By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Five years after demolition of the old commercial building at the Morgan Junction Park Addition site, partial development is on the way, the Morgan Community Association was told during its quarterly meeting.
That was one of several topics at the online meeting this past Wednesday night, led by MoCA president Deb Barker.
MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: Kelly Goold from Seattle Parks was back with an update. Part of the funding for developing this park site was ‘redirected,” he recapped (as we’ve reported previously). Next year’s city-budget proposal would include $3.5 million toward 14 landbanked parks including this one (and two others in West Seattle), but that’s “not a lot of money.”
Underserved communities will be prioritized and Morgan is not likely to rank high, Goold believes. But there’s still money for the hazmat removal at the site – “we have money to address that,” including some money to restore the site for some public use (about $225,000). It won’t be the full park development (estimated at $875,000), but “we have the money to develop portions of the park.” That would include planting a “sentinel tree,” creating the “view hill” that was part of the full park-development plan, part of a loop path. “That’s part of our beginning point,” Goold said, adding that they’ll talk with the community, and other ideas are welcome. The same landscape architects that worked on the full design are on board to work toward this partial project. Construction will likely be spring through summer of next year.
In Q&A, he was asked “what will the cleanup look like?” That’s up to the contractor that’ll be hired but basically the site will be dug 30 feet down to remove the contamination left over from the site’s previous use as a dry cleaner. Also: When might money be available to fully develop the park? Possibly sometime in the Park District‘s next six-year funding cycle, for which planning starts this November – that means, “worst-case scenario,” 2027 (which would be 13 years after the city purchased the site for nearly $2 million).
FAUNTLEROY FERRY DOCK REPLACEMENT: David Sowers and Hadley Rodero from Washington State Ferries presented a briefing, recapping the project basics, which we’ve covered here multiple times before. Right now they’re revising the Draft Purpose & Needs Statement and will discuss the revision with the Community Advisory Group on November 3rd – the meeting date was not previously been set, but has now. Dates are also now set for the Technical Advisory Group’s next meeting – November 9th – while a date is pending for the Executive Advisory Group. Find all the finalized dates on this page along with links to register to attend; as WSF had promised, all advisory group meetings will be publicly viewable from here on out.
LEAD: Aaron Burkhalter came to talk about this evolving program, whose acronym now stands for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion/ Let Everyone Advance with Dignity. Its growth in West Seattle has been “slower,” he said, because they’re still trying to get funding to scale up. They have one case manager and one screening/outreach coordinator in West Seattle. How long does a person stay in the program? Burkhalter said it’s a complex situation, addressing problems that have built over years, and it takes time. The program isn’t exclusively for people experiencing homelessness, though many clients are – and some get into housing relatively quickly. The goal is “a reduction in the number of 911 calls and complaints” about their clients, Burkhalter said. Currently they don’t have the capacity for community referrals of potential clients, but they hope that will change in the future.
BEVERIDGE PLACE UTILITY WORK: A neighbor updated MoCA about the sewer work on this street. The work started in earnest a few weeks ago and “the heavy onstruction work” has just wrapped up but the street is “quite torn up.” They had been told new asphalt is on the way, so street parking might be restored soon. Zeeks/Whisky West building owner Scott McMurray said he had hoped the new paving would carry all the way to California, though that does not appear to be what’s happening. (The project is led by Seattle Public Utilities, which was not represented at the meeting, but did have a rep at MoCA’s July meeting.)
MORGAN MINUTES: Quick updates:
–Morgan Junction participation in West Seattle Art Walk – see the updated WSAW map. Next one is November 11th.
–Single-family code amendment: The City Council has finalized action to change the terminology in Neighborhood Plans, with “single-family” areas renamed “neighborhood residential” areas. An amendment requested by MoCA was approved.
–Lowman Beach: The seawall-removal project is under way (as we’ve been reporting), including tennis-court demolition and digging around the seawall. The swing set is still accessible and you can still reach the water from the park’s south side.
–MoCA co-sponsored candidates’ forum: More than a dozen neighborhood groups from around the city co-sponsored an October 3rd forum with mayor and City Council candidates, presented by Seattle Fair Growth; you can watch it here.
NEXT MEETING: MoCA meets quarterly, so watch for word of the next meeting in January.