President Deb Barker introduced the board to the attendees. Chip Nevins of Seattle Parks is in attendance to explain a proposal by the Parks department related to the Morgan Junction Park site.
Mr. Nevins introduced himself and explained that he works on new parks acquisitions. He began by talking about the history of the area, specifically the neighborhood plan that has open space goals, including the plan for the Green Crescent. Morgan Junction was part of the original group of neighborhood plans. Originally, the Morgan electricity substation was a candidate for new open space. City Light, however, did not want to sell the substation. The second plan was to create the Eddy Street / Beveridge Place pocket park by using land not used by the monorail project. This was developed in the mid-2000s.
The City looks at the amount of parks in different areas of Seattle. A new Seattle Parks levy enabled this ongoing project of improving park space in the Morgan Junction Urban Village. Parks found two sites that meet minimum criteria of size, good solar access, good pedestrian access. One site is the Short Stop drycleaner site. The other is on the northern edge of the urban village. The drycleaner site is advantaged by being central and by being adjacent to an existing park, which is too small in the opinion of many locals. Enhancement of this park may be accomplished by acquiring the drycleaner location. This would triple the size of the park. Acquiring the drycleaner property would also potentially reduce crime complaints. Community involvement can also help to cure the issue of crime. Budget problems mean that the City has money to acquire parks but not to develop them right now. When the budget improves, the park can be developed over time. Initially, this process is known as land banking. Interim solutions can involve community participation ideas. There are several examples of this around the city.
A neighbor asked if the city has money to demolition the building. The acquisition budget does include money to clean up the site, but a decision on this has not been made.
Another neighbor asked for clarification on the proposed location. The answer is north of Eddy Street.
The city is doing an environmental review of the property. There may be contamination from its past uses. The history indicates a past gas station and current drycleaner.
What are the criteria for making decisions in interim uses in the land banking process? The decision-making process includes consideration of tenants, the safety of the building, and perhaps other considerations. Mr. Nevins will follow up on this.
If the park is developed, would Eddy Street be vacated? The intent is to combine the properties into one park, but there are several ways of doing that. Ideally, there would not be a driveway or cul-de-sac in the middle of the park.
One purpose of this meeting is to hear from community members on this Parks proposal.
The City has no plans for the Eddy Ravine itself.
One neighbor expressed how she tries to use the currently small Morgan Junction Park. The Short Stop property is a menace because of the amount of drug dealing and drug use. Parks’ instructions are to call 911 to report any incidents like this. The advantage of the current park being public property encourages a better police response.
Another neighbor complained that she might be expected to call and “police” the drunks herself, which worries her.
For the design process for the new park, will there be community input for an appropriate and safe design process? Yes, Parks would have the same public design process, including at least three public meetings, inviting ideas and input.
A neighbor complained about three characters who often defecate behind current park bushes. Parks and MoCA encouraged neighbors to call 911.
Parks has a map that it can share of the proposed property.
Short Stop’s cabling (fencing) has improved some of the drug dealing.
The meeting continued with a tour of the property that Parks proposes purchasing. Morgan Junction community members could help to advocate for interim lease money going back to Parks to help fund the development. People discussed potential interim uses of the property, including movie nights on the building wall, video games on the building wall, planting trees to give them a head start in growth, an interim parking lot that could generate some amount of income, rummage sales, a pea patch, raised vegetable beds, or a dog run. Jefferson Park in Beacon Hill has great spaces now for kids. Authorization for interim uses can potentially be less bureaucratic than in the past. Mr. Nevins suggested examples of successful interim uses done without bureaucratic hurdles. Expedited plans could be facilitated through neighborhood grants. Lake City, Wedgwood, Greenwood, and Capital Hill have had recent experiences developing new parks. Matching funds can help with park designs.
Mr. Nevins explained that Parks has purchased other potentially contaminated sites before. Over the next month, Parks will continue to evaluate the condition of the property through further core soil samples. Environmental clean up costs still need to be determined.
Deb thanked everyone for coming out to the meeting, asking questions, and offering their ideas and comments. October 17th is the next MoCA meeting.
Hi everyone. Here is a message and invitation from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division:
Join neighbors, park users, local artists and King County staff for a paint party in Lowman Beach Park!
King County Murray CSO Control Facility Fence Art Paint Party
August 18, 2012 at 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Lowman Beach Park, 7071 Beach Drive Southwest
Construction of King County’s Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Facility begins in 2013, but site preparation gets underway soon. To get ready, King County is erecting a fence prior to the deconstruction of the onsite buildings this fall.
You are invited to help paint the mural that will cover the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Facility construction site fence for at least the next year. The Nature Consortium’s teaching artist will be onsite to explain mural design and help painters get started. Materials and templates will be provided, but wear your painting clothes!
Families and children of all ages are welcome, and there is no obligation to stay for the whole day. You can paint for a while, enjoy a snack and then go enjoy the rest of your Saturday.
We hope to see you there!
King County is building the Murray CSO Control Facility to protect public health and clean up Puget Sound.
Please contact me at this email or via phone: 206-684-1235 for more information.
President Deb Barker introduced herself and invited the other officers to introduce themselves: Chas Redmond, VP, and Eldon Olson, Treasurer. Deb noted that Public Information Officer Cindi Barker is at an Emergency Hub meeting tonight.
Deb reported that the Seventh Annual Morgan Junction Community Festival held on June 23, 2012 had an extensive line-up of bands, the Bite of Morgan, the Bark of Morgan, and enjoyed great weather until the two hours of torrential rain and high winds, which shut the festival down. The Bite of Morgan continued through the afternoon and the Bark of Morgan was successful with 8 wet dogs participating. Chas noted that the weather was force majeure and 2012 was one year we were unlucky with the afternoon weather. The music acts were great and would have been great if not cancelled for the weather. The efforts by the volunteers who helped and the sponsors were terrific, although we did need to hire some workers to help set up and break down because we did not have enough volunteers. The end result is that the festival needs more volunteers next year. This year MoCA went in with $1500 and will end up with about $500. The festival is the only thing that MOCA spends money on during the year. The upside is that locals were hired to help with the festival to the extent necessary.
There was a reminder about the Neighborhood Night Out event scheduled for August 7, 2012. The Night Out is a great time to join with your neighbors, have a picnic in the street, celebrate your community, and is endorsed by the Seattle Police Department.
Eldon reported that the annual Southwest Police Precinct Picnic is scheduled for August 11, 2012 from 1 to 4 pm.
MoCA Secretary Election
MoCA’s previous secretary, Kate Gil de la Garza, resigned from the position in January 2012 due to family matters and the secretary position is open. Deb noted that a candidate, Sean Gamble, is interested in applying for the position. Deb asked if anyone else present was interested in running for the position. There were no responses. Sean introduced himself briefly. A vote was taken and Sean was elected to the position of Secretary.
Murray CSO Update
Doug Marsano with the King County Wastewater Treatment Division introduced himself and explained the Murray Combined Sewer Overflow or CSO project. The purpose of the project is to help clean up Puget Sound. When it rains too much, the capacity of the pipes which carry both sanitary and storm water can be overwhelmed. The Murray CSO site across fromLowman Beach Park is one of the overflow capacity management sites. The goal of the Murray CSO project is to improve the protections for the Sound and increase our compliance with regulatory protections. The project coordinators have been working closely with stakeholders to refine the design. The community helped shape the common themes: a less industrial feel; improvement of the views of the Sound; improvement in local traffic safety; and a creation of a sense of continuity between the park and the facility area. Doug discussed the facility and site materials, including corduroy textured concrete, rammed earth walls, tile accents, metal grating, semi-translucent glazing, and attractive metal pedestrian guardrails along the walkways for safety. There will also be landscaping and trees for masking the facility as the trees grow taller. The intent of the architecture is to appear non-industrial with an attractive aesthetic. We also want to focus on safety in our design. There will be a green roof that is easy to maintain. The design advisory group gave input on the design of the green roof, having grass, sub-alpine plants, and native plants. King County public specialists have also been consulted to ensure the design is sustainable and easily maintained. The images and information are all available on-line:
The public art aspect of the project is created by Robert Horner, who was selected by a panel of the design advisory group. He has an architectural background that focuses on local materials, including rammed earth materials, which are proven in their quality and value. Mr. Horner has installations and projects all around the West. Another advantage of rammed earth, in addition to its strength, is that it is much more environmentally friendly than cement. Mr. Horner, as a designer, is interested in natural cycles, including the tides and the seasons. At Lowman Beach, he was inspired by the mountains and the flow of water from the city and along the Sound. He has created a series of rainwater cascading shallow ponds as part of the green infrastructure at the site. The vegetation will mirror an elevation progression down to the beach. The project is designed to blend in as a wooded area eventually.
Doug answered questions about how the vegetation will appear in relation to the street. The intent is that they will look good while not inviting people to splash in the ponds. The tank itself is reinforced concrete positioned below ground with controls for odor. SDOT and other permitting authorities are reviewing the design and the land use, and the project is up for public comment now through July 27, 2012. Neighbor Ron Sterling noted that there is opposition to this particular design. He feels that the neighborhood and one of the local property owners is not being heard. He has provided sign-up forms to request a public hearing and is concerned that this project has been railroaded through. Doug stated that SDOT has worked with the project proponents and Beach Drive and Lincoln Park Way will of course remain open, that the artist also intends to salvage materials from the condemned homes to incorporate in the design and include as homage to the history of the neighborhood, and that the Seattle Fire Department has an interest in using the homes to practice door chopping drills and training runs, although there would be no burning of the homes. Doug can receive comments relating to any concerns about the Fire Department’s proposed temporary training in the area. A citizen expressed a concern related to the current safety situation in the neighborhood.
Chas stated that on August 18, there will be the painting of panels for the construction fence around the project site. Kids and neighbors can participate in making the panels.
In-Motion & Rapid Ride Update
Doug Johnson and Sunny Knott of King County Metro spoke regarding In-Motion & Rapid Ride. This is update on the C Line, which replaces Route 54 with essentially the same alignment. The D Line of Queen Anne and Ballard will connect downtown with the C Line, which will be convenient. There is a lot of change happening this fall with the routes. This is one of the biggest service changes that Metro has done in many years. Another big change is that the ride-free area will be discontinued in downtown Seattle. The West Seattle Rapid Ride stations are nearly completed with the exception of those near the Fauntleroy ferry terminal. All the other stations and stops are done, except for installing a couple shelters. All fixtures are in, including the pylons with bus time information and card readers. The big red Rapid Ride bus drivers are getting qualified and trained on the routes. People may see them around. Doug anticipates that everything will be ready to go on September 29.
Sunny spoke on the In-Motion program, which is a residential outreach program asking people to drive less, and bus and walk more. In-Motion helps people do this by providing incentives and information. The program wants to get information out to West Seattle and collaborate with local businesses that can sponsor and promote the program. Please suggest businesses that would like to participate. The neighborhood map will include information on walking routes and distances. Audience members suggested that Businesses in Westwood Village might be interested as well as some grocery stores. It was noted that the layout of existing and new transit stops in Westwood Village presents some challenges and King County Metro is working on that. Rapid Ride should be easy and accessible for everyone. In-Motion will continue to do outreach and education on the Orca Card, which is very convenient. The Rapid Ride lines operate on the honor system with the addition of roving inspectors with electronic hand-held devices for proving payment. The inspectors are also security personnel. This has been working well. The 22 and the 128 lines will still operate in their normal ways. Orca Cards give automatic ferry, Link, bus, and Sound Transit transfers. The C Line connects with the D Line with combined timetables. From Westwood to downtown may take around 40 minutes, and then maybe another 25 minutes to Ballard. Rapid Ride involves fewer stops and more buses. The downtown Rapid Ride stops final form is still under consideration; the focus has been on Seattle peripheral stops. There may be a Rapid Ride coach showcased at Delridge Days on August 18.
Morgan “Tree Ambassador” Projects
Sean Gamble and Joanna Clark introduced the Tree Ambassador program, which is a collaboration between local volunteers, the City of Seattle through the Seattle reLeaf program and SDOT, Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy), and the U.S. Forest Service. The purpose is to provide collaboration and support in neighborhoods to encourage healthy trees in our urban forest and increase a healthy tree canopy. Seattle programs of Trees for Neighborhoods and Urban Orchard stewards are allies in providing materials and support. The program has access to tools, free trees, and mulch to help in neighborhood projects. There are two proposed projects in the Morgan neighborhood along Fauntleroy Way: one site at SW Juneau & 36th Avenue SW and one site at SW Morgan & 42nd Avenue SW. Both sites are overgrown right-of-way areas next to bus stops, and both project sites need volunteers to help steward the public trees and green spaces. We need to reach out to potential volunteers in the neighborhoods. We can post this on Facebook, and hopefully the West Seattle Blog can support the effort. There can be other ways to recruit volunteers, including the commuters who use the bus stops located at those project intersections. The Tree Ambassador program is open to facilitating creative urban forestry ideas throughout the Morgan community.
Hi-Yu Scholarship Presentation
Hi-Yu President James Kline and the Hi-Yu Queen Kayli Schulz were presented. Hi-Yu has the purpose in part of providing scholarship opportunities for young women. Businesses have kindly been able to provide monetary donations and in-kind donations to support Hi-Yu. Insurance, however, is one of the biggest expenses. Queen Kayli just recently graduated from Holy Name Academy as one of the valedictorians. She is attending school in Massachusetts this fall and hopes to study immunology to perhaps become a doctor and find cures for diseases. She thanks MoCA for sponsoring the scholarship fund this past year. The Hi-Yu pins, which are charming pins that are for sale, provide support for the scholarship fund. Hi-Yu is Chinook jargon meaning abundance or plenty. The program was started 1934 here in West Seattle. It predates SeaFair. Hi-Yu’s float program provides volunteer opportunities and travels to other communities, which also share their floats with our parade. The float is a 1967 Buick with a plywood decking and decoration. One of the challenges going forward is to maintain the float. It is the last remaining float built by a community in all of Seattle. The other floats are fancy numbers built by corporate entities with deep pockets. West Seattle’s community-built float is special and it is important to keep it alive. Storage, however, is the biggest challenge.
MoCA Bylaws Vote
The final item is a MoCA Bylaws vote for updating the Bylaws to become consistent with MoCA custom and practice. The board presented a proposed update, which has been available on the website soliciting public comments since February. No comments have been made. A motion was made to approve the updated Bylaws and seconded and then put to a vote. The updated Bylaws passed unanimously.