Board members present: Matt Gasparich, Norma Jones, Dic Selin, Toby Thaler, Erik Pihl, Elfreide Noble, Linda Clifton, Judie Clarridge.
President Matt Gasparich opened the meeting.
Trick or Treat in Fremont
Monday, October 31, 3 pm to 6 pm
Participating businesses in downtown, upper, and west Fremont
Treasurer’s Report: There was no treasurer’s report because Shawn was not able to attend the meeting.
Guests regarding the 3400 Stone Way Project – Lisa Picard, Dan Matheson, Murphy McCullagh, Linda Mitchell
Lisa is an Executive Vice President, Skanska USA Commercial Development. Skanska is the developer of the 3400 Stone Way project. Lisa has lived in the Green Lake and Fremont areas for 14 years.
- Skanska is an international project development and construction company. Founded in Sweden, it has projects throughout the US.
- Skanska does not arrange loans for its construction projects; it is able to self-finance them.
- It has a commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of its projects. At the 3400 Stone Way location, they are looking to bring heightened environmental practices to a wider range of the commercial market.
- They are very pleased that Brooks Sports is interested in leasing space in the building to house its global headquarters which is currently in Bothell. Brooks, which sells performance running shoes and apparel, has been named by Outside magazine as one of the top 10 employers in the country. The 3400 Stone Way site, across the street from the Burke-Gilman Trail, is ideal for Brooks. They plan to use the first floor of the building for their first retail store and envision that many of the people coming to the building will arrive by bike. Their goal is that Brooks will occupy the building in late 2013.
- Skanska is seeking to be included in the City of Seattle’s Living Building pilot program. The program allows departures from standard building codes for projects which meet ultra-green standards for reduced electricity and water usage. Lisa spoke about designing higher windows that allow more natural light deeper into the building.
- They are planning to create a large plaza area at the corner of Stone Way and N. 34th which will reduce the building’s footprint on the property. They are seeking approval to allow the building to exceed the zoning height limit of 45’ in order to regain the square footage lost to the plaza. They are requesting a 65’ height to the building with the mechanical equipment reaching 75’. They are planning to place the mechanical equipment in the center of the building so that it will be not visible from the street level.
- They have been gathering community input regarding the project, including meeting with the Wallingford Community Council’s Land Use committee. Skanska understands the importance of maintaining the view corridor to Lake Union seen while traveling south on Stone Way and from the neighborhood in general.
Questions were asked regarding the impact of the building to parking in the neighborhood. Lisa responded that there will be 250 parking stalls. Currently, 20% of the workforce in Bothell use alternate means of transportation to work (carpooling, bus, bike, etc.). They plan to include showers and lockers in the 3400 Stone Way building to encourage employees to bike to work. They also anticipate an increase in Metro service in the area.
Skanska will make a presentation to the Technical Committee of the Design Review Board on November 21.
Jessica Vets, Executive Director, Fremont Chamber of Commerce, noted that the Chamber supports the project.
Erik raised concern about the height of the building and its potential to block views from the residential areas in Fremont and Wallingford. Also, relayed that neighbors have expressed concern that the scale of the building is not appropriate to neighboring buildings.
Lee Raaen, Wallingford Community Council, stated that the WCC is pleased about Skanska’s environmental focus and the lease with Brooks Sports. However, the WCC is concerned about the City’s amendment to the ordinance regarding height limits. The Living Building program allows for a 10’ increase from 45’ to 55’. The amendment includes an exception for the 3400 Stone Way site alone that would allow an additional 10’ so that the building could reach 65’ in height. The WCC learned of the Department of Planning and Development’s SEPA Determination of Non-Significance the evening before the deadline for filing an appeal. They were concerned that the environmental checklist was not being addressed and felt that the increase in height was being treated as a “done deal”. Because they believed that the appropriate process should have been followed, they filed the appeal.
Questions were raised regarding the impact to parking that construction workers would have. The response was that the Living Building provisions include requirements for reduced impact to on-street parking not only by employees but during building construction.
Toby spoke about the bowl-like topography of the area with the decrease in elevation as Stone Way goes from N. 45th to Lake Union. For upcoming meetings he suggested that it would be helpful if Skanska prepared a simulation that showed the proposed building in relation to the topography. This would help everyone better visualize the scale of the building in relation to other buildings in the area, and the impact of the building on the view corridor and on the views from the generally higher elevated residential areas.
Families and Education Levy:
After a presentation on the provisions of the Families and Education Levy which will be on the November 8th ballot, Linda made a motion that the Council endorse the levy. Erik seconded. The motion was passed.
- BOOST GRANT: Linda expressed appreciation to Toby, Shawn, and Matt for participating in the interview with Andy Hayes. Those who have participated in the selection process believe that Andy is the best candidate for designing a new FNC website. Linda shared the draft Letter of Agreement between the Council and the Hayes Media Group. It outlines the requirements and deliverables for this project. A “near final” set of deliverables will be presented at the November 28th meeting with email-based support to continue through December 28, 2011. Linda made a motion to approve the Letter of Agreement. Erik seconded. The motion passed.
- LAKE UNION DISTRICT COUNCIL: Dic reported that the Council discussed the restructuring of the Department of Neighborhoods and the reduction in the number of Neighborhood Centers. Fremont’s Center has been closed. Tim Durkan who served in Fremont is now on the Central Region Team of Neighborhood District Coordinators, located at 23rd and Jackson.
- ADOPT-A-STREET CLEAN UP DAY: Dic reminded everyone that the clean up will be held on Saturday, October 29th. Volunteers will meet at the power house and pick up litter along Fremont Ave. N. An email notice will be sent to the membership and information posted on Facebook.
- Toby stated that county and state redistricting plans, necessitated by population figures from the 2010 census, are progressing. It appears that Fremont will be in the County district represented by Larry Phillips. The state legislature has two proposed maps: one prepared by Republicans, the other by Democrats. The Democrats’ proposal places all of Fremont in the 43rd District. In recent years, Fremont has been split between two Districts: the area west of Palatine Avenue is part of the 36th District; from Greenwood Avenue east is in the 43rd.
Past minutes: Matt brought copies of the minutes from the April, June, July, August, and September meetings. They were reviewed and approved by the Council.
Matt introduced Lee Raaen, President, Wallingford Community Council, and said that he was glad that Lee could attend the meeting. Lee said that he welcomes working with the Fremont Neighborhood Council, noting that there are many issues that impact both neighborhoods. He said that the WCC has changed its focus and is more involved in land use issues such as the transit station, the 3400 Stone Way project, etc. Matt and Lee are going to work to ensure that the FNC and WCC communicate regularly.
Next meeting will be Monday, November 28, 2011.