by Kirby Lindsay, posted 2 July 2012
On June 25th, the Fremont Neighborhood Council (FNC) monthly meeting contained important updates, and assorted new information, for Fremont residents…and anyone interested in knowing what is going on in our community.
Fremont Siphon Project
The meeting started with a near capacity crowd – because the team had come from King County Wastewater Division to inform the FNC Board about the upcoming Siphon Replacement Project. Most of the information shared had been previously explained (and detailed on Fremocentrist.com in December 2010 and May 2012) during two public community meetings.
The nearly 100-year-old wastewater siphon needs to be replaced, and the replacement construction could take two years – with the work centered near 1st Ave NW & Canal St. This will impact some street access, and require the closure of the Burke-Gilman Trail and Fremont Canal Park in that area.
The Siphon Replacement team also mentioned their recommendation to the King County Council that the staging area for the project – and the permanent structures that will remain after the replacement is built – be placed on private land, to be acquired (purchased) by the County. Will Sroufe explained the factors that contributed to their recommendation including the need for safe, 24-hour access and the disadvantage of losing public park land.
Monica Van der Vieren also highlighted efforts to get the word out to the community about the planned construction, and to develop the project plan so that it best accommodated the needs of our community. The team has been planning, and doing outreach, on this since 2009, “but we know there will be people who don’t hear about it,” she acknowledged. The construction will affect right-of-way streets and have a big impact, as is to be expected of a, “massive construction in a very dense setting,” she explained.
The project will undergo environmental review this summer, although it is still to be determined if the project will get a ‘Determination Of Non-Significance’ (DNS) or need to do a full ‘Environmental Impact Statement’ (EIS.) For those who want to give input, including on the site to be chosen for staging – either park land or private – they can do so through the Environmental Review process, but also through letters sent to King County Councilmembers or by directly contacting Van der Vieren at email@example.com.
Brief Run-Through Of Parks & Playgrounds, the Zoo, and Stone34
The rest of the meeting covered the gamut, touching on several items briefly including:
Fremont Greenways – Without too much background, FNC Vice-President Stephanie Pure announced an introductory/informational meeting planned for July 24th on creating Greenways in Fremont. The meeting will take place at the Nickerson Street Saloon starting at 7:30p and everyone interested in learning more is encouraged to attend.
Ernst Park Addition – FNC President Matt Gasparich reported that he submitted an application to the Parks & Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund for $550,000 for the recently purchased Seattle Parks land adjacent to Ernst Park (a.k.a. Slippery Slope.) Gasparich said he submitted the application for money to realize a vision for the currently undeveloped plot of land. The FNC Board did do some brainstorming, but mostly agreed that public meetings are needed for coming up with a proposal for the property.
B.F. Day Playground Improvements Donation – At the May 2012 meeting, the FNC Board moved to give $5,000 towards Phase 1 construction of improvements to the public playground at B.F. Day Elementary School. As per its by-laws, the FNC Board must – on large expenditures – wait a month before taking a final vote. Board Member Erik Pihl reasserted that he saw this donation as a good fit with the intention of the funds held by the FNC, and appreciated how the Playground Improvement volunteers have leveraged this donation to help raise funds from other sources. The final vote passed, for the second time, unanimously.
Woodland Park Zoo lights – Gasparich also serves a liaison for the FNC to the Zoo, and he attended a meeting on a wintertime lighting festival tentatively being considered to increase interest and attendance at the Zoo at a time of the year when most people forget to visit. He reported that some immediate Zoo neighbors raised concerns about an increase in traffic/parking over a six-week winter light display, and the shift they saw from animals to an amusement park atmosphere. FNC Board members discussed the minor impact this would have on Fremont, but still agreed to ask the Zoo for a presentation.
Stone34 Goes To Seattle City Council – On July 9th, at 5:30p, a public hearing will be held before the City Council Planning, Land Use & Sustainability Committee on proposed amendments to the Living Building Pilot Program, which will impact the Stone34 development. Linda Mitchell asked the FNC Board for another letter of support for the development proposed at the foot of Stone Way, and to be built to meet some very high sustainability standards and increase public amenities in that area. The Board agreed to a motion for another letter of support.
Soon after these updates, the public portion of the meeting concluded. The Board had an Executive Session discussion planned to follow, on the roles of those serving on the Board.
To learn more about the FNC, consider attending the next monthly meeting – held on the fourth Monday of each month, except December, at 7p at Doric Lodge #92. The next meeting is scheduled for July 23rd.
Also, keep up with the work, and issues, of the FNC through its recently created website at www.fremontneighborhoodcouncil.org
- A Call For Community Feedback On Fremont Siphon
- by Kirby Lindsay, May 21, 2012
- FNC Highlight Reel: Of Public Art, Playgrounds & Land Use
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 4, 2012
- Fremont Fair Philanthropy 2012: Have Fun, Do Good
- by Kirby Lindsay, June 13, 2012
- A Community Builds A Playground, With School District Help
- by Kirby Lindsay, February 29, 2012
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.