day : 07/04/2024 8 results

FOLLOWUP: 6-home Upper Fauntleroy project gets tree-removal approval. Advocates hope it’ll show why the rules should change

The city has given a homebuilder the green light to cut down that evergreen tree in Upper Fauntleroy.

Advocates who hoped to save the tree, nicknaming it “Henry,” consider the approval ironic – new city rules passed last year require so much of a buffer zone to protect the tree, its lot would be unbuildable, so the tree comes down. They hope its removal will be an example of why the city’s new tree rules should be revised.

We’ve reported before on the site where “Henry” stands – at least until Tuesday, the first day it can be legally taken down. It’s at 8822 38th Avenue SW, where six new residences are planned – two single-family houses, each with two accessory dwelling units, one detached and one attached – plus 10 offstreet parking spaces. Five months ago, before the house on the site was demolished, it was used for Seattle Fire Department training. One month after that, the house was torn down. The site’s been idle through the winter while permit reviews continues. And now the Department of Construction and Inspections has granted the permit for taking down the tree, which is described in project documents as a red cedar, though Sandy Shettler of Tree Action Seattle contends it’s a Lawson cypress.

Shettler asked SDCI about the reason for the removal approval; a reviewing arborist replied via email that “it met Code requirements, particularly SMC 25.11.070.A.1.a.” You can see the code here. Here’s what Shettler says is the problem: “The new code mandates a very large, inviolable tree protection area which uses this formula: 1-ft diameter tree protection area per each 1″ of trunk. So for a 41″ diameter tree, a circle 82 feet in all directions needs to be set aside. Obviously that makes the lot unbuildable, (and even makes the neighboring lots unbuildable!) Since this absurdly rigid tree protection area cannot be excavated into by even one inch, the tree gets removed.”

She’s not calling for a protest, but advocating for future change: “Seattle needs to revise its tree ordinance to plan for trees — not just the ones we have, but to have space for new ones since we are cutting 4,000 per year. The new projects are all hardscape and heat.” The new tree rules require replacement plantings after removal, but not necessarily on the same site, according to this explanatory city post: “When a tree must be removed, a property owner can choose to either replant onsite or pay the equivalent value into the One Seattle Tree Fund. This added flexibility allows for trees to be planted more equitably and spread throughout neighborhoods or public spaces with historically less tree canopy.” The current tree rules were passed before a majority of city councilmembers left office; Shettler says she’s hoping to work with newly elected members to save more “Henry”-size trees.

SIDE NOTE: As with so many other types of data, the city has a map for tree-removal/tree-work permits, past and present.

TUESDAY NOTE: “Henry” was cut down this morning, as commenters’ photo and video show; we just went by to check, and only a stump remains.

West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2024 update: 160+ sales registered!

April 7, 2024 9:37 pm
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 |   Community Garage Sale Day | West Seattle news

After six days of registration, we have more than 160 sales on the list for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day 2024 – one day of selling and shopping all over the peninsula, on Saturday, May 11, 9 am-3 pm. Whatever you’re looking for, somebody will probably be selling it – we’ve been browsing the sale descriptions, and making note of some unique items. One example: a “large pristine fake Christmas tree.” Another seller is offering an “elevated dog-wash tub.” Multiple sellers are promising plants, just in time for the heart of gardening season. Love art? Pottery, glass, woodwork … and this is just part of it. Are you thinking about having a sale, but haven’t registered yet? You still have two and a half weeks to decide – but then we’ll have to close registration so we can make and circulate the map and list (available one week before WSCGSD). If you’re ready now (including the verbiage for your 20-word sale listing), here’s where to go!

See who’s, and what’s, cooking inside West Seattle ‘virtual restaurants’ hub Distinguished Foods

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

From milk tea to soul food to vegan burgers, dozens of choices are on the menu at West Seattle’s Distinguished Foods.

Actually, that’s “menus” – this longtime commercial kitchen facility at 4611 36th SW is home to a dozen “virtual restaurants” and other food businesses, as Distinguished Foods owner Claiborne Bell describes them. (His own Seattle Sorbets is one of them.)

It’s not just a place where food is prepared – it’s also a place where you can order it and/or pick it up. We hadn’t visited in a long time, until Claiborne invited us recently to come tour and see who’s new.

He explains that Distinguished Foods is also an “incubator” helping tenants learn and grow – and that means some inevitably “graduate” to their own locations. When we were there a little over a week ago, he was about to say goodbye to the latest “graduates” – Aroy Mak Thai Food, opening a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Greenwood after two years at Distinguished Foods.

“I’m very proud of them,” Claiborne smiled. He says the kitchens can be a place to learn how to sell food profitably, to get going with your business without “mortgaging your house” from the get-go. Another recent “graduate” is Taste of Mumbai, which now has a restaurant in The Admiral District.

The co-housing of multiple businesses also provides some synergy – maybe you came to pick up food from one, and while you’re waiting, you discover the menu of another, and order from them next time. It’s an eclectic lineup – also in house during our visit, Dada’s Plant-Based Burgers & Breakfast:

David’s business – there for about six months now – is the first vegan restaurant at Distinguished Foods, Claiborne notes. “Amazing food,” including a popular crispy “chik’n” sandwich.

Also among the newer tenants, Seattle Soul Kitchen, with fare including catfish, chicken, smoked stuffed turkey legs, jambalaya, sides including mac and cheese, yams, and greens.

They’re even serving “old-school Kool-Aid” if you’re thirsty.

Another beverage option – the teas (including boba) that Nhu makes at TAB (Take a Break):

“Authentic tea, no powders,” mind you. And TAB serves up authentic pho, too.

Winding our way through the building, we also drop in on Chef Michael Poole, who we mentioned a decade ago – he combined a Seattle Fire Department career with candymaking, and the result was Hot Chocolat.

He’s also leading team-building exercises these days – teaching classes.

Meantime, Distinguished Foods is also home to the growing business Papa Tony’s Hot Sauce, run by Tony Wilson (pictured below with Claiborne Bell).

Need a frosty treat after something savory? Claiborne’s Seattle Sorbets come in flavors such as mango sunset and raspberry merlot. He introduced us to Dora, who’s been making ice cream and sorbet for more than 20 years:

Dora’s roles are many, Claiborne notes, including helping manage the kitchen business. It’s been rebounding from the pandemic years – 17 companies operating in the kitchens pre-pandemic, down to five at the low point, “and things are just now coming back.” (The March 2020-September 2022 West Seattle Bridge took a toll too.) The “virtual restaurants” aren’t all open the same days and hours; most, Claiborne says, are open six days a week. But that’s part of the education he says they get from Distinguished Foods as an incubator – “be consistent with your hours and food. … Make money and do well.”

Haven’t tried any of the Distinguished Foods offerings? You can go to the north side of the building, peruse menus, press a button to alert the business, and place an order – or order online and go there for pickup. (Some work with delivery services too.) Here’s the directory by the door (but remember Aroy Mak has since moved – speaking of which, id you’re looking for a kitchen, Distinguished Foods has space):

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white mountain bike

April 7, 2024 4:27 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

4:27 PM: Just sent by Gary:

My bike was just stolen from the bike rack at West Seattle YMCA. Between 3:10 and 3:50 pm 4/7/24.

Description: white mountain bike, no name brand. Has a black bag/rack over back tire. Front suspension. Seat has a tear on one side. (added) Also, the stolen bike has (large) wheels so it’s extra tall.

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: Gary sent a photo (and adds that the bike has “straight black handlebars”):

CLOSURE ALERT: High Point Library closed today because of ‘insufficient staffing’

April 7, 2024 2:38 pm
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 |   High Point | West Seattle libraries | West Seattle news

Thanks for texting the tip and photo. The Seattle Public Library‘s High Point branch is normally open 10 am-6 pm on Sundays, but is closed today – its webpage blames “insufficient staffing.” Also noted online: “The book return will remain open and holds will be extended.” Checking around the SPL site, we see our area’s other branches all appear to be open, until 6 pm as usual.

In case you wondered too: About the ex-crane yard on Harbor Avenue

It’s been a while since the Heko Services crane yard cleared out of the property known as Pier 1 at 2130 Harbor Avenue SW, just southeast of Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). Several readers asked if we know anything about its future – maybe a redevelopment plan? Nothing new in online records, but the site is currently listed for lease, described as:

154,076 SF available, 3.5 acres land
$0.40/SF per month, NNN
Zoned UI U/85
Fenced and graveled

That’s from the flyer; the listing page on the Commercial MLS site also notes that this is “yard only” because “existing piers are not usable.” (Online records show a proposal four years ago for “a commercial grade pier and an adjacent marina facility.”) The listing page suggests the site might be a “great contractor yard, truck storage yard.” The site has a long backstory, including efforts to rezone it away from industrial use. The “UI” in its current zoning stands for “urban industrial,” a revision that was part of a zoning overhaul last year.

COUNTDOWN: Six weeks until you can walk/run along the water during 2024’s West Seattle 5K

April 7, 2024 10:35 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | How to help | West Seattle news | WS & Sports

Sunday, May 19, is the day for this year’s West Seattle 5K run/walk on Alki – a spring tradition dating back to 2009 – and you can register now if you haven’t already. The season’s first big 5K is coordinated by the West Seattle High School PTSA, which provides the profits to fund a variety of programs, including a staffed Saturday Study Hall, classroom-supply needs, and student-led initiatives. In addition to general registration options, this year, for a second year, the West Seattle 5K will offer a friendly grade-level competition among WSHS students. The grade with the most registrants gets out of homeroom early for a special treat and gets a cash contribution ($250) to their grade-level ASB. Also, the “Sleep In” – just donate and skip the running/walking! – and “sponsor a student runner” options are available to all. Go here to see the registration options and race-day schedule, and to sign up! P.S. Community sponsors are on board too, including us (media sponsor since the first year).

14 ways to spend your West Seattle Sunday!

(Gosling, photographed by James Tilley)

Good morning! Here are the Sunday highlights, mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

WEST SEATTLE RUNNER’S 14TH ANNIVERSARY: The store‘s anniversary sale continues; plus, a 10 am special event today – Runner Relay: “Join in for fun, silly running-related tasks and come back to the shop afterward for beverages and snacks.” (2743 California SW)

ALL THE BEST PET CARE’S GRAND OPENING: Open 10 am-7 pm today, 10 percent discount to celebrate the grand opening of the West Seattle store (WSB sponsor) at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW. Free parking in garage behind the building.

MINI-POLAR PLUNGE: 9 am every Sunday, you’re welcome to join a group plunge into Puget Sound off Alki – meet at Statue of Liberty Plaza (61st/Alki).

WESTIES RUN CLUB: Meet at 9 am at rotating locations – today it’s Bel Gatto (9253 45th SW).

MOUNTAIN TO SOUND OUTFITTERS SALE: End-of-season sale at Mountain to Sound Outfitters (3602 SW Alaska) – today, “40% off your ENTIRE purchase of winter gear!”

SMALL-BIZ POP-UP MARKET: Shop a variety of vendors inside Jet City Labs (4547 California SW), 10 am-2 pm.

WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: The market is open today, 10 am-2 pm as usual, on California SW between SW Alaska and SW Oregon, offering early-spring vegetables and fruit, plus baked goods, cheese, fish, meat, condiments, fresh-cooked food, beverages (from cider to kombucha to beer/wine), nuts, candy, more! Here’s today’s vendor list.

KINDIE WEST CONCERT SERIES: 10:30 am family-music concert featuring Eli Rosenblatt at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (9131 California SW) – details in our calendar listing.

BEAVERS & BREWS: 2-5 pm, support BeaversNorthwest, learn about beavers, and have fun at Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW). Live music with Sue Quigley at 3:30 pm!

MUSICIANS FOR THE WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK: They perform to encourage you to support the WSFB, 3 pm at C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).

FIRST MATINEE FOR ‘ENGLISH’: The new play continues at ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor), 3 pm. Ticket link in our calendar listing.

CONCERT TO BENEFIT WESTSIDE NEIGHBORS SHELTER: Enjoy the Boeing Employees Choir and support the Westside Neighbors Shelter, 4 pm at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (3050 California SW) – no ticket needed; donations accepted at the door.

READY FREDDY PREP PARTY: Another chance to start down the path to preparedness by spending just half an hour with Alice Kuder of Just in Case Disaster Preparedness Services (a new WSB sponsor), 7-7:30 pm at The Missing Piece (35th/Roxbury), free – our calendar listing explains (with RSVP info)!

LIVE MUSIC AT THE ALLEY: Wrap up your weekend with music by the Triangular Jazztet at The Alley (4509 California SW), 8-10 pm.

Are you planning something that should be on our community event calendar – one-time or recurring? Please email us the basics – – thank you!