By Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Neighbors gathered Tuesday night for a meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, to discuss topics ranging from affordable housing to “Viadoom.”
The meeting, held at The Sanctuary at Admiral, was the first ANA meeting with David Hancock at the helm as the group’s president. The current slate of ANA officers includes:
- President: David Hancock
- Vice President: Larry Wymer
- Secretary: Delores Kannas
- Treasurer: Carrie MacCann
- Membership: Susan Staples and Sofia Velling
- Neighborhood Plan Stewardship: Matt Hutchins
- Summer Concert Series: Stephanie Jordan
Board members provided some brief updates, including the news that the likely dates for this summer’s Thursday night Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series would be July 18 through August 22.
The night’s first guest speaker was Lyle Evans, Executive Director of the Senior Center of West Seattle, (with an assist from longtime SCWS event coordinator Carol Johnston, who was also in attendance) who provided some highlights about the center’s programs and mission. It’s the 48th year of operation for the center, which Evans noted has 50 programs designed to provide companionship, learning, wellness, and fun for seniors, including unique offerings such as the Crab Feed on January 19 and the “Bugs & Beer in the New Year” entomology series starting January 29. The center’s newly remodeled cafe serves and prepares thousands of meals for seniors each year, and the Stop ‘N Shop Thrift Store is a significant source of revenue and community engagement. Evans said the center hosts “at least 8” community and city meetings each month, and the center’s computer lab is a vital hub for teaching technology skills to seniors. Members of the community who want to support the center are encouraged to donate, which can include clothing and artwork and small furniture.
Next up was ANA’s Matt Hutchins with assistance from Alex Clardy from Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s office, to discuss HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability implementation (recent WSB coverage here), specifically as it relates to the Admiral “urban village.” Hutchins walked through the key components of Admiral’s neighborhood plan that dates back to 1998 (see his handout here [PDF]), much of which still resonates today. He also highlighted the MHA goals of ensuring that the development of new commercial and multifamily residential housing contributes toward the availability of affordable housing. Hutchins and Clardy handed out some HALA alternative zoning maps (posted here in PDF format; pages 12-14 are relevant to Admiral) and facilitated a discussion about the impact of MHA and its impact on the Admiral District.
Clardy noted that the City Council is actively taking suggestions and holding public meetings, working toward a final council vote on March 18. Hutchins collected feedback from those in attendance regarding some potential suggestions, including the following taken from previous ANA discussions:
- Infrastructure improvements are needed as part of increased density
- Abrupt transitions from California Ave and the surrounding neighborhoods are a concern
- Family-sized apartments and affordable housing should be built in neighborhood
- Preserve independent and affordable small business at street level
ANA president Hancock noted that the group will soon post more information online regarding the ANA’s feedback.
Next, the group discussed the upcoming permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct (WSB coverage here), and its inevitable impact on West Seattleites. Attendees noted the availability of enhanced shuttle service for the Water Taxi, and additional Metro buses.
Finally, attendees brainstormed about other ideas for ANA to consider in 2019. These included:
- Smoothing out surfaces on sidewalks in the Admiral business district
- Street trees
- Designs for linkages and bike trails
- Community participation during holidays, including decorations and events (potentially including a “model train garden” similar to a popular attraction in the Baltimore area)
- 4th of July Kids’ Parade and West Seattle Grand Parade involvement
- Walking tours with the history of the neighborhood, and historical society tie-in
- Social media intern for ANA, including biz-of-the-month profiles (perhaps a West Seattle High School student)
- Do intentional outreach to create interest in events
Saturday 3/2 – Admiral Adopt-A-Street cleanup
Tuesday 3/12 – ANA meeting
Tuesday 5/14 – ANA meeting
Saturday 6/1 – Admiral Adopt-A-Street cleanup