RVs, Stone Cottage, ‘Healthy Street’ discussed @ Alki Community Council’s first 2023 meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Three topics dominated this month’s Alki Community Council meeting: The Harbor Avenue RVs, the Stone Cottage’s future, and the Alki Point “Healthy Street.”

ACC president Tony Fragada facilitated the meeting, held hybrid-style – in person at Alki UCC and online – on Thursday night; we covered it via Zoom.

(WSB photo, earlier this week)

HARBOR AVENUE RVs: Alki-area residents who have been demanding action from the city to make the RV residents move say they’re not getting it, while the roadside encampment grows (it’s up to 12 RVs and trailers, plus associated vehicles including an old school bus and a truck full of wooden pallets, at last count). Discussion with SPD’s night-shift commander Lt. Nathan Shopay focused on what police can and can’t do. If crimes are being committed, call 911. If you’re just upset that they’re there, police can’t do anything about that. There is still an interdepartmental city team meeting weekly – Lt. Shopay says he attends that meeting – and they discuss the status of various encampments around the city, but he says they’re “inundated” with demands for action. Nonetheless, he says, keep reporting concerns via Find It Fix It and sites will move up the priority list. This area’s new point person for LEAD, Michelle McClendon, jumped in to talk about outreach done with RV residents like those on Harbor. She said their methods include “motivational interviewing, trauma-informed … this does not happen overnight.” They “assess each person’s needs” – some qualify for permanent supportive housing, for example. But she reminded attendees that even if they offer someone services, they can’t be forced to accept the offer. As for the perennial issue of enforcing the 72-hour parking rule, Lt. Shopay was asked if bringing Parking Enforcement Officers back into the Police Department would help; Most likely, he replied, though it’d not clear yet how long that will take.

STONE COTTAGE SITE SEARCH: Almost a year and a half has passed since the historic Stone Cottage was moved from its location at 1123 Harbor Avenue SW because of then-imminent (since stalled) development.

(August 2021 reader photo by Rachel)

It remains in storage on Port of Seattle land while the preservationist volunteers who worked to save it tackle the next task: Finding a permanent home. Two of those volunteers, Mike Shaughnessy and Deb Barker, came to the ACC meeting with an update; Shaughnessy recapped the effort to date, and pre-pandemic progress with a proposal that they fix up the Stone Cottage and then donate it to Seattle Parks and Recreation – a proposal that he said was gaining traction until COVID shut down everything down and set back many Parks projects, Now, in addition to that, Parks is under new leadership, with recently appointed Superintendent AP Diaz, so they are “starting from scratch … taking a ‘Hail Mary’ approach” to pitch the project again. If Parks doesn’t want it, they’ll find a site. Whatever happens, the “Save the Stone Cottage” effort will soon go into Phase 2.

ALKI POINT HEALTHY STREET: SDOT hasn’t made a final decision on the permanent “design” for the stretches of Beach Drive and Alki Avenue north/east of 63rd SW. As shown during a community meeting in November (WSB coverage here), they’re looking at a variety of traffic-calming features. A few community advocates recently hosted SDOT director Greg Spotts for an unpublicized visit to the area. They said he was particularly interested in the idea of restricting parking adjacent to Constellation Park, saying he talked about Stonehenge in the UK once allowing parking so close to the historic stones that it took away from the attraction. Their contention is that the Healthy Street doesn’t need added features such as traffic circles and chicanes – they think the city should just focus on emphasizing traffic calming at the entry points (63rd/Beach and 63rd/Alki). They also want to see some parking preserved for area residents as well as for visitors; the 63rd/Beach area is particularly problematic, it was noted. ACC members agreed to send a letter of support to the city.

NEXT MEETING: The ACC meets third Thursdays most months, in-person and online; watch alkicommunitycouncil.org for updates.

50 Replies to "RVs, Stone Cottage, 'Healthy Street' discussed @ Alki Community Council's first 2023 meeting"

  • Lucy January 21, 2023 (9:59 pm)

    “This doesn’t happen overnight.”why not? 

  • flimflam January 22, 2023 (6:29 am)

    I’m sorry, but “find it, fix it” doesn’t work for encampments – the reports often immediately go to appearing “closed” when nothing in fact has been done. 

    • Christopher B. January 22, 2023 (12:30 pm)

      Not true. I’ve definitely seen action and results on RV street encampments I’ve reported. It took several weeks. But there were multiple status follow ups and the site was eventually cleared.

      • Jay January 23, 2023 (6:34 am)

        Exactly!!! Tons of action being taken on Harbor Ave!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Ugh! January 22, 2023 (6:47 am)

    “motivational interviewing”How about we stop coddling the junkies & criminals and vote in city leaders that don’t tie the hands of law enforcement. 

    • Steve January 23, 2023 (7:05 pm)

      Exactly. Four of them have all ready decided to do that for us.  Let’s convince Andrew Lewis to change his wishy washy mind.

    • Seriously? January 23, 2023 (8:31 pm)

      So disrespectful to call someone a junkie dude, not cool. What is this, the 1990s? Educate yourself about addiction and learn some respect 

  • Al King January 22, 2023 (6:53 am)

    Re: “stay healthy street” Unless they restrict access for residents and their visitors and to delivery trucks it WILL in all practical purposes be wide open for EVERYONE. So, i ask what is the real end game???? My bet is at the end of the day our tax money will be spent only to discover that this resulted in maybe a 5% drop in vehicle traffic. 

  • Alki Jack January 22, 2023 (7:39 am)

    The guy with the pallets and all the other junk has about 3 or 4 trailers and misc vehicles. He is the one with the sign on his motorhome that says, “Honk if You Love Motorhomes”.  Basically throwing it everyones face.

    • Jesse burelison January 22, 2023 (3:31 pm)

      I live in my RV. When I saw that I wanted to stop and slap the heck out of that guy. Instigating an escalating actions from local residents. Just makes it more difficult for people like myself who don’t bother anyone and just want to live…

  • Anne January 22, 2023 (8:08 am)

    Well Michelle McLendon from LEAD-quite the polite way of saying-basically these folks don’t want your services,don’t want to live differently than they are living.   As the number of RV’s grow -a question-what about sanitation-where do their waste tanks get emptied-in the gutters? 

    • Jim P. January 22, 2023 (12:08 pm)

      “a question-what about sanitation-where do their waste tanks get emptied-in the gutters? ”

      Not sure if Seattle does it but some cities now will come to you (provided you are illegally camped like this) and offer free pump out and maintenance services.

      Seems like there’s nothing too good for the poor unfortunate souls and cities compete to see who can offer more free services at taxpayer expense.One simple question should be asked: Are you currently actively searching for a job or working on an education?

      The freeloaders need to move on after a certain point.

  • David January 22, 2023 (9:30 am)

    Why doesn’t the City just put up gates so the Alki residents can have the gated community that they ultimately want – or better yet move all the derelict rvs that are down to that area so that they can enjoy the view and not get towed.

  • HS January 22, 2023 (9:32 am)

    I’m done. I had legitimate fears of being followed home by homeless men three times last week. One offered me drugs on the bus (no prior contact) then tried to exit at my stop when I tried to get off at the last minute, one kept trying to sit next to me on the bus (I changed seats several times) and mimed following me off the bus, and the other followed me around the grocery store, down the street and then onto the bus. So out of five weekdays, I was followed three times. However, it was actually each time I went out bc I work at home. And no, there is no one you can call unless a crime is in-process. In my experience this type of behavior has been escalating. I feel that retail theft has increased (I see security guards quite frequently), personally witnessed a staggering amount of theft and organized theft (car smashing into businesses, retail windows smashed, etc.) has become ridiculous. I am now angry and without compassion.

    • Ugh! January 22, 2023 (11:18 am)

      Hopefully there are some center left candidates out there that also believe that the safety of Seattles citizens is more important than coddling junkies & criminals and are willing to endure Seattles far lefts volume.  Just because they’re the loudest doesn’t mean they are the majority. 

  • Tired of the same old.... January 22, 2023 (9:34 am)

    It’s getting beyond old that the RV’s on Alki have once again proliferated. For all you bleeding hearts who will Pooh Pooh the idea that is unacceptable we remove them by force the minute they’re over the legal parking limit why don’t you all go down and ensure the blatant crime that comes with the majority of these illegal campers is also non existent. Why should any law abiding citizen continue to dutifully pay for anything in this city such as parking, garbage etc when others get a free pass over and over and over. 

  • Runner January 22, 2023 (11:03 am)

    It seems to me that many of the RV’s are the same ones that were removed once or twice before.  I would think they have already been offered alternative solutions and refused them. When  they come back the process to get them to move should be quick and easy. How many times do we have to offer solutions to them?  I think the city should have one or two large lots that provide sanitation and counseling services and if you are parked on the street you are given the option to go there or leave the city limits, end of story.  The amount of time and money spent chasing the same people down and cleaning up after them would probably cover a large part or all of the cost of the safe and sanitary parking lots. 

  • anonyme January 22, 2023 (11:34 am)

    McLendon is parroting the same old ineffective drivel that guarantees continued failure.  Her comments are embarrassing.  Refusal of services should not be the end of the conversation; lots of carrots, no sticks.  And Shopay then dares state ” police can’t do anything about that” in regard to RV parking.  Just enforce the 72-hour rule – you know, the LAW.  He seems to be suggesting that enforcing the law is not a function of law enforcement, which has been SPD’s stance for a few years now.  BLAH.BLAH.BLAH.

  • 2-birds/1-stone January 22, 2023 (12:22 pm)

    Two birds, one stone (cottage).
    Why not place the stone cottage on Beach Drive at the pump station near where the remnant beach-stone wall remains from the stone cottage that was originally there?  
    The original stone house there was a remarkable example of the spirit of old Alki.  
    Maybe place it in the middle of the Beach Drive right of way,  dead-ending the street from each direction.  
    This would reduce if not eliminate the loud disruptive cruisers.

    • SaveTheStoneCottage January 23, 2023 (9:33 am)

      Thanks 2-birds for your ideas. We are trying to place it in an area of high pedestrian traffic so it can be utilized as a public space for generations to come. We are currently ramping up our Phase II – placement, so please keep the ideas flowing.

  • Dd January 22, 2023 (12:25 pm)

    Seattle: “Citywide the 2022 Adopted Budget includes $155.3 million in funding for addressing homelessness. The adopted budget for HSD includes $120.4 million in funding for addressing homelessness.”
    Anyone have a link to the breakdown of how these monies “addressed homelessness” in 2022?  

    • Jay January 23, 2023 (6:32 am)

      They hired more parking enforcement officers 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Molly January 22, 2023 (2:03 pm)

    Does anyone know if the Stone House volunteer group has talked with the Dakota Homestead people?If the Dakota House group obtains the property they have been fundraising for, the Stone House building would be a great addition to the community space they hope to create. Maybe they can collaborate?

    • SaveTheStoneCottage January 23, 2023 (9:40 am)

      Thanks Molly for the suggestion. We have briefly looked at this possibility but it is too far away from the beach. Our mission is to keep it near its original site so it can serve the same community. We are currently seeking placement, so please keep the ideas flowing.

  • StupidInSeattle January 22, 2023 (2:18 pm)

    I went on my run this morning on Harbor Avenue by those RVs.  I last ran it two months ago and it has just become worse.  There is a guy who actually set up a large tent on the grass nearby to live out of.   It is shameful that our city allows this to continue, especially the never-ending crime and violent assaults that go with homeless encampments.  I have hope that Mayor Harrell will work to address the problem but have heard nothing out of his office in months.  The city needs a dedicated, high priority campaign to clean up these sites and eliminate them for good.  With 4 new openings on the city council we have all got to seize the opportunity to vote for moderates who will prioritize community safety over disastrous ideology.

    • Jay January 23, 2023 (6:31 am)

      Voting for a “moderate” is a losing proposition. Hate to break it to you.

  • Reality Chick January 22, 2023 (2:22 pm)

    Stonehenge?  Is this a Monty Python episode? Interesting
    that the SDOT director met with a select few after the public meeting. Reserved
    parking for us and visitors only. What Alki resident gets to have parking reserved
    if it is on a public street? Who are these visitors, praytell?  Doubtful
    it’s people who are not invited by the residents of this soon-to-be enclave. 

    Thanks to WSB for reporting on this, otherwise we would not
    have heard about it. 

  • Jesse burelison January 22, 2023 (3:18 pm)

    Harbor ave is zoned industrial. That means anything over 80 inches wide has to be parked there. They still have to adhere to the 72 hour parking law.

    • flimflam January 22, 2023 (5:06 pm)

      Of course they should have to comply with the 72 hour rule but the city won’t enforce it so here we are, all over the city, over and over. 👍🏻

  • Ice January 22, 2023 (7:59 pm)

    I seem to remember several other camps/rv gathering getting swept in the last couple of years. Wonder where they ended up? Certainly people just dissipate into thin air when you throw all of their stuff away and you force them to move.

  • Scarlett January 23, 2023 (8:31 am)

    These RV’s are people’s homes.  They enable someone to maintain a modicum of privacy, safety and protection from the elements.  They enable someone to keep a pet which can be a source of comfort, of joy.  Sorry, they don’t measure up to your fussy standards, West Seattleites. The small-minded, “letter of law” beat-downs of the less fortunate here is truly depressing.  

    • rose-tinted glasses January 23, 2023 (11:33 am)

      It becomes impossible to reach any type of common ground much less consensus with such disparities of view.

      Scarlet’s defense of the RV dwellers suggests the perfect ‘composite’ of these people which is at extreme odds with what is seen and here reported in comments.
      I believe that some of those “fussy standards” and “small minded” West Seattleites would be far more tolerant were they to interact with the archetype ‘RV home’ that Scarlett assembles.

      And I have conviction that West Seattle, quirky as it be, remains supportive and accommodating to most reasonable people.

      • Scarlett January 23, 2023 (1:22 pm)

        I’m sure they will be honored and flattered to hear that coming from you.  Call the police if you see criminal or threatening behavior.  The rest are trying to survive in a cruel, predatory world.  Leave them alone.

  • LifelongWS January 23, 2023 (10:17 am)

    It is so sad to see so much dehumanizing language toward the most
    vulnerable members of our community in these comments. “Junkies”
    “freeloaders” “criminals” etc. They are human beings with complex
    stories, issues, motivations, etc, who are just deserving of respect and
    kindness as any other west seattle community member. There is also such
    obvious lack of actual knowledge in these comments about the issue of
    homelessness. I recommend reading the decades long UW research on the
    issue, which very clearly demonstrates how the cities resources are both
    dramatically inadequate to meet the need and in the case of shelters,
    often dramatically more dangerous than living on the streets or in RV’s.
    Same story with the city’s mental health resources and addiction
    services. We are years into a deadly traumatic pandemic, sky high rent,
    crazy inflation, and so so many people are one lost job away from
    joining our neighbors living without housing. Bootstraps, “tough on
    crime” and focusing on parking enforcement by all factual accounts make
    the problems dramatically worse, not better. We’ve known this for
    decades, the academic literature is resolute. Lets show some compassion
    to those that need help. Has anyone asked the folks living there if they
    need anything? A hot meal? A suit for a job interview? Medical care?
    Because the city sure isn’t providing those things. Lets get curious
    about what we can do to actually help rather than spew hatred toward
    fellow human beings in need of our care.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes January 23, 2023 (11:01 am)

      Well said and spot on.

    • Ugh! January 23, 2023 (11:21 am)

      This is what happens when the far left has pushed a community too far. Wake up!

      • LifelongWS January 23, 2023 (12:47 pm)

        “Wake up!” to what? I am referencing numerous peer reviewed articles, and taking a perspective that centers human dignity and caring for our neighbors. It seems the “wake up” crowd in these comments simply want the rest of us to buy into their cynical and cruel understanding of fellow human beings. You can make this about the “far left” if you’d like. To me this is about the fundamental teachings of every religious and social leader we revere – care for each other, treat every human being with dignity, have compassion and hope. If you ever need support and help from your community I hope you are shown more kindness than you are showing your neighbors right now.

        • rose-tinted glasses January 23, 2023 (4:59 pm)

          Please do cite and list those “numerous peer reviewed articles” that you mention, twice.  
          I am serious and would like to read them.  

          Until then, I remain dubious of such research specific to our criminal element.  
          There remain people who do not want help or support from the community.  
          And it is insulting to paint others whose views you disagree with as cynical, cruel, ill informed and lacking compassion.

          • Seriously? January 23, 2023 (7:09 pm)

            Seriously bro you don’t find it lacking compassion to refer to people as a ‘criminal element’? How would you feel being called that. Seems cruel and insulting thing to say to me. 

          • rose-tinted glasses January 23, 2023 (8:45 pm)

            Criminal element by definition includes neither lack of or presence of compassion. “
            Criminal element definition: 

            Criminal means connected with crime”  

            A criminal element is often reported by WSB, is that lacking compassion?
            Someone was sought after the massacre of people last weekend.  
            Does referring to that person as a criminal show lacking of compassion?
            If I was committing  criminal acts, it would be appropriate to define me as a criminal element. .  

            I ponder at what language could be compassionate for describing heinous real world  acts for ‘Seriously’.

            Aside from this spurious attack of semantics, I am still waiting for all of the references that are so well established, accepted, but none of these ‘compassionate’ defenders will share their data. 

          • WestSeattleBadTakes January 24, 2023 (9:45 am)

            The classic anti-intellectual move. Ask for data while strongly implying it doesn’t exist. Reject the data using the lack of links as evidence. Continue to spout your claims despite having been told there is information that challenges it because clearly you’ve done all the research?

      • WestSeattleBadTakes January 23, 2023 (3:15 pm)

        Ah yes, the “they pushed us too far” argument. Very compelling and actionable.

    • WS Res January 23, 2023 (1:04 pm)

      Thank you. This needs to be said but it’s exhausting to keep having to say it when the “lock ’em up, give ’em consequences!” folks are so energetic in their fact-free rants.

  • Liz January 23, 2023 (11:38 am)


  • Saywhat January 23, 2023 (9:52 pm)

    At least implement a program for them to clean up garbage.  Chain gang labor for this type of loitering/living.  

    • Seriously? January 24, 2023 (8:46 am)

      So your suggestion is forced (slave) labor? Shame on you, what a disgusting thing to say. Learn some respect for other human beings. 

    • WestSeattleBadTakes January 24, 2023 (10:55 am)

      Just a little fascism, as a treat!

Sorry, comment time is over.