Today is your last chance to comment via the newest “online open house” for Sound Transit’s West Seattle (and Ballard) light-rail extension. Light rail was one of many topics at the most recent Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting, too:
SOUND TRANSIT ENGAGEMENT: Department of Neighborhoods community-engagement specialist Erin House was there to explain what the city is doing as part of the opinion-gathering as ST moves toward choosing a “preferred alternative” for route/station locations. She says the city has “several collaborative teams” working on the project, including how the stations might function: “For example, we’ve heard loud and clear that Delridge would like a grocery store.” There’s also a team working to ensure there’s “robust community engagement” with ST. Among other things, they’re supposed to be talking about how people will get to the stations. Though the nearest station will be in North Delridge, House said they also want to focus on how South Delridge will get there.
Highland Park Action Committee chair Charlie Omana asked her how engaged Metro is with the process. Metro’s role “is a big part of the conversation,” House replied. NDNC chair Mat McBride said there’s concern about the Delridge RapidRide conversion and the desire to keep the 120’s local service too, lest the RapidRide fill up at points south and “no one will be able to get on (the bus) in Delridge ever again.” That’s an equity issue, she was told, given Delridge’s diverse community. She noted that the city is using its Racial Equity Toolkit to review such issues. Back to light rail – once the station location is decided, “a whole conversation” will follow and they want to be sure it includes “everyone who’s going to be affected.” Mike Riedel from the South Delridge Community Group noted that outreach so far hasn’t stretched beyond North Delridge. House said they would be having more “casual conversations” with various neighborhood/community groups in October. She also said RapidRide H Line outreach is expected to continue with a fall open house in White Center (date TBA).
Along with that special guest, the meeting also included an update from police, plus news from NDNC member organizations:
POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Steve Strand said police have been working on a nuisance house in the 8800 block of 20th SW in connection with the “trespass” policy. Originally the people squatting there had been at another house on the block; it was demolished and they all moved to another “vacant” house on the block. Regarding RV issues, he mentioned that the precinct’s point person Officer Todd Wiebke has retired and they are seeking a replacement. The precinct has four new officers coming to the precinct to fill openings that were created by attrition such as retirement. … Bicycle officers were out in Roxhill Park earlier in the day (last Wednesday) and arrested a suspect who had a $20,000 warrant, a manual on how to create fake IDs, and a “one-person crime spree going on” including stolen credit cards.
As we’ve reported in two previous stories, he also mentioned the upcoming cleanup of the unsanctioned camping area on the east side of Myers Way: “All summer we’ve been promised it’ll be cleaned up” – though it’s state property, the city said they’ll take care of it. He said at least one state legislator reported getting complaints and was taken on a tour of the area. Outreach has already been done to offer shelter and services to those there; this past week, Lt. Strand said, alerts about the impending sweep/cleanup are being posted; next, the city will bring in heavy equipment “to clean it all out.” He said police made the case for cleanup – after being told other areas were more of a priority – by taking photos and showing stats correlating increased crime with the illegal camps there. Lt. Strand also mentioned that the precinct is gathering data for the mayor’s upcoming appearance at Highland Park Action Committee meeting next week; he and precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis will be there.
The mayoral visit was part of the other updates from DNDC participants (representing organizations/community groups from around eastern West Seattle):
MAYORAL VISIT: HPAC chair Omana reminded everyone that Mayor Jenny Durkan will be the special guest at their meeting this Wednesday (special early start time, 6:30 pm September 26th, Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden). Here’s the latest letter HPAC has sent the mayor about issues they expect her to address.
DELRIDGE GROCERY COOPERATIVE: Two bids are in so far for the buildout of their long-in-the-works store at Cottage Grove Commons and they’re still looking for more, said Doris Rahmig from the co-op.
They have permits and expect to finally open next year – construction is expected to take about three months. Two board members have moved out of state, so the board has openings. October 27th is their annual members’ meeting, 10 am-noon at the Disabled American Veterans Hall (4857 Delridge Way SW).
WESTWOOD-ROXHILL-ARBOR HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Summer hiatus over and WWRHAH will resume first-Tuesday meetings starting October 2nd.
ROXHILL PARK CHAMPIONS: Debbie Atkinson recapped their work with the Seattle Parks Commons program, a 2-year commitment to “basically improve the social climate of the park.” As part of that, they had summer events including the June barbecue and August movie night.
There’s also a Friday morning walking group (meet in the parking lot at 9 am) – “we’d love to get some more people walking with us there.” They’re working with neighbors who’ve been doing monthly volunteer cleanups for more than 30 years and can use more help. That goes for all aspects of the park-improvement project – roxhillpark.org.
SOUTH DELRIDGE COMMUNITY GROUP: SDCG’s Riedel said that the group’s working on the abandoned-house issue and has been talking with Councilmember Lisa Herbold (he mentioned the recent council discussion about vacant properties).
PUGET RIDGE: Amanda Kirk from the Puget Ridge Neighborhood Council said her group has a Public Safety/Right of Way Committee working on some issues, and that they’re working with SPD on some “problem houses” in the area.
DELRIDGE DAY RECAP + SWYFS: Ron Angeles, who represents Southwest Youth and Family Services on the council, said the festival on August 11th – which he organized with other community volunteers – “had a really good crowd.” On behalf of SWYFS, he mentioned the organization’s October 27th fundraising gala. He said a capital campaign is likely to start early next year toward redeveloping the 8th SW/SW 108th property in White Center. As has been discussed previously, it’ll be a mixed-use project, with nonprofits headquartered there and low-income housing provided.
MORE NOTES, AND WHAT’S NEXT: Feet First walking tour of light-rail station sites on October 16th, ending at Ounces in North Delridge – see the calendar listing here … The 34th District State Senate general-election forum presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is set for 7 pm October 18th at the DAV Hall – and candidates Joe Nguyen and Shannon Braddock are also the scheduled guests at the next DNDC meeting, one day previous (location TBA).