Feb 23, 2011

Parks Survey

Seattle Parks Foundation and their partners are asking for our input on a how we should address the chronic funding shortfall faced by Seattle’s park system.  They have prepared a short survey here to voice your opinion, as well as a webpage where you can download a copy of the report.  Since the results of the survey are available to those who take it, it is not only a great opportunity to voice your opinion on this important issue (and maybe win a $50 REI gift card!) but also to see what others have to say.  Please take a moment to share your opinion now.  Thank you!

4 Year Anniversary

On March 1st , 2007, Club Chocolate City closed, and the decades-long street crimes that had surrounded the bar vanished (literally) overnight. [OK, so the pictures were taken on Saturday 3/3/07, but you get the idea].
Club Chocolate City closed on 2/28/07 
All the drug dealers etc immediately disappeared 
And regular neighbors took back the streets 
I thought the dealers might move down to the store (which stayed open for a few weeks) 
but none did. Guess there must have been some direct connection between the bar and the street dealing!
PS (before you ask), it was NO FUN living around the bar back then.

Feb 15, 2011

Money for street or park improvements

Have Ideas for Neighborhood Improvements?
Propose a Project Today!

What is the Neighborhood Projects Funds (NPF)?
NPF consists of two City budget sources: the Neighborhood Street Fund and the Cumulative Reserve Subfund. Through this program, approximately $1.2M  is set aside in the 2012 City budget for small scale improvements to neighborhood streets and parks. These funds are unique because NPF projects are proposed by the community.

What projects are eligible? 
The NPF can be used for projects valued up to $90K to fund street or park improvements, such as sidewalk repair, traffic circles and traffic calming, sidewalks, school zone speed limit signs, playground improvements, etc. NPF projects are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Projects funded by the Cumulative Reserve Subfund (approx. $1 Million total) can only be used for maintenance or repairs, projects which address safety issues, or upgrades related to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) like wheelchair access improvements; and must relate to the implementation of an existing Neighborhood Plan. View Neighborhood Plans online at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/npi/plans.htm.
  • Projects funded by the Neighborhood Street Fund (approx. $200K total) must be transportation-related. These projects may include new construction and do not have to relate to Neighborhood Plans, but there is less money to go around in this fund.

Who decides which projects will be funded?
Each District Council will review applications and choose three projects. Then the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) will perform detailed feasibility and cost analysis, and provide feedback.  The City will make funding decisions based on recommendations from District Councils, Parks and SDOT, with the final decision made by the Mayor. For more information, contact your District Coordinator

How are proposals evaluated?
District Councils are looking for projects which meet one or more of the following criteria:

ü     Significant Impact: The project will have a widespread positive impact on the neighborhood as a whole.
ü     Neighborhood Plan Implementation: The project implements one or more recommendations in an adopted neighborhood plan. Priority will be given to projects that are located in or provide service to urban centers and villages.
ü     Broad Support: The project has the support of multiple neighborhood or community groups. Both residential and business groups are encouraged to apply.
ü     Leveraging Opportunities: The project also qualifies for funding from another City source, and therefore leaves more NPF money available for other projects.
ü     Equity: Funding is to be equitably shared among the districts over time. Neighborhoods that are already receiving significant public investment from other sources may be also given lower priority.

What is the project review timeline?
The flow chart below describes this year’s timeline.

MCj04398050000[1]Neighborhood Projects Funds
 Timeline (2011)
Applications due to Department of Neighborhoods (DON). DON begins sorting applications by Neighborhood District.
DON distributes new 2011 applications and applications prioritized but not funded in 2010 to Neighborhood District Councils.
Neighborhood District Councils review applications and submit their preliminary list of top 3 projects to DON.
DON forwards feasible projects with cost estimates back to Neighborhood District Councils.
Neighborhood District Councils submit prioritized projects to DON.
DON announces funding recommendations to Neighborhood District Councils
Mayor’s proposed budget includes funding recommendations.
Seattle City Council considers recommendations and adopts 2012 budget.
DON announces funding awards.
Project implementation.

How do I propose a project?
Complete a simple one page form which is available from your Neighborhood District Coordinator or online at http://www.seattle.gov/Neighborhoods/btgnsfcrf/documents/2011NPFApplication.doc.
Applications may be submitted by mail, (PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA  98124-4649, Att: Pamela Banks) fax 206-233-5142 or email to NeighborhoodProjectFund@seattle.gov

Questions or Assistance?

Christa Dumpys, Neighborhood District Coordinator
(206) 684-4812 or christa.dumpys@seattle.gov  

Tim Durkan, Neighborhood District Coordinator
(206) 684-4054 or tim.durkan@seattle.gov 

Stan Lock, Neighborhood District Coordinator
(206) 233-2045 or stan.lock@seattle.gov

Central Region Team
City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods 
2301 S. Jackson St., Suite 208
Seattle, WA  98144-2357

Feb 14, 2011

The Aging Your Way Initiative

(or see CD News post)

Graphic illustration from the Shoreline - Lake Forest Park gathering.

Conversations for Community Change
What would your community have to look like to support you as you age?
Would you like to take part in designing that community?
Senior Services is asking local Baby Boomers to do just that – design “communities-for-all” that will support us so we can age confidently and safely.  It’s part of our new initiative, “Aging Your Way”. 
If you’re like most people, you don’t like to think about aging; yet every day about 10,000 Baby Boomers hit their 60th birthday.  The current programs, services and structures just don’t have the capacity to deal with that demographic.   “Aging Your Way” provides the opportunity for you to tell us what you want and what talents you can contribute to make it happen.
We’ve already held events in SE, SW and NE Seattle and in Shoreline, with five more communities in line next and a summit in the fall.  Everything about these four events outstripped our expectations:  we had capacity crowds; the participants represented the individual community demographics; they easily created and communicated their visions; they identified projects that would help make those visions a reality; and they signed up for Action Teams where they can bring their individual passion, knowledge, skills and resources to the process.  
What key factors have contributed to our success so far?  First, the time is right for this work to begin – Baby Boomers are often in denial about their own aging, but as they step in as care givers for their parents or spouses, they’re finding that some neighborhoods just aren’t equipped to support an aging population.  They know it’s time to re-think and prepare.  Second, we hired Jim Diers, professional community organizer and former Director of Neighborhoods for the City of Seattle to be our facilitator and Anne Jess to capture the energy in a graphic.  And third, we seem to have a lot of “spark plugs” in King County.  When our residents find a topic they feel strongly about – they engage.  
Who should attend?  We are looking for residents of these communities, ages 45-65 and other younger-thinking older adults who are creative and who are ready to bring ideas and action to the table. The gathering in your neighborhood will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 5:30 until 8:30 at the Garfield Community Center, located at 2323 East Cherry St.  Attendees must pre-register to attend a gathering.  Please go to:  www.seniorservices.org, then click on Aging Your Way to register online.   If you have questions or would prefer to talk to someone in person, please contact Sabrina Jones at 206-268-6702.

Feb 10, 2011

2200 East Madison Street: another Design Review Hearing

revised plan for 22nd Ave. Click to enlarge. Compare with previous plan
At the first Early Design Guidance Hearing for this proposed assisted living facility at 22nd & Madison, the Design Review Board liked much of the plan, but really didn't like the plans for the 22nd Avenue side of the building, and sent the architects back to try again!

The architects kindly shared their revised plans with us,  and will be eagerly awaiting your comments at the second Early Design Guidance Hearing, at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, February 16,  at Seattle Vocational Institute, 2120 S Jackson St. ( see DPD link,  my report on previous hearing and the Design Review Board report).

On a brief glance it appears to me that the architects have done much of what the board requested, though the changes have resulted in the loss of the mini-park and the moving of the traffic entrance yet further into the residential street (22nd Ave. E.). I encourage you to look at their design, and come to the meeting with your constructive comments ready.

Fratelli's development underway

Took this movie (and this one and this one) recently at the now busy building site on the NW corner of 19th & Madison, former home of the Fratelli's Cows.

The project was planned way back in 2001, and you'll have to visit the old Miller Park website to read the planning notes & reports (here's my one page version). The Capitol Hill Seattle blog has some up to date news about the project.

Herewith a few thoughts, from the memory banks: 

In brief: planned 2001 - 2002 by Val Thomas, well known developer/architect who built the 19th Ave Lofts across street from project. Architect is Sam Cameron, who [as I recall] did the Design Review presentations way back then (as part of Streeter Architects: Mel Streeter [now deceased] was premier African-American architect in Seattle.)

Sam is now at: RolludaArchitects.com

Sam Cameron contacted me recently:

 I am the chair of the Mount Zion Building Ministry and we have been working on a master plan for the Mount Zion Campus.  We are in the process of sharing that vision with members of the community.

(See http://www.dkarch.com/project.php?id=16 for a previous [2004 era] view of their vision)

I met with Sam and another Mt. Zion representative: they are planning a community meeting in February to share Mt. Zion's development plans with the community. They need an upzone as part of their master plan, and hence want to share their plans the neighborhood.

They took my suggestion that we use the meeting to update neighbors on the general state of Madison Street development.  Val Thomas and Jim Mueller will be there as will people from the 2200 E. Madison Street development.