How the New Design Review Process Works and Potential Displacement of Downtown Greenwood Businesses
Greenwood Community Council September Meeting 7PM, Tuesday September 18, 2018 Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.
The Community Council has settled on three projects to focus on this fall. One is our annual Election Forum in October. The other two are the subject of this month’s membership meeting (below, after the video)…
The New Design Review Process: Seattle has implemented a revised Design Review process that now requires developers to conduct early community outreach before they can schedule design guidance meetings with City staff. The Greenwood Community Council is well positioned to add value and quality to this new outreach requirement but also requires volunteers to track, host, coordinate, participate, and respond to community outreach request from developers. We will take a quick look at the overall design review process and identify volunteer opportunities to help us prepare for more engagement with developers. (You can see Greenwood/Phinney Neighborhood Design Guidelines here.)
Greenwood Community Council June Meeting
7:00 PM, Tuesday June 19, 2018
Greenwood Public Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
Our June meeting is devoted to having a conversation with Councilmember Mike O’Brien, a meeting scheduled months ago, not due to any recent events. Mike O’Brien represents the Sixth City Council district, which generally includes the portion of Greenwood south of 85th St. We expect he’ll want to discuss current issues he’s working on and answer questions.
If he’s willing, we have a twist to throw in: We’d like to give a few people a chance to pitch a great idea, a win-win solution for Greenwood or Seattle. If you’d like to propose an idea, please send them to us by the end of the weekend. Please send us an email explaining (briefly):
What’s your issue?
What’s your idea?
What’s could the City Council do about that?
What’s the best way to contact you?
What is your Greenwood basis? (optional)
(Employee, business owner, resident, land owner, multiple of the above, none of the above.)
We’ll be in touch. But even if you don’t submit an idea in advance, please bring your ideas and your questions on Tuesday for a productive exchange with Councilmember O’Brien.
Have you ever thought about getting more involved in your neighborhood?
May is Get Involved Month
Every year, the Greenwood Community Council looks for new board members and volunteers, and we could use your help now! There is a lot going on in Seattle and it’s hard to keep up. We are an all-volunteer group focused on helping Greenwood residents and businesses get involved in the neighborhood, and to make sure the Greenwood community has a vision and a voice.
– Face to face dialogue to counter divisiveness and find compromises
– Opportunities to talk directly with people shaping Greenwood
– An open forum for all perspectives
– Information and resources to get involved in the community
And most of the time we have a good time doing it – join us!
We are looking for people interested in chipping in:
– Monitoring key issues affecting the neighborhood
– Creating a better website, with news, information and resources
– Writing for the new opinion blog we’re thinking about
– Helping plan meetings on current topics
– Joining our board, where we have openings now
If you’re at all interested, please check out our volunteer page to see some of the things we’d like help with and learn how to get involved. While you’re there, take a look around our newly redesigned website and you’ll see there are many pages and resources missing – another example of something you could help with. And if you have any interest in joining our board we’d particularly like to hear from you. We’ll schedule a time to meet and discuss your thoughts and interests over a beverage of your choice. Please give it some thought – there’s a lot going on!
Greenwood Community Council May Meeting Tuesday May 15, 7:00 pm Greenwood Public Library, 8014 Greenwood Ave. N
The Community Council meeting for May will focus on crime and public safety in Greenwood and near Greenwood.
Seattle Police Department Sgt. Sean Whitcomb will provide information and answer questions about crime and public safety in Seattle, in the Greenwood neighborhood, and related to the Licton Springs Tiny House Village (the low-barrier homeless encampment on Aurora Avenue). He will also share crime prevention tips.
Charlie Johnson of SHARE/WHEEL and Josh Castle of LIHI will present an overview of the Licton Springs Tiny House village, address neighborhood concerns and share their own assessment of safety in the area.
There will be time for your thoughts and questions. More information and complete agenda will be provided in a separate email this weekend.
Here are the presentations shown at the last GCC meeting. For best viewing, click on the “full screen” icon () at the bottom of the viewing area.
Note that a vote was taken at the meeting supporting Greenwood’s participation in a coalition effort to improve Aurora Avenue. Interest was expressed in a potential weekend teach-in on proposed changes to city land use. There was no presentation given on the Boys and Girls Club proposal to change zoning to support a redeveloped club co-developed with new public housing. Attendees were generally supportive of the idea, but some have concerns and want to learn more before weighing in.
Lee Bruch: Aurora – Opportunity Lost, Again; Opportunity to be Regained
7:10 – Re-imagining Aurora’s Streetscape and Environment
Aurora remains unsafe and a barrier between neighborhoods. In 2017 on Aurora there were 280 collisions causing 2 deaths and injuring 181 people. Lee Bruch will present slides of the opportunities that have been lost and the opportunities that can be regained. GCC may vote on whether to join a coalition to push hard for some attention to Aurora.
7:40 – Update on Town Center Zoning and Building Height Limits
After three years of discussion and amidst ongoing lawsuits, Seattle has issued a 370-page city-wide zoning ordinance planned for passage next fall, including some unexpected height increases proposed in downtown Greenwood. Rob Fellows will provide a brief update.
8:00 – The Future of the Greenwood Boys and Girls Club
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County recently entered into a partnership with Bellwether Housing to redevelop their Greenwood property. The goals of the partnership are to provide youth program services to local kids, teens, and families and provide affordable housing options for Greenwood residents for years to come. To proceed with a new development that would include both affordable housing and a Boys & Girls Clubs facility, the site must be rezoned. Bellwether Housing and Boys & Girls Clubs will join us on to talk more about their plans and their hopes to change the zoning of the site. GCC will be asked to support the rezone request. Please forward to those living nearby, and anyone interested in the future of the Boys and Girls Club.
The High Cost of Living,
and Leg. Session Report-out
Greenwood Community Council
March 2018 Meeting
Tuesday March 20, 7:00pm
Greenwood Public Library
Feeling sticker shock when you open bills these days? As Seattle residents, you may have noticed significant changes in costs associated with your homes. At this meeting, guest speakers will provide insight and answer questions, to help elucidate some of the uncertainty behind changing residency costs. Also, our neighbor and state legislator Noel Frame will give a summary of this year’s legislative session.
7:00 Greenwood Community Council Board welcome
7:05Legislative Session Report
Representative Noel Frame (D-36th district) will provide a brief report on the legislative session that ended last week.
7:25 Panel: Understanding Increasing Costs of Living Here —
From Taxes to Utilities
Representative Frame will discuss recent activity and debate in the state legislature about property taxes and other current costs of living in Seattle. (Some notable recent news can be found here and here.)
Seattle City Light representative Scott Thomsen will describe the new Advanced Metering initiative (resulting in new meters on your homes) and how it affects your light bills.
Seattle Public Utilities Project Manager Alexander Mockos will describe Combined Sewer Overflow efforts and how they affect your utility bills.
Late addition: We have been participants in a coalition to support a new pedestrian bridge connecting the North Seattle College and 100th St. corridor to the Northgate light rail station across I-5. The last hurdle is for North Seattle College to grant an easement on their property. We’ve been asked to add our name to a letter reaffirming support for the bridge, urging its implementation before rail opens, and sticking with a compromise design that will not raise costs, impact environmentally sensitive areas, or risk delay to implementation. You can see it here. We will have a vote whether to add our name to the letter early in the meeting, but will not have time to debate it so if you have questions, come early to discuss or feel free to vote no. UPDATE: The meeting approved signing the coalition letter for GCC.
Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Greenwood Public Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
This month the Community Council meeting has a full agenda, and we will plan to start right on time. Here’s the agenda:
7:00 (sharp!) – 320 N 85th St.
The developers and designers of a proposed new six-story, 220-unit apartment building at 85th and Phinney will present their preferred design to the neighborhood. This is the site of the old Department of Licensing building now housing All That Dance. They would like to hear comments before their early design guidance meeting a week later, on 2/26 before the Design Review Board. Click here for more information about the project and design review board meeting.
7:45 – Maintenance of Street Trees
If you look up while you walk along Greenwood you’ll see that City Light has taken a maximalist approach to pruning our street trees. (See photo below.) Is that necessary? Lance Young will discuss best practices for maintaining trees along public rights of ways.
8:10 – Transfer of Ownership of the Senior Center
The City of Seattle is considering transferring the Greenwood Senior Center property to the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA). Lee Harper will talk about the history, likely future options, and answer questions
8:30 – Adjourn
Here’s an example of the pruning City Light did recently.
If you’ve stumbled onto our site lately you’ll see that it’s changing. In fact it is being totally re-constructed to make it more interesting and useful. But there’s a *lot* left to do – and if you’d like to help please let us know!
On the front page you’ll find the featured articles and buttons to get quickly to a variety of content areas. You’ll also find links in the sidebar to community council documents, presentations and correspondence, as well as our bylaws, officers and volunteer links.
When you click on the Correspondence box, for example, it’ll open up and you’ll see some of the letters GCC has written over the years on neighborhood issues.
If you go to the back pages, most of the content is still being written – but you will find a few interesting things. Each of the back pages has interesting articles we’ve come across (and a link for you to send others), and resources relevant to the topic. The resources section under Transportation is complete, but is still being developed for the other back pages.
On the Transportation page you’ll find quick links to current road conditions, and the next bus leaving 85th and Greenwood. Under resources, you’ll find direct links to transportation providers and projects, and to answer your “how-to” questions.
On the land use page you’ll find a link that brings up a map of all of the building projects in our neighborhood going through the design review process, and links to information about them. These are provided by a site called Seattle in Progress that does a fantastic job.
NOTE: This post has been updated to include links to presentations and handouts used during the meeting
7:00 Tuesday January 16, 2018
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
The pace of growth in Seattle leads to crowded streets, crowded buses and crowded sidewalks; meanwhile Seattle is making changes to respond. Tuesday’s GCC meeting will survey the many issues and changes to transportation in Greenwood, and discuss strategies for mobility, safety and maintaining and improving walkability in the neighborhood. After short presentations, we’ll open the floor for your observations and thoughts.
Rob Fellows (GCC president and Feet First) will provide an overview of transportation changes and issues in Greenwood
Justin Martin (Phinney-Greenwood Greenways) will discuss what Seattle Greenways is working on in Greenwood and elsewhere
Douglas MacDonald (former State Transportation Secretary and Greenwood resident) will discuss sidewalk maintenance and safety
In addition to the Greenwood election forum coming up this Saturday, the Greenwood Community Council is also co-sponsoring a Broadview-Bitter Lake candidate forum for port candidates on Tuesday October 24:
Please join Broadview-Bitter Lake and Greenwood Community Councils for an important candidate forum!
Date: October 24th, 2017 Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm Location: Broadview United Church of Christ, 325 North 125th St.
Join us on October 24th for a candidate forum to hear directly from candidates for Port of Seattle Commissioner:
– Seat 1: Ryan Calkins
– Seat 3: Ahmed Abdi and Stephanie Bowman
– Seat 4: Preeti Shridhar and Peter Steinbruek
The Port of Seattle is a special purpose government entity with an annual operating of budget of $620 million, partially funded by King County property taxes. A major driver of growth and development, it is estimated that the Port generates over 200,000 jobs and $20 billion in business revenue for the region each year.
Three of the Port’s seats will be on your ballot this November. This means your votes will set the direction of the Port for the next several years. The Port is managed by an elected board of five commissioners. There are three seats on the ballot this November, so the outcome will have considerable impact on the direction the Port takes in the next several years.
Please join us to learn more about the candidates and how they will address pressing issues of our region including:
– Ensuring the Port of Seattle remains competitive
– Promoting transparent and accountable government
– Addressing climate change, air pollution and traffic congestion
– And much more!
Election Forum! Saturday Oct 14, 2:30pm at the Taproot Theatre
Please join your neighbors to get a closer look at the candidates, moderated by Steve Scher. Bring your questions or send in advance. There are other chances to hear candidates, but this is the one chance to hear them address concerns in Greenwood and Broadview. Please help spread the word!
My name is a Cayla Ravancho and I’m emailing you on behalf of the Seattle Department of Transportation and the Northgate ped/bike bridge project. I hope this message finds you well.
You may know about (or got the chance to attend) our open house that took place earlier this month. In addition to the event, we have an online open house that will be live through this Thursday 8/24. The link includes a survey that will help inform the next phase of design planning, and also has comment spaces for bikers/walkers to provide feedback. We’d love to hear from as many community members as possible, and would greatly appreciate it if you invited members of the Northgate Coalition to participate by sending the link along.
Results of the GCC Survey Last week the Greenwood Community Council published a survey about the most important issues in Greenwood to help shape our agenda and priorities for 2017. The questions in this survey were posed to be provocative, but hopefully not one-sided. As of today we received 87 responses, which is far from enough to represent Greenwood statistically, but a very good sample of the people who follow neighborhood issues and the community council. If you’re interested in the responses, read on!
Help get Greenwood residents involved in the neighborhood
Provide an open forum where everyone is heard
End polarization to find points of agreement and win-win solutions
Help inform and empower Greenwood residents to be effective
We are not an advocacy group for a particular perspective or ideology, and we don’t claim to represent the diverse populations and points of view in Greenwood. But we recognize that when we succeed in engaging and voicing agreement among broad and diverse opinions and perspectives, we can help Greenwood’s voice be stronger and more productive.
If that’s the kind of group you’d like to be part of, please attend our annual meeting tomorrow (Tuesday – see the meeting announcement below) and consider joining our board. To see more about our board positions, see this message, and if you have questions or comments send them to this email address.
Greenwood Community Council Annual Meeting is this Tuesday!
Help Set our 2017 Priorities, and
Elect a New Board
Tuesday April 18, 7pm
Greenwood Public Library (Yes, it’s Open Again!)
8016 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103
There’s a lot going on in Greenwood this year:
At least four six-to-seven story buildings are moving through the city’s process, including the site of last year’s gas explosion, the old DOL building, and the grassy area in the Greenwood Shopping Center east of Palatine,
Seattle’s changing its land use code to allow taller buildings everywhere in return for developers contributing towards affordable housing,
New schools will open next fall near Aurora, and safe pathways for kids to get there are still a concern,
Homelessness and opiate addiction is increasing with hundreds of unplanned encampments in Seattle, while Seattle has just opened a new sanctioned encampment site nearby,
Seattle’s changing how it engages the public to get more voices to the table, and
Meanwhile sidewalks and better bus connections are still needed.
– What should the Greenwood Community Council focus its attention on over the next year?
– What issues would you like to learn more about, or find out what your neighbors think?
– How could we do a better job building community in Greenwood?
Please join us Tuesday to weigh in on the most important issues facing Greenwood, and set priorities over the coming year. You can also weigh in on issues and priorities by filling our our survey before Tuesday, whether you plan to attend or not. The survey results will be shared at the meeting to stimulate discussion. We have received 60 responses so far, and the free version of SurveyMonkey will accept another 40 more.
Please also consider joining our board. If you’ve ever thought about getting involved in the neighborhood, joining our board is a great way to do it.
7:00 Introductions and agenda review 7:10 Survey results, and discussion of GCC priorities for 2017 8:00 Describe GCC board positions and hold election 8:20 Adjourn (new board sticks around to touch base)
Not every meeting will have minutes, but if minutes are published they will be posted here after the event occurs.
The Greenwood Community Council is conducting a survey about the most important issues in Greenwood to help shape our agenda and priorities for 2017.
You can weigh in by following this link. What issues are on your mind, and which should the Community Council focus on over the coming year?
We will tally the surveys received through Sunday night (April 16) and display the results at our annual meeting and elections next Tuesday April 18 at the Greenwood Library. Announcements and agenda for that meeting will go out this weekend, but please mark it on your calendar now. We will elect new board members and establish priorities for the coming year.
Reminder of two opportunities this week to get involved in Greenwood:
Tuesday 3/28 (Tomorrow), 7pm at the Couth Buzzard: Discuss potential interest in joining the Greenwood Community Council board before elections in April
Wednesday 3/29, 7pm at the Couth Buzzard: Attend the initial meeting of the GCC Engagement and Outreach volunteers to help increase community and participation in Greenwood
I want to add a personal note about why I’ve been involved in the community council off and on over the last few years. I have long believed that being involved in one’s neighborhood is a good thing in itself, because it builds community. But as I’ve become more concerned about politics getting more polarized (yes, even here in Seattle!) and people self-selecting the information they’re exposed to, I’ve become more convinced than ever that face-to-face community engagement can help find middle ground win-win solutions, and promote understanding between people who have different backgrounds and values. When we talk about diversity, the first step is to listen, and understand that neighborhoods are where diverse interests come together and need to be reflected.
In Greenwood we’ve had a positive effect on development. Ten years ago GCC worked with businesses and the city to develop a town center plan for Greenwood that has promoted a positive vision for development that would be consistent with preserving the things we all like about living and working here. Now we are seeing a sudden surge in development, and many of the developers have come to the community council to discuss their development proposals early in the design process.
For transportation we have seen some progress, including some new sidewalks on Greenwood last year. But we have a long way to go to complete the sidewalk system even along arterials and in the urban villages. With new schools and light rail stations opening, pedestrian and bicycle pathways need to be made safe or available at all. And of course getting around in a bus or car is getting more difficult every day. Every neighborhood needs to speak up to be heard downtown, not just for transportation, but for parks, playfields, community centers, drainage, libraries.
And there is also a lot to be done for safety and health issues – from responding to neighbors in need, to preparing for disasters and earthquakes. GCC has been active previously in these areas, but need new interest to get these efforts restarted and to partner with other community organizations. There is a growing interest and need to focus community and city resources on Aurora Avenue, where new encampments and shelters are planned.
Finally Seattle has challenged all of us to help voices be heard who are not always part of city debate. The community council can play an important role bringing decision-makers to Greenwood to meet with neighbors directly, to educate on how the city works and how to be most effective, and to reach out to constituencies in Greenwood who are not prone to or able to go to evening meetings.
These are the things we’re involved in as volunteers. We hope you’ll consider joining in.
Rob Fellows, President Greenwood Community Council
Help launch the GCC Outreach and Engagement Committee
First 2017 Meeting of the Outreach and Engagement Committee 7:00 PM Wednesday, March 29 The Couth Buzzard, 8310 Greenwood Ave N
On Wednesday, March 29 we’ll have the first meeting of a re-launched 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. Some immediate projects might include improving our website, and establishing a promotional restaurant passport program, but all ideas are welcome.
Please join us! We welcome participation large and small. Even just contributing your perspective to brainstorming will be helpful.
MARCH 2016 GREENWOOD EXPLOSION:
REVIEW & REFLECTION
What’s happened in the past year? Are we any safer?
Please join the Greenwood Community Council for a recap of the recovery efforts and incident assessments from the year following the March 9, 2016 explosion on Greenwood Ave; and a discussion of lingering concerns. ***We will also hold our election of officers. We are looking for new board members and welcome your participation!***
Special Location & Time Woodland Park United Methodist Church – Fellowship Hall 302 North 78th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm
7:00 Welcome & Committee Reports (GCC Board)
7:15 Review of Board Roles & Election of Officers
7:30 Recap of blast-related news over past year (GCC Board)
7:45 Results of relief fundraiser and current art show (Phinney Neighborhood Association)
7:55 Recovery of businesses (Chaco Canyon owner Chris Maykut)
8:05 Are we safer now? (Puget Sound Energy)
The agenda for this event has not yet been finalized.
Not every meeting will have minutes, but if minutes are published they will be posted here after the event occurs.
GCC February Meeting Moved toWed. March 1 Special Forum on Homelessness
7pm, Wednesday March 1
Greenwood Senior Center
525 N 85th St.
Hundreds of people are living on the streets in Seattle today, with more arriving all the time. There have been several local meetings on new encampment plans, but this one has a different focus: Who are the homeless, why is homelessness growing, what would one-term solutions look like, and how can communities help?
Our three speakers on the front lines responding:
The Mayor’s Director of Homelessness George Scarola
The Executive Director of Aurora Commons Elizabeth Dahl
A representative from Speak Out Seattle!
Mark your calendar now – and watch for more information early next week.
Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the Greenwood Community Council’s website with your suggestions for issues to focus on in 2017. The feedback was great, and please feel free to add your thoughts ahead of our next GCC Transportation Committee Meeting on Feb. 20 at Flying Bike Brewery.
In our meeting on Feb. 20 we’ll look at the list of suggested items, drill into specifics, and decide on actions or advocacy we might take on in the year ahead. Please dave the date, I hope to see you there!
Land Use Committee Meeting Monday, February 13, 2017, 7:00 pm Meeting Location: Brumbaugh & Associates, 600 North 85th Street, #102
Owner Shea Properties and Architect Runberg Architecture Group hope to gain input/feedback from the Greenwood Community Council’s Land Use Committee on a proposed new multifamily building located at the intersection North 85th Street and Phinney Avenue North. The site is currently occupied by a building hosting “All That Dance”, previously the DOL, and also a large surface parking lot. The project team is currently evaluating early massing options, including a contract rezone ahead of, and adopting, planned city rezone requirements for the area.
This design option calls for a contract rezone from NC2-40 and NC2P-40 to NC2-65 and NC2P-65. This massing option provides retail along N 85th Street with residential units set back above N. 85th St. Residential units and a lobby are planned along Phinney Avenue North providing approximately 210 – 220 units. Parking for approximately 150-160 cars will be provided below grade. Current gross square footage is approximately 220,000 – 230,000 square feet resulting in an FAR of 4.10- 4.25 on this site. The project will provide open space at grade and improved streetscapes which is important for continuing the character of Greenwood. The project owner/designer would like to meet and gain further insight from the GCC regarding Greenwood history, its character, the neighborhood design guidelines, and how all these guiding principles can inform design. The project owner/designer thinks it is important to have this feedback from the neighborhood ahead of our more formal city design review process.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Library Park Design meeting on January 31! The presentation made at the meeting is now available online. For more details on the park, see this PhinneyWood article.
All of the energy, attention and ideas you’ve provided will result in a better park that will be loved and cared for by neighbors and the community. The Friends of the Library Park will continue, and hope you will stay informed and involved throughout the development process and after.
This Wednesday, February 1st Greenwood Senior Center 525 N. 85th Street Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Plans are nearing final approval, and the project is expected to be underway by Early Spring
There will also be an opportunity to discuss ideas and involvement with the Friends of the Library Group (FOLP), along with programming for the site during demolition, construction, and into the future ~
Look forward to seeing you there !
-Friends of the Library Park (FOLP) Greenwood/Phinney Neighborhood
The Greenwood Community Council’s Transportation Committee wants to hear from you! What issues are of interest to you in 2017? What transportation items would you like to learn more about? Are there specific issues that you’d like to advocate around?
Please leave a comment on this page indicating what transportation issues are of interest. We’ll follow-up with a meeting in February, 2017 which will be an opportunity to drill down into any ideas that have been offered.
The land use committee usually meets on the second Tuesday of each month, but that meeting is cancelled this month. However – if you need your monthly installment of land use goodness, you should consider attending the design review meeting for the building that will replace the building that blew up last year in the gas explosion. This design review meeting will address the height and massing of the proposed project. Design details will likely be addressed at a second design review meeting at a later date. GCC will invite the developer to a meeting to discuss the project design prior to that second meeting.
“Design Review Early Design Guidance proposing a 6-story building consisting of 70 residential units and 6,660 sq. ft. of commercial space. Parking for 70 vehicles to be provided below grade. One existing structure to remain and other structures, surface parking and on site debris to be demolished.”