Search Result for : myers parcels

West Seattle Wednesday: Myers Parcels @ HPAC; tea; dancing; wellness; more…

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Today’s spotlight photo is courtesy of Don Brubeck, who explains, “Bike riders were detouring around some heavy traffic at Terminal 18 (Tuesday) afternoon. Did not hear any honking.” Whether you’re going by bike, bus, car, feet … or wings! … here are half a dozen highlights for the rest of today/tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

ENTREPRENEUR MEETUP: Got your own business, or working on an idea for one? Join today’s Entrepreneur Meetup, noon-1:15 pm, at West Seattle Office Junction (WSB sponsor). Just drop in, and bring your lunch if you want to. (6040 California SW)

VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY TEA TIME: 1-3 pm at Greenbridge Community Center. Host Tram Chung says, “Please come to meet with friends, exchange information, storytelling, entertainment, singing, and planning for the future meetings. We can help with language support (translation/interpreter) or settle the bills such as electricity, water, cable TV, internet.” (9800 8th SW)

IRISH SET DANCING: 6:30 pm instruction, 7 pm dancing, no partner necessary, all explained here! Happening at Kenyon Hall. (7904 35th SW)

COMMUNITY WELLNESS AND PREVENTION INITIATIVE COALITION: 7 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, be part of the first meeting of this new coalition meant to help prevent youth substance abuse, as explained in our calendar listing. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)

HIGHLAND PARK ACTION COMMITTEE: 7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, with the agenda including a discussion of what’s next in the process of determining the Myers Way Parcels’ future (recent WSB coverage here and here), and info on what the Department of Neighborhoods is all about. (12th SW/SW Holden)

POEMS AND STORIES: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), the monthly Poetrybridge event features readings by Georgie Bright Kunkel and Cheryl Latif, as well as a community microphone. (5612 California SW)

VIDEO: Myers Parcels tour with Councilmember Lisa Herbold, as key decisions near

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Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

The future of the Myers Way Parcels – 30+ acres of city-owned land on the southeastern edge of West Seattle – may be decided by the end of the year.

Updates on the timetable and process were part of the discussion as a group organized by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold toured the site on Thursday. Among them, two staffers from the city Finance and Administrative Services department, which is responsible for city-owned real estate like this, a site that’s been considered for many things, even, in 2008, the municipal jail that ultimately never got built.

The city didn’t even want most of this land when it was purchased back in the early 2000s, FAS’s Hillary Hamilton and Michael Ashbrook explained – just 10 acres for the nearby Joint Training Facility, which is in plain view next door to the north:

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Then-owner Nintendo of America would only sell the entire 50-acre parcel, so that’s what the city bought.

Now it is stuck in a multi-faceted tug-of-war:

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NEW DEADLINE: City extends comment time for Myers Parcels’ future; open-space advocates launch online petition

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Two developments in the ongoing issue of whether the city should sell the undeveloped Myers Parcels in southeastern West Seattle or, as advocates have long urged, keep all or part of the 30+-acre site as open space:

First, as reported here three weeks ago, today was supposed to be the deadline for the latest round of comments on the land’s fate. But that’s changed. The deadline’s being extended until at least early April, Julie Moore from the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department confirmed to WSB:

We just determined … that we would reissue the notice in the interest of reaching a broader community. We expect to get it out in early March, and the comment period will be extended for 30 days past the date of mailing. … All comments received by the new deadline are certain to be represented in the preliminary recommendation report, but as with every property disposition process, we will continue to accept all comments up to the point a final decision is made by City Council. Also, all parties providing contact information will continue to receive updates through the evaluation process, including notices for future community meetings and/or public hearings, publication of reports and City Council actions.

Here’s how to comment: E-mail Daniel Bretzke at daniel.bretzke@seattle.gov or send postal-mail comments to him via City of Seattle FAS, P.O. Box 94689, Seattle 98124-4689.

Second: The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition has launched an online petition asking city leaders not to sell the land. You can sign it here.

LOOKING FOR MORE INFO? Each of the three parcels involved in the most recent city notice has its own page on the city website: 9501 Myers here, 9600 Myers here, 9701 Myers here.

Myers Parcels in southeast West Seattle: Sale decision closer; comment deadline set

myersfate

The city has made its next move toward potentially selling off most of the undeveloped land in the southeasternmost corner of West Seattle that’s known as the Myers Parcels.

It’s circulating this document declaring almost one and a half million square feet as surplus – three parcels on both sides of Myers, as shown above – and asking for your thoughts on what to do with it. (There’s a page for each parcel/address – 9501 Myers here, 9600 Myers here, 9701 Myers here.)

This has been in the works for years; one year ago, we reported on a citizen campaign gearing up in hopes of saving at least part of the site as parkland. But the city says its departments have evaluated it and weren’t interested.

The site is part of a former gravel pit purchased by the city in 2003, with part of the land becoming the Joint Training Facility. A commercial sale for part of the leftover land fell through, but the parcels remain zoned for “C2” commercial development up to 6 stories. When we wrote last year’s update, the city told us it had millions of dollars left to pay off on the land via a “bridge loan”; since then, the mayor announced last November that $5 million from the sale of unspecified property at the site would go toward the city’s efforts to help people without homes. (That money was being advanced via a different type of loan to be paid off with sale proceeds.)

A sale would require City Council approval. And first, the city is asking for your thoughts on the property’s future. The notice suggests directing those comments to Daniel Bretzke at daniel.bretzke@seattle.gov or by postal mail at City of Seattle – FAS, P.O. Box 94689, Seattle 98124-4689.

P.S. Thanks to the reader who tipped us about this after receiving a notice from the city, which hadn’t been sent to media.

Myers Parcels = Myers Park? Campaign to preserve as open space/parkland intensifies, as city prepares ‘sale strategy’

(Click image to see city map of Myers Parcels as a full-size PDF)
The community campaign to preserve an open-space area in the southeasternmost corner of West Seattle is ramping up and drawing new attention to the so-called “Myers Parcels” (map). A widely circulated announcement of an upcoming meeting describes the land south of the Joint Training Facility as possibly “the last large, undeveloped piece of property that could become a major park in Seattle.” The original announcement of the campaign last September was reported here; word of the new effort, including an organizational meeting, led us to check on the parcels’ current status.

First: We noticed that the Department of Planning and Development files for the site suggested Seattle Public Utilities was evaluating it as recently as last fall for possible relocation of its Wastewater and Drainage operations center. But when we checked with SPU on Wednesday, spokesperson Ingrid Goodwin told us the department is no longer considering using the site. So we moved on to the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which has responsibility for the site now. Spokesperson Julie Moore replied with background plus the status, and what’s expected to happen next:

The property was originally a gravel pit. At the time of purchase in 2003, the City intended to develop a portion as the Joint Training Facility and sell the remainder. The purchase was funded, in part, with a bridge loan for which the City now owes about $13 million. In 2006, the Seattle City Council, by ordinance 122308, declared 31 acres of the properties surplus and authorized a sale to Lowe’s, but that deal fell through. The sale transaction was not completed due to environmental and permitting issues. The subsequent downturn in the economy made a sale uneconomic.

As the recession eased, the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) obtained environmental studies to carefully document environmental assets such as wetlands and natural steep slopes.

In 2012, FAS circulated an excess property notice to City departments, and some have evaluated the site for potential City use, but have generally found it to be inappropriate for their operational purposes. FAS is now considering options for selling the undeveloped portion while preserving environmentally sensitive areas. The property is zoned for commercial uses, and sale proceeds will likely be enough to repay the $13 million bridge loan. FAS expects to make a recommendation on a sale strategy this year.

The 2012 “excess property notice” – see it here – includes that year’s total assessed value of the parcels, listed as $38 million.

Meantime, once FAS makes its recommendation, what happens? Moore’s explanation:

As with all property dispositions, FAS’s Real Estate Services (RES) follows the Seattle City Council-adopted policies and procedures for the review process. Once the process is complete, RES issues a final report, which includes RES’ recommendation regarding the property (typically to either retain the property for use by another City department or sell it), and presents it to the Mayor for review. If the Mayor concurs with the recommendation, the Mayor sends the report to the City Council, along with legislation authorizing the reuse or sale of the property. Only the City Council can make the final decision on reuse or disposition of City-owned real property. If the Council approves the recommendation for selling a property, the property is declared “surplus” and a sale proceeds.

You might recall that part of the site was on the list of potential city-jail locations back in 2008; ultimately, the city decided it didn’t need a new jail, and the entire plan was scrapped.

Back to the community campaign to keep the site as open space – here’s the meeting announcement:

You are invited to come to the first-ever gathering of SAVE MYERS PARK, on Saturday, March 14th, 10-noon, at the offices of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, 210 S. Hudson. Call or email Cass to confirm and for questions. 206-783-9093. Or email cassturnbull@comcast.net

The announcement, which you can read in full as posted to the WSB Facebook page if you haven’t seen it elsewhere, also suggests that messages be sent to the mayor and City Council.

Camp Second Chance can stay on Myers Way Parcels at least six more months, city says

(WSB photo of Camp Second Chance entrance, December 2017)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Camp Second Chance, the only city-sanctioned encampment in West Seattle, is getting a six-month extension.

The camp on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle [map] is at the end of the two-years-maximum stay that’s currently allowed under city law – and has actually been at the site going on three years. It first occupied the location without authorization starting in July 2016, gaining the authorization in spring 2017. A decision on its fate has been long expected and was just announced this morning by the city Human Services Department, which also gave six-month extensions to two other sanctioned encampments in other parts of the city. From the announcement:

Camp Second Chance, Georgetown Village, and Othello Village will be temporarily re-permitted for an additional six months. During this time, the City will develop a long-term strategy for these sites with community input that will serve residents of villages and the surrounding community.

Homelessness remains a crisis in Seattle and the City’s responsibility is to provide services and shelter resources that are effective in helping people transition from homelessness to housing — tiny house villages have proven to be one solution within the City’s overall response. In 2018, villages City-wide served 658 unique households and exited 135 households to permanent housing, an increase of 32 percent from 2017.

“Tiny-house villages” is the term the city now uses for its sanctioned encampments. As we’ve reported previously, donations have funded tiny houses for most of Camp Second Chance’s residents. The camp usually reports about 50 residents at any given time, when those reports are delivered at the monthly meetings of its volunteer Community Advisory Committee, which we routinely cover.

The camp is self-managed, with a no-drugs/alcohol policy, and the city contract to operate it is held by the Low-Income Housing Institute, which pays for staff including an on-site director (currently camp co-founder Eric Davis and case manager Richard Horne).

Also from today’s city announcement:

The City’s decision grants monthly temporary-use permits to these sites for the next six months. During this time, the City will develop a long-term strategy for these specific villages, considering all options for the future of these programs and sites. In order to develop these strategies, the City will work with communities to organize meetings in neighborhoods hosting villages to learn more about how the City can be responsive to community needs and how to best serve residents of the villages.

Last year’s decision to extend the permit for a second year was preceded by city-convened meetings, but there haven’t been any this time. In January, we covered two community meetings on the topic (both with city reps in attendance) – the Westside Interfaith Network gathering camp supporters at a meeting in Fauntleroy and the Highland Park Action Committee holding a “listening session” to decide on whether to support extending the camp’s stay. (Ultimately, as we reported March 4th, HPAC opposed it.)

The city’s explanation also includes:

The City has also learned that siting, developing, and relocating tiny house villages remains an ongoing challenge given property logistics, costs, and program needs of serving people experiencing homelessness. The City has also learned that providing 24/7, enhanced shelter is one of the best solutions to help people off Seattle’s streets and into safer living situations.

The extension of these villages does not impact the status of the other six City-funded villages.

Camp Second Chance’s status was already scheduled to be discussed at HPAC’s regular monthly meeting tonight (7 pm, Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden). The city’s homelessness-response spokesperson Will Lemke told WSB that the six-month extension would run to September, though the second-year extension wasn’t formally announced last year until June.

ADDED 10:35 AM: The full city announcement, which we originally received via email (as we have long been inquiring about the timetable/process for the decision), is now posted on the city website.

WEST SEATTLE ENCAMPMENT: Mayor announces ‘sanctioned’ camp on Myers Way Parcels site

(UPDATED 6:30 PM with comment from City Councilmember Lisa Herbold)

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(Photo by Cory Bagley – aerial view of western Myers Way Parcels land, from this past July)

4:44 PM: A month and a half ago, during the uproar about whether camping would be allowed in city parks, Mayor Murray promised to announce four new authorized encampment sites. Since then, city staff has been reviewing locations, and has just announced three sites – including one in southeast West Seattle, part of the city-owned Myers Way Parcels. Here’s the announcement just in:

Today, the Human Services Department announced the siting of three new temporary sanctioned encampments for individuals living unsheltered in Seattle. This action is part of the Bridging the Gap plan, announced in October, to better address the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness while the City fully implements its long-term plan, Pathways Home.

Together, the following three new sanctioned encampments will serve more than 200 people starting in early 2017:

1. 1000 S Myrtle Street will contain up to 50 tiny houses serving 60-70 people.

2. 8620 Nesbit Ave N. will contain up to 50 tiny houses serving 60-70 people.

3. 9701 Myers Way S will contain up to 50 tents serving 60-70 people.

“Today’s announcement recognizes our need to provide safer alternatives to the people living unsheltered on our streets as we work to implement Pathways Home,” said Catherine Lester, Director of the Human Services Department. “We remain committed to our long-term plan to transform our homeless services system and focus our investments on getting people off the streets and into housing. In the meantime, we will continue the work of increasing our outreach efforts, implementing a more compassionate set of protocols when cleanups are necessary and offering trash and needle pickup services.”

In October, Mayor Murray announced the Bridging the Gap plan, which recognizes that the City should not displace unauthorized encampments that do not pose an imminent health or safety risk or do not unlawfully obstruct a public use, unless the City can offer those living there a safer alternative place to live. The plan reflects the principles laid out by the Task Force on Unsheltered Cleanup Protocols.

That announcement came a month after Mayor Murray announced Pathways Home, Seattle’s plan to transform our homeless services system by focusing our investments on the goal of getting people into stable housing. The plan aims to eliminate barriers to better meet the individualized needs of those experiencing homelessness, shift investments where necessary to achieve the goal of moving people into housing, and increase accountability to this goal through performance-based contracting.

The first of the authorized encampments is scheduled to open in early January.

Additional information about the Mayor’s actions to address homelessness can be found here.

There’s already an unauthorized encampment – Camp Second Chance – on part of the Myers Way Parcels (it was slated for eviction four months ago but that was shelved indefinitely). We have asked the Human Services Department to clarify if that camp is included in this plan or not. (ADDED: Spokesperson Chelsea Kellogg says this is the same site CSC is on.)

BACKSTORY: At one point, the mayor planned to sell part of the Myers Way Parcels to raise money for homelessness-related programs. Then he announced in mid-July that most of it would be kept for open-space purposes, except for a section to be used to expand the Joint Training Facility that borders it to the north.

Related to that – and immediately preceding this announcement – local advocates had learned that the site had yet to be transferred to the Parks Department, as the mayor had indicated it would be, and instead remains in the portfolio of the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which remains accountable for its maintenance. Councilmember Lisa Herbold subsequently learned of this and asked Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre about it. His reply to her: “Although the property has been committed to and designated to be transferred to SPR’s inventory, the official transfer has not yet happened. Finally, since we do not have the funds to maintain the property, FAS has agreed to continue doing so. We will update our maps listing the land-banked sites to include the Myers Way site moving forward, with the caveat that there is not yet funding available for the development of the site.” (“Land-banked” refers to sites Parks owns – such as the Morgan Junction Park expansion site and the Charlestown and 40th SW sites in West Seattle – but has not yet developed with park facilities.) How, or whether, this relates to the encampment announcement is not yet clear.

The Myers Way Parcels have had other proposed uses in the past, including, in the late 2000s, consideration as a possible site for a new city jail that ultimately wasn’t built.

ADDED 6:30 PM: From Councilmember Herbold:

Because I know Highland Park residents have expressed concerns about equity with the rest of District, I asked what criteria HSD used to select the approximately 50 sites throughout Seattle that were deemed eligible for consideration. Here is what I was told:

Urgency: The primary review focused on city-owned parcels that could be activated quickly based on site conditions and current use of the property.

Geographic distribution: They primarily focused on parcels located in different areas of the city from the 3 existing authorized encampments.

Authorized Encampment Ordinance: They prioritized sites based on how they met the requirements of the authorized encampment ordinance, including location in non-residential zones, availability of transit, minimum lot size of 5000 sf, adjacent uses, etc.

Underlying Financing: As a budgetary consideration, they evaluated the underlying ownership/financing of sites to determine the amount of required compensation for the use of the site (e.g. utility ownership or gas tax financing).

Given these criteria, they evaluated about 50 possible sites for the new authorized encampments and of those sites, 5 were located in West Seattle. I’ve asked what the other 3 sites were. One of those was the old Nickelsville site. Specifically, I’d like to be able to explain to the community what made the other two sites in West Seattle less desirable.

The Mayor’s Office has told me that they will pledge to work closely with the surrounding communities to make the Myers Way site a good home for encampment occupants and a good neighbor to the surrounding communities.

We have additional followup questions we’ll be pursuing with the city tomorrow.

FOLLOWUP: Encampment on Myers Way Parcels can’t stay, says city

While we’re working on our full report about tonight’s Find It, Fix It Community Walk in the Westwood/Roxhill area (short 1st report here): We took advantage of the presence of multiple city department heads at that event to get information about a few unrelated issues elsewhere in West Seattle. First followup: The Camp Second Chance encampment’s move to the Myers Way Parcels, after almost a week on private land across the street. We had sent an inquiry to the media liaisons at the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (which manages city-owned land like this) earlier in the day, asking if the camp was authorized and if not, whether it would be allowed to stay. They didn’t reply, so when we saw FAS director Fred Podesta at tonight’s event, we asked him directly. He told us he had stopped to check out the camp personally while on his way to the Find It, Fix It Walk. He confirmed that the camp does not have permission to be on city land, so it will eventually be given notice and then swept if it doesn’t move of its own accord. What the timeline for that would be, Podesta doesn’t yet know – “it’s not the only unauthorized encampment (on city land),” he noted. But he said the city will do what it can to help campers find services and to help the camp find another site.

Myers Way Parcels now home to encampment

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Since we reported last Monday on an encampment, Camp Second Chance, moving from a South King County church to a privately owned parcel on Myers Way, much discussion ensued in the story’s comment section. The camp’s nonprofit supporter said there that it would be moving this weekend. Passing through the area this past hour, we saw that it has – the site, owned by a dump-truck company, is completely clear … and the camp in our photo above is now set up across the street and a bit to the south inside the gates to the main entrance to the Myers Way Parcels, the land that Mayor Ed Murray recently announced the city would keep rather than sell. The area outside the gate had been an unofficial staging area for RV campers earlier this year when the city had plans to open a “safe lot” in Highland Park, but that plan has long since been canceled. Some RVs have continued to camp along Myers Way in that area – half a dozen were in view earlier this week; this morning, we saw two. We have a question out to Camp Second Chance’s sponsor to verify whether that’s what is now set up on the city property.

BREAKING: Mayor says city will keep Myers Way Parcels, instead of selling; Councilmember Herbold ‘pleased’

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(Photo by Cory Bagley – aerial view of western Myers Way Parcels land, from earlier this week)

FIRST REPORT, 4:44 PM: Another big announcement from Mayor Ed Murray this afternoon: The city will keep the southeastern West Seattle land known as the Myers Way Parcels, instead of selling some or most of it. The news release just in:

Following months of community input, Mayor Ed Murray today announced the planned usage for the Myers Way property in Southwest Seattle.

“Thank you to those who shared their input on the future of the Myers Way property,” said Murray. “The City will retain the land, dedicating the four-acre northernmost portion for important fire training needs and expanding the Joint Training Facility. The remainder of the property will be retained and designated for open space and/or recreation purposes, consistent with the community response provided through our outreach. At a future date, Seattle Parks and Recreation will conduct further public outreach to determine how best to use the property.”

Seattle Parks and Recreation does not currently have resources needed to immediately repurpose the site, but the Department will retain the property as one of its “land banked” sites. Holding such properties ensures that valuable open space is not lost, even if resources for repurposing the property are not immediately available.

The Myers Way property is one of the largest pieces of undeveloped City-owned land and is adjacent to the Seattle-White Center border.

A sale of some of the land was supposed to fund part of the city’s homelessness programs – to the tune of $5 million – so we’ll be asking a followup on where that money will come from instead. (Added: Mayoral spokesperson William Lemke tells WSB that will be addressed in the mayor’s budget proposal this fall.)

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ADDED 5 PM: Just in from Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who (as shown in the photo above) toured the site with community members and city reps two months ago today:

I’m pleased to learn that the Executive will not be moving forward with the plan to sell the Myers Way parcels. This issue is important to many residents residing in Top Hat, Highland Park, South Park, Arbor Heights, as well as citywide environmental groups such as Seattle Green Spaces Coalition and TreePAC. This is a significant and important victory for the community who has worked so hard to bring the value of these properties to the attention of City decision-makers.

I had been contacted by various community stakeholders regarding the proposed sale of approximately 12 of the 33 acres known as “Myers Parcels,” owned by the City of Seattle and declared “Excess to the Department’s needs.” In May, I organized a tour of the properties with community stakeholders and City Staff. Community members had sought assurances the decision about selling this property will occur only after the entire community, specifically low income renters, people of color and non-English speaking residents are meaningfully engaged and that FAS apply the Racial and Social Justice Toolkit and follow the Equity and Environment Action Agenda before deciding what to do with this land.

In 2014, the White Center/Greater Duwamish area was identified as the fifth most highly impacted community in the Puget Sound Region “characterized by degraded air quality, whose residents face economic or historic barriers to participation in clean air decisions and solutions.” Due to the severity of air quality and contamination already present in this area, I had expressed my concern to the Executive that active use of these parcels might result in further air quality degradation.

Many organizations, such as the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, have worked diligently for many years to clean up our waterways and have expressed concerns about the implications of development on Hamm Creek and the watershed within these properties. In response to these concerns as well as those related to air quality, I’d requested the following from the Executive:

Multilingual communication, so that members of immigrant communities could take part in the decision making process.

Additional information to catalogue the geological and hydrological elements of the property, their ecosystem services, and their beneficial uses to the community prior to making a disposition recommendation to the Council.

A health impact assessment that addresses the air quality contributions made by these land parcels, vs. air quality degradation from further development prior to making a disposition recommendation to the Council, rather than based upon a particular proposed development.

We’ve been reporting for years on what’s been going on to try to determine the future of this ~33-acre site (which was even considered in 2008 for the never-built city jail project). You can browse our archived coverage by clicking MYERS WAY PARCELS beneath this story’s headline, and scrolling through the stories (including our coverage of the big community meeting June 30th).

VIDEO, AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE: Meeting about Myers Way Parcels’ future

(ADDED 12:12 AM – meeting video, in three clips, at story’s end)

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(WSB photos)

6:37 PM: We’re at the Joint Training Facility in southeastern West Seattle as the city meeting “to decide what will be done with the Myers Way Properties … not a hearing, but simply to get ideas from the public” gets under way. Forrest Gillette is moderating. We’ll be updating as it goes.

First from a lineup of five city reps is Hillary Hamilton from the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, which is in charge of managing real estate and what happens to it if the city doesn’t need it, as is the situation with this 33+-acre site. She says this is happening “about halfway through” the process of deciding the property’s fate; but she also points out it’s not a formal public hearing – that will happen when this gets to the City Council, likely in September – so there won’t be time for comments from everyone, but there are “comment sheets” in the room.

6:44 PM: Second speaker is Seattle firefighter Colin McElroy – part of the site is proposed to be used as an expansion of the Joint Training Facility, which is where the meeting is happening, and his role is to explain “what happens here.”

firefighter

He says his main job is at Station 14 in SODO but he “moonlights” here teaching structural-collapse training: “Our goal is to train firefighters all around the region that will help us prepare to help you guys if there’s an actual emergency – that emergency most likely being an earthquake.”

(2010 WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli, during training at JTF)

He says JTF needs more room to expand training areas, to move “noisier and dirtier operations” toward the south side of the site (further from their neighbors, a large retirement-residences complex (Arrowhead Gardens) to the north), to add parking, and to store some of their larger “props” inbetween their use, rather than having them sit in place and take up space.

Next speaker represents the broker/developer perspective, Al Robertson from NAI Puget Sound Properties.

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EARLY START: 5:30 pm tour added to tonight’s Myers Way Parcels community meeting


(Click to see full-size PDF)

If you’re interested in the future of the Myers Way Parcels in southeast West Seattle, the city’s final reminder about tonight’s community meeting at the Joint Training Facility includes word of a 5:30 pm guided tour BEFORE the 6:30 pm meeting. From district coordinator Kerry Wade:

This is a friendly reminder that there will be a meeting this evening regarding the future of the Myers Way Property. Come learn more about the history of this land, what has been proposed by the city and the community, what are some of the barriers, and learn from a panel of experts what is at stake. There will be exhibits on display and opportunities for you to make comments as well.

For those of you who are interested in a brief tour of the property, please feel free to come early (around 5:30 p.m.).

Here are the meeting vitals. We hope to see you all there!

Myers Way Property Community Meeting
Hosted By City of Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services

Joint Training Facility Meeting Room
9401 Myers Way South

Thurs. June 30, 2016 @ 6:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00; Come early for a 5:30 guided tour)

Light refreshments will be provided
Interpreters will be on hand for Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish.

WSB coverage of the site and related issues is archived here.

Community meeting: Myers Way Parcels

(See WSB’s previous coverage here.)

Community Meeting Regarding the City of Seattle Myers Way Properties

This community meeting is to solicit community input regarding the vacant City of Seattle property located at 9401, 9501, 9600 and 9701 Myers Way. Comments will be collected on the Preliminary Recommendations Report and the Public Involvement Plan.

When: Thursday, June 30, 2016
6:30 pm–8:00 pm
Where: City of Seattle Joint Training Facility Meeting Room
9401 Myers Way South
Seattle, WA

Not able to attend, or have further questions?
Please send comments or questions to: Daniel Bretzke at 206 733-9882, Daniel.bretzke@seattle.gov
Department Finance and Administrative Services’ Real Estate Services Section

Special Needs or Language Requirements?
This location is barrier free. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Daniel Bretzke as soon as possible.

Myers Way Parcels: Highland Park Action Committee asking city to delay decision


(Click to see full-size PDF)

Our first report from the Highland Park Action Committee meeting that just wrapped up: HPAC voted tonight to send the city a letter asking that the proposed sale of most of the Myers Way Parcels in southeastern West Seattle be shelved. From the draft letter approved by the group:

… As you know, these 33 acres contain wetlands, wildlife habitat, and open space connected to the Hamm Creek watershed and the Duwamish River. In addition, there are several racial and socio-economically diverse neighborhoods surrounding and connected to this area, many of which are unincorporated areas of King County.

Highland Park and South Park are the closest Seattle neighborhoods bordering the Myers Way Parcel, but for the neighborhoods of North Highline, including White Center, Boulevard Park and Top Hat – the Myers Way Parcel is at the center, connecting these communities to each other. Yet, these communities have no representation or say in what happens to this area at this time. At the same time, there are ongoing discussions about annexation of these unincorporated communities into the City of Seattle, with a determination possibly as early as November 2017.

There is a significant clean-up underway for the Duwamish River, which could be the heart of this part of West Seattle, if the clean-up efforts continue and there is no additional negative environmental impact of the river, the creeks and wetlands that feed into the river.

Therefore, we are strongly urging Mayor Murray, Seattle City Council, and Department of Finance and Administrative Services to:

1) Hold off on any further plans to develop and/or sell any or all parts of Myers Way Parcels PMA #4539-4542 until there is final determination of annexation of North Highline into the City of Seattle and if North Highline is annexed that those community members are given the same opportunity to provide input into the final recommendations;

2) Until an outside agency with experience, knowledge, and connection with the clean-up of the Duwamish River has evaluated the environmental impact of the each of the “Range of Options,” as outlined on page 6 of the Preliminary Recommendation Report On Reuse and Disposal of the Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services PMA 4601 JTF Expansion Property PMA 4540-Undeveloped lot at 9501 Myers Way S. PMA 4541-Undeveloped lot at 9701 Myers Way S. PMA 4542-Undeveloped lot at 9600 Myers Way S. PMA 4601 JTF Expansion property from June 15, 2016, has been fully explored and vetted that there will be no additional negative environmental impact on the Duwamish River, the clean-up efforts or in any violation of the Clean Water Act. …

The city’s preliminary recommendations – to keep part of the land for expansion of the adjacent Joint Training Facility, and sell the rest – were made public one week ago. A community meeting is planned at the JTF (9401 Myers Way S.) one week from tomorrow, 6:30 pm June 30th (here again is the official notice). The eventual decision on the land’s future will be made by the City Council.

P.S. The rest of our coverage of tonight’s HPAC meeting will be published tomorrow.

@ Delridge District Council: Puget Ridge speeding; Myers Way Parcels; city support…

June 19, 2016 7:44 pm
|    Comments Off on @ Delridge District Council: Puget Ridge speeding; Myers Way Parcels; city support…
 |   Delridge District Council | Myers Way Parcels | West Seattle news

Last Thursday’s much-discussed Alki Community Council meeting wasn’t the only meeting of the week in which Seattle Police talked about traffic-safety concerns. A similar, albeit much shorter, conversation was part of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting one night earlier , last Wednesday @ Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Here are our toplines on that and what else came before the DNDC:

PUGET RIDGE SPEEDING AND OTHER SPD UPDATES: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith had a followup on Puget Ridge’s speeding concerns, which were among the problems neighborhood reps brought up at last month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. He said that motorcycle officers from the SPD Traffic Unit will be out for enforcement on Puget Ridge at random times during the summer.

In his crime-trend overview for eastern West Seattle, he told DNDC attendees that violent crime is down, and that car prowls remain the major area of concern, though “we’re starting to see a slight dip” in the numbers. Auto theft has increased in High Point, with five in the past month, but was down in the Westwood-Roxhill area, with three over the past month. An automated license-plate reader will be deployed to check more vehicles around all of West Seattle, he said.

MYERS WAY PARCELS: Instead of the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, another advocacy group, TreePAC, was at the meeting to talk about the site, represented by Cass Turnbull. She recapped the site’s history (previously reported here) and the fact the city is now deciding what to do with it. (As reported here earlier that day, the city Finance and Administrative Service‘s preliminary recommendations have now been made public. Turnbull said she had not read it yet but had heard – as was our assessment – that it was largely the same as the draft recommendations unveiled last month.) She says the site could be many things – “but if they sell it, it can’t be anything but industry.” She would like to see it be an environmental learning center. “It’s a very degraded piece of property” – but, that said, it still has lots of potential, and is alive with even tiny wildlife like crickets. TreePAC’s position is to ask the city to simply not sell it.

DISTRICT COUNCILS’ FUTURE: The issue of the Department of Neighborhoods‘ response to last year’s City Council “statement of legislative intent” about possibly aligning neighborhood districts with council districts – among other things – came up again, with a recap of the recent Southwest District Council discussion (WSB coverage here). DNDC attendees were invited to talk about it. Michael Taylor-Judd from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council said he’s “angry” about how the DoN is rolling this out, acknowledging that yes, there is some truth to the concerns about the demographics of councils, but that they are trying to reach out further, and need the city’s help, not words of criticism, let alone suggestions that the councils will see some of their limited city resources removed. Christine Cole from the Greater Duwamish District Council was at the meeting – she had been at SWDC too – mentioning again that her DC and others in its area remain without a district coordinator.

Gunner Scott from the Highland Park Action Committee said he’s not in favor of the proposals (such as realigning neighborhood districts with City Council districts) right now. Pete Spalding from the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council said resources have been pulled away and have eroded over the past decade-plus, and now the councils are getting criticized for what resulted from those cuts and degradations. Nancy Folsom of NDNC said she supports the concept of finding different ways to reach different community members. District coordinator Kerry Wade said that in addition to working with the district councils, not only does the DoN want to get more people to the table, they want to reach people “who don’t even know the table exists.”

Scott suggested that meetings could be made friendlier for families – offer child care, perhaps – and for those who have transportation challenges – offer vouchers, maybe? Folsom suggested it’s not about reaching out and trying to pull people in as much as changing to be “more inviting” so that they will want to come in. Wade suggested that the kind of cultural-competency training that has been made available to city employees would be good to offer to neighborhood volunteers like council members/participants. Talk then turned to what to do next and how to discuss, and how to collaborate with the Southwest and Greater Duwamish councils on a meeting to talk with the city about what it wants to do and what the neighborhood reps want to do. They’re proposing possibly meeting jointly during the SWDC night the first Wednesday in July, and inviting a variety of people all the way up to the mayor.

Also noted at the DNDC meeting:

ROXHILL FIND IT FIX IT WALK: Still tentatively set for July 25th; Wade is helping organize it and hopes that people from all over eastern West Seattle will join in. 6:30 pm is the planned start time, start location TBA.

SEATTLE SUMMER PARKWAYS: Wade recapped the plans that are in the works for September 25th, which we’ve reported several times here. She added that neighborhood groups are invited to participate, free. Here’s how to sign up to be part of it.

Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meets 7 pm on third Wednesdays at Youngstown.

Myers Way Parcels: City ‘preliminary’ recommendations now out; June 30th community meeting set


(Click to see full-size PDF)

The city has just taken the next step in the plan to divest itself of most of the southeastern West Seattle land known as the Myers Way Parcels: It’s gone public with the official preliminary report and recommendations for what to do with the 30+-acre site – read them here.

The 33-page document contains basically the same recommendations as the draft unveiled at last month’s meeting of the Highland Park Action Committee (here’s what we published that night). It also contains the “draft public involvement plan” (Appendix C), including a community meeting set for 6:30 pm June 30th at the Joint Training Facility, just north of the “parcels.” Here’s the official notice.

Toplines from the preliminary report remain along the lines of, keep a north section to expand the JTF, sell the center west “developable” section for commercial purposes, and sell the south and east areas to a buyer that would be able to keep much of it in its natural state – such as an adventure park (here’s our May report on a prospective purchaser with that idea) – unless no such buyer emerges within two years, in which case Seattle Parks would get that part of the site. The report reiterates that the site has been evaluated for housing but determined to be largely unsuitable due to factors including toxic kiln dust and a lack of utilities.

From the report, a summary of comments received so far:

• A majority of the comments received expressed the desire to preserve all the property as parkland or open space.

• Two responses were from commercial developers. One is interested in developing a sustainable adventure park. One development team would like to construct a stateof-the-art facility distribution center at the Myers Way property.

• Six people wanted to be kept informed.

• One person wanted to have a dog off Leash Park established.

• One person who lived in Arrowhead Gardens wants the City to develop parking so city vehicles would no longer park at Arrowhead Gardens.

• Three people were concerned with the illegal dumping near and on the property and the homeless encampments.

As mentioned in our West Seattle Wednesday calendar preview, the Myers Way Parcels are on the agenda at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting tonight (7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center), with a guest scheduled from the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, which wants to see the site preserved as greenspace. Also – the city’s main infopage about the parcels now contains many more related documents.

The “next steps” for all this include the possibility of a City Council briefing on the public-involvement plan no sooner than two weeks from now (no date set yet so far as we can tell). When there are final recommendations, those would go to the council for a vote. The property’s fate is open for public comment until any such final decision.

FOLLOWUP: Myers Way Parcels recommendations ‘short-sighted … slice-and-dice,’ say preservation supporters


(Click to see full-size PDF)

11:17 AM: For the first time since the city Finance and Administrative Services‘ “draft recommendations” about the Myers Way Parcels came out – May 25th, as first reported here – we’re hearing from the group that’s been the loudest voice for keeping the site as open space.

The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition calls FAS’s three-part recommendation (update – here’s the PDF summarizing it) “short-sighted,” saying that the city has been less than thorough in evaluating the site’s ecology and its value, and in reaching out to the community. Here’s its statement:

The 33 acres of Myers Parcels is the largest plot of undeveloped land that the City of Seattle owns. It provides a wide range of benefits for the City of Seattle, and people in the White Center, Highland Park, South Park, Roxbury, Delridge and Georgetown neighborhoods. The City’s Finance & Administrative Services (FAS) Department issued a formal Notice of Excess Property for a large area of Myers Parcels on January 15, 2016. But it only distributed notice to a limited number of people. Then on May 25, 2016, FAS presented its draft recommendation for disposing of Myers acreage at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting.

The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition (SGSC) finds the draft recommendation short-sighted, and calls on FAS to withdraw it. It also calls on FAS to significantly increase engagement with the affected neighborhoods, and to re-assess the Myers Parcels ecology.

The FAS Department’s top-down recommendation runs contrary to Mayor Murray’s Equity and Environmental Action Agenda, which call for grassroots, community-driven planning.

FAS recommends breaking up and selling off parts of Myers Parcels, before it has assessed the current value of this forested area, which contains a watershed with two streams that feed clean water into the Duwamish River.

SGSC is working with numerous individuals and community organizations, such as White Center Community Development Association (WCCDA), Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and others, to demand robust community engagement, and clear strategies to promote environmental sustainability and social justice.

The FAS recommendation presents nothing new. It does not take into account any of the 400+ comments sent to FAS, nor the more than 800 signers on SGSC’s change.org petition calling for the City to stop the sale until communities are fully involved in the future of this site, and new environmental studies are conducted.

FAS recommends using part of the land immediately south of the Joint Training Facility for an expanded parking lot, selling the flat portion of the site for a commercial warehouse operation, and keeping the unmarketable wetlands and critical slope, with the addition of a possible adventure park on the critical slope above SR 509. FAS does not take into account that Myers Parcels holds origins of Hamm Creek, part of the most fragile link in Chinook Salmon Recovery, and within the Superfund Site of the first five miles of the Duwamish River.   Its plan does not keep that watershed healthy, or help to restore the Duwamish River and promote salmon habitat.   While we are spending millions of taxpayer dollars to clean up the Duwamish River, it makes no sense to jeopardize this watershed.  As a city we should be improving it, not building warehouses around it.

The land has healthy, mature trees that filter water, retain storm water run-off, control erosion, clean the air and help keep the city cool.   They create a green buffer for the communities of South Park and White Center.  Decreasing the green buffer by selling it for warehouse operations will degrade air quality with increased car and truck pollution. Increased hardscape will also increase stormwater runoff.  The inclusion of an adventure park can also potentially degrade the forest and wildlife habitat.

FAS’s recommendation to “slice and dice” this land, selling off parts of it, fails to recognize the land’s value as a whole. In a true “balance,” clean water and clear air would clearly win out over more warehouses that South Park and White Center do not need. 

Seattle Green Spaces Coalition demands meaningful community engagement and a valuation of all the benefits this land does and can continue to provide.  If we are going to live up to the commitment of the Equity & Environment Action Agenda and our Climate Action Plan, important questions must be answered:

·      What is the most environmentally friendly use of the land?
·      What is healthiest for the neighborhoods?
·      What ecosystem services will the proposed uses provide or reduce?
·      Will wildlife habitat be enhanced or reduced?
·      Will it be of use and used by the diverse communities?
·      What will its value be in the future for different uses?
·      How broadly will the land serve diverse community and the City?
·      How will it impact the watershed and recovery of the Duwamish River?
·      What are the land’s unique features and role in the ecosystem?
·      What will be the interplay of planned upland development of housing and the land?
·      Who will benefit from commercial development?
·      Would alternate uses such as fee activities benefit or exclude neighboring communities?

 So far, over 850 people have signed Seattle Green Spaces Coalition’s online petition demanding a robust, transparent and inclusive community engagement so that all people can participate in the decision-making process.

The city’s webpage with information about the parcels is here. Two weeks before the draft report came out, we toured part of the site with FAS reps, community members, and City Councilmember Lisa Herboldsee that report here.

ADDED 12:49 PM: We checked back with FAS’s Hillary Hamilton, who provided electronic versions of the draft-recommendations map and summary, both of which you’ll now see above. She says a public meeting is still planned but that they’re not yet ready to finalize the announcement. Meantime, comments are still being taken, she reiterates:

Comments are taken continuously through the review process, and a full report of people’s names and comments will be provided to the City Council before any decision is made. People can send comments at any time; we will acknowledge receipt. Those who contact us can be sure to be on the mailing list for updates. Email or regular postal mail is encouraged to Daniel Bretzke, Real Estate Services, Dept. of Finance and Administrative Services. Email is Daniel.bretzke@seattle.gov. Postal address is Daniel Bretzke, FAS Real Estate Services, P.O. Box 94689, Seattle, WA 98124-4689.

Keep part, sell part, preserve part: Draft recommendation for Myers Way Parcels unveiled @ Highland Park Action Committee

IMG_3770 (1)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Tonight brought first word of the draft recommendations for what to do with the Myers Way Parcels, 30+ acres of city-owned land on the southeast edge of West Seattle.

The draft was unveiled at tonight’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting by the two city Finance and Administrative Services managers who led a tour of the site two weeks ago, organized by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold for community members (WSB coverage here).

landgroup1 (1)
(WSB photo, May 12th)

During the tour, FAS’s Hillary Hamilton and Michael Ashbrook (left-center and right in the photo above) said they were close to finishing the draft. And now – it’s ready. They came to the HPAC meeting with a one-sheet that’s not available online yet (today’s downtown power outage set them back a bit) – here’s our transcription of the “draft property recommendations”:

The draft recommendation includes a balance of planning for future City needs, financial consideration of the outstanding loans on the property and enhancement or preservation of natural spaces:

*The property immediately south of the JTF (9401 Myers Way S)
This property is proposed to be used for a future expansion of parking and training areas at the JTF. Within 15 years, City will need to relocate city parking uses at the Arrowhead Gardens Apartments. Other training needs, such as driver-safety training and trench safety, have been identified.

*The properties south of Roxbury Street and north of the City Light Right of Way (9501 Myers Way S)
This property is proposed to be sold at fair-market value. It could be sold through a negotiated sale with a developer that supports community needs such as job creation or mixed-use activities. The property could be marketed with the use of a real-estate broker to facilitate a sale for such purposes while assuring appropriate financial compensation to the City.

*The properties south of the Seattle City Light Right of way and east of Myers Way (9600 and 9701 Myers Way S)
FAS will identify a purchaser who will preserve and enhance the natural environment of the property and complete a negotiated sale. Examples may include a land trust foundation that would permit public access for recreation and education, an adventure-park operator that would preserve trees and allow public access, or a commercial developer that would preserve or enhance the natural areas. If a sale is not completed within two years, then the property is proposed to be transferred to the Seattle Parks Department for green space. Parks would consider what level of public access would be suitable through their own processes and budget.

Hamilton noted that this is a big change from only a year or so ago, when “our idea was probably ‘let’s sell everything’,” but they heard community opposition to that.

With affordable housing something the city is very interested in helping create, Hamilton acknowledged questions about why this site wouldn’t be quickly earmarked for that. She explained that the “pink” heart of the site – the part proposed for selling for commercial uses – is the most buildable but not necessarily for housing because of cement-kiln dust contamination left over from fill brought to the site decades ago. The city’s affordable-housing experts “looked really hard” at it, she said, but along with the contamination, it also would require roads, sewers, electricity, and drainage, all of which would cost a lot. Sales of any part of the parcels is instead supposed to generate some income, not drain the city coffers. The new one-sheet includes some financials related to the land – saying it’s appraised at $14 million, and that “potential sales proceeds” would have to go toward:

-$1.3 million “outstanding balance on the loan used to purchase the property” (in 2003)
-$5 million “to pay interfund loan to assist homelessness” (as decreed by Mayor Murray last November)
-$500,000 “to reimburse the Dept. of Finance and Admin. Services for consultants and holding costs”

Elaborating on the greenspace potential in the southernmost section, Hamilton said the intention would be to “save the tree canopy” – and she mentioned that could be achievable in one of several ways, including the newly emerged adventure-park idea that is “newly on the table” (here’s our recent story about it). She summarized, “We see the blue area as somewhere that the trees would always be protected, one way or another.”

Subsequent concerns that came up at the HPAC meeting – which included attendees from the neighboring unincorporated Highline area too – included parts of the property currently being used by homeless campers, and the need for more transit in the area.

The FAS reps stress that the comment period is still open and people are welcome to say whatever they think should be done with the area, as well as what should be done with the money that would be brought in by selling any part of it.

Along with accepting comments in writing, they’re working on an event June 30th at the JTF, likely “an evening meeting where we’re going to talk some more” about the proposal, and listen to community comments. (That idea came up during the aforementioned tour.)

After they’ve gathered comments on these draft recommendations, a final recommendation will be drafted in the form that would have to be approved by the City Council. That, they expect, will happen in midsummer; then the legislation would go to the council for a vote in September, under the projected timeline.

We’ll update this story Thursday when we get digital copies of what was handed out tonight, and any other information/reaction.

‘Adventure Park’ for Myers Way Parcels? New proposal emerges

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(Part of the Myers Way Parcels, photographed during last week’s tour)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city-owned 30+ acres of southeast West Seattle land known as the Myers Way Parcels aren’t even officially up for sale – yet – but a prospective buyer has emerged with a new idea:

A commercial zipline-and-ropes-course park.

“My guy can provide the most elegant and simple solution to the whole problem,” declared Douglas Plager, who says he represents Brian Funtleyder, the owner of The Adventure Park at Long Island in Wheatley Heights, NY. “Leave the trees, clean out the trash, the Scotch broom, the blackberries, clear it all out, employ 40 or 50 people.”

Read More

VIDEO: Camp Second Chance gets at least 1 more year on Myers Way – with church sponsorship

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The tiny-house encampment Camp Second Chance will stay on the city-owned Myers Way Parcels at least one more year beyond the end of its current permit extension next March – with one big change:

The city will lease the land currently being used for the camp to Fauntleroy Church, which will take on the camp as what its pastor Rev. Leah Bilinski describes as a “missional outpost.”

This was announced at tonight’s public meeting about the encampment’s future, held at the city Joint Training Facility, a few blocks north of the site the camp’s been on for more than three years. (We recorded video of the meeting and will add it when it’s ready – update, both clips added inline below.)

The church and city reached a deal earlier this week – after the Fauntleroy congregation voted on Sunday to move ahead – but would not confirm it until tonight’s announcement; we had an embargoed conversation with Rev. Bilinski in advance. This had been months in the making, and the city had made no secret – as we reported back in June – that finding a faith-based sponsor would be an option. (CSC got its start at a church in unincorporated King County before moving to West Seattle in the summer of 2016.)

As explained by both the pastor and the city, the agreement is a draft right now, to be finalized within the next few months. LIHI remains the camp operator, with a contract with the city (we have a request out for the current amount of city money it receives), and “the city will continue to monitor the village for compliance and performance.” LIHI will also have an agreement with the church, spelling out who’s accountable for what in the partnership.

Speaking to the meeting tonight, Rev. Bilinski said, “We’re doing this because our faith calls us to follow Christ” – to stand with people in need, including those who are homeless, and -“we believe in the residents of Camp Second Chance … I don’t know a person who has walked into Camp Second Chance without being impressed,” and hopeful. It’s a strong community, she declared, “and we’re delighted to be a part of that.” Read More

Will Camp Second Chance stay on Myers Way?

(WSB photo: LIHI executive director Sharon Lee with the microphone; to her left, C2CCAC member Aaron Garcia and chair Willow Fulton)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Will Camp Second Chance stay on the Myers Way Parcels past next spring?

That was a major topic at this month’s meeting of the C2C Community Advisory Committee. The city-sanctioned encampment is continuing to transition into a “tiny-house village,” even as it approaches the end of its second official year at 9701 Myers Way S.

First, updates:

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What is and isn’t happening on east side of Myers Way post-cleanup, and more @ Camp 2nd Chance Community Advisory Committee

(WSB photo from September 24th)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though city-sanctioned Camp Second Chance is on the west side of Myers Way, illegal camping on the east side has long been a concern of the C2C Community Advisory Committee, whose meeting today included new info about the recent cleanup in that area.

On hand in the community room at Arrowhead Gardens were committee chair Willow Fulton and members Judi Carr, Grace Stiller, Cinda Stenger, and Aaron Garcia. Camp operator LIHI was represented by Josh Castle and on-site case manager Richard Horne as well as C2C co-founder and camp manager Eric Davis. The city had extra representatives at the meeting to talk about the cleanup and what’s next for the area – August Drake-Ericson, manager of the Navigation Team; Lisa Gustaveson of the Human Services Department; Patrick Merriam and Jon Jainga of Seattle Parks. Also there to talk about the city’s efforts to get more affordable housing built was Dan Foley of the Seattle Office of Housing.

CAMP REPORT: Davis started with a short, emotional tribute to a founding C2C member who he said died recently of cancer. Then the current numbers:

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CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Residents get drug-and-alcohol-free commitment from new operator LIHI; neighbors voice anger over the rest of Myers Way

(WSB photo: L to R, Lisa Gustaveson and Tom Van Bronkhorst from the city, Josh Castle from LIHI)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Camp Second Chance residents got the commitment Sunday that they didn’t get four days earlier – that the city-sanctioned encampment on Myers Way can keep its drug-and-alcohol-free policy, even under new city-contracted management.

It happened Sunday afternoon as the encampment’s Community Advisory Committee met at nearby Arrowhead Gardens.

Five committee members were in attendance, along with two city representatives, a representative of the Low-Income Housing Institute – which seems to have been all but finalized as the camp’s new city-contract-holder – and 20+ others, who, as self-identified during Q&A, ranged from CSC residents to Myers Way-area residents to Arrowhead Gardens residents to North Highline community advocates.

That was a much bigger turnout than the CAC’s last meeting in early July, but a lot has transpired since then, starting with the postponement of this meeting’s original early August date, for then-unspecified reasons soon revealed to be upheaval in camp leadership and management (as first reported here a week and a half ago).

The original contract-holder, Patacara Community Services, is withdrawing as of the end of this month, amid questions about the status of privately donated money, and its leadership did not have a presence at this meeting or last Wednesday’s city/LIHI briefing for residents at the camp (WSB coverage here).

The questions, however, have not gone away, as was clear during Sunday’s meeting, despite repeated declarations that the donations’ status was outside the purview of the Community Advisory Committee, as noted by its leader Willow Fulton.

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