West Seattle, Washington
You might call this a followup to a followup:
During Monday night’s Seattle Parks online briefing about various West Seattle projects, there was a major update to the process of planning a second WS off-leash area – Parks said that one of the two sites between which they’re deciding, south of West Seattle Stadium, might no longer be “viable” because of the city’s push toward “electrification.” For our followup on that – published Wednesday – we learned that the city Finance and Administrative Services department is eyeing the site for charging city vehicles, including electric golf carts for the adjacent golf course. But that information came from Parks, so today we asked FAS for more details on the project. FAS spokesperson Melissa Mixon first gave us this overview, “FAS approached Parks about the location and shared it could be an ideal site for a charging site, so long as it’s not needed or used by Parks for purposes of a dog park since that project pre-dates this one. FAS is currently awaiting direction from Parks on how they would like to proceed and whether we should explore the feasibility of the West Seattle Stadium/Golf location or pursue other potential sites for a charging station.”
The backstory: “FAS is building EV charging hubs throughout the City to support the City’s rapid transition to electric vehicles in the City’s fleet. These locations will be regional so City fleet can re-fuel (electricity) when needed. The West Seattle area became the first priority region and the West Seattle Stadium/Golf could serve as an ideal location. FAS and Parks are in early conversation about this site.” Right now, Mixon said, it’s “the only West Seattle location under consideration but that could change based on Parks’ feedback regarding this site. … This site is under consideration due to its location, ease of access for City electric vehicles to enter and exit, and because it would have minimal impact on the public.”
We asked for more specifics regarding the potential facility’s scope. Mixon said it is envisioned for “6-8, Level 3 (150 KwH+) fast chargers that need approximately 10,000 square feet to accommodate ingress/egress and parking. … There are 17 fleet-using departments in the City. All departments would have access to this EV fueling station as they conduct business in the area. Seattle Parks Department would be a heavy user as they have the fourth largest fleet in the City.”
If Parks gave FAS the green light to pursue this site, “FAS would need to conduct a feasibility study and estimate costs. This process can typically take two months and a decision would not be made until both are complete.” Parks, meantime, is supposed to have a recommendation on the dog-park site within weeks; the other site that’s been under consideration for West Seattle’s second off-leash area is in Lincoln Park.
If you live/work in Fauntleroy, but haven’t responded yet to the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s survey, you have just a few more days! FCA is the only neighborhood council in West Seattle that surveys people in its service area, “to understand what is important to our community members and help the FCA board set priorities.” You can find the survey online by going to fauntleroy.net/survey. Once it’s closed, FCA will compile and publish the results. The board meets second Tuesdays most months, 7 pm at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse and online, and community members are always welcome.
Going through online filings in the city permit system, we happened onto an early-stage proposal for a five-story “office building” at 4501 35th SW, a small – 2,369 square feet – parcel immediately north of Brookdale West Seattle, across 35th from West Seattle Stadium/Golf Course. Records show the site is owned by the Sweeney family, currently pursuing much larger developments a few blocks north. So we asked family spokesperson Lynn Sweeney about the “office building” plan. She explained, “We are going through the SDCI process to see what might be buildable given that there is possible steep slope, so we just need to start the process to do some due diligence.” She added that the site currently holds a “shack” that has had squatter trouble and that they’re hoping to demolish but need to be “into the permitting process” to pursue that.
The West Seattle Junction Association-presented Wine Walks have been a huge success – and now WSJA is expanding the concept. Tomorrow (Friday, December 1, 5-8 pm) brings the first Wine & Chocolate Walk event, happening in the “lower Junction” area, and we’re told tickets remain!
$20 gets you eight tastings of wine and/or chocolate. Under-21 participants are welcome too (no wine for them, though). Online ticket sales are over but tickets will be available at the check-in location, Bohemian Studios (Fauntleroy/Edmunds) – the official event page lists not only the participating wine and chocolate providers, but also the nearby “lower Junction” businesses where you’ll find them. This is the first event of this year’s Hometown Holidays festivities!
So many holiday events in West Seattle this weekend – but a few non-holiday events too! Like this one for kids:
It’s happening 9 am-noon Saturday (December 2) in the gym at Lafayette Elementary (2645 California SW). The Burien Elks – whose wide service area includes West Seattle – will be holding a “hoop shoot” contest. The Elks’ Missy Wheat says it’s part of a national competition for kids 8 through 13. The top scorers on Saturday will move on to district competition, followed by state and nationals. There’s a chance to win scholarships through the Elks National Foundation. No preregistration required – just show up Saturday morning! If you have questions, email@example.com is how to reach local tournament director Mark Komac.
Thanks to Don Brubeck for that photo from the low bridge showing progress on part of the Terminal 5 Quiet Zone project. As previously reported, it’s a group of crossing changes meant to reduce the need for horn-blowing by trains serving the newly modernized T-5.
What’s been completed so far?
Since beginning construction in July 2023, we have installed electrical and signal conduit, drainage and paving to support the future signalized intersection at W Marginal Way SW and Elder Bernice White Place. We have also paved a section of the access road north of the W Marginal Way SW and Elder Bernice White Place intersection. We closed Chelan Ave SW, the north leg of the former 5-way intersection to vehicular access.
We’re currently working on storm water work, including the installation of a storm water filter vault and moving catch basins to meet new curb alignment, and excavating trenches for signal and fiber conduit near the Chelan Ave SW/W Marginal Way SW intersection. We’re also working on the new signal at W Marginal Way SW and Elder Bernice White Place. We’ll also be working with railroad crews to install the new railroad crossing at Elder Bernice White Place.
What’s the latest projection for completion?
Completion is expected in May 2024 pending railroad crews’ installation of new crossing arms and safety equipment at railroad crossings at both Chelan Ave SW and Elder Bernice White Place.
The “Quiet Zone” work originally was supposed to be complete before the first modernized berth at T-5 was opened; that’s now been almost two years, and the second berth is almost done. Note that this doesn’t affect all train traffic in the area – some trains serve industrial facilities along the Duwamish River, not T-5, and those sections of track are not part of the project.
10:46 AM: This is the third day a young humpback whale has been seen in Elliott Bay. Kersti Muul tells us its official ID is BCY0995, and that it was born last year to a humpback known as “Smiley.” Today it’s near the downtown waterfront again. She says its lingering in the area is not necessarily a good thing, and explains in a comment on Wednesday’s report:
… It is a bit concerning (not only for safety reasons). Humpbacks are particularly prone to being struck as they are not as aware of their surroundings as other species of whales. This is an app that you can put on your phone that alerts vessels like the ferries to whales’ presence in the area. It’s a great tool that we use to help whales and wildlife in yet one more way. Here is the link.
Soundwatch will be heading out to keep an eye on this calf and take some pictures.
1:51 PM: Added video above sent by Manuel, showing the humpback breaching.
4:41 PM: David Hutchinson sent photos of Soundwatch, mentioned by Kersti above and in comments;
Meantime, Jamie Kinney sent this photo of the humpback’s fluke as it dove:
WEST SEATTLE UKULELE PLAYERS: All levels welcome to this weekly 1 pm gathering. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an update on 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!
WEST SEATTLE TRANSPORTATION COALITION: You’re invited to this online meeting at 6:30 pm with guests from Sound Transit to talk about West Seattle light rail; also, Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom (a WS resident) will talk about what he’s covered this year. See our preview for the meeting link.
BLUES NIGHT: 7 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way), every Thursday you can listen to the blues.
YOGA, BREATH WORK, GONG BATH, MORE: 7 pm at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska), $35.
‘SNOWED IN’ OPENING NIGHT: ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) presents its holiday production, described as a “a journey of song, dance, friendship, family, and the true meaning of the holidays.” 7:30 pm. Tickets are available here.
Two notes from independent K-5 Tilden School (4105 California SW; WSB sponsor) – first, a reminder that if you’re school-shopping for next year. Tilden welcomes you to its next Open House this Saturday (December 2), 10 am-noon. Head of school Dr. Jorge Olaf Nelson says, “Folks can stop by, have a coffee and a scone and meet our wonderful faculty and staff and learn about our program at Tilden School.”
Also, he shares an update on the school’s holiday-giving drive, which includes the “giving tree” shown above:
Our parents have organized a warm clothing drive which has already raised hundreds of pounds of clothes for children. WestSide Baby was blown away by our Give Joy drive and said we were “the best one ever!” For a small school we really gave in a BIG way!
By the numbers:
34 bags donated
204.9 lbs overall
34 winter coats
29 pairs of warm shoes
20 sets of PJs
33 pairs of pants
10 pairs of snow pants
29 pairs of mittens
24 sets of socks
Plus one bagful of the following uncounted; books, toys, baby gear, scarfs, stuffies and learning toys. All items were re-bagged into the same item groupings, to help the volunteers process the donations more efficiently.
Parents have also organized a Giving Tree and we are now gathering toys to be distributed soon to Mary’s Place Seattle. Such a wonderful group of dedicated parents at Tilden School. The tree is being restocked on a daily basis. We are so grateful for their kind support.
6:00 AM: Good morning. It’s Thursday, November 30.
WEATHER + SUNRISE/SUNSET TIMES
Today’s the day the rain returns, says the forecast, high in the low 40s. Sunrise today is at 7:35 am; sunset, 4:20 pm.
Metro – Regular schedule today; check advisories here.
Water Taxi – Regular schedule today.
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):
1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:
Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:
BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on Twitter/X 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 that safely, and after you’ve reported to authorities if applicable). Thank you!
47 minutes into that video, you’ll see the City Council Public Safety and Human Services Committee‘s relatively short discussion of the former substation site at 16th/Holden in Highland Park. As reported here Monday, council legislation would transfer the site from Seattle City Light to the Office of Housing. The latter department then would seek proposals for developing the site into up to 16 units for “affordable homeownership,” plus street-level commercial space. The units would likely be lofts or townhouses, available for purchase by people making up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income. The plan got unanimous approval in Tuesday’s meeting of the committee chaired by outgoing District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who has long championed this kind of future for the site, which SCL declared “surplus” a decade ago (it was decommissioned in the ’00s). Next step is a full council vote, expected on Tuesday (December 5).