by Kirby Lindsay, posted 23 July 2012
Shakespeare gave audiences a ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ but the Fremont Neighborhood Council (FNC,) at its July 23rd monthly Board meeting, did a midsummer evening clean-up of pending projects, maintenance issues, and proposed plans for the future.
Recap Of The Siphon Replacement Project
After introductions, announcements (including clarifying the regular and decaf coffee options,) minutes and a treasurer’s report, FNC President Matt Gasparich quickly ran through updates on recent reports made to the organization by guest speakers including the B.F. Day Playground Improvement Project and the Stone34 development. The Fremont Siphon Replacement Project FNC Vice-President Stephanie Pure described as a “gargantuan project,” based on the presentation made in June, and the Board agreed that it needed to request further updates on the planning of the replacement.
The FNC discussed, briefly, the recommendation by the King County Wastewater Division to place the new accesses to the siphon tunnels on private property where an industrial/retail business currently operates. The other option presented was using some of the adjacent public park land. Pure asked if the FNC would take an official opinion, but the Board did not. Board Member Judie Clarridge asked if the Fremont Chamber of Commerce Board had taken a position, and it has – in support of the private property owner. FNC Land Use Committee Chairperson Toby Thaler did not voice an opinion either way, but he did voice his strong opinion that, “our position has to be to mitigate the impacts,” of this project.
Ernst Park Addition Delay
Gasparich reported on the stumbling block now set in his path to progress on development of the Seattle Parks land beside Ernst Park (a.k.a. Slippery Slope.) He applied for an Opportunity Fund grant, in the amount of $550,000, but received a letter stating the project would be disqualified as the Seattle Parks & Recreation Department will only accept projects, currently, that have an operating funds source attached – a way to pay for maintenance – even though this would be the only Fremont project to apply for the fund in this cycle.
Gasparich talked with a Parks representative and told him about the cars currently parking on the property – and suggested this could be a temporary funding source. The representative suggested Gasparich try selling this idea to upper Department management, but Gasparich wanted the FNC Board approval before pursuing this project farther.
The Board agreed that the parking could provide short-term funding, particularly as the cars currently park free of charge. The Board considered applying for a Department of Neighborhoods Small & Simple grant for planning of the park in general, and an application for the Opportunity Fund.
Gasparich noted that the Small & Simple requires someone to lead the project, while the Opportunity Fund, he’d hoped, would put development back in the hands of the Parks Department. Gasparich has led this project lately, but he doesn’t want the full responsibility. A call for volunteers to serve on a committee was suggested, for the FNC website and Facebook page.
Ultimately, the Board supported Gasparich’s efforts to explore the options, and agreed to postpone a meeting once tentatively planned for discussion of the development of the Ernst Park extension at Ernst Park.
Maintenance & Committee (Land Use) Report
The Board then ran through discussions of purchase of an A-frame (sandwich board) sign, updates of the membership list (with Treasurer Shawn Mulanix agreeing to do the work, once,) and renewal of the mailbox (with Pure agreeing to retrieve the mail for the foreseeable future.)
At time for committee reports, Land Use went first with a further report on the Stone34 project. Chairperson Thaler and Board Member Linda Clifton attended the Seattle City Council public hearing on July 9th, on amendments to the Living Building Pilot Program that Skanska has proposed to build Stone34 under. Thaler told the Board that in supporting this development, the organization has, “aligned us against a few residents of Wallingford who hate this project.” He said that support has aligned the FNC with several environmental and sustainability groups.
Thaler also said that he sent his own letter on this project to the City Council, detailing the history of zoning in this area – proving that the property should actually be zoned at 65’ height. He plans to attend the full Council vote, on Monday, July 30th, at 2p, and see how they decide.
Clifton stirred a hornet’s nest when she initiated discussion of transportation hang-ups due to new bus only lanes being installed. With Transportation Committee Chair Erik Pihl absent, Clifton brought up recent evening back-ups on Aurora Avenue – particularly on game nights – that have become noticeably worse since installation of the BAT lane.
Jenny Frankl, City of Seattle Neighborhood District Coordinator, took notes and agreed to find someone that could possibly answer questions the Board raised about traffic flow on Aurora, and the plan for the bus only lane on N 46th Street. The lines drawn on that street, east of Aurora, have many drivers confused in an already tricky area. Clifton asked for information about outreach, and coordination of these changes with construction projects, like the one on Aurora near Denny.
The FNC midsummer meeting adjourned shortly after Clarridge promoted the Night Out Against Crime, on August 7th. She encouraged block party organizers to register on the Seattle Police Department website, and to check the options for allowing community organizations, political candidates, and/or the general public to know about the party.
To find out more about the FNC, and the issues it will face as summer gives way to fall, attend the next public Board meeting. The meetings take place on the fourth Monday of each month, at 7p, at Doric Lodge #92. Come join in, and give your feedback, on August 27th!
- FNC Highlight Reel: Information Shared On A Siphon, And Other Opportunities
- by Kirby Lindsay, July 2, 2012
- A Call For Community Feedback On Fremont Siphon
- by Kirby Lindsay, May 21, 2012
- (news item) Crucial Public Hearing To Be Held Regarding Stone34 Hearing
- by Kirby Lindsay, July 4, 2012
- FCC Highlight Reel: Discussions On Everything From Membership To Whiffle Ball
- by Kirby Lindsay, July 4, 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.