West Seattle, Washington
Thanks for the tips on these:
WATER BREAK: If you are anywhere near 36th/Raymond and you are having water trouble, that could be the cause – a broken line. It has been reported to Seattle Public Utilities; no repair crew there yet when we went over to check. We have a call out to find out the extent of the break.
POWER OUTAGE: We got a question about streetlights being out near 24th/Roxbury but homes unaffected. The Seattle City Light map shows what it calls a “planned outage” in the area affecting 26 customers.
(Substituted Friday morning: Seattle Channel video of Thursday night hearing)
Click into that stream and you’ll be watching the event we’re at City Hall to cover – the City Council’s last big public hearing before its vote next month on HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning. (You can follow along with the agenda, and its relevant materials, here.) It’s been eight months since the council’s hearing in West Seattle; this one is for the entire city, and the chambers are full – with five of the 9 councilmembers here (Lorena González is chairing in the absence of vacationing committee chair Rob Johnson; also here are Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez, Teresa Mosqueda, Kshama Sawant). We’ll be chronicling highlights as they happen.
First to speak is a representative from the SEIU. “Middle- and low-income workers will continue to be priced out of the city” if there’s not more housing stock, she says, expressing support for HALA MHA.
Second is also a HALA MHA supporter who says the process has taken too long. “Working families are struggling,” she says. “… More people need housing, and this is the chance to mitigate that need.”
Third and fourth are two members of 350 Seattle’s “housing team.” They say “housing is a climate issue” and express relief that “MHA is so close to the finish line.” They express opposition to some proposed amendments including the ones that would reduce the level of upzoning in some areas (including part of West Seattle).
Fifth is another MHA supporter who says, “We’ve been working on getting to the Grand Bargain [with developers] since the Nickels administration.” (That former mayor left office in 2009.)
Sixth, a representative of the city Planning Commission, in favor of MHA, who says they’re excited about its potential to “distribute more development capacity” to neighborhoods that could use it.
Seventh, the first opponent to speak, who says “tech bros” who are “strip-mining the city” and “venture capitalists” among others will continue to “pour in” and redevelop the city. She says that she and her husband feel they are being “pushed out of Seattle” so it’s “time to leave.” She draws a smattering of boos.
Eighth, an opponent who calls MHA “fundamentally flawed.” She also says she supports Councilmember Herbold’s anti-displacement proposal (announced yesterday). She wants to see neighborhood planning restored.
6 PM: Ninth, a speaker who says that MHA will lead to more displacement. So she wants the 23rd/Jackson urban village to not be upzoned. She specifically appeals to CM Sawant, saying her district, 3, has had “sacrificial lambs” already displaced. She draws strong applause (we should note that the pro-MHA speakers had drawn some applause too).
AHEAD: THE REST OF OUR 4 1/2 HOURS OF AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Will the stone house join the Log House (Museum) under the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s wing?
SWSHS leaders tell WSB they are grateful that the new owners of the well-known little stone-covered house at 1123 Harbor Avenue SW have agreed to meet with them. They aren’t seeking to get in the way of whatever the new owners – who just bought the site and two adjacent lots last week – have planned. They just want to obtain the house itself and move it someplace new, potentially to use as an interpretive center.
We talked this afternoon outside the 90-year-old house with SWSHS president Kathy Blackwell and longtime local preservationist John Bennett.
They shared the letter they sent to the new owners, who, they say, subsequently agreed to a meeting next Monday.
You might not be aware of all the backstory behind the little stone-studded house across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp. To catch up, see this Seattle Post-Intelligencer story from 2002. Even then, the owner of the house – a member of the family who built it with scavenged materials – was in her 70s and told the newspaper that developers had been making them offers for at least 15 years.
SWSHS had talked to the family in the past, too, as the 2002 story alludes to. Bennett says the family had expressed interest in donating the little stone house if they ever sold the property, but nothing was in writing. So now they’re looking forward to talking with the new owners, Chainqui Development, whose expressed values indicate this should be in perfect alignment. No development proposal is on file yet for the site – which also includes the two parcels immediately west – but the new owners have obtained a permit for exterior work on the stone house, including its windows, some of which are already boarded up:
Where the house would be moved, SWSHS hasn’t determined yet, but the sale of the site has them determined to obtain it first, settle on a site later. Wherever it winds up, the goal would be for it to be accessible to the public. (This wouldn’t be the first [corrected] moved house in the SWSHS fold – its headquarters at 61st/Stevens, the Log House Museum, was originally the carriage house for the Alki Homestead a short distance north.)
“We have a real opportunity here to preserve part of the special story of West Seattle,” says Blackwell – the story of its mostly-gone beach cottages, via what’s unquestionably the most distinctive of those that remain.
That photo provided by Seattle Parks shows one of the vendors that’s had a concession contract at Alki Beach Park in past summers. If you’re interested in vending – or providing an activity (fitness, for example), there or at Lincoln Park (among other possible spots at parks around the city), it’s time to apply. Here’s the announcement we received:
Seattle Parks and Recreation is seeking proposals for seasonal partners to operate food service, recreational activities and group concessions in various park locations throughout Seattle. Locations vary with sites appropriate for carts, food trucks or self-contained service business. Seasonal concessions enhance and activate parks by aligning with SPR’s values “healthy people, healthy environment, strong communities”. Proposals are due by March 8th.
Past seasonal concessions in West Seattle include food sales at Alki Beach Park and Lincoln Park and SUP/Kayak vending at Alki Beach.
SPR is also accepting ongoing applications for Activity groups who operate in the parks (fitness boot camps, outdoor nature classes, yoga).
Commercial activity in the park requires a permit and all businesses submit insurance, City of Seattle business license and undergo staff background checks. More information and permitting requirements are found at: seattle.gov/parks/seasonalconcessions . We look forward to hearing from potential vendors!
A crew working for the state Department of Natural Resources is back out on West Seattle beaches this week, cleaning up creosote – a toxic threat you might not even recognize as you walk along beaches strewn with old pilings containing literally tons of the substance long used as a wood preservative.
We were invited to photograph a cleanup site just north of the Fauntleroy ferry dock on Wednesday when state Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz was visiting the crew. While the beachfront property there is privately owned, part of the tidelands belong to the state, which obtained access agreements with dozens of property owners to facilitate this part of the cleanup.
Crew members are cutting up creosote-contaminated wood and loading it on board this vessel:
From there it’s taken across Puget Sound to Manchester in Kitsap County, and transported from there to a landfill. Before our visit, they had already removed 20 tons of contaminated wood – DNR’s aquatics restoration manager Christopher Robertson explained that every linear foot of a log like this could contain a gallon of liquid creosote, which he described as “very nasty stuff.”
You’ve heard that toxins in the water is one of the biggest threats to Puget Sound orcas. That makes this removal a boon to them, as well as to the salmon they need to survive. Part of Commissioner Franz’s reason for visiting is to highlight her budget request for the coming year, to better fund this and other projects vital to protecting the state’s environment.
Franz would like to double the amount of creosote that the state can remove. Right now, this project only has access to one six-person crew, two weeks a month; ideally, Robertson and fellow aquatics restoration manager Monica Shoemaker told us, they could keep half a dozen crews and a fleet of boats busy.
By the way, while on the beach, we learned about a new app that you can use to help if you spot debris on the beach – like this damaged float that had appeared sometime within the previous day:
It’s a threat to marine wildlife and birds because it contains styrofoam that looks to them like yummy fish eggs:
You can report something like this via the MyCoast app, in which our state is a participant – find out about it here. Besides “large marine debris,” derelict vessels are another category of reporting for which you can use MyCoast. Back to the creosote removal:
This isn’t new – the state’s been doing it for more than a decade. But unfortunately it’s the kind of work that has to be repeated – there’s so much creosote out there, any beach is vulnerable to something more washing up. Fauntleroy is just one of many beaches where the state is doing this work.
10:07 AM: This August, you’ll be asked to approve a six-year replacement for the expiring King County Parks Levy. County Executive Dow Constantine is officially announcing it at an event under way right now at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center; we’re there and will add video and event details later. Here, for starters, is the news release:
Executive Dow Constantine today announced his proposal to renew the current King County Parks Levy, scheduled to expire at the end of the year. His proposal for the August ballot would generate an estimated $738 million over the next six years to expand and connect regional trails, improve access to green space and recreation, and keep the county’s parks and trails clean, safe, and open.
The current King County Parks levy – which voters approved in 2013 – will expire Dec. 31. On Feb. 21, Executive Constantine sent to the King County Council a proposal that will expand and improve access to the county’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 28,000 acres of open space.
“This proposal isn’t just about access to parks and recreation – although that is plenty. It is about a generational investment in our environment,” said Executive Constantine. “The levy is entirely consistent with my priorities to restore and protect our rivers, forests, and farms, while also doing our part to tackle climate pollution. Voters have approved the Parks Levy three times since 2003. No matter how much things grow and change around here, our values stay the same, guiding us to support investments that make stronger, healthier, and happier communities.”
Highlights of Executive Constantine’s plan include:
Building and designing regional trails, including missing links and crossings over rivers and highways
Improving trailheads by adding parking and signage
Repairing trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding
Replacing 11 ballfields
Rehabilitating play area equipment in six parks
Maintaining park infrastructure, such as pathways, roofs, fencing, and electrical systems
The levy would cost 16.82 cents per $1000 of assessed property value, which would cost the owner of a home valued at $500,000 about $7 per month.
About 80 percent of King County Parks’ operational budget is funded by levy.
Under Executive Constantine’s proposal, about $60 million would be allocated to King County cities to support local parks and recreation; an additional $35 million would go for grants to cities to protect and acquire open space. It would provide Woodland Park Zoo with $36 million for conservation and environmental education programs for under-served youth. It would also provide $8 million to the Seattle Aquarium for construction of their new Ocean Pavilion.
Executive Constantine’s proposal would also provide continued funding for the Community Partnerships and Grants Program, which, over its 15-year existence, has created dozens of public amenities across King County with partners that contribute the necessary additional capital, in-kind resources, and volunteer time to develop new or enhanced facilities.
About $1 million per year would go toward equity-focused grants to increase access to and use of recreation facilities in communities that are currently underserved or face other barriers. …
11:11 AM: The half-hour event (clips added above) also included this area’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott as well as other speakers including King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks director Christie True. While no White Center/West Seattle-specific projects were mentioned, it was noted that the current levy funded improvements at Steve Cox Park including the field that served as the event’s backdrop.
Highlights for the rest of today/tonight:
KING COUNTY PARKS LEVY: County Executive Dow Constantine and County Councilmembers will be at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center at 10 am to announce the countywide replacement levy plan they’ll be sending to voters. (1321 SW 102nd)
HALA HEARING: 5:30 pm at City Hall downtown, it’s the last major public hearing before the City Council‘s scheduled vote next month on HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning for much of the city. (600 4th Avenue)
9201 DELRIDGE DESIGN REVIEW: 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, the Southwest Design Review Board considers the “mini-warehouse” proposed for 9201 Delridge Way SW. See the design packet here. Meeting includes a public-comment period. (4217 SW Oregon)
WEST SEATTLE TIMEBANK: Also at the Senior Center/Sisson Building at 6:30 pm, you’re invited to learn about timebanking. Bring a potluck dish if you want – not required. (4217 SW Oregon)
ALKI COMMUNITY COUNCIL: 7 pm at Alki UCC, all welcome at the monthly meeting. (6115 SW Hinds)
LORD SHAMBLETON AND SWINGSET: Live music, 7 pm at The Skylark. $8 cover. 21+. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
KO ELECTRIC: Live music with Kate Olsen and friends at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm, no cover, 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
MORE … on our complete calendar!
6:27 AM: Good morning! No alerts or incidents reported in our area so far.