Meeting Minutes, January 19, 2011 Quarterly MoCA Meeting
Deb Barker, Presiding
4 Executive Bd. Members, 26 neighborhood residents, speakers, representative from West Seattle Blog and representatives from King County Wastewater Treatment Division. West Seattle Blog coverage of this meeting can be found here.
The meeting agenda was passed out and the speakers from King County were moved up due to sickness. However, some representatives of King County remained to speak at their regularly scheduled time later on.
* MOCA is on Facebook, please search for us under Morgan Community Association and send to friends in the neighborhood. We will be posting regular links and updates (Kate Gill de la Garza)
* WS Emergency Communications Hub Drill and Morgan Participants - A drill is upcoming and anyone interested is encouraged to participate. The drill will run from 9:00 to 1:00 and we could use "citizen actors" to provide requests for help to test our messaging system. A side perk is that the drill will be held downtown, at the city's Emergency Operations Center, so
you'll get to see the inside workings of the response center. Contact Cindi for more details and if you'd like to participate 933-6968 (Cindi Barker)
* Myrtle Reservoir Opening - Parks is about to set a date for an opening celebration for the park, please be on the lookout on our website and email distribution list for the date. (Cindi Barker)
* Solstice Path Update - Parks and SDOT have been working on a project to connect the top of the Solstice Park stairs on west side of 44th Ave SW between Webster Street and Fontanelle St. This will connect the park to the neighborhood and provide a safe place to walk. Most likely it will be a gravel pathway. The budget is about 20k and we have no timeline yet, we are waiting to hear from Parks. Initial surveying and planning is complete. (Kate Gill de la Garza)
* West Seattle Triangle Open House - Announcement about the upcoming open house about the West Seattle Triangle planning process Monday, February 7, 2011, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 S.W. Oregon Street. Interested people should attend as the neighborhood and City are making plans for some great street design, traffic calming and pedestrian amenities here. (Chas Redmond)
* Dept of Neighborhood Announcements - As many know a lot of the neighborhood service centers were closed due to budget cuts. West Seattle retained theirs but there has been some shift in personnel as many were laid off. Also, Stella Chao resigned her job as Head of the Dept. of Neighborhoods recently. (Cindi Barker)
Welcome to the new SW Precinct Chief - Eldon Olson
Eldon introduced the Southwest Precinct's new leadership, commander Capt. Steve Paulsen and operations Lt. Pierre Davis. Paulson is excited to be back working in the neighborhood and is a 26 year veteran of the department. He loves the West Seattle community and gave kudos to neighbors quickly reporting suspicious activity things to them and the West Seattle Blog, which he called a "great resource". He considers West Seattle one of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle. Last year, for example, burglaries here were down about 20%. MoCA Treasurer presented both men with a MoCA t-shirt as a welcome to the neighborhood.
Goodbye to Crime Prevention Coordinator Ben Kinlow - Deb Barker
This was one of Kinlow's last community meetings before his scheduled March 15th retirement. He has been working in West Seattle for 8 years. He advised MoCA attendees to stay involved, stay in touch with neighbors, and get involved with the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network (whose next meeting is next Tuesday, January 25th). He credited the Network with keeping West Seattle so safe, and said other neighborhoods are trying to follow in our footsteps. He then passed out a variety of info on keeping your home and automobiles safe, which can be found here. A renter in the audience asked about how she could stay safe in her building and he urged her to call him directly to discuss. Benjamin will be missed! MoCA t-shirt presented as a thank you gift.
King County Wastewater Treatment Division - Martha Tuttle, Linda Sullivan, Erica Jacobs, Jeff Litkin (Tetratech Consultant), Christine Kramer (Triangle Assoc) and Bill Wilbert presenting.
The County came to update the Community on the project to reduce combined sewer overflow (CSO) at the Murray Pump Station just north of Lincoln Park. Linda opened with a review of the recently released preferred recommendation and as well as a review of the Murray Community Advisory Group (CAG) recommendation, which was different than the preferred alternative chosen. The CAG had recommended building a tank under the south parking lot at Lincoln Park, but the County determined this to be infeasible for a variety of technical reasons and instead put forth the preferred option of building the tank across the street from Lowman Park and the current Murray Pump Station, where several (6) properties currently stand. This was preferred because it has all the advantages of the park site including being at the bottom of the basin (gravity-fed) and the pump station can be consolidated with the underground storage and additional odor control needed. However, the acquisition of the six lots will be the challenge for this alternative. She next reviewed the timeline of the project and urged the Community room that King County wants to continue to work closely with the community. She then introduced Erica Jacobs, project manager who will be working closely with the neighborhood on the project. Erica has extensive experience managing these projects including working with the impacted communities. She walked through the schedule and discussed each aspect of the project. She prepped everyone to be ready to participate in the design process with them. Chas asked why the 53rd Street Pump Station project on Alki took so long. The County stated that it had to do with some parts problems and coordination issues. Ron Sterling, a neighbor of the project and CAG participant stated that he was very unhappy with the preferred alternative and how the CAG was treated in the process. He stated that the CAG was never involved in the technical evaluation that resulted in the rejection of the south parking lot option. The County stated that the project is fully funded and will be moving forward right away. Deb urged the group to think about how we as a neighborhood want to be further engaged. King County stated that they will be mailing to people at least 1000 feet from the project, 500 feet more than required. The rest of the County discussion was tabled until later in this meeting as Bill Wilbert had not yet arrived to talk about the real estate and relocation aspects of the project.
Gatewood Elem Safety Project - Doug Branch and Tom Gut
Doug and Tom are Gatewood parents thinking about how to get more kids walking safely to school. They have had traffic issues and they see this as one of the solutions. Student population has doubled in the past few years and congestion is a real issue. Working with SDOT to enhance crosswalks and hire crossing guards, which should happen soon. However, they would like to create a "safe spaces" program where they do outreach to businesses so that kids can enter a storefront and ask for help if ever feeling unsafe on the way to school. Kate will share contact info for biz owners from Bite of Morgan with them. Chas suggested working with Feet First on this project, Doug said they are already in contact. Gatewoood Elem. PTA info can be found here.
SDOT Projects - Deb Barker
Deb reported on two projects, the California SW @ Othello ROW improvement project and the 48th Avenue SW bike route reconfiguration. Therese Casper with SDOT is the project manager for the first - 206-684-8764,
. This project will add pedestrian related enhancements at California and Othello, such as a curb bulb returns, which will remove some parking. This is a "T intersection" and needs to be made safer for pedestrians including kids walking to school. Frontenac will also get new ADA ramps. The work is scheduled to happen during the February school break. Letters are being sent to adjacent residents as there will be loss of parking during construction as well. The second project is that traffic calming and bikes lanes are coming to 48th Ave SW. The traffic calming plan is from the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Plan, and was approved for funding under the Neighborhood Projects Fund (NSF/CRF). Speed cushions will be installed between Graham and Juneau on 48th. SDOT's Bike Program would add bike lanes and sharrows to 48th from Beach Drive to the Alaska Junction. Shauna Walgren is the SDOT contact - 206-684-8681
. There will be an Open House at the Seaview Methodist Church on SW Graham Street in March or April. MoCA will publicize the details when we get them. It is unclear how much parking would be lost, if any. Everyone will be encouraged to attend the meeting to learn specifics about the project.
Seattle Transit Communities, Planning Commission Report - Cindi Barker
Morgan neighborhood is a small part of this recently released document but Cindi wanted to call the room's attention to it, as it conflicts in areas with the neighborhood plan, especially around density. it supports some of the elements in our neighborhood plan, but is in conflict with others, especially around density. She encouraged people to access it from the Transportations Links on our website and check it out so that they are informed of how the City is planning for our neighborhood in a variety of different and sometimes conflicting ways. The full Planning Commission report can be found here.
Morgan Festival! - Chas Redmond
A date has been set! Sat, June 25th at the Morgan Park just north of the Morgan Junction! There will be nine musical acts, lots of great vendors (located behind Zeeks Pizza), kids' activities in the park and of course, the third annual "Bite of Morgan" with local restaurants giving away free samples of food. Please join us for this exciting day to celebrate our neighborhood! Last year we had over 1000 people attend on one of the nicest days of the summer. An audience member suggested involving the martial arts studio on California for a presentation for kids. MoCA will follow with them on this. Volunteers are needed, please spread the word and contact MoCA if interested in helping out.
West Seattle Hi-Yu Sponsorship - Cindi Barker
MoCA received info recently on sponsoring a local girl in this competition. It costs $150 and would help develop leadership skills in the community. The remaining members voted on whether to do this, with MoCA paying $75 and Cindi Barker covering $75. Chas sponsored the vote, Kate seconded it. 6 Yays, 0 Nays.
Food Bank Announcement - Eldon Olson
Food Bank sent their thanks for our $200 donation last year.
King County Wastewater Treatment Division - (continued) Bill Wilbert
Bill is the property acquisitions manager for this project. Kate asked if there would be relocation assistance to all the households that would have to move. Yes, they will all receive a package that exceeds the City's relocation mandate for low-income individuals. King County just checked this with City Dept of Planning and Development. Bill walked through the process of acquiring the properties. Basically, all property owners will be offered a price for their lot and the County will then negotiate with each. If this is not successful, eminent domain/condemnation would have to be used. Bill said this is extremely rare, most owners work with them. They have contacted 14 of 16 tenants and 5 out of 6 of the Owners, however, have been in email correspondence with the 6th. Cindi asked if King County had to replace any of the housing, especially if it was low-income. King County said no, they are not required to do this. King County has actually done very few residential acquisitions for projects like this, they are usually commercial buildings. They have hired a consultant to help them as a result. Cindi mentioned that a neighbor testified against eminent domain at the last CAG meeting and urged them to find this person. The County did not remember this individual. Cindi urged for an open a public dialogue and not another CAG for this stage of the work. MoCA can help with this. Bill reminded everyone that almost the entire new tank system can fit under the existing houses, thus causing little disruption to the street and surrounding area. This will include odor control and backup electrical. MoCA urged KC to be open about site fencing as this can often be very large and unattractive. It is currently unclear how large fences or walls at the site will be. An audience member asked if our CSO events have improved over time due to increased density or has this made it worse. Our water quality is actually much better than it was fifty years ago but we must reduce the 5-6 yearly overflows as this is federally mandated in the Clean Water Act. New development actually makes this better as it often contains water on site during storms.
Election of MoCA Officers - Eldon Olson
The positions of MoCA President and Vice President will be open this spring, to be voted on at our next quarterly meeting on Wed April 20, 2011. A call for nominations was announced and no names were put forward. If anyone is interested in running for these positions, please contact us by sending an e-mail to Kate Gill de la Garza, Secretary, at
or call 206-898-7926.
Kate Gill de la Garza