day : 20/12/2023 9 results

FOLLOWUP: New proposal for Alki Elementary rebuild, with some parking

(New design proposal for Alki Elementary, with 15 parking spaces in southwest corner of site)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Four months after a city hearing examiner ruled that Seattle Public Schools must address parking concerns in its plan for rebuilding and expanding Alki Elementary, the district has submitted a new plan to the city. The original plan had no offstreet parking; the new one has 15 spaces.

First, some backstory – the hearing examiner’s order was the result of an appeal filed by nearby residents challenging the original city Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) decision last May to grant zoning exceptions (“departures”) for the project, including building it with no offstreet parking. The appeals were either dismissed or settled, except for the parking issue; the district was ordered to “revisit” it. SPS instead chose to go to court to challenge the ruling; after a hearing October 20th, a judge dismissed that challenge (on a technical point, not on its merits), leaving the district no option but to come up with a project revision. Now it’s done that.

One point of contention for the nearby residents’ appeal had been the parking study done for the original plan by Heffron Transportation, during a time period when both the pandemic and the West Seattle Bridge closure were factors. The firm has done a new study (see it here), looking at neighborhood parking this past August and September, and also looking at parking at and near the former Schmitz Park Elementary, to which Alki Elementary has moved until its new building is ready. The new parking study has findings similar to the previous one, contending that school-related needs still wouldn’t max out the available street parking near Alki Elementary. The new study also says they found Schmitz Park’s 47-space lot a little more than half-utilized.

All this, and the new plan, is summarized in a memo to SDCI (see it here) by project architect Rebecca Hutchinson of Mahlum Architects. Here’s how she explains what they did to come up with the 15 spaces:

… the design team was able to remove the loading platform and a dedicated driveway and staging area for SPS delivery trucks and garbage pickup. The design team also relocated the proposed transformer further away from the school building, which adds a greater cost than the original design. The design team then removed some storage space from the school and reconfigured the long-term bike parking structure (while still retaining the same number of long-term bike parking stalls). Finally, the design team removed the dedicated pedestrian path at the south edge of the site. This redesign sacrificed those elements that are desired for the functioning of the school, such as better loading, storage, and separated pedestrian path, and left only those architectural elements that were necessary to meet educational goals.

The result is that SPS was able to redesign the school to accommodate 15 parking stalls, including one ADA van stall. Depending on the needs of the student and staff population at the time the school reopens, it is possible that SPS can include one additional ADA stall and/or a time-limited load or unload zone. Now that the ADA stall can be included on the school site, the previously proposed on-street ADA stall across the street has been removed, which will result in retaining one additional on-street parking stall.

The architect’s memo also details why that’s the most they could do in terms of parking (if the project was built to code, 48 spaces would be required). A parking garage wasn’t an option, either above or below ground, Hutchinson wrote, for factors from height to water table to “(it) would increase the potential for uninvited persons to utilize the parking structure for a multitude of nefarious reasons.” She also wrote that a parking garage would likely add at least $10 million to the project price tag.

Another option examined: Condemning/buying adjacent residential property. They looked at a 16-unit apartment building south of the school and two single-family homes east of the school; neither seemed feasible or desirable for using that way, nor would either site enable the code-compliant number of spaces, the architect wrote.

In one last bit of case-making, the memo notes that seven SPS elementaries have no parking (none in West Seattle), 12 have fewer than 15 spaces, six have 20 or fewer; the project team has pointed this out before.

WHAT’S NEXT: It’s up to SDCI to review the revised plan and decide whether to approve the new version of the zoning exception (departure) or to reject it and insist on a plan with the required 48 spaces. If SDCI approves the revised departure, it would again be subject to appeal. The old school building already has been demolished but construction permits won’t be issued until this issue is settled.

TONIGHT’S LIGHTS: Gingerbread and grazing

Another double bill of Christmas lights tonight:

Above – head to the south end of Arbor Heights to see Jason‘s display – which he refers to as the “Gingerbread House.” It’s at 11233 35th Ave SW. … Below, Joni‘s photo of the colorful herd at 39th/Andover:

See all the lights we’ve shown by scrolling through this WSB archive; also check out this map Chloe from West Seattle Nursery made to connect many of the displays we’ve featured. And it’s not too late to send a suggestion, with or without photo/video – – thank you!

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Water Taxi fog delays likely tonight; ‘dense fog advisory’ alert

December 20, 2023 4:54 pm
|    Comments Off on WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Water Taxi fog delays likely tonight; ‘dense fog advisory’ alert
 |   King County Water Taxi | West Seattle news

(Texted photo, looking toward downtown from Admiral this afternoon)

4:54 PM: Metro wants riders to know: “Thick fog is lingering in Elliott Bay this evening. The King County Water Taxis will be operating at reduced speeds while fog is present. Delays are likely.” The most recent West Seattle run was only six minutes later than scheduled, according to the real-time tracker.

5:25 PM: The National Weather Service has issued a “dense fog advisory” alert in effect through noon tomorrow (Thursday). Visibility could be as low as a quarter-mile.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Victim pepper-sprayed by tool thieves; black work van stolen; two apparently abandoned vehicles

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

TOOL THEFT TURNED ROBBERY: We noted a robbery call logged very early this morning and asked SPD for details: “Police responded to a report of a robbery in the 4500 block of 36 AV SW around 4:30 a.m. this morning. Officers responded and located the victim, who was pepper sprayed. It was reported the victim was confronting two suspects who were stealing tools from his vehicle. The suspects left in a truck northbound from the location. SFD responded to provide aid. Unknown what was taken at this time.” No description of the truck or robbers yet, pending the full report.

STOLEN VAN: More stolen tools – inside the work van taken from Jayson:

I just bought an older work van. Last night it was stolen. 2002 Ford E150 (cargo style van). It’s all black (black wheels) with knobby tires. It was parked at 4727 42nd Ave SW in front of Safeway. It had all of my bigger work tools and some lumber in it.

License number CKF 1516
Police/Incident report: 23-364747

If you see it, please let me know. 206-696-3429 Also, if anyone needs a handyman within walking distance of the Alaska Junction, call me. I still have hand tools and need the work!

APPARENTLY ABANDONED VEHICLES: The gray Kia reported yesterday has been claimed. Maybe one or both of these have owners out there too. Daniel sent the report and photos from the neighborhood just south of Admiral Church:

Reporting on two seemingly abandoned vehicles in North Admiral. The black KIA with a broken-out rear window and ignition/steering column damage has been parked on Ferry Ave for over a month.

The dilapidated RV with both expired tabs and a funky looking short term parking permit (the second of two) also expired has been there for a couple of weeks.

He says both have been on Parking Enforcement radar for at least a week but they’re still there.

HOLIDAY NOTES: Cocoa Cris Cringle, cookies, coats, churches, Christmas tree price cuts …

December 20, 2023 2:00 pm
|    Comments Off on HOLIDAY NOTES: Cocoa Cris Cringle, cookies, coats, churches, Christmas tree price cuts …
 |   Holidays | West Seattle news

Five notes in case you haven’t seen these in our West Seattle Holiday Guide:

(WSB file photo)

COCOA CRIS CRINGLE: The most-fun Santa photo opportunity of the season is almost here. Cocoa Cris Cringle will be in the house at Easy Street Records (California/Alaska) 4-8 pm this Saturday (December 23rd). $20, all ages welcome, pets too.

COOKIES: Time to start baking if you’re able to donate cookies to The Christmas People! Karen sent this photo as inspiration:

The Christmas People need thousands of homemade (not store-bought) cookies for the holiday meals they’re distributing to people in need, and all you have to do is bake and drop them off at West Seattle Coworking (9030 35th SW; WSB sponsor) this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday – details are in the announcement.

COATS: Dave Newman State Farm Insurance Agency (3435 California SW; WSB sponsor) is reminding you that while some holiday donation drives are wrapping up soon, their coat drive continues through the end of this month – drop off coats and warm clothing (new or gently used) at their office on weekdays!

CHURCHES: If you’re planning to go to church for the holidays, a reminder that we have services listed in the Holiday Guide too – we issued an open call for local churches to send their service info, and many responded. Special shoutout to St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California SW), which is advertising on WSB through Christmas to more widely extend the community invitation to worship.

CHRISTMAS TREE PRICE CUTS: Just in as we finished this roundup – West Seattle Nursery (California/Brandon) sent this update on tree sales:

We have now dropped the price to 50% off. Usually by this time in the season, the trees have been picked over, and not many pretty ones are left. But this year, we have beautiful trees that just need a good home. We give every tree a fresh cut before you take it home, so it absorbs water right away and stays fresh, and we deliver for free in West Seattle. We ask that if you opt for free delivery to please consider donating $5 to Southwest Youth and Family Services. We match all donations.

BIZNOTE: New location for Good Sister, and new business for the space it’s leaving

(WSB photo – Good Sister’s new home at 6959 California SW)

After two years at California/Juneau, Good Sister is moving from north Morgan Junction to south Morgan Junction, according to the announcement we received from proprietor Ennjoili Fleck:

We will be relocating our business to a new and improved location. After careful consideration, we have decided to close our current location at 5902 California Ave SW. However, we are thrilled to announce that we will be taking over a similar brick building just 5 blocks away, previously occupied by NW Floors and Three Little Birds. The new address is 6959 California Ave SW. The new space is significantly larger, allowing us to expand our services and offerings. We will now have three spa treatment rooms and more retail space. Additionally, our staff is growing, and we are excited to provide more community classes. We aim to fill the gap in spa services and retail in the area.

As part of this transition, Nicole Leitner of West Coast Willow will be taking over our current space starting January 2024. West Coast Willow is an all-natural, organic skin care and health care brand that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Nicole also offers spa services, making her an excellent replacement for Good Sister. We are confident that the community will be pleased with her offerings, and we kindly ask you to welcome her to the neighborhood.

Good Sister is still working on the buildout so they plan to start offering spa appointments at the new location January 4th and are hoping to have the retail grand opening in early February. Their last day in the current location is this Saturday (December 23) and they’re having a storewide sale that day – info and hours here.

From our Holiday Guide and Event Calendar, here’s the list for the rest of your Wednesday

(Early-morning photo by Theresa Arbow O’Connor)

from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and Holiday Guide:

(added) MUSIC AT WEST SEATTLE THRIFTWAY: Alex Baird performs holiday music in-store 10 am-1 pm. (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor)

TODDLER READING TIME: 10:30 am at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW).

SANTA AT WEST SEATTLE THRIFTWAY: Santa Claus‘s traditional pre-Christmas visits to West Seattle Thriftway (4201 SW Morgan; WSB sponsor) start with 2-5 pm today.

FIX-IT WORKSHOP: Repair it instead of replacing it! Weekly event, 5:30-7:30 pm at West Seattle Tool Library (4408 Delridge Way SW, northeast side of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center).

FREE GROUP RUN: Meet at West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) for the weekly free group run.

TRIVIA x 7: Seven places to play tonight. At 6 pm, Locust Cider (2820 Alki SW) offers trivia … there’s 7 pm trivia at West Seattle Brewing (4415 Fauntleroy Way SW) … NEW! 7 pm trivia at Burger Planet (9614 14th SW, White Center) … 7:30 and 8:30 pm Sporcle Pub Quiz at The Lodge (4209 SW Alaska) … Trivia starts at 8 pm at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW) … Larry’s Tavern (3405 California SW) hosts Wednesday-night trivia starting at 8 pm … and at 8:30 pm, trivia with Phil T at Talarico’s (4718 California SW).

LIVE MUSIC AT THE LOCOL: 6:30 pm. 21+. Rotating performer slate. (7902 35th SW)

MUSIC BINGO: Play weekly at The Good Society (California/Lander), 7 pm.

‘SNOWED IN’ SOLD OUT: Just an FYI – tonight is sold out, as is the rest of the run for the holiday show at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor).

SKYLARK OPEN MIC: 7:30 pm signups @ West Seattle’s longest-running open mic – no cover to watch. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

If you’re planning a presentation, meeting, performance, reading, tour, fundraiser, sale, discussion, holiday event etc., and it’s open to the community, please send us info for West Seattle’s only comprehensive event calendar! – thank you!

THINK SPRING: Southwest Little League signup time

December 20, 2023 9:22 am
|    Comments Off on THINK SPRING: Southwest Little League signup time
 |   West Seattle news | WS & Sports

Another youth sports league is signing up players for 2024. This time it’s Southwest Little League. Rob emailed us to say that SWLL “is now open for baseball, softball and Challenger programs, ages 4-14.” Here’s the link. Rob notes that SWLL is one of the local youth sports leagues that has a geographic jurisdiction, including “a large portion of West Seattle including High Point, Highland Park, Arbor Heights, and South Delridge, in addition to White Center, South Park, and Highline.” Registration is open until February, so you have time to decide; the season starts in March.


6:02 AM: Good morning. It’s Wednesday, December 20 – one day before the Winter Solstice and the shortest day of the year.


Mostly sunny, high near 50. Today’s sunrise will be at 7:54 am, and the sun will set at 4:19 pm.


Water Taxi – Regular schedule. Check the real-time map if you’re wondering where the boat is.

Metro – Regular schedule; check advisories here.

Washington State Ferries – 2-boat service on the Triangle Route. Check alerts for changes, and use the real-time map to see where your ferry is.


Delridge cameras: Besides the one below (Delridge/Orchard), cameras are also at Delridge/Genesee, Delridge/Juneau, Delridge/Henderson, and Delridge/Oregon.

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:

1st Ave. S. Bridge – another route across the river:

Highway 99: – northbound side at Lander:

MORE TRAFFIC CAMS: See all working traffic cams citywide here, most with video options; West Seattle and vicinity-relevant cameras are on this WSB page.

BRIDGE INFO: The @SDOTBridges feed on X (ex-Twitter) shows whether the city’s movable bridges are opening for vessel traffic.

If you see a problem 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!