News in and around Madison Valley

subscribe to news articles via email or rss

Land Use Notices Madison Valley Area, May 24 - June 16, 2017

JUNE 19, 2017 | KATHRYN KELLER

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

 

land-use-19-Jun-2017-1
Outline shows the area under consideration.

Design Review — Central Area Design Guidelines Open House

The Central Area Design Guidelines Coalition (collaboration between: 23rd Ave Action Team, CA Land Use Review Committee, Historical Central Area Arts and Cultural District, Central Area Collaborative, African American Veterans Group of Washington) is working with the City of Seattle and local architects Schemata Workshop and Mimar Studio to outline a set of neighborhood-specific guidelines to guide future development in the Central Area. Come and provide your valuable input!

Open House
June 19, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepard
2116 E. Union St.

 

Design Review - Design Review Program Changes

The City of Seattle is proposing legislation to modify the design review process: simplify and raise the thresholds for projects subject to design review, switch from a variety of thresholds based on use, units, and zoning to simple square footage thresholds that respond to the complexity of a site and type of project. The legislation would also create a new “hybrid” process that allows one phase of design review to be handled administratively and the remainder by the design review board.

The legislation adds a requirement that all applicants for projects going through design review conduct outreach to the communities near their projects before they begin design review. The legislation also modifies the composition of design review board members, eliminates the streamlined administrative design review process, modifies the review process for exceptional trees, and updates and clarifies other provisions related to design review.

Notice of Design Review Amendments

 

23rd Avenue Urban Village Rezones – Public Hearing

The Seattle City Council is considering proposed legislation to change Seattle’s land use and zoning that would affect property in Central Area near the intersections of 23rd Avenue and S Jackson, Cherry and Union streets. The proposed changes would rezone land in the Central Area in order to implement a community vision for 23rd Avenue and Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requirements.

The legislation would require new commercial or multi-family development in the affected zones to contribute to affordable housing and would also add development capacity in the form of an increase in the amount of allowed height or floor area for buildings in zones where the MHA requirements would apply. The legislation is intended to increase commercial and residential development capacity near these intersections to achieve the community’s vision to strengthen the Central Area’s unique identity and community character, help create vibrant and resilient commercial districts with pedestrian friendly mixed-use development, support existing and new businesses and development, provide opportunities for a variety of shops, services and affordable housing, and support community ownership and equitable development that serves the diverse Central Area community.

Public Hearing
Monday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m.
Commons/Lunch Room
Garfield High School
400 23rd Avenue

Notice of Public Hearing

 

land-use-19-Jun-2017-2
Colored areas are included in the MHA requirements.

MHA Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing several alternatives for implementing Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA). MHA would require that new multi-family and commercial developments meeting certain thresholds either build affordable housing units on-site or make an in-lieu payment to support the development of affordable housing. MHA would focus primarily on creating housing reserved for community members earning 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) or less.

To implement MHA, the City is considering amendments to regulations to increase development capacity in the study area. The study area is existing multi-family and commercial zones in Seattle, areas currently zoned Single Family in existing urban villages, and areas zoned Single Family in potential urban village expansion areas identified in the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Planning process.

Notice of Release of DEIS

 

land-use-19-Jun-2017-3

 

2310 E Madison St

Streamlined Design Review Application proposing a five-story structure containing 17 apartment units and 470 sq. ft. of commercial space at ground level. Existing structures to be demolished. Zone: Lowrise-3, Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′, Urban Village Overlay

Notice of Streamlined Design Review

 

1106 34th Ave

Council Land Use Action to rezone a 4,808 sq. ft. portion of land from Lowrise-2 to Neighborhood Commercial 1 with 30-foot height limit and a 6,109 sq. ft. parcel of land from Lowrise-2 to Neighborhood Commercial with 30-foot height limit. The property is bounded on the south by East Spring Street, to the west by 34th Avenue, to the North by a commercial building at 1112 34th Ave and to the east by an unimproved alley. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 1-30′, Arterial within 100 ft., Lowrise-2.

Notice of Recommendation

 

2348 43rd Ave E

Shoreline Substantial Development Permit to allow a three-story apartment structure with six residential units. Parking for six vehicles to be provided below grade within the structure. Existing detached parking structure to be demolished and the existing single family residence to remain. Zone: Urban residential, Shoreline habitat buffer, Archaeological buffer area, Lowrise-3, Conservancy recreation, Arterial within 100 ft., Special grading requirement.

Notice of Decision

 

Resources

Land Use Information Bulletins
Property & Building Activity Interactive Map
Permit and Property Records
Design Review Board
Buildings in Design Review Map

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Construction

Parks And Street Fund Projects Vote

JUNE 5, 2017 | KATHRYN KELLER

Spread the word—it’s time to vote on the parks and street fund projects.

The new method for allocating the city grants is being implemented this year, based upon a participatory budgeting model. The cycle began some time ago, and depended on social media, volunteer community organizations, and other outreach such as the city had capacity for. Then there was a round of “development meetings” where proposers could get feedback and help with refining the proposal or decide to take back for more preparation work. There was some kind of voting/selection process for the top candidate projects and now everyone is asked to please vote on their top three.

 

grants

 

This is one method of getting neighborhood improvements, and quite major ones if the projects are broken up over time. The projects can come out of community having proposed/planned/discussed and created support for over time. Or someone gets a great idea and gets together with his neighbors, who agree it’s a great idea and network with more neighbors and start visiting community groups to ask for feedback and support.

Granted, this might feel like being at the tail end of a process, as folks may or may not have been informed. But there is always the next round. And loads of grants and opportunity, both for neighborhoods, and for projects that enhance our city and community. Check it out at the city’s Grants and Funding page.  There are grants for infrastructure and for community building and for FUN!!

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

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

HALA Outreach and Workshops

JANUARY 25, 2017 | KATHRYN KELLER

City Council is hosting Urban Village Community Design Workshops to help inform City Council and the Office of Planning and Community development about how our Urban Villages should look, feel, and function in support of important citywide goals for increased affordability, design quality, and more diverse housing options throughout Seattle.

 

hala-map-2

 

The format of the workshops is an opening overview presentation about the Mandatory Housing Affordability program followed by small facilitated conversations. Each small workgroup conversation is supported by a facilitator and note taker.

We welcome a lively interchange of ideas and opinions on the recently proposed zoning changes for your neighborhood, including where the boundary for urban villages should be drawn, what mix of zones best support the context and conditions of local areas, and how to encourage more housing options and elements of livability (including neighborhood amenities such as frequent and reliable transit, community-serving businesses, parks and schools).

RSVP Required. To RSVP, please contact Spencer Williams at Spencer.Williams@seattle.gov or by phone at (206) 384-2709.

Meeting Locations:

Central Area
Tuesday, Jan 31, 6–9 p.m.
Garfield High School 
400 23rd Ave

Madison-Miller
Tuesday, Feb 28, 6–9 p.m.
Miller Community Center
330 19th Ave E.

Seattle Housing Affordability and Livability
Urban Village Draft Zoning Changes

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Seattle Board of Park Commissioners to Hold Public Hearing on People, Dogs and Parks Plan

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

NEWS RELEASE
Edward B. Murray, Mayor
Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent 

For immediate release August 24, 2016
Contact: Christina Hirsch, 206-684-7241
Christina.hirsch@seattle.gov 

The Board of Park Commissioners will hold a public hearing to receive feedback on the draft People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan. The meeting will take place at Miller Community Center on September 22, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. 

dog-park

 

The draft People, Dogs and Parks Strategic Plan is available here. The plan will guide the operations of existing off-leash areas, and provides strategies for development of future off-leash areas. It provides direction on how to spend Seattle Park District funding designated for existing off-leash areas over the six-year term of the Park District funding plan (2015-2020). 

The Board of Park Commissioners will receive oral and written testimony, and will make a recommendation to the Parks and Recreation Superintendent based on the feedback they receive from the public. 

Seattle currently has 14 fenced off-leash areas totaling 28 acres. The People, Dogs and Parks Plan offers recommendations on how to add new off-leash areas, and how to improve off-leash area conditions and user experience. 

New off-leash areas may be added through new park development, existing park redevelopment and community requests, on park land or non-park public land. All new off-leash area proposals will be reviewed by a committee of dog- and environmental advocates, community members, animal behaviorists and Parks staff, who will make a recommendation to the Parks and Recreation Superintendent. 

The Plan recommends that future off-leash areas be fenced, does not recommend allowing unleashed dogs on trails, and recommends against establishing more off-leash areas on beaches. User conflicts, limited enforcement and maintenance resources, and environmental concerns limit the capacity for adequate management of unleashed dogs in city parks outside of fenced off-leash areas. 

The plan proposes the use of Seattle Park District funding to improve existing off-leash areas based on site assessments included in the plan, and to explore possibilities for partnerships and sponsorships to expand resources. It also proposes the creation of a license for dog walkers, and limiting the number of dogs in a dog-walker pack to three unless dog walkers complete an approved animal behavior training program. 

Those who want to give input on the plan but are not able to come to the meetings can give written comments, which bear equal weight to verbal comments. Please email comments to rachel.acosta@seattle.gov. 

Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites. 2016 is the first full year of implementation and there is work going on in every corner of the city. This year includes funding to tackle the $267-million major maintenance backlog, and will fund the improvement and rehabilitation of community centers; preservation of urban forests; major maintenance at the Aquarium and Zoo; day-to-day maintenance of parks and facilities; more recreation opportunities for people from underserved communities, programs for young people, people with disabilities, and older adults; development of new parks; and acquisition of new park land. 

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is a nine-member citizen board created by the City Charter. Four members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council; four members are appointed by the City Council; and one member is a young adult appointed by YMCA Get Engaged. The Board generally meets twice a month, normally on the second and fourth Thursday, to advise the Parks and Recreation Superintendent, the Mayor and the City Council on parks and recreation matters.

 

1 Comment, Join In | Topics: Community Planning, Pets

Land Use Notices Madison Valley Area, Aug 19 – Sep 1

SEPTEMBER 6, 2016 | KATHRYN KELLER

Here are the Council, OPCD and SDCI Land Use notices within the last two weeks for communities from 18th Ave. to Lake Washington and E Union St. to SR-520.

 

land-use-sep-2016 

 

1638 20th Ave

Land Use Application to allow a 3-story rowhouse structure containing five units. Surface parking for 5 vehicles to be provided. Existing structures to be demolished. To be considered with 3020898 and 3023474 (1644 20th Ave and 1640 20th Ave) for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision.  Zone: Lowrise-3, Scenic view within 500 ft., Urban Village overlay, Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′

Notice of Application

 

1644 20th Ave

Land Use Application to allow a 4-story structure containing five townhouse units and 2 live-work units. Parking for five vehicles to be located within the structure and one surface parking space. Existing structures to be demolished. To be considered with 3020898 and 3022596 (1638 20th Ave and 1640 20th Ave) for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Scenic view within 500 ft., Urban Village overlay, Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′

Notice of Application

 

1640 20th Ave

Land Use Application to allow a 3-story townhouse structure containing five units. Surface parking for 5 vehicles to be provided. Existing structure to be demolished. To be considered with 3022596 and 3023474 (1638 20th Ave and 1644 20th Ave) for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Lowrise-3, Scenic view within 500 ft., Urban Village overlay, Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′

Notice of Application

 

2320 E Union St

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.

Notice of Application

 

139 27TH AVE E

Land Use Application to allow a two unit townhouse in an environmentally critical area. Parking for two vehicles to be provided. Existing single family residence to remain. Environmental Review includes future unit lot subdivision. Zone: Lowrise-1, potential slide area.

Notice of Application

 

1715 20th Ave

CANCELLATION of September 7 Early Design Guidance Design meeting on a proposal to allow a five-story structure containing 156 residential units, 4 live-work units, and parking for 117 vehicles. The proposal also contemplates a contract rezone from NC2-40 to NC3-65. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′, Urban Villages Overlay, Scenic View within 500 ft., arterial within 100 ft.

Notice of Cancellation

 

1830 E Mercer St

Land Use Application to allow a 5-story structure containing 32 apartment units and 2,035 sq. ft. of retail at street level. Parking for 10 vehicles to be provided below grade and surface parking for 2 at the alley. The existing structure on site is to remain. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 1-40′, arterial within 100 ft., Urban Village overlay Notice of Decision

 

1816 M L King Jr Way

Land Use Application to subdivide one parcel of land into two parcels of land in an environmentally critical area. Proposed sizes are: Y) 4,020 sq. ft. and Z) 4,020 sq. ft. Existing structure to be demolished. Zone: Single Family 5000, potential slide area, liquefaction prone soils, arterial within 100 ft.

Notice of Decision

 

And, upcoming deadlines for your comments.....

 

Scoping Comments - HALA MHA-R Environmental Impact Statement

The HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requires that all new multifamily and commercial developments either build affordable housing units on-site or make an in-lieu payment, based on up zoning.  It has been determined this proposal is likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment. An environmental impact statement (EIS) is required.

The EIS will consider potential impacts associated with land use, housing and socioeconomics, aesthetics and height/bulk/scale, historic resources, open space and recreation, transportation, public services, and utilities.

Agencies, affected tribes, and the public are invited to comment on the scope of the EIS impacts that are included for consideration. You may comment on alternatives, mitigation measures, probable significant adverse impacts, and licenses or other approvals that may be required.

Email comments to Geoffrey.Wentlandt@seattle.gov by 5:00 pm on September 9, 2016 for the comments to be considered. 

Request for Comments

 

Public Hearing — Seattle 2035

On September 15, 2016, the Seattle City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee will hear public comments regarding potential Council Amendments to Council Bill 118683 which would adopt the Mayor’s Recommended Comprehensive Plan, known as Seattle 2035, and amend the City’s Land Use Code to implement the plan. The public hearing will be on September 15, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. The hearing will be held in the City Council Chambers, 2nd floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue

The Mayor’s Recommended Plan, Office of Planning and Community Development Director’s Report, and Final Environmental Impact Statement and other key documents are available at Seattle 2035. A list of all potential Seattle City Council Amendments to Seattle 2035 is available on the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee website which also has links to video of presentations and public comment on sections of the proposed plan, and council discussion of amendments. Written comments on the proposal will be accepted through 2:00 p.m. on September 15. Email comments may be sent to Councilmember rob.johnson@seattle.gov by 2:00 pm on September 15.

Notice of Public Hearing

 

Public Hearing — Living Building Pilot Program

The City Council is considering amendments to make changes to the Living Building Pilot Program and will hold a public hearing at the Council Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee to take comments on the proposal on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, starting at 9:30 a.m. City Council Chambers, 2nd floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue

The proposed changes are available online on the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee website. Additional information about the Living Building Pilot Program is available on SDCI’s webpage.

Notice of Public Hearing

 

Resources

Land Use Information Bulletins
Property & Building Activity Interactive Map 
Design Review Board
Buildings in Design Review Map
Seattle In Progress

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Construction

Upcoming MV Community Council Meeting

JUNE 11, 2016 | LINDY WISHARD

The Madison Valley Community Council will be holding its next meeting on June 14.

Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets will present an update of their project which includes a grant, traffic study, and engineering to reduce traffic speeds and improve bike and pedestrian safety on the north side of Madison St. The traffic engineers and representatives from SDOT will be present to share the results of the study.

Also, MVCC will be holding annual officer elections. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a volunteer officer of the Community Council, or simply being more involved in the community council please contact Lindy Wishard and/or attend the Tuesday’s meeting. Come out and vote! 

Read the meeting agenda at http://bit.ly/1PlSjf0

Read the Board Member Duties at http://bit.ly/1Yi8jFL

Tuesday, June 14 7:00 PM
Madison Valley Community Council Meeting
Bush School Community Room

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Council, Community Planning

Opinion: Change is hard!

APRIL 25, 2016 | REG NEWBECK

The flare-up about the sale of City People’s and the effort to stop the construction of a building with a PCC market reminds me of a similar effort in Madison Park several years ago. The city wanted to remove the fence at North Beach (Swing Park) which is on 43rd Ave East, just north of East Madison. The residents of the Park, particularly the ones in surrounding residences, were up in arms.

People were concerned about traffic, that kids would drown in the lake with no fence and that it would attract all kinds of people day and night and that the city’s effort would destroy the neighborhood. The opposing group against even hired a bus to take people to a city hearing on the subject.

Amazingly, and rightly, the city went ahead with the project and none of the adverse results that were feared happened. The area is now beautiful, and an asset to Madison Park and no one has fallen off of the rocks and drowned either. We haven’t heard from these people since. The current effort to save Madison Valley sounds very much like the failed “STOP” effort in Madison Park.

 

city-peoples-sign

 

The big difference is that today we have Nextdoor and Facebook where people can rant and rave in real time, and say that “the sky is falling.” Most recently I read that some stores in the Valley were not going to renew their lease, but isn’t it possible that Valley businesses might benefit from the PCC? Yes, there are other grocery stores in the East Madison corridor, they will adjust to the PCC, and some may even lower their prices. Grocery stores come and go, and there have been a lot of them in East Madison. The Cafe Flora location was once a market and Madison Park even had a Safeway at one time. Some people have expressed concern about the PCC taking the retail space. If not the PCC, then who would you rather have there? Businesses in America have the right to move where they want — the volume of business will determine if it survives. For example, there was Bill the Butcher in the Valley. Did anyone get up in arms when they opened or when they closed?

Change isn’t always easy, but change can be good too. It’s going to happen, and we need to work with those trying to bring about change, not just try to stop it. The participation of the Save Madison Valley group in the review process is important and will make this a better project for the Valley and East Madison. There are many valid concerns about this project such as parking, traffic, transportation, and the safety of the structure which must be addressed in the review process by the participation of those for and against the project. We can have a say by participating in the process. Saying NO WAY or “Not In My Backyard” will not give us a voice in what will happen in Madison Valley!

Reg Newbect is a resident of Madison Park.

 

2 Comments, Join In | Topics: Community Planning

Livability Night Out

APRIL 14, 2016 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

Join Mayor Ed Murray and his team to learn about and talk about what makes Seattle livable.

The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) is hosting an open house and program at the Museum of History and Industry the evening of April 19. While entertained by local talent, attendees can discuss policies and proposals with city staff one on one and enjoy the museum. Then the Mayor and his Department Directors will provide an update of their vision and the programs they lead, with time for Q&A.

hala night out

April 19th 6:30–8:30pm
Museum of History and Industry
860 Terry Ave N
Seattle WA 98109

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Opinion: Enough is enough!

APRIL 5, 2016 | REG NEWBECK

Like most of you, I got my yearly Valentine’s Day present: My property tax for 2016 is up 25.2 percent from last year, and I’m not too happy. To top it off, the Madison Park Community Council (MPCC) announced that it was thinking about yearly dues.

The timing of these two events was not deliberate, but in my view, enough is enough. Not everyone can afford these increased taxes on homes that they owned for years. We, the voters, will have two more chances this November to vote to increase our property taxes — namely Sound Transit’s ST3 and a levy to provide housing support for the homeless.

Property taxes

The current property taxing method uses the land as the determining factor in the value of the property in the eyes of King County. I know of some cases where the land is worth upward of $900,000, and the building is worth less than $20,000. It is very difficult to appeal one’s property tax today given this method.

In the past, the physical house was compared to others, and one could appeal based on comparables. The opportunity to appeal today is limited. In one case, the county claimed that I had a view, and I had them come out to show me. The view had disappeared due to trees obstructing the view.

Senior citizens and disabled people can qualify for tax relief only if their income is less than $35,000. I know of no way that anyone can live on that amount of money, especially in Madison Park and Washington Park. The Washington state Legislature determines this income level, and it has not been increased in years.

I fully understand that the increased property tax is due to the levies that we added by voting for measures such as Move Seattle. New levies may increase this amount again next year. I need to ask how long can we keep using the property tax as a funding source, especially for those on fixed income.

We had to vote for school funding since our Washington state Legislature has been unable to fulfill the state constitutional mandate to fund schools. The state Legislature is under a state Supreme Court order to fund our schools!

Seattle Mayor Murray wants to raise the housing levy to $290 million for seven years to deal with the homelessness problem in Seattle. It would cost a Seattle homeowner (with a median home value of $480,000) about $122 in taxes per year. And now the mayor is talking about additional taxes to increase the size of the police force!

ST3 is expected to be on the ballot this fall. The $20 billion plan would create light rail lines to Everett, Redmond, Kirkland, Eastgate, Federal Way, Tacoma, Ballard and West Seattle. The measure would cost households, on average, nearly $400 in yearly property, car-tab and sales-tax increases. 

The property-tax issues have been a very hotly discussed topic on Nextdoor, with almost 300 responses in a short period. We have a problem when we at the local level need to take over funding for schools, transportation and homelessness from the state and federal governments. I don’t have a solution, but hopefully, you will require our elected officials to come up with a solution.

I know that the people of Seattle have rarely said no to a funding levy, but I believe that will end sooner or later since the property tax is not the solution any longer to the funding problem. We the voters should have the final say about taxing ourselves. The system needs to be equitable and fair, while taking into account those on fixed income. Taxing people out of their homes is not a funding solution.

Council funding

The following is a quote from the MPCC in the March issue of the Madison Park Times: “On the funding issue, we are in contact with the surrounding community councils. It is interesting to note that the Laurelhurst Community Club (not to be confused with the Laurelhurst Beach Club) requests an annual “membership” fee from its area residents… Many households actually contribute $100 per year, and, of course, some much more. It is very much a voluntary system, but it does report an average of more than 40-percent participation. Should we institute something similar?”

It is unfortunate that this funding proposal did not include any suggestions for the monies raised, and the MPCC shouldn’t expect to get a blank check from our community. I encourage the residents of Madison Park, Washington Park, Broadmoor and Denny-Blaine (which comprise MPCC) to discuss this proposal and to suggest how these added funds will be used in our neighborhood.

There also is a question whether the business dues should be applied to home businesses, too. This funding effort at a 40-percent participation rate could raise well more than $100,000. The extra funding for road and pedestrian safety would be great, but shouldn’t this funding come from the city or state?

The residents represented by MPCC must be involved, just like the voters, and MPCC needs to be accountable and communicate just like our elected officials need to do.

 

Reg Newbeck is a Madison Park resident.

 

3 Comments, Join In | Topics: Community Planning, Politics

RPZ Policies Being Studied

MARCH 16, 2016 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

Madison Valley has an RPZ (Restricted Parking Zone), on both the North and South side of East Madison Street. The RPZ impacts many households and businesses in the neighborhood. 

 

rpz

Yellow and red indicate RPZ. Red only is restricted parking times. 

 

The RPZ program was created in 1979 to help ease parking congestion in residential neighborhoods. Permits cost $65 each and a valid  for 2 years. 

It’s been many years since the RPZ program was evaluated. Now SDOT is working on a project to  review and possibly update the RPZ policies.

If you are impacted by an RPZ zone please fill out the following survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/seattleRPZ

For More Information on RPZ Zones:
http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/docs/RPZFactSheet122014.pdf

Information about the 2015-2016 Policy Review:
http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/rpz_policy_review.htm

The Code: http://bit.ly/1R6eGpr

Contact Info:
Becky Edmonds
Associate Transportation Planner
SDOT
206.684.5104
rebecca.edmonds@seattle.gov

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Encouraging Backyard Cottages & Seattle At Work

JANUARY 14, 2016 | KATHRYN KELLER

With great fanfare and considerable community debate and discussion, the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Advisory Committee delivered a hefty list of recommendations to Mayor Murray last July. Since then, city government is taking the necessary steps to implement the HALA Grand Bargain and Mayor’s action plan with the development of legislation and Council action. Now the real work begins where the residents of Seattle are invited to help shape the changes to our laws that will realize the goals of HALA.

Seattle at Work Community Meeting

The heart of the HALA Grand Bargain is upzoning all multi-family areas, and single family areas within the Urban Villages, in exchange for more affordable housing. As this work proceeds, we have the opportunity to understand what is being proposed and provide feedback regarding the realities of implementation.

Join Mayor Murray and City Staff to continue the conversation around the Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda to discuss creating new programs to increase housing affordability and strengthen tenant protections.

Tuesday, January 26, 5 – 7pm
Seattle City Hall
600 4th Ave

 

backyard-cottages

Encouraging Backyard Cottages Community Meetings

Expanding the construction of backyard cottages (aka DADUs – Detached Accessory Dwelling Units) could provide thousands of new housing units throughout Seattle and give homeowners an opportunity to earn stable, extra income, and remain in their homes. Join city staff and Councilmember Mike O’Brien at two public meetings in January 2016 to discuss policy options that would encourage production of backyard cottages.

Tuesday, January 19, 6 – 7:30pm
Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way

Wednesday, February 3, 6 – 7:30pm
Wallingford Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave N

The Office of Planning & Community Development (OPCD) published a background report and analysis that provides a good overview. Here are some aspects of legislation being considered and worth thinking about in terms of, “How can backyard cottages work in my neighborhood or other areas I am familiar with?” and, “How do backyard cottages enhance our neighborhoods?”

What sizes and heights should be allowed for cottages? Does it depend on the specific neighborhood? What portion of a lot should be preserved for green space? How close should cottages be to the property line adjacent to neighbors and how close when by an alley or street?

What should the parking requirements be? Does it make sense for someone with no garage or driveway but a huge backyard to have to put in a driveway and parking spaces to add a cottage? What about areas with no available on-street parking?

Should homeowners be able to create a basement or other section of their house as a rental unit (ADU or Attached Accessory Dwelling Unit) and also build a backyard cottage on their property? Should the owner be required to live on the property or is it acceptable for all of the living units (house, basement apartment and/or backyard cottage) to be rented with no homeowner resident?

Do some ideas of ‘what makes sense’ depend on different kinds of neighborhoods’ housing types? Does the heights of surrounding homes or the standard lot sizes and locations of homes on those lots make a difference in how you think about proposals? Where an area has a ubiquitous architectural style, does that make a difference in what would be desirable?

Are you considering building backyard cottage? What would be helpful to you? What creative ideas have you come up with? Watch this presentation to hear from folks who have done it describe the process, and where they experienced benefits and impediments.

 

1 Comment, Join In | Topics: Community Planning, Construction

Apply Now for a Parklet or Streatery!

DECEMBER 11, 2015 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

Since 2013, parklets have been transforming the streets of Seattle, by creating vibrant community amenities and neighborhood gathering spaces for all people to enjoy. In early 2015, SDOT expanded the idea of parklets by developing the Streatery Pilot Program, allowing restaurants and bars to build parklets that provide extra café seating space during business hours and public open space when businesses are closed. Last month, Some Random Bar—located at 2604 1st Ave in Belltown—became Seattle’s second business to host a streatery, joining the ranks of one other streatery in Capitol Hill and seven parklets in operation throughout the city. The Some Random Bar streatery features seating, planters, and tables, giving Belltown a new, attractive amenity for the 1st Ave commercial core.

 

streatery-srb
The streatery at Some Random Bar in Belltown

 

In hopes of including more businesses and community groups in the parklet and streatery programs across the city, SDOT is now accepting applications on a rolling basis, rather than restricting them to designated application windows. Interested groups are encouraged to submit applications during the fall and early winter to allow enough time to design, permit, and construct their spaces by the spring to take advantage of Seattle’s scarce sunny weather.  Interested in building a parklet or streatery for your neighborhood? All the information you need on how to apply can be found on our website.

Recognizing that the cost of designing and building a parklet might be out of reach for some businesses and community groups, we’re is working to connect prospective parklet and streatery hosts with funding opportunities and volunteer partnerships. As part of this effort, we’ve compiled a roster of local design firms that are eager to provide pro bono or reduced cost services to help bring parklet and streatery ideas to life. SDOT’s parklet web page has more information on these firms and their services.

If you have any questions or comments about starting a parklet or streatery, feel free to contact us.

parklets@seattle.gov
206-615-1028
seattle.gov/transportation/parklets.htm

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Seattle 2035: Help Shape Our Communities for the Next 20 Years!

OCTOBER 8, 2015 | KATHRYN KELLER

People often ask how is it that a certain kind of building can be built, how are parks and open spaces  planned, or why did that neighborhood get street enhancements? Much of how we see Seattle shape itself since 1994 is due to Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan: Toward a Sustainable Seattle which has guided growth in Seattle with the goal of fostering a healthy and vibrant city. This was followed up by citywide Neighborhood Planning process, which is supposed to guide and set priorities for Department of Neighborhoods grants to focus on creating “complete” neighborhoods as we grow and change. From guiding investment by the city to something as prosaic as comments requested on a project land use application, the plan sets the social and natural environmental components that are prioritized and considered.

seattle-2035

By Washington State law, we must update our plan every 20 years to account for what we have learned and provide the schema for the buildings, processes and priorities to shape growth and investment in the development of Seattle for the next 20 years. Your voice and involvement is critical because this is our plan. It is only through citizen involvement in the planning, and citizen oversight over the next 20 years, that we realize a plan that creates a great city for all of us to live, work, learn and recreate in.

The City of Seattle will hold five community meetings to gather public comments on Seattle 2035, the Draft City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan. The updated Comprehensive Plan will guide city policy and investments for the next 20 years. The meetings will include open house displays and a presentation to provide a broad overview of the Draft Plan, and will highlight major changes.

The first of these open houses is in our neighborhood on: 

Monday, October 19
6 – 8pm
Miller Community Center Multipurpose Room
330 19th Ave E.

The Seattle 2035 process of the last year has included a number of community meetings, public hearings, events, and opportunities for online feedback and has culminated in this draft plan. If you participated in any of those events, or are newly interested, consider attending one of the open houses or joining the  online conversation at Seattle 2035. The comment period ends November 20.

 

1 Comment, Join In | Topics: Community Planning, Construction

Community Invited to Cayton Corner Park Open House

AUGUST 24, 2015 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

The Friends of Cayton Corner Park invite the community to an Open House on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm at Cayton Corner Park, 1831 E Madison St.

At the event the community is encouraged to learn about the new design, meet the designer, JA Brennan, ask questions and get involved. In 2011, funding from Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund contributed to the purchase of the 4,500 square foot, triangular-shaped lot on E Madison and 19th Ave. This property helped fill a need for open space in the neighborhood. The Friends of Cayton Corner Park have applied for and received two Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund awards. With this funding, they hired the design consultant, JA Brennan. The “Friends” have been working hard to involve neighbors in the design process and have conducted work parties to keep the site tidy. Their leadership will transform the empty lot into a gathering place for a uniquely diverse neighborhood. 

The property at the corner of 19th Ave. and E Madison St. was named Cayton Corner Park.  Horace Cayton published the Seattle Republican, a newspaper directed at both white and black readers in the early 1900s. At one point the paper had the second largest circulation in the city. The Caytons were a very prominent family in the African American community, promoting education and making significant contributions to the development of our city and its ethnic populations.

For more information or to donate to this community-initiated park project please visit the Cayton Corner Park page on Facebook.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Community Council: Lack of Participation Means Changes are Coming

FEBRUARY 16, 2015 | LINDY WISHARD

At this month’s Madison Valley Community Council meeting, I will propose that the Council change its schedule from monthly meetings to one annual meeting, with additional sessions as needed. 

Low turnout is the reason. At a typical council meeting only four to five people show up. There does not seem to be any widespread neighborhood interest in attending council meetings or tackling more significant community improvement projects. 

Catherine Nunneley and I will continue to organize Sip & Dine events in the neighborhood. These social events are well attended and are a great way for neighbors to meet one another. 

The Community Council will partner with the Merchants Association and local schools for the Madison Valley Spring Clean and this year’s Bastille event (which will NOT be the same event as in past years; another casualty of low volunteerism — more information on that to come).  

We are trying our best to keep the website (madisonvalley.org) up and running, but even this is uncertain. Articles are written by volunteers (and our sincere thanks to them), but participation has been low generally. Without enough content there really isn’t a purpose for the site. 

If residents have concerns, grant proposals, ideas, etc., they can contact me directly or attend the monthly Merchants Association Meeting, where I am usually in attendance and we cover most of the topics, troubles, and gossip as it relates to the Valley. 

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Council, Community Planning

Safer Streets Initiative

FEBRUARY 2, 2015 | JERRY FULKS

Neighbors! Are you interested in how traffic (and the road construction on 520 and 23rd Ave E) affects our neighborhood? Introducing Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets

Join us on Saturday to meet with your neighbors and learn about what’s happening to traffic and streets in our neighborhood. We’ll discuss the traffic circles and walking path. You can share your ideas and hear what others have already been working on in regards to traffic, construction and crime. A great way to socialize with your neighbors, too! 

26th Ave will be closed (from East Galer to East Ward is our plan) that day to facilitate the work (we have not gotten the final permit so the length of closure is subject to change). 

Bring the kids — we’ll have cookies! 

If you are interested in these topics, and even if you can’t make the event, sign up for our new group on Nextdoor- Safer Streets. That way you can find out more about events and projects. Also please sign up on the email list for updates at arboretum.safer.streets@gmail.com

Saturday, February 7
Noon – 3:00 PM
1210 26th Ave East

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

520 & Montlake Lid

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 | LINDY WISHARD

For those who could not attend last week’s 520 Bridge meeting, there are extensive illustrations and diagrams online explaining the updated design for the Montlake Lid area.

montlake-lid

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/30BAD8AA-5BFC-4E65-8F5C-82F1C9645878/0/2014_0911_OpenHouse_Boards_Montlake_Small.pdf

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/FD04CBD0-E0F6-4972-858F-CFC455A4AEB2/0/2014_0911_OpenHouse_Boards_NonMotorized_Small.pdf

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Transportation

The Opening of the McGilvra Greenway

AUGUST 13, 2014 | BOB EDMISTON

You are cordially invited to the opening of the McGilvra Greenway.

Greenway Bulb

We’ll be meeting on the new corner bulb at 37th Ave E and E Madison St (Broadmoor Golf Course Fence, SE corner) at 1:30 pm on Saturday Sep 21st. This is our opportunity to thank city employees and elected officials for responding to community concerns and making our neighborhood safer and more livable by implementing a traffic-calming greenway on the nearest four blocks leading to McGilvra Elementary School.

It’ll also be a really fun time to explore and try out our first few blocks of neighborhood greenway in a car-free environment. We’ll be opening the street to people while closing it to cars for one hour. If you haven’t experienced a completed greenway, this is your chance to see what all the excitement is about. Bring kids, sidewalk chalk, bikes, parents, friends, neighbors, grandparents.

A bit of background we’ll be sharing: The need for safety improvements along 37th Ave E was brought to the Madison Park Community Council (MPCC) back in late 2011 by Brian Connolly, a concerned McGilvra PTA parent, who had observed a life-threatening collision when a child biking to school collided with an SUV being driven by a parent who just dropped off her child at McGilvra Elementary. Brian, and the residents along 37th Ave E, had recognized the severity of the hazards in their area and were motivated to make change happen.

Over the next several years, a coalition of residents, parents and volunteers collaborated first with Brian Dougherty, Safe Routes to School Coordinator working within the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to get the intersection of 37th Ave E at E Madison St redesigned for safety. Then, this coalition collaborated with SDOT Neighborhood Greenway implementers Emily Ehlers and Dawn Schellenberg to design and construct the 4.5 blocks of greenway we have today. The work accomplished by SDOT and the community has been excellent and we want to thank them for doing a great service to our whole community.

The intersection and greenway are important beginnings of a community-wide network of calm, pleasant neighborhood back streets where people of all ages and abilities can move about with dignity and comfort, whether they choose to walk, bike, roll in a wheel chair or drive. We’re planning a ribbon cutting celebration to thank all those involved and to share our success with the broader community.

We really hope you can attend and share the invite others.

Greenway Crosswalk

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Safety

Comment Period on Harbour Pointe Parklet Begins

JULY 25, 2014 | EDITOR

The public notice of the Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse parklet application has been mailed to residences and businesses within 200 feet of the proposed parklet site and will officially be posted on 7/24/14 at SDOT’s Street Use website, beginning the two-week public comment period.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Crossing at 26th and Boyer

JUNE 29, 2014 | EDITOR

SDOT will be improving the intersection of 26th and Boyer. This will become a 5-way stop for cars. A striped pedestrian crossing will be located on the east side of the intersection crossing Boyer.

26th & Boyer

These improvements will be happening at the end of summer 2014. View design (PDF) of the intersection.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Safety

A Parklet in Madison Valley

JUNE 21, 2014 | EDITOR

Parklets convert on-street parking spots into public spaces for all Seattleites to enjoy. Parklets have been popular in other cities for many years. This year Seattle is running a test program for parklets. 15 parklets have been permitted, including one in Madison Valley.

hpc-parklet

The Madison Valley parklet (view plan) will be located in front of Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse. The design includes benches, tables, and lots of planter boxes with seasonal plantings (sketch).

While the city provides permits for uses of the parking spaces, construction and maintenance costs are the responsibility of the parklet applicant. In our neighborhood, Zander Natallanni, owner of Harbour Pointe, is the applicant.

Construction and installation of the parklet will begin in July of 2014.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Madison Valley Landmark Update

JUNE 21, 2014 | LINDY WISHARD

Madison Valley Landmark

The final designs for the Madison Valley Landmark are complete (view PDF). The project includes a redesign of the traffic triangle at the intersection of 28th Ave East and East Madison and a matching kiosk at the crosswalk between Jae’s and the dry cleaner. 

Monument Sketch

The next steps in the process are to get bids for the construction of the design, and raise the funds needed to build the landmark. Madison Valley has been awarded $100,000 from the Department of Neighborhoods to use toward construction. These funds will need to be matched with dollars and volunteer labor. 

If anyone would like to work on fundraising for this project please contact me

 

Crosswalk Repair on Madison

The crosswalk in front of Luc that ends in a tree will be repaired late Summer 2014. The tree will be removed. The sidewalk will be widened and the crossing signal will be repositioned. 

Crosswalk

View design plans for the crossing.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Important Merchants Association Meeting

JUNE 17, 2014 | LINDY WISHARD

Your attendance at the next Merchants Association meeting is essential. We have important items on the agenda: 

Bastille Bash
This is the final meeting before Bastille Bash. We will be covering important logistics related to the event. 

Parklet
Madison Valley is getting a parklet — very soon! In this meeting we will be discussing the design of the parklet and particulars related to how this new installation will effect the neighborhood.

Crosswalk
The crosswalk in front of Luc is being repaired later this Summer. We will review the design for the new crossing and sidewalk repair.

Date: This Wednesday, June 18
Time: 8:30 AM (Please be on time)
Location: Cafe Flora

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Bastille Bash

Parklets are Coming to Madison Valley

JUNE 4, 2014 | EDITOR

Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse has been approved for a parklet. What is a parklet?

A parklet is a small space serving as an extension of the sidewalk to provide amenities and green space for people using the street. It is typically the size of several parking spaces. Parklets extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space. 

This parklet will be taking up 35 ft of space. It will be a miniature park — something that doesn’t currently exist in the business district — with raised garden beds, and will be used for sitting and relaxing.

The parklet will also affect the feeling and flow of the neighborhood. In an effort to get opinions and ideas on design and beautification, Zander Natallanni of Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse and Michael Muehlbauer of Sustain-a-culture will be holding two Q&A sessions in order to address concerns as well as collaborate on ideas with the area’s residents and business merchants on this improvement.

Meeting times are as follows:
Saturday June 7, 10 pm–2 pm at Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse
Saturday June 14, 10 pm–2 pm at Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse

These times are designed for residents to be able to drop in for a few moments on their schedules. Or you can email info@HarbourPointeCoffeehouse.com

Logo-HPC

The Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse
2818 E. Madison St
Seattle WA 98112

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Traffic Triangle Update

APRIL 18, 2014 | EDITOR

A new design has been proposed and received with great enthusiasm. It is a very clean and classic design. View the full-size sketch.

Triangle Monument Sketch SM

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Minutes from the Merchants Association 16-Apr-2014

APRIL 18, 2014 | LISA VIAN HUNTER

Read the minutes from the latest Merchants Association meeting. This meeting was focused mostly on preparations for the upcoming Bastille Bash.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Bastille Bash, Merchants Association

Silly Hilly Walk/Ride is April 26th, 2pm - 4pm

APRIL 16, 2014 | EDITOR

Bob Edmiston asks that we spread the word about Silly Hilly:

We need all feet and wheels on deck for this fun route scouting day in the hilly slopes between North Capitol Hill and Madison Valley, Arboretum and Montlake. Bring your feet, bikes, kids, dogs, cameras, fun hats and silly wear.

Silly Hilly is a fun, inclusive, family-friendly ride/walk to explore potential greenway route options for the northern segment of the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway between John and 520, including part of Madison Valley and the Arboretum neighborhood.

The fun starts at the Montlake Elementary School playground, where participants will be divided into teams upon arrival. Teams will ride or walk one of four route options while taking pictures and completing a scavenger hunt along the way. We'll Stop, Doc and Tweet all along our stroll. Data collected from this activity will directly inform the Greenway route choices for Phase 3 of the 23rd Ave repaving project from E John St to SR520.

At Miller Park (our finish line), we’ll have kid-friendly games, prizes and refreshments, as well as opportunities to share ideas on which greenway route makes the most sense!

This ride is being organized jointly by Central Seattle Greenways, Montlake Greenways, Madison Park Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Club. A bike is not necessary for this fun route scouting adventure.

Bob Edmiston
www.SeattleGreenways.org
Join our Google Group
@Mpgreenways Twitter Feed

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Arboretum, Nature

Two Important Upcoming City Events

APRIL 2, 2014 | KATHRYN KELLER

logo-sns2014Seattle Neighborhood Summit is this Saturday April 5, 9 – noon, at the Seattle Center.

Come interact with elected officials, city departments, and each other. Learn how we can be more effective and share what is important to our neighborhood. I understand that over 400 people are registered and have filled out the survey, which has resulted in an exciting agenda that is now published on the website.

Childcare will be provided, and fun activities for children. Just note on the registration form that you are bringing your children. Even if you can’t make it, please fill out the survey. Between the networking and information at the event, and the survey results, our neighborhoods can be more effective in our abilities to work with each other and with the city government.


logo-seattle2035Seattle 2035
 

Please come to an open house Monday, April 14, 2014, 6 – 8 pm, at Miller Community Center.

How will Seattle be grow and be shaped for the next 20 years? Seattle 2035 is the yearlong project to update Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan, which addresses our housing, jobs, transportation, quality of life and environment. Alternatives are being studied now — that is where we come in. What are the important factors that make Seattle a great place to live and work? How should we grow? All comments are due by April 21 so the alternatives can be fully studied and the next phase of the process commence.

If you can’t attend the open house, but are interested in the current status, review this presentation, which has questions for consideration listed on page 43.

Send your comments about the alternatives or on the scope by email to 2035@Seattle.gov or to Gordon.Clowers@seattle.gov, or by USPS using this form.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Public Hearing on Seattle's Recreation Opportunities

APRIL 2, 2014 | CHRISTINA ARCIDY

We're trying to get the word out about the upcoming public hearing regarding a Parks District to provide stable, predictable funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation. The City Council is considering joining 17 other Washington cities in creating our own Parks District, and they need to hear from our community. 

Here are the meeting details:

Monday, April 7, 2014
6:00 PM Public Hearing
Council Chambers, City Hall
600 Fourth Ave, 2nd Floor
Seattle, 98104

Our parks contribute so much to our quality of life, and provide so many important programs and services for people across our city and at all age and income levels. As everyone knows, Parks took huge budget cuts during the Great Recession. Community centers are currently open at 50% of their capacity and Parks faces a $270 million parks maintenance backlog.

The City Council needs to hear that the community wants to restore equal access to recreation opportunities. Read more details about the recommendations.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

The City Wants Your Opinion!

FEBRUARY 20, 2014 | LINDY WISHARD

The City is currently asking for feedback on two issues relevant to Madison Valley. 

Pedestrian Zone:

The first issue is making East Madison Street between 27th and 32nd a designated pedestrian zone. 

You can learn more about pedestrian zones on the City’s website.

Or attend the next Madison Valley Merchant Association meeting, March 19th, 8:30 AM at Cafe Flora where Aly Pennuicci, Seattle City Planner will be on hand to answer any questions about the pedestrian zone designation. 

Also, please take the pedestrian zone survey

Department of Neighborhoods:

The new mayor would like to learn what is is not working in our neighborhoods. To do so, he is holding a Seattle Neighborhood Summit Saturday, April 5th from 9–1 PM at the Seattle Center Pavilion Room. I plan to attend, and I would love for anyone interested in neighborhoods to come with me. To learn more about the Neighborhood Summit visit: http://www.seattle.gov/sns2014

In preparation for the meeting the city is asking us to fill out an online survey with questions related to how the city is doing with neighborhoods, and what could be improved. Please take the online survey.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Off-Leash Dog Park Udate

FEBRUARY 20, 2014 | RICHARD WINSLER

First let me start off by saying a big WOOF to all those who supported my proposal to acquire an off-leash area here in the Washington Park play field. Over a hundred locals signed the petition to let the City know that we want and need a place to exercise our four-legged friends.

Last month I received word from Leah Tivoli, Sustainable Operations Manager – Parks Division and she sent me the following: “after speaking to our Planning and Development Division about the possibility of using this site, I learned that this site is not acceptable for an off-leash area. In the event of a storm, the area may be flooded and in an extreme storm event the water would overflow out of this basin into the adjacent play field. If an OLA was built at this site, all the material would flood and contaminate the adjacent ball field.”

After breaking the sad news to my pug Ruby, we both realized that there are still other potential sites that may allow an OLA either in Madison Valley or Madison Park. However, we will need someone else to take the leash on this.

If you feel that there may be an area in your neck of the woods, I strongly encourage you to contact the President of C.O.L.A (Citizens for Off Leash Areas), Patrick Jones. He has worked in establishing many wonderful off-leash parks throughout Seattle and has an in-depth knowledge of the entire process from start to finish. He will gladly work with you and inform you of how to get the tennis ball rolling for a possible new off-leash park in your neighborhood. Patrick’s info is: 206-913-7261 or patrickjones321@gmail.com.

Thank you all very much for the support and interest you have shown to ensure our furry friends are happy, healthy, socialized and well exercised — it may not have worked out for this area, but may work out in yours.

Have a dog gone great day!

Richard Winsler {and Ruby too}

 

Richard has been a resident in Madison Valley since 2000. He owns and operates his own dog business: check him and his pooches out on Facebook at: Catch Me If You Can - Dog Outings.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Pets

Seattle 2035: Big Ideas Event

JANUARY 24, 2014 | KATHRYN KELLER

Seattle is preparing to update its Comprehensive Plan in 2015. The Comprehensive Plan guides our growth and development. Many of the improvements we gain in our community today, and the community based funding process for them, is a result of the work that created our current Comprehensive Plan, which is amended each year by an open process. Our current plan is the result of work in 1994 that projected our vision up to 2014, initiated the Neighborhood Planning process that is now used as a model by cities around the country, and resulted in the creation of the Department of Neighborhoods. 

The Comprehensive Plan had an update in 2004 to adjust for the growth we should expect up to 2024. Now, we are invited to engage in a year-long process, via numerous forms and varied levels of involvement, that will define what we want our city to be like in 2035. The initial public event, on Thursday, January 30 from 4:30–8:30 PM at the Olympic Sculpture Park should be very interesting, exciting, and provide big picture context for what we will be asked to consider as far as how we evolve as a community in our city within our region. Read event info here. The project website is here.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Seattle Parks & Rec Budget Meetings

JANUARY 14, 2014 | EDITOR

Seattle Parks and Recreation will host three community meetings in January to get feedback on the work done by the Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee in preparation for a potential 2014 park and recreation funding ballot measure.

The meetings will feature a brief presentation that describes how the committee has prioritized a list of potential investment initiatives. That will be followed by professionally facilitated workshops that seek community input.

The meetings will be held:

• Thursday, January 23, International District/Chinatown Community Center, 719 8th Ave. S, at 6 p.m.

• Saturday, January 25, High Point Community Center, 6920 34th Ave. SW, 1 p.m. (free childcare will be provided)

• Thursday, January 30, Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N, at 7 p.m.

Seattle Parks and Recreation began working on the Park Legacy Plan, which forms the basis of a ballot funding measure, more than a year ago. Read the press release for full details.

To learn more, read the Legacy Committee’s Interim Report. It’s available at www.seattle.gov/parks/legacy/committee.htm, or in hard copy at community centers and pools. Those who want to give input, but are not able to come to the meetings can give written comments, which bear equal weight to verbal comments. Please email comments to parkslegacy@seattle.gov.

Anyone attending a meeting is encouraged to send a report to this site!

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

MVCC's History of Accomplishments

DECEMBER 29, 2013 | CATHERINE NUNNELEY

People often ask what the Madison Valley Community Council does.

The purpose of the council is to represent the residents of our neighborhood, to provide a democratic forum for all members, and to protect and advance the interests of the community before municipal, state and federal agencies. 

The Community Council is a nonprofit 501(c)(3). All participants are volunteers. Everyone is welcome to attend community meetings and participate.

Community Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM. Meetings are held at the Martin Luther King F.A.M.E. Community Center, 3201 East Republican Street, Seattle, Washington 98112

Over the years the council has worked on many neighborhood improvements. Following is a list created by the founding members of the council:

 

Community Work

Annual Events:

Bastille Bash
Spaghetti Dinner
Pancake Breakfast
Madison Street Art Walk
Progressive Dinner at Neighborhood Restaurants
Holiday Bazaar
Courtyard Rummage Sale
Spring Cleanup
Night-out Block Parties
Winter Festival of Lights throughout the Neighborhood
Diversity Fair
Publication of the Valley View Newsletter

 

Garden/Green Projects

Reforestation of the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt
Planting of trees along MLK Way
Establishment of community compost stations for yard/food          
Repair and removal of vegetation for neighborhood sidewalks
Garden Tours
Pea Patch Installation

 

Community Interest Groups

Teen Work Opportunity Group
Writers’ Workshops
Parenting Workshops
Madison Valley Family Project
Youth Group

 

Community Improvement Efforts

Sidewalk repair
Madison Valley Triangle Project
Greenways Project
Parklet Project
Design Community Home at the WA Park Field house
Design Tunnel under Madison Connecting Madison Valley and the Arboretum
Establish new crosswalk on Madison at 29th Ave E
Establish Restricted Parking Zone in Madison Street Corridor
Participation in the Seattle City Comprehensive Planning
Information kiosk at the Madison Valley Retention Pond
Eliminate flooding on 32nd Ave E at E John
Graffiti Removal
Fundraising for AME Church after fire damage

 

Martin Luther King Jr.  Elementary School

Village Schools Project
Landscaping
Built new playground twice
Purchased a van for school transportation
Established safe biking routes to the school

School Programs:

Before and After School Program
Chess Club
Dance Classes
Computer lab
Homework Center
NW Historical Course including Forest Evolution

 

Special thank you to Catherine Nunneley and Charles McDade for providing this list.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Council, Community Planning

Neighborhood Meeting to Discuss Greenways

DECEMBER 8, 2013 | LINDY WISHARD

Recently I learned that there is a possibility of getting funding for a greenway through our neighborhood. This could happen as soon as February 2014. There are lots of advantages to having a greenway, including reduced traffic and increased property values. In order to make this happen, we need you to show up at a Madison Valley Greenways Gathering.

Greenway Bikers

At the meeting, we’ll discuss what a greenway is, and how it will benefit the residents of Madison Valley. We’ll ask you to diagram on a map how you travel through the neighborhood; where you see pedestrian, bicycle, and auto problems; and what you envision for your street and immediate surroundings.

Read more about greenways.

When: Wednesday, Dec 11th at 6:30 PM
Where: Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse, 2818 East Madison Street

If you have questions about greenways or the Greenways Gathering, please email Lindy@MadisonValley.org or call 206 552-0345.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Safety

Tell Us What You Think: Designs for New Landmark

NOVEMBER 12, 2013 | LINDY WISHARD

The City of Seattle and the Madison Valley Community Council are looking for comments on these preliminary designs for a new neighborhood landmark. The structure will be built on the traffic triangle at Madison and 28th Ave E. 

This feedback will be used to create a third and final design. There is no need to “vote” on one design or the other; commenters can like or dislike features from either. Clicking on the illustrations will open up full-size versions in a new window.

 

Design One:

Two columns are added to each side of the large tree and signage with the words Madison Valley on a curved sign. Final design for the columns and sign TBD.

Uses more of the triangle space
The large tree in front remains, but is trimmed to increase visibility
A rounded bench is built into the design
A planting strip in front to protect pedestrians from traffic

Triangle: Front

Triangle: Elev1

 

Triangle: Overhead

Triangle: Plan1

 

Design Two:

The Madison Valley signage is incased in a “picture frame”
The large tree is removed
A grove of smaller trees is added to the triangle

Design Two contains some additional improvements to the area. These could be incorporated into either design, if people like them:

1. Adding curb bulbs to the corner in front of Luc and Jae’s. This would slow traffic in the intersection and improve the pedestrian crossing.  

2. Paving the concrete and sidewalk with a decorative pattern to distinguish it as a place.

Triangle: Front

Triangle: Elev2

Triangle: Overhead

Triangle: Plan2

 

CrosswalkIn conjunction with the landmark construction, the nearby crosswalk (in front of Luc), which terminates in a tree trunk, will be rehabilitated, either by moving the crosswalk or removing the tree.

 

 

Please take a few moments to fill out the online survey. The last question, #10, is for any general or specific comments you’d like to us to hear. Thank you!

These design options will be discussed at both the Merchants Association meeting and the Community Council meeting. Anyone is welcome to attend these neighborhood meetings.

Madison Valley Merchant Association
Third Wednesday of the month – Nov 20, 9:00 AM at Cafe Flora

Madison Valley Community Council
Third Wednesday of the month – Nov 20, 7:00 PM at MLK FAME Center

If you have questions or additional comments regarding the Madison Valley Triangle Project, please contact Lindy@MadisonValley.org

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Attention: Landmark Sketch Review on Saturday!

NOVEMBER 4, 2013 | LINDY WISHARD

Madison Valley residents are urged to stop by Luc next Saturday to give feedback on the design of the new landmark being built at the traffic triangle. GGLO, the design firm working on the project, and officials from the city will be present to take your comments. Complimentary coffee will be served.

Bring your friends and neighbors, drop in for a few minutes, learn a little about the project, and share your thoughts. Everyone is welcome—the more community feedback, the better, and the more likely we are to receive funding.

When: Sat, Nov.9, anytime between 10 am and 11:45.
Where: Luc Restaurant, 2800 East Madison Street

If you have questions please email Lindy Wishard, Madison Valley Community Council President. Lindy@MadisonValley.org

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Metro Bus Service on East Madison

JULY 22, 2013 | REG NEWBECK

Metro BussesRecent queries about Rapid Ride expansion and the state funding mess — a matter of politics and budgeting issues — have put Metro Transit and our local bus service back in the news.

I, like many of you, ride the Route 11 East Madison bus, and use Metro for work, shopping and appointments. Our bus service has seen a few improvements over the years: air conditioning, no more loops to West Seattle, some faster service during peak hours (funded by the City of Seattle), and added Sunday morning service. But you’re in real trouble if you expect Metro to meet its published schedule, and reliability hasn’t improved despite the fact that the #11 no longer goes to West Seattle. 

I inquired about our level of service and the expansion of RapidRide on East Madison recently, and here is what I found.

Several years ago I attended a Metro presentation on a plan to replace our bus with RapidRide, but given everything I’ve been able to learn from Metro, Madison Valley and Madison Park are no longer included in the plans. RapidRide would have offered us 15-minute service and route changes but the change would also have resulted in fewer bus stops — this is how they speed up service! One has only to look at the distance between bus stops on MLK to see the problem. 

The biggest challenge for Metro today is the 17% revenue shortfall. Route 11 is on the list of lines that may face reduced service as early as next year. Since the state funding has not come through, King County may have no other options but to reduce service. There have been four fare increases in the last few years. Service cuts and fare increases could mean more people forced into cars — causing more traffic congestion in Seattle!  

Online services such as OneBusAway for smart phones have helped when the service was up and receiving reliable bus locations from Metro. For those in Madison Park, this service loses the bus once it is in the Park and only starts working when the bus is about a minute from your stop. Thankfully, OneBusAway works for other East Madison bus stops. 

So the question is, if you ride the bus, can you deal with reduced bus service on the 11 and all areas Metro services? Several years ago at a Metro presentation, one attendee was fine if the bus didn’t show or was late — her response was to take a good book for reading. I know this won’t do for those who use the bus to get to work or appointments!

This is not the time to be reducing bus service in Seattle, especially since so many of us today are dependent on it. We must be working together to improve service such as offering 20-minute service on the #11 all day, rather than 15-minute service during peak and 30-minute in off peak.

I feel that the Community Councils that represent the communities on East Madison should be working together with King County Metro and the City of Seattle to insure that we maintain a usable level of service and not go the route of Pierce County transit. I must also ask, why is the City of Seattle working on the expansion of street cars lines on Broadway and elsewhere when Metro is facing a 17% cut in funding and service?

What do the communities on East Madison have to say about their bus service?

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Transportation

Here Come the Mayors!

JUNE 19, 2013 | EDITOR

Eight of the candidates for Seattle mayor will attend the Liveable Streets forum to discuss their plans for making Seattle’s streets great places for walking, playing, using transit, shopping, biking, getting to school, and raising a family. 

The event will take place on July 1st, from 7:00–8:30 PM at the MLK F.A.M.E Community Center. Anticipated attendance: Mike McGinn, Peter Steinbrueck, Bruce Harrell, Ed Murray, Charlie Staadecker, Kate Martin, Joey Gray, and Mary Martin.

The event is free, RSVP requested. Register online. 

Transportation: The community center is served by nearby bus routes 8 and 11 and is on the Lake Washington Loop bike route. A by-donation bike valet will be available. There is no off-street car parking.

Childcare will be provided (please register for childcare when you RSVP)

The Livable Streets candidate forum is hosted by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and the Park Shore Retirement Community with support from the Seattle Parks Foundation, Commute Seattle, Sustainable Seattle, Senior Services, Seattle Subway, Feet First, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, Cascade Bicycle Club, 12th Ave Stewards, Seattle Bike Blog, Futurewise, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, the Madison Park Community Council, West Seattle Bike Connections, and Bike Works. 

About Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Formed in August 2011, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a rapidly growing volunteer coalition representing many neighborhoods across Seattle to identify, advocate for, and activate safe, equitable, and comfortable streets connecting us to the places we use, whether we walk, drive, ride a bike, push a stroller, or move by wheelchair. More information can be found at their website.

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Politics

Woody Lane

MAY 29, 2013 | EDITOR

Resident Andy Goulding recently had a local street widened with a gravel shoulder as a safety improvement.

The curved lane on the west perimeter of the Arboretum connecting 26th and 28th Avenues East has long been hazardous to walkers and pets.

With guidance and support from Councilman Tom Rasmussen, Andy applied for and was awarded $30,000 from Department of Neighborhoods. The road improvement was completed by the Seattle Conservation Corps and the Department of Transportation.

Woody Lane Before

Andy named the refurbished thruway Woody Lane, after his golden retriever. “In my youth,” he says, “I drove our ’58 Chevy fast through this neighborhood, on this street, as a shortcut to I-90. Now we live here and I hate cars driving fast on the street!”

Woody Lane Proposal

Woody Lane After

In addition to being dangerous, the lane was plagued with litter, which Andy personally cleaned up over the years. Taking inspiration from his cause, he composed a “little song.” In the key of C: 

I found a Hostess Cupcake in their trash on Woody Lane,
The packaging looked tidy and intact.
If you were me what would you do, to lighten up your load,
Eat it or throw it in your sack?

I am a litter picker, that’s how I spend my time
To ease my guilty conscience and my woes.
Other people help me; they throw out junk and grime.
Co-dependency keeps me on my toes.

I have a small conundrum, that bothers me a bit,
Like one hand clapping in the woods:
Do people like a road that’s clean, after I’m done cleaning it,
Or do they just like all those packaged goods?

Andy Goulding
View Andy’s Facebook page on the renovation.

 

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Aegis Living Scheduled to Open October 2013

MAY 23, 2013 | LINDY WISHARD

Several people have asked me about the construction on the northeast corner of East Madison and 23rd. The new building will be the location of Aegis on Madison, an assisted-living community providing care for seniors. Headquartered in Redmond, Aegis is a locally owned company with 28 communities in Washington, California, and Nevada.  

To find out more, I met with Marc Nowak, Vice President of Operations at Aegis Living. Marc gave me a virtual tour using a touchscreen television, which illustrated areas of the facility in detail. The thought and care that has gone into the building design and the needs of the guests is impressive. 

This first image is a view of the building, heading east on Madison. Notice the Queen Bee Cafe on the corner. Open to the public, this cafe will offer gourmet coffee and crumpets with speciality toppings.

Aegis 1

This next image is an illustration of a studio apartment. Lovely!

Aegis 10

This is the entrance to the building on 22nd Ave East. The building was design by architect Wolf Saar of VIA Architecture, a firm headquartered in Vancouver, BC with an office in Seattle. The builder is Andersen Construction. 

Aegis 2

The building is designed to look like a fine boutique hotel. In this rendering of the lobby you can see the finishes and furnishings.

Aegis 3

This is the dining room. The sous chef from Cafe Juanita was recruited to work at the Aegis in Bellevue. A decision on the chef for the Madison location has not been finalized, but based on my conversation with Marc it's clear they are putting thought and effort into the selection. 

Aegis 4

A Tuscan-inspired wine cellar and private dining room are available for guests to host private dinners.

Aegis 5

On the main level is a movie theater! Marc tells me Dancing with the Stars is a popular show at Aegis in Bellevue. 

Aegis 6

An all-inclusive spa and fitness center is available on-site. Working with local educational partners, Aegis is constantly in pursuit of the latest holistic wellness treatments, both Eastern and Western. 

Aegis 7

The Sky Lounge and rooftop deck will provide a wonderful place to have a cocktail, view the skyline, and enjoy an outdoor fireplace. 

Aegis 8

The Man Cave is a sports bar in the basement, which will offer six wide-screen televisions, a poker table, beers on tap, and dart boards. 

Aegis 9

Aegis Memory Care

The second floor of the facility is dedicated to those in need of Memory Care. This specially designed space has a secure outdoor patio, which is designed to look like Madison Valley of yesteryear. The faux building facades are actual reproductions of buildings that were once in the area. 

Aegis 11

Short Term Stay

In addition to providing full-time care for residents, Aegis will also provide short-term stay options. If you're caring for someone at home, but need to leave town for a few days or weeks, Aegis can provide short term care for your loved one. 

Day Care

Along the same lines as short-term care, if you have a loved one who would simply enjoy activities and the company of others during the day, Aegis will offer day programs. 

Aegis Madison Facts

  • 104 units. Most units are studios or one bedrooms ranging from 300-700 sq. ft. 
  • 52 parking spaces in the underground garage
  • Pet friendly

For More Info:

Starting in June, the Aegis Sales office, located in Madison Park, will be open 10:00–6:00 every day. 1928 43rd Ave East #8, Seattle 98112

http://www.aegisonmadison.com

Aegis and Bastille Bash

Aegis will have a booth set up at Bastille Bash for neighbors to learn more about the new Aegis Madison facility. 

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Housing

Give Your Input on the New Park at 19th and Madison

APRIL 20, 2013 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

The space at 19th and Madison will become a park. Our community was lucky enough to get a grant to hire a landscape architect and public artist to work with us to design this space as a park. You'll likely walk by, drive by or walk/bike through this space now! Let's work together to improve the look and feel of this public space.

It's easy to engage in our community. Please do two things:

1. Review 3 park designs created by our community members and comment on this very brief survey. With your feedback, we can move forward to creating a single preferred design. 

2. Join the next Public Design Workshop #3 to discuss final park decisions on: Tuesday May 28th, 6:30-8:30pm Hearing, Speech, and Deafness Center Conference Room at 1625 19th Ave Seattle, WA 98122

We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks! Thank you

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning

Apodments: When is a rental unit ‘just’ a bedroom?

APRIL 16, 2013 | KATHRYN KELLER

Councilmembers Rasmussen, Clark, Licata and Conlin will hold a public meeting on micro-housing developments, April 18, 11:30 AM–1:30 PM, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 600 Fourth Avenue. The public is invited to share feedback with Councilmembers and City staff. Read the news release. 

If you cannot attend, you can email your comments to: tom.rasmussen@seattle.govsally.clark@seattle.govnick.licata@seattle.gov, and richard.conlin@seattle.gov.

‘Micro-housing’ or ‘apodments,’ are current marketing terms for congregate or Single Room Occupancy (SRO)-style housing where individual units are a bedroom and optionally a bath, with shared kitchen and bathrooms. Congregate housing, rooming houses, or SROs have been a common use of apartment or rooming house buildings in Seattle and can be an option for many individuals. Shared homes, where an owner rents bedrooms or a group of individuals rent a whole house, are also very common in Seattle.

Why all the discussion now and what about it pertains to Madison Valley in particular?

In the last few years, developers have been getting permits to build apodment complexes in the Multifamily Low Rise (LR) zones, mainly the most dense LR3 zone, in Seattle. These apodment complexes of 48–96 units have not been permitted as apartment buildings, but as separate townhouses, each with 8 bedrooms. The Low Rise sections of the Land Use Code, which were revised about 4 years ago to be more flexible, does not specify anything regarding micro-housing uses. Many view permitting these apodment complexes of 48-64 units — as if they are merely a 4-pack, 6-pack or 8-pack group of 8-bedrooms townhouses — as a loophole.

Madison valley has Multifamily Low Rise zoning in about 20% of the land within our community’s borders. The majority of the Low Rise zoning in Madison Valley is LR1 and LR2, with LR3 zoning along 23rd and Madison. The ‘loophole’ permits have so far been in LR3 zones. Unless the loophole is closed, this ‘6-pack of 8-bedroom townhouse’ loophole could easily be applied to build apodment complexes in the LR1 and LR2 zones. These zones are specifically planned for less density than Neighborhood Commercial, Mid-Rise and High-Rise zones, both due to an interest in creating stable, dense, residential, family neighborhoods and their proximity to Single Family zones.

The issues for Madison Valley are these:

• Are micro-housing units living units or bedrooms? If each apodment is considered a living unit, then a development would be considered an apartment building, or an SRO, or a dormitory, and building safety standards applied. If a bedroom, then a different set of building safety standards apply.

• 48 units in a development is considerably more than the expected maximum for most Low Rise residential developments, where one would expect 6 townhomes, or (with recent code revisions) a mix of up to 10–12 larger and smaller housing units. Apartment buildings are allowed in Low Rise 3 zones, but they need to go through Design Review. If this loophole is exploited in LR1 and LR2 zones, effectively apartment buildings will be built in those zones. Note that LR1 and LR2 zones already allow tripex style building in order to achieve a variety of housing unit sizes and greater densities.

• 48–64 units built using the ‘8-bedroom townhouse’ loophole create badly designed communities. If a lot is developed as an micro-housing type apartment building, the whole of the first floor can be utilized for shared amenities. For example, I have seen a design where the building has one main entrance, a very large family style kitchen, dining area, a huge lounge, exercise room, a study, etc., that is truly configured for a community. Small kitchens are on each of the other floors as well. If built as separate townhouses, each townhouse has one smaller kitchen and not much else in the way of community space.

• Micro-housing is now being built in Single Family zones as 7-bedroom rehabs and a Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit. Single Family zones have long had housing rented by groups of individuals, owners renting out rooms, and some who have been permitted for using their homes for congregate elder housing. It seems strange to have a home operated as if it is just a small apartment building.

• The price per square foot is relatively high. Where a few people could share an apartment for under $1000, these units are running about $600 per person for much less space. The rents are more comparable the closer one gets to downtown, and in a desirable area, this form of housing can make sense for an individual. However, these are not being built to support low-income families.

• The rentals are monthly, so the population has a high turnover rate. Two micro-housing developments on a Low Rise residential block of mixed owners and long term renters could mean that all of a sudden ½ of the people are not part of the neighborhood life. This can have a negative impact on community resilience when dealing with issues such as crime or resolving the kinds of things we need to resolve when living close together, because people will not know each other.

• Parking is an issue. Parking is always an issue when more people live in an area. The question is whether transit options will suffice to mitigate the need for owning cars.

It seems that Micro-housing is a new twist on a long valued housing option and that it needs to the recognized in the Land Use code and locations defined appropriately. It should not be a matter of exploitation of loopholes. Certainly, on main streets in Neighborhood Commercial buildings, and in Mid-Rise and High-Rise and some LR3 zones, where one expects not to have parking and one expects that one won’t necessarily know his neighbors, micro-housing developments can make sense.

Please consider expressing your opinions about this apodment loophole in the land use code to council. If you cannot attend the public hearing, consider sending an email with your thoughts to the Councilmembers listed above or the City Council as a whole: council@seattle.gov.

April 18, 2013
Video of the hearing, which took place today can be seen here: http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2131320&file=1

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning

Northwest SEED Seeking Partners for Neighborhood Solar Energy Project

APRIL 9, 2013 | WEBSITE SUBMITTED

Local non-profit Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) and Seattle City Light are seeking community partners for a new Solarize Washington campaign in central and southeast Seattle area neighborhoods. Solarize Washington is a community-driven initiative to bring solar energy to homes and businesses in Seattle City Light’s service territory. The program uses an innovative neighborhood group purchase process to achieve discounts and simplify the process of “going solar” for Seattle residents. Solarize campaign staff work with community groups, individual volunteers, and local solar installers to provide a streamlined process and free community workshops for participants. To date, Northwest SEED has completed six Solarize campaigns including the Seattle neighborhoods of Queen Anne, Magnolia, Northeast Seattle, and Northwest Seattle. These campaigns have achieved discounts of up to 25 percent off the cost of a solar system and brought about the installation of nearly 200 residential solar installations in the region. In order to launch the next Solarize campaign this summer, Northwest SEED and Seattle City Light are seeking to connect with residents and community groups of central and southeast Seattle who want to see a Solarize campaign come to their neighborhood. Community volunteers play an integral role in the success of a Solarize campaign, taking the lead on contractor selection and community engagement. Participating neighborhoods will receive assistance from Northwest SEED to competitively select a solar installer, conduct neighborhood outreach and education, implement a series of free workshops, and facilitate the installation of solar PV systems. Individuals interested in joining the upcoming Solarize campaign as a volunteer should contact Mia Devine at mia@nwseed.org or 206-267-2213.

Post a Comment | Topics: Community Planning, Energy & Conservation

Community Design Meeting for 19th & Madison

MARCH 21, 2013 | EDITOR

The second of three Community Design meetings is being held to inform the look and feel of the outdoor space at the corner of 19th & Madison. All residents are encouraged to attend. Wednesday, March 27th, 6:30pm at the Hearing, Speech, and Deafness Center. 1625 19th Ave, 2nd Floor Conference room. http://19thandmadison.wordpress.com/schedule/

Post a Comment | Topics: Beautification, Community Planning