Neighborhood news and support for issues for Fremont residents

Meeting Minutes – October 25, 2004

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:  Benjamin Grossman, Julia DeBroux, Alan Younker, Norma Jones, April Thanos, Vafa Ghazi, Toby Thaler, Jenny Eichwald, Dic Selin, George Heideman. 

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Board member introductions.  The Fremont Public Association Art Auction will be held on November 5th from 6:30 pm-10:00 pm at the Scottish Rite Temple.  There will be a City sponsored clean-up inFremont on November 20th from 9:00 am to noon.  Items that need attention can be provided to Antoinette Meyer, Lake Union District Council Coordinator.  The next meeting of the LUDC will be at 6:00 pm on November 1st at History House.  Transportation and transit issues will be on the agenda.  Bust stop trash and upkeep have been mentioned as needing attention.  There will be a Salmon Recovery Session on October 28th from Noon to 1:30 pm in City Council Chambers.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  April Thanos provided the following information for inclusion in the minutes:

$   1,794.21         Checking

$     216.10           Savings

$29,478.74          CD1

$26,571.62          MM

Total assets:        $58,060.67

CHHIP disbursements ;

$             2,533.50

MINUTES:  The September 2004 minutes were approved as corrected. 


LIQUOR RELATED ISSUES:  Vafa Ghazi reported that the FNC last talked at length about this issue in April.  Two items emerged from that meeting: 1) We would seek to get bar owners in the area to sign Good Neighbor Agreements with the City; and 2) The bar owners would hire off-duty police to patrol during the busiest times on Thursday through Saturday nights.  There have been meetings among the bar owners, but no progress.  Off-duty patrols are not a FNC function.  The same problems continue to exist and include noise, broken glass, public urination, and others.  There has been no formal response to the March, 2004 letter to the Chamber of Commerce.  Follow-up ended in deadlock for the Liquor Committee. It was left up to the bar owners to take the actions they said they would take, but that did not happen.

The Ballroom license is up for renewal in December, and the FNC may want to comment on the renewal.  This could draw greater attention to the problem.  Usually liquor license renewals are received by the LUDC office, but the Ballroom renewal did not go through LUDC.  There is a need to object to the Ballroom renewal due to no action taken to date, and a conviction that attention and action is needed.  It was agreed that we would write a letter concerning the problems at the Ballroom and the fact that there has been no process improvement after many meetings.  The letter will be sent to the Liquor Control Board with a cc to the City Council, City Attorney, and Seattle Police contact for this activity.

Spokesmen from the Ballroom said they have been unable to get participation from other bar owners in the area on solving these problems.  They cannot dictate conditions of operation or force change in the mode of business at the Ballroom.  They are trying to get the other bar owners to cooperate. They proposed that the bars pay for off-duty police on a square-footage basis.  They know they are the most visible bar on the street.  The Ballroom is going to sign a Good Neighbor Agreement.  Their attorney is currently talking to the City Attorney.

Businesses people think should be helping to solve problems and pay for off-duty police include the Dubliner, El Camino, Red Door, Norms, Toast, G&D, Triangle, Dad Watson’s, Nectar, Browers, and Sweet.  The spokesperson for Nectar wants the proposed letter to include what the FNC wants as an outcome.

Motion and second that Toby Thaler, April Thanos, and Vafa Ghazi draft a letter and receive comments from the Board before the letter is sent.  The letter will be finalized at the November 22nd FNC meeting.  Passed.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING:  A committee meeting was held.  They looked at affordable condos, but insurance could be a problem.  Insurance on a home ownership option has a minimum of $250,000, which adds to the price of each unit.  If there are 25 units, that is $10,000 per unit.  They decided to pursue lower income housing due to funding problems for affordable housing.  Affordable housing means below 80% of median income.  The emphasis now is on housing for people below 30% of median income.  For our project it means it would be structured for lower income levels.  Our project has 19 units and needs to compete for credits.  This would mean 8 units below 30% of median, 6 units below 40%, and 5 below 60% of median income.  Of the 8 units below 30% of median, four would be for people with disabilities.  Four of the units could be targeted at the Gates Foundation program for women and children who have been homeless.

CHHIP needs to compete for points in January, so the timing is more difficult than they thought.  The project is not seen as an emergency because the site is not going away.  It will take time.  CHHIP has it under contract now, and can probably extend indefinitely.  What works for CHHIP is what works for the neighborhood.  How to finance and design are two parts of the project.  Neighbors are concerned about changes due to the changed options. Some neighbors suggested that CHHIP and the FNC need to speak to the residents of the neighborhood.  There was a suggestion that an informational mailing on the current status of the project be sent to several blocks in the immediate vicinity.


RPZ- The next meeting is on November 10th at Fremont Community Church at 7:00 pm.  The Design Committee was finalized with 18 members.  Some new businesses were added to the committee, but no new residents.  They are collecting data on what people want for the restrictions.  Recommendations will go to the City, with a 60% agreement needed on each block.

Transfer Station:  There is a long history dating to the 1960’s with the City looking for a transfer station location.  The current location caused a land use hassle.  The transfer station has been there 40 years, and has come to the end of its useful life.  They want to update the Solid Waste Facilities Master Plan.  The question is if it should be reconfigured on the current site, enlarged, or sent to another site.  They are supposed to consider all options, but the only option currently in the pan is to enlarge the current site.  The decision making seems to be predetermined.  Toby Thaler circulated a draft letter to the Seattle Public Utilities.  Motion and second to send the letter adding a cc to Councilman Compton and Chuck Clark.  Passed.

Meeting adjourned.

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