Meeting Minutes – March 2016

Fremont Neighborhood Council Board Meeting – March 28, 2016

Board members present:  Stephanie Pure, Linda Clifton, Shawn Mulanix, Erik Pihl, Jim Engelhardt, Toby Thaler, Elfriede Noble, Norma Jones, Judie Clarridge.

Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:

  • Stephanie introduced Josue Blanco, who has volunteered to work on the FNC website. The transition from the original theme to the current theme (necessitated to protect against constant hacking) means that the website looks different.
  • Neighborhood Expo on Wednesday, April 6, at Fremont Studios. Toby will check on sharing a table and will coordinate on handouts. Toby, Jim, Judie, and Linda offered to staff it.
  • Norma announced that Patrick Place is interested in partnering with the FNC on another Clean Up.

MOTION:  Norma moved that the FNC lend its name to the publicity and volunteer to participate in the event.  Also, that up to $50 be approved to spend on refreshments, etc. for the volunteers.  Judie seconded.  The motion passed.

  • Troll’s Knoll Park: The P Patch will be requesting $150 from the FNC to be used to create an accessible planting bed.
  • Kirby Laney shared that the Ship Canal Water Quality Project will be drilling under Fremont Place North for 4 or 5 days next week in order to take core samples in preparation for the construction of the Stormwater Overflow Storage Tunnel.

Guest Speaker – City Councilmember, Rob Johnson, District 4

Rob lives in Ravenna and has been on the job for 12 weeks.  He is a transit advocate.  He chairs the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee and is vice-chair of Sustainability and Transportation. He is a Sound Transit Board member and is also interested in issues, such as the school district, that impact kids.  He wants Seattle to be a family friendly city.

Discussion:

  • Elfriede raised the need for bus service from upper Fremont to the bridge. There is no bus service on Fremont Avenue south of N. 39th, which is a steep hill. Rob responded that there is a need for new bus routes and for more buses to serve overcrowded routes.
  • Sound Transit 3 will be on the ballot this November. Includes projects in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties. Funding is proposed to include property tax, sales and motor vehicle excise tax. There are concerns that the plan anticipates that it will take 25 years to implement all of the projects.
  • Affordable Housing Levy is on the ballot in August. Neighborhoods need to have more affordable housing. The City is working on more 24 hour shelters to serve people who work shiftwork. Also, talking with churches that may want to include affordable apartments in their buildings. Issue was raised about using City Light surplus property for affordable housing and that all City surplus property should be inventoried and assessed for use as affordable housing.
  • Taxation: luxury taxes are a source of revenue.  Rob supports progressive taxation.
  • Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA): Discussion that if developers are being allowed to increase their buildings by one story, having to set aside only 5% of the units is not a good deal for the city.  Rob opposes allowing developers to pay a fee in lieu of including affordable units in the building itself.  He supports affordable housing throughout the neighborhoods in the city.  Concerns were raised about provisions in HALA that reduce neighborhood input into the Design Review process.  Also, concerns about the impact on current single family zoning.  Allowing tall buildings next to houses significantly reduces sunlight in the houses; residents want input into the design. Rob wants to hear what neighborhoods want and what their priorities are.

Ernst Park Addition and Troll’s Knoll Park Updates – Jay Rood and Karimah Edwards, SPR

The landscape architecture firm, SiteWorkshop, has been chosen for the Ernst Park Addition. $455,000 has been allocated for construction. Nothing is off the table; work could include re-energizing Ernst Park.  A survey is open for public input regarding features that would improve enjoyment of the park. SPR will also gather input at the Fremont Sunday Market on May 29th.  There were   comments about whether the adjacent alleyway may have historical significance and that the park serves as a corridor between N. 34th and N. 35th.

The name “Troll’s Knoll” is not official.  Opening ceremony is being planned.  P Patch garden work continues.

HALA Follow-up – Linda Clifton and Jenny Brailey

Linda and Jenny reported that residents now in the Wallingford Urban Village were never made aware of the impact of designating that area as an Urban Village, and will now be affected by the proposed zoning changes. They include residents between Aurora and Stone Way which fall within the boundaries of Fremont.  Residents of the rest of Fremont also would benefit from being alerted to the proposed changes under HALA and Seattle 2035. Linda and Jenny propose to do a mailing to inform residents. The cost of the mailing to the 3,213 households and businesses in Fremont would be $2,703 ($255 for design + $2,448 for printing/mailing/postage) for an 8.5” x 11” color flyer, folded; and $2,233 for a 6.5” x 11” postcard.

Toby has been selected to be on a HALA focus group.  He wants to reach out to everyone in Fremont who applied to be on a focus group.  There was discussion about holding Land Use meetings that would focus on HALA, possibly starting April 4th from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.   Also, discussion about the variety of opinions on HALA.  There are 65 components in HALA, many of which are largely agreed upon.  It is a small number that are the focus of controversy.  There was discussion that any mailing from the FNC should be neutral.

MOTION:  Erik moved that the full amount [$2,958:  $2,703 plus $255] for the mailing be authorized.   Toby seconded and added that a small workgroup would draft the content and send it to the board.  A public meeting could be planned for the middle of May.

Erik, Toby, and Linda volunteered to work on this issue.

Other Business:

Jim reported that the FNC has an invoice for $4,000 from Urban Artworks for Utility Boxes but the board authorized $3,000.   An explanation of the invoice is needed.  No action was taken.

Judie and Jim reported that the Fremont Historical Society requested a grant from 4Culture for improvements to the FHS website.  If they are awarded a grant, they will ask the FNC to serve as a fiscal sponsor: receiving money from 4Culture and paying for the development of the website.  No action was needed.

Treasurer’s Report:

Jim reported that $143.59 was paid to the city for the annual fee for the artwork on the traffic signal boxes.  The following are the current balances in the FNC’s accounts:

 

Verity Checking:                     $   1,051.70

Verity Money Market:              56,536.23

PayPal                                               249.64

46th Street Mural:                  $        71.39

 

Included is $1,249.59 in dues/donations received in 2016:  $820.59 through PayPal; $429.00 by check.

Minutes:   The February 2016 minutes were reviewed and approved as presented.

The meeting was adjourned.  The Annual General Meeting will be Monday, April 25, 2016.