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June 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm #791262
wow…obviously she doesn’t get to Alki much to see the number of now permanent poles…June 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm #791263
Has anyone bothered to check if they have a permit for their “no parking” signs? They drop them off Thursday and drop off their trailer on Friday and then park their own cars there.June 15, 2013 at 11:18 pm #791264
I was there this morning a bit after 7am and there were 10 poles set up.June 16, 2013 at 2:58 am #791265
Again, if this is a “pay to play” group, then they MUST have permits and be able to show them to anyone who asks.
So, the only real route to take is to make sure that they are in compliance and call for enforcement if they are not.
Also, as someone else pointed out earlier in this thread, reservations for volleyball courts are not listed. So, other than the “Parks Use Permit” mentioned above, I’m not sure that they can reserve these at all. If people really want space, they should get there first and claim it — claim it with a picnic if you want — and don’t move unless they have the appropriate paperwork for everything (the parking issue as well).June 17, 2013 at 1:18 am #791266
Yes, a few nets for competition is fine and a good use of a sandy beach. However, as others have noted, these folks are taking over the beach and continue to spread. And, the PA system is obnoxious on a Sunday morning – I shouldn’t have to listen to this crap disrupting my peace and privacy – it’s an invasion of my living space; and now, after 6PM there are still PA systems going. Let’s have some balance and civility.June 17, 2013 at 5:01 am #791267
I’m glad people are starting to talk about this and I’m not the only one bothered by so much volleyball on a very small public beach. Maybe there should just be a sign “No Volleyball South of Here” (after a set number of courts have been established by Parks & Rec) just like parking signs. Then the volleyball has a specific boundary and we call all enjoy the beach. If there’s no solution soon we might have to do what a friend of mine suggested and stage a “picnic-in”!June 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm #791268
I am really opposed to the parking thing. Am I reading this correctly? They put out ‘no parking’ signs on Thursday and move their trailers in on Friday??? How can they do that? That doesn’t sound legal. Maybe next time I am expecting guests I can start putting cones out on Thursday in the spaces near my building so my guests don’t have to park 10 blocks away like they did this past week.June 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm #791269
Maybe some folks should rally and get to the beach before they do one day and just squat so that others can use the space. Obviously time and place would need to be coordinated elsewhere, but just a thought.June 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm #791270
Someone should go down there today and take a picture of the barricades and trailer. Was walking by without a camera but trailer does not have license plate and only one barricade has a permit taped on. I would question if they are “over-extending” the intent of the permit.June 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm #791271
I too am glad to see folks taking up this issue and discussing it here. I would suggest following the link above and writing to the Parks site as pugperson did and cut and paste the link to this forum/discussion as well so they can get an idea of the issues. SImply stating “FCFS” is not an acceptable response from the Parks Department.June 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm #791272
I agree FCFS is not an acceptable response. It seems like they are not wanting to address the problem.
I agree that the Parks Dept should be alerted to the concerns discussed in this thread.
Also, maybe several people could email Parks and Rec to show the magnitude of our concerns and address any possible violations. Something just doesn’t sound right with the current situation.June 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm #791273June 18, 2013 at 4:06 am #791274
Update: Here is a long reply from Joelle Hammerstad, a Parks communication team member with whom we and other news media deal regularly. I asked a few key questions about permits, mentioning the discussion had originated here; she found the thread, and sent me the following:
We have been discussing this issue with both volleyball players and beach visitors/neighbors for years. Let me take the issues I saw pointed out one at a time.
1. Permitted tournaments.
There are seven volleyball courts on Alki. Six of them are permitted for volleyball tournaments every Saturday and Sunday from mid-May through mid-September. Those permits allow use of the courts from roughly 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. – never later than 6 p.m.
2. Amplified sound.
We do allow amplified sound at the tournaments between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. only. Amplified sound outside that time frame is prohibited, and should be reported. Also, according to the permits issued, all speakers should be pointed in the direction of the water to minimize impacts on neighbors.
3. Parking for permitted tournaments.
Seattle Parks and Recreation does not permit parking for any of the tournaments because the property is SDOT right of way. Here is information from my colleague at Seattle Department of Transportation regarding reserving parking: To reserve curbside parking, a person must complete an application and submit it to SDOT. This can be done online. A link to the application and the explanation: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/tempnoparking.htm
Barricades of the type shown on this website must be rented and placed at the curb. They can be rented from a private company. To find out more about this, the phone number for the Traffic Permit Counter is (206) 684-5086.
4. First come, first served (FCFS).
Of the seven courts at Alki Beach, six are reserved every Saturday and Sunday, all day, from mid-May to mid-September. One court is considered FCFS. The spirit intended for FCFS is that the court is open to a multitude of groups on any given weekend – not just one group who camps at the court all day. If you are not playing volleyball on the court, it should be ceded to someone else.
5. Unpredictability of court use.
All permits for the volleyball tournaments – all major events in parks, for that matter — are posted on Seattle Parks and Recreation’s website. The list is updated every Thursday. It is here: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/Publications/big_events.pdf
6. Over-use of Alki Beach by volleyball players.
As mentioned above, all the tournaments are permitted and the FCFS court is intended to allow anyone to play without a reservation. Current policy does not allow us to restrict use by families or groups who bring their own nets and set up for their personal use. In other words, if a family or other group wants to enjoy a game of volleyball at Alki, bring their own net and find space to set it up, that is allowed.
7. Tournaments spilling onto sidewalk.
Tournaments are not allowed to set up bleachers, tents or commercial blow-up advertising balloons.
8. Reporting permit violations.
Violations can be reported to Jeff Hodges at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seattle Parks and Recreation appreciates extra eyes in the park. Reporting should be as specific as possible – time, date, location, group name if known and most important: photos. Without specific information, allegations can turn into “he said, she said” discussions.
Other stuff to think about:
Seattle Parks and Recreation takes very seriously the concerns raised on the West Seattle Blog regarding the use of Alki Beach. Alki Beach is a popular park, and our intention is to promote balanced and equitable use of our parks. We are not staffed at a level that allows us to have dedicated enforcement staff on the ground each weekend ensuring compliance, which is why we encourage people to report violations.June 18, 2013 at 4:18 am #791275June 18, 2013 at 4:29 am #791276
Now that we know the rules, we can observe how well they follow them. I would like to know who they know in the department, that they get to have total control of 6 of 7 courts all weekend.June 18, 2013 at 4:55 am #791277
I did mean to add that in addition to continuing to raise concerns to Parks if you have them – also, there is a Parks and Neighborhoods Committee on the City Council, chaired by Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. There also is the Seattle Parks Board, which is a citizen advisory board that usually meets monthly – I have covered it a few times over the years when policy issues came up; this might be the sort of thing you’d want to escalate to them.
TRJune 18, 2013 at 5:14 am #791278
Thanks WSB – I appreciate your sharing the response. However, I do agree with the sentiment expressed by JanS – this is NOT a response to the ongoing issues, or any plan of action to address these ongoing concerns, and further, they “have been dealing with this for years” and thus, this begs the question: What have you done to remedy the situation? 2-3 tournament courts would be sufficient. 6-7 is excessive. And, there are other tournaments/schools/trainings putting up their own nets and spreading all over the beach. There is a limit on fire pits, grills and benches and the Parks Department would certainly be within its rights to limit the number of nets allowed and restrict them to a certain area. These are not families on volleyball outings – these are the leagues either practicing or playing matches. And, the response about the PA system is really unacceptable. Alki Beach is not an isolated park – it is right in the middle of a densely populated residential area and amplification should not be allowed – from 9-6 on weekends? You have got to be kidding me. No, that response was typical CYA. We may have to get a committee together and escalate these issues as suggested if the SPD has no interest in being proactive rather than, simply reactive, which is the stance they have taken here.June 18, 2013 at 7:43 am #791279
Rather than reinventing the wheel and inventing a new organization, you might consider checking in with the Alki Neighborhood Council and seeing if this issue has ever been taken up by them, or if they could help with it. That’s what neighborhood councils are for. Next meeting is this Thursday.June 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm #791280
miwsParticipantJune 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm #791281
I counted 12 volleyball nets on Saturday and 2 large tents. Just a few more than 7.June 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm #791282
Yes, WSB, good idea – I actually thought the Alki Neighborhood Council might be the first place for us to go.June 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm #791283
Sounds to me like the 7 “official” courts are not the problem. It is the families and friends who bring their own gear that are taking up what little beach space is left. As someone above mentioned, they should have an area where nets are not allowed “south of here” to ensure beach use is equally shared by all. Otherwise, it will turn into a squatters nightmare with fights and god knows what.June 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm #791284
Here is another volleyball organization that uses the beach – they have more games scheduled at Alki on July 13/14, and August 17/18/25.
It would seem they plan to play past “…never later than 6 p.m.” permit agreement outlined above, as they state on their own schedule webpage that “Finals for larger divisions are around 6:00 PM.”
This organization also tells players that parking in the area is “Street-side and Neighboring streets… first come first served” so in theory, they will not be reserving parking spaces in the area, but game sponsors or others related to the games might have been granted a permit in advance from SDOT to put out those privately rented barricades.
Remember, folks: “Violations can be reported to Jeff Hodges at email@example.com. Seattle Parks and Recreation appreciates extra eyes in the park. Reporting should be as specific as possible – time, date, location, group name if known and most important: photos.”June 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm #791285
Looks like Underdog has Mon/Wed at Alki all summer long too. BUT they’re a great group, I’ve played indoor volleyball with them on an office team and I’ve done bowling with them. It’s usually really low key not particularly skilled office teams. Well, and usually one really good team that is way to serious for Underdog.
So I get that weekend tourneys have to be permitted, but what about these week night organizations? Do they have to follow any kind of reservation rules? When you add up all day weekend tourneys and a few nights a week of rec groups, it equals solid volleyball all the time.June 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm #791286
I hope the parks dept is charging adequately from those outfits that are making money on public property. And their spokesperson didn’t address the problem of tournament organizers who use all the poles (except the one that needs to stay open) AND in addition, put up MORE nets. The rules should be clear that additional nets are allowed for families, friends, and anyone else, but NOT for tournament play.
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