Social Event at Naked City
(No membership meeting this month)

Tuesday August 18, 7:00
Naked City Brewery
8564 Greenwood Ave N

gone fishin

I know what you’re thinking – you can’t come to a social event on the third Tuesday of the month because that’s when the community council meets.  But the Greenwood Community Council is taking the month of August off – so what a great opportunity to have a night out!  Please join the community council board and members in the screening room at Naked City instead.  Open to all – please come even if you’ve never attended a community council function; this is a great time to find out who you’ve been getting all these messages from.  Bring a friend.  Hope to see you on Tuesday!

GCC Membership Meeting Tuesday (7/21)

July Membership Meeting
Tuesday July 21, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
 
Public Art, CGG Capacity Building, 
Design Review Process and Updates
 
This month we are taking a break from single-topic meetings discuss several items.  Note that we will be asking the membership for a decision approving a letter on the design review process (see below).
 
To see the agenda and meeting minutes, click to 

Continue reading GCC Membership Meeting Tuesday (7/21)

Seattle At Work in Greenwood (And a chance to meet with the Mayor and his staff)

Greenwood residents and businesses –

Please note! This Saturday, 2:00-4:00 at the Greenwood Senior Center, Mayor Murray, his staff and department heads will here be in Greenwood to focus on city accomplishments and neighborhood needs.  

Please don’t miss this opportunity to engage with Seattle to learn about city programs and activities – and make sure city leaders understand what’s great, and what needs improvement, here in Greenwood, in Phinney Ridge, and in Aurora-Licton Springs.

Seattle at work in Greenwood

GCC Looking for Volunteers for Outreach and Engagement

The Greenwood Community Council is looking for volunteers (and has a few paid activities) for
 
OUTREACH AND ENGAGEMENT
 
We are forming a new outreach and engagement community to improve our ability to reach and hear from our Greenwood neighbors and involve them in neighborhood activities and dialogue.  This new group would (1) plan for and participate in events representing the community council, (2) coordinate plans for election forums – especially this year with district city council races, and (3) put all sorts of content on our website that’s useful and interesting that aid in community awareness, discussion and advocacy.  Volunteers have met over the winter to improve the website*, and it’s almost good – but now it needs actual content.  The committee would usually meet monthly wherever it’s comfortable for everyone, but probably one of our local coffee shops or taverns.
 
If you like to write, meet people or help people get involved in their community, you‘ll enjoy this.
If you’re interested, here’s what to do:
We are also looking for short-term paid help for the following 
(using grant funds for website improvement):
  • Improving our website – if you have ideas, send thoughts or a proposal
  • Adding useful links to our website to make resources more easily available.  
Please respond by email if you’d like more information.
 
*My many thanks to the volunteers who stepped forward to help improve the website:  Katie DeLuew, Rose Marcotte, Daniel Stoner, my wife Diane Kasparek, and Liz Talley

GCC Meeting Tuesday on Social Service Needs

Greenwood Community Council
June Membership Meeting
Tuesday June 16, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
Social Service Needs and Responses
in Greenwood
homeless01
 
The economy has turned around in Greenwood.  Businesses are filling storefronts that sat empty two years ago, cranes are on 85th St., million dollar houses are going in. Amid this prosperity though, there are many in need. The picture above isn’t from Greenwood, but it looks a lot like my alley lately – people in need are more visible in the neighborhood, and there are many others who are out of sight.
 
So who is attending to the social service needs in our neighborhood?  What trends are they seeing, and how well are public, non-profit and police working together to address the needs?  And what are gaps that aren’t being attended to?  This month’s membership meeting will address health and safety issues in the neighborhood and steps needed to do better.  
 
To see the agenda and meeting minutes click to 

Continue reading GCC Meeting Tuesday on Social Service Needs

Aurora-Licton Springs Meeting Monday

The Aurora-Licton Springs “Urban Village” 
Needs a Voice!
 

page8image13504

Special Community Meeting
Monday June 15
7:00 PM at Lantern Brewing
938 N 95th St.
 
The Aurora-Licton Springs area (shown in yellow above, and in another map at the end of this email) has been designated by Seattle as an “urban village,” where new development should be focused.  When the urban village concept was adopted 20 years ago, the policy was to recognize where development was most likely and to focus city attention and infrastructure on making these places high quality safe and walkable urban neighborhoods. The primary strategies in the adopted Aurora-Licton Springs Neighborhood Plan (in 1999) were “designation of the … urban village, establishment of a community center in conjunction with an excellent educational center at the Wilson-Pacific site, creation of one or more neighborhood commercial centers, enhancements to the business area and streetscape along Aurora Avenue North, and establish a comprehensive network of safe and attractive pedestrian connections.”
 
In 20 years it’s not clear much of that has occurred, yet development has proceeded faster than anticipated.  One potential reason for city inaction may be that the neighborhood has not had an effective voice.  The Greenwood, Licton Springs, Haller Lake and Broadview community councils intersect at 105th and Aurora, and none of them has focused on the specific needs of the Aurora-Licton Springs neighborhood.  In Greenwood, where I’m president of the community council, the focus has always been on … Greenwood, and I’m not well equipped to speak for the needs of the quarter of Aurora-Licton Springs that is located in our boundary.  So this meeting is my personal appeal to form a community group whose primary focus is on dialogue within the Aurora-Licton Springs neighborhood and a proactive voice for the neighborhood.
 
Proposed Agenda
 
 
7:00 Welcome and Introduction
  – Meeting purpose
  – Urban village concept and history
  – Current issues in the neighborhood
  – Community councils in the area –
       who represents Aurora-Licton Springs?
 
7:20 Open Discussion
  – What are key problems in the neighborhood?
  – What would you like to see changed or improved?
 
7:50 How Can Neighbors be Proactive and
        Get Changes?
  – How to be heard at city hall on neighborhood
       issues and needs?
  – How to provide a vision and guidelines for
       development?
  – How to work with local businesses on a better
       business district?
  – How to help neighbors be safe?
 
8:15 Call for Volunteers and Next Steps
 
8:30 Adjourn

Tuesday’s GCC Meeting on Seattle 2035

Seattle 2035 ImageMay Membership Meeting
Tuesday May 19, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N

Seattle 2035 – Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan
The Draft EIS is Finally Available —
What’s Seattle’s Plan for Greenwood – and What’s Ours?

 

Almost a year ago a lot of people in Greenwood responded to a call to develop a Greenwood 2035 vision and follow Seattle’s comprehensive plan update process Seattle 2035. We formed study groups and got set – but then the process got started more slowly than expected. Now the city has produced an environmental impact statement (EIS) examining the impacts of four alternative distributions of new residential and business growth over the next 30 years. Comments are due in June, so now is the time to pay attention and chime in.

The EIS examines what the impacts would be if development could be directed in different ways, with different levels of density occurring in urban villages, urban centers or around transit. It’s an interesting thought experiment, because other than the zoning code (which has capacity for any of these options) there are few levers the city can pull to implement one alternative over another. In the end, debates over the comp plan will probably focus more on the policies and measures to implement one of these alternatives, and those actions are not yet clearly known.

Some of your fellow community council members are beginning to pore through the EIS document, so this will be a good opportunity to get an overview of what’s at issue. But we’ll also want to think through the policies and improvements needed in Greenwood over the next 30 years to make sure a neighborhood vision will be reflected in the final plan. At this meeting we’ll start that discussion – hope you can make it!

For agenda and minutes,  Continue reading Tuesday’s GCC Meeting on Seattle 2035

Greenwood Community Council Meeting Tuesday

Council DistrictsApril Membership Meeting
Tuesday April 21, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
 
How Will City Council Districts Affect 
Neighborhoods and Community Councils?
 
Sorry for the late notice for this month’s Greenwood Community Council meeting, which is tomorrow – or maybe today by the time you get this.  
 
Last year voters approved a new method of selecting city council candidates, with seven members elected by district and two city-wide.  District council elections will change Seattle politics dramatically.  Three current city council incumbents have announced they will not run again, and everyone is wondering whether neighborhoods will have a stronger voice in budgeting, planning or policy, and (conversely) whether city-wide priorities will be neglected.  Greenwood is bisected by the 5th and 6th city council districts, and over the next several months we will be meeting candidates hoping to represent us.
 
For community councils, city council districts raise all sorts of questions:
  • How should we be involved in vetting the candidates?  
  • How should we work with other community councils and other neighborhood groups?
  • Does is make sense to realign the city’s district councils with city council districts?
  • Should we focus equal attention on the at-large council member races?
  • What key Greenwood issues do we want candidates to focus attention on?
We will have a general discussion about how the community council needs to change and react to the new district council context.  We will also hear from a group interested in promoting campaign finance reform in the city, and get an update on activities taking place on our committees and around the neighborhood.  Hope you can make it.
 
Proposed Agenda
 

7:00  Introductions and Agenda Review

7:10  Regan McBride, New Honest Elections Seattle Campaign
           
– Presentation on a proposal to create a public finance

              system for Seattle city elections
            – Q&A, Discussion

7:30  How should GCC adapt to new City Council Districts?
         Open Discussion

8:10  Updates and announcements – around the table
            – GCC committee activities

            – Other announcements

8:30  Adjourn


Please note that the Library’s garage closes at 8PM, so if you park in the library you will need to move your car before then.
 

[See Meeting Notes below the fold] Continue reading Greenwood Community Council Meeting Tuesday

Our New Board

GCC New Board mar-15Here are our new community council officers.  From left to right,

Back row:

  • Adam Goch, Vice President 
  • Chris Rule, Treasurer
  • Rob Fellows, President
  • Joel Darnell, Land Use Chair
  • Kelly Kasper, Health and Safety Chair
  • Robert Cruickshank, Secretary

Front row:

  • Rick Klingele, past Vice President*
  • Angela Cherry, Outreach Chair
  • Ben Mitchell, Transportation Chair

*We don’t really have a past VP position, but the Past President one is vacant and Rick is a good fit.

GCC Meeting and Elections Tuesday

Reminder – the March Greenwood Community Council meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday) with former Mayor McGinn.  
(See the meeting notice in previous post.)  Our former community council president will reflect on how his perspectives have evolved over his time as mayor.  Whatever your views of his administration, he’s had a unique view of Seattle and its government that will be interesting to hear.
 
We will also have community council elections.  
I hope some of you reading this will think about running for our board or getting involved in some other way that fits your interests and availability.  This year the community council has expanded its activities and members, and there’s a lot to be done.  We now have three active committees – land use, transportation and outreach – and we’re working on a fourth to address health and public safety.  Change seems to be accelerating in Seattle, and district city council elections next fall will change neighborhoods’ relations with the city.  It’s an interesting and important time to be active in the neighborhood.
 
We’re recruiting for eight elected board positions as described in our bylaws.  The board positions are defined, but are also flexible. Board members are expected to attend membership meetings when possible and a board meeting every so often (probably every other month) that is usually over beer or coffee.  The ideal board member will make it a priority to answer emails when meetings need to be set up or decisions need to be made.  Any balance or diversity you bring will be valued.  While these positions are for two years, a one-year commitment is requested.  There will be a sign-in when you arrive at the meeting where you can indicate your interest in a position, then after former Mayor McGinn is done we will begin the election and you will have another chance to nominate or to shift to a different position.  The board will meet soon after selected to figure out how to organize itself. 
 
The President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary roles are all indicators of roles, but details can be negotiated.  
  • The president has been setting up and running the membership meetings, but would probably be happy to let others do some of that; former presidents spent more time representing the council outside the neighborhood.  
  • The VP is a totally definable role; the current VP attends district council meetings among other things and fills in for the president as needed.  
  • The secretary is responsible for getting meeting minutes written and onto the website, but could also take on other meeting logistics or website duties for example.  
  • The treasurer is like the Maytag repairman of old; we have no money, but he or she could be managing grants like the one we just received to improve our website, finding other grants, and/or maintaining our membership list.
  • And the four committee chairs are just that – we have a land use, transportation, outreach and (soon) a health and safety committee. Committee chairs are board members, and responsible for organizing and leading a committee and making sure someone keeps the committee’s section of the website up to date.
Board positions are not the only way to be involved!  If you don’t want to commit to a board position, we also need volunteers to help maintain the website, research land use and transportation activities, and monitor or organize specific projects.  At Tuesday’s meeting there will be a sign-in list where you can indicate your interest in either a board position or another volunteer activity that would fit your interests and availability.  
 
If you have any questions about any of this please don’t hesitate to contact me by clicking here.
 
Rob Fellows
Greenwood Community Council President

Next Week’s GCC meeting: Mike McGinn – and Elections

March Membership Meeting
Tuesday March 17, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
 
Former Greenwood Community Council President 
Mayor Michael McGinn Reflects …
— and also —
Community Council Elections
McGinn
 
Michael McGinn was our Greenwood Community Council President for several years before he left first to form Great City and later run successfully for mayor.  Now back to private life, we’ve asked him to tell us how being mayor changed his perspective on city issues, and how in retrospect he’d advise us to be productive and effective representing Greenwood concerns in a changing political environment.  He will also take your questions.
 
We will also have the community council elections at this meeting.  If you’ve ever considered becoming more involved in the community, please give some thought to entering your name for a board position.  We hold no power; we are strictly volunteers trying to provide a means for Greenwood residents and businesses to discuss issues of common concern and represent our neighborhood’s interests in a way that makes a difference.  This weekend I will send a more impassioned plea, complete with job descriptions – but the most important qualifications are an interest in being involved in the neighborhood, commitment to stay involved for a year, willingness to meet occasionally over coffee or beer, and willingness to take on some meaningful role to keep the community council meaningful and effective.  Let me know if you’d like more information by responding to this email.

GCC Seeking New Board Members!

Community Council Elections at the March Membership Meeting

volunteerThis is an open invitation to be involved in the Greenwood Community Council leadership.  At our March meeting, members  will elect officers and board members for the coming year.  If you’ve been thinking about getting involved in the neighborhood, please consider nominating yourself! 

Elections will be open for all positions, including:

  • President
  • Vice president
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Land Use Chair
  • Transportation Chair
  • Health and Safety Chair
  • Outreach Chair

You can nominate yourself or someone else you think should consider the job.   Ideal candidates will be available for occasional meetings over beer or coffee, respond to emails so we can make decisions, and be interested in creating opportunities for neighbors to meet developers and decision-makers, shape neighborhood priorities, or make things happen in Greenwood.  

These are two year terms, but please be prepared to commit to staying involved for the coming year.  Any kind of skills and diversity you bring to the board will be appreciated.  Please give it some thought … but don’t overthink it.

If you’re interested, you’ll need to show up at our membership meeting on March 17, 7PM at the Greenwood Library.  If you have questions, please send me a message by clicking here.  [Link fixed]

March 11: Candidate Forum for Seattle City Council District 5

Broadview Community Council, in association with the Greenwood, Haller Lake, and Pinehurst community councils, presents

District 5 mapA Candidate Forum for Seattle City Council District 5

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Doors open at 6:30 for socializing
Bitter Lake Community Center
13035 Linden Ave N

Calling all community council members, neighborhood activists, business advocates, political junkies, civic troublemakers, citizens with a beef, and all other North Seattle voters!  

This is the time to meet candidates for Seattle City Council in YOUR VERY OWN District 5

Sandy Brown
Mercedes Elizalde
Debora Juarez
Mian Rice
David Toledo
Halei Watkins

Learn about their background and experience, ask them questions, grade them, and challenge them to be transparent. Decide who might get your donation and/or your vote.

Don’t be late. Seating is limited.

District 5 runs from Puget Sound to Lake Washington, from 145th St. to roughly 85th St. See the official map for details.

GCC Meeting Next Tuesday on Parking Requirements

February Membership Meeting
Tuesday February 17, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
 
How Much Parking Should Be Required 
in New Apartment Buildings?
 
i want to go shopping 017
 
A few years ago Seattle changed its development regulations to eliminate the requirement to provide parking in new multi-family buildings in areas defined as urban villages, or places with accessible and frequent transit service.  Almost all of Greenwood fits that definition, and several micro-housing buildings are being built that will take advantage of that change by not including parking as part of the development.
 
There are advocates and strong feelings on both sides of this issue.  Seattle’s previous parking requirements often required developers to include more parking than needed, raising the cost of living in new buildings and requiring residents who don’t own cars to help pay for their storage.  Providing no parking at all takes advantage of unused public street space at no cost to the developer or tenant.  When parking is scarce though, neighbors and their visitors have a harder time finding a place to park and need to walk farther to get groceries and kids to the car.  
 
So what is the right amount of parking, and what should guide the city in deciding how much developers need to provide as part of their projects?  The City Council has requested a review of parking requirement policies, and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is preparing its analysis.  Gordon Clowers is leading the team that will respond to the council, and at our February meeting he will discuss some of the factors DPD will consider in forming their analysis.
 
Agenda
 
7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review
 
7:10 Gordon Clowers, Department of Planning and Development
                  – Parking Requirement Policies for New Development
                  – Q&A, Discussion
 
7:55 Land Use Committee Report/Proposed Action
                  – Pedestrian zones on Greenwood Avenue
                  – Potential Action
 
8:20 Community Council Business and Announcements
                  – Nominations open for Community Council elections in March
                  – Other announcements
 
8:30 Adjourn
 

Please note that the Library’s garage closes at 8PM, so if you park in the library you will need to move your car before then.

Next Tuesday’s Community Council meeting: Developing a Vision for a New Park at the Library


January Membership Meeting
Tuesday January 20, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library

8016 Greenwood Ave. N

Developing a Neighborhood Vision for the New Park North of the Library

Librarby Park


Our January meeting will kick off the process to develop a community vision for the new park that will be developed on the lot north of the library, where the minimart used to be.  Bill Farmer will speak on the history of this site as a proposed park through inclusion for funding in the park district ballot measure that Seattle citizens passed last year and the implementation process.  Bill was a member of the 2008 Parks & Green Spaces Levy Committee that resulted in acquisition of the site, and the Parks Legacy committee that helped develop the park funding ballot measure.  He has followed this process over the years.

The majority of the meeting will be for brainstorming – what are the things a park could bring to the neighborhood?  What uses should (and shouldn’t) it accommodate?  What matters about how it’s designed?  What should it be called?

The objective is to begin the neighborhood discussion, that will ultimately need to involve many others in the broader Greenwood-Phinney area that this park will serve.  Being proactive to develop a community vision will help designers develop a park we will use and feel ownership and pride in.  The ideal outcome of this meeting will be to get discussion going and identify a core group to broaden the discussion to the wider community.

Agenda

7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review
7:10 Update on Greenwood 2035 Study Groups
7:15 Bill Farmer: History, context, and the park development process
7:25 Brainstorm: What does the community desire for this site?
8:10 Summary – points of agreement
8:15 Next steps to advance the conversation and the project
8:30 Adjourn

Hope you can make it!

Next Tuesday Community Council Meeting – Dialogue with a Micro-Housing Developer

December Membership Meeting
Tuesday December 16, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

 

There’s been a big to-do about micro-housing (aka apodments*) in neighborhoods all over Seattle.  Micro-housing is a relatively new idea in Seattle, allowing people who don’t need a full apartment to rent a bedroom only with access to a common kitchen.  Many do not provide parking because micro-housing many micro-housing resident don’t own one.  The micro-housing boom has caught neighborhoods by surprise, with buildings appearing all over town.  These projects have been largely exempt from regulation or public review, but the City Council is reconsidering whether to change that.

Three micro-housing developments are under construction now in Greenwood – comprising most of the development that will open here in the next year.  (One is on Phinney Ave. above the Safeway parking lot, and two are on NW 85th St.)  There are clearly potential benefits, but also unknown impacts that raise concerns for some neighbors.

Daniel Stoner is a developer who has built micro-housing projects previously, and he’s asked for the opportunity to discuss plans for a new micro-housing project on 95th St. with Greenwood neighbors – the topic of our December meeting.  KCTS recently did a story on micro-housing and Daniel was interviewed — you can see the interview by clicking here.  Representing the community council, I really appreciate Daniel’s willingness and commitment to engage in community dialogue.  This meeting will be a great opportunity for community members to understand the benefits of micro-housing, and also to pass along concerns about the development he’s proposing on 95th St., replacing the building shown below.

*Apodments is a trademark of a specific micro-housing development company, so the term micro-housing is used here.

This Tuesday Community Council Meeting – What are Ingredients of a Livable Neighborhood?

November Membership Meeting
Tuesday November 18, 7:00 – 8:30

NOTE LOCATION!
Taproot Theatre’s Stage Door Cafe, 208 N 85th St.
(Refreshments available)

This month’s community council meeting is part of the year-long “Greenwood 2035” planning process to help inform Seattle’s comprehensive plan update.  Three study groups have had their initial meetings to discuss land use, transportation and sidewalk issues.  This month’s membership meeting will be an open meeting of the land use study group (usually on third Thursday evenings).

Seattle’s “Urban Village” strategy is to identify areas where new growth is planned, and prioritize city investment into making these become high quality urban environments. The question is — what defines a high quality environment, and what steps can the city take as a practical matter to make this policy meaningful?  Some feel that density is needed to bring pedestrian traffic that supports thriving business districts, others focus on the need for sidewalks, parks and play fields.  We have seen massive development near Aurora Avenue and Holman Rd. – what can the city do to make these places the high quality urban environments envisioned in the comp plan?

This meeting will be an extended meeting of the study group open to anyone who wants to participate.  Study group participants were to come prepared to discuss the issue, but most likely this will be an open-ended discussion for anyone interested in the subject.  

Agenda

7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review
7:10 Update on Greenwood 2035 Study Groups
7:15 Presentations of research by study group members (if any this month)
7:25 Open discussion on ingredients for livable neighborhoods
8:05 Summary – points of agreement
8:15 Next study group topic – brainstorm research needed and assign tasks
8:30 Adjourn

Election Forum Next Tuesday at the Taproot Theatre

Northwest Seattle Neighborhoods

Election Forum

 

at the Taproot Theatre

204 N 85th St. in Greenwood

Next Tuesday – October 21 at 7PM


Please join your neighbors next Tuesday evening to make sense of ballot measures as the fall election closes in.  The election forum gives you an opportunity to hear from the campaigns and ask them your questions.  

Program:
7:00 – Welcome and settle in
7:10 – Dueling Seattle Early Childhood Education initiatives
7:45 – The Reduce Class Sizes state initiative
8:10 – Seattle Transportation Benefit District (for bus transit service)
8:20 – The New Monorail Initiative
8:30 – 36th District candidates* have been invited to introduce themselves
8:45 – Adjourn – cafe will stay open so you can talk to campaigners

*Not all candidates are able to attend.
This event is sponsored by the Greenwood, Broadview, Green Lake and Phinney Ridge community councils.  Space is generously provided by the Taproot Theatre.  There is no charge to attend, but donations to offset the Taproot’s costs will be appreciated – and please plan to stop by Taproot’s Stage Door Cafe before or after the event.
Please help spread the word!

Next Tuesday’s GCC Meeting – Intro to Seattle 2035 (at Taproot)

September Membership Meeting
Tuesday September 16, 7:00 – 8:30
NOTE DIFFERENT LOCATION!
We’ll meet at the Taproot Theatre Cafe, 208 N 85th St.
** (Refreshments available!) **

Topic: Introduction and Overview of the 
Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update
This month’s community council meeting will also be the kick-off for the Greenwood 2035 Study Groups.  Tom Hauger from Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development will give an overview of the Seattle 2035 update process for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan and some of the key issues that will be addressed.  Tom will also take audience questions.  This will be a good opportunity to get oriented to the comprehensive planning process for those who hope to become more involved in it.  (For those who are opinionated about development issues, this is not the forum to air them, but there will be plenty of opportunities as the process continues.)

Agenda

7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review
7:10 Introduction and Overview of Seattle 2035 – Tom Hauger
8:00 Status and update on the Greenwood 2035 Study Groups
8:10 Announcements and information sharing – around the table
8:25 Adjourn and clean up – need to let the cafe staff go home at 8:30

Note – October’s meeting will be the annual Election Forum at the Taproot Theatre.  Mark your calendars now — October 21 at 7:00PM.

Still time to join Greenwood 2035 Study Groups

Over the summer the Greenwood Community Council has been recruiting volunteers to participate in “Greenwood 2035” study groups to coincide with Seattle’s update of its Seattle 2035 comprehensive plan.  We’ll educate ourselves about growth, development and infrastructure issues, learn about how things get done in Seattle, and discuss how to involve people who don’t usually participate in neighborhood discussions.   

Despite being as grown up as I’m likely to become I still think of the year as starting in September and ending in June – so if you’re like me, welcome back to the new school year.  Fall means we are getting the study groups organized and set up soon, so I’d like to encourage you one last time to join the Greenwood 2035 study groups.  If you are interested, please take a moment to fill out a survey by clicking here The survey questions ask about your interests in the study groups, the times you could be available each month, and your likes and pet peeves about Greenwood.  If you know of others who are or may be interested in the study groups please forward this email to them too.

The survey asks which study groups you may be interested in.  For your reference, here are the descriptions as proposed — but remember that these groups will be self-directed and can choose a different course if desired:

Proposed study groups:

  • LAND USE.  This study group will develop information and positions about how Greenwood should develop.
    For example:
    • What is loved about Greenwood that should be preserved, and what could be improved?
    • How can new density and development enhance and promote Greenwood’s livability?
    • What city improvements and services are needed to make new development work?
    • What can be done to preserve affordability and healthy small businesses?
    • What kinds of development are helping or hurting livability in Greenwood?
  • TRANSPORTATION.  This group will address Greenwood’s transportation needs and priorities.
    • What new transit connections are needed, and how can service be improved?
    • What’s the best way to accommodate bicycles, and where should greenways be located?
    • What should be priority uses for our main streets?  How should they operate?
    • Should car use be more efficient, or should it be frustrating to spur shifts to transit and bikes?
    • What are the transporta! tion projects and improvements that should top our priority list?
  • SIDEWALKS.  This group will propose practical ways to start building sidewalks north of 85th St.
    (Note: Seattle’s change to district elections makes this a timely opportunity – any candidate for the district north of 85th will need a program to address sidewalks, and we can help!)  This group will study and consider:
    • Why are there so few sidewalks north of 85th St., and what’s been tried to get them built?
    • What is the city’s obligation vs. the home or business owner?
    • How will Seattle’s complete streets policy help?  How effective are grant processes?
    • What are obstacles to building sidewalks and what can be done to overcome them?
    • What is a practical program that a new city councilmember could promote?
  • NEW MODELS FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.  This group will aim to broaden community involvement.
    • Are meetings still an effective way to involve people in addressing neighborhood issues?
    • What are generational differences – how do younger community members engage?
    • How can dialogue increase between residents and local business people?
    • What are engagement and outreach models that are more participatory?
    • How do different constituencies feel the community council could better engage or represent their interests?

Greenwood 2035 Planning Meeting Tuesday evening

Instead of having a Greenwood Community Council meeting this week, we will have an open meeting for anyone wanting to help plan the Greenwood 2035 Study Groups.

Tuesday August 19, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Public Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N

Tuesday evening’s meeting is for anyone interested in helping to plan the study groups – described in the message below that was originally posted in June. The meeting will be at the Greenwood Library at 7PM, replacing the n! ormal Greenwood Community Council meeting.  We’ll meet there for a few minutes and then break into groups (sidewalks, land use, transportation and engagement) to continue discussion at a local business that serves beverages of one sort or another.  I hope you can make it – but if not we’ll hope to see you when the study groups begin in earnest this fall.

No meeting this Tuesday

There will not be a July meeting of the Greenwood Community Council this Tuesday.

However, we expect to have a special August meeting on the usuals third Tuesday meeting date (8/19) to plan next year’s Greenwood 2035 planning effort, including study groups on sidewalks, transportation, land use and new models of community engagement.  More information coming soon!

GCC Meeting Tuesday on Greenwood 2035 Plan

June Membership Meeting
Tuesday June 17, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Public Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N

Tomorrow (Tuesday)’s community council meeting will be an open meeting of the board to discuss the Greenwood 2035 planning effort described in a post below. If you’re interested or have other community issues you’d like to discuss, please join us – everyone is welcome.

Seattle is beginning a year-long effort on a major update to its comprehensive plan, identifying where new development should occur and what city investments will be needed to accommodate growth. The initial plan focus is on whether urban centers (downtown, Capitol Hill, Northgate) and/or stations near light rail should be upzoned to be far denser than today; but eventually the plan must also address city plans for transportation, schools, parks, housing affordability and other critical issues that will affect Greenwood. Greenwood 2035 will prepare us to participate on behalf of our neighborhood, and to inform and engage Greenwood neighbors to influence the plan to benefit Greenwood’s livability.

If you’ve thought about getting involved in the neighborhood, this is a great time to do it. This will be a great opportunity to meet neighbors and learn how the city works. We will be planning and recruiting for Greenwood 2035 over the summer so we’ll be ready to hit the ground running next September. Please take a look at the call for volunteers below, and consider joining the discussion tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

Get involved in Greenwood – Looking for your help and participation

The Greenwood Community Council is looking for volunteers for Greenwood 2035 – a year-long effort to develop Greenwood’s input and feedback to complement Seattle’s comprehensive plan update: Seattle 2035.  

(This is the topic of this Tuesday’s community council meeting – agenda coming in a separate email).


Volunteers are needed for the following study groups:

  • LAND USE.  This study group will develop information and positions about how Greenwood should develop.
    For example:
    • What is loved about Greenwood that should be preserved, and what could be improved?
    • How can new density and development enhance and promote Greenwood’s livability?
    • What city improvements and services are needed to make new development work?
    • What can be done to preserve affordability and healthy small businesses?
    • What kinds of development are helping or hurting livability in Greenwood?
  • TRANSPORTATION.  This group will address Greenwood’s transportation needs and priorities.
    • What new transit connections are needed, and how can service be improved?
    • What’s the best way to accommodate bicycles, and where should greenways be located?
    • What should be priority uses for our main streets?  How should they operate?
    • Should car use be more efficient, or should it be frustrating to spur shifts to transit and bikes?
    • What are the transportation projects and improvements that should top our priority list?
  • SIDEWALKS.  This group will propose practical ways to start building sidewalks north of 85th St.
    (Note: Seattle’s change to district elections makes this a timely opportunity – any candidate for the district north of 85th will need a program to address sidewalks, and we can help!)  This group will study and consider:
    • Why are there no sidewalks north of 85th St., and what’s been tried to get them built?
    • What is the city’s obligation vs. the home or business owner?
    • How will Seattle’s complete streets policy help?  How effective are grant processes?
    • What are obstacles to building sidewalks and what can be done to overcome them?
    • What is a practical program that a new city councilmember could promote?
  • NEW MODELS FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.  This group will aim to broaden community involvement.
    • Are meetings still an effective way to involve people in addressing neighborhood issues?
    • What are generational differences – how do younger community members engage?
    • How can dialogue increase between residents and local business people?
    • What are engagement and outreach models that are more participatory?
    • How do different constituencies feel the community council could better engage or represent their interests?

(Note: The Greenwood Community Council is also looking for volunteers for our board, and help with our website.)

If you’re interested in any of this, here’s what to do:

  • Please click here to send an email with your contact information and what study group(s) you are interested in joining or leading.  The study groups will begin meeting in September, but planning will continue over the summer to make sure they will be rewarding and productive.  We will also develop a monthly series of presentations and discussions at community council meetings over the next year to complement study group activities and report out and share their findings.
  • If you’d like to discuss, help plan or learn more about this activity, attend the June Greenwood Community Council meeting next Tuesday evening, June 17, at 7:00 in the Greenwood Public Library meeting room.  The Greenwood Library’s address is 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

GCC May Meeting is Canceled

The Greenwood Community Council meeting for May is canceled. The program we were hoping to present is not available, so we will postpone for a future meeting. Our meeting this month was scheduled for the day after the Memorial Day holiday, so we’re thinking this is not a bad one to cancel.

We will definitely meet next month on June 17 – hope to see you then.


GCC Meeting Next Week: Greenwood Ave. Transit/Sidewalk Project [Updated]

[This post has been updated to add the meeting agenda]

The Community Council normally meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, but for April and May we will meet on the fourth Tuesday instead.

MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT

April Membership Meeting
Tuesday April 22, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Public Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N

Greenwood Transit/Sidewalk Project

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is working on a design for transit improvements and new sidewalks on Greenwood Ave. between N. 90th and N. 105th.  SDOT representatives will present their plans and answer questions.  

This project would bring long-desired sidewalks to Greenwood Ave.!  It includes funding to build sidewalks on the east side of the street, and to design sidewalks on the west side that would be well-positioned for funding.  Sidewalks design will affect where on-street parking is available.

The transit improvements are intended to remove the need for buses to wait for traffic to clear before they pull back into traffic after stopping for passengers.  Instead of pulling out of traffic, the buses would stop in-lane, and cars would wait while passengers get on and off the bus.  Bicycles would be routed behind a bus “island” so they could continue without stopping behind the buses, similar to the operation on Dexter Ave. N.  This is a somewhat controversial approach worth discussion.

Proposed Agenda:

7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review

7:10 SDOT Presentation (Rob Gorman, Paul Elliot), followed by Q&A and discussion

7:50 Around the Table Updates

– Report from the Neighborhood Summit
– Comprehensive Plan update
– Greenwood Library Park update
– Microhousing and low-rise development regulations update

8:20 Announcements and Next Meeting Topic

8:30 Adjourn

GCC Supports Funding to Develop Greenwood Library Park

The Greenwood Community Council has weighed in with the Seattle City Council in support of including funds in the upcoming parks ballot measure to develop a park on the site pictured here, just north of the Greenwood Library.  The Parks Department purchased this property for a future park, and businesses there are relocating.

Once vacant, the building will be demolished.  If there is no funding to improve the property into a Greenwood Library Park, it may sit vacant indefinitely.  We’ve urged the City Council not to let that happen.

To see the GCC letter to Councilmember Bagshaw, click here.

GCC Attending Mayor Murray’s Neighborhood Summit this Saturday

The Seattle Neighborhood Summit will take place on Saturday, April 5 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall, located on Mercer at 3rd Avenue N. next to McCaw Hall.  Mayor Murray is sponsoring a Neighborhood Summit this coming Saturday to set the tone for how his administration will relate to neighborhoods during his term. Many of the Greenwood Community Council board members will participate, and invite anyone interested in neighborhood issues to join us.

At a brainstorm during our March Greenwood Community Council meeting, these were the issues members suggested be raised as priorities for Greenwood. If you attend the summit you might want to raise some of these, along with any other issues that motivate you to attend.

Notes from the GCC March Membership Meeting
Brainstorm on Community Issues
to Raise at the Neighborhood Summit

 

Provide for Non-Car Transit (Walk, Bike, Bus) – especially Sidewalks!
Improve people’s ability to walk, bike, and use the bus in and around Greenwood.

– Make a strategy for sidewalk development in Greenwood and plan for it in the budget.
– Ensure ample and accessible mass transit service.
– Improve walkability through more sidewalks, safe intersection crossings.
– Create more bike-friendly infrastructure.
– Do greenways “right.”

Plan for the Park @ Greenwood & 81st Street
Create a plan to fund, design, and develop the land planned for a park at 81st & Greenwood Ave.

– The businesses will be moving out and there’s no budget or plan for how to develop the property
– A prominent location on Greenwood Ave. may lie vacant for some time if there are no park improvement.

Support a Vibrant Business District
Find ways to attract and retain businesses to Greenwood’s main corridors.

– There are a lot of empty storefronts in the “downtown” area near 85 & Greenwood.
– The upper part of Aurora continues to have crime and social service issues
– How can the community weigh in on what businesses are established in Greenwood?
– Ensure there’s parking for residents (as more high-density housing is built) and visitors.

Communicate with and Support Community Councils
Provide channels for the city to have a more active dialogue with community councils and support their development.

– Provide venues/staff to learn about community priorities.
– Share how the city is addressing each community’s issues (plan, budget).
– Discuss (not just present) and enable input on challenging topics.
– Provide funding for community council outreach and staffing neighborhood centers.

For more information on the 2014 Seattle Neighborhood Summit, visit http://www.seattle.gov/sns2014. .

View the full agenda here.

Next Tuesday’s GCC Meeting: Preparing for the Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit [Updated]


March Membership Meeting
Tuesday March 18, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Public Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N

On Saturday April 5, May, Mayor Murray will convene a “Neighborhood Summit” to bring community leaders from around the city together to weigh in on issues of concern to neighborhoods and how the city should involve neighborhoods in during his term. (For more information about the summit, follow this link). At our March membership meeting, we invite all Greenwood residents and businesspeople to discuss the issues we want to see discussed at the summit.

Agenda

7:00 Introductions, Agenda Review , and quick updates on neighborhood issues
7:10 Brief introduction to the neighborhoods summit
7:15 Exercise to identify the most critical neighborhood issues
7:45 Report out and discussion
8:00 What methods have been successful (or not) to engage neighborhoods?
8:20 Summary and follow-up steps
8:30 Adjourn

And while you’re holding the date, also pencil us in for every third Tuesday night of each month. The Greenwood Community Council is moving back to monthly meeting at a consistent time (Third Tuesdays at 7:00) and place (the Library).

No GCC Meeting Tonight (January 21)

For the past couple of years the Greenwood Community Council has generally met on the third Tuesday of odd-numbered months – which is an odd schedule to remember, and today I forgot as well.  This would normally be our January meeting night, but if you were planning to go please don’t because we will not meet this month (and my sincere apology for this ridiculously last minute note – now five minutes before the meeting time).

Over the past couple of months we have been regrouping a bit.  We’ve had some board turnover.  We thought that our reservation for the library meeting space was ongoing, but in fact it expired at the end of the year and other groups have booked the space for January and February.  We missed a meeting in November because all of us were too busy.

Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that we need to go back to a monthly schedule, and have booked the library meeting room for the remainder of the year on third tuesdays of each month beginning in March.  The board is in agreement on this.  Our original intent in meeting less frequently was to produce more interesting and well planned meetings; instead I think we’ve lost a lot of people who might attend if we met on a predictable monthly basis with a more standard agenda that provides a speaker on a current topic and updates about ongoing neighborhood issues from people following them.

We are trying to arrange a meeting in February at an alternative location, we’re seeking new members for our board, and we’re looking for ideas about how to focus our meetings and activities to be most relevant to you and Greenwood.  I will write again with a more complete update soon.  Please let me know by replying to this message if you have thoughts, suggestions, or want to get involved.

— Rob Fellows, GCC President