News in and around Madison Valley

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March 2017 Police Reports


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.




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


“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.




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


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.




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


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. 




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). 




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.




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. 




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 — 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:


1 Comment, Join In | Topics: Beautification

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


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.




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


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


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.




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