Setting A Course for 2011
by Kirby LindsayThe first meeting of the Fremont Neighborhood Council for 2011 left attendees with a wealth of information, and an impressive outline of work that can be addressed by the community organization over the coming year.
The meeting began with a unanimous vote accepting the addition of Linda Clifton to the Board of Directors. A long-time Fremont resident, Clifton has been involved in the 46th Street Mural project and safety patrols on Aurora Avenue.
Of Dump & Development
Representatives from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), introduced by Nancy Ahern, presented current information on plans to remodel the North Seattle Transfer Station (also known as ‘the dump.’) Since July, a stakeholders group – consisting of nearby residents, neighborhood organization representatives (including Toby Thaler and Erik Pihl, for the FNC), and users – have met to help guide the remodel plans.
The Stakeholders originally considered 12 alternative concepts for the site, and Bill Benzer presented the five they’d narrowed in on. These five will be vetted according to costs and functions down to two, which will be presented at public open houses on February 28th and March 2nd, from 5p – 7p, at the Institute for Systems Biology (837 N 34th.)
The SPU website contains information on all twelve original concepts, as well as more details on the proposed remodel plans. Benzer did note proposals for a green roof, a potential covering of the tractor-trailer yard, and the need for expand recycling potential at the site. Tim Croll, also with SPU, emphasized a commitment made to stakeholders that the elevation of the new Transfer Station roofs will be no higher than the current ones.
The remodel could expand the Transfer Station footprint, onto property to the east (the old Oroweat building,) a plan that requires a street vacation. SPU has proposed to build a park, or another neighborhood amenity, on SPU land no longer to be needed after the remodel. Also, they have discussed funding traffic circles on 36th Street, near the Transfer Station, to slow potential cut-through traffic, and a pedestrian signal for 34th Street.
Of Murals & Motels, And Other Miscellany
The rest of the FNC meeting plowed along through several items. The FNC has written to the Fremont Arts Council about the excessive graffiti on the Bridge Way Mural – and expressing support with funds and labor towards repairs. Erik Pihl mentioned continued discussions on the proposed remodel of Fire Station #9, and his desire for more community outreach by the City of Seattle representatives.
FNC signs up members annually, and renewal time has arrived. President Norma Jones reported mailing letters to 140 area households asking for renewals – and receiving slightly over 50 responses in two weeks. The Board voted to approve the mailing costs.
Several people confirmed purchase by the City of Seattle of property adjacent (to the west) of Ernst Park (also known as Slippery Slope.) A brief discussion indicated that a City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Grant could fund public meetings, and if done soon, an application to realize the final plan could be submitted to the 2012 Seattle Parks & Recreation Opportunity Funds. Further discussion on this was set aside, until February perhaps.
A brief update was shared on the Aurora Motels – four motels along Aurora Avenue between Woodland Park and the Aurora Bridge that had been magnets for prostitution, drugs and other criminal behavior. Three of the motels have closed – the Isabella and Italia (two adjacent properties that appear as one to passers-by), and the Fremont Inn. Across the highway, the Wallingford Inn has new owners – who appear to be taking the advice of neighbors and operating well. No development plans for the closed properties have been announced so far.
Expect to hear further updates, and about many other projects, at future FNC meetings. To hear the details first-hand attend an upcoming meeting – held on the fourth Mondays of each month (next one on February 28th) at 7pm at History House(790 N 34th St). Meetings are open to all the public – members, non-members and even prospective members…stop on by!
©2011 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.