Meeting Minutes – November 2011

Board members present: Matt Gasparich, Stephanie Pure, Norma Jones, Dic Selin, Toby Thaler, Elfreide Noble, Linda Clifton, Judie Clarridge.

President Matt Gasparich opened the meeting.

Announcements:

• Jessica Vets announced that the Lenin Lighting will begin at 5 pm on Friday, December 2nd. The Fremont Philharmonic will perform. The Lighting will kick off the Art Walk, held from 6 pm to 9 pm.
• Toby shared the initiative to legalize marijuana in Washington state.
• Skanska will have a gathering with Brooks employees at the Red Door on Wednesday evening as part of their welcome to Fremont.
• Charles Hadraan announced that there will be a community potluck and dance on January 7th with the Fremont Arts Council to be held at the Doric Lodge.

Minutes: October minutes were approved as corrected.

Treasurer’s Report: There was no treasurer’s report because Shawn was not able to attend the meeting. There was discussion about the status of moving the FNC accounts to BECU.

Old Business:

• 46th STREET MURAL: Linda provided an update that $480 had been spent from the designated 46th Street Mural money.

• 3400 STONE WAY PROJECT: Toby reported on the November 21st Design Review Board meeting at University Heights. He, Erik, Stephanie, and Linda attended. Toby discussed departures that the developer Skanska is requesting from zoning and other requirements in conjunction with the project being included in the Seattle Living Building Pilot Program; the program requires that buildings exceed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification criteria for operational efficiency and minimal environmental impact. The project is striving to dramatically reduce the use of outside utilities, i.e. water, electrical, etc. Copies of the “Early Design Guidance 2” were made available. One of the land use issues is that locations zoned as industrial allow for a building height of 45’. Approval to exceed that limit can be granted if the project is part of the pilot program. Skanska is asking for an additional 20 feet in height, however, the program allows for a maximum of 10 additional feet.

There have been concerns that the increase in height will impact the view corridor of Lake Union and will be inconsistent with the scale of adjacent buildings. The Guidance document provided simulation views of the proposed mass of the building in the context of the site and existing buildings.

Toby noted that the building will be located in Wallingford; however, it is in the southeast corner of the Fremont Urban Village. To date, no Fremont residents have raised a concern about the height. Should the FNC take a position on this issue? There will be a formal comment period later in the review process.

Stephanie expressed support for the environmentally responsible focus to the building. Linda noted that Skanska has been responsive to community concerns. There was also discussion about the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) consideration of amending the pilot program criteria to allow for a 20’ increase in height, as opposed to the current 10’ increase. The Wallingford Community Council submitted an appeal to the Hearings Examiner that the 3400 Stone Way project be addressed on its own merits rather than changing the program criteria.

MOTION: Matt moved that the Fremont Neighborhood Council submit a general letter of support of the project to the Seattle DPD. Dic seconded. The motion passed. Toby will draft the letter and email it to the Board for review and approval.

• TRAFFIC CALMING ON N. 39TH: Stephanie reported that the 30 mph speed limit sign has been moved further west of the intersection with Fremont Ave. The request to move the sign was based on concern that its proximity to the intersection increased the likelihood that motorists would overlook it.

Stephanie also mentioned that changes to bus routes that serve Fremont have been proposed. She will email information to the Board.

• HAZEL HEIGHTS P-PATCH: Toby provided an update on the status of the P-Patch, located in the 4200 block of Baker Ave., NW. Vicki Robinson, Hazel Heights Art and Signage Committee, brought a request to the board for $500 in support of a permanent sign for the main entrance to the community garden. She said that the choice of a mosaic project continued the theme of mosaic artwork seen at B.F. Day Elementary and other Fremont locations. The money will be used for classes for volunteers who will produce the sign and a mosaic border. Norma asked about what other efforts hade been made for donations. Toby responded that fundraising has been ongoing for the P-Patch resulting in over a hundred donors: who have made both monetary and in-kind donations in conjunction with the terracing, construction, and maintenance of the site.

MOTION: Stephanie moved that $500 be given to the Hazel Heights P-Patch for the production of a permanent sign and mosaic border. Linda seconded. The motion passed. Toby abstained.

• ERNST PARK: Matt reported that he has been in communication with Chip Nevins, Acquisition Planner, Seattle Parks and Recreation, regarding the status of the Ernst Park expansion project. Chip responded that there has been no request for funding (through 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund) for the project, but said that there will be an opportunity to submit requests in 2012. Matt expressed appreciation that Dic has agreed to be the lead for this effort. Dic hopes to incorporate enhancements to the existing park in the request.

• FREMONT CLEAN-UP: Dic reported that Norma, Shawn, and Matt collected 5 bags of litter along Fremont Avenue on October 29th; and the City picked up the bags. It was noted that had there been more volunteers, more bags could have been filled.

New Business:

• ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW FNC WEBSITE: Linda introduced Andy Hayes, of Hayes Media Group, who contracted with the FNC to design and establish a new website: www.fremontneighborhoodcouncil.org. This project utilized money from the Boost Grant. Andy gave an overview of the site. It uses WordPress, a widely used and low maintenance tool. It includes an event calendar, google map, posting of articles on neighborhood issues, a blog comment feature, the ability to receive the payment of dues, etc. The site will only be effective if it is updated with current information. Andy is providing training to Board members on December 7th from 6 pm to 9 pm on skills needed to post, edit, etc.

One issue has been the transfer of old material, i.e. past minutes, from the former Seattle Community Network site. Andy has not been able to gain access to the site to do that. Norma said that the person who worked on the old site may be able to help.

MOTION: Matt moved that up to $100 be authorized to cover: (1) extracting the content from the old site and migrating it to the new site, and (2) closing out the old website. Stephanie seconded. The motion passed.

There was discussion about including photos on the site. In response to questions about how interested people could ask questions regarding specific issues, Andy responded that the site can direct questions to specific Board members. For example, if a person chose “Land Use” from a list of topics, the email she/he submitted would be directed to Toby.

Linda noted that the FNC contract with Andy provides for him to response to questions and resolve issues for 30 days after December 15th. She said that Andy had been great to work with.

• DUES RENEWAL: In the past, letters have been sent to members of the FNC in January advising that their annual membership was due for renewal. There was discussion about the content of the 2012 letter and the ability of members to choose to renew and pay online or to mail a paper form with their check.

Toby moved that the meeting be adjourned. Motion was seconded and passed.

There will be no meeting in December. The next meeting will be Monday, January 22, 2012.