Single-family-zoning name change, Lowman Beach update, more @ Morgan Community Association

This Wednesday, a City Council committee will hold a public hearing on the proposal to rename what’s currently single-family zoning “neighborhood residential.”

Last Wednesday, a staffer from the office of citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, the West Seattleite who’s sponsoring the proposal, was at the Morgan Community Association‘s quarterly meeting to talk about it.

That was one of several major topics at the online meeting led by MoCA president Deb Barker. Our recap is ahead:

There’s no legislation yet, stressed Mosqueda staffer Erin House – that is expected to follow, for a vote in September. She said a major reason for the proposed change is that “single-family” doesn’t accurately describe neighborhoods, because of older small apartment buildings or duplexes/triplexes, plus the recent rule changes that have seen DADUs built throughout the city. House insisted it would be strictly a name change and not a change to building codes.

Some at the meeting thought the name change might be the first indication of a larger policy change. Despite assurances from both House and Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who dropped into this meeting after attending the online West Seattle Bridge meeting immediately preceding it, attendees wondered aloud whether the change was useless and disingenuous. Herbold said that she’s tried looking at this from the layperson’s perspective and she can see how the name change would be confusing to someone who is coming to this for the first time. She noted that it would be easy for someone to assume “neighborhood residential” meant allowing a broader variety of development than “single-family.”

In response, one attendee observed that this “is like watching a card trick go down,” contending that the name change was merely obfuscation.

After Wednesday’s public hearing at 9:30 am – for which the council has yet to publish an agenda (MONDAY UPDATE: Here it is) – there’ll be other opportunities to comment once legislation is proposed. That’s expected next month.

LOWMAN BEACH SEAWALL: David Graves from Seattle Parks and Recreation was back with an update. He said the project to remove the crumbling seawall and restore the shore has gone out to bid but they haven’t awarded a contract yet because all the bids came in high. Depending on what they work out, construction could start as soon as late August. The window for in-water work opened in mid-July. but they didn’t want to interrupt peak summer park usage, he said. Depending on what happens with settling on a contractor, the project could be approached by land or by sea.

(WSB photo, last month – Lowman Beach tennis court and swing set)

As we’ve reported, the seawall-removal project also will take out the Lowman Beach tennis court, and Parks announced recently that it would not support building a replacement tennis court elsewhere in the park, though it would consider a pickleball court – which would have to be community-funded. Parks’ Pam Kliment was at the MoCA meeting and said the cost of that would be a little less than what was cited at the recent community meeting – probably more like $375,000.

Will the tennis-court supporters pursue that possibility? A statement from Lisa Corbin of the Seattle Sports Complex Foundation was read; she said they’ll talk with community members, including pickleball players, to decide on their next steps.

MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: The future of the long-landbanked site north of the current Morgan Junction Park also was discussed. Parks says it and other parks-development projects (including 2 others in West Seattle) were shelved because of a $50 million capital shortfall – and it isn’t expected to be re-funded until the 2023-2028 “funding cycle.” Even that would take a lot of community clamor, it was suggested.

Meantime, as we reported, some work is happening at the site, where a Seattle Public Utilities water-main project has been staging; it was revealed at the meeting that the project is on SW Othello in Gatewood. In exchange for the staging area – for which a $22,000 fee would otherwise be paid – the contractor will do work at the site. The site also still has funding for digging up and removing soil contaminated by a dry cleaner’s operation there, but that would be ideal coupled with park development, Parks reps said.

SEWER PROJECT: An SPU rep talked about another upcoming project, sewer-line work at the dead end of SW Beveridge Place, just southwest of Morgan Junction Park. It’ll be a two-week project starting in late August or early September. The project will require removal of six trees.

MORGAN CELEBRATION: Though the Morgan Junction Community Festival was canceled for a second year, MoCA is planning a lower-key event for Saturday, September 11th, with The Bubbleman and musician Gary Benson, two festival regulars.

NEXT MEETING: MoCA meets quarterly, third Wednesdays in October, January, April, and July.

12 Replies to "Single-family-zoning name change, Lowman Beach update, more @ Morgan Community Association"

  • Othello July 25, 2021 (11:36 pm)

    Do you have any updates on the closure of Othello between California & Fauntleroy? Thank you

    • WSB July 26, 2021 (2:13 am)

      Hi – it was a very brief discussion, mostly in the context of the fact that the project was using the park site for staging. The SPU rep did mention that two days later – so, last Friday – they were scheduled to connect the new main, which she said is a big project milestone. Then paving was to follow.

  • anonyme July 26, 2021 (6:42 am)

    I do not think that the City Council should have the authority to make unilateral decisions on zoning.  Too much power in the hands of a group of people who have shown themselves to be both incompetent and incapable of unbiased representation.  This is a matter for voters.

  • wseaturtle July 26, 2021 (10:40 am)

    Teresa Mosqueda out,  in with Kate Martin.

  • Cali-Mertyl July 26, 2021 (12:35 pm)

    There is definitely something going on bigger than the renaming, I’ve been getting numerous number of unsolicited calls to try to purchase my townhouse in the Morgan junction across from cafe ladros

    • Auntie July 26, 2021 (2:08 pm)

      I, too, have received frequent calls from The Something-or-Other Group that is interested in the property at my address. I have asked them to take me off their call list and then it’s just Some-Other-Developers Group that calls the next time. And I live in a “single family” zoned neighborhood where there are, so far, no multi-family dwellings.  Not for long if the city council, in cahoots with developers, has their way.  I distinctly remember Herbold campaigning on not being in the pocket of developers, but it sure doesn’t seem that way.

  • Terry July 26, 2021 (1:24 pm)

    Teresa and Lisa are lying, they already bragged about their agenda in other places. 

    Here is the plan:

    Teresa linked to this last week while patting herself on the back in her newsletter to her constituents. 

    Seattle 2035 Urban Vision Strategy:


    She just writes “racial equity” all over everything so she can ram through unrelated self-serving policies. These are racist policies, straight up.

    Her email ends with this:

    “You can call to weigh in and to testify about why it’s important to update our language now as we continue work on substantive policy changes to our zoning system.”

    It’s NOT just a name change.

    • Curious Person July 26, 2021 (1:53 pm)

      What makes this a racist policy? 

    • 1994 July 26, 2021 (3:46 pm)

      For those wanting a synopsis, read the Executive Summary starting on page 9 of the first link from Terry.  Thanks for posting Terry – pretty interesting.

  • Pessoa July 26, 2021 (2:00 pm)

    Let’s keep people out of West Seattle! I want it to look exactly as it did did when I was in elementary school school, frozen in time like one of those Christmas glass balls.  In other news, why is it taking so long to get that bridge built?  You people are priceless. 

  • anon July 26, 2021 (2:45 pm)

    Our city council members have lied continuously, said they were going to do one thing, only to do another, name change my you know what. …

  • WSB July 26, 2021 (3:06 pm)

    Update for those interested, and added above as well: The agenda is now out for Wednesday morning’s committee meeting/public hearing.

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