Portage Bay/Roanoke Park Community Council Minutes

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

6:30 PM at St. Patrick’s Church Social Hall

 

Pete Delaunay, Council president opened the meeting at 6:35 PM

Introduction of special guests in attendance

 

Kshama Sawant, District 1, City Council Member

Ted Virdone, Legislative Assistant  

Clay Showalter  Legislative Assistant

 

Treasurer’s Report submitted but not read by Walter Oelwein, Treasurer

Overall Balance                             $21,085.42

General Funds Available                4, 948.11

Roanoke Park Fund                       451.47

Astrid Park Fund                            1,325.97

Elms Fund                                     13, 859.87

South Portage Bay Park Fund       500.00

 

Minutes from October 27, 2014 may be read on the website

 

Fuhrman Boyer Traffic Calming Report   Anne Preston and Karen Lang

 

Work is still in progress to address the traffic and safety issues along Boyer

and Fuhrman.  A new plan  called “Vision Zero” is Seattle’s Plan to end traffic death serious injuries by 2030.   This plan has the support of the mayor, the city of Seattle, the Department of Transportation and the Seattle Police Department.   For more detailed

information contact www.seattle.gov/visionzero.   The PB/RP committee  is working with SDOT to try to lower the speed limit to 20 mph as well as to use signage to signal

speeds being driven.  The application process required by SDOT in order to have a review of this area is quite detailed. In order  to have a hearing with SDOT about traffic safety in our neighborhood, we need 60% of our neighbors whose homes face either Fuhrman or  Boyer to sign the petition.    Please contact Anne Preston at 328-4135 (home) or 769-3422 (cell) with any questions or new signatures.

 

It was noted that it is often difficult to receive call backs from the city from private citizens who call in with questions, requests or complaints.  Councilmember Sawant suggested that a member of the council may be able to get information more quickly and encouraged us to call with our concerns to her legislative assistants at 206-684-8016 or e-mail them at:   ted.virdone@seattle.gov  or clay.showalter@seattle.gov

 

Block Watch. Disaster and Emergency Preparedness  Report Barbara Krieger

 

Barbara encouraged persons interested in being Block Watch captains to attend a meeting on Tuesday, March 24th at 7:00 PM at the Montlake Community Center.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about how to build a functioning Block Watch Program in our neighborhood.

 

Report on Observations from the Seattle Design Review Meeting for the new building proposed on the old  Red Robin Site at 3272 Fuhrman Ave.  on Feb. 25, Seattle U Campus.  (Written by & submitted by Barbara Krieger)

 

A detailed proposal is at this website.

 

http://web6.seattle.gov/dpd/eplan/GetDocument.aspx?id=303203$src=WorkingDocs&n=

Design%20Proposal%3A%20Initial%20EDG%20Proposal

 

About 40 people attended, most from the Houseboat community on Portage Bay Place E.

 

Design Review Procedures:  The architect presented project forms (without much detail

as to surfaces, balconies, windows),  spoke to land coverage, building heights, entrances to building and parking garage, and parking spaces.

Design Review Board asked questions about the 3 alternatives, reiterated that they have no purview on parking, traffic/ingress and egress from the site;  Public comment lasted 20 minutes (comments only, supposed to be no questions of architect); Recommendations 

then made by Design Review Board in building forms/masses, setback departures, materials, size and scale of the building shadow study.

 

The architect said that there were 25 parking spaces, accessible from Portage Bat PL E and 22 more under negotiation across Eastlake in the parking lot under I-5.  The preferred design is 3 buildings with two facing Fuhrman (1having commercial space) and

a entrance walkway between them. The third building is lower and farther down the hill with a walkway separating the front 2 and back building.  The parking garage is entered from Portage Bay Place E.  All building are 3 stories (about 30 feet high) and lower than the current Lanai Apt. Building. The departure request was to build closer to the Lanai  Apts.  The Design Review Board liked most of the presented ideas but urged the

architects/developer to use high quality materials and articulate the building faces.

 

The houseboat community had a spokeswoman who summarized most of their comments (many also were filed with the design proposal) but she left little time for  others’ comments.  All house boaters’ comments were focused on the traffic increase on Portage Bay Place E., already a narrow 1 lane road, the height, shading, and contrast of a large apartment building (zoned NCP40) right next to single family houseboats (SF5000).  There is a zoning map at http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Research/gis/webplots/k23e.pdf

 

The houseboat community wanted the entrance off Fuhrman, and even clapped at the prospect of “no parking” when the developer asked for an informal tally about parking.

This was quite against the rules!  The Design Review Board said they had no purview of parking and access entrances and would ignore that!  The architect said that their 25 cars were less than 10% of the cars on Portage Bay Place E.

 

I spoke forcefully to say that the face of the new building on Fuhrman was important –

We want street trees, wide sidewalks since Fuhrman is a heavy walking and bike riding route; we want high quality materials and landscaping in keeping with the bungalows of our single family neighborhood.  I also said that the building is viewed “a long time”   from the U Bridge as you walk south and we would NOT appreciate blocky buildings like the dorms at the north end of the U Bridge that already have dented siding, and obscure views of Rainer as you walk south.  We desire a “sentinel”, interesting building  that enhances the entrance to our community, much like the old  Romio’s,  new Sebi’s historic building does.  I also emphasized that while Portage Bay Place E. will have 25 additional cars, “no parking” in the new building is not an option!  I emphasized that Fuhrman/Broadway/Franklin streets are adding potential cars from 63 units (old Red Robin site) and 48 units (old Larson Building) and that our neighborhood already hosts parked cars from UW students and houseboats that have no parking!  I also added that the parked cars in front of the multiplex buildings between 3240 and 3212 Fuhrman are ugly and dangerous – often backing into pedestrians and/or stopping traffic on Fuhrman as they back out, or as south bound cars on Fuhrman use those spaces to turn around to go north!  I was a bit pointed as I emphasized the 100s of pedestrians, and 1000s of cars and trucks that travel Fuhrman everyday, and make it quite a dangerous street.

 

One recommendation was made by an attendee regarding the public 25 foot wide strip along the SE section of the U Bridge- he urged that it be landscaped and developed in keeping with the historical cues much as the Cheshiahud Trail around Lake Union has.  This gentleman said he thought the shore  was the site of an early private “ferry boat” across Portage Bay.

 

I think we should encourage the developer and architects to develop that open space with our input, much as the Shelby Street-end park was developed and an historical plaque placed there. 

 

Discussion that followed Barbara’s Report

 

Many concerns were raised about the problem of additional parking. The addition of new housing units at 3272 Fuhrman as well as in the new project in the Larson building on Eastlake will increase significantly the use of on street parking.  John Gaines  suggested that an application be made for a “restricted parking zone” in our neighborhood.

 

SR 520 Bay Area Public Trail Access and Neighborhood Grant  by Karl Stixrood

 

Karl announced that the PB/RP CC has been awarded a Neighborhood Matching Grant to prepare a landscape plan that identifies Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) measures for the area from Delmar Dr. under SR520, across Byer Ave to the Portage Bay shoreline.  Barker Landscape Architects will develop the proposed CPTED Landscape. 

 

March 5TH at 6:30 PM at the Queen City Yacht Club, will be the first of three consultant led public meetings where WSDOT/Prep/City guidelines will be reviewed, and preliminary concepts will be discussed.   Everyone is encouraged to attend to provide suggestions and concerns. 

 

“Plan B” in lieu of the completion of the Westside of SR520 by Ted Lane

 

There are three parts to this alternative plan for SR520 on the Westside.

  • Seismic retrofit of the current Portage Bay Bridge

  • Repave the roadway with quieter material

  • Attach a bike –pedestrian lane on the existing bridge

This would cost approximately $25 million compared to the currently projected  $1.6 billion.  The money saved could be invested in mitigation needs. 

 

The Legislature has a bill proposing 11.7 cents raise in the gas tax to fund the “Rest of the West”.  Ted feels that the bill will not pass due to a variety of amendments attached to the bill that may be opposed.

 

Seattle and Montlake need to insist that SDOT agrees to maintain the area under SR520.

Inflation must be built into this guarantee for perpetuity.  This is the gateway to Seattle and should be treated with respect and with adequate ongoing mitigation.

 

Seattle is able to control aspects of the SR520 project through two permits:

  •  Shoreline Management Permit

  •  Street Use Permits

 

Ron Melnikoff urged that our neighborhoods be proactive in how the project will be sequenced, how traffic will be handled, when heavy trucks will be allowed  to haul on City streets, and how construction impacts will be handled. 

 

Introduction of Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Councilmember for Seattle Council District #1

 

Councilmembner  Kshama Sawant is an economist by profession and is Chair of the Energy  Committee of the Seattle City Council.  She is running to be re-elected for a second term on the Seattle City Council, representing District #3.   She attended our meeting to listen to the concerns of our community and stressed that her office is an accessible place to help answer any questions we may have.    

 

Her office phone: 206-684-8016. 

Mailing address is:  Seattle City Council, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025

Legislative Aids are:   Ted.Virdone@seattle.gov and Clay.Showalter@seattle.gov

 

Questions and Discussion  

 

Traffic Safety is a big concern of our community. We want safer streets.  We want greenways to be preserved.  We want noise to be abated.  We have difficulty communicating with WSDOT.  She listened intently to our concerns and is  very concerned about safety as well.  She supports the “Vision Zero” plan for Seattle that will lower speed limits on arterials, preserve green space and  create safer streets for pedestrians and bikers.  

 

Affordable Housing is one of the leading issues she will be addressing in her campaign.  There is a need for below market rate housing and an increase in stronger tenant protections.  When people work in the city but cannot afford to live near their work, they move into outlying areas and then need to rely on transportation to reach their jobs.  This increases traffic and puts an extra hardship on people  who are struggling financially.     

 

Transit is another big issue in the upcoming election.   There will be discussion about whether current bus routes on main arterials should be more frequent or whether new routes should be added that extend into interior streets within neighborhoods. 

 

Councilmember Kshama Sawant thanked the group for inviting her to come and to listen to our concerns.

 

The meeting was adjourned by Pete Delaunay at 8:15 pm.

 

Respectively submitted,    Joan Stewart, Secretary

 

 

Portage Bay/Roanoke Park Community Council Meeting Minutes

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