West Seattle, Washington
(West Seattle section of map featured on City Council’s MHA committee page)
Out of the snowstorm, into the fire. Just as we emerge from the all-consuming wintry weather, major projects and policies are approaching big decisionmaking points. Here’s another one: The city’s proposal for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning. Thursday night at City Hall, it’s the final big public hearing before the City Council votes on the proposal, which has been more than three years in the making. Before the vote, councilmembers will consider possible amendments to the plan. Among them are amendments proposed by West Seattle/South Park (District 1) Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who explained them in her most-recent weekly update:
… I have been working with community members in each of the Urban Villages in District 1, specifically South Park, Admiral, West Seattle Junction, Westwood-Highland Park, and the Morgan Junction. They have helped me to develop a number of amendments that will, if passed, make changes to the current proposal to reflect the goals held by the community organizations representing those communities, while still implementing MHA in all areas proposed from MHA implementation.
Specifically, I am proposing five amendments with the Junction urban village that would upzone those five areas currently zoned as Single Family to Residential Small Lot (RSL), as opposed to the Executive’s proposal for Low Rise 1, 2, and 3 zoning. The reasoning for this is that the Junction has been identified as the location of a future light rail station; however, the specific alignment and location of the station have not yet been determined. Once that is determined, it will become more clear which properties Sound Transit will need to acquire. This is important because increasing development capacity in these locations may increase the value of the land, and Sound Transit is required to pay for the highest and best use of the land. Sound Transit is already needing third party funding for the development of these lines, and I do not want to see that problem exacerbated. The Community has expressed a desire for additional zoning capacity, but in accordance with the light rail station. To that end, the Office of Planning and Community has committed to beginning a neighborhood planning process in 2019 and 2020.
Additionally, three other amendments I have proposed, one in the Morgan Junction and two in the Westwood-Highland Park urban village, would provide better stair-stepping and avoid harsh transitions from one zone to the next.
At the last meeting of the Council’s Select Committee on Mandatory Housing Affordability, I presented these amendments and some of my colleagues expressed concern. I am proud of District 1, for the most part, embracing the conversion of Single Family Zoning in Urban Villages to RSL. This is significant progress from a year ago when there was fierce opposition in some corners to any changes to Single Family Zoning in Urban Villages. I believe it’s my responsibility, in governing to collaborate with my constituents, and in that spirit, I will continue to champion these amendments. I encourage you to come to the public hearing on Thursday the 21, to share your thoughts about these amendments, because I could use your help. …
Herbold also talked about HALA MHA and her proposed amendments at last Thursday’s West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting:
If you can’t make it to Thursday’s hearing (5:30 pm in Council chambers, 600 4th Ave.) you can also voice your opinion to councilmembers by emailing email@example.com.
TIMELINE: After Thursday’s hearing, the council expects to vote on amendments and other related bills next Monday afternoon (February 25th), after their regular weekly afternoon meeting, around 2:30 pm. The final vote on HALA MHA, amended or not, is expected during the 2 pm council meeting on March 18th.
NOT SURE WHAT HALA IS? Herbold’s aforementioned weekly update includes a short primer/recap. The city’s interactive maps will show you how any particular property will or won’t be affected by the upzoning proposals, as they stand now.
The next major piece of the puzzle in the viaduct-to-tunnel transition will be in place by tomorrow morning – the new exit ramp from northbound Highway 99 into the south end of downtown will be open by tomorrow morning, as just announced by WSDOT:
The end of the holiday weekend brings the start of a new way for drivers and bus riders to get to downtown Seattle from northbound State Route 99.
The new off-ramp near the sports stadiums will open for drivers in time for the morning commute Tuesday, Feb, 19.
This new exit ramp leads to a new intersection at South Dearborn Street where drivers can choose to head straight to Alaskan Way and the waterfront, or turn right to access First Avenue and downtown or SODO. This video shows what the choices look like:
In addition to being an important link for travelers, engineers and researchers hope this new ramp will provide a link to something else – earthquake-resistant bridges.
This ramp is the first in the world built with flexible metals and bendable concrete designed to sway with a strong earthquake and return to its original shape. Its innovative design has won regional and national recognition.
After the opening of the new off-ramp, some bus routes will be adjusted. Please see King County Metro’s website for additional information.
(We’ll be following up separately with Metro and SDOT about the timeline for that and for other changes such as the end of the temporary 4th Avenue bus ramp/lane from the West Seattle Bridge. *6:56 PM UPDATE* Metro says yes, buses will shift to the new ramp starting Tuesday.)
WSDOT had warned for months that the exit ramp would take another one to two weeks to finish, after the opening of the Highway 99 tunnel; the recent snow added a few days to that timeline. Without this ramp, everyone using NB 99 in the past two weeks from West Seattle or points south has had to do so without being able to exit until north of the tunnel.
The snow is mostly melted and even if a few more flakes fall, spring is just a month away and it’s time to think about gardening – from planters to P-Patch plots. One good way to get going with plans for your growing: The annual West Seattle Seed Swap is set for Sunday (February 24th), 2 pm-3:30 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 2306 42nd SW. This year, the free seed swap is hosted by Terraganics Living, which manages the King County Seed Library‘s location there. Terraganics says, “This is a FREE event. Everyone is welcome, including new gardeners looking for inspiration and some seed varieties to get started. … If you’re bringing seeds to share, please bring as much information as you have about your seeds, such as variety, growth habit, and days to maturity.” The event will include a table of gardening resources, gardening books available for checkout from the Seattle Public Library, and a coloring activity for kids. Any leftover seeds will go toward replenishing the Seed Library.
1:39 PM: Also winning third place at the district tournament in Bellevue today, the West Seattle HS boys, who just wrapped up their win over O’Dea, 58-54. Photos and details to come.
ADDED 7:06 PM: Between a short-lived early lead for O’Dea and their late-in-the-game challenge, it was all West Seattle. And a large part of that was #22, senior Nuh’Kosi Roberson:
He led West Seattle with 25 points. Roberson and teammates kept the Fighting Irish on the run all game, no sign of the slowdown offense they tried in Saturday’s loss. By early in the second quarter, they were already up by 14 points. Second leading WSHS scorer of the game was #3, (corrected) junior Sage Nelson:
#24, senior Abdullahi Mohamed, shone more on the boards than on the scoreboard, totaling 8 points.
They were in charge throughout the second quarter and went into the locker room ahead 33-22 at the half.
Not much changed in the third, but O’Dea made a run for it in the fourth, cutting the Wildcats’ lead to six points with five minutes to go and staying within that range for a while, whittling their deficit to five points before West Seattle #15, junior Xavier Giomi (above), netted a crucial three-pointer. O’Dea still wasn’t giving up, and was just three points back in the final half-minute, but head coach Keffrey Fazio‘s Wildcats held on for the win.
WHAT’S NEXT: On to regionals/state starting next weekend – the matchups haven’t been announced yet, but watch here.
12:22 PM: The West Seattle HS girls took third place in districts with a 57-54 win over Lake Washington this morning. Full details to come!
ADDED 3:42 PM: Neither team pulled away at any point during this game, but the Wildcats found their surest footing when it counted most, in the late going.
Something new to look forward to in West Seattle this summer! From the WSB inbox, this announcement:
RRoxhill Community Events in partnership with Seattle Arts in Parks and the Seattle Parks Foundation is proud to announce this Summer 2019, Roxhill Park World Music Day!
Roxhill Park World Music Day: Connecting Cultures Through Community, will be a one-day live music festival featuring performances from artists representative of the people of the surrounding neighborhood.
Roxhill Park Community Events is seeking volunteers to help plan and promote the event. If you’re interested in learning more about the help needed please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org
CITY PARKS: Here’s what’s closed and what’s open.
TRASH/RECYCLING/ETC. PICKUP: Seattle Public Utilities says it’s expecting pickups to be back on regular schedule this week.
FREE-PARKING DAY: If you’re going to a neighborhood that has street parking with city pay stations, there’s no charge today.
BASKETBALL: Both West Seattle High School teams play for third place at the district tournament – girls vs. Lake Washington at 10 am, boys vs. O’Dea at 11:45 am, both games at Sammamish High School. (100 140th Ave. SE, Bellevue)
QUIZFIX TRIVIA: 7:30 pm at The Skylark, all ages, free, prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)
6:26 AM: Good morning. No incidents to report. Transit notes on this holiday:
8:42 AM: Still no incidents or alerts.