressing the needs of the neighborhood. They’ve displayed massive amounts of forethought and planning thus far. 

          Megan Jasper might be one of the most empathetic people on the planet. Ultimately you can hate on the event all you want. I’m assuming it’s just not your cup of tea or perhaps you just find change scary. Regardless, trust me when I say your assessment of Megan Jasper is way the heck off base. 

  • Nicole March 18, 2018 (10:35 pm)

    Have they done this in years past?   I am super excited about this event- especially the kids section! 

    • WSB March 18, 2018 (11:17 pm)

      25th anniversary was in Georgetown. 20th anniversary was on the Eastside but, they explained, they’re a Seattle company and they realized future celebrations should be IN Seattle.

  • dunnkld March 19, 2018 (12:41 pm)

    Regarding Christy from JUNO’s presentation on the SCALE appeal against HALA:

    As an over-65 person who has lived in Alki since 1976, I cannot in conscience support further delays to increasing density here. I understand some of the concerns, but I feel there is too much sentiment to keep West Seattle as it is and use the of the appeal to delay the process. I think that is very shortsighted. What we need now are solution-based proposals. Impact concerns need to be addressed simultaneously and people who live next to upzoned areas should be engaged with what directly impacts them (eg, the design of the building next door or across the street) to ensure a livable community, as opposed to a city wide appeal.

    Concerns for lack of open space were presented. If you live in the Alaska Junction, you can take the frequent Rapid Ride bus and be in Lincoln Park (the second largest park in the city) in a matter of minutes. The 50 METRO bus runs every 20-30 minutes which can take you to Schmitz Preserve Park, 53 acres of old growth forest and Alki Beach Park (136 acres).  Also, as one quarter of the real estate in the city is devoted to motorized vehicle traffic and storage of motorized vehicles (aka street parking). If we need additional open space in dense neighborhoods, we should push for converting that space to be more people oriented. 

    The city wide organization that is behind this appeal (SCALE) to me displays an antagonistic tone against “Urbanistas (those who profit and pray to the alter (sic) of growth at all costs)”. This type of language does not give me confidence that SCALE’s motives are pure. Whose interests do they represent, current residents or the future of our city? I would not vote for Alki to join them.

    I do believe that we should be relentless pushing for more transportation options than SOV in West Seattle.  We cannot continue to be so car dependent or afford to give up so much space to the movement and storage of SOVs. However, delaying upzoning, will also delay better public transportation because taxpayers won’t stand for running empty buses.

    P.S. Welcome Sub Pop, you seem to have your act together. It is only one day, naysayers. It will give us a chance to have the one-day street closure on Alki that we did not get in 2017.

    • Mike April 5, 2018 (10:10 am)

      Well said, DUNNKLD.  I am on the same side of the issue and am hear to echo my support for HALA and the future of Seattle.

  • jm18 March 19, 2018 (2:16 pm)

    Dunnkld, what you mentioned regarding SCALE is exactly how I have been feeling about it,  I just can’t seem to put it in words the way you did, so thank you. It’s concerned me that a lot of neighborhood groups are speaking for all and I also agree that it will delay many things. Once in a while I’ll comment about Hala on the blog but I’m quickly shot down or disagreed with in what I would consider a not so nice way, by SCALE members (I believe). It’s always been just my opinion, every opinion counts. It will be interesting to see what happens…

Sorry, comment time is over.