Madison Valley

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March 2017 Police Reports

APRIL 17, 2017 | LOWELL HARGENS

Reports of car prowls and vehicle theft in Madison Valley surged from 11 in February to 25 in March, a substantial contribution to the increase in the total number of incidents between February (40) and March (63). During this period burglaries also climbed from six to eleven, although most of the most of those reported in March apparently did not result in the theft of personal belongings.

 

crime-17-Apr-2017

 

1. Sometime during the night of March 2–3 someone entered an apartment complex construction site on 20th near Madison through an unlocked window. Workers who came to the site on the morning of March 3 found tools and other items strewn about, but apparently the only item stolen was a large TV slated to be used in staging. Police found fingerprints at the scene.

2. Police were called to a business on Madison near Lake Washington Blvd. at around 9:30 AM on March 4 to investigate a sounding alarm. When they arrived the owner of the business told them that a man had set off the alarm by forcing a door open. There were witnesses to the incident and the would-be burglar was identified.

3. Shortly after noon on March 7 a woman working in an office room in her brother’s residence on 19th near Republican observed an intruder, described as white woman with blond hair in a ponytail and wearing a black knee-length coat with a hood, inside the back porch of the home rummaging through bags containing her brother’s clothes. When the woman rapped on her window, the intruder grabbed a few items and left the residence at which point the woman went into the alley and yelled that she was going to call the police. The intruder then dropped the items she had taken and fled. When they arrived at the scene, police found no one matching the description of the intruder in the neighborhood.

4. On March 9 at approximately 4 PM a woman returning home heard noises in her apartment as she entered. When she got inside she found that someone had been rummaging through the apartment. Neighbors had noticed a strangely parked vehicle shortly earlier, and gave police a detailed description of it. In addition, security cameras recorded the burglar. At the time of the police report there was no indication that anything had been taken from the apartment.

5. Also on March 9 a resident of a home on 21st near Mercer reported an apparent attempted burglary. Someone had tampered with a window on the north side of his home and forced it out of place while doing so.

6. When two residents of a home on E. Thomas near 29th stepped outside the back door for a smoke at 9 PM on March 16 they found a man trying to force open the basement door. The residents yelled at the would-be intruder who then left the scene. The residents could not describe the man when the police arrived.

7. Sometime between March 17 and March 24 someone was able to enter a room that contained a master key box at an apartment building on Denny near 25th. The burglar broke open the key box and took keys to eleven apartments in the building. Police did not find fingerprints at the scene.

8. On March 21st police were called to a residence on 32nd near Pike to investigate a burglary. When they arrived, the resident told them that when she returned home that day she found that her front door open and that her vehicle was missing. Further investigation revealed that someone had entered her home by breaking a first-floor window. Once inside the burglar stole various items not specified in the police report, and also apparently handled various objects, including a vodka bottle. The objects were sent to the police lab to determine if they bore usable fingerprints.

9. Sometime during the night of March 23–24 a burglar entered a building under construction on E. 21st Ave. near John and stole wire worth approximately $400. The burglar, who apparently entered through an unlocked window, did not steal tools at the site. The police found no fingerprints.

10. Also during the night of March 23–24 a burglar broke into a coffee shop on Union near 23rd and stole $300 from a bank bag and a cash register. A resident of the building containing the coffee shop found the cash register in a stairwell of the building but police could find no fingerprints on it or on other surfaces in the coffee shop. Police contacted the owner of the building to determine if surveillance cameras on the premises recorded the incident.

11. At approximately noon on March 31 police responded to an alarm at a residence on 31st near John. When they arrived, they found that basement windows at the residence had been smashed, but the would-be burglar(s) had apparently been frightened away by the alarm.

Two robberies and an aggravated assault were also reported during March.

On March 2 at 5:30 PM police were called to 21st Ave E. and Galer St. to investigate a robbery. When they arrived the victim, who had been doing landscaping work at that location, told them that while he was preparing to leave the job, two men had taken a leaf blower and a chainsaw, worth approximately $250 from the back of his truck. When the landscaper approached one of the men to recover his equipment, the man kicked him in the chest to keep him away. At that point, the landscaper retired to the cab of his truck to call 911 and the robbers sped away in a beige or silver Chevy Suburban. The landscaper declined medical attention and told police that he wouldn’t press charges and just wanted his tools back.

On March 24 at 10 AM a male and female, known to be chronic shoplifters, tried to shoplift items from the grocery store on Madison near 22nd. When employees blocked their exit from the west door of the store the female, who was carrying one of the store’s plastic shopping baskets, shoved it into one employee’s chest and the pair turned to go toward the northwest exit of the store. When they were again blocked at that exit they retreated back into the store and started down the stairs leading to the store’s parking garage. The employees caught up with them at the bottom of the stairs at which time the shoplifters physically assaulted the employees. The employees were able to recover the items taken by the shoplifters, however, and the shoplifters fled through the parking garage. Surveillance cameras recorded the incident.

At around 10:45 AM on March 28 police were called to 23rd and Madison to investigate a vehicular assault. When they arrived, the victim reported that he had been passed and cut off by a maroon Ford pickup truck a few blocks north on 23rd. When both vehicles stopped for the stop light at 23rd and Madison, the driver of the pickup started calling the victim names, at which point the victim left his car to confront the other driver. The other driver brandished a knife at the victim and in response the victim yelled to him to come out without the knife and “fight like a man.” When the light changed, however, the pickup truck driver drove ahead and in doing so tore the driver’s side door off the victim’s car and injured the victim. The pickup then fled south on 23rd.

 

Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Crime

The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt: A History of Community Activism, Chapter 4

APRIL 14, 2017 | CATHERINE NUNNELEY

“Hey! What are you doing tearing out the blackberries!??” Trina and I turn smiling to look upon a young woman walking her dog. I gesture to the sign describing the park as a reforestation site. “We’re your neighbors and the volunteer forest stewards for our Greenbelt. It’s important to remove the invasive plants so that the park will survive.” “But I like blackberries!”, she insists. It’s getting harder to find them in the city. How will I have my blackberry pies? Why can’t the park just be natural?”

This type of encounter is common for forest stewards throughout the city. It’s music to our ears to hear that folks are having a harder time finding blackberry patches. Blackberry is among the most invasive species killing our parks. Without restoration, it’s estimated that in 50 years all the trees will be gone and by the end of the century, Seattle’s urban forests will be completely destroyed. All that will remain will be ivy deserts and impenetrable blackberry thickets. It’s a desirable habitat for rats but not for many other creatures, including humans.

Today, Seattle’s urban forests are predominately deciduous trees such as big leaf maples and alders nearing or at the end of their lifespans. They are infamous for chucking off limbs in windstorms or falling down completely creating hazardous conditions. Additionally, they are covered with an ivy and clematis canopy hastening their demise. Although green in summer, they are extremely unattractive in winter. These neglected green spaces are undesirable.

Healthy urban forests are attractive and increase property values. They provide wildlife habitat, reduce storm water runoff and erosion, and improve air quality while reducing global warming. Studies from UW indicate interaction with wild green areas promote both mental and physical health.

So….back to our concerned dog walker and her fellow blackberry aficionados:

“Well,” we say, “We love blackberry pie too! However, we love this park more. Are you happy to have a wild urban forest in the neighborhood?” She nods and like everyone answers: “Yes.”

In the mid 2000s, one of our more observant neighbors realized that clematis, ivy, and blackberry had overwhelmed our neglected Greenbelt. The trees were covered with the vines and obviously struggling. Led by Libby Sinclair, the group “Save the Trees” was formed. A tiny dedicated band of neighbors worked rather casually and intermittently pulling out the ivy and clematis for a couple of years but this effort wasn’t enough.

 

free-the-trees

 

We turned to Forterra, part of the Green Seattle Partnership, for the rescue! Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) was formed in 2004 as a collaborative effort of many entities: Among them: Seattle Parks, Dept. of Parks and Recreation, SPU and many, many non-profits. The GSP has 2,500 acres of green space under reforestation and has become the largest and most effective urban forest restoration project in America!

Forterra has many missions in the reforestation effort. One of their amazing contributions is encouragement and management of all the “civilian” volunteers out in the parks. Forterra supplies tools, mulching materials and expertise to assist volunteers care for their green spaces.

Ongoing classes and events for forest stewards ensure folks are developing the necessary skills. The untiring and dedicated staff led by Andrea Mojzak has truly been a lifesaver.

The final chapter will introduce us to the current reforestation efforts in the Greenbelt and our two forest stewards. 

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

Tax-Free Day in Madison Valley

APRIL 13, 2017 | LARRY LEVINE

Participating Madison Valley Merchants are offering a Tax-Free Day on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the deadline for submitting the federal income tax. This amounts to a 10.1% discount, which is the sales tax in Seattle.

Look for the poster in the window of participating merchants.

 

tax-day

 

This is our way of saying “thank you” and as a relief from income tax!

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Sales

Sign Up for Madison Valley Spring Clean 2017

APRIL 10, 2017 | LINDY WISHARD

This is the fifth year of the Madison Valley Spring Clean — I can’t believe we’ve been doing it for that long!

Saturday, April 29
9:00 - Noon
Meet at Fast Frame at 9 AM 
2840 E Madison Street
Sign up here.

When Spring Clean started the neighborhood was mess: trash, weeds, and graffiti. Over the years, the neighborhood has done a good job of cleaning up and keeping it clean throughout the year. This means there is not as much work to do as there has been in previous years. There are, however, a few projects that need work to get the neighborhood spiffy for Summer. 

• Weed and spread wood chips at the Triangle (28th and Madison)
• Some graffiti removal in two locations.
• No dumping signs at the storm drains. 

 

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This year Arboretum Neighbors for Safe Streets is expanding Spring Clean to include 28th and 29th Aves East, north of Madison Street. Volunteers are needed to pick up trash along the park and weed the traffic circles on 28th and 29th. Greenways volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions and take your feedback about future implementation of the Greenway (a pedestrian and bicycle friendly route that will connect Madison Valley to Montlake). 

 

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mcgilvra-pta-logoA very special thank you goes out to McGilvra Elementary School and families, who are again helping with the Spring Clean this year.

 

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mvma-logoAnd finally, a big thank you to Madison Valley Merchants Association who started and continue the Madison Valley Spring Clean. The merchants use this day to clean up their storefronts, plant flowers along Madison Street, provide coffee and pastries to the volunteers, and who, for the last several years, spend thousands of dollars to hire a professional landscape crew for this event. The landscape crew weeds and cleans up the winter debris along Madison Street from 27th to City Peoples. The street always looks so nice after their hard work. 

 

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So grab your family or your neighbors and come out for a few hours. Meet other people in the neighborhood, and help brighten up Madison Valley for everyone. 

Saturday, April 29
9:00 - Noon
Meet at Fast Frame at 9 AM 
2840 E Madison Street
Sign up here.

Cash donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of the cleanup. You can make a donation online at MadisonValley.org — just click on the Donate button. Be sure to write Spring Clean in the notes field. All contributions are appreciated!

For questions contact Lindy Wishard: Lindy@MadisonValley.org

 

1 Comment, Join In | Topics: Beautification

Land Use Notices Madison Valley Area, March 14 – April 6, 2017

APRIL 7, 2017 | KATHRYN KELLER

Here are the Seattle OPCD and SDCI Land Use notices in the land three weeks for communities from 18th Ave. to Lake Washington and E Union St. to SR-520.

 

land-use-07-Apr-2017

 

510 19th Ave E - Design Review Board Meeting
Design Review Board second recommendation meeting on proposal for a 4-story building containing 8,500 sq. ft. of medical services uses on floors 1 and 2, and 8 apartment units on floors 3 and 4. Existing 2-story building to be demolished. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 1-40′, Arterial within 100 ft., Urban Village overlay

February 22, 2017 6:30 p.m.
Seattle University
824 12th Ave
Stuart T Rolfe Room
Campus Map
Notice of Design Review

 

2320 E Union St - Public Hearing

Land Use Application to allow a six-story structure with a total of 115 apartment units above 3,264 sq. ft. of commercial space. Parking for 18 vehicles will be located within the structure. This project requires a contract rezone from Neighborhood Commercial 2 with a 40′ height limit and pedestrian overlay (NC2P-40) and a Neighborhood Commercial 2 with a 40′ height limit — no pedestrian overlay (NC2-40) to a Neighborhood Commercial 2 with 65′ height limit and pedestrian overlay (NC2P-65). Existing structure to be demolished. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′ Pedestrian, Arterial within 100 ft., Urban Village Overlay

The Director has determined that the proposed project is not likely to result in significant, adverse environmental impacts and has issued a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) and recommends that the Seattle City Council approve the rezone. The project has conditional approval of Design Review 

A public hearing to take public comment on the Director’s recommendations and to establish the record for this application will be held at:

May 8, 2017 9:00 a.m.
Office of the Hearing Examiner City of Seattle
700 5th Avenue, Suite 4000
P.O. Box 94729
Seattle, WA 98124-4729

Notice of Decisions and Recommendation

 

111 26th Ave E

Land Use Application to allow one, 3-story, 4-unit rowhouse structure in an environmentally critical area. Parking for 14 vehicles to be provided, 7 for adjacent site at 115 26th Ave E. Existing structure to be demolished. To be considered with project #3026358 for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Potential slide area, Steep slope (>=40%), Lowrise-2

Notice of Revised Application

 

115 26th Ave E

Land Use Application to allow two three-story, two-unit townhouse buildings (four units) in an environmentally critical area. Covenant parking for seven vehicles will be provided on adjacent site at 111 26th Ave E. To be considered with project #3026334 for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Potential slide area, Steep slope (>=40%), Lowrise-2

Notice of Revised Application

 

1121 34th Ave

Land Use Application to subdivide one development site into three parcels of land. Project also includes unit lot subdivision of Parcel C into three unit lots. The construction of live-work units and residential dwelling units have been approved under project numbers 6530489 & 6564978. This subdivision is for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the individual live-work and residential dwelling units. Development standards will be applied to the development site as a whole and not to each of the new lots and unit lots. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 1-30′, Arterial within 100 ft, Lowrise-2

Notice of Application

 

123 26th Ave E

Land Use Application to allow a three-story, 4-unit rowhouse building in an environmentally critical area. Parking for four vehicles will be located within the structure. To be considered with project #3025258 for shared access. Existing single family residence to be demolished. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Potential slide area, Steep slope (>=40%), Lowrise-2

Notice of Application

 

119 26th Ave E

Land Use Application to allow a three-story, 4-unit townhouse building in an environmentally critical area. Parking for four vehicles will be located within the structure. To be considered with project #3027432 for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Potential slide area, Steep slope (>=40%), Lowrise-2

Notice of Application

 

134 26th Ave E

Land Use Application to subdivide one development site into six unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6498841. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Zone: Lowrise-2

Notice of Decision

 

3607 E Madison St

Land Use Application to allow a single-family residence with an attached garage. Granted variance to allow portion of principal structure to extend into required front yard. Zone: Arterial within 100 ft, Single Family 7200

Notice of Decision

 

2212 E Miller St

Land Use Application to allow a covered porch addition to a single-family dwelling unit. Granted variance to allow principal structure to extend into required front yard. Zone: Single Family 5000

Notice of Decision

 

Resources
Land Use Information Bulletins
Property & Building Activity Interactive Map 
Design Review Board
Buildings in Design Review Map

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Construction

Easter Egg Hunt in the Park

APRIL 6, 2017 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

Join us for our annual Easter Egg Hunt in Madison Park on April 15th. It’s a fantastic family friendly event and open to all.

 

easter-egg

 

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The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt: A History of Community Activism, Chapter 3

MARCH 29, 2017 | CATHERINE NUNNELEY

Previously, in the first two chapters, I presented an overview of our neighborhood’s successful effort to save the wooded hillside along 32nd Avenue East from development. First, in the 1960s, the community rallied together to prevent an ill-advised low-income housing project from being built. Then, twenty years later, the neighbors again banded together to block the construction of houses in the green space. The financially stable City of Seattle was able to purchase the property in question under the law of eminent domain. It was the first time that eminent domain had been utilized to acquire property for the specific purpose of maintaining green space in the city. Now that the community had its wooded hillside, it was up to the residents to maintain the site.

In 1993, a committee was formed within the newly resurrected Harrison-Denny Community Council (the prior name of the present MVCC) to apply for grant money and carry out a reforestation project. The group, lead by Jerry and Peggy Sussman, received a Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund Grant for $13,000. With the money, they began a project that spanned two years.

To begin, the committee hired landscape designer Blair Constantine. Blaire surveyed the area and drew up the plans to restore the 6 1/2 acres of land. The woods had been used a dumpsite for generations. In the summer of 1994, students were recruited from the area’s schools as paid workers to clean up. Volunteers from the community pitched in too. Huge amounts of debris such as old tires, car parts, and abandoned appliances were pulled from the land. Truckloads of invasive ivy and clematis as well as other vegetative waste were cleared. The Parks Department provided trucks and hauled away all the debris. The volume of detritus was astonishing!

In the summer of 1995, after the previous year’s cleanup, five hundred conifers, native plants and shrubs were purchased and planted within the newly cleared woods. Arborist Paul West from the Parks Department oversaw the planting and worked among the volunteers. These plantings occurred after two years of very arduous work. The next several years brought new volunteer work parties to the greenbelt to maintain the baby plants. As the trees and shrubs began to thrive, the community rejoiced.

In late 1995, the Council applied for and received another grant concerning the Greenbelt. This Small and Simple Grant outlined a two-part effort to educate the community about the Greenbelt.

The first part concerned the publication of the spiral booklet, “City Woods”. “City Woods” was a locally set story of native trees and plants with a brief history of how the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt was saved. It included illustrations of different plants as well as drawings of historical images.

 

city woods

 

Volunteers from the neighborhood did all the art and writing; only the printing costs were paid from the grant money. One thousand copies of the first edition were printed. A second printing, including some new illustrations, soon followed. The booklets were sold for $5 each in local bookstores and at community events.

The second part of the grant concerned the development of a curriculum to teach about local history to the students of Martin Luther King Jr Elementary School. For eight weeks, volunteers came to the classrooms of grades K-5 and taught about the woodland history of the region and the identification of plant life. Three hundred copies of the “City Woods” booklet were gifted to the school.

The next chapter will describe our current efforts to continue reforestation and about local student involvement in learning about urban forestry.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Nature

February 2017 Police Reports

MARCH 20, 2017 | LOWELL HARGENS

Incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during February remained at the relatively low level we have experienced during the past several months. Of the 40 incidents reported only about one quarter were car prowls or vehicle thefts, but this decline was balanced by increases in theft and property damage/graffiti. Six burglaries were reported in February.

 

crime-report-20-Mar-2017

 

1. Sometime between 9:30 and noon on Feb. 2 a burglar gained entry to a third-floor apartment on E. Olive near 23rd and stole three rings valued at approximately $10,500. The police found no fingerprints and although the apartment was locked at the time, there was no evidence of a forced entry. The resident told police, however, that it is easy to open the locked door to his apartment with a credit card.

2. On Feb. 6 at 4:26 AM police responded to a report of a burglary at a restaurant on Madison near Lake Washington Blvd. When they arrived, an employee told them that someone had smashed a glass door leading to the restaurant's office. There was no evidence that anything had been taken, however, and two safes next to office door were intact. No fingerprints were found at the scene.

3. At around 9:20 AM on Feb. 9 neighbors across the alley from a residence on 21st Ave. E. near Mercer noticed a man who appeared to be disoriented and who was talking to himself in the alleyway. Because the man, described as a thin white male around 50 years old with brown hair and a beard, was wearing shorts during a heavy downpour, one of the neighbors called 911, but when units arrived he had left the scene, apparently heading west on Mercer. When the resident of the home on 21st learned of the incident, she found that her backyard storage unit, which was unlocked at the time, had been burglarized. When her neighbors described the man who had been in the alley, she realized that he was probably the same person who had been arrested for stealing her Yamaha scooter last August. The police report notes that that person was due to be sentenced for the previous offense on Feb. 24. It also notes that the scooter had been damaged in the present incident, possibly in retaliation for the earlier arrest.

4. During the morning of Feb. 18 there was a forced-entry burglary at a residence on Union near 30th Ave., but the police have not released a description of this incident.

5. Police were called to a building on Denny near 25th on Feb. 25 to investigate a burglary that had occurred sometime in the previous couple of days. The victim reported that someone had entered the building's secure storage area and taken two bicycles worth approximately $1200. The bikes’ front wheels had been locked to a bike rack in the storage area, but the burglar was able to take the bikes after removing their front wheels. No fingerprints were found at the scene.

6. On Feb. 26 police were called to a house on 26th near Denny to investigate a burglary. Once there they found that the house had recently been sold by its previous owner, who was in the process of moving to a new location. A neighbor had notified the previous owner on Feb. 23 that several people had been seen exiting the house that day. When the previous owner returned to the house on the 26th to remove the remainder of his possessions, he found that basement windows had been broken and that there were signs that someone else had occupied the house. However, the previous owner reported that nothing seemed to be missing from the house.

During February, there was also an incident that began as a shoplift but ended as a robbery.

Around 10 P.M. on Feb. 6 a clerk at the liquor store on Union near 23rd observed a man putting five liquor bottles inside his coat. After being confronted by the clerk, the man defied him and headed for the door. Three bottles fell out of the man's coat when he reached the door and when the clerk grabbed the man's coat outside the store he was able to recover the other two bottles. At that point, the man threatened to shoot the clerk and fled from the scene. Police found multiple fingerprints on the bottles and the store is well covered by security cameras. 

 

Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Crime

The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt: A History of Community Activism, Chapter 2

MARCH 16, 2017 | CATHERINE NUNNELEY

In the first chapter of the Greenbelt history, we presented the story of the initial attempt to develop the hillside along 32nd Avenue E between E Denny and E John. During the late ‘60s and early ‘70s the community rallied together to block the building of a low- income housing project. Then, after twenty years of quiet, another threat to the woods brought the community together. This rallying cry was the genesis for the current community council, which at that time was named Harrison-Denny Community Council.

In the early 1990s, a neighbor across the street from the Greenbelt contacted community activists reporting that a sign had been posted. The sign stated a lot owner’s intent to begin building a house. The owner was contacted and after hearing the community’s wish to preserve the site, agreed to sell his lot to the City. At that time, the City of Seattle had funds to acquire undeveloped land to preserve green spaces in the neighborhoods. Communities were becoming aware of a development boom and were concerned that their beautiful green city would someday be lost to construction. In those days, $6,000 was the cost of an average lot. This acquisition effort of the City has resulted in the many green spaces you see throughout Seattle neighborhoods today.

Well-known community activists and leaders, Peggy and Jerry Sussman organized a small band of like-minded neighbors and decided to reinstate a community council. The Council would enable the group to create an organized forum to present the community’s concerns to Seattle City Council. The newly minted Harrison-Denny Community Council became an instantly popular magnet and attracted up to 100 residents and business owners at each meeting. The annual spaghetti dinner was always sold out and the treasury was filled with proceeds from the tremendously successful rummage sale.

 

pj-portrait

 

Of course, the first order of business for the new Council was the protection of the neighborhood’s only wild green-space, the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt. The few other lot owners in the Greenbelt readily agreed to sell their properties to the City. They enjoyed a generous compensation. One parcel, owned by King County, was gifted to the community.

However, one lot owner was not moved by the community’s spirit and refused to cooperate. Again, the appearance of a sign along the street alerted neighbors of an intent to develop the site. The owner had applied for his property to be re-platted from 3 into 2 lots and intended to build 2 large houses. When he realized that the community was moving against his plans, he brought in bulldozers and began clearing the property. The Council immediately contacted the City and a stop work order was issued. Subsequent hearings with the Seattle City Council resulted in a judgment against the owner.

In an unprecedented move, the City condemned the property under the right of eminent domain. This Washington State constitutional law allowed the government to acquire and preserve pieces of undeveloped property as parks or green spaces. The City was required to pay a fair market value for such land and negotiated a price with the property owner. A reduced price was paid due to the destruction of the land.

The entire community was ecstatic as the realization of many months of perseverance resulted in a new park. The 6.2 acres of the wooded hillside became officially known as the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt.

Now that the community had realized its goal of preserving the green space, the next step was to care for this property. That part of the Greenbelt history will be presented in the next chapter.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Nature

Land Use Notices Madison Valley Area, February 21 – March 13, 2017

MARCH 15, 2017 | KATHRYN KELLER

Here are the Seattle OPCD and SDCI Land Use notices in the land three weeks for communities from 18th Ave. to Lake Washington and E Union St. to SR-520.

 

land-use-15-Mar-2017

 

2301 E Denny Way
Administrative Design Review Early Design Guidance Application proposing 46 small efficiency dwelling units. Existing structures to be demolished. Zone: Lowrise-3, Arterial within 100 ft., Scenic view within 500 ft., Urban Village overlay
Notice of Administrative Design Review

111 26th Ave E
Land Use Application to allow one, 3-story, 4-unit row house structure in an environmentally critical area. Parking for 14 vehicles proposed within the structure. Existing structure to be demolished. To be considered with project at 115 26th Ave E for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Lowrise-2, Potential slide area, Steep slope (>=40%)
Notice of Revised Application

115 26th Ave E
Land Use Application to allow two, three-story, two-unit townhouse buildings (four units) in an environmentally critical area. Covenant parking for seven vehicles will be provided on adjacent site at 111 26th Ave E. To be considered with project 111 26th Ave E for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Lowrise-2, Potential slide area, Steep slope (>=40%)
Notice of Revised Application

212 25th Ave E
Land Use Application to allow two 3-story, two unit townhouse structures in an environmentally critical area. Parking for 4 vehicles provided on site. Existing structure to be demolished. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Lowrise-3, Potential slide area, Arterial within 100 ft., Scenic view within 500 ft.

Notice of Decision
139 27th Ave E
Land Use Application to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The plan is that the 1900 house remains with a duplex built behind it. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Zone: Lowrise-1, Potential Slide Area
Notice of Decision

Resources
Land Use Information Bulletins
Property & Building Activity Interactive Map 
Design Review Board
Buildings in Design Review Map

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Construction

Join Us for the Next Merchants Association Meeting

MARCH 13, 2017 | LINDY WISHARD

Guest Speaker: The Bus Rapid Transit team will be making a presentation on BRT in Madison Valley. The discussion will cover stops, turnarounds, parking, and construction. Learn how this will change the neighborhood!

Additional topic for discussion: Spring Clean in April.

Everyone in the neighborhood is invited to participate in this get-together. Coffee and snacks will be served. Please share with anyone interested. 

8:30 AM
Wednesday, March 15
Cafe Flora

Post a Comment | Topics: Merchants Association

The Harrison Ridge Greenbelt: A History of Community Activism

MARCH 6, 2017 | CATHERINE NUNNELEY

Some of our newer neighbors may view the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt as only an undeveloped hillside above 32nd Avenue. However, the preservation of this community green space developed over a period of 70 years. Many of our neighbors have worked tirelessly to preserve the only green space in Madison Valley.

 

sign-greenbelt

 

During the 1930s, the city of Seattle was still in the process of paving the streets in the Madison Valley neighborhood. One specific street project involved paving a pathway directly through the heart of the woods from E Denny Way to E Harrison along what is now 33rd Avenue E. However, during the construction, the hillside gave way in a landslide bringing the work to an abrupt halt. The project was abandoned and the hillside remained intact. This is the reason that 33rd Avenue E is not a throughway.

In the 1960s and ’70s, developers approached the neighborhood with a design for a “Model Cities” low-income housing project. The developers’ goal was to construct 25-unit apartment buildings on the site. Among other radical changes, this plan called for significant excavation of the woods for a parking lot to accommodate the large numbers of prospective tenants. However, the builders underestimated the negative reaction and cohesiveness of the Madison Valley community. The first group to protest the development of this neighborhood land was the Harrison School PTA (later renamed M.L. King Jr. School). The protesting group called itself the Harrison-Denny Community Council whose boundaries encompassed the woods. The Council found much support among the Valley residents. With so much support, the organization was able to send a large delegation of residents to the Seattle City Council hearing regarding the federal Model Cities proposal.

During the meeting, there were accusations from the developers that the protestors were motivated by a desire to restrict low-income people from living within their neighborhood. However, angry African-American representatives countered that assumption with disheartening tales of living within such projects in other cities. They did not want to see another “warehouse” approach as the solution for low-income people. Appreciating the presentation of the community, and recognizing other problems with the proposed plan, the Seattle City Council ultimately refused to permit the apartment buildings.

Their recorded decision was based upon probable geological instability of the hillside. Once again, the wooded hillside was saved from development. There was one house on the hillside, which was built in the 1920s. The community relaxed, and over the next few years, lacking a burning issue to rally around, the Community Council was dissolved. However, in early 1990s another threat arose which initiated a new alarm regarding the woods. Please look forward to the next chapter of the Greenbelt history in a few weeks!

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Nature

Join Madison Street BRT Project at a March Open House

MARCH 6, 2017 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

Come see what we’ve been up to and share your feedback! We’re holding in-person and online open houses this March to share the updated project design.

 

logo-sdot-brt

Join us in person or online to provide feedback on the:

Updated design, including information on sidewalks and pedestrian access, parking and loading zones, bicycle infrastructure, and station design.

Preliminary construction information, including a draft construction sequencing plan and potential construction impacts.

Our project team and other City staff will be in attendance to listen and answer your questions about the project. This is also an opportunity to learn more about Ben Zamora’s work, the artist chosen to create public works of art along the Madison St corridor.

Madison Street BRT will become RapidRide G Line!

Madison Street BRT, which will become Metro RapidRide G Line, is the latest RapidRide line to begin service in Seattle. We anticipate Madison Street BRT (RapidRide G Line) service will begin in late 2019.

We hope to see you in person or online in March!

________________________________

IN PERSON

Thursday, March 9
11 AM – 1 PM
Town Hall, Downstairs
1119 8th Ave

Wednesday, March 15
5:30 – 7:30 PM
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
1522 14th Ave

________________________________

ONLINE

March 8 – 22
Give feedback online!
MadisonStreetBRT.participate.online
(Link will go live March 8)

________________________________

If you have specific questions, or would like to schedule a meeting or briefing, please email us at MadisonBRT@seattle.gov or call Emily Reardon, Public Information Officer, at 206-615-1485.

 

1 Comment, Join In | Topics: Transportation

The BottleNeck Lounge Turns Ten

MARCH 2, 2017 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

It’s hard to believe, but The BottleNeck Lounge has officially enjoyed a decade of Kentucky Derby parties, rollicking St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, rafter-packed political debates, bar-pounding Seahawk Sundays, and $6 Manhattan Mondays. Help us ring in the double digits with a two-night anniversary celebration on March 10th and 11th – we may be small but our ability to celebrate is huge!

bottleneck-anniversary

We kick things off that Friday with a Bourbon-Soaked Happy Hour from 4–8 PM featuring $4 pours of Evan Williams (our well whiskey for the past decade) and the much-anticipated return of the Hair of The Dog Drink menu, featuring doggie-themed cocktails all at – you guessed it – ten bucks. On Saturday, March 11th we reprise our Bang Your Head Happy Hour, replete with $3 cans of ice cold PBR Tallboys and the raucous return of the Buttrock Suite Dancers. These lovelies graced our bar (and subsequently, our bar top) with a visit in 2008 and have offered to cap off Happy Hour and jump start the rest of the night. Thanks to everyone for supporting our little neighborhood bar over the years – we love you and we have presents to prove it.

March 10 & 11, 4 PM onward
2328 E. Madison St.
206.323.1098
www.bottlenecklounge.com

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Food & Drink

Our Beloved City People’s: The Saga Continues

FEBRUARY 27, 2017 | CATHERINE NUNNELEY

Did we have fireworks? Dancing in the street? Did the phoenix arise from the ashes? Perhaps the elation was only in our hearts when the neighborhood received an unexpected holiday gift: the extension of City People’s Garden Store’s lease. The joyful refrains heard throughout the community were certainly real.

The proposed construction at the site has passed the initial phase of the design review but has a few more steps to complete. Due to the slope and nature of the site, construction is only permitted during the dry months of the year. Thus, the building opportunity for 2017 will have passed. Instead of leaving the present building vacant and forlorn during this process, the owners of the land agreed to lease the space to City People’s. The lease runs through December 31, 2017 with options to extend again if the new project is not ready to move forward.

The City People’s Garden Store has two new owners: long-time employees Jose Gonzales and Alison Greene. Jose and Alison are beloved and well-known faces at the Garden Store. Together with three investors, Jose and Alison were able to purchase the business from Steve Magley and Dianne Casper with a very generous deal. Steve and Dianne have stayed on as supportive consultants as the new owners evolve from gardeners to business owners/managers.

 

city-peoples-alison-jose

 

“It’s been a really steep learning curve,” Jose admits. He and Alison have been participating in a mentorship program through the national Small Business Administration. They meet monthly with their mentor to formulate their business plan and wade through the mountains of paperwork. “We are lucky to have a great mentor,” Jose said, “and we feel much more comfortable now with the business side of the garden store.”

Many of the previous employees have chosen to stay on with the garden store. They were able to continue at or above their previous salary and benefit program.

Jose and Alison envision the Gift Store’s inventory as a bit more streamlined but with all the usual elements in place. They will continue to offer delivery and potting-up services as well as special orders. The landscaping side of the business has been reinvented as a separate entity: The Peoples Gardening Collective. That business will move forward as a co-op.

City Peeps, as the Garden Store is affectionately known, continues to look for a new site. Given the current land availability in Seattle, this search has been a challenge. They envision a place that is about 15,000–25,000 sq. ft. with 2/3 being outside space and 1/3 inside. They enthusiastically encourage investors and any tips about promising available sites. They will keep the name City Peoples Garden Store.

Jose and Alison optimistically assert that City People’s Garden Store is “Here to stay! We have the passion and people to serve the community and want everyone to know we are here for them”. The staff and community are recovering from the trauma of last year’s sudden closing announcement and are ready to move forward.

Both the local community and Seattle at large wish to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Jose and Alison for their dedicated and bold move to breathe new life into City People’s Garden Store. 

 

2 Comments, Join In | Topics: Local Publicity, Home & Garden
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