West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The road to choosing a “preferred alternative” for West Seattle/Ballard light rail has now taken the Stakeholder Advisory Group into the second of three levels of review.
When the SAG met last Wednesday at the Sound Transit board room downtown, it was presented with five West Seattle possibilities – including two new/modified versions of pre-existing options. You can see all five in the slide deck from the meeting.
ST’s Stephen Mak showed all five:
First, the “representative project” (ST’s original draft route), which is entirely elevated:
Seven months after representatives from neighborhood groups around the city stood together at City Hall to announce they were appealing the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, the hearing starts tomorrow.
Quick recap, if you’ve lost track: HALA MHA proposes upzoning the city’s urban villages – West Seattle has four (Admiral, West Seattle Junction, Morgan Junction, Westwood-Highland Park) – and commercial/multifamily property, while requiring developers to either provide a certain percentage of “affordable” housing in each project, or pay a fee into a fund that will pay for it elsewhere. The appeal contends that the FEIS does not adequately address potential impacts of MHA – for example, it argues that neighborhoods’ unique challenges are generally not dealt with in neighborhood-specific ways.
So far, three weeks are set aside on the city Hearing Examiner‘s calendar for the appeal – one this month, one in July, one in August – and there’s a possibility of a fourth. The City Council’s work on the bill to implement MHA has proceeded in parallel, meantime, with the last in-district hearing held almost three weeks ago here in West Seattle (WSB coverage here). The case file for the appeal hearing, meantime, has grown longer (see it here), and there have been some rulings on pre-hearing motions (summarized here [PDF]). Other changes since the appeal was announced include additional community groups joining the coalition – in West Seattle, the Alki Community Council and Fauntleroy Community Association have joined the appeal, whose original parties included the Morgan Community Association, West Seattle Junction Neighborhood Organization, and Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition.
The witness lists are here (coalition) and here (city). First scheduled witness tomorrow in support of the appeal is Peter Steinbrueck, current Seattle Port Commissioner and former Seattle City Councilmember, who is expected to “testify about the inadequacy of the MHA EIS disclosure and analysis of alternatives and impacts relevant to land use impacts and relevant to the Urban Village Study” – referring to a study conducted by his consulting firm three years ago.” The coalition witness list adds that “He will also testify about the history of neighborhood planning and comprehensive planning to the extent that it is relevant to the MHA proposal and the inadequacy of the MHA EIS disclosure and analysis of land use impacts.”
In proceedings before the Hearing Examiner, the city basically gets the benefit of the doubt unless the challenger can prove otherwise. The examiner’s ruling – usually made a few weeks after proceedings end – is the city’s last say in a matter, so after that the next stop would be court.
Proceedings before the Hearing Examiner, by the way, are open to the public; the hearing room is something like a small courtroom, and it’s on the 40th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower (700 5th Avenue) downtown.
4:33 PM: Heads up for North Admiral and the Harbor Island waterfront downhill – a film crew will be working in the area tomorrow morning (Monday, June 25th). Signs in the area and a notice to North Admiral neighbors (thanks to the resident who shared it) indicate that:
*Hamilton Viewpoint Park will be closed in the morning
*Traffic will be held in the area, a few minutes at a time, including on the California Way hill
*No parking along a section of Harbor Avenue in the morning, mostly east of Luna/Anchor Park (the signs are already up)
The North Admiral neighborhood notice said the crew “will be filming upcoming scenes for a movie that will include driving shots.” What movie? Doesn’t say, and we haven’t yet figured it out. After an e-mail went unanswered, we reached the location manager by phone. He apologized that he couldn’t comment but said he had forwarded our original request for more information to “FOX PR.” And, he said, they’re going to keep it as low-impact as possible.
10:03 PM: We have one educated guess that this might be the movie – set in Seattle, currently doing principal photography in Vancouver, and what better place to get a Seattle backdrop than here?
… as best we can tell from scanner traffic, it’s actually related to what was a possible water-rescue call that ended up playing out across the bay in the Magnolia area, and the person in question over there is reported to be out of the water and OK. It’s all getting canceled right now.
As of Friday afternoon, Seattle Public Schools students are out for summer. Before the school year is too far in the rear-view mirror, a Seattle school-software company wanted to give a shoutout to one local school with which it continues to partner. The photos and report are from Claire Douglas at MasterTrack:
MasterTrack Solutions was delighted to host a Happy Hour at Salty’s for the staff of West Seattle Elementary School. We celebrated the end of a successful school year as well as the 5th year of the ongoing partnership between MTS and WSE – which has improved student performance in mathematics! It was great to enjoy some food and drink, hear about all the gains students are making, and celebrate some very special, very hard-working teachers.
Thanks to both the MTS and WSE families. Happy summer!
Some stops along today’s West Seattle Garden Tour are more than just nice to look at … they are functional, too, for people and wildlife. Especially Suzanne Krom‘s garden southwest of The Junction, dubbed “An Oasis for Birds, Pollinators, and People.” This stop is educational, too:
Food is also part of the landscape at Nancy Ritzenthaler‘s “Sidewalk Orchard” in North Admiral – edible (including apple and pear trees) and decorative plants, mostly in the planting strip:
In Fauntleroy, one of the most eye-catching features of Alexis Zolner‘s “Collector’s Garden” is this sea of hydrangea blooms:
In a border, you’ll spot a sculpted peacock:
Twelve gardens are featured this year, listed in the ticket books that have been on sale since spring. Proceeds benefit seven nonprofits:
*West Seattle Junction Association, for mural restoration
*ArtsWest (for its Theater Education Program)
*The Arboretum at South Seattle College (for a new message hub and kiosk)
*Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden (for the design and construction of a Victory Garden)
*Little Red Hen Project (for an artistic and functional trellis in its “Winter Feast Garden”)
*PlantAmnesty (to help fund its 10th annual Urban Forest Symposium)
*Seattle Chinese Garden on Puget Ridge (to enhance it with three varieties of camellias)
Along with ticket proceeds, those nonprofits are supported by WSGT sponsorships – this year’s sponsors are listed here (including WSB sponsors WEdesign, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices NW Real Estate, West Seattle Thriftway, Budget Blinds, Dream Dinners, West Seattle Autoworks, Swedish Automotive, Ventana Construction, Stor-More, Menashe and Sons Jewelers, and Metropolitan Market).
P.S. Want to suggest a garden for a future WSGT? You can do that here.
11:46 AM: Thanks for the tips. Iniially sizable Seattle Fire callout to the 3500 block of Beach Drive SW for a possible house fire has been downsized to two units already, but we are en route to see what we can find out.
11:55 AM: “Small kitchen fire” is how SFD describes what happened.
11:29 AM: As mentioned in today’s highlight list, local families have baked up a variety of treats and are selling them right now north of The Junction, raising money to reunify asylum seekers and their children. It’s at 4146 44th SW and scheduled to continue until 1 pm; Jennifer, the organizer, says contributors have continued to drop off sale items, too, including a mom, baby in tow, who had created a three-layer cake!
The money will go to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.
5:37 PM: In a comment, Theo reports the bake sale raised $1,612!
Just an update/reminder – Southbound Highway 99 between the West Seattle Bridge and Battery Street Tunnel reopened this morning as planned, after work related to the future viaduct-to-tunnel transition. As reported here Friday, WSDOT expects another closure sometime this summer, but the date’s not set yet. Meantime, it’s the fourth full day of the West Seattle “low bridge” repair closure:
No new estimate from SDOT on when it will reopen, beyond the initial estimate that “at least a week” of work would be needed.
WEST SEATTLE GARDEN TOUR: 9 am-5 pm, 12 local gardens are showing off for tour ticket-buyers – tour at your own pace. If you haven’t already bought a ticket book, two local outlets – West Seattle Nursery (5275 California SW) and Junction True Value (4747 44th SW) – both open at 9 am. Proceeds benefit local nonprofits. The tour gardens’ addresses are in the ticket book.
FUNDRAISER FOR FAMILY REUNIFICATION: Sign we spotted at Caffe Ladro in Morgan Junction:
Here’s the Instagram post mentioned on the board. West Seattle Caffe Ladro is open until 6:30 pm. (7011 California SW)
BAKE SALE FOR FAMILY REUNIFICATION: Thanks to Anne for the tip on this. 10 am-1 pm bake sale raising money for #FamiliesBelongTogether – with many local families contributing. (4146 44th Ave SW)
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, fresh produce, meat, cheese, beverages, more! Plus cut flowers, plants, ready-to-eat treats …In the street in the heart of The Junction. (California between SW Oregon and SW Alaska)
WSHS CLASS OF 1988 REUNION: 11 am-5 pm, it’s the 30-year reunion for West Seattle High School‘s Class of ’88, at and around Lincoln Park picnic shelter #5, which is near the north play area/wading pool. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
LINCOLN PARK WADING POOL: Second day of the season! 11 am-8 pm near the north play area. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE TOURS: 1-4 pm (arrive no later than 3:45), the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary welcomes you to the weekly free tours of historic Alki Point Lighthouse. (3201 Alki SW)
DAN LUNDIN AND FRIENDS: Mix of easy-listening covers and originals at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 3-5 pm. (5612 California SW)
P.S. Going to – or participating in – the Pride Parade downtown? Here’s all the official info.