West Seattle, Washington
It’s been four years since we last mentioned the 18-townhouse plan for 2000-2050 SW Orchard, along the north side of the street, east of Delridge Way. They resurfaced in the latest twice-weekly city-circulated bulletin with the latest land-use notices. Land-use approvals have been given for both parcels, each of which would hold nine 3-story townhouses and nine offstreet-parking spaces. The approvals open a two-week appeal period, until June 8th; that process is explained on the public notices – here’s the 2000 SW Orchard decision and notice; here’s the 2050 SW Orchard decision and notice.
One week from tonight, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association throws a party at its headquarters building, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, the historic Cooper School. This year’s theme is “Connect the Dots” – those dots being art, nature, and neighborhood. DNDA’s reminder explains, “The event will generate proceeds to sustain DNDA’s low-income housing facilities, youth arts and educational programs, and environmental restoration efforts in Southwest Seattle.” It’s happening 6-9 pm Friday, June 2nd, with food and drink by Chef Mulu of Phresh Eats, and entertainment including live music by Blue Wave Band and Benjamin Hunter, live painting by Carolyn Hitt, poetry from Seattle Civic Poet Shin Yu Pai, circus performance from Acrobatic Conundrum, and a dance party with DJ Topspin. You’ll also be able to enjoy games and interactive art. Ready to get your ticket(s)? Go here!
Another chance for community involvement before the holiday weekend. HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – is meeting on the fourth Thursday this month instead of Wednesday, so that’s 7 pm this Thursday, May 25th. Also different: This meeting is happening in person, and at a first-time location, Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery in South Delridge. That’s especially appropriate because this meeting will focus on the South Delridge Action Plan, as HPAC leadership explains:
The meeting is open to all residents and business folks in the area. Learn what progress has been made on the City planning so far, and give thoughts on their efforts to work with the South Delridge Community.
What unique issues does this southernmost area of West Seattle face? What can we learn from successes and failures of growth plans elsewhere? How can we keep our homegrown spirit vibrant and healthy, providing food, housing, and community for all – while dealing with the wave of development speeding our way? What City services are lacking? How can the City work more closely with unincorporated White Center/ King County to better integrate community services currently provided?
Head to 9414 Delridge Way SW on Thursday night to discuss all that and more.
The South Delridge Farmers’ Market is back for a third season, and now it’s weekly! Thirteen vendors are there for the first week – Amanda and family make and sell Ma&Pops, frozen treats with three flavors today, Hibiscus Tea, Strawberry, or Spicy Watermelon:
Ma&Pops’ philosophy is “inspired by our Caribbean and Southern roots to make flavors that provoke a nostalgia and connection to the African diaspora.” Also at the market today, another family-run small business – Wayde and Joey are from Ube Overload, which she founded from “my love of ube and Filipino flavors that I bring from my childhood”:
Their ube-centered treats include mochi bites, cookies, and crinkles. The market, presented by African Community Housing & Development, is happening 10 am-2 pm every Saturday through October in the courtyard at Hope Academy (9421 18th SW).
(WSB photo – Dick’s Drive-In truck during February visit to Highland Park Corner Store)
If you’re a fan of Dick’s Drive-In burgers and/or shakes, you have two upcoming opportunities to get them without leaving West Seattle. Highland Park Corner Store (7789 Highland Park Way SW) is hosting the Dick’s truck on West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day – Saturday, May 13th – for hungry shoppers in HP. Hours that day will be 11 am-2 p. Then on Friday, May 19th, the Dick’s truck makes a dinnertime visit to Ounces (3809 Delridge Way SW) as part of the Seattle Beer Week kickoff – 5 to 8 pm. Live music too!
Another major West Seattle playfield is set to get new artificial turf soon, and the Delridge Playfield project has moved a step closer to construction: It’s open for bids right now. The project includes more than just turf replacement – here’s the overview in the call for bids:
Replace outdated Synthetic Turf including: remove all infilled turf field carpet and infill materials, install new pad system across the playing field surface, replace collector line along the West side with solid collector line and root, replace non-compliant concrete pathways with accessible concrete pathways, replace all dugout gates with accessible gates, replace access staircase with concrete staircase, replace existing drinking fountain with accessible drinking fountain, install new chain-link fence and swing gate.
Additive #1: Improve the Delridge Community Center hardscape entrance and ramp to Delridge Way SW. Additive #2: Improvements at the Northwest corner of the playfield to provide improved access between Delridge Playfield and 26th Ave SW. Additive #3: Improve the ramp at the Southeast corner of the playfield and park lot improvements.
Deadline for bids is May 17th. The playfield website says the project cost is projected to be more than $4 million and that construction is likely to start in July. Also set for new artificial turf this summer, Hiawatha Playfield, which went out for re-bidding earlier this spring, as we reported.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The biggest news at last night’s meeting of HPAC – the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – was from another organization, HPIC.
While there’s been a fair amount of post-session grousing about what the State Legislature did and didn’t do this season, for the Highland Park Improvement Club, there’s pure delight in news that almost a million dollars in state grant money is on the way. HPIC is raising about $3 million to rebuild after its historic building at 12th/Holden was gutted by fire in 2021, and HPIC’s Rhonda Smith told HPAC last night that legislators gave final approval for a previously mentioned $400,000 grant plus another for $500,000.
We’re expecting to hear more from HPIC about this soon, but in the meantime, Smith exulted, “Not only can we break ground, but we can also do some construction,” even as they continue raising the rest of what’s needed. “When you keep pushing and pushing, your voice gets heard.”
The main guests at the HPAC meeting, held online, were there to talk about a different construction project – the West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility, centered on a 1.25 million-gallon underground storage tank meant to keep combined wastewater and stormwater from polluting the Duwamish River during heavy rains. Demmelash Adera from the project team led the briefing. They’re well into design, he said, adding that they incorporated community concerns and suggestions voiced in a survey last year. Greenspace around the facility near the 1st Avenue South bridge, at 2nd/Michigan, is important, Adera said.
They plan a solar installation to supply some of the power to run the facility, he added. Much of the rest of the briefing focused on what they’re doing to be sure people in West Seattle and South Park neighborhoods know about the project. Visiting meetings like HPAC is just part of the plan – they’ll also be out at summer events like the Duwamish River Festival, and they’ll be sending mailers to 6,000 addresses. They’re also working with community connectors like a group of South Park women known as Mujeres Conectoras.
Next milestone for the project – they’ll announce two artists next month. Construction is still expected to start in 2025. And yes, the planning and design is taking climate change into consideration, KCWTD’s Maud de Bel assured the attendee who asked about it: “This size should be good enough for a long, long time.”
Another meeting guest was the Southwest Precinct‘s night-shift commander Lt. Nathan Shopay. Asked about last weekend’s home-invasion robbery near 14th/Henderson (WSB coverage here), Lt. Shopay said he didn’t have anything to divulge, but detectives have it “under full investigation” and are very interested in community tips and information. That goes for all crimes or suspected crimes, he said. They’re particularly interested right now in anything that can help stop the escalating trend of auto thefts; Lt. Shopay said they’re beginning to suspect it might be the work of an organized theft ring rather than a large number of one-offs.
He was followed by Michelle McClendon of LEAD, who said the work to clean up the situation at South Delridge’s Rozella Building was continuing to progress. She said its owner is looking at seeking historic-landmark status for the building. She added that outreach workers are continuing to meet with tent and RV campers along sections of SW Holden.
HPAC meets fourth Wednesdays of most months, 7 pm, online for now – watch hpacws.org for updates.
HPAC, the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge, is “interested in getting your feedback on issues you feel are important to the area that we can bring up with the folks running for the D1 City Council seat.” That’s just one of the reasons to check out HPAC’s monthly meeting online Wednesday night (April 26), 7 pm. They’ll also get a design update on the West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility, the 1.25-million-gallon storage tank that’s planned for a site near the West Seattle side of the 1st Avenue South Bridge, to reduce overflow pollution in the Duwamish River. Find out about what else is happening in the community, too, and bring your questions/concerns/ideas. Connection info is on this page of the HPAC website.
As we continue to look ahead to the big warm-season events, organizers of the South Delridge Farmers’ Market have announced that it will be back for a third year, with an expanded schedule – every Saturday from May 20th to October 28th, 10 am-2 pm. Last year, the market operated twice monthly, and it was once a month in its first year. The location will be the same – the grounds of Hope Academy, 9421 18th SW. From the announcement:
The Delridge Farmers Market is run by African Community Housing & Development, a local Black-women-led nonprofit organization that focuses on promoting prosperity for African Diaspora immigrant and refugee communities. The market was inspired by African Diaspora youth and to this day they remain a priority at the market, and this year youth from African Community Housing & Development’s education programs designed the poster and will be present at the ribbon cutting for opening day. The Delridge Farmers Market also prides itself on accepting and promoting food access methods like SNAP/EBT and more and offers ACHD Kid Bucks ($5) for every kid that comes to the market to spend on food.
Some of the vendors who have participated in the past are showcased on the market’s webpage.
The project team for the northwest corner of 16th/Barton has filed a land-use application for the project, and that opens a new comment window for the site that’s officially known as 9059 16th SW. As first reported here last July, the proposal is for a 4-story, 67-microapartment building with no offstreet vehicle parking and spaces for 67 bicycles. The site is vacant, since the fire-gutted building that formerly occupied it was demolished months ago. The deadline to comment is April 26th; this notice explains how. The project is going through Administrative Design Review, which means no public meetings; here’s the early-design packet by SHW Architecture.
As the Alki fire call winds down, a smaller response is happening in South Delridge – described as a small fire at a residence where no one was home. This is happening on Delridge Way just south of Thistle. A neighbor reportedly extinguished it before firefighters arrived, but they’re summoning backup to clear out smoke, and to dispose of a skateboard battery that might have sparked the fire.
1:05 PM: Thanks for the tip. SFD is at the Cottage Grove Commons supportive-housing building, 5444 Delridge Way SW, for a hazmat response because of what they’re calling a “strong odor” from one of the units. SPD has northbound Delridge Way blocked between Brandon and Findlay as a result. Updates to come.
1:14 PM: Now police are blocking both directions of Delridge.
1:25 PM: Our crew is at the scene to find out more. So far that’s still all SFD is saying – there’s a strong smell emanating from one of the apartments, and the hazmat responders are strategizing what to do next – they’re not even in their protective gear yet so far as we can see.
1:48 PM: That has since changed.
We’ve spoken again with SFD and SPD on scene. As a commenter notes, this involved a resident mixing chemicals in the toilet of his unit, which he apparently has done before, believing he is extracting gold from rocks. The resident isn’t home now because, SFD says, he has been transported to Harborview for an involuntary evaluation. Hazmat responders have just gone into the apartment to try to figure out how to safely address the situation so there is no health or fire risk to anyone else.
2:07 PM: Hazmat responders have just told dispatch that their evaluation shows no imminent hazard, so they’re coming back out.
2:30 PM: The response has been reduced as a result.
2:45 PM: Dispatch has been told the street has reopened all ways.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: SFD spokesperson David Cuerpo tells us that, after entry, “Our HazMat crews found multiple household cleaning products in sealed containers and determined it was not a hazard. Residents were allowed to return to their homes shortly after.”
3804 23rd SW is the most-visible vacant house in West Seattle – perched all by itself next to the Delridge on-ramp to the eastbound West Seattle Bridge. The first time we mentioned it on WSB was in 2009, when it was a stop on a community-organized tour of problem properties in North Delridge, with city councilmembers and department heads in attendance. It was speculated at the time that this house had already been vacant for at least 20 years. Over the ensuing 14 years, we’ve mentioned the house several times. It was auctioned in 2014 to cover unpaid taxes; it changed hands again in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, it had an early-stage proposal for eight townhouses, but in 2019, that plan stalled, and the site has remained relatively unchanged, aside from some retaining-wall work. Now a tip led us to discover there’s a new plan for the site – this time, a plan to remodel the long-vacant house and add a second story. Meantime, the site remains in the city’s vacant building monitoring program; city records show its most recent inspection at the end of March found violations such as the house not being secured against weather and trespassers. (You might recall that a person was found dead on the site last year.)
Among the events on today’s WSB preview list – the weekly Fix-It Workshop at the West Seattle Tool Library. If you haven’t been to the tool library lately – or ever – this nonprofit would like to (re)introduce itself to you:
Do you have tools, small appliances, home electronics that are in need of repair? Get help from the knowledgeable tool librarians at the West Seattle Tool Library every Wednesday from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm. Use the tools and facilities of the shop and pick the librarians’ brains to get your damaged equipment back to work. Availability is first-come-first-served. The weekly Fix-It-Wednesday workshop is provided free of charge, though donations are appreciated!
What is a tool library?
A tool library is a type of Library of Things where you can find the tools you need for projects around your home and in your community. Tool libraries have a variety of power tools, hand tools, seasonal equipment, and more. The WSTL has over 3,000 tools! Tool libraries help to support the maker movement, sustainability, and community involvement.
What else does the West Seattle Tool Library offer?
The WSTL has librarians to help you select the right tool for the job, an on-site workshop for those projects that don’t fit in your space, and a laser engraver for cutting and engraving wood, cardboard, most plastics, leather, fabric and more!
The West Seattle Tool Library depends on donations from community members to provide this amazing resource. Check out the West Seattle Tool Library online or swing by for a visit and some inspiration.
West Seattle Tool Library
in Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
4408 Delridge Way SW
The WS Tool Library was launched in 2010 with community donations, and as noted above, is still powered by them today.
One more community meeting to recap for you before the weekend’s out – HPAC, the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge, gathered online this past Wednesday, with HPAC co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick facilitating. Major agenda item: The South Delridge Action Plan, announced by the city when a survey was launched in January.
David Goldberg, who led the North Delridge Action Plan in the mid-2010s, is shepherding this one too. He noted that he’s worked on West Seattle neighborhood plans back in the late ’90s – Admiral, Delridge, Westwood-Highland Park – and on local park projects including Ercolini, Myrtle Reservoir, and Cottage Grove in the ’00s.
So why does South Delridge need an Action Plan? Goldberg listed multiple reasons including public-safety concerns, food insecurity, health inequities, and the fact none of its neighborhoods has had a new plan since 1999.
The desired goal: A vision shared by the community and city.
Though light rail is only going to North Delridge, buses from South Delridge will take people to it, so this planning is taking that into account, Goldberg said:
Longfellow Creek, whose historic headwaters are in Westwood, is another focal point:
So how is the plan going to be developed, if it’s to be a “shared” vision? Goldberg said they weren’t expecting to have “large” community events, but more direct engagement with smaller groups and institutions, and looking for other ways to reach people to ensure “all voices are heard.” Almost 300 people responded to the winter survey, he added.
After listening to the presentation, HPAC co-chair Craig Rankin observed, “This doesn’t feel community-driven.” Goldberg insisted it’s intended to be, and that right now they’re simply “trying to understand how to start the work.” He promised Rankin and HPAC that it would indeed be collaborative, and said he “will have failed” if when all is said and done they don’t agree it turned out that way. They do already have a “rough schedule,” though:
He promised to return to HPAC to talk more about the SDAP in May.
RV ENCAMPMENTS: Brief update from outreach leader Michelle McClendon – she noted that the 2nd/Michigan (1st Avenue South Bridge) outreach work had just concluded (as we’ve reported, 30 people were said to have been placed in shelter or housing), so they have moved on to other areas, including RVs at Henderson/Barton.
DAY OF SERVICE: Kirkpatrick noted that May 20th is the One Seattle Day of Service this year and welcomed community ideas for what could be done.
NEXT MEETING: HPAC meets most months at 7 pm on the fourth Thursday, so that’ll be April 27th. Topics planned for the agenda so far include the SW Holden Natural Drainage Systems and West Duwamish Wet Weather Storage Facility projects. Watch hpacws.org for updates and meeting-access info.
Earlier this month, we reported on a public-comment meeting for a project near Longfellow Creek, at 6504 24th SW [map]. The 46,000-square-foot site is proposed to be redeveloped with 11 housing units – five 2-story single-family houses, three detached accessory dwelling units, and three detached accessory dwelling units. Most of the concerns voiced. about the project involved the potential loss of trees on the site. Today, the city’s latest Land Use Information Bulletin offers a new chance for comments on the proposal’s land-use application. The notice says this is because of a “revised application,” though we’ve checked the file and couldn’t tell what’s been revised. If you’re interested in commenting, you have two weeks – until April 5th; the notice explains how.
SIDE NOTE: The city file on this project now includes the video recording of last month’s online meeting:
Two months after the city Office of Planning and Community Development announced the South Delridge Action Plan by launching a survey, you can find out more about it at tonight’s monthly meeting of HPAC. At centerstage during the community coalition’s 7 pm online meeting will be OPCD reps led by David Goldberg. HPAC’s announcement says they plan to discuss:
-Their partnerships with SPU and other City Departments
-Engagement that’s already completed to help guide their understanding of priorities
-Ideas about what the Outcomes of the work might be
-Rough phases of work moving forward
They’re interested in hearing ideas on engagement for 2023 and any opportunities to partner and hearing about outcomes of interest to HPAC members.
All are welcome at tonight’s meeting, to listen/watch and/or ask questions. You can get the video/call-in info by going here.
11:06 PM: SPD and an SFD “rescue extrication” response are arriving at a crash that is described as blocking Delridge both ways in the 4700 block [map]. Updates to come.
11:09 PM: One person is reported to be out of the vehicle. No major injuries, firefighters told dispatch.
11:24 PM: We don’t have visuals so far but police have described the crash as “single vehicle rollover.”
11:36 PM: Thanks to the texter who just sent the photo added above.
11:54 PM: And thanks to Barb D, who sent this security camera video of the crash – the driver hit a parked car, and then their car rolled:
12:46 PM: Thanks also to the texter who sent these photos:
We’ll be following up with both SPD and SFD.
ADDED 10:30 AM: SFD tells us the driver, a 33-year-old woman, was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
11:58 AM: SPD says she was arrested for investigation of DUI.
Just two more days before it’s out with the green-and-yellow Route 120 buses, in with the red-and-yellow RapidRide H Line buses along Delridge. We asked Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer about the first official H Line trips on Saturday (March 18). He says the first one will be a 5:26 am northbound departure from Burien; the first southbound H Line will leave downtown at 6 am Saturday. Final touches on the stations along the line, according to Switzer, include glass installation and activation of real-time information signs (the ones we passed along much of southbound Delridge this afternoon all appeared to be activated). He says the transition hasn’t required much training, as, “The buses are familiar to many of the drivers, and the route 120 routing is too.” Though the launch isn’t until Saturday, there will be a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on Friday, with County Executive Dow Constantine and others in White Center, same spot where a ceremonial groundbreaking two years ago celebrated the start of station construction along the line.
That’s the southbound RapidRide H Line station on Delridge Way just north of Henderson, shown in a screengrab from one of seven new traffic cameras installed along Delridge in advance of the bus changes that take effect one week from today (Saturday, March 18th). Until the first of these debuted three months ago – as reported here in December – Delridge was devoid of traffic cameras, unlike most of West Seattle’s other north/south arterials. We’ve been featuring them in our weekday-morning traffic watches, but if you don’t look at those or the citywide camera map, you might not be aware of them. North to south, the cameras are at:
Holden and Thistle are only showing video so far, which only displays through the display window on the SDOT map (click the camera and then, when the window pops up, click “Video”).
Meantime, as for the bus service, here’s the Metro reminder; H is its seventh RapidRide line, second one in West Seattle after the C Line, which began service in September 2012.
Thursday morning, we shared the invitation from Louisa Boren STEM K-8 for you to visit during “Community Week.” One more note from the school this morning- they’re planting more trees in a nearby wetland and raising money for 5th and 8th graders to go to camp, through tree sponsorships!
(WSB photo: STEM students at Delridge Wetland in 2018, celebrating steward Willard Brown)
Throughout their years at Louisa Boren K-8, students have been active stewards of the Longfellow Creek Watershed. With support from the DNDA and Seattle Parks, students have been the primary stewards of the Delridge Wetland Project, and have planted hundreds of native plants and trees along Longfellow Creek, and within the Delridge and Myrtle Greenspace. They have consistently raised salmon within the Salmon in Schools program and created habitat within the schools own Native Plant and Pollinator gardens. For over a decade Boren students have made their mark improving natural areas surrounding the school.
This week 5th graders are adding more trees to the watershed and are looking for your help in the form of tree sponsorship. Funds raised from this event will cover a portion of outdoor education camp tuition with any remaining funds going directly into purchasing more native trees and plants for the watershed. Please use this link for donations. Thanks for supporting student learning and stewardship.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Days after the city released a report showing Seattle’s tree canopy continues to shrink, proposed tree removal drew most of the comments at an online public hearing about a Delridge development site.
The hearing was about 6504 24th SW [map], the official address for an 11-unit proposal on a 46,000-square-foot site that also includes 6363 23rd SW. That stretch of 24th SW is a (corrected) dead-end street close to Longfellow Creek. The hearing was called for community feedback, by community request. The online-hosting system indicated 15 people were in attendance along with four city staffers.
This wasn’t a design-review meeting; there was no presentation by the developer or architect. Instead, city planning staffer David Sachs gave a very brief description of the project – 5 two-story single-family houses, 3 attached accessory dwelling units, and 3 detached accessory dwelling units, with 11 parking spaces, mostly garages.
As noted on that slide, the site includes what the city considers Environmentally Critical Areas. The development’s potential effect on the environment was the subject of most of the comments. First, a city staffer summarized written comments that had been received before the hearing, voicing concerns over the loss of exceptional trees and past flooding. (The arborist report for the site says 85 trees were assessed, and 52 met the “exceptional” criteria. Other project documents say 34 trees would be removed.) One written comment pointed out that the city had purchased parcels across 24th to keep as creek-area habitat and wondered why the same couldn’t be done with this site. Another suggested “humbler housing” would be more appropriate on the site.
That was a point made by some of those who offered comments, both spoken and written, during the hearing. They weren’t opposed to building new housing on the site – just to the amount of tree removal that would be required by the current proposal. One commenter, identifying himself as an architect, even presented a short slide deck with an alternative proposal that he said would retain more of the trees and only require removal of seven large ones:
One subsequent commenter offered enthusiastic support for that idea, but the city staffers had to remind them that it was not part of what the project team had proposed, so it’s not part of what they’re reviewing. Meantime, other commenters had concerns including 11 more residences overburdening the narrow dead-end street and its utility system, but Longfellow Creek was a major concern, particularly its salmon run, already beset with significant pre-spawn mortality blamed on pollution from runoff. “It would be a tragedy to lose precious greenspace in the neighborhood,” said another neighbor. Other comments included a complaint that there hadn’t been adequate public notice of the scope of the proposal, and that since a ‘luxury developer” was working on the project, it wouldn’t truly make a dent in the housing crisis.
The hearing ran exactly its one-hour allotment. Here’s what happens next:
If you have a comment but didn’t get to the hearing, you can still get it to the assigned city planner, David Sachs, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Delridge Grocery Cooperative (5444 Delridge Way SW) continues expanding the days/hours it’s open. Starting March 7th, they’ll be open on Tuesdays, 3-7 pm, This is thanks, the DGC announcement notes, to volunteer power – the DGC is an all-volunteer organization. If resources permit, the DGC announcement says, they hope to expand Saturday hours, too. For now, they’re open 3-7 pm Fridays and Mondays, 9:30 am-3 pm Saturdays, 11 am-3 pm Sundays. The store is open to all, but member-owners get a 10 percent discount the first Friday through Monday of each month, and once they add the extra day next week, that will extend to the first Tuesday of the month too. You can find out about membership here, and about volunteering here. (DGC also continues to sell “Essentials” produce boxes and uses volunteer help to deliver them on Saturdays, too.)
| 21 COMMENTS