President Deb Barker began the meeting. The officers introduced themselves to the attendees.
MoCA Festival 2013
The first big announcement is that the MoCA Festival is set for Saturday, June 22, 2013. We hope the weather will be good! Please add this date to your calendars. Please also consider volunteering for the MoCA Festival to contribute to the fun and success.
Sustainable West Seattle Transportation Forum Update
Chas spoke about the Sustainable West Seattle Transportation forum update. A variety of leaders were at the last forum update. A main issue involved whether to alter service from Arbor Heights or Alki. The software link issue between the Rapid Rides and the One Bus Away app is being worked on. There are still infrastructure issues to be worked out. West Seattle is generally in better shape than other neighborhoods. Metro is looking at adjusting the Route 22 run-times. Constantine is concerned about the impact of upcoming transit products and how West Seattle can benefit from them. The issue of traffic congestion at the junctions caused by bus lanes and Rapid Ride stops was not explored. SDOT is working to improve the timing of signal patterns and queue jumps.
Murray CSO Project Status
Lauren Stensland with Enviroissues was present to speak for Doug Marsano on the Murray CSO Project. A lot has happened since July. Lauren is a consultant to King County. As everyone is aware, the County is building this project to control storm water overflow and improve environmental protection for the Sound. The big panels on the fences around the project have been painted with designs and look good. The County has been working on getting final permits and finalizing designs. A couple things have changed in the design. It will be possible to walk through the site alongside or near the green roof with all its micro-environments. The County determined that fences will not be necessary, although there will be good lighting for security and good sightlines for views. It would be a good idea to have the local police participate in the community safety aspects of the design. There will not be an open pond, but rather green space for the vegetation tiers to capture rainwater runoff. Odor control stacks will be tucked back against the embankment and should be subtle. There will be better and more odor controls than in the initial designs. The Lowman Beach odor control stack will be improved by removing that feature and incorporating it into the Murray CSO Project. The final surface features of some exposed walls, whether they will be pattern-scored or have ivy-fences, is still being worked out. Chas explained how the Murray CSO water control project is part of a larger system within West Seattle and greater Seattle.
Morgan Junction Park Expansion Status
The City Parks department has been negotiating with the properties just north of the current park area. Chip Nevins recently updated MoCA with the status and those minutes have been posted. It is important to remember that the current process is focused on land acquisition. In the future, funds would have to be found to develop the project. The update is that Parks continues to negotiate on the price and continues to work on testing the soil. City Council has recently empowered Parks to have eminent domain to acquire the property. This process may help the negotiations continue and may offer the seller certain tax advantages. The results of the soil tests will be a key factor in the final price the parties agree to. Pacific Groundwater Group is doing the groundwater testing. The results of the tests are of course public documents available through a public records request. Following acquisition, Parks would be willing to work with the community on interim uses. Chip is still working on the questions from the last meeting. The negotiations are continuous; the test results may be ready by the middle of November. The minutes from the last meeting are available. The acquisition would really increase the size of the Morgan Junction Park, although future development would take time.
SW Morgan Street Bike Lane Report
MoCA sent a letter to question the process and apparent lack of notice regarding the elimination of SW Morgan Street parking and implementation of a bike lane. MoCA asked the City to postpone the project and attend this meeting to answer questions. The City agreed to postpone the project and reevaluate the project. The City agreed to reconsider and contact MoCA with updates. There may be a smarter shift of bicycle routes away from arterials and towards greenways. Sustainable West Seattle is also working to coordinate on these issues.
Neighborhood Projects Fund (NPF) & Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Applications
MoCA has turned in multiple transportation and capital projects. John Vander Sluis with SDOT manages the Neighborhood Project. A streetscape project improvement proposal was submitted. SDOT reviews the proposals for feasibility and cost. In this case, there are three projects that have been proposed for funding to the City Council. The streetscape improvement project on California between Juneau & Myrtle, the sidewalk improvements on Fauntleroy & 46th, and the repaving of the tennis courts are the three proposed projects. This comes to about $123,000 for the SW District. John shared maps showing where new trees and bicycle racks could be located. The racks need some clearance area to leave room for pedestrians. Recent proposals that have not been funded can be resubmitted for new years. MoCA can expect to hear from John in January. The budget usually comes out in mid- to late-November. John’s contact information is (206) 684-4617.
2013 Funding Application for MoCA Festival
Chas communicated with the arts office regarding a neighborhood community arts program. The community grant program has two options, one for non-profits and one for groups without a formal structure. Chas submitted the application for MoCA last week. We won’t know the result of the funding application until November or December.
Tree Ambassador Projects on Fauntleroy Way SW at Morgan and at Juneau
The Tree Ambassador Program is an urban forestry collaboration between Seattle City Parks Department, Forterra, and other conservation organizations. Tree Ambassadors is working with SDOT to bring more trees to the green spaces at Fauntleroy / Morgan (near the Thriftway) and Fauntleroy / Juneau (near the bus stop). We can plant new Burgundy and Cornelian Cherry trees. We can also remove invasive species and clean up the green spaces. We are looking for volunteers for the following dates and times:
November 4th at 12 PM: Phase 1 will be the removal of invasive species and a general clean up.
Phase 2 will be further clean up by SDOT, which will also deliver mulch and the trees.
November 11th at 12 PM: Phase 3 will involve spreading mulch and planting the new trees.
Please feel welcome to volunteer at either site on either date.
Finally, MoCA did not have a report on the Police Precinct as listed in the original schedule.
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.