West Seattle, Washington
Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Highlights included presentations about Morgan Junction Park expansion and the proposed development at 5917 California Ave, as well as updates about upcoming Morgan events, affordable housing, and light rail.
Vice president Phillip Tavel ran the first half of the meeting, then president Deb Barker (rushing from the Sound Transit Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting downtown) took over for the second half.
It’s never too soon to look ahead to … fall? That was part of the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s April agenda this past Tuesday.
FALL FESTIVAL FUNDRAISER: The FCA is a major supporter of the annual festival and is involved in its major fundraiser coming up May 7th at Endolyne Joe’s (9261 45th SW; WSB sponsor) – dine there that day/night and part of the proceeds benefit this year’s festival! FCA board members donate baskets to be raffled during the benefit, and spent some time Tuesday discussing that.
POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand was in attendance. He mentioned a noise-enforcement patrol is planned in Fauntleroy soon. As precinct leadership have been telling community groups, they’re providing special attention in other trouble spots too. He also had another update on the fire-ravaged problem house across from Lincoln Park – it’s boarded up, with “no trespassing” signage, and ready for sale or demolition. (No permits are in the city files but we did see the “emergency order” mandating it to be vacated a month ago.)
As happens at just about every community meeting with police in attendance, the subject of RV camping came up. Lt. Strand said “new directives” are in progress for dealing with that and should be in place within a few weeks.
FERRY DOCK’S FUTURE: Though the Fauntleroy dock rebuild is still a decade or so away, conversations about the project are already happening. A rep from one of the engineering firms already talking with Washington State Ferries, Harbor Consulting Engineers, was at the FCA meeting. He said the state is currently looking at a nearly $100 million investment in the project, starting with an environmental study that alone would likely take about four years. His main message was that the state wants to get community opinion about the dock’s future and impacts including traffic. The FCA’s longtime ferry liaison Gary Dawson pointed out that all this has long been on the FCA’s radar. Another significant issue: The dock project’s effect on salmon, with Fauntleroy Creek’s mouth right next door.
The Fauntleroy Community Association board meets second Tuesdays most months, 7 pm, at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse; community members always welcome. Watch fauntleroy.net for updates between meetings.
About two hours into Saturday morning’s 27th annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup, we stopped by the main site beneath the bridge to see how things were going. Down by the roadside, a pile of filled bags; up under the bridge, neighbors and friends still hard at work.
Joining the volunteers this year, our photographer discovered with that zoom view (we’re admittedly not much for climbing), City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. The SPD Community Police Team was represented too. But the heart of the cleanup crew is comprised of the nearby residents who have over the past quarter-century-plus pulled tons of debris and trash out of the area along the road used by drivers, runners, and riders to get between Admiral and east Alki.
P.S. If you’re thinking about a neighborhood cleanup, the city’s Spring Clean program offers support – info’s here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Crime concerns sparked a bigger turnout than usual at this month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, including some who identified themselves in around-the-room intros as first-time attendees, some from South Delridge and White Center, as well as HP residents.
Q&A WITH POLICE: Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand briefed the group. Since the year’s start, HP is down double digits in many categories, but property crimes – primarily thefts and burglaries – are up. He said recent arrests included burglary suspects who might be linked to multiple crimes, including a carjacking at the 35th/Barton 7-11. He reminded attendees that SPD can’t see walled social media (but can see WSB) so please don’t just report crimes/suspicions on social media – call it in! Westwood Village will be one of this summer’s big emphasis points, “mostly due to the property crimes they have” especially shoplifting. They also, as weather warms, plan emphasis patrols in places where people gather, from Alki to Highland Park.
HPAC chair Gunner Scott asked about police staffing for the precinct. “Down a handful,” replied Lt. Strand.
What kind of cooperation between city and county law enforcement? Depends on the incident, he said – for example, both were involved after the shooting on 16th SW on Monday. Detectives on both sides of the line will often share information in case they’re both working similar cases, he added. Another attendee asked about South Delridge shooting cases, including that Monday incident.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Back in November 2017, the Junction Neighborhood Organization hosted a briefing with Sound Transit, at which a top ST manager promised “an interesting year and a half” ahead.
That year and a half is almost over; May is when the ST Board will decide which routing/station locations for West Seattle light rail will go into environmental studies. But as another JuNO briefing with ST showed last night, some local residents are just starting to sit up and take notice, especially since multiple locations are now in play for the Junction station.
An upstairs meeting room at the Senior Center/Sisson Building in The Junction filled to overflow capacity for last night’s briefing and Q&A. ST’s Leda Chahim reassured them that “this is a really good time to be engaging,” though the “scoping period” for public comment ends one week from today.
First – here’s the slide deck Chahim and other ST reps used to recap where things stand.
6:47 PM: Until 8 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW) is abuzz with the Fauntleroy Community Association‘s annual membership meeting and Food Fest. In addition to tastes from local food/drink purveyors, you’ll find info tables from community and government organizations – just stop in! Updates to come.
ADDED EARLY WEDNESDAY: A few more scenes from the event:
Story and photos by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Admiral neighbors and community leaders came together Tuesday night for a meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, to discuss music, regional transit, neighborhood improvement, business community support and a variety of topics.
The ANA meeting, held at The Sanctuary at Admiral, was the second meeting as president for David Hancock, the group’s new leader.
Toplines from the meeting are below:
SUMMER CONCERTS: Stephanie Jordan, ANA’s coordinator for the popular Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series (happening Thursday nights from July 18 through August 22 on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center), shared the names of the 4 musical acts currently scheduled to appear, with a couple of dates to be announced soon:
Jordan also gave an update on the positive collaboration with the community center (which provides the stage for the event, and a portion of the publicity) and reiterated the need for volunteers — she said that she would finalize the list of needed volunteer roles in time for ANA’s May meeting.
Toplines from last night’s Fauntleroy Community Association board meeting:
CULVERT REPLACEMENT: As noted here last weekend, the Seattle Public Utilities project to replace century-old culverts that take Fauntleroy Creek under 45th SW and California SW is approaching the design phase, and the FCA board meeting was the first of three stops in less than two weeks for project manager Cody Nelson. Construction is likely in multiple phases between 2021 and 2024, each several weeks long, since it has to take into account the windows with least effect on the creek’s fish as well as neighborhood impacts.
Nelson showed images from a video survey of the existing culverts, showing damage and wear. New laws require the culverts to be much wider than the current ones so that fish have fewer barriers to passage. The replacements will still be 30 to 40 feet underground, as are the current ones, but they’ll be at least 11 feet wide as required. SPU is also talking with Fauntleroy Church, as part of the California culvert is on church-owned property, so the work would affect the church/YMCA parking lot as well as the road.
The design process isn’t expected to start before the end of this year, so there’s plenty of time to ask questions and voice concerns, starting with two events next week: SPU will have an informational table at the FCA’s annual Food Fest membership meeting (6-8 pm Tuesday, March 19th, The Hall at Fauntleroy) and then a project-specific open house the next night, also at The Hall, 5-7 pm Wednesday, March 20th.
CRIME/SAFETY UPDATE: Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand was in attendance. He said SDCI has taken action against the “problem house” across from the main Lincoln Park parking lot, unsafe for occupancy because of a fire a while back, and said those in the house were supposed to be out by last Friday. No reports of trespassers since then. He also mentioned Westwood Village, saying it’s had signs of improvement, with shoplifting starting to drop, but they’re keeping up the pressure, including another attempt at an observation tower/platform on the grounds.
FOOD FEST NEXT WEEK: The FCA’s annual all-community meeting, famous for food samples from local businesses, is next Tuesday (March 19th) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW). No list yet of participants – the FCA board member organizing that is out of town. This is a night for renewing FCA membership ($25 a year for residents) and for a bit of official business like board elections, which are planned at 7 pm.
(Southwestern side of Roxhill Bog, 2014 WSB photo)
From Roxhill Park to the Delridge Triangle, public spaces are part of our toplines from last night’s Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meeting:
BOG PROGRESS: WWRHAH and other community advocates have worked for many years to get action for Roxhill Bog in Roxhill Park, which is compromised by hydrology problems (as outlined in a report we published in 2014). Now there’s word of progress toward getting a study funded, with the first step being outlining the scope of work.
ARTS IN THE PARKS: WWRHAH’s Kim Barnes said a grant from this program will help make the recently announced World Music Day happen this summer. She’s hoping it will be a multicultural celebration as well as a music festival.
DELRIDGE TRIANGLE: The next step in improving this public space is a community workshop on March 23rd, as announced last month. Details of the Saturday morning event at Highland Park Improvement Club are expected before week’s end; other events will follow this spring as community participants plan the space’s future.
POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand says crime in the area is down so far this year; police are continuing their emphasis patrols at Westwood Village. Strong-arm robbery is the current focus, because – as precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis mentioned at the recent West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – teens are getting targeted for their phones. The suspects also are juveniles, he said, adding that some arrests have been made.
OTHER RECENT MEETINGS: Recapped were the Southwest Design Review Board meeting for the 9201 Delridge Way SW self-storage project (WSB coverage here), attended by Barnes, and the February D-1 Community Network meeting (WSB coverage here), attended by WWRHAH’s Eric Iwamoto.
The Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Coalition meets first Tuesdays most months, 6:15 pm at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW).
City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda was the spotlight guest at this month’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting. Before the Q&A with her, WSBWCN heard the local crime/safety update:
CAPTAIN’S UPDATE: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said they’re working on strategy for the warmer months and also planning a variety of “emphasis” enforcement focuses. Crime dropped during the recent snow, he noted. “Rogue street robberies” centered on cell-phone thefts continue to be an issue but they’ve identified suspects and are “developing the probable cause” to make arrests.
This past week, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council met for the first time this year. It was a chance to look ahead, in multiple ways.
POLICING PLANS: Taylor Lowery, this year’s Seattle University public-safety intern at the Southwest Precinct, said they’re now crunching the data and comments from the recent citywide Public Safety Survey. Related to that work the precinct’s operations commander Lt. Steve Strand said the precinct’s Microcommunity Policing Plan priorities for the year – three for each microneighborhood – is due March 6th, so starting next week they’ll be circulating drafts to the neighborhood groups with which police have partnered on those plans. Police capacity – response time, for example – so far is shaping up as a top concern.
We know, it might seem a little confusing – while the city is asking for your help prioritizing Neighborhood Street Fund proposals (as we reported back on Monday), it’s also launching a separate yet similar process, asking for your ideas for street and park projects. This process is for the funding program that’s now known as Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets, and it’s a chance to propose projects every year, while the one we mentioned on Monday is a every-three-year process. So now, the YVYC announcement:
Idea collection is officially open for the 2019 Your Voice, Your Choice (YVYC): Parks & Streets program.
From now to February 22, you can submit your project ideas online or in-person at any Seattle Public Library branch.
Project ideas can include park benches, trail improvements, flashing beacons, or curb ramps … just to name a few. Check out our list of project examples for a better understanding. The only criteria are that ideas be physical improvements for Seattle’s parks or streets, benefit the public, and cost $90,000 or less.
Once ideas are submitted, volunteers will be recruited to turn the ideas into 8 – 10 proposals per Council District. Then this summer, everyone will have the opportunity to vote for the top projects within their district.
You can learn more about the YVYC process and how to get involved on our webpage, and for questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the nine District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) projects that won the voting last year.
Toplines from this past week’s Alki Community Council meeting:
SR3 UPDATE: SR3‘s Casey Mclean brought the ACC up to speed on her plans for a fulltime space off Harbor Avenue SW, not just for marine-wildlife rehab, but also for research. She said the space is on the Merlino industrial property east/south of Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), with permits in progress but no firm timeline so far. Nothing will go in until the permits are in hand, but she has two tanks on order and plans to add a modular building.
P.S. For a view of Mclean in action, Mark Jaroslaw shares this video from a harbor-seal-pup rescue at Don Armeni:
NEIGHBORHOOD STREET FUND: Ideas vying for a share of this city fund are about to go into what SDOT is now calling the Community Prioritization phase, starting on January 28th. That includes meetings in West Seattle and South Park in early February, as listed here. At the ACC meeting, safety advocate Don Brubeck asked the ACC to support the proposal for safety improvements on West Marginal Way SW between the parks on the east side of the street and the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse on the west side. (Here’s the clickable map showing what’s proposed around the city.)
HALA MANDATORY HOUSING AFFORDABILITY: As noted here earlier this week, the upzoning proposal is now up for council consideration of amendments. HALA MHA would upzone multifamily and commercial property around the city, so Alki would be affected though it’s not an “urban village.” One amendment is specifically within the ACC’s area of interest, asking that the commercial node near Beach Drive/Carroll not be upzoned.
The Alki Community Council meets third Thursdays, 7 pm at Alki UCC (6115 SW Hinds).
MoCA President Deb Barker, SW District Council Representative Tamsen Spengler, volunteer Jim Guenther
Story and photo by Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Board members present included President Deb Barker, Treasurer Michael Brunner, Secretary Natalie Williams, SW District Council Representative Tamsen Spengler, and Public Information officer Marianne Holsman. (Vice President Phil Tavel submitted notes before the meeting, according to Barker.)
First on the agenda, quick “Morgan Minute” updates:
Maybe you’ve noticed that distinctive vehicle in and around West Seattle. Find out more about the organization behind it at tomorrow’s Alki Community Council meeting. Here’s the announcement:
The next regular monthly meeting of the Alki Community Council will be held Thursday (1/17) at the Alki UCC Church, 6115 SW Hinds, 7–8:30 pm.
Included on the evening’s agenda will be a presentation by Casey Mclean, Executive Director and Veterinary Nurse of SR3 (SEALIFE Response, Rehab and Research). The group’s mission is to improve the health and welfare of marine wildlife in the Pacific NW, and one of the ways they are doing that is by building the first rehab center dedicated exclusively to marine animals in this region. Current plans are for the facility to be located on Harbor Avenue south of Salty’s.
Casey assisted with and performed necropsies on a number of the shot California sea lions that washed ashore in West Seattle late last year.
Planning to spend more time on the peninsula because of the looming transportation crunch? You might consider checking out your nearest community group. We cover many of them. Here are toplines from the Fauntleroy Community Association meeting this past week:
POLICE UPDATE: Auto thefts dropped off significantly about two weeks ago, said Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Steve Strand in a quick briefing, possibly thanks to a recent arrest. He also mentioned, as he did at another recent meeting, that Automated License Plate Reader technology is being used aggressively – including some stakeouts.
By Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Neighbors gathered Tuesday night for a meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, to discuss topics ranging from affordable housing to “Viadoom.”
The meeting, held at The Sanctuary at Admiral, was the first ANA meeting with David Hancock at the helm as the group’s president. The current slate of ANA officers includes:
Board members provided some brief updates, including the news that the likely dates for this summer’s Thursday night Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series would be July 18 through August 22.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
With more than a century of history, Admiral Congregational UCC Church is looking to the future with talk of redevelopment.
Exactly how the church will redevelop, its congregation has yet to decide, but its pastor briefed the Admiral Neighborhood Association last night in hopes of getting community dialogue going early.
The ANA also heard from Department of Neighborhoods director Andrés Mantilla in his ongoing mission to visit every neighborhood group in the city.
First – the church. Admiral UCC happened to be the ANA’s meeting site last night – as it was years ago, though the group has met for a while at a former church instead, The Sanctuary at Admiral. Pastor Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom said the ANA’s presence is just one more example of how Admiral UCC’s facilities are used as a community hub; he ticked off a long list of groups that meet there regularly, as well as describing its philanthropy and “community education/enrichmen programming,” not to mention its longtime status as home to A Child Becomes Preschool (WSB sponsor). Plus, he said, the church provides space for “values-based” organizations, from community theater to political advocacy. It even serves as a comfort station for bus drivers taking breaks, “a safe, warm place to use a bathroom that’s clean.”
With all that in mind, he said, the church also realized that “we’re sitting on about $4 million worth of property” on a 27,000-square-foot site that is seriously underutilized. Some of the ideas they’re considering so far:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One year into her term, Mayor Jenny Durkan hasn’t clarified what kind of relationship she wants to have with neighborhood groups – particularly what remains of the neighborhood-district-council system the previous elected mayor tried to dismantle.
So some have decided to not waste any more time waiting to see what Durkan might decide to do.
Members of West Seattle’s two neighborhood-district councils, Southwest and Delridge – which have remained active despite the loss of city support – are joining forces with community leaders from South Park to form the District 1 Community Network.
That working title emerged at a recent gathering that explored that idea of “getting together on issues that affect the whole peninsula,” not just specific-neighborhood-based, as described by Amanda Sawyer of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, co-chair of the SW District Council.
Many – but not all – community councils take a break from meetings in December. The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s every-other-month meeting, however, is ON for next Tuesday (December 11th), 6:30 pm at a different location – Admiral Congregational Church. From ANA president Larry Wymer, here are the agenda highlights:
1) Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Director Andrés Mantilla will provide an update and overview of Seattle’s ‘Department of Neighborhoods’, including recent changes under our new mayor, with an opportunity for Q&A with the neighborhood to discuss how best to work with their department.
2) Admiral Congregational U.C.C. Property
Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom will present information on the various services the church provides for our neighborhood beyond inclusive worship, as well as informing us of some near-term changes the church is planning to make. Admiral UCC is considering re-purposing some of its property, and wants to keep the neighborhood connected to and informed about the possibilities.
3) ANA Officer Elections (& 2019 Priorities)
We will be holding elections for all ANA officer positions including:
● Vice President
We will also be discussing YOUR priorities for ANA for 2019, and offering opportunities for you to volunteer in whatever capacity suits your time and interests.
Admiral UCC is at 4320 SW Hill.
Our area’s two biggest transportation topics were at centerstage as the Junction Neighborhood Organization met last night. First, light rail:
SOUND TRANSIT UPDATE: Stephen Mak, the project’s West Seattle lead, provided background, including where on the timeline the project is – with planning continuing until 2022. But the most distinctive part of the briefing he led with Andrea Burnett was the Q&A, with a heavy focus on questions from people wondering if they would lose their homes to light-rail construction.
Mak also recapped how the process got to where it stands. We recorded this on video but the house lights weren’t brought down, so the graphics aren’t all that visible, so it’s mostly usable as audio – the slide deck is above.
The presentation included a quick look at the three “end-to-end alternatives” with which the third round of route review has begun (unveiled at the Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting we covered two weeks ago).
There are variables within each of these options, as Mak recapped; for example, the one that would tunnel to The Junction includes three potential tunnel locations.
And there’s the possibility of crossing the Duwamish River north of the West Seattle Bridge instead of south of it; that would include the rail bridge crossing over the West Seattle Bridge’s Delridge ramps, Mak said in response to a question.
The third end-to-end alternative, which would be elevated going into The Junction, envisions an elevated station at 41st. “I think it would be helpful for you to give (people) the elevation,” an attendee said. “Isn’t it true that it would be 140 feet?” Mak said he didn’t have that information. Does an elevated track go over houses? No, the houses would be demolished “to clear a path,” someone else responded. Another person said, “Is there a Ballard tunnel option? If Ballard gets a tunnel, West Seattle is going to want a tunnel.” Other questions included, what does ST mean by “exploring tradeoffs” in certain locations?
Also: Is there any option that would mean no one would lose their homes?
Right now, Harbor Avenue SW is a street without a stop sign or stoplight, from its south end at the bridge, all the way until its end where the street becomes Alki SW (which continues stop-less until 63rd).
The Alki Community Council wonders if a three-way stop might enhance safety at the intersection with California Way. That was one topic at the ACC’s November meeting.
Big topics tomorrow at one of the last community-group meetings before many go on hiatus for the holidays. The official announcement from Junction Neighborhood Organization director Amanda Sawyer:
Do you know how your bus will access downtown Seattle after the January 11, 2019 Alaskan Way Viaduct closure? Or maybe you have questions about the transition from viaduct to tunnel? SDOT, WSDOT & King County Metro will discuss how this transition will affect West Seattle at the next JuNO meeting. In other exciting transit news, Sound Transit will present the latest level 3 Light Rail recommendations that have moved forward in the process! Please join us for JuNO’s next meeting on Monday, November 19th in Hatten Hall at the West Seattle Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon St) from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. We hope you can spare some time before the holidays to learn about these very important issues!
6:30 – 6:40 pm – JuNO Updates about RPZ parking moving forward, HALA/MHA and more
6:40pm – 7:20 pm – Sound Transit will discuss Level 3 Route & Station Alternatives
7:20pm – 8:00 pm – SDOT, WSDOT & King County Metro will discuss January access to downtown during 99 tunnel transition
JuNO meetings are open to the public and all are welcome. Working together to make our West Seattle Junction and Triangle Neighborhoods a better place to work, live, and play!
If you want a refresher first – here’s our most-recent coverage on the three transportation topics:
–Viaduct-to-tunnel (8-week countdown briefing at south portal last Thursday)
–Light rail (announcement of three “end to end alternatives” for final review phase, two weeks ago)
–RPZ (SDOT’s October announcement that they’re moving forward in developing a proposal)