Meeting Minutes – September 2013

Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – September 23, 2013

Board members present:  Stephanie Pure, Elfreide Noble, Toby Thaler, Matt Gasparich, Norma Jones, Kevin McClain, Shawn Mulanix, Linda Clifton, Judie Clarridge.

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

  • Karen Ko, Area Coordinator forFremont, Department of Neighborhoods, introduced herself.
  • There will be a North Seattle Candidate Forum and Debate on October 16th at Lincoln School sponsored by local Chambers of Commerce and Neighborhood organizations.  The FNC will participate in, and publicize, the event.  There is an opportunity to participate in forming the questions to be asked of the mayoral and city council candidates.  Dave Thompson volunteered.
  • Linda announced that the monthly Fremont and Wallingford Safety Meeting will be on September 26th and will focus on personal safety in a retail environment.  The speakers will be Dwayne Stone from the Community Psychiatric Clinic and representatives from the Seattle Police Department.
  • Stephanie announced that Peter Toms, President, Fremont Arts Council, let her know that he would be unable to meet with us tonight.  He will be scheduled for a meeting in the future.
  • Matt updated on the Traffic Signal Boxes project:  SDOT asked Urban Artworks to re-submit their design.  SDOT has not yet issued the permit to allow the work to begin.
  • Matt said that although Chase Bank has been in communication with him regarding the re-installation of an awning / steel frame marquee on theMcKenzieBuilding, the building owners, who live outside the area, have been unresponsive.  Efforts continue to try to find someone to approach the owners.

Pedestrian Safety:  Crosswalk at Stone Way and N. 41st – Heather McAuliffe

Heather spoke about visibility problems (tree foliage, insufficient signage) with the marked crosswalk on Stone Wayat N. 41st, particularly for school children.  In 2005, Dominick May-Douglass was struck while walking in this crosswalk and suffered a traumatic brain injury.  The intersection is frequently used by children from Fremont who cross the N. 41st footbridge over Aurora on their way to Hamilton Middle School which is also on N. 41st.   She contacted SDOT’s Safe Routes to Schools but was told that the program only funded locations near elementary schools.  She noted that the Greenways crossing two blocks north onStone Way has a traffic island and better signage but that location is too far out of the way for the kids to use.

Heather asked the FNC to send a letter to SDOT asking that improvements be made to make pedestrians more visible at this intersection.   Stephanie asked that she draft the letter.  Toby offered to contact the other plaintiffs in the Transfer Station settlement about using some of the money to improve the intersection.

Light Rail Study:   An FNC workgroup drafted a letter to Sound Transit and SDOT with recommendations regarding improved service to NW Seattle.  To Sound Transit: (1) lines should be built in completely exclusive right of way, (2) improve access to Fremont, (3) facilitate access from north of the Canal to Queen Anne, (4) integrate with existing and planned land use: light rail service to high density neighborhoods: Fremont, south Lake Union and Queen Anne, and (5) consider automating lines with exclusive right of way.

To SDOT: (1) ensure that any streetcar operates in its own lane as much as possible, (2) coordinate between light rail and street cars to avoid duplication, i.e. if Sound Transit’s light rail long range east-west plan connects Fremont to Ballard, streetcars would be duplicative, (3) any crossing of the Ship Canal should be in the vicinity of the Fremont/Aurora bridges, not further west, and (4) assure connectivity between lower and upper Fremont.

Norma made a motion to approve the letter.  Shawn seconded.  The motion passed.   

Fremont Neighborhood Plan Workshop:   There has been discussion about the Board and others becoming more knowledgeable about the Fremont Neighborhood Plan, dated May 1999.  Linda talked about the value in understanding what Fremont said we wanted the neighborhood to be.   The neighborhood is experiencing another period of residential and commercial growth.  Should the plan be updated?  What is the City doing regarding growth management?  The Board will have a workshop on Monday, October 21st at 7 pm.

Membership Drive:  Stephanie led a discussion that generated these ideas:

  • The practice has been to send out renewal letters in January.  The membership drive could start in the fall and continue to January for the year 2014.
  • The online membership drive could begin in the fall, but hold the mailing until January because the 2013 membership drive occurred well into 2013.
  • Mail an FNC newsletter that offered incentives for renewing memberships before the end of 2013.
  • Create a handout to leave with business owners to share with their customers.  We could sell the concept of the FNC being a problem solver.
  • It is best to have the membership renewal activity early in 2014.  This year, membership renewals were still coming in as the transition in the Treasurer position was occurring.
  • We want to increase membership because we: need more volunteers, want to reach out to renters, and want to be sure that residents throughoutFremontare aware of the FNC.
  • Develop a business card with generic information about the FNC.  Dave Scudder, who designed the FNC logo, would help with the design.
  • Matt offered the use of his office equipment for mailings.
  • MLK National Day of Service in January 2013 drew a large attendance inFremont.  Could give out information on the FNC toFremontresidents who attend in 2014.

Committee Reports:

Land Use:  Toby reported that the committee has been busy preparing the FNC’s letter regarding the Light Rail Study.  He will be preparing for the Fremont Plan(ning) Workshop on the 21st.

Lake Union District Council (LUDC):  Ralph Weathers reported on the September 9th meeting.  City Council member Tim Burgess spoke about the upcoming budget meeting.  The Mayor’s total proposed 2014 budget is $4 billion, including $1 billion for the General Fund.  The LUDC chair asks FNC members what they would like to see happen with the Budget and the General Fund and what the strategy is on dealing with it, fromFremont’s perspective.

The City has recommended a new location for the SPD’s North Police Precinct:  the southeast corner of Aurora Ave. N.and N. 130th Street.  There will be an opportunity for public comment.  In the face of proposed new regulations, there is a need to support Lake Union’s houseboats.  There was discussion about the difference between houseboats, barges, and floating homes.  History House received a grant for $510 that was used to purchase a new projector and other supplies.  The deadline for Small and Simple Grants is October 7th.

Karen Ko, City Department of Neighborhoods, said that funds (up to $1,000) from the Small Sparks Fund can be requested year round.  There is a fast turnaround for notifying applicants if they have been approved.

Treasurer’s Report:  Kevin reported that $2,000 was sent to Urban Artworks for the Traffic Signal Box project.

BECU checking                     $   2,396.48                              Committed Funds:

Paypal                                            531.99

BECU Money Market               56,117.93                              46th Street Mural                     $    566.39

BECU Savings                                   5.00

Total:                                      $ 59,051.40

Minutes:  The August minutes were reviewed.  A motion to approve the minutes, including Linda’s submission, was made, seconded and approved.

Meeting adjourned.  The next meeting will be Monday, October 28, 2013.