First Meeting of the new GCC Outreach and Engagement Committee

First Meeting of the new Greenwood Community Council
Outreach and Engagement Committee  
7:00 PM this Wednesday December 2
Chocolati, 8319 Greenwood Ave N

(If you’re getting this in your email, it’s because you’ve indicated an interest in neighborhood outreach and engagement sometime over the last couple of years.  If you’re still interested, read on!  If not, you can click on “manage your subscriptions” at the bottom of this email to remove your name from the mailing list)

This Wednesday we’ll have the first meeting of a new Greenwood Community Council committee on neighborhood outreach and engagement.  This committee will focus on bringing new voices into neighborhood discussions, helping people who don’t normally go to meetings get their voice heard, and help develop common ground on issues that polarize people and problems needing resolution in Greenwood.  That’s my clumsy way of introducing it – what we actually do will depend on the interests of whoever shows up.

Please join us – everyone is welcome!  Whether or not you can make it Wednesday, if you’re interested let us know by filling in this survey monkey survey (though you can skip the questions about regular meeting dates because we’ve picked a regular meeting date – the first Wednesday of each month).  

Proposed agenda:

  • Introductions 
  • Survey results – to get conversation started
  • Interests and ideas – around the table
  • Summarize, action items – what to focus on first.
  • Future meetings, meeting location, etc.

Note that I have not reserved space at Chocolati; we’ll just try to carve out enough room to sit together where we can hear.  If you arrive early, please see if you can find some defensible space for us.


Tuesday’s GCC Membership Meeting

Pedestrian Issues in Greenwood 

November Membership Meeting
Tuesday November 17, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
SIdewalk pic
Join the Greenwood Community Council to hear from guest speakers and engage in discussion of pedestrian and safety issues including sidewalks, safe routes to schools, dedicated facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. the Interurban Trail), Seattle’s update to the Pedestrian Master Plan, and more.
The recent passage of the Move Seattle Transportation levy will see new investments in Seattle’s pedestrian infrastructure; and Greenwood and North Seattle are sure to see many new pedestrian-focused projects in the coming years. Come out to hear from representatives from the Seattle Department of Transportation, as well as community members engaged in various pedestrian issues.
This will be a great opportunity to hear about projects that are going on right now, chime in on your issues and priorities, and find out how to be engaged. We hope to see you there!
  1. Welcome/overview of meeting agenda (7:00 PM)
    • Overview of upcoming GCC meeting topics
    • Overview of committees and Board
  2. Committee Report Outs – Committee Chairs
    • Land use 
    • Health and Safety
    • Transportation
    • Outreach – call for interested volunteers
  3. Guest Speakers, Pedestrian Issues
    • Pedestrian Master plan – SDOT
    • Greenwood/Phinney Greenways – Lee Bruch
    • Update on Interurban Improvement Project – Keith Bates
  4. Audience Q&A
    • Poll areas of interest
    • How to stay involved
  5. Meeting Close (8:30 PM) 


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.

Sorry for bad links in the recent post on community engagement!

I’ve had comments already from people having trouble linking to the survey monkey page from the email they received on “GCC Looking for Help in Community Engagement.”  There are two problems, one of which I need help to fix. 

In the meantime, let’s try a more direct approach I hope you’ll try.  The survey is located at this address (if it doesn’t show up as a link, you’ll need to copy/paste into your browser): 

You can also go to the website (where this message will also be posted) and follow links from there.  Links from the website are working fine; it’s only links from mail messages that are not.  The website is located at

In case you’re wondering what’s wrong, there are two problems.  One is that people who follow the link from the mail message are getting a page of error messages in their browser.  This seems to be happening all of a sudden for all links from GCC email, including the “manage your subscriptions” link.  This looks like a website database problem that I’ll need help to fix.

The other problem some people are having is that links in community council email messages link to the GCC website, which then redirects to the website the link points to.  Some people’s browsers give them a message in this case warning of spam.  It isn’t, but I will look into whether there’s another way to embed links.

Sorry (and embarrassed) about the inconvenience!

GCC Looking for Help in Community Engagement

The Greenwood Community Council exists to facilitate and amplify neighborhood involvement and engagement.  I always have a slightly different answer when asked my personal opinion about what the Greenwood Community Council does, but this week I’m thinking we’re about place-making and community-building – which often involves dialogue and advocacy with the city and developers.  

Ultimately we’re effective only to the extent that we engage all sorts of people and understand the many perspectives among our neighbors. And here’s a surprise — most people don’t like meetings!  Face-to-face dialogue is still important and far more conducive to dialogue, learning and solutions than polarized, anonymous blog comments – but we also need to break out of the meeting paradigm and find other ways to engage people in the way they’re most comfortable, and to reach people whose voices may be neglected.  

To that end, we are looking for people who are interested in helping to engage the community more broadly than we can through traditional meetings.  If you’re interested, please take a few minutes to fill out this surveymonkey survey.

The survey asks what types of activities and outreach you’re interested in or think are needed.  It also asks whether you are willing to be on an engagement committee (I know that’s ironic) and will sample availability to find possible meeting times that could work out for everyone.  If you have other thoughts after filling in the survey, let me know that too.
On another note: We are looking for a new chair of our outreach and engagement committee. (We are also looking for a new community council vice president.) If you have any interest in taking on either of these, please let me know.  The committee chair is responsible for setting up committee meetings (or delegating that of course) and participating in monthly board meetings.
Rob Fellows
Greenwood Community Council

Candidate Forum Monday

Meet the candidates who would represent our neighborhood on the new district-based city council.  Please help get the word out!

Candidates for City Council districts 5 and 6 will face off This Monday at the Taproot

7:00 – District 5 candidates
Debora Juarez and
Sandy Brown
Juarez   sandy-brown-v3-681x1024

7:45 – District 6 candidates
Catherine Weatbrook and Mike O’Brien
Watson_150301_0636   o'brien

The Taproot Theatre is located at 212 N. 85th Street in Greenwood.  Sponsored by the Greenwood Community Council.

Greenwood Land Use Committee Meeting – 7PM Tuesday, October 13th

Reminder our next meeting will be 7PM Tuesday, October 13th, at Couth Buzzard.

Response to Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan

The City (DPD) released the Draft Comprehensive Plan on July 8th for public review and comment through November 20th.  On Sept. 15th, the GCC general meeting was primarily dedicated to presenting an overview of the draft comprehensive plan.  The goal for next Tuesday’s meeting is to review the comments received from GCC members , discuss commentary and analysis by others, and develop a response to bring forward to the GCC for the general meeting on November 17th.


7:00 Begin Meeting and Introductions

7:10 Review GCC comments from Sept. 15

7:20 Review analysis and commentary by others (see links below)

7:40 Develop outline for response from GCC to DPD

8:15 Assign action items for individuals on responses

8:30 Adjourn


City website for background:

Policy Comparison by DPD:

Analysis by others:

GCC Overview

Continue reading Greenwood Land Use Committee Meeting – 7PM Tuesday, October 13th

Districts 5 and 6 Candidate Forum Next Monday at the Taproot

[Please forward with reckless abandon!]

Candidate Forum at the Taproot
for City Council Districts 5 and 6

7PM, Monday October 12
Taproot Theatre, 212 N. 85th Street


This is Seattle’s first modern election of city council candidates to represent districts – meaning there will be a council member who’s job is to represent Greenwood and other nearby neighborhoods.  Greenwood is split between two new council districts generally along N 85th St., with District 5 to the north and District 6 to the south of 85th.  

Come meet the candidates who want to represent you and bring your questions!  Here’s the schedule:

6:45 – Doors open
7:00 – District 5 Candidates
               Sandy Brown and Debora Juarez

7:40 – Break
7:45 – District 6 Candidates
               Catherine Weatbrook and Mike O’Brien

8:30 – Adjourn

Many thanks to the Taproot Theatre for again providing their fantastic space.  Donations to offset their expense will be gratefully accepted.

And whatever you do, please remember to vote!

Next Monday: Forum on the Transportation Levy to Move Seattle

The Transportation Levy to Move Seattle
Monday, October 5th, 7:00-8:30 PM
Location: Works Progress
In 2006, Seattle voters approved a nine-year $365 million transportation levy, known as Bridging the Gap, which will expire at the end of 2015. For the last eight years, this levy provided the Seattle Department of Transportation with nearly 25% of it’s funding with funds being used to address maintenance backlogs, improve transit service, rehabilitate bridges, and implement pedestrian safety projects throughout the city. 
This November Seattle voters will vote on a new transportation levy that will replace Bridging the Gap. The replacement levy proposal, called “Move Seattle,” will fund an array of transportation projects throughout the city with the goals of reducing congestion, increasing safety, and improving aging infrastructure. 
The $900 million Move Seattle levy would be paid for through a property tax that would cost the median Seattle household (approx. $450,000) about $275 per year for nine years.
The Greenwood Community Council Transportation Committee will host a meeting on Monday, October 5th at Works Progress to learn about the Move Seattle levy proposal. We will be hosting a panel of representatives from the Let’s Move Seattle campaign who will make a brief presentation of what is in the levy proposal and what projects are specifically planned for North Seattle. We will also reserve plenty of time for questions from the audience.

GCC Meeting Tuesday on Seattle’s 2035 Comp Plan

September Membership Meeting
Tuesday September 15, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
Seattle 2035 – Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan is out – 
What Comments Should Greenwood Send In?
The City (DPD) released the Draft Comprehensive Plan on July 8th for public review and comment.  It’s 159 pages + appendices and maps is intended to provide “long-term guidance that will help the City make decisions about managing growth over the next 20 years and providing services to make the growth for all of the city.”  Comments on the plan are due this month (though there are rumors the comment period will be extended).  
The Comprehensive Plan is required under the state’s growth management act to identify where growth should occur and ensure that schools, streets, parks and other city investments will be in place to accommodate it.  The comp plan provides broad policies about growth and investment, including the future zoning plan.  Seattle policy is to concentrate development in designated “urban villages” to encourage walking and healthy business districts.  Over the past couple of years battles have been raging over rapid growth, how Seattle can remain affordable, and transportation, parking, school and public space impacts.
At our membership meeting this week Joel Darnell, our Land Use Committee Chair, will:

  • Provide an overview of the Comprehensive plan history for context, overall themes, and schedule for review and adoption.
  • Summarize the proposed Draft Plan relative to the Draft Environmental Assessment Alternatives from earlier this summer
  • Outline key points of the 2035 Draft Plan and related land issues
  • Discussion of goals for Greenwood neighborhood for review of Comprehensive Plan policies
If you’d like background on the Comp Plan prior to the meeting, follow this link to the comp plan website.
Proposed Agenda
7:00 Introductions and Agenda Review

7:05 Speaker: Joel Darnell, GCC Land Use Chair
             – Overview of the Comprehensive plan history for context,
                    overall themes, and schedule for review and adoption.
             – Summary of the proposed Draft Plan relative to the Draft
Assessment Alternatives from earlier
                    this summer

             – Outline of key points of the 2035 Draft Plan and related
                     land issues

7:45 Open Discussion: Goals for Greenwood neighborhood for
            review of
Comprehensive Plan policies

8:15 Update on Community Council Committees
             – Land use
             – Transportation,
             – Outreach/website,
             – Safety/health

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.

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
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
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!


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
  – 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
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.
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.


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

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.  


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.  

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
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.)


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.