Did we have fireworks? Dancing in the street? Did the phoenix arise from the ashes? Perhaps the elation was only in our hearts when the neighborhood received an unexpected holiday gift: the extension of City People’s Garden Store’s lease. The joyful refrains heard throughout the community were certainly real.
The proposed construction at the site has passed the initial phase of the design review but has a few more steps to complete. Due to the slope and nature of the site, construction is only permitted during the dry months of the year. Thus, the building opportunity for 2017 will have passed. Instead of leaving the present building vacant and forlorn during this process, the owners of the land agreed to lease the space to City People’s. The lease runs through December 31, 2017 with options to extend again if the new project is not ready to move forward.
The City People’s Garden Store has two new owners: long-time employees Jose Gonzales and Alison Greene. Jose and Alison are beloved and well-known faces at the Garden Store. Together with three investors, Jose and Alison were able to purchase the business from Steve Magley and Dianne Casper with a very generous deal. Steve and Dianne have stayed on as supportive consultants as the new owners evolve from gardeners to business owners/managers.
“It’s been a really steep learning curve,” Jose admits. He and Alison have been participating in a mentorship program through the national Small Business Administration. They meet monthly with their mentor to formulate their business plan and wade through the mountains of paperwork. “We are lucky to have a great mentor,” Jose said, “and we feel much more comfortable now with the business side of the garden store.”
Many of the previous employees have chosen to stay on with the garden store. They were able to continue at or above their previous salary and benefit program.
Jose and Alison envision the Gift Store’s inventory as a bit more streamlined but with all the usual elements in place. They will continue to offer delivery and potting-up services as well as special orders. The landscaping side of the business has been reinvented as a separate entity: The Peoples Gardening Collective. That business will move forward as a co-op.
City Peeps, as the Garden Store is affectionately known, continues to look for a new site. Given the current land availability in Seattle, this search has been a challenge. They envision a place that is about 15,000–25,000 sq. ft. with 2/3 being outside space and 1/3 inside. They enthusiastically encourage investors and any tips about promising available sites. They will keep the name City Peoples Garden Store.
Jose and Alison optimistically assert that City People’s Garden Store is “Here to stay! We have the passion and people to serve the community and want everyone to know we are here for them”. The staff and community are recovering from the trauma of last year’s sudden closing announcement and are ready to move forward.
Both the local community and Seattle at large wish to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Jose and Alison for their dedicated and bold move to breathe new life into City People’s Garden Store.
Spring is here, which means it’s a great time for MUSIC LESSONS! From kids feeling optimistic about extra-curricular activities to adults getting ready for some Summer camp fire sessions, there are lots of great reasons to get your musical skills sharpened. We offer lessons in guitar, piano, bass, voice and most wind and string instruments. Call us at 206-420-3896 or fill out the Sign Up Form on our website, we will make sure to get you the best times we can. Spring is the time to make beautiful music!
The Music Factory
Here are the Council, OPCD and SDCI Land Use notices in the past month for communities from 18th Ave. to Lake Washington and E Union St. to SR-520.
510 19th Ave E - Design Review Meeting
Design Review Board recommendation meeting on proposal for a 4-story building containing 8,500 sq. ft. of medical services uses on floors 1 and 2, and 8 apartment units on floors 3 and 4. Existing 2-story building to be demolished. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 1-40′, Arterial within 100 ft., Urban Village overlay
1638 20th Ave - Design Review Meeting
Design Review Board recommendation meeting on 1638, 1640 and 1644 20th Ave. Proposal is for 1) a 3-story rowhouse containing 5 units. Surface parking for 5 vehicles to be provided. 2) a 3-story townhouse containing 5 units. Surface parking for 5 vehicles to be provided. 3) a 4-story structure containing 5 townhouse units & 2 live-work units. Parking for 5 vehicles to be located within the structure & one surface parking space. All considered for shared access. Environmental review includes future unit lot subdivision. Existing structures to be demolished. Zone: Lowrise-3, Scenic view within 500 ft., Urban Village overlay, Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′
Central Area Design Guidelines
Central Area Design Guidelines Coalition (CA DGC), is a collaboration of 23rd Ave Action Community Team (23rd Ave ACT); African American Veterans Group of Washington; Central Area Collaborative; Central Area Land Use Review Committee (CA LURC); Historical Central Area Arts and Cultural District (HCAACD). They are working with the Congress for New Urbanism, Schemata Workshop and Mimar to engage the community in a process to develop design guidelines for the historic Central Area, which includes the Madrona and Madison Valley neighborhoods. CA DGC are hosting the following upcoming events:
Central Area Design Guidelines Workshop
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Walking Tours at 9am and 1pm (3 hours long)
Concluding Meeting at 4pm
Space is limited to first 50 registrants: http://bit.ly/2miLTFx
Central Area Design Guidelines Open House
Monday, February 27, 2017 5:00 p.m.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
104 17th Ave S
119 18th Ave E
Notice of streamlined design review for a 3-story, four-unit townhouse. Garage to be demolished. Existing structure to remain. Zone: Lowrise-3, Urban Village overlay
Notice of Streamlined Design Review
130 21st Ave E
Land Use Application to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Zone: Lowrise-3, Scenic view within 500 ft., Urban Village overlay
Notice of Decision
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 Decision
There were 48 incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during January, one more than in December and on par with recent monthly totals. Although there were no robberies or aggravated assaults, attempted and completed burglaries increased to a total of eleven. However, apparently only four of the eleven burglaries resulted in property being stolen.
1. Sometime between Dec. 12 2016 and Jan. 12 2017 someone broke into a storage room at an apartment building on Denny Way near 24th and stole a bicycle and sleeping bags worth approximately $2500. The owner called the police after discovering the burglary, and although they found no fingerprints they did take into evidence a pocket knife that had apparently been used to remove the hinges from the door of the storage room.
2. Police were called to an apartment building on 20th near John on Jan. 4 to investigate an attempted burglary that occurred at approximately 3 AM that morning. When they arrived, a resident showed them a video recording of a white male wearing black clothing prying open the front door of the building and attempting, but failing, to pry open the mailboxes in the lobby. The man then fled the building, apparently without taking anything. The police found no usable fingerprints at the scene.
3. On Jan. 9 police were called to an apartment building on Union near 24th by a resident who reported that her laptop had been stolen. She told the police that during the afternoon of Jan. 8 someone must have entered her apartment and taken the laptop, worth approximately $1000, during a time when she was moving her possessions between apartments on different floors of the building.
4. Also on Jan. 9 someone stole a valuable raincoat from an atrium in an apartment building on 20th near Mercer. Because a work crew had temporarily removed an access door to the building, the police speculate that a burglar may have entered while the work was going on. The apartment building does not have a video surveillance system.
5. At approximately 1:15 PM on Jan. 12 an alarm was tripped by someone who was exiting an apartment on John near 21st. When the resident returned home to investigate he found that a burglar had thrown a rock through the kitchen window and climbed upon a recycling bin to enter through the window. The burglar ransacked the apartment but apparently took nothing except a plastic bag containing the ashes of the resident's deceased wife, which were stored in a container in the bedroom closet. The resident speculated that perhaps the burglar mistook the ashes for a narcotic in powder form. Police found no usable fingerprints at the scene but did forward objects that the burglar handled to the police lab for further study.
6. On Jan. 13 at around 1 AM police were called to a restaurant on 19th near Mercer to investigate a possible burglary in process. When they arrived, they found that someone had smashed the glass portion of the restaurant's front door but they found no one present when they searched the building. After being called to the scene and doing a search of the restaurant, the manager reported that nothing seemed to be missing. The police found no fingerprints at the scene.
7. On Jan. 16 police were called to a residential treatment center on Madison near 28th in connection with an attempted burglary. When they arrived, they learned that a witness had found one of the residents in another resident's room with the apparent object of stealing something. Further inquiry revealed that the offender has a history of entering other residents’ rooms even though she has been warned to stop doing it. A manager of the facility told police that although the offender would not be evicted on the basis of this incident, the police had been called so that the attempted burglary could be officially documented.
8. On Jan. 19 police were called to an apartment building, apparently the same building as in incident 2 above, to investigate another attempted burglary. Once again someone had pried open the front door and this time the mailboxes had also been pried open. At the time of the police report it was unknown if the burglar had taken anything from the mailboxes, and there is no mention of video footage in the police report.
9. Police were called to a nightclub on Union near 23rd around midnight on Jan. 17 to investigate a possible assault. When they arrived, an employee reported that a customer who had earlier been asked to leave the premises had returned and threatened him with a beer bottle. The employee also told the police that he feared for his safety because he had had a physical altercation with the customer in the past. The would-be assailant is being charged with both harassment and burglary.
10. On January 20 at 4 PM police were called to a home on 24th Ave. E. near Highland to investigate a burglary that occurred earlier that day. A resident told police that he had left the home locked and secure at 7:55 AM that day and that when he returned he found that it had been ransacked. The burglar broke in through the front door of the house and a surveillance camera recorded an unknown male knocking at the door around noon that day. Police found fingerprints on the front door and on a laptop inside of the home. The police report does not list any stolen objects and places a value of only one dollar on the loss due to the burglary.
11. On Jan. 31 at 4 AM police responded to an alarm at a specialty store on Union near 23rd. When they arrived, they found that the front door of the business had been pried open and that although it appeared that burglars had entered the store, there was no one present when the police arrived. Nothing appeared to have been taken during the burglary and a later examination of video footage of the incident showed that four masked people had entered, frantically searched the store, and then had left after about two minutes, apparently without taking anything. No fingerprints were found in the store and damage to the front door was estimated at $1500.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.
Seattle Mayor and Council are moving forward with legislation that would add a projected 6,000 units of affordable housing to Seattle over the next 10 years through implementing a Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. This kind of inclusionary zoning has been something many housing and neighborhood planning activists have long argued for. While not a silver bullet solution to housing affordability, it is a way to make up for displacement created by redevelopment. Inclusionary zoning has been successfully implemented in other jurisdictions nationally and within in our state.
Basically, the proposal is that new development on multifamily and neighborhood commercial properties will be allowed to be built larger and higher and, whether they build higher or not, will have to contribute affordable units or fees in lieu of development of affordable housing. The properties included will have an (M) suffix on the zoning, and some will be further up zoned. This zoning change will be applied throughout the city, including all existing multifamily and commercial properties, as well as existing and proposed expanded Urban Villages.
Here is our area, captured from the HALA citywide map, where everything in color will be up zoned in order to establish the requirement that new development in those areas contribute to affordable housing. If you live in or near any of those areas, and have not been following the HALA MHA proposal, this is your heads up.
Since the changes are citywide, and have costs to the developers associated with them, it’s expected that the rate of change will be progressive as opposed to abrupt. However, when and if areas do transition, part of that new development will include affordable housing. Today we see new development — especially in “hot” areas — without this important equitable housing component of community development.
Your participation is requested
The details are still being worked out in a public discussion that has been going on for over a year. A citywide focus group of people from all the Urban Villages meeting at city hall just wrapped up their work, and a number of HALA Open House events were held throughout the city. The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which addresses environmental, infrastructural, and socio-economic impacts, is due to be released in May. Councilmember Herbold, in particular, has been active in introducing amendments to preserve legacy small businesses and to more specifically assess displacement risk versus return of affordable housing added.
Right now, we are in a phase where council budgeted for and is hosting design workshops where the basic plan is presented and then people split up into tables and walk through the mapping and proposals together to share their thoughts about community assets, the zoning in specific areas, what impacts are they concerned about in their neighborhood, and providing the on-the-ground realities that help shape the details of the plan. The sessions are Urban Village focused. The evening of February 28 at Miller Community Center will be the nearest council hosted session for us who are in the northernmost part of the Central Area and northeast part of the East District Council and District 3 to participate in this kind of face-to-face discussion.
Madison-Miller Urban Village
Community Design Workshop
Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 6 – 9 pm
Miller Community Center
330 19th Ave. E.
RSVP is strongly encouraged. Due to the meeting format, space in facilitated work groups is limited. The format of the workshops is an opening overview presentation about HALA, Urban Villages, and the Mandatory Housing Affordability program followed by small group conversations. Childcare, snacks, and drinks will be provided at event. To RSVP or ask questions about the event, please contact Spencer Williams at [email protected] or by phone at (206) 384-2709.
I attended the session for the 23rd Ave Union-Jackson Urban Village. People were pretty prepared, and that community had just happened to have spent the last three years already doing planning work, even though attendance did not reflect that fact. Each table came up with a list of (amazingly consistent between all the tables) location-specific nuances and proposed adjustments. We had a very good facilitator who knew the neighborhood and drew people out. A scribe writes down the points made, so clear statements and questions are best. It’s important to note that these sessions are council sponsored, so the notes are consolidated and provided to City Council.
Whether you can attend the session or not, your feedback is still needed by June 30
The draft Environmental Impact Statement will be released in mid-May, which is another important point for feedback because it is supposed to identify the expected impacts to our neighborhoods. Public input to both the draft EIS and the zoning proposal is to be wrapped up by the end of June. Then, the final EIS and the final mapping proposal are expected to be released by the end of summer, and transmitted to city council for action. That is where the process, heavily invested in by both the mayor and council, wraps up. Obviously, there are opportunities for council to amend, and that can happen if council members support well-thought-out counter proposals or feel that persistent issues are not resolved in the legislation as submitted, but the city’s hope is that the package reflects what the residents expect.
All of the background materials are here, with a calendar of events and sign-up to receive the updates by email. The HALA Consider It site is still taking comments and that is a great way to be involved. Consider It also has detailed maps of each Urban Village and a video with instructions on how to read the proposed changes on the maps. There are survey questions about the proposal and folks are encouraged to comment.
The HALA team told me many times that they welcome any input people have and have responded to any emails that I send to them. Comments and questions can be emailed to [email protected]. If people want to call and ask questions, the city is staffing a HALA hotline at 206.743.6612. Please keep checking the HALA Calendar, as meetings and outreach events are still being added.
Seattle Kokikai Aikido is now offering classes in Madison Valley at the MLK FAME Center. The group offers classes for adults, and classes for parents and kids to do together. Both types of classes teach the basic movements and principles of Aikido (“The art of peace”) in a collaborative, constructive and engaging environment.
Kokikai is an international organization of Aikido practitioners who study the art of Aikido through the teachings of Sensei Shuji Maruyama, Kokikai’s founder and president.
If you are interested in learning Aikido, we invite you to study with us. Whether you are experienced in the art or have no idea what you’re getting into, you can get in touch, visit a practice and discover what we do. The only way to find out if Kokikai Aikido will be as fun and beneficial for you as it is for us is to try it yourself. Because we have a fascination and appreciation for our practice, we’re always interested in sharing it with new participants.
Seattle Kokikai Aikido
Rob Sevcik, former Chef de Cuisine at Rover’s and Loulay, is offering in-home private catering and cooking classes. Recently he and his wife, Megan, owner of Honey Skin Spa, joined me and my husband in our home to demonstrate. I interviewed him for this article while he prepared an extraordinary nine-course meal.
Lindy: Rob, now that you’ve settled into the kitchen, tell me a little about your background.
Rob: I’m originally from Wisconsin. I moved to San Francisco at 18, and worked in a high-volume restaurant. I later moved to Portland and went on to become Sous and Executive Sous Chef to Pascal Chureau at Fenouil restaurant. After a stay in Paris with the World Organization of Farmers, I landed in Seattle in 2009.
I asked Chef Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s for a job. “I’ll do anything if you’ll let me be part of the kitchen.” After six months I was promoted to sous chef under Chef de Cuisine Adam Hoffman. When Adam left in 2010 I became the Chef de Cuisine. I worked there for several years until it closed.
In 2013, Chef Thierry opened Loulay in the Sheraton Hotel downtown, and I followed him there. I did a little of everything: helping create menus, hiring, buying, and more. Seattle Met voted Loulay the Top Restaurant of 2014. I worked at Loulay until last year.
Fun Fact: Rob met his wife Megan while working at Rover’s. Her business, Honey Skin Spa, is located in the same courtyard. I remember Megan asking me, “What do you think of that guy Rob who work for Thierry? I think I’m going to ask him out!”
What do you want readers to know about you?
Everything I cook is a personal experience for me, and I try to make it a personal experience for each diner. I don’t have a book of recipes — I just adapt everything to the individual. I take the artistry of cuisine very seriously. I’m trying to create an experience for people, not just feed them. Food is not just about what tastes good — it’s also about what feels good, and in order to capture that, you have to talk with your diners.
Fun Fact: Rob was featured on the TV show, Chopped, Season 24, Ep. 6.
Rob, what is your favorite kind of food?
Choosing a favorite is like choosing between your kids. I’m trained in classic French. That’s my base, but I love everything. I really love learning all types of cuisine.
I always ask chefs where they like to eat. What are some of your Seattle favorites?
Rob’s menu for our evening’s meal included:
Blue Pool oysters with fennel and apple cider vinaigrette.
Langoustines with avocado, snickerdoodle with foamed cinnamon anglaise and brandy.
Shiso peppers in olive oil and sea salt.
Garlic bread cheese with pickled cayenne pepper.
Seared Alaskan spot prawn with a lemon cilantro brown butter.
Langoustine salad with preserved tomato with micro pea shoots, olive oil, and pickling liquid.
Seared sea scallop and nuage with caramelized turnips and mushrooms.
Pear and brie chicken roulette rolled in almond flour and roasted in brown butter with cauliflower purée and parsnips, charred purple Brussels sprouts, and a shallot and pancetta butter sauce.
Let’s talk about the next chapter in your life. I know you’ve been catering and offering cooking classes here in the neighborhood, but you mentioned that you’d like to start your own restaurant.
Yes, I’m offering private in-home dining and cooking classes, bringing the fine dining experience into your home. I’m doing it to build my reputation while trying to find the right location and resources to open a restaurant. The restaurant will be called Galerie 23.
Megan: Rob is happiest when he’s cooking and creating. To be a chef you have to wear so many hats — by no means is cooking the only part. You have to be a businessman and a teacher, and take on so many roles. Many people say, “Rob is the greatest chef I have ever worked for.” Everyone has such nice things to say about him.
Rob: Chef Charlie Trotter says that any chef who can’t control himself has no business trying to control a kitchen. As the teacher and mentor you have to be able to steer the ship. I say, “Don’t freak out until I freak out, and you’re never going to see me freak out.”
What’s sort of restaurant do you want to open?
The concept for Galerie 23 is simple: The entire dining experience will be inviting and creative. A beautiful environment, comfortable seating, enticing aromas, and delicious food all add up to the perfect night out. With daily changing seasonal menus and a dinning room modeled after an elegant art gallery, we will be focusing on the artistry and craft of cuisine.
I love the name Galerie 23. Your food has a beautiful appearance, much like a painting.
Do you need investors for your new restaurant?
Yes, absolutely, we’re currently looking for investors for this project. Prospective investors should contact me directly to discuss the details. Reader’s can also learn more at my website.
Megan, what do you see in the future for you and Rob?
I’m hoping to see Rob with a little empire of restaurants! I love seeing him happy and excited about his culinary career. And Honey Spa is doing really well. It’s very satisfying to have successful businesses. Rob: “When you like what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.”
Private In-Home Dining
Typically 2–20 people
Dinner pricing based on menu, budget, and event
Starting at $95 per person
If you have a special event, please contact Rob to discuss the specifics.
If you haven’t visited Megan’s business, Honey Skin Spa, I highly recommend it. She offers amazing facial services. It’s a wonderful treat — and would make a great Valentine’s Day Gift.
There are some fun classes being offered in the neighborhood. If you know of other local classes, please send them to [email protected] and we’ll get them posted to the website.
Bread Baking Class
Have you always wanted to know how to bake your own naturally leavened sourdough bread using nothing but flour, water and salt? Now you can! Join Michasia for a class at Marine Area 7.
Sunday, February 12th, 2–4 pm
Cost is $45 plus tax; this includes a loaf for you to take home.
Class is limited to 12 students.
Email [email protected] to reserve your spot.
Design Nites w/ Floral Soil
Design Nites w/ Floral Soil is a flower arranging class in using a special soils medium. The class includes a free drink, design materials, and instruction on how to use the dried Floral Soil. They also send you home with an additional free kit of Floral Soil, moss, and seeds.
Every Wednesday 7–8:30 pm
Starbucks Madison Park
4000 E Madison St., Seattle, WA
“We do hair exclusively here,” Annie explains during our conversation. Well, perhaps that’s all that happens in her beautiful salon, but Annie Fisher’s work extends way past those walls.
Annie opened her salon AFH several years ago in the enviable space on MLK Jr Way next door to Essential Bakery. She felt her way through several locations and established salons before settling into Madison Valley. “It was a most deliberate choice,” said Annie. She was attracted to the sense of community in both the neighborhood and business groups. She is an asset to the Madison Valley Merchant Association, volunteering to participate in several activities. She has been especially helpful organizing the holiday lighting along Madison Street during the winter months. The salon maintains a collection of business cards for their customers as a referral service to other local services.
Annie became interested in hair styling at a tender age while practicing on her Barbie dolls and little sister. She worked her way through college as a rep for the Italian hair product company Framesi. The company, which offers high quality all natural products, became her career path. She has been a stylist, educator and independent consultant for over 20 years and uses Framesi products exclusively in her salon.
The philosophical goal at the salon is the discovery of one’s personal beauty that will enhance that person’s positive sense of self. “This is a safe place,” asserts Annie. “It’s a come as you are environment.”
Annie extends this philosophy into her many philanthropic endeavors. She is a volunteer at Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter here in Seattle. Additionally, she feels a special mission to serve women experiencing cancer and focuses her energy with Cancer Pathways (formerly Gilda’s Club).
With Cancer Pathways, Annie participates in the annual Surviving With Style fundraising event and is a supporter of the kids/teens Camp Sparkle. Her husband participates in the Driving Out Golf Tournament. Annie will make home visits assisting women to maintain their sense of beauty while they are in treatment. It is easy to perceive her commitment and passion to this valuable work when she describes these activities.
On the home front at the salon, Annie supervises her apprentice program for new stylists learning about the Framesi products and their applications. She deliberately keeps the salon staff on the small side to create a family environment. Her goal is to provide a comfortable place to nurture an emerging artist’s creativity.
AFH Salon is a full service salon.
For information about the many services you may visit the website:
To follow her various philanthropic activities you may find her on:
Facebook: Annie Fisher Hair.
Annie collects complimentary hotel toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, lotions and soaps to donate to Mary’s Place. You may bring your contributions to the salon for an easy drop off location.
Thank you, Annie for your many contributions to our community!