Minutes of the Oct. 16, 2013, Quarterly Meeting
Morgan Junction Community Association
Pres. Deb Barker kicked off the quarterly meeting by welcoming everyone and inviting them to enjoy refreshments. Secretary Sean Gamble, Information Officer Cindi Barker, and Treasurer Eldon Olson were present and introduced themselves. VP Chas Redmond arrived a little later.
Announcements and Updates:
Deb updated the meeting about the preliminary status of a proposed 38-rooom Morgan Junction micro-housing project and noted that DPD has proposed updates to the micro housing code. If anyone is interested in reading the micro-housing recommendations, Deb has additional information. There is also a proposed rezone at the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene, which will involve a long public process. The application has been submitted. More on this below.
Eldon announced that the SW Precinct Advisory Committee needs a new MoCA representative. The role is primarily communications and attending meetings, which involve public safety and crime prevention. Please contact Eldon for details at 937-3765.
Cindi reported that there are upcoming releases regarding the final plan for the Seattle Bike Plan Update. Be on the look out for those. There is also a comment that bicycle racks are becoming available for our neighborhood. Please contact Cindi if you want to help locate them.
NPF Awards: Deb reported that MoCA’s NPF application for road improvements along California Ave SW at Fauntleroy Way SW has been recommended for approval and is included in the 2014 budget currently being reviewed by City Council. Specifics of the $90,000 project will be announced at the January MoCA meeting.
Candidate Kshama Sawant: The campaign manager for Kshama Sawant for City Council spoke on behalf of her candidacy. She already got 35% in the three-way primary race, suggesting that she has a real chance to win. Six unions and the Stranger support Ms. Sawant. See her website for more information.
Murray Lowman CSO Project. Doug Marsano spoke to update the progress on the King County Murray Lowman Beach CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) Project. Demolition is complete. The project will create a 1,000,000 gallon tank that will help to control pollution, wastewater, and storm water run off. The tank will hold the run off while the pipe system conveys the wastewater to the water treatment plant. The area is currently spread with grass seed to minimize dust. They are now in the construction and permitting phase and contractor Shimmick Construction is seeking shoring permits from the City. The initial construction pit will be eighty feet across and sixty feet deep and will take the better part of 2014. On November 6 at 6:30 PM there will be a public meeting on the construction process at the Fauntleroy Church.
Mike Ward and Reiner Blanco with SDOT spoke on the California / Fauntleroy intersection. Mike was the project manager for the Rapid Ride stops; Reiner is a manager in the operations unit, including signs, markings, traffic, and pedestrians. There are two Rapid Ride bus bulbs at the Morgan Junction intersection. SDOT worked to relieve some of the congestion at the northbound stop by shifting other stops away from the Rapid Ride stop, and moved the metro access folks just a little north of the bank bus bulb. An SDOT engineer has been doing a qualitative study of how things are operating by observing intersection conditions during PM peak hours. The intersection signal has been adjusted to improve timing. In response to MoCA questions on accidents and complaint statistics, they reported that since the bus bulb installation went in around July of 2012, the number of collisions at the intersection has been 3, which did not involve bus operation; north of the intersection there have been 4, none involving bus operations; the majority of the collisions have been rear-endings. The cameras at intersections are meant to detect cars for allowing signal changes. 2008-2009: 7 complaints about the intersection; post-2012, 2 complaints. They noted that there has been a slight degradation of level of service at the intersection. MoCA requested that SDOT conduct a quantitative comparison of pre- and post-installation at the intersection. Audience comments include the claim that Sound Transit shorted the 560 Route because of the Rapid Ride C-line, which damaged West Seattle’s convenient access to the airport; concern about a serious pedestrian safety concern with people cutting across California Ave near Thriftway because it takes too long to wait at the intersection now; Chas suggested having no parking along the curb from California entrance to Thriftway north to the intersection to help with morning backups at the intersections; and a request was made to repaint the crosswalk stripes at California and Findlay, which were paved over.
Morgan / California Avenue Street Trees and Bike Racks
Cindi announced the project that gave notice to residents along California for adding some additional street trees. The survey will conclude this month; the planting should conclude in November.
Getting It Right for West Seattle is a coalition of neighbors, business, and union members, including Shawn Terjeson, who talked about the proposed Whole Foods project; the project has passed design review. But the developer wants an alley vacation, which requires a trade for public benefit, and the City Council will decide on this issue. Getting It Right is garnering support from West Seattle groups and City Council members. Shawn has met with several City Council members and believes it is not too late to have a better project. Shawn reported that Sharon Sutton of UW, professor of urban design, has been hired to provide alternate plans that would be good for people, pedestrians, and open space, with places for small businesses, a lively Alaska Street commercial prescence, and parking and truck access off Edmonds and not Fauntleroy. Getting it Right wants the project to have better public space, especially the corner where the closed Shell station is. Getting It Right asks to make some adjustments, not throw out the current design in its entirety. Here is the site, where you can read the open letter and sign if you wish:
Meeting attendees debated MoCA’s position on this issue. A motion to table the request to endorse the letter written by Get It Right did not carry. A motion to have the board write a letter, using the open letter as a template, to comment on Getting It Right’s goal. That motion carried.
West Seattle Transportation Coalition: Joe Szilagyi presented on the letter sent to SDOT regarding the serious safety concerns, sidewalk problems, and extreme speeding along Roxbury and 35th. Tom Rasmussen will attend a public meeting to address these concerns. Joe has helped to build a West Seattle-wide coalition to address the peninsula-wide transportation concerns. Please see the letter on the website. There are four big problems: (1) reduction of mass transit; (2) loss of the Viaduct; (3) problems created by new density without new transportation capacity; and (4) the problem of natural barriers caused by geography. The letter that was just sent requests that the City, the County, and the State develop solutions to these four main problems. Joe asks for MoCA’s support. West Seattle Transportation Coalition is drafting its bylaws and board structure now. There was a motion for MoCA to become an active member of the coalition, and that MoCA review its status with the coalition at the next meeting when the WSTC has completed its bylaws, and that MoCA can review its membership in the coalition on a quarterly basis. The motion carried. Another motion was made to have the board examine the letter and decide whether to endorse the letter for WSCT. That motion also carried.
West Seattle Green Space Coalition: Chas announced that City Light is selling properties, including 8 properties in West Seattle. City Light is required to sell to the highest bidder. There are none currently up for sale in Morgan Junction. Search for City Light “excess properties” for more information. The Green Space Coalition wants to ask City Council to slow down the process to do due diligence to see what support can be garnered to purchase any excess properties for new green space. Motion was made to support the Green Space Coalition effort to ask that the process be slowed down to examine the potential of the properties. The motion carried.
Church of the Nazaree rezone proposal: Joe and Heather Parr, who are local community members) presented on the proposal to rezone the Church of the Nazarene property to allow for townhomes along the alley. The Church has limited resources. The pastors who live in the parsonage approached the Paars to try to save and/or improve the property through creative development to save the church. The proposed rezone would involve dividing off the back part, creating six small town homes, a playground, community garden, and allow funds to rehabilitate the church. The pastor has additional great ideas for making the church more of a community resource. The proposed townhomes would go off the alley where there is just dirt or gravel now. The excellent mature trees would be preserved and additional trees and gardens would be added along with a small playground. They are going to host dinners and get-togethers at the church. This rezone request would be an 18-month process with a lot of public input and process.
Morgan Junction Housing Targets. Cindi reported that we are only at roughly 70% of our density targets. This is something to keep in mind as we consider upcoming projects.
Our next meeting is January 15, 2014, at 7 PM at The Kenney.
Announcement: SDOT will be planting about 200 street trees in the Fauntleroy and Gatewood communities.
Seattle City Light is hosting a tree-planting event on Saturday, November 2, from 10 AM to 1 PM. Here is the information:
Gatewood/Fauntleroy Volunteer Tree Planting
Join the Gatewood and Fauntleroy Communities and Seattle City Light in planting 20 ornamental street trees!
Tools, Coffee, Gloves and Instruction provided
On Saturday Nov 2nd we’ll be planting:
Join us at 10:00 A.M.
Westside School 7740 34th Avenue Southwest
Rain or Shine Everyone Welcome, Under 18 with Adult
For info or to volunteer contact:
or visit www.seattle.gov/light/vegetation