West Seattle, Washington
Imagine Lowman Beach Park with a stretch of currently undergrounded Pelly Creek running through it to meet the Sound. That’s part of the preliminary-design plan shown at last week’s community meeting about the park’s seawall-free future. In case you couldn’t be there, we recorded video:
They recapped the problem – the remaining seawall on the north side of Lowman Beach Park is sliding; it started failing in 2015. The south seawall failed in the mid-’90s. At the 2017 meeting, three possibilities for the beach’s future were detailed, and they are moving ahead with the one that involves removing the remaining seawall and restoring the beach to more of a natural state.
More controversial is the plan to also remove the asphalt tennis court that’s just behind the seawall. Graves acknowledged that it’s much-loved and well-used. He said they’re looking at the possibility of “restoring the tennis function” elsewhere in the park, perhaps its open area toward the southeast side – the top right of this rendering:
Or, suggested one team member, pieces of the old court could be repurposed as a memorial of sorts.
They won’t have more details until the plan reaches the 60-percent-design milestone. But Graves and the designers/consultants stressed how rare this is, to have a stretch of beach that is eligible for this type of restoration: “There’s a unique opportunity here, nowhere else in West Seattle … when this is done, you’ll be able to put a blanket on the grass and watch your kids play on the sand.” One attendee later wondered aloud whether driftwood was likely to eventually get in the way of that, as had happened on the south side of the beach, and Graves acknowledged that was possible. Still, the project team rhapsodized about how good this could be for salmon habitat – connecting that to endangered orca whales’ need for more food – and how it would even position the shoreline to be able to better handle future expected sea-level rise.
This area was identified as a priority for restoration more than a decade ago, Graves added, so it’s likely to get the grant funding that will be needed for the project.
Other questions and concerns beyond the tennis court involved the absence of a restroom in the plan – talking about families coming to picnic, it was suggested, made no sense if there wasn’t going to be one – plus fears that removing the seawall would lead to further compromising of the bulkheads protecting waterfront homes to the north, as also aired at the 2017 meeting.
One person asked about the park’s swing set. It’s staying, said Graves, and they’re also mulling whether the play area could be expanded.
WHAT’S NEXT: The 60-percent-design milestone is expected as soon as next month, and 100 percent design by year’s end. Project construction would happen next year, assuming the funding is found, and would last three to six months.
6:42 PM: That crash is the reason for a sizable emergency response at Westwood Village. Police tell us early indications are that the driver lost control of the car for some reason while heading toward the Rite-Aid store, and ran into it. Two people were being checked out by medics. The store is closed for now because there’s some cleanup to do inside.
6:49 PM: SFD tells us two female patients will be taken to the hospital by private ambulance, which indicates neither has major injuries.
6:58 PM: SFD’s technical-rescue crew is evaluating the scene, which is likely to be blocked off for a while.
8:26 PM: Just went back to check. Car’s gone; store remains closed.
Joyce and Rick have been doing this for a decade and asked if we could help get the word out:
Volunteer drivers are needed for Sound Generations Volunteer Transportation program. Using their own vehicles, volunteer drivers help older adults maintain their independence by taking them to necessary medical appointments. Clients appreciate their improved access to medical care, meaningful interactions with caring volunteers, and increased peace of mind.
Unfortunately, the program does not have enough drivers to meet the demand for transportation from vulnerable seniors. If you have the “drive” to help others, a clean driving record, and some daytime availability, call (206) 748-7588, email Diana at email@example.com, or visit soundgenerations.org/get-involved/volunteer to find out more. Discover why rides change lives!
Sound Generations is a nonprofit that serves seniors in a variety of ways and places around King County, including at the Senior Center of West Seattle.
From Michelle: “My dad’s car was stolen last night/early this morning from the street in front of his house in the Alaska Junction area. It is a 1989 maroon Nissan king cab pickup truck with license plate number B17456G.” She says it looks a lot like the one in this photo. If you see it, call 911.
4 development notes:
5917 CALIFORNIA SW ‘EARLY OUTREACH’ TOMORROW: First, a reminder that the 5917 California SW project – 9 townhouses and 4 offstreet-parking spaces to replace the demolished Charmannn Apartments – has a drop-in community meeting tomorrow (Saturday) as part of the Early Design Outreach process. Just visit the community room at the High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond) between 2 and 3 pm.
5600 25TH SW: An application has been filed to replace the 84-year-old house on this Lowrise-1-zoned corner lot at 25th and Findlay with six townhouses and six offstreet-parking spaces. A comment period is now open through March 20th; this notice explains how.
7141 FAUNTLEROY SW: The five townhouses and five offstreet-parking spaces proposed for this lot adjacent to, and as part of, The Kenney (WSB sponsor) have received key city approvals. That opens an appeal period; this notice explains how.
2749 CALIFORNIA SW PROJECT UPDATE: A reader asked how much longer West Seattle’s only current tower crane would be up – the one at the Luna Apartments and PCC Community Markets (WSB sponsor) project site, 2749 California SW. A spokesperson for Madison Development Group tells us it’s expected to be taken down in May; the project is on track for completion in November.
Found in city permit files: MOD Pizza, the Seattle-headquartered chain that opened in The Whittaker a year ago, is adding a second West Seattle location. It’ll be at Westwood Village, with a space including the former Giannoni’s Pizzeria spot; the “site plan” document shows the rest of the space as the current Baja Taco, though the same building includes the closing-soon Payless Shoes.
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, as we head into the weekend:
HUGE GARAGE SALE: It’s day one of West Side Presbyterian Church‘s big two-day event, until 6 pm. Mostly indoors so don’t let the “wintry mix” scare you away! (3601 California SW)
FRIDAY AFTERNOON AT THE MOVIES: 1 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 1941’s “That Hamilton Woman” is this week’s movie. $1 members, $2 nonmembers, free popcorn. Preview the weeks ahead via our calendar listing. (4217 SW Oregon)
ART LOUNGE: Create art – and/or be inspiration for art – at Highland Park Improvement Club, starting at 6 pm. 21+. (1116 SW Holden)
CHANCE HAYDEN & ANDY COE: Jazz at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm. $8 cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Fairly serious snow shower right now, at least where we are (300+ feet elevation, east of Lincoln Park). But we can also hear water in the downspout, verifying that it’s not sticking … so far. Spring really is scheduled to start in just 12 days. And the word “snow” vanishes from the (current) forecast after today … for now!
7:25 AM: Good morning! No snow, or incidents/alerts, so far THIS morning.
TIME CHANGE: Reminder that we “spring forward” at 2 am Sunday.
FERRIES: Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth is still on a two-boat schedule.
8:55 AM: Some snow. Not sticking.