Here are the topics covered at the Monthly NDNC Meeting on Jan. 9:
Bridging the Gap – Applications due Feb. 1
In 2006, Seattle voters passed a nine-year, $365 million levy for transportation maintenance and improvements known as Bridging the Gap. The levy funds programs to address the maintenance backlog for paving, sidewalk development and repairs, bridge repair, rehabilitation and seismic upgrades, tree pruning and planting, transit enhancements, and other much needed maintenance work. Funding also supports projects that implement the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master plans, create a Safe Routes to School Program, improve transit connections and help neighborhoods get larger projects built through the Neighborhood Street Fund large project program.
Each of Seattle’s 13 District Councils is awarded approximately $90,000 in Bridging the Gap projects each year. Each District Council votes on the projects it would most like to see funded in its district. Last year, all of the Delridge District Council’s submitted projects came from the NDNC, which chose its top three to be submitted to SDOT. Two of those projects were funded – a crosswalk at Delridge Way SW at SW Findley Street ($31,000) and a traffic signal at Avalon Way SW & SW Genesee Street ($65,000). Other Bridging the Gap projects that have been funded in Delridge include the many traffic calming projects along 26th Ave. SW.
Applications for 2012 projects are due on February 1, 2012. Application information, including the timeline, can be found on the Dept. of Neighborhood’s website, here. The NDNC will submit applications for projects that were not selected to receive consideration for funding last year. That list appears below. If you have comments on any of these projects, please let NDNC know. Also, you are strongly encouraged to submit an application if you have a project that would be a good fit for Bridging the Gap funding. The application is extremely easy. If you need help, contact the NDNC Executive Committee and we’ll be glad to assist you. You can also contact one of our Neighborhood Coordinators, Ed Pottharst or Yun Pitre, for help.
Neighborhood Plan Update Letter Response
At the December NDNC meeting, the Council approved a letter to City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who chaired the Parks & Neighborhoods Committee, requesting that Delridge be placed on the priority list of a Plan Update. Amanda Leonard read O’Brien’s response. He said that the current focus is on finishing up the updates for Rainier Beach and Broadview/Bitter Lake/Haller Lake. In the letter, O’Brien asked Neighborhood Coordinator Ed Pottharst to follow up with us in February and report back as to where the City is in that process and where Delridge might fit in on the update list. With the new year, the Parks & Neighborhoods Committee is now chaired by Sally Bagshaw. Delridge District Council Chair Mat McBride suggested that we send a letter to Councilmember Bagshaw letting her know that we are dissatisfied with O’Brien’s response and would like a better one. He encouraged us to ask her very specifically: when we will go on the update list? The Council approved Amanda Leonard to write that letter.
Ad Hoc Community Design and Land Use Committee
Parie Hines outlined a new Community Design and Land Use Committee of the NDNC that will be used on an ad hoc basis (this will not be a standing committee) to assess large developments and larger planning and land use issues in North Delridge. The Committee will provide leadership and foster communication on land use issues, including communication with the city, and work to implement neighborhood goals related to large development and land use projects. Their first agenda item will be to look at the Brandon Node plan and assess needed updates to the plan; ongoing projects such as DESC (particularly its commercial space) and the open DNDA space in the Brandon Court Building; and the longstanding need for a mini grocery store.
Volunteers for the Committee include Parie Hines, Vonetta Mangaoang, Amanda Leonard, Mat McBride (possibly) and Mike Dady (possibly). If anyone else is interested in joining this (not full time!) committee, please contact Parie Hines.
North Delridge Transportation/ Pedestrian Walking Tour
Streets & Pedestrian Advocacy Committee Chair Jake Vanderplas outlined the transportation/ pedestrian walking tour that on Wednesday, Jan. 11 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm with City Council Transportation Chair Tom Rasmussen and representatives from SDOT and the Dept. of Neighborhoods to outline North Delridge neighborhood concerns related to biking, walking, taking transit, and driving. Topics were to include the following:
- Lack of bike lanes along Delridge, especially approaching WSEA Bridge
- The 26th greenway
- Non-functioning pedestrian trigger at Andover
- Lack of crosswalks south of Oregon
- Feasibility of transit only lanes – northbound in AM and southbound in PPM
- Reducing speeds coming off WSEA Bridge
- Dealing with the southbound merge from 2 to 1 lane off WSEA Bridge
Mike Dady requested that we add the issues on westbound Oregon (approaching Delridge) which result in a bottleneck at the bottom on the hill at Delridge. He suggested adding a right turn lane so that those wanting to turn left don’t hold up the rest of the traffic, as well as a street-level pedestrian crossing since no one uses the elevated crosswalk.
Parie mentioned a recent Stranger article about the DNDA and its management of Youngstown. Although we didn’t have time to discuss the article itself, Parie has spoken with Patty Grossman, the interim director at Youngstown, and hopes to have representatives from DNDA at our February meeting so that the neighborhood can understand what’s happening.
NDNC Website Update
Huge kudos to Amanda Leonard for all the work she has put in to transform the NDNC website! Last fall Amanda was awarded a City technology grant to implement forums on our website. She quickly realized that this was too much for one person to handle and received permission to use the funds to transform the site itself using WordPress. The new site includes a blog that allows for multiple authors (the NDNC Executive Committee), subject tags, instant language translation, a link to our new Twitter feed, @HEARTDELRIDGE, and more! Check out the new site here. Amanda was also able to use the funds for marketing “schwag”, including NDNC buttons, cards listing our website and contact info, stickers, etc.
The Office of Housing reduced the number of units DESC will be allowed to have at the site from 75 to 66 due to changes in census block configuration in the 2010 census data and updated information about planned housing development in High Point from the Department of Planning and Development (DPD). For more detailed information about the capacity reduction please read this West Seattle Blog article. Vonetta Mangaoang suggested neighbors contact Michael Dorcy, the DPD Project Planner for this site, to request that neighbors be made aware of when new design plans are submitted. She also asked if anyone had received a copy of the meeting minutes from the December Early Design Guidance meeting.
Patrick Baer expressed strong disappointment in the Office of Housing (OH) for failing to notify neighborhood leaders about this change. He was grateful for West Seattle Blog Editor Tracy Record’s constant vigilance, which is the only way neighbors got the news. While OH continues to maintain that it is DESC’s responsibility to provide community outreach, the Council feels that OH’s failure to provide us with even the basic information about a project that they know we care deeply about is very disappointing. Kirsten Smith volunteered to draft a letter to OH Director Rick Hooper informing him of the need to improve communications between the developer and the community.
The task force* established to recruit neighbors to represent the community (collectively known as the Delridge Alliance) on a Community Advisory Committee are pleased to introduce the Alliance’s membership:
- Angela Goodman representing Adjacent Property Owners,
- Phillippia Goldsmith of North Delridge Neighborhood Development Association representing the perspective of Neighborhood Design and Development;
- Steve Daschle of Southwest Youth and Family Services representing Social Service and Mental Health Providers;
- Brenda Sewell of Creative Children’s Corner representing Neighborhood Businesses;
- Jane Appling of the Seattle Public Library representing Institutions;
- Pete Spalding a Neighborhood Leader, and
- Vonetta Mangaoang representing the NDNC Executive Council.
You can review detailed descriptions of advocate positions at the NDNC’s new blog here: Delridge Alliance Call for Nominations. The Alliance seeks two more at-large neighborhood members to join the group and asks that nominations for members be in by January 15. Please contact Parie Hines.
The group is holding initial organizing meetings and will later join in the committee referred to in DESC’s Community Relations Plan. It reads “DESC will initiate and participate in a neighborhood advisory committee” and “will engage interested Delridge residents with DESC staff in advising on project operations impacting the neighborhood and address issues of concern. The committee will aim to be representative of a variety of constituencies impacted by the project.”
The Alliance hopes Community Advisory Committee meetings will be held at Youngstown, a neighborhood institution, and is working to secure funding to accomplish this. The Council voted to provide initial funding to the Alliance for its startup costs of up to $100 (with Executive Committee approval of any expenditures).
The Alliance is also working to schedule a large community gathering at which neighbors will have the opportunity to testify to the Community Advisory Committee about DESC’s proposed Supportive Housing development at 5444 Delridge Way. In order to allow enough time for hearing from as many neighbors as possible, two minutes will be allotted to each speaker. The group is asking neighbors to volunteer to help with developing handouts, passing out fliers, and logistics at the event—please email ndnc.org to sign-up.
*Task Force members: Tanya Baer, Parie Hines, Betsey Hoffmeister, and Vonetta Mangaoang
The Delridge Forum must put on one additional event to fulfill its grant requirements. Patrick Baer announced that the Forum will work to bring in neighbors of DESC facilities in other neighborhoods to speak to their experiences both before and after the facility opened. That event should be held sometime in the first quarter.
Patrick Baer, Karen Berge (WSB), Mike Dady, Tom Hammack, Parie Hines, Amanda Leonard, Holli Margell, Aaron Jennings, Vonetta Mangaoang, Mat McBride, Jay McNally, Kirsten Smith, Michael Tayler-Judd, Tom Teicher, Jake Vanderplas
Next Meeting: Monday, Feb. 13, 6:30 pm, Delridge Library