These minutes are respectfully written by Nancy Folsom, NDNC secretary, with a special note. This meeting was packed with information and I am an untrained scribe. Any and all errors, mis-characterizations, or other Bad Things is solely my error. Please don’t assume the speakers or attendees are at fault. Please send email to secretary if you have any questions or concerns, and I’ll do my best to get it sorted out. I’ve linked helpful pages with much more thorough information. — Nancy

6:30 Welcome/Introductions. Executive committee in attendance: Michael Taylor-Judd, Chair; Kirk Laukner, Outreach Chair; Mike O’Hara; Safety Chair; Nancy Folsom, Secretary.

6:45 Trevor Simpson, developer for 4106 Delridge Way development, on recent Design Board review and project status

  • West Seattle Blog story here. DPD bulletin here. Project documents and public comments here (search for project #3008612).
  • Taylor-Judd passed around a printout of the project documents and feedback for attendees to review.
  • In a nutshell, the project allows for 4,000 sq commercial space, divided into two to four businesses, on the ground floor, with four floors of apartments above.
  • Simpson is a West Seattle native, and currently lives in West Seattle. He inherited the family business from his father and has 15 years experience.
  • Paraphrasing Simpson, the project was designed from the inside out. His goal is to create units that people will make homes, and so he believes in “more than fair” pricing in order to encourage tenants to make long time homes in the building.
  • Status:
    • At the February 5th, 2015 meeting, the design review board rejected the requested set back of 10′ 6″ (15′ is the minimum under ordinary circumstances).
    • The DRB also rejected the planned use of HardiPlank and favored fir or cedar. HardiPlank is a 50 year product, according to Simpson, and cedar and fir do not seem to hold up that well.
    • The DRB expressed concern about the request to reduce the driveway width to 14′ from the 22′ with 10′ sight triangles normally required. The request was made because a smaller garage opening and less concrete wall would enhance the pedestrian’s experience. The DRB is concerned about pedestrian safety. Simpson shares the concern but feels the fact that there are so few parking spaces (36 stalls) that traffic in and out will be minimal.
    • Neighbors directly east of the site are concerned about visual impact.
    • Simpson will have to make some adjustments, and then there will be another design review.
  • Challenges, more info
    • Taylor-Judd said some of the attendees at the review are concerned about slope slide. Folsom suggested using social media to help us understand current building techniques that mitigate those concerns. One neighbor in particular is concerned water will be shunted off to the south after meeting a barrier in the new property and cause problems for them.
    • Simpson said they’re working on creating a perspective from the back, so that residents behind the property can visualize what the project will look like.
    • Simpson is concerned that increasing the setback by 4′ 4″, thereby decreasing the size of the units, will make the rear units less appealing. The extra space would help offset the the fact the rear will get less light.
  • What’s next
    • The public can still make comments to the DRB even if we can’t make it to the next review.
    • There will be another review.
    • Simpson will post new drawings as soon as they are available
    • Simpson offered to take questions people have about the project via email. Please contact

7:30 Lisa Herbold, City Council Candidate for District 1. Here is a link to her campaign website. Herbold lives in the Highland Park neighborhood and is City Councilor Nick Lacata’s aide. Her experience and interest is in equity in housing, civil rights, land use, police interactions. She has been a tenants’ rights organizer and worked with the local housing institue. Moved to the area in 1992 to open an Acorn office. She believes it’s important to teach people how government works and to be their own advocates. For example, she feels it’s important for people to understand City Councilor Rasmussen’s proposal for impact fees.

O’Hara: How would Herbold work to bring more commerce to the neighborhood?
Herbold: City Council is currently working on overhauling pedestrian rules to activate the space. Job development will be affective by comprehensive plan update, which will be setting new targets.

Taylor-Judd: District Council raising issue that equal distribution of resources isn’t necessarily a fair distribution given the history of some neighborhoods receiving more help than others for years. Some areas might need more investment in order to come up to the level of all neighborhoods.
Herbold: Would like to see a restructuring of the neighborhood matching funds programs so that both large and small grants are funded more. City Council is looking at Participatory Budgeting.

In follow up, Herbold asked us about whether we felt developers were including enough parking in projects. She told us that the Department of Planning and Design interpreted the law to say it allows for development to occur without parking. Examiner said DPD did misinterpret rules about transit availability offsetting the need for parking.DPD was told to change it legislatively if they want it changed, but it issued a Director’s Rule, instead, as, arguably, a way around the examiner’s ruling. (Secretary’s note: this is fairly complicated, but essentially, developers were able to limit or remove parking if buses came by within 1/4 mile of the property 10 minutes apart–regardless of whether the buses went to the same place. You might have a short wait for the next bus, but it might not take you to your job. Here is a post on SmartGrowthSeattle with more information about the issue.)

Comment: Department of Senior Citizens is frustrating, and it needs to be changed. It doesn’t have job counselors, nor does it maintain a useful or accurate job list.
Herbold: Said she has heard the same criticism from other people.

Follow-up comment: For example, the new Regional Reduced Fare Permit instituted to help low income riders with transportation, isn’t issued anywhere in West Seattle, and it’s hard to get to the locations that do issue the card.

Taylor-Judd wondered whether that was tied to the funding, which won’t be collected until June. Said he’d find out more about this.

7:30 Amanda Kay Helmick, City Council Candidate for District 1 — Canceled due to illness. Rescheduled for NDNC meeting on April 6th, 2015.

7:45: Chaz Redmond, City Council Candidate for District 1. Here is a link to his campaign website. Redmond is running because he would like to better do what he’s been doing for more people. Charter amendment 19 was important because while councilors may have cared about the entire city, they didn’t seem to care as much as was needed about West Seattle issues such as the bridge and other transportation concerns. He said his primary focus is “transportation, equity, and accountability.” He has walked, biked, driven, bused extensively around the West Seattle peninsula which has given him an extensive view of the area’s issues.

7:45 Review of Neighborhood Park & Street Fund project proposals. Taylor-Judd read the list of projects. They will be discussed at this month’s meeting of the Delridge District Council on March 18th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, from 7 pm to 9 pm. Here is a link to the projects and supporting documents.

8:00 Upcoming Events of Note

Chief O’Toole Visit to West Seattle – Part 2, Wednesday, March 11th, 2015. Here is a Link to the WSB blog post.

City Council Candidates Forum on Saturday, March 14th, 2015. Here is a link to the WSB blog post.

8:00 Should the NDNC give ownership of the Delridge Day domain to the group organizing the events, Visualizing Increased Engagement in West Seattle (VIEWS). Motion to transfer ownership was made and seconded and passed unanimously. Nancy will initiate the transfer.

8:10 Meeting adjourned.