by Kirby LindsayThe Fremont Neighborhood Council (FNC) meeting was scheduled to take place at 7p on Monday, November 22nd, at History House (790 N 34th). This night, two days before Thanksgiving, saw a large segment of the local population stuck in traffic – or generally stuck - due to unseasonably cold, snowy weather.
Due to severe weather conditions, the meeting was cancelled. The scheduled guest speaker – a representative from Seattle Public Utilities – agreed to reschedule. They are expected to give a report, on the proposed remodel/renovation of the North Seattle Transfer Station, at the next FNC meeting, on January 24, 2011, as the organization does not meet in December.
A Black Line Runs Round It
The Fremont Neighborhood Council specifically addresses residential concerns within this neighborhood. In the 1970s, most Fremont concerns were addressed by the Fremont Community Council. In 1980, at an election meeting, attendees voted to replace the entire board in what can only be described as a coup. The reason given for the maneuver was that the previous board did not represent the neighborhood. A group of residents stated that the new board did not represent residents, and they began the FNC – with strict boundaries.
Those boundaries still hold significance within the FNC. Only residents who live within a specific area can vote (the map can be seen on the FNC website, but it is roughly defined by 50th Street, Stone Way North, the Ship Canal and 8th Avenue.) As a result, only residents – and business owners and artists - who live within this area of governance tend to participate in the business of the organization.
Grey Areas Do Exist
After all, the FNC generally does discuss issues beyond its boundaries. Both the Fremont Arts Council and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce have supported efforts by local resident and artist David Roman to develop a park near the south end of the Fremont Bridge, on Denny Way. Yet, the property sits outside FNC boundaries, and has not received formal acknowledgement at their meetings.
The North Seattle Transfer Station could also be considered as beyond FNC boundaries, but the exception here appears obvious. At least one FNC Board member has been significantly involved in community meetings about the remodel, and many residents are affected by noise, traffic and odors from the Transfer Station. As a result, discussions about the redevelopment within the FNC have been on-going.
To find out more on Transfer Station plans, and other on-going FNC projects, attend the next meeting on January 24, 2011, at 7p at History House. Or, if you have a residential concern, and want time on an up-coming agenda, please contact the FNC through e-mail or Facebook.
©2010 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.