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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
Wednesday, Oct 16, 7:00 – 9:00 pm Quarterly MoCA meeting The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW
Announcements and Updates
· Morgan Junction construction updates
· 2014 Festival planning starts in January
· SW Precinct Advisory Committee Liaison Needed
· Seattle Bike Plan Update
Candidate for City Council Position #2
Candidate for City Council Position #8
Murray Lowman CSO Report
Friends of Morgan Junction Parks
Morgan/California Ave. Street Trees & Bike Racks Cindi Barker
Getting It Right for West Seattle (GIR4WS)
WS Transportation Coalition
WS Green Space Coalition
Status of Morgan Junction Housing Targets
Neighborhood Projects Funds Awards
MoCA Website – creating business links
The next MoCA meeting will be on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM
The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Room #2
Morgan Community Association Meeting Minutes
July 17, 2013
7:00 pm at the Kenney
Welcome & Introductions Deb Barker, President, opened the meeting. Also present were Chas Redmond, Vice President, Eldon Olson, Treasurer and Cindi Barker, Public Information Officer. Sean Gamble, Secretary, was not present. There were 13 people in attendance.
Announcements & Updates
Chas Redmond described how a subcommittee of the Southwest District Council has been formed to review the process for conducting a California Ave SW Building inventory of Historic and Notable Structures, and determine next steps.
Chas reminded everyone to come out and have a great time at the Alki Art Fair, July 20 and 21.
Rapid Ride – The SDOT representative who was scheduled to attend had to cancel at the last minute but sent the following by email:
After the last meeting I attended, I did look into what lead to installing the center curbing on Fauntleroy just west of California Ave. There were concerns that came into SDOT about vehicles crossing the double yellow striping into the oncoming lane. Our project engineer then went out on three occasions to check out this behavior, and he found this was occurring. So he initiated the effort that led to installing the center curbing.
Deb will follow up with him and invite him to the October meeting.
Candidate for City Council – Albert Shen. Mr Shen is running for Position 8, against Mike O’Brien. He distributed campaign material, and spoke briefly. For more information about his positions and views, please see his website at www.albertshen.com
King County Assessors' Office Assessment update Lloyd Hara, KC Assessor is out visiting neighborhood groups in preparation for the next time West Seattle structures are analyzed for assessment. He would like to improve customer service and transparency of the Assessors office and improve the equity of assessments. His presentation can be found at http://www.morganjunction.org/attachments/261_Morgan.pdf
Briefly, there are over 700,000 parcels that his office is responsible to assess. 2014 will be West Seattle’s next physical assessment, which happens once every 6 years. He described the process of evaluation, then notification and then appeal, noting that you cannot appeal your tax, only the value that was assessed for your property. He also showed how, due to the levy taxes that have been approved by voters, it is possible that your value could go down, but your tax could be higher. His office number is 206-296-7300.
Morgan Junction Micro Housing project (5949 California Ave SW) – Deb reported that the developer was unable to attend our meeting. She gave a brief description of the project, noting that the five-story building will have five units; each unit will have no more than 8 rooms that range in size from 181 to 270 square feet. There will be a common kitchen and a common living area on each floor and a common laundry on the first floor. This project is still under administrative review, with Zoning and Structural review still to be completed. Other departments have already reviewed and approved the proposed development. The project is vested to current codes and no public review is required.
Bicycle Master Plan Update - Sara Zora from SDOT presented the status of the Bike Master Plan. The Draft that is out for review right now was released on June 5th and the comment period remains open until July 26. The current schedule has SDOT submitting a final draft to City Council at the beginning of September. There will be a Public Hearing in September as well, she believes it will be September 16. Sara reviewed the highlights of each chapter of the plan, which can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikemaster_materials.htm
After her presentation there was a series of questions:
Q – Will the streets designated as Greenway Streets get improved paving?
A – Yes, there is some money set aside for street improvement.
Q – Will there be a list of the priorities available?
A – yes, soon, along with costs and the full project list by priority.
Q – Why did you propose a cycle track from Fauntleroy Way to California, then it becomes a shared street, then it becomes a cycle track again?
A – it’s interrelated with freight mobility and other transportation needs. But it that doesn’t make sense, you should send that in as a comment.
Q – if a cycle track is build on Morgan St, that’s a barrier to my house, and I’ve also been told that there will be curb bulbs build on Morgan.
A – We don’t know which side of Morgan the cycle track would be built on, that and discussion about curb bulbs will come out closer to when we actually start to work on that part of the system.
Q – is it really feasible, moneywise, to construct a cycle track down Sylvan Way? Why don’t you use an existing broader east/west street like Holden.
A – that would be a great comment to submit.
Murray/Lowman Beach CSO update - Doug Marsano, KC Metro sent an update about the project. They now have a contractor signed for the demolition of the site, that will be done by Tiger Construction out of Everson, WA. The demolition should start in August and is planned to be completed by Labor Day.
The contractor for construction will be Shimmick Constriction Inc of Oakland CA, they will be responsible for the overall project and are finalizing the contracting paper work now.
Doug also commented that many of the people who stopped by his booth at the Morgan Festival were aware of the project, so that was good news to him.
Friends of Morgan Junction Park update - Barry White gave a recap of how the Friends group was formed, how just individuals were dealing ad hoc with the weeding and plantings and how they group was formed in late spring to work to restore and beautify our shared public spaces. They have established connections with the City’s volunteer coordinator and the SW districts Head Gardener and created a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FoMJP?hc_location=stream
As a Friends group registered with the city, we will want to make sure all time spent in the park is logged. They have also acquired a watering coupling and have established a regular watering and weeding schedule. Saturday July 20 from 10 to noon will be the next work party. While the group is getting lots of thanks from passers by on work days for the efforts in the park, we want to convert those folks into helpers as well. It was suggested that establishing a regular work party schedule posted on the Facebook page might help with that desire. Finally, FoMJP will be reviewing the plantings in the park as well as the trees, with a view towards enhancing the tree canopy.
It was also announced that FoMJP will also start working in the triangle of land next to Thriftway, and the Thriftway manager has said they would be interested in being involved in that effort.
California Ave SW Grant = 20 new street trees. Cindi Barker reviewed how part of MoCA’s application for 2012 Neighborhood Project Funds has been awarded, so far only the part addressing Street Trees to filling the missing gaps which have developed along California Ave SW (from Juneau to Myrtle). Deb, Sean and Cindi walked the street to review where trees were missing from tree wells, or where trees could be added. The city had advised that there was budget for approximately 20 trees, they came up with 15 locations. The empty tree well outside Feedback Lounge will not be submitted, they have applied for a permit for sidewalk seating and that tree will is scheduled to be filled in as part of the permit requirements. MoCA will take the responsibility to notify the affect homeowners who live at those locations, to ensure that people know what is going on and have a chance to provide input. The locations will be submitted to the City next week for their review and then we can develop a plan so that we know where the trees will actually go in, as some of the suggested areas may not be appropriate due to underground vaults or other issues identified by the Urban Forestry department.
Morgan Junction Park - Citizen Comfort Levels – Discussion returned to the Morgan Park, and Tod Rodman talked about what has been observed during the FoMJP work parties. They notice that there are very few women, especially with children, using the park. There is a now-regular group of people who spend quite a bit of time in the park, and they seem to make people uncomfortable, even if they are not doing anything illegal. There was discussion on what was and was not illegal, and it was suggested that Parks post a sign similar to what they have done in other parks so that people know for sure when to call in issues. While some feel the “regulars” are harmless, there have still be occasions when they are passed out in the middle of the park and now people are sleeping at night in the back of the park, on the street right of way. Cindi has talked with the Community Policing officer, Jonathan Flores, who encourages people to call it in if they see something illegal or something which is a health & safety issue (passed out). All agreed that we want to have more residents and children use the park so it becomes friendly again.
MoCA 2013 Festival 2013 update. Deb Barker covered the festival in a flurry of numbers
12 performers on 2 stages
31 sponsors (thank you!)
15 dogs in the Bark of Morgan Parade
9 winner dogs
6 Bite of Morgan resturants who gave out between 99 and 278 bites each
4 food trucks who served between 75 and 199 meals
1 grant (our first ever)
And we’re guessing there were 650 to 700 people who came out on such a beautiful day – a great time was had by all!
The next MoCA meeting will be on October 16, 2013 at 7:00 PM
The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW, Room #2