West Seattle, Washington
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight:
STOLEN CR-V: Kirsten reports her car “was parked on 45th Ave between Charlestown and Spokane yesterday evening, and gone today! It is a red 2001 Honda CR-V, plates 774-XOW. The passenger side mirror is damaged and there is a big dent in the back bumper. It’s well loved.
Here’s a photo of a similar car. Call 911 if you see it.
CAR BREAK-INS: Not a lot of info on this so far, but a texter says multiple cars were broken into near California/Genesee tonight. Police were called.
6:44 PM: One year after a coalition of neighborhood groups, including five from West Seattle, challenged the Final Environmental Impact Statement for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, city Hearing Examiner Ryan Vancil issued his ruling late today.
Short version: He says the city’s FEIS stands, with the exception of one section.
That’s Vancil’s decision, toward the end of the 38-page ruling:
The neighborhood groups had argued that the EIS was inadequate in a variety of ways, including contentions that it was “one size fits all” rather than addressing unique potential impacts on neighborhoods. They argued their case in hearings over a two-plus-month period this summer; documents and audio recordings are all linked on this page of the Hearing Examiner’s website.
HALA MHA would implement upzoning in urban villages, as well as on commercial/multifamily property throughout the city, in exchange for developer/builders either including a certain percentage of “affordable” units, or paying the city a fee to finance construction of such units elsewhere. The plan now needs City Council approval; the council has had months of hearings (including this one in June in West Seattle) but its vote has been awaiting the appeal decision. (You can use this interactive map to see how any specific property would or wouldn’t be affected.”
So what happens now?
The Hearing Examiner’s decision is the final word from the city but not necessarily the final say in the matter – the appellants could choose to pursue a court case. We’re awaiting their reaction to the ruling.
On the city’s side, Mayor Jenny Durkan has issued a statement calling the ruling “a step forward for more affordable housing in Seattle.”
We’ll be updating this story as the evening goes on.
7:26 PM: First appellant reaction is from the Junction Neighborhood Organization, which filed its own appeal as well as being a member of the citywide coalition:
“On behalf of our neighbors and friends along the West Seattle peninsula, we are deeply disappointed with this ruling,” said Carl Guess, a member of the Junction Neighborhood Organization’s land-use committee. “It’s a big setback for neighborhood-level planning, and represents a new low in the relationship between the City and its urban villages.”
Indeed, hearing examiner Ryan Vancil chided the City for its lack of neighborhood-level analysis even as he largely affirmed its final environmental impact statement.
“[T]he choice not to tell a more detailed story of the City’s neighborhoods contributed to why the City faced a very protracted appeal and hearing process from representatives in many of its neighborhoods,” he wrote.
JuNO made those details the centerpiece of its appeal, pointing to what it called deficiencies in everything from traffic-flow analysis to conflicts between the HALA/MHA legislation and the neighborhood plan of the West Seattle Junction Urban Village.
Guess said those deficiencies remain, despite today’s ruling.
“When we wake up Monday morning, the City will continue to tell us that it takes only eight and a half minutes to cross the West Seattle Bridge during peak traffic flows, which is absurd. It will tell us there is enough infrastructure to support development, when we showed that 90% Seattle’s sewer lines are at or above capacity. It will tell us there are no conflicts with our neighborhood plan when we cited those conflicts specifically and repeatedly.”
Guess said JuNO will study the examiner’s ruling more deeply, then meet with its neighborhood to talk through possible next steps.
“Our neighborhood has been incredibly supportive throughout this process and we can’t thank them enough,” he said.
As for next steps beyond that meeting, one possibility for JuNO is to lobby the City Council in the ritual horse trading expected to take place as the HALA/MHA legislation moves toward approval. Another is to join a nascent effort to create an organization representing neighborhood groups within City Council District 1, now represented by Lisa Herbold.
“The City has destroyed a lot of goodwill in this process, and voters have very long memories,” said Guess.
ADDED 11:25 PM: We also asked Deb Barker, president of the Morgan Community Association – which joined the SCALE appeal as well as filing its own – for comment. Her reply:
MoCA is proud to have joined with the communities of SCALE. We took a stand against the city that acted without properly taking into account the voice of its residents and the impacts of its plan. SCALE made a tremendous effort to identify MHA FEIS deficiencies, and we are saddened how easily that effort was dismissed. MoCA is committed to ensuring that affordable housing remains in our community. To that end, MoCA will be evaluating options to achieve that goal as well as those of SCALE.
The MoCA and JuNO appeal documents were part of this 2017 WSB report.
If you’re tired of turkey by Saturday, you’ll have a new West Seattle restaurant option: That will be opening day for Gyro Heroes in the former Baskin-Robbins at 4111 SW Admiral Way. We first reported back in April that this eatery was on the way. At the time, they hoped to be open in mid-summer, but invariably, remodeling and permitting take longer, and we finally heard from proprietor Tareq that they are ready to open Saturday (November 24th). He was there a bit earlier this afternoon as they finished up work, so we stopped in for a quick peek. He says Gyro Heroes will be open 10 am-9 pm, seven days a week. No website yet; we’re awaiting a copy of the menu and will add it when we get it.
Thanks to James Moore for sending the photo, taken around 11 this morning. He reports: “It’s not an orca – but I think it’s a harbor porpoise. It was traveling south just off the Arroyos all by itself and as you can see quite close to shore (they’re usually quite far out and in a group).”
In case you wondered about the fire callout at Navos (2600 SW Holden) around quarter to 7 this morning – most of the units dispatched were quickly canceled so we didn’t go, but we did subsequently follow up with SFD, whose spokesperson Hilton Almond tells us: “This was a small fire in a bathroom. One person was transported by AMR due to smoke inhalation. The fire is under investigation.”
In this edition of West Seattle Crime Watch, two stolen items to look out for, plus prevention advice:
STOLEN SUBARU: From Adam:
Stolen Vehicle: 1998 Subaru Legacy Station Wagon, GT Model (not Outback)
Taken from the 9200 block of 20th Ave SW
Stolen overnight, Monday to Tuesday, this week (11-19/20)
Green with Dark Tinted Windows; Dark Painted Rims, no front License plate. (See photo)
License Plate WA – < BCW7861 >
Please post here if you’ve seen it and approx. location. Or text info to Adam at 206-375-0614.
Thank you, neighbors! This car is an oldie but a goodie. My kids and I would love to have it back!
And of course the first thing to do if you spot a known stolen car is, call 911.
STOLEN JACKET: From Cheryl:
Please keep an eye out for my jacket..it was stolen Friday night, November 9th, around midnight while at The Parliament in Admiral. Hard to miss …super sad it was taken.
PREVENTING/DETERRING CRIME: Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Danner has seasonal-yet-timeless advice in her newest newsletter, which you can read here (PDF) if the embedded version doesn’t show for you below:
DESSERT DONATIONS: If you have a dessert to donate for The Hall at Fauntleroy‘s free community Thanksgiving feast but can’t get there tomorrow, you can take it to parent company Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering‘s SODO office today before 3 pm. (4101 Airport Way S.)
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ITTO’S: Third anniversary for Itto’s Tapas on the north end of The Junction. Their message: “Thank you for your patronage, West Seattle! Please visit us on Wednesday, Nov 21, and enjoy an amuse-bouche.” Open 4 pm-midnight. (4160 California SW)
EVENING BOOK GROUP: All welcome to head over the ridge and join in the South Park Library Book Group meeting, 6:30 pm at the SP Senior Center. This month’s title: “Founding Mothers” by Cokie Roberts. Next month: “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante. (8201 10th Ave. S.)
OPEN MICROPHONE: At The Skylark, signups at 7:30, music at 8:30 pm. No cover, for performers or spectators. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Thanks for the tip. Seattle Parks is digging on the shore south/east of Seacrest to bury the latest dead sea lion to wash up. (Here’s our report from Sunday.) This is one of seven recent sea lion deaths now under federal investigation, according to the Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network – which is who to call if you see a sea lion or other marine mammal on a local shore, alive or dead, 206-905-SEAL.
7:14 AM: Good morning. Only note for our area right now is that if you travel SW Holden between 35th and Delridge, you might note a few SFD crews remaining from what was fleetingly a large callout, then quickly downsized, in the 2600 block.
HOLIDAY TRANSIT CHANGES TOMORROW/FRIDAY: Remember that there’ll be changes both for Thanksgiving Day and the day after. Metro will be on a Sunday schedule tomorrow, “reduced weekday” Friday. The King County Water Taxi will be out of service both days.