Tag Archives: meetings

June Meeting: A Visit with Councilmember Mike O’Brien

A Conversation with Councilmember Mike O’Brien

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.

May Meeting on Public Safety

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.

 

Notes and Presentations from April Meeting

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

Rob Fellows: Summary of Proposed Zoning and Height Limits in Downtown Greenwood

April Meeting on Aurora, Zoning and the Boys and Girl’s Club

A Vision for Aurora,
the Zoning Plan for Downtown Greenwood, and the Future of the Boys and Girls Club

Tuesday April 17, 7:00pm
Greenwood Public Library
8016 Greenwood Avenue N
  • 7:00 – Welcome, Introductions, Brief Announcements  
  • 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.  
  • 8:30 – Adjourn

February Meeting: Talk with Developers, Learn about Street Tree Maintenance, and the Future of the Senior Center [Updated]

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.   

Presentations from January’s Meeting on Transportation

The GCC membership meeting on January 16, 2018 featured a panel discussion of transportation issues in Greenwood. Here are the presentations:

First, Rob Fellows gave a survey overview of transportation issues in the neighborhood. Rob is the GCC President and a member of the board of Feet First.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://greenwoodcommunitycouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Transportation-in-Greenwood-Jan-2018-GCC-Meeting.pdf” title=”Transportation in Greenwood, January 2018″]

 

Justin Martin and Robin Randels presented on what the local neigborhood greenways group and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is working on in Greenwood and elsewhere

[pdf-embedder url=”https://greenwoodcommunitycouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/GPG-and-Home-Zones-presentation.pdf” title=”Greenwood Phinney Greenways, and Home Zones Concept”]

Finally, Doug MacDonald, a Greenwood resident and former State Transportation Secretary, commented on a variety of pedestrian issues in Greenwood and across Seattle.

[pdf-embedder url=”https://greenwoodcommunitycouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Dougs-Slides-1.pdf” title=”Transportation in Greenwood, January 2018″]

Doug also handed out some useful handouts (Unfortunately more investigation is needed to make the links work): 

[pdf-embedder url=”https://greenwoodcommunitycouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Walking-Update-Doug-MacDonald.pdf” title=”Transportation in Greenwood, January 2018″]

and also this handy handout from SDOT:
Client Assistance Memo 2208: Sidewalk Maintenance and Repair

 

January Meeting: Transportation in Greenwood [Updated]

NOTE: This post has been updated to include links to presentations and handouts used during the meeting

7:00 Tuesday January 16, 2018
Greenwood Library
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.

Panelists:

  • 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

Presentations and Handouts

April Meeting: Set 2017 Priorities for GCC and Elect a New Board

ProgramAgendaMinutes
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. 
 

Meeting agenda:

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.

March Meeting: Greenwood Explosion – Review and Reflection

ProgramAgendaMinutes
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

ANTICIPATED AGENDA
7:00 Welcome & Committee Reports (GCC Board)
7:15 Review of Board Roles & Election of Officers

Review
7:30 Recap of blast-related news over past year (GCC Board)

Rebuilding
7:45 Results of relief fundraiser and current art show (Phinney Neighborhood Association)
7:55 Recovery of businesses (Chaco Canyon owner Chris Maykut)

Safety
8:05 Are we safer now? (Puget Sound Energy)
8:20 Q&A

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.

Special Forum on Homelessness

GCC February Meeting Moved to Wed. 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.

Election Forum at the Taproot

Greenwood Community Council
2016 Election Forum

Featuring District 7 Congressional Race and ST3

With the 2016 Presidential race consuming political news this election year, it can be easy to lose sight of our local electoral races and ballot initiatives that will be put in front of Seattle voters. We are now 30 days out from election day, and it’s time to bone up on the candidates and the issues!

Please join the Greenwood Community Council on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7:00 at the Taproot Theatre for our 2016 Election Forum. Our forum will be moderated by former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and will cover the following local race and ballot measure:

  • U.S. Congressional District 7, House of Representatives – Both candidates are confirmed to attend
  • Sound Transit Proposition 1, light rail, commuter rail, and bus service expansion – representatives from the competing Yes and No campaigns are confirmed to attend
Election Forum Agenda

Oct. 18, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Taproot Theatre, Greenwood

  • 7:00-7:05 – Welcome and Introductions 
  • 7:05-7:45 – District 7, U.S. House of Representatives
                              (including  audience Q&A)
  • 7:50-8:30 – Sound Transit 3 (including audience Q&A)
  • 8:30-9:00 – Informal networking
We hope to see you there!

September Meeting: Sound Transit 3

What’s in the Sound Transit 3 package and how much will it cost?

This November residents of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties will vote on the next iteration of expansion of Sound Transit services, known as Sound Transit 3 (ST3). The package includes more than 60 miles of new light rail lines across Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and the Eastside. As well as Eastside bus rapid transit service, expansion of Sounder commuter rail, and the addition of parking capacity at various transit stations. Needless to say, ST3 is big. Passage of the ballot measure will mean our region will make an approximate $54 billion investment in transit expansion and will see big new transit projects come on line every few years between now and 2041. 

The Greenwood Community CouncilWe wants to help Greenwood residents make an informed voting decision on ST3. In our September general meeting we’ll delve into the details of the proposed projects in the plan, the project timelines, and the funding structure and projected costs to Puget Sound residents. 

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.

AGENDA

7:00   Welcome and introductions
7:10   Committee Reports

Health & Safety
Transportation,
Land Use
Outreach
Call for volunteers

7:30   Update from the property owner on plans for Greenwood explosion site

7:45 Sound Transit 3

  • Context and background
  • Overview of ST3 Projects
  • How will ST3 affect NW Seattle?
  • Project timelines
  • Funding structure and costs

8:10 Open Question and Answer Session
8:30   Adjourn


Resources:

Sound Transit 3 website

Seattle Transit Blog coverage

Seattle Times ST3 cost calculator

GCC Social Event This Tuesday at Naked City

Who is the Community Council
and What Do they Do? — Find Out!

Tuesday August 16, 7:00 pm
at the Naked City Screening Room

         
nakedcity1 naked city screening-roomInstead of our regular third Tuesday meeting this month the Greenwood Community Council is having a social event at the Naked City Brewery at 8564 Greenwood Ave N. It’s a great chance to relax with some refreshment, meet some people and talk about the neighborhood – or not. If you’re interested in learning about the community council and finding out who’s involved, this is a nice way to do it.  Please join us – everyone welcome!

(sorry, no host bar).

June Meeting: Mandatory Housing Affordability

Implementing Mandatory Housing Affordability

The City has released its “Director’s Report” on MHA-Residential legislation and draft ordinance.  HALA focus groups have begun to meet and provide input on HALA’s community generated principles which will form part of the basis for changes to zoning, design, and planning in certain residential areas.  We will review the overall MHA Program, and discuss the proposed policies and ordinance for the MHA-Residential program.

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.

AGENDA

7:00   Welcome and introductions
7:10   Committee Reports

Health & Safety
Transportation,
Land Use
Outreach
Call for volunteers

7:20   Housing Levee

7:30 Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA)

  • Affordable Housing Context & Goals
  • MHA-Commercial
  • MHA-Residential
  • Associated Polices and Ordinances

8:05 Open Question and Answer Session
8:25   Action Items
8:30   Adjourn


Resources:

MHA One Page Summary, Nov. 5,2015

MHA-Residential Director’s Report

 

April Meeting – Crown Hill, Aurora-Licton and Lake City

We have a really interesting Greenwood Community Council meeting this week – representatives from Crown Hill, Aurora-Licton Springs and Lake City will present on how each of their neighborhoods is engaging with Seattle on how their urban villages should be defined.  Each has taken a different approach to engage neighbors and neighborhood groups.  

Seattle’s comprehensive plan attempts to guide development into designated urban villages. Originally this policy was intended to prioritize Seattle’s investments into designated urban village areas to make them great urban places; more recently policies focus more on incentivizing developers to invest in these areas by making zoning more flexible and reducing regulation. The implications for being in a designated urban village will depend on many pieces of legislation to implement the Comprehensive Plan and Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) initiatives, but neighborhoods are being asked now to weigh in on their boundaries.
 
I hope you’ll attend this weeks’s community council meeting to hear how our neighbors in nearby urban village areas are responding to these issues.  The meeting may take action to support the Crown Hill Urban Village, Committee for Smart Growth recommendations (link) and to endorse a grant proposal that will be presented during the Transportation Committee report for the Aurora Crossings project (link). Here’s the meeting announcement:
 
– – – – – – – – – 

The Urban Village Strategy
What is it and how should we redefine?

The Greenwood Community Council’s monthly meeting will be devoted to the urban village strategy, which forms the backbone of Seattle’s growth plans as outlined in the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.  Guest speakers from nearby Lake City, Crown Hill, and Aurora Licton Springs will be present to share their experience engaging their community and developing a vision for potential changes to the zoning, boundaries, livability, infrastructure, and neighborhood planning in the urban village.

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19th, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103.

AGENDA

7:00   Welcome and introductions
7:10   Committee Reports

7:20  The Urban Village Strategy

  • Introduction
  • Lake City – Sandy Motzer
  • Aurora Licton Springs – Leah Anderson
  • Crown Hill – Deborah Jaquith

8:05   Open Question and Answer Session
8:25   Action Items
8:30   Adjourn


Resources:

 

Special Meeting on the Greenwood Explosion

Reminder – this event is this Tuesday night.  
This post has also been updated to include the meeting agenda and links to news and resources. Please help get the word out by forwarding to anyone you think might be interested.


 

GREENWOOD EXPLOSION:

How to Stay Safe, and
What Steps are Needed to Rebuild?

Greenwood explosion smaller

The Greenwood Community Council’s monthly meeting is devoted to the aftermath of the blast that leveled part of our downtown.  The response by our public servants and neighborhood volunteers has been amazing, and we honor everyone who has contributed.  

This meeting will focus on the way forward:

  • What steps do we all need to take to prepare for and avoid future disasters such as gas leaks,  and
  • What are resources for recovering and rebuilding after over the longer term.

Please join us Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at a special location: St. John’s Egan Hall, 120 N 79th St. just off Greenwood Avenue.  The program for this event is still coming together, but we have confirmed speakers from Puget Sound Energy, the Mayor’s office, Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods and Office of Economic Development.  We will also set aside time and ask for tributes for those who have stepped up this week to help the community, its businesses and their employees who have been impacted.


AGENDA

7:00   Welcome and introductions

7:10   How to stay safe from gas leaks and prepare for disaster
                  Speakers from Puget Sound Energy,
                  Greenwood CC Safety/Health Committee,
                  Q&A

7:40   Steps and resources to recover and rebuild
                  Speakers from Phinney Neighborhood Center, Dept.
                  of Neighborhoods, Office of Economic Development,
                  Q&A

8:20   Testimonials from the audience for those who stepped up
              to help neighbors in a time of crisis

8:30   Adjourn


Here are some useful links and resources:

February Meeting: Growth and Affordability

Growth and Affordability 

February Membership Meeting
Tuesday February 16, 7:00 – 8:30
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave. N
There is broad agreement that housing affordability is one of the most critical issues we face as our City grows and becomes more prosperous.  Last year, Mayor Murray developed an action plan and community engagement is expected to ramp up this spring. In preparation for engagement on this important issue, GCC will facilitate an open and interactive community forum on growth and affordability.
 
The intent of the meeting is to outline Greenwood’s key affordability  issues and questions, discuss opportunities, and  lay the groundwork for further focused study by committees and feedback to the City.  Please bring your ideas/questions and be prepared to share them with your neighbors.  We hope to see you there!
 
Agenda
 
  1. Welcome/overview of meeting agenda (7:00 PM)
    • Overview of upcoming GCC meeting topics
    • Overview of committees and Board
  2. Committee Reports – Committee Chairs (7:05 PM)
    • Land use
    • Health and Safety
    • Transportation
    • Outreach – call for interested volunteers
  3. Guest Speaker, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways  (7:10 to 7:20)
    • Speed limits, Gordon Padelford
  4. Growth and Affordability (7:20 to 8:30)
    • Introduction
    • Identify core issues/questions
    • Discuss opportunities
    • Summarize key points  and develop focused actions
  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.

November Meeting: Pedestrian Issues

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!
 
Agenda
 
  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.

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.

September Meeting: 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?
 
IMG_0162
 
 
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
                    Environmental
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.

July Meeting: Public Art, Capacity Building, Design Review

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 July Meeting: Public Art, Capacity Building, Design Review

June Meeting: 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 June Meeting: Social Service Needs

May Meeting: 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 May Meeting: Seattle 2035

April Meeting: How Will City Council Districts Affect  Neighborhoods?

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 April Meeting: How Will City Council Districts Affect  Neighborhoods?

March Meeting: Elections and Mayor McGinn Retrospective

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

February Meeting: 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.

January Meeting: Developing a Vision for a New Library Park


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!

December 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.