West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Becky M for that photo of the sky as seen from Alki tonight. We asked @WestSeaWX what type of cloud formation the photo shows. The reply: “A nice comfy blanket of altocumulus clouds.” If you’ve been wishing for a clear sky and warmer temperatures instead, forecasters say you have just a few days to wait, and next week might even bring 90-ish-degree highs.
THE 1994: Just got email today from the proprietors of this new salon/spa, which has opened in the new South Delridge mixed-use building at 8854 Delridge Way SW. Hanna and Ivy plan an August 19th grand-opening event for The 1994. Hanna, who’s lead aesthetician, tells WSB, “I have worked locally in West Seattle for the last 7 years. I was previously at Flourish Beauty and Spruce Apothecary in West Seattle.” Ivy is lead hair stylist and “was at Cedarhouse in Queen Anne before this. We do haircuts (specializing in curly and coily hair) and color in the salon, and the spa offers holistic skin-care services, hair removal, and lash and brow enhancement services.” Their celebration on August 19th will be 4-8 pm.
NEW STORE: A liquor-license application shows a proposal for a new mini-market in the commercial building at 7356 35th Avenue SW, under the name 35th Local Mart, for a “grocery store (with) beer and wine.” We haven’t yet reached the potential proprietors, but the intersection has had a small food/beverage store before – this is on the northeast corner of 35th/Webster, across from the future GH Pasta & Pizza space that was once John’s Corner Deli.
INDUSTRIOUS FITNESS FOLLOWUP: Last Friday we reported that Industrious is coming to the ex-Village Woodworks space in The Junction, almost five months after we first noted a fitness studio was planned there. We sent an inquiry to the company and franchise owner Bret replied. Our big question – what style of fitness? “All class participants get a dedicated workout station for the entire class. We call the station ‘The Halo’ and the system has Patent Pending with the USPTO. Industrious believes in Functional Fitness, commonly known as CrossFit, and that is at the core of our programming ideology. As an example, on certain days, people can expect to do a lift like Back Squats followed by a CrossFit workout, and on other days participants can expect to do Bench Press, followed by interval training with dumbbells, barbells, boxes, and kettlebells. On other days, it might be a long sweaty interval piece on rowers, runners, and bikes.” Bret lives in West Seattle and says he previously founded, owned, and operated a Crossfit studio in the Chelan area, then moved to Seattle and worked for Industrious; now he’s its first franchise owner. “Our grand-opening date is scheduled for November 1, 2023 – and our permit was issued by the City in late July. We are starting construction in Mid-August. We plan to hold class workouts on our grand-opening day and then hold an afterparty somewhere on the block (location TBD) to get to know each other and celebrate the milestone.”
4 PM: The ruling is just in on the appeal of seven of the nine zoning exceptions (“departures”) sought by Seattle Public Schools for the rebuild of Alki Elementary. City assistant hearing examiner Susan Drummond, who heard the case July 25th (WSB coverage here), denied the appeals of six of the exceptions – but granted the appeal on arguably the most fervently argued point, the plan to rebuild and expand the school with no off-street parking. From the 11-page decision:
The Appellants met their burden to demonstrate that the impacts the neighborhood would bear from no on-site parking has not been sufficiently considered in relation to the site’s unique and constrained conditions. Appellants also met their burden to demonstrate that it is not necessary to eliminate all parking to meet educational needs. The approach exacerbates the difficult parking and circulation issues already present in the immediate area even without the expansion. The parking analysis was completed during an extraordinary time-period that does not reflect current or expected conditions. This issue should be revisited, with further thought given to how to improve the balance between school needs against the parking and circulation challenges the area faces.
As the appellants – four nearby residents – pointed out (and is also noted in the decision), Alki’s parking crunch is so intense, the area has a city-imposed “parking overlay” in which one and a half spaces must be provided for every residential unit built.
So what happens now? The decision concludes, “The decision is returned to the Department for proceedings consistent with the Examiner’s decision.” That would be the Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI), whose original decision to grant the nine requested zoning exceptions is what was appealed (two of the nine – the new school’s height and a driveway configuration issue – were no longer at issue at the time of the hearing). We’ll be following up with SDCI and other parties.
6:07 PM: We asked the appellants via email for their thoughts. This is from Shauna Causey:
We were up against lawyers hired by Seattle Public Schools and it felt like an impossible situation but in the end, I’m glad the hearing examiner listened to the community.
I started an online petition before the hearing and 492 people responded in just 48 hours asking they reconsider the plan to remove ALL on-site parking. Some of the comments from the petition were shared during the hearing. From elderly who live near the school who have already had a tough time with ambulances reaching them, families with special needs who use ADA parking, to bus drivers, teachers, and parents at Alki Elementary who are frustrated, to seal sitters who help on the beach who felt like they could no longer volunteer if the accessibility and parking situation gets any worse. The community response and personal stories and comments were truly overwhelming.
Right now, most teachers have parking on-site. The new plan would come close to doubling staff (from current staff numbers) with zero parking — all just one block from the beach. It’s hard to believe this plan was even approved in the first place.
9:22 PM: Here’s context on how much parking would be required without a zoning exception – another section of today’s ruling, which refers to some of the evidence and testimony presented:
The code requires 48 parking spaces. With the removal of all on-site parking, the School is proposing no parking. Current on-site parking allows for over 20 parking spaces and the lot is “always completely full” with the parking space “well used.” As the striping is old, there is not an exact parking space number. This parking is coupled with a space to the north (but owned by the City) which can accommodate about 27 vehicles and is used for school events.
A paved surface with room to park about 20 vehicles is located on the south side of the school buildings and is accessed from a driveway at the south edge of the site on 59th Avenue SW. Much of the parking lot striping has faded, but historical aerial images indicate the area has been used for parking 20 or more vehicles. This area is also used for trash and recycling container storage and pick up.
The hard-surface area north of the building is City of Seattle Property … but is also used for school-event parking. Historical aerials indicate the surface can accommodate about 27 parked vehicles.
Public school parking requirements are based on new assembly space (commons and gymnasium) rather than daily school day demand, so do not necessarily account for day-to-day needs. For Alki, the calculation is based on the 3,800 square feet of dining commons and excludes the 6,000 gym square foot gym as total gym space is not being increased.14 If included, 123 spaces would be required. For private schools without assembly space, one space per each staff member would be required (75 spaces).
We’ll be contacting SDCI and SPS tomorrow to find out about what will happen next as a result of today’s ruling.
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: SPS says only, “The district is reviewing the ruling.” (We’ll check again next week.)
Thanks to Brian for the tip: The Solstice Park tennis courts will be resurfaced soon. And that work will include adding pickleball lines to three of the six courts. Though the work was scheduled to start next week, Parks tells us the start date may slide because, “The contractor who will doing this project is currently working on resurfacing the courts at Volunteer Park, which has been delayed some this week due to the change in the weather. It has to be dry for the surfacing to dry or cure properly between the layers of color.” Once the Volunteer Park work is complete, Parks says, then the Solstice Park work can begin. Meantime, regarding the plan to add pickleball stripes to three of the courts: “It will be the north three courts so that the Lock Box we plan to install will be easily accessed from the north court gate. We will be purchasing 6 temporary nets there to be used at Solstice Park.”
P.S. While researching this, we noted that the city is still proceeding with a plan to add “dedicated pickleball sites,” including Hiawatha; while that plan suggested there would be community “engagement” this month about that, Parks told us it’s now more likely to happen this fall.
You have probably heard about the deadly wildfires on the island of Maui, with at least 36 people reported dead so far. (Check the Honolulu Star-Advertiser here for the latest.) Here’s one way you can help survivors: Marination restaurants will sell “Musubi for Maui” this weekend (August 12-13) at all locations, including Marination Ma Kai at Seacrest (1660 Harbor SW). All proceeds from the sale of $4.50 musubi this weekend will go to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Match Fund and the Maui Rapid Response Mutual Aid Fund. (Anybody else fundraising to help with this disaster in Hawai’i? Please let us know!)
With the final Environmental Impact Statement – and final routing/station-location decisions – for West Seattle light rail expected next year, Sound Transit continues with field work. We don’t always get advance notice, but ST has sent word of a new round that’s about to start on the north end of the West Duwamish Greenbelt:
Starting as early as Monday, August 14, Sound Transit plans to conduct up to three geotechnical borings on the W Duwamish Greenbelt, a City of Seattle greenspace located between the Pigeon Point neighborhood and the West Seattle Bridge (see map).
Sound Transit is in the planning phase for the West Seattle Link Extensions project. This work, along with other investigations throughout the project corridor, is necessary to plan and design potential light rail alignments being studied in the environmental review process.
To study soil and groundwater conditions, a drill rig is used to bore vertically into the ground while collecting soil samples. Following the collection of soil samples, a monitoring device is installed which will be used by crews to monitor water levels on future visits. Water level readings will be taken every few months as the design phase progresses. In accordance with all local regulations, the 4- to 12- inch diameter borings will be installed carefully to avoid soil erosion and dirt or mud from leaking into surface waters, wetlands, and drainage systems. Following the completion of the work, any exposed soil will be reseeded with a native seed mix.
The ST alert (see it here) says this work will be complete by Monday, September 11, with all work to be done weekdays, between 7 am and 5 pm, no road closures expected, though the bike/pedestrian path might be closed “intermittently” for up to 15 minutes at a time while they’re moving equipment.
This comes as ST has been asking some property owners for access to their property for other field work. We heard from some residents who were concerned about what would happen if they refused to grant access to ST, and also whether the field work locations indicated some decisionmaking prior to the final EIS’s release. We took those questions to ST spokesperson Rachelle Cunningham, who replied:
We ask for permission to enter properties in the project corridor to gather information necessary for the environmental review and design of the alternatives we are studying. The fieldwork data informs the development and analysis of alternatives being studied in the environmental review process and helps us better understand the conditions of the land as well as any potential impacts the project could have on the built and natural environment.
The right of entry requests are voluntary, so it is up to the property owner whether they want to sign. If we don’t receive an agreement from a property owner, we will look to gather information from the public right-of-way.
We’re conducting fieldwork throughout the project area. It is possible that we have not yet contacted some properties that we may contact in the future. If any property owner or tenant has questions about potential impacts to their property, we encourage them to reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss their property in relation to the current design.
It’s been a year since the Sound Transit Board voted on a “preferred alignment” for West Seattle, with the light-rail line now planned to open in 2032, after five years of construction. At the most recent public briefing in West Seattle, at May’s WS Transportation Coalition meeting, ST reps said the final EIS would be out no sooner than the second quarter of 2024.
To see which artists are featured, and who’s having receptions, go here. Hours vary by venue but generally start as early as 5 pm and continue as late as 9 pm.
This month again features The Art of Music, free performances 6-7:45 pm at three venues: Epiphany of Time in The Junction in front of KeyBank (SW corner of California/Alaska), MoonGirl in the Admiral District at Soprano’s Antico Pizza and Pasta (2348 California SW), and Natalie Paige in Morgan Junction at Whisky West (6451 California SW). For more about that, go here.
Another big event tonight:
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS REGIONAL COMMUNITY MEETING: As we’ve been reporting, the district is beginning a process that’s expected to lead to school closures/consolidations to deal with a budget deficit and declining enrollment. This month it’s having regional community meetings to define “well-resourced schools,” and tonight’s the meeting for West Seattle and South Park, 6 pm in the commons at Madison Middle School (3429 45th SW). Here’s our report from yesterday on how the Tuesday “central region” meeting – identically formatted, says SPS – went.
Also happening today/tonight:
GLASS FLOAT HUNT: As of late last night, seven remain to be found, and then the other 50 will be hidden in time for the second round of searching to start Saturday morning. (Backstory here.)
UNDERSTANDING MEDICARE: 11 am presentation at Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon).
SPRAYPARK OPEN: Daily operations continue through Labor Day at Highland Park Spraypark (1100 SW Cloverdale), 11 am-8 pm.
SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS: Here’s the list of local sites where free food is available for kids on weekdays this summer, 11:30 am-1 pm lunch, 2-3 pm snacks.
HIAWATHA WADING POOL OPEN: Noon-5:30 pm. (2700 California SW)
LINCOLN PARK WADING POOL OPEN: Noon-7 pm. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
COLMAN POOL OPEN: Also at Lincoln Park, noon-7 pm – here’s the schedule of sessions.
DROP-IN ASSISTANCE: Neighborhood House has resources to help with a variety of things – noon-1:30 pm today, drop in to talk about transportation and passports. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email email@example.com to see where they’re playing today.
HIGHLAND PARK RUN CLUB: Also at HP Corner Store, meet up at 6:30 pm for a 3-mile run!
THURSDAY NIGHT CORNHOLE: Go play at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW), 7 pm.
Look ahead any time with our calendar!
Before we get to what’s up for today/tonight, here’s a “set your calendar” note – Flutes in the Forest is returning this year! Here’s the announcement we received to share with you:
FLUTES IN THE FOREST continues in 2023 with free outdoor classical music concerts. Enjoy the sounds of the JBC Rose Flute Trio on Saturday afternoon, August 19, from 2:00-3:00 pm in Schmitz Park. Jennie Goldberg, Barb Cotton, and Carolyn Hoppe-Denend will play classical music from various eras as well as arrangements of popular tunes.
Bring your own chair or blanket; stay as long as you’d like. Enter Schmitz Park off SW Admiral Way and SW Stevens Way. Walk the paved road 300 feet to the sound of flutes in the forest. Plenty of street parking along SW Stevens.
6:02 AM: Good morning! It’s Thursday, August 10th.
WEATHER & SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Mostly sunny, high in the mid-70s. Today’s sunrise was at 5:58 am; sunset will be at 8:30 pm.
NEW SPEED CUSHIONS
On SW Thistle near Chief Sealth International High School.
Metro – regular schedule – check here for advisories.
Water Taxi – regular schedule.
Washington State Ferries – 2-boat service. Check Vessel Watch to see where the boats are.
SPOTLIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS
High Bridge – the main camera:
High Bridge – the view from its southwest end (when SDOT points the 35th/Avalon/Fauntleroy camera that way):
Low Bridge – east-end vicinity:
1st Ave. S. Bridge – alternate route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander.
BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges Twitter feed shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.
If you see trouble on the bridges/streets/paths/bay, please text or call us (when you can do it safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities). Thank you!