West Seattle, Washington
If you just looked at the unanimous final vote, you’d never guess that the Housing and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning had traveled a long and sometimes-bumpy path before final City Council approval late today. (The Seattle Channel video above shows the three-hour council meeting, including 46 minutes o public comment.)
It dates back to an advisory committee convened in 2014 that delivered its report to then-Mayor Ed Murray in 2015. What he announced at the time as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing with a promise of 20,000 “affordable homes” in 10 years morphed to Mandatory Housing Affordability with an expectation of 6,000 affordable units in 10 years. In exchange for the upzoning – which in most cases adds an extra floor – developers must create affordable units either as a specified percentage of what they build or by paying the city a fee to fund affordable-housing projects. Here’s how today’s post-vote city news release explains “affordability”:
People must income-qualify for affordable housing; for example, an individual earning less than $42,150 will pay no more than $1,128 for a one-bedroom unit, while a family of four earning less than $60,200 will pay no more than $1,353 for a two-bedroom unit.
The upzoning affects commercial and multifamily property citywide, and some single-family-zoned property in or adjacent to urban villages. You can look up how – or if – the changes would affect any specific part of the city by using this map (but be aware that it doesn’t reflect some changes that were made toward the end of the review).
Today’s votes followed speeches by most councilmembers; West Seattle/South Park’s Lisa Herbold said that while she supports MHA, she remains deeply concerned that it will cause displacement, and her separate proposal on that front is pending. Another who spoke at length was citywide Councilmember Lorena González, whose remarks included how much she enjoys living in The Junction as a dense neighborhood with good access to transit, businesses, and services.
Next step is for Mayor Jenny Durkan to sign the MHA legislation into law (the bills finalized today are linked in the council news release); she issued a statement late today saying she’ll do that before the week is out. The legislation would then become law a month later.
The citywide coalition of community groups (including five from West Seattle) that lost its appeal of MHA’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, SCALE, has issued a statement too. The group says it’s “considering appealing the inadequately considered impacts of the MHA legislation to the Growth Management Hearings Board.” (That state board is explained here.)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:03 PM MONDAY: West Seattle’s historic Hiawatha Community Center wants you to know about new classes:
That’s Darja, who’s teaching a new COMMIT Dance Fitness class for ages 16 and up on Tuesday evenings – an 8-week class starting tomorrow night; call Hiawatha tomorrow to sign up, 206-684-7441. And in a couple weeks, Hiawatha’s Andrea Sisco tells us, they start tumbling classes for toddlers and preschoolers:
Tumbling (Ages 2-3) – Tuesdays, 10:00-10:45 am (Session 1: 4/2-5/7, Session 2: 5/14-6/18)
Tumbling (Ages 4-5) – Tuesdays, 11:00-10:45 am (Session 1: 4/2-5/7, Session 2: 5/14-6/18)
Let’s tumble! Come join our experience and encouraging teachers and learn how to roll, tumble, balance, and explore movement. Your child will improve their self-confidence, body awareness, and learn a few gymnastics skills while having fun in a safe, positive environment.
You can sign up online by going here.
TUESDAY UPDATE: As per comment discussion and our subsequent followup with the center, the dance-fitness class was canceled after the information was sent to us with a request for publication, but we weren’t notified about the subsequent cancellation. The kids’ tumbling classes, though, are on.
If the forecast holds, the sun might grace West Seattle’s most famous change-of-seasons tradition on Wednesday: Alice Enevoldsen‘s sunset watch. The spring-equinox moment is 2:58 pm our time Wednesday afternoon; four hours later, shortly after 7 pm, you can join Alice in watching the first sunset of spring at West Seattle’s Solstice Park (7400 Fauntleroy Way SW). This is Alice’s 40th change-of-seasons sunset watch, part of her community service as a volunteer NASA Solar System Ambassador. We’ve covered most of her events and no two have been the same – but you can always expect to at least learn a bit and laugh a bit. She’ll be there around 6:30 pm; the sunset is shortly after 7 pm. (Full moon, too, as noted in the astronomical info that accompanies Alice’s announcement.)
Two West Seattle projects that are going through Administrative Design Review – seeking your comments, but without board meetings – now have design packets available for viewing:
3084 SW AVALON WAY: This 35-microapartment, no-offstreet-parking project is going through a second round of the final (“recommendation”) phase of Administrative Design Review. Here’s the packet.
It notes that the design has been changed somewhat to respond to the townhouse project to the north, which the same design firm, Cone Architecture, is handling, as well as to a variety of critiques offered by city staff in previous phases. Some of those are focused on the transition between the project and the neighborhood behind it. If you have comments, email the assigned city planner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2000-2050 SW ORCHARD: This 18-townhouse, 18-offstreet-parking-space project is in the Early Design Guidance phase of Design Review. Rowhouse-style buildings are the “preferred alternative” of the size/shape options proposed by B9 Architects:
Here’s the packet for half of the site. The official review notice hasn’t been published yet so this is basically a preview. You can email comments to the assigned planner at email@example.com.
With warm, sunny weather making a guest appearance, spring and summer are on many a mind. If you’re thinking as far ahead as West Seattle Summer Fest – only four months away – this Wednesday afternoon gathering might be of interest. Received from the West Seattle Junction Association, which presents Summer Fest:
If you’re an artist, crafter, interested in Vintage Alley, or have questions about vending at Summer Fest, we’re holding an info sesh on Wednesday, March 20th, 2 pm at the Junction Windermere. Join the Junction as we answer your vendor questions about the biggest festival of the year. If you’re new to festivals or would like additional information about Summer Fest, join us as we answer your top FAQ’s.
The meeting location is 4526 California Ave SW.
Though the sign on the door says Memorial Day weekend, Colman Pool – West Seattle’s only city-run outdoor pool – will actually open two weeks earlier this year! You might recall our coverage last fall of local swimmers’ campaign to expand the pool’s all-too-short season. In the city-budget process, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold got the Seattle Parks budget to cover four extra weekends. After passing the pool while walking the Lincoln Park shoreline today, we checked to see if this year’s schedule indeed reflects that change – despite the sign on the door – and it does, with two extra weekends in the pre-season and two more in the post-season. As you can see here, the pool – which previously opened for pre-season weekends on Memorial Day weekend – will start operations the weekend of May 11-12 and end with the weekend of September 21-22. Its 7-day-a-week season is still just two and a half months (June 22-September 2 this year); here’s the full 2019 brochure (PDF), including information about fees, lessons, and rentals.
Four weeks to tax-return deadline, so this alert from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner is timely:
Tax season is in full swing- and during this time we often see an increase in tax fraud and various forms of scams. In order to combat this, the SW Precinct would like to provide our community with some helpful prevention information about these scams, as well as the most effective way to report them! Certain subsets of the population are more vulnerable to these types of scams- but everyone can help protect themselves by keeping the following ten practical suggestions in mind, provided by the Federal Trade Commission:
1. Spot imposters- scammers will often try to disguise themselves as someone you trust (such as a government official, family member or charitable organization). Never send money or give our personal information in response to an unexpected request.
2. Do online searches- try typing in the company or product name into a search engine with key words like ‘review’, ‘complaint’ or ‘scam’. You can also look up phone numbers to check on their validity.
3. Do not believe caller ID and hang up on robocalls- technology makes it simple for scammers to fake a caller ID. If you receive a call asking for personal information or money, hang up. If you feel the caller is legitimate- try calling back a number, you know is genuine for that person or company. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report this to the Federal Trade Commission and/or to local police. These calls are illegal and are often fake. Do not follow prompts, just hang up.
4. Do not pay upfront for a promise- scammers may try to ask you to pay up front for debt relief, loan offers, mortgage assistance or a job (such as handy work or lawn maintenance).
Thanks for the tip about an early-morning emergency response at the Tug Inn. We followed up with SPD and SFD and here’s what they tell us: SFD medics took a 59-year-old man to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition with a gunshot wound. The full report isn’t available yet but SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson says the early details show police were called to the bar just before 12:30 am after a gunshot was heard in a restroom. That’s where they found the victim. Officers found a shell casing in the bathroom but not the gun. They don’t have information about the circumstances except to say they believe someone else was in the restroom with the victim at the time but left before police arrived, and there’s no description.
Luna Park Café is celebrating its 30th anniversary today. Though the café says its “big bash” will be in the summertime, nonetheless it’s “happy to be a landmark business of West Seattle” and invites you to stop by and celebrate with specials including a Birthday Cake Shake that they’ll be offering for the rest of the month. The café’s announcement shared with WSB has words of gratitude for customers, too: “The local support throughout the years has been amazing!” If you’re new and haven’t been there yet, LPC is at 2918 SW Avalon Way, just south of the West Seattle Bridge. P.S. The building and area have even more decades of history, as the café website explains.
6:55 AM: Good morning! Spring arrives Wednesday, but spring-like weather is here ahead of schedule. Meantime, no incidents to report so far this morning.
FERRY ALERT: From Washington State Ferries:
The Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route will be reduced to 2-boat schedule to start the week due to unplanned vessel maintenance. Needed motor repairs to the Kaleetan, having one-third of the fleet undergoing maintenance, and the lack of a backup boat in the system necessitates leaving two vessels on the route. Crews are working to return a boat back to service as soon as possible, but the changes could remain in place until Saturday, March 23. The effects of the two-boat schedule should be lessened compared to two weeks ago. Two 124-vehicle capacity ferries will be on the route, versus having the smaller Sealth.
WATER-TAXI PARKING ALERT: Carolyn says at least 15 Harbor Avenue SW parking spots are off-limits with “no parking” signs this week.