West Seattle, Washington
As promised during our briefing last month with city Transportation Department managers about the upcoming Junction parking review, SDOT is starting to make the rounds of West Seattle meetings to outline what’s ahead and answer questions. One of the first stops: last night’s meeting of the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO), whose members have a somewhat different take on area parking issues than people who don’t live in the Junction vicinity – they are interested in possible Residential Parking Zones (RPZs), which are marked with signs like the one shown in the photo at left (from a street near the Fauntleroy ferry dock), and require residents to pay a relatively small fee for a permit exempting them from the restrictions. Here’s a city page with more about RPZs; they’re set up to help neighborhoods besieged with a large amount of non-resident parkers for long periods of time. Right now in the residential areas surrounding The Junction, the challenges are twofold: “Park-and-hiders” — people from other neighborhoods who drive and park there to get closer to major bus routes — and construction workers coming in to work on Capco Plaza (41st/42nd/Alaska) and Mural (behind Petco), a subset of parkers that will only get bigger as other projects are launched, such as Fauntleroy Place (Whole Foods) and the California/Alaska buildings that will be presented to the Southwest Design Review Board on April 10. (By the way, the location for that meeting is now set — Chief Sealth High School – and after the California/Alaska project is reviewed at 6:30, the Harbor Properties project at 4550 38th has been added for 8 pm — more on that in our next post.) At JuNO last night, Mary Catherine Snyder from SDOT outlined the process for the Junction Parking Review and answered questions about where RPZ consideration might fit in:Read More
That photo was taken today by the same Westwood neighbor who sent us the one in this report, during the aftermath of the attacking-pit-bulls-shot-by-police incident on Feb. 26. (Original coverage here; victim update here; dog-owner update here.) He writes:
We’re still struggling with the loose dog problem here in the Westwood Village neighborhood where Rosie the chihuahua and her owner were attacked last month. I wanted to ask if you could post the attached photo of two dogs running loose in the middle of Trenton Street 1/4 block from busy 16th Ave SW, along with the Animal Control number. These dogs are constantly allowed to roam free in the neighborhood. They do not appear to be dangerous animals, but they share their unsanitary droppings with all the neighbors and dig in yards and garbage cans. Also, they will one day cause a major traffic accident on 16th Ave SW. They have matted fur and look neglected. I hope that neighbors will call Animal Control and report these dogs for their own safety. I called this morning, but it usually takes 3-5 calls for Animal Control to do anything. The automated number is 206-386-7387 press 7 to report a loose dog. That is the LAST choice on the menu that you have to wait through, sheesh!
Here’s a map of 16th/Trenton (about a half-mile east of where the original attack/shooting incident happened). We’re checking with the Seattle Animal Shelter this afternoon regarding further followup on that original case, and will ask about policy on something like this.
As announced at tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting, the next step in the future of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (photo left, from The Hall @ Fauntleroy‘s website) is a community gathering there March 26 to talk about the general progress of plans to purchase the site, and discuss its future. The Fauntleroy Community Services Association has to have everything together by July, and so far, we heard tonight, it’s all moving forward and they say they’ve done the necessary paperwork to show Seattle Public Schools they’re serious about acquiring the site. (We recapped some backstory last weekend – the district has now declared the schoolhouse as “surplus property” which means it’s ready to sell the site, as the school board votes this month to revise its policy on handling surplus sites.) Also part of the March 26 meeting — finding out from the public how much change would be acceptable for the site, and continuing to encourage citizen involvement in the process of determining its future. A community discussion held last year is recapped on this FCA webpage. It was also noted tonight that the Fauntleroy contingent has the purchase agreement from the old Colman School (where the Northwest African American Museum opened last weekend), for use as something of a template.
Just out of the inbox, from JBC (who has since further elaborated in the comments section that this is happening DAILY):
I wonder if anyone else is bothered by these trucks in the alleys between the businesses on California and the residences on 44th or 42nd. I live in a condo and our whole alley is lined with condo buildings, and we get these trucks banging and clanging through our alley before 7 AM, our usual rising time. I’ve been working with David George of the Noise Abatement Office of the City of Seattle and I do have to credit him with making huge improvements for us. When we first moved into our condo 4.5 years ago, the trucks were coming at 4:30 AM!! Now they hold off, much of the time, till after 7 but still sometimes come at 6:30. I know they wouldn’t dare show up before 8 AM at our old residence at 51st and Edmunds so why is this residential area any different? Most of the businesses don’t open before 10 so they can’t really justify on the basis of trying to get out of the way before the area gets congested.
Any other readers bothered by this and interested in banding together to . . . not sure what, but bring pressure to bear in some way?
PARKING: One of the city Transportation Department managers who briefed WSB for the first report on impending Junction parking changes will be at the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO) meeting Tuesday night. 6:30 pm, Ginomai (SW corner of 42nd/Genesee).
FAUNTLEROY SCHOOLHOUSE’S FUTURE: The Fauntleroy Community Association will discuss the latest — one night before the School Board gets its first look at “surplus properties” policy changes — 7 pm, in the schoolhouse boardroom.
ADMIRAL SAFEWAY REDEVELOPMENT: We mentioned here that Safeway has contacted the Admiral Neighborhood Association; members will talk about it during their meeting tomorrow night, 7 pm, Admiral Congregational UCC.
At its first meeting after the big Denny/Sealth vote, the Seattle School Board has something else of West Seattle (and beyond) interest on next Wednesday’s agenda: Changes in its policy on how to deal with what the district now considers “surplus properties” no longer being used as schools. The Fauntleroy Schoolhouse (1951 photo @ left), home to Fauntleroy Children’s Center among other businesses/facilities, is now on that list, and many people have been working hard to figure out how to keep the district changes from resulting in dramatic neighborhood changes. The proposed new policy is now posted online as part of the Wednesday school-board agenda (find it here), spelling out details such as the plan to end the renting of these properties at “below-market” rates and a multiyear transition in certain cases to the full charging of the new rent, while also making some provision for reduced rates at sites like this that are home to “youth education” programs. The new districtwide policy is scheduled for introduction this Wednesday and a final vote two weeks later; as always, the district takes sign-ups for public comment (on any topic, not just what’s on the agenda) starting first thing Monday morning – the online agenda explains how to sign up. Also, the Fauntleroy Community Association is scheduled to discuss the situation at its Tuesday meeting, one day before the school-board meeting; its webpage about the schoolhouse effort, including last April’s gathering, is here; West Seattle State Senator Joe McDermott briefly outlined the situation here – but of the bills he mentioned, neither one appears on this list of bills that survived the most recent cutoff before the Legislature ends its regular session this week.)
Sat in on tonight’s monthly meeting of the Southwest District Council and brought back lots of quick updates on West Seattle goings-on plus heard new and interesting things from the group’s guest speaker, City Council President Richard Conlin (left), who also spoke to the Alki Community Council’s last meeting (WSB coverage here):Read More
First came the plan for a sidewalk along Alki Ave west of the spot shown above – then came concern – then the protest – then word the plan would change (and incorporate some improvements to the 63rd/Alki arterial-turn route) – now (hat tip to AlkiNews.com for first word), the city will send a delegation to Alki on April 2 to show and explain potential alternatives. Larry Carpenter of the Alki Community Council is helping coordinate the meeting; he explains:
SDOT will present several alternative plans at a public meeting on Wednesday, April 2nd from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Alki Community Center. Drawings of the variants will be available on tables or along the walls as early as 6 PM so that people can come in early and familiarize themselves with the plans. Sidewalk program manager Sandra Woods (handles all 16 Seattle projects), Alki project manager Therese Casper, and some project engineers will present the plans and answer questions with the intent of getting consensus. … Alki Council will also have reps on hand to answer any questions on the history of the project (going back to the early ’90s).
A shelter for up to 20 men that was located in West Seattle until a year ago just moved back, according to a flyer received by neighbors (read a scanned copy of it here). The Calvary Lutheran Shelter, operated by SHARE, was at the church of that same name at 35th/Cloverdale from 1999 till last year, when CL sold the site to the former Gatewood Baptist Church (now Life Church). Now, as of last Friday, it’s located in the Church of the Nazarene building at 42nd/Juneau (photo left; map here), according to the flyer, which says there’s an informational meeting “for immediate neighbors” this Sunday night. The flyer includes info about how the shelter is managed and notes that the church has “temporarily hosted several other SHARE shelters in the past 5 years.” We have a message out to SHARE to ask a few followup questions; if you are interested in more information about the need for places for homeless people to go, the recent One-Night Count results are enlightening, as are pages from other groups such as the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. 11:18 AM UPDATE: Just talked with a rep from SHARE, and here’s what else we found out:Read More
Last month, we told you a documentary was on the drawing board to tell the story of West Seattle’s Fauntleroy neighborhood, as planners sought marketing help. Now – they are ready to hire a producer – and have just issued a request for proposals. Here’s what they need and how to apply:Read More
Besides the Clinton rally tonight at the Pier 30 Event Center (the time is now listed as 8-10 pm in some spots, 8:30 pm in others; we’ve got a message out to the port to find out if parking will be free), here are other events of note on this busy night:
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY MEETING: As mentioned in the post below, 7 pm, The Kenney. Agenda items include RapidRide.
HIGH POINT PEDESTRIAN SAFETY: Concerned residents meet 6 pm tonight @ High Point Library. Ongoing issues include school-crossing safety (including the intersection featured in our video-enhanced report here).
CO-EXISTING WITH WILDLIFE: The open house organized after the Discovery Park coyote controversy is happening tonight in Magnolia, Blaine K-8, 6:30-8:30 pm. Suddenly relevant to WSB HQ, as a neighbor stopped us this afternoon to say two coyote pups ran through his yard this morning!
STRESSED OUT? Starting tonight, Tibbetts United Methodist Church will be holding a Taize Service Thursdays at 7 pm in the sanctuary. Tibbetts’ pastor, Rev. Joanne Brown, says, “This is a time to slow down from our usual frantic pace through the use of music, readings, prayers and times of silence and reflection.” (Tibbetts UMC, 3940 41st Ave SW, 932-7777)
ALSO RELAXING: Art reception at the Alki Bathhouse (as mentioned yesterday), 5-8 pm, several artists showing and selling (free Tully’s Coffee, we’re told!).
Just out of the WSB inbox, from Judy Pickens:
Fauntleroy documentary project seeks marketing expert:
Fauntleroy is coming together to write, film, produce, and screen a 30-minute documentary that will capture the historic events, people, and places that shaped the neighborhood, profile what it is today, and explore the challenges of nurturing community in an increasingly urbanized city. This combination volunteer/professional project is just getting under way and needs a marketing expert on the team. If you could solicit sponsorships to augment grant funding, develop a marketing plan, and identify screening venues, you might be the one! Passion for Fauntleroy a plus. To explore this opportunity, contact Judy_Pickens@msn.com.
That’s newly elected Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin, speaking tonight to the Alki Community Council. “Every neighborhood counts,” he declared, and hit on several hot topics. But the hottest topic of the night took center stage before he spoke, when a large, displeased group of Alki Point residents tried to pass a resolution about the one issue that had brought them all to the meeting:Read More
That quote from Southwest Precinct Sgt. Jeff Durden at Tuesday night’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting — from which we have a few holdover notes to share with you before too much more time elapses, in addition to the news we reported last night about the high-security funeral that’ll be at Freedom Church next Tuesday. To elaborate on that quote, in the past month, SW Precinct leadership estimates its team has arrested more than 15 burglary suspects. Lt. Steve Paulsen noted that detectives and patrol officers are working more closely together, literally – four detectives are now based at the precinct, rather than elsewhere, which means more chances for them to talk face-to-face with the officers working the streets. “Our clearance [case-solving] rate has just been remarkable,” Lt. Paulsen noted. Not only are they arresting suspects, but he says they’re recovering lots of stolen property too. And they also praised community members whose eagle eyes and quick phone calls are helping them detect crimes and catch suspects more quickly. Other notes from the WSCSP meeting, including community “trouble spots” they’re watching:Read More
The city has just put up these speed-limit signs in the Alki alley that’s just west of 59th (map). Alki Community Council president Jackie Ramels tells WSB the neighborhood campaign to get these signs was led by Steve Cuddy, who also successfully pushed for the speed bumps on 59th, which is a major street between Alki Ave and Admiral Way but is a particularly bad place to speed since it runs along the south side of Alki Elementary, Alki Playfield, and the Whale Tail Park/tennis courts area. Speaking of the ACC, it meets tomorrow night (7 pm @ Alki Community Center), with guests scheduled to include City Council President Richard Conlin and the owner of the soon-to-open Alki Urban Market, Thampipillai Thilakarajah (featured in this WSB report, a shorter version of which also appears in the brand-new Alki News-Beacon). You don’t have to be a member to attend.
Editor Cami MacNamara just sent the link. Its articles include a contribution from us again, a shorter version of our interview with the entrepreneur who’s opening the Alki Urban Market (the WSB version is here). The Beacon is published by the Alki Community Council, which is having its next meeting this Thursday, 7 pm at the Alki Community Center, with a guest appearance by new city council president Richard Conlin.
Much going on this week – all listed on the WSB Events page – but here’s a small sampling we want to highlight:
TODAY/TONIGHT — Back-to-school day for everyone who wasn’t already back by the end of last week. School open house/tour season is revving up too, with Seattle Lutheran High School having one @ 6:30 tonight (more open houses & tours on the aforementioned Events page, including the West Seattle-wide Middle School Information Night on Thursday, and please send us your open house/tour schedule if it’s not there already).
TOMORROW — Next meeting of Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO), 6:30 pm at Ginomai (SW corner 42nd/Genesee), with topics including RapidRide and Adopt-A-Street. Read more on the new JuNO site. (Are you connected to your neighborhood organization? We’ve got a list on the right sidebar of this page.)
WEDNESDAY — Biggest event today involves the rest of the city as well: The Seattle Police Department will begin implementing geographic changes as laid out in the new Neighborhood Policing Plan. You can read it here; we are working on a standalone report about this, but among other things, it means the Southwest Precinct here in West Seattle no longer will handle Georgetown; its remaining turf remains split into two “sectors” but the layout of “beats” within those sectors will change (see page 15-16). Also Wednesday — At 4 pm, before their regular semiweekly meeting, Seattle School Board members hold a “work session” for updates on the controversial Chief Sealth High School/Denny Middle School shared-campus plan. (Recent WSB coverage: 12/19 school board meeting; 12/12 Westwood Neighborhood Council meeting.) Then at 7:30 pm, people interested in the environmental permits required for the Nucor steel mill’s crane-expansion project are invited to a public hearing at Alki Community Center.
THURSDAY — The Southwest Design Review Board is back in action, this time looking at the mixed-use “Spring Hill” project south of The Junction. (Latest WSB reports on that project: Neighbor concern here; meeting announcement here.)
Again, those are just a few of this week’s events – listed here along with dozens of other West Seattle events planned all the way through October at this point — if yours isn’t there, e-mail us (or go here for our postal-mail address if you prefer to send announcements that way).
The first Southwest Design Review Board meeting of the new year, one week from Thursday, is scheduled to look at the Spring Hill apartment/retail mixed-use building proposed for 5020 California and 2 parcels south of that address (area photo above; developers BlueStar told WSB last week there’s no project rendering yet). As mentioned in our December 11 update, it’s now outlined as a 6-story building with 90 apartments, 100 parking spaces, and 4,000 square feet of retail. Area resident Mary wanted other neighbors to know that she’s drafted a letter opposing it and that they can contact her if they want a copy of it or are interested otherwise in joining forces:Read More
Those Fairmount Springs folks have done it again – decorating their traffic island along Fauntleroy (which sported Halloween spirit earlier this fall) – augmenting the year-round candy-cane striping of the stop-sign poles. And this time they’ve included a little sign taking credit (closeup below); their website, by the way, is among the neighborhood-group sites we’ve just collected for a new list you’ll find on the right WSB sidebar.
-The collection of links on the WSB right sidebar formerly titled WEST SEATTLE MISCELLANY is now WEST SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS — several local activists have suggested it, and we hope it will be a reminder to everyone that West Seattle has some great groups well worth getting involved with. We’re pretty sure our list has all the big ones; if you have a smaller neighborhood group (whether it has a website or an e-mail group) and we missed it, please let us know.
-While checking in with those neighborhood sites, we noticed that the Highland Park Action Committee is looking for a 2008 chair, with this pitch: “Become the new HPAC chair and make a positive difference in our neighborhood. And what perks! like a cool secret handshake. You’ll find out the rest after you’re sworn in.” Interested? In Highland Park? Here’s the HPAC website.
-Tomorrow is when the full City Council is scheduled to take up the industrial-zoning issue that’s attracted the most coverage regarding how it could affect our neighbors to the east in Georgetown, but could affect some industry-/port-neighboring land in eastern West Seattle too. Here’s the full text of the proposal. Lots more coverage at Blogging Georgetown (multiple posts currently linked from its home page); Mid Beacon Hill wrote about it too (here); the measure passed a council committee last week (P-I story here). If you’ve got strong feelings on this issue, get them to the City Council (e-mail addresses and phone numbers here) by tomorrow morning.
Online, that is. Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits has set up a blog-style site for the group; check it out here. And as you’ll see on the website, the next JuNO meeting is set for 6:30 pm January 8 — for everybody who lives in and around The Junction and wants to get connected with ways to keep it a great place to be.