West Seattle, Washington
It’s a summery spring night on Alki. Despite signs like the one above, SFD has been called out to handle unauthorized beach fires tonight. And SPD has been summoned to investigate reports of racing/stunt-driving at Don Armeni Boat Ramp. Reckless driving was.a big topic at last night’s Alki Community Council meeting, including late-night crashes like this one hours after the meeting:
Southwest Precinct Lt. Dorothy Kim represented local police at the ACC meeting. She recapped what we reported on Monday about last Sunday’s multi-agency show of force – noting that the State Patrol is “really interested in the street racers” because the groups often use I-5 to get from one point to another.
That’s one of the signs made by West Seattleites of all ages in honor of Earth Day last year, after an invitation to create and place signs of support in windows or yards. Earth Day is April 22nd – one week from today – and you’re invited to do it again! From Vince Stricherz:
Happy Earth Day!
Earth Day, that annual celebration of our planet and all the work being done to protect its environment, is fast approaching. Once again, the Care for Creation team from Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Guadalupe parishes is urging people all over West Seattle to place an Earth-related photo or illustration in their windows or a sign in their yards on April 22 to demonstrate our commitment to taking care of this place we call home. One possibility is for kids to make drawings around Earth Day themes, or kids and adults can work together to make displays highlighting the importance of clean water, clean air and healthy soil! You also can download images from the Internet and place them where all who pass by your home can see them. We hope to see lots of images celebrating Earth Day!
As we did last year, we also invite you to send us a photo of your sign/display on Earth Day – firstname.lastname@example.org or text the pic to our 24/7 hotline at 206-293-6302 – thank you!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Affordable housing and city law were the two centerstage topics at this month’s meeting of the District 1 Community Network, a West Seattle/South Park coalition of community advocates.
COMMUNITY LAND TRUST: Most talk of “affordable housing” focuses on renting. The Community Land Trust concept focuses on homeownership. Kathleen Hosfeld, executive director of Homestead Community Land Trust, explained it to D1CN attendees. In short – a Community Land Trust retains ownership of the land, which is leased by homebuyers, reducing the cost of houses.
For a second year, the Fauntleroy Community Association won’t be able to have the Food Fest in connection with its annual meeting, but the meeting will happen anyway, online, 7 pm next Tuesday (April 13th). FCA president Mike Dey explains, “We plan to review the FCA accomplishments and what the FCA has been working on during 2020. Additionally there will be a vote for the board members and officers to serve during 2021. Following the annual meeting, we will continue into our monthly business meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend by just staying on the same Zoom link. No additional registration required. The business meeting will run from approximately 7:30 to 9:00 PM.” Registration is required to get the link – go here for that.
Interested in more-affordable homeownership? You can learn about Community Land Trusts at Wednesday night’s online meeting of the District 1 Community Network, whose members/participants span West Seattle and South Park. Also on the agenda: City Attorney Pete Holmes, who is running for re-election this year, so far unopposed; we covered his appearance at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting in February. Wednesday’s meeting starts at 7 pm; here’s the full agenda, which includes information on how to participate or listen.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two high-profile topics filled the agenda as HPAC – the community council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge – met online this past week: Public safety and public art.
To talk about public safety, HPAC invited a neighbor, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who chairs the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, which was back in the spotlight again this week for a proposed cut in the police budget. (We explained her compromise proposal here; the committee agreed the next day to substitute it for the previous version.) “We wanted to hear your thinking” on the big picture, explained HPAC co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick. “How can we make meaningful change, while staying safe?”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
On a blustery night like tonight, summer might seem far away.
But city departments are preparing for Alki Beach’s summer season, as the Alki Community Council heard at its March meeting. That’s part of what guests from SPD and Seattle Parks discussed; ACC also hosted guests from the Northwest Seaport Alliance and Port of Seattle, with a status report on the Terminal 5 project.
SPD UPDATE: Lt. Dorothy Kim was there on behalf of the Southwest Precinct. As she had told the Fauntleroy Community Association a week earlier (WSB coverage here), SPD stats show auto theft is way up, so the precinct is working to activate a second vehicle equipped with Automated License Plate Readers.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The biggest signs of Terminal 5‘s future relaunch will arrive in June – the new cranes that will be used for cargo loading once the modernized north berth opens early next year.
That’s one of the updates presented during a District 1 Community Network guest appearance by Port of Seattle/Northwest Seaport Alliance reps last Wednesday. (NWSA is the name for the joint efforts of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, and the T-5 project is under its umbrella.)
It was an abbreviated version of the full T-5 briefing they had presented one day earlier to the NWSA managing members (Seattle and Tacoma port commissioners) – you can see that here, and you can read the full briefing (including the slide deck) in the agenda from that meeting:
An update on a West Seattle park project headlined this month’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting.
NANTES PARK: Back in 2019, we published word of a survey by the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association, seeking your thoughts on the little west Admiral park that honors the sister-city relationship. The project has proceeded, with a city matching-funds grant announced last November. ANA got an update on where the plan stands.
Just three and a half weeks until spring. Two gardening/growing notes:
HPAC TALKS GARDENING/COMPOSTING TONIGHT: As previewed here, HPAC is focusing on gardening/composting during its 7 pm monthly meeting online tonight. Viewing/participation/call-in info is on the HPAC website.
HIGH POINT NEEDS FRUIT-TREE HELP: From community builder Ella McRae:
City Fruit is bringing more Fruit Trees to High Point in partnership with SHA/HOA/OSA and Neighborhood House. Are you interested in joining the High Point orchard planting? If yes, see the opportunities below:
We have two opportunities for volunteers to support!
1. The first opportunity will involve planting bare-root fruit trees. Bare-root trees are not stored in soil; instead, their roots are kept in damp wood chips or sawdust. The benefit of bare-root trees is that once planted, they establish themselves quickly and grow prolifically. However, the drawback is that these trees have to be planted earlier in the season. So, the planting of these trees will actually take place in early March — either Tuesday, March 2nd, or Tuesday March 9th.
2. The second opportunity falls on Earth Day, April 22nd. Although most of the trees for the orchard will be bare-root (and thus will be planted in early March), we will still have some volunteer opportunities related to installing signage and a few potted-tree plantings.
Interested? Contact Tiare, email@example.com, or email Ella @ Ella.McRae@seattlehousing.org.
What’s up around our area? The District 1 Community Network met this past week to talk about it.
Updates from various community-group and agency reps are at the heart of this West Seattle/South Park coalition’s monthly meetings, as well as discussion of current issues
From the Department of Neighborhoods, Ed Pottharst had these reminders:
*Highland Park Home Zone survey open until February 15th
*West Marginal Way open house set for February 18th, mailers going out
*Neighborhood Matching Fund applications opening – online workshops to help would-be applicants are set for 10 am February 20th and March 4th and 7 pm March 17th
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Shut down the busiest street in the city, and suddenly numerous other streets have to deal with unprecedented traffic trouble.
10 months after the West Seattle Bridge closure, SDOT is still working on ways to handle that – including the Home Zone program, a major topic at Wednesday night’s meeting of HPAC, the neighborhood coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge. After community conversations and walking tours, draft plans have just debuted, and it’s time for your feedback, via a new survey.
Here’s a video recording of the meeting. First, what you need to know about what’s being proposed:
If you’ve seen our recent coverage of Southwest Precinct police at community meetings (here and here) and have questions, another chance to ask them is coming up – SPD reps are on the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting of HPAC, the neighborhood council for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge. The announcement also promises “a comprehensive presentation and conversation with SDOT Home Zone planners, to help them prioritize the traffic mitigation proposed for” the area. All are welcome at the 7 pm Wednesday online meeting; viewing/participating/calling-in info is on the HPAC website.
For the second time in a week, police staffing was a topic of discussion at a West Seattle neighborhood meeting. First one was the Crime Prevention Council meeting last Tuesday (WSB coverage here). Two nights later, the Alki Community Council board spent a large portion of its meeting on the state of policing. Here’s what was said, plus some followup information we obtained:
SEATTLE POLICE: Third watch (6:30 pm-3:30 am) Lt. Chris Johnson attended on behalf of SPD. He said “our street racer problem is still ongoing … we do not have the bodies to put any emphasis toward that.” But he’s hopeful that now that the inauguration is past, some of the officers assigned to the protest-handling Community Response Group might return to patrol. “Almost every night I’m running at or below” minimum staffing levels. “We’re losing bodies to outside agencies at a rate I’ve never seen. … We’re treading water.” He asked about community concerns; one person mentioned fireworks and beach fires – which are continuing year-round; here’s video we received just the night before:
The newest plan for an upzoned development site tops our look at what happened during the quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting this past Wednesday:
REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT: Project-team members from StoryBuilt were there to talk about the 41st/Graham project. Brandon Burrowes and Patrick Cobb, both West Seattle residents, explained that their company specializes in “infill.” The project at 6314 41st SW is a 20,000-sf, 3-parcel site upzoned by HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability to Lowrise 3. The project has changed since they had an early community meeting last year. The project will have fewer units (now 36), plus less height – 30 to 40′ in an area zoned up to 50′ – and more parking (15 spaces) than zoning requires (zero). The units will range from 500 sf to 1300 sf, in a mix of townhouses and flats, and though the city files still describe the project as “apartments,” the StoryBuilt reps say these will be units for sale, likely ranging from $300,000 to $700,000.
We wanted to thank everyone who turned out today, 23 folks put in over 52 hours of time to help pick up, spruce up and do demo work here in Highland Park.
We filled multiple bags with roadside trash from the Holden/Highland Park Way detour route [please don’t litter folks] and from adjacent Riverview Park and throughout the neighborhood.
A small number of highly motivated, dedicated volunteers worked to pull down 100-year-old plaster from the Club dance hall ceiling preparing for the refresh to come. Special thanks to Peter, Bruce, Billy, Greg, Emory, and Shawn for a dusty job well done!
So grateful to all and thankful we live in this caring, involved community!
Kay Kirkpatrick/ trustee for HPIC &
Craig Rankin/ Chair for HPAC
P.S. Your next chance to get involved with the Highland Park community is at HPAC’s monthly meeting, 7 pm Wednesday, January 27th – an agenda preview and participation link are on the HPAC website.
Toplines from the Fauntleroy Community Association board’s first 2021 meeting, online last Tuesday night:
FERRY TERMINAL: Frank Immel, the board’s point person for ferry issues, said the Fauntleroy terminal-replacement project is now expected to start construction in 2025. (WSF’s official name for it is “terminal preservation project.”) The budget will be $93 million and the project will address issues such as sea-level rising and seismic safety. A meeting with WSF in early December was informational but, he observed, did not seem to be open to comments or dialogue. FCA will “develop a list of what we will and won’t accept” regarding elements of the long-anticipated project. They also are considering seeking other West Seattle community groups’ support once they have an official position. A major concern is that the state will seek to expand the dock; environmental sensitivities on both sides – including the mouth of Fauntleroy Creek immediately south – might preclude that, he said. The board debated for a while about how much the rest of the peninsula might or might not care, while some members pointed out that in the end this boils down to traffic, and almost everyone cares about that. The FCA’s ferry subcommittee will discuss further.
COMMUNITY SURVEY: FCA’s every-two-years community survey is complete. Postcards went out to 3,000 households. 450 responded (including 100 on the final day after we published a “last chance” reminder, coordinator Catherine Bailey noted). 333 of the 450 respondents were nonmembers; more than half said they weren’t previously aware of FCA, while others cited reasons from not knowing how to join to not being interested in membership. Almost half the community, responding to one of the questions, reported they’d been a victim of a car prowl. Burglaries and car prowls were the crime issues respondents reported interested them most – though it was noted, the question wasn’t open-ended. Many other insight/summaries from the survey will be rolled out soon on the FCA website and in the quarterly “Neighbors” newsletter.
COMMUNITY CONCERNS: The survey did not address current issues such as housing and food insecurity, observed a community member who implored the board to diversify its membership and agenda. Members agreed the board needs to “open up.” One pointed out that the group has already broadened its interest and membership in the relatively short time she’s been involved. They talked about setting aside time at a future meeting to strategize. One member noted that schools in the area are very diverse, so reaching more community members through the schools might be one tactic.
POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Sina Ebinger is retiring and will be leaving within the month, she told FCA (as noted here earlier this week). Joining her at the start of the FCA meeting was the precinct’s new second-watch Lt. Dorothy Kim, who spoke about the recent tire-slashing suspect arrest and how an officer compiled evidence to both find the suspect and solidify that it was a felony crime. “Auto thefts are up everywhere in West Seattle – 75% – 23 in 2019, 40 in 2020 – in Fauntleroy. Everything else is down,” including burglaries, which are down citywide. Lt. Kim said they hope to have SPD represented at future meetings by an officer who patrols the area.
NEXT MEETING: The FCA board meets, online TFN, most second Tuesdays at 7 pm, so February 9th will be the next meeting. Watch fauntleroy.net for updates and the link to register to attend.
With the holidays over, community groups are returning to their regular meeting schedules. Next up: The Morgan Community Association, 7 pm Wednesday night (January 20th), online. MoCA meets quarterly; this month’s agenda includes updates on Lowman Beach – both the seawall and the possible racket court – and the landbanked Morgan Junction Park expansion site‘s contamination cleanup. SDOT will be there to update West Seattle Bridge closure-related traffic remediation, and Seattle Public Utilities is scheduled to talk about the California/Myrtle sewer project. The small-apartment-building project to be developed by Storybuilt is on the agenda too. All are welcome; the meeting link is here, or call in via 253-215-8782. For either option, the meeting ID is 863 758 2652, passcode 123456.
You’re invited to the District 1 Community Network‘s first meeting of 2021, 7 pm tomorrow (Wednesday, January 6th) online. The coalition of community advocates usually focuses on a variety of priorities, but this agenda also includes one presentation, the recently relaunched gondola-transit concept West Seattle SkyLink. We talked recently with its supporters, who believe gondolas could get people across the Duwamish River more cheaply and simply than light rail, especially with Sound Transit facing funding shortfalls and schedule realignment. If you’re interested in attending, connection and call-in information is in our calendar listing.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Hours after the City Council finalized next year’s budget, West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold was the spotlight guest at last night’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting.
ANA also elected next year’s leadership slate, including a new president, after David Hancock decided not to run for re-election.
We’ll start with the budget discussion.
Many neighborhood groups have continued going strong online during the pandemic, including the Admiral Neighborhood Association, which just sent this invitation to share with you:
Admiral Neighborhood Association General Meeting
Monday, Nov. 23rd from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
-A conversation with Councilmember Lisa Herbold
-A proposed bylaw amendment* to allow longer terms for board members (proposed language below)
-2021 Board member nominations and elections
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom login info.
Interested in an ANA leadership position?
A number of ANA Board positions are opening up at the end of this year. If you’re wondering whether this might be the time to step up, the answer is yes. Admiral is ready and waiting for you, your ideas, and your energy. Drop us a line if you’ve got questions (email@example.com).
*ANA bylaws Article VII states officers are limited to no more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same office. It has been proposed to add the following language that allows an exception to the term limit rule: “An officer may serve one or more additional consecutive terms upon unanimous vote of the Executive Committee, if no other candidate comes forward for the position.”
Three West Seattle orgaqnizations are getting money in the city’s latest round of Neighborhood Matching Fund grants. To qualify for these, you have to demonstrate a match – of donations and/or volunteer time. As announced by the city, these are the three local grants in the fall cycle:
$49,500 to Highland Park Elementary PTA for Phase 2 of the Highland Park School Playground Project. This will support updating their 2016 Playground Master Plan to reflect current community needs and develop construction documents. (Community match: $31,000)
$25,840 to Highland Park Improvement Club for Community Gathering & Performance Space Renovation to provide HVAC work, ceiling repair, and new lighting and proscenium in the interior gathering/performance space, a popular venue for community meetings, arts and cultural events. (Community match: $28,380)
$40,650 to Seattle Nantes Sister City Association for Nantes Park Beautification to transform the pocket park into something more kid-friendly, more accessible, and more reflective of our sister city relationship with Nantes, France. The project will take designs through a community review and produce final construction-ready plans. (Community match: $21,300)
Citywide, 23 organizations are receiving a total of $756,000 in this round of grants. The next round of applications will be due in February; watch here for more info.
Every two years, the Fauntleroy Community Association conducts a survey of more than 3,000 residents in Fauntleroy. We ask questions about current issues affecting the Fauntleroy community, West Seattle, and Seattle as a whole. This allows us to understand what is important to our community members and helps the board set priorities.
The FCA exists to consider and act on concerns affecting the quality of life and character of the Fauntleroy community. Examples of issues and projects we have engaged in include public safety, the ferry, zoning and parking. We also sponsor or co-sponsor events such as the Fall Festival, the Fauntleroy Food Fest, the business triangle planter boxes, and this year’s Halloween pumpkin hunt.
Start the survey here.
The survey was launched just before FCA’s monthly board meeting. We were there for toplines – they’re after the jump: