The West Seattle Church of the Nazarene is proposing to re-zone a portion of its existing churchyard to create six new townhomes. Proceeds from the developement will be used to renovate the church, build a playground on the grounds, and maintain the churchyard as a public open space open to the community. They have posted information on a website http://wscntownhomes.blogspot.com.
According to Church representatives, the website contains links to the plans and drawings that were showed at MoCA neighborhood presentations, a project schedule, and a document outlining how the church intends to spend the proceeds from the development.
Welcome and Introductions: President Deb Barker welcomed the full house of Morgan Junction attendees. Secretary Sean Gamble, Vice President Chas Redmond, and Treasurer Eldon Olson introduced themselves. Communications Officer Cindi Barker is at an emergency preparations meeting this evening.
Announcements and Updates:
Our Festival Date is Saturday, June 21, 2014. Please put the 2014 Festival on your calendar! It is a great event for our community.
New Bike Racks: Todd Rodman announced that we are trying to get better bicycle racks as well as more racks for Morgan Junction. We are working with SDOT to improve the bicycling and bike rack situation. An attendee remarked that sidewalks need to be fixed. Here is the background information. MoCA had applied for a Neighborhood Street Fund grant to improve the bicycle rack and add new street trees. Thanks to Cindi Barker for spearheading this funding request and success.
Website Updates: the MoCA board has revamped the MoCA website. Participants can post information. Please check it out and let us know what you think.
NPF Award: There is going to be a construction project on California between Holly and Fauntleroy. The project is street improvement and resurfacing project. This may either be a 2014 project or it may be completed after KingCounty completes the CSO project, which will involve may trucks hauling excavation material.
Letter to GIR4WS: This was a letter to Councilman Rasmussen regarding the request for better design of the large project at Fauntleroy and Alaska. Copies are available.
Letter to WSTC: This was a letter of endorsement to the West Seattle Transportation Coalition.
There is going to be a Memorial Walk this Saturday for the gentleman who lost his life on 35th due to traffic. It will begin at the library at 35th and Raymond, continue south on 35th, and then continue to the Highland ParkCommunity Center. Check out the West Seattle Blog for additional information.
Updates on Ongoing Business
David Nieman (architect and partner on the project) and Joe Paar (developer) gave an update on the project at the Nazarene Church Development. The church site is currently zoned single family. The project is meant to take part of the churchyard to develop it into town homes. The sale of the town homes will help to finance the renovation of the church, which is in need of help. The developers will continue their outreach in the community for their input. They report that neighbors have been supportive. The project will help to save the church, the local mature trees, and will provide two parking spots per town home. The character of the development will be aesthetically appropriate to the neighborhood. Some concerns relate to whether the development will damage the trees. Another concern related to how the park can be used by the community, as opposed to the front yards of the town homes. The project arborist developed guidelines for preventing damage to the mature trees. The homes will be designed and sold as owner-homes (not rentals). The playground / park will be privately-owned open space that is open to public use.
California @ Fauntleroy Level of Service re bus / Rapid Ride service. MoCA previously received information that there was a decline in level of service, meaning that it takes longer to get through the intersection due to the new design. Chas explained that SDOT still refuses to address the engineering near-failures (level D) at the intersection. SDOT has produced information that more people are getting hurt, on bike and on foot, due to the new design. But SDOT doesn’t have the actual traffic count, which they admit that they need. SDOT is investigating the possibility of creating a right-turn only lane on northbound California, although it is unclear what work has been done on this. Mike Ward with SDOT did not attend the meeting. MoCA has been asking for this information for at least a year.
Murray / Lowman CSO: Landon Bosisio for KingCounty presented the update on the CSO. This will be a million gallon underground storage tank to capture sewer overflows to help keep Puget Sound clean. The contractor has set up fencing and project offices at the site. There will always be access to LowmanBeachPark. At this point, the contractor is obtaining the final permits while doing preconstruction survey work. In the near future (mid to late February), the contractor will construct stabilization walls for the hillsides. After that, excavation for the giant tank itself will begin. Safety is a number one priority. Please take care and be careful near the site. If you have questions, please see the Murray CSO webpage on the KingCounty site. Here is a number to call: (206) 205-9186 is a 24-hour hotline for the project. The contractor will park in available on-street parking near the site. They will attempt to car pool, bike, and so forth, to limit the impact on the neighborhood. The haul routes for the trucks will be controlled by the subcontractor, which should be developed in the near future. As soon as KingCounty knows the details, they will be shared. The plan will be submitted to SDOT and KingCounty. Working hours will be 7 AM to 6 PM, weekdays only. Higher noise levels are only between 8 AM and 5 PM. If anything changes, the project leader will notify MoCA.
SW Precinct Advisory Committee Liaison. Eldon announced that a member is needed to attend the committee. We really need a presence at these regular meetings so we can keep up with developments with Seattle PD and the area communities. There is an urgent concern to have voices within the minority communities especially. The meetings are at 7 PM with 10 meetings per year. Please let us know if you are interested.
Friends of Morgan Junction Parks. Barry White gave an overview of the first year of FMJP. The group cleaned up the Park, weeded, mulched, and improved the appearance greatly. The Park today looks much better due to the efforts of great volunteers. Towards the late summer, FMJP worked on restoring the Triangle Property by Thriftway. There was a great group of volunteers. Finally, a small group of brave souls worked on the green space at Fauntleroy and Juneau. SDOT (street tree division) provided tools, advice, mulch, and lots of great help. In the coming year, we look forward to providing foundation plantings. SDOT said they would provide plants if FMJP provides the design and the work. Another goal is to install an inconspicuous work box on site for storing tools; a Small Sparks grant will be pursued to fund this. FMJP may share the box with the emergency planning group. Further down the road, FMJP is also interested in adding additional trees and shrubs to the green spaces. Deb added that new signs are up to remind park goers and passerby to call 911 whenever illegal activity occurs at the park. Friends of Morgan Junction Parks has a Facebook page—check it out! Deb also added that Parks is still working on acquiring the property to the north of MorganJunctionPark.
Department of Planning and Development. Aly Pennucci, Senior Planner, spoke on the Pedestrian Zone Mapping project. Handouts are available and a lot of information is on-line. A lot of Morgan Junction is zoned “Neighborhood Commercial.” The idea is to encourage, promote, and protect pedestrian-oriented commercial zones. Basic concepts to the Zone are as follows. Commercial active uses should be on the ground, street level. This is a big component of the Zone. Parking can’t be located in the front of the building; it must be located within or behind the building. Other topics under consideration include whether wider sidewalks should be promoted, whether overhead sidewalk awning (shelters) should be promoted, and whether minimum density should be required. DPD is looking at Morgan Junction as an area that lends itself well to being a Pedestrian Zone. Community input is encouraged and welcomed. It is very important for DPD to hear from community members. There is a survey on-line that can be answered multiple times to address different areas. There was vocal member input for Ms. Pennucci. A major point is that there is “no overlay” requirement in the urban village plan for Morgan Junction, yet DPD is proposing a Pedestrian Zone overlay over Morgan Junction.
Micro-housing Legislation. Deb touched on the micro-housing report. 5900 block of California: this project has building permit approval, although construction hasn’t started yet. There hasn’t been much of a public process on this project. The other project involves studio apartments at 6900 California; this actually isn’t a micro-housing project. This project is going through a very public environmental process. It has had three public meetings. This project is currently on hold by the City, which requests a parking study and report regarding drainage and soil issues. There is a pending appeal regarding proposed micro-housing legislation. The hearing examiner heard two days of appellant testimony regarding why the City’s findings were incorrect. Both parties have two weeks now to write their final summaries. People can go to the MoCA website and make comments:
Neighborhood Park and Street Fund Applications. Eldon announced that Feb. 3 is the application deadline. We will probably repeat our request for sidewalk repairs. Please forward any ideas to MoCA.
Rebuilding Together Seattle. This is a non-profit f/k/a Christmas in April. Mike shared information about the organization’s resources. The organization provides free home repairs for low-income people, disabled people, the elderly, and veterans. The repairs focus on safety, warmth, and independence. The organization matches volunteers with those in need. On April 26, there is an annual spring rebuilding day. Last year, the organization repaired 25 homes in 1 day with over a 1000 volunteers. There is a huge need for these repairs. Rebuilding Together Seattle asks for applicants for help. The organization has really good capacity.
Festival Volunteers. Chas made a call for volunteers for the annual summer festival. We typically need 6-8 people in the morning to move tables and chairs. We set up at 7 AM. In the evening, tear down is around 6 PM. We need again 6-8 people to volunteer to help move chairs and tables. Throughout the day, we need people to serve as crossing guards. We need 2 people for each of the four two hour shifts. We also need musicians and bands; please contact Chas to participate in building the music schedule. We really need volunteers. Please help! Our first planning meeting is on January 28.
Land Use Committee. There are discussions around forming a land use committee for West Seattle. Members were encouraged to contact Cindi or Deb if they are interested in being on a MoCA land use committee which would most probably be part of a larger Southwest District Council land use committee. Junction Neighborhood Organization's ReneCommons has indicated she's trying to start such a group which would also work with the SW District. Deb indicated this was a way for those really interested in land use issues to talk directly with developers and their architects and even though it might only be advisory, these reviews would be good for the community by encouraging developer interaction.