Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – January 23, 2012
Board members present: Matt Gasparich, Elfreide Noble, Stephanie Pure, Norma Jones, Dic Selin, Toby Thaler, Shawn Mulanix, Linda Clifton, Judie Clarridge.
President Matt Gasparich opened the meeting.
- Community Workshop #2 for B.F. Day Playground Improvement Project, Thursday, February 2, 6 pm to 8 pm, B.F. Day Library.
- Chris Webb told Matt that the project to install plaques at historic sites in Fremont is gaining traction. Chris asked if he could state that the FNC endorses this project. The Board gave their approval.
- George Heideman notified the Board that he is resigning. He has been an active FNC Board member for 30 years. There was discussion about how to honor George for his years of community involvement.
- Kirby Lindsay shared information on upcoming events at B. F. Day:
– Open House and Family Dinner, Thursday, January 26th, 6 pm. Tours available. Open enrollment for the 2012-13 school year will be February 27th to March 9th.
– “Swellegant”, the PTSA annual fundraiser, on March 10th, 7 pm to 10 pm, at the Fremont Abbey. Child care will be provided.
- Early Design Review Board meeting, 4251 Aurora Avenue Apartments (Catholic Community Services), Monday, January 30th, 6:30 pm, Ballard High School Library.
Minutes: November minutes were approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Shawn presented the following report:
BECU checking: $ 2,426.98
BECU savings: 5.00
BECU money market: 26,000.00
Union Bank CD 36,257.57
46th St Mural Project: 1,249.00
Shawn reported that Andy Hayes has been paid $1,324.72 ($1,000 from the Boost Grant + $324.72 from the FNC) for his work on the new website.
As shown above, the FNC is no longer a customer of the Bank of America, where the FNC had had its account since 1981. Good timing to move the accounts because BofA is increasing its fees. The funds in the CD will be transferred to BECU when the CD reaches its maturity at Union Bank. The BECU account has the capability for online bill paying. It is easy to add and change the signers on the account.
MOTION: Stephanie moved that Matt be added as a signer on the account. Seconded and approved.
Toby reminded the Board about the settlement of the Transfer Station lawsuit. The City will provide $60,000 for projects to be built on public property and be for public benefit. Plans are that the funds be paid in two stages: $30,000 in early 2012 and $30,000 when the new transfer station opens. The FNC and the other plaintiffs are responsible for tracking the expenditures.
3400 STONE WAY PROJECT: Stephanie reported that she had mentioned to Erica Barnett, of Publicola, that the FNC had sent a letter to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development supporting the Skanska project
- TRANSPORTATION: Stephanie provided information on the impact of proposed transit changes to Fremont. Bus Route 5 will no longer go over the AuroraBridgeto downtown; the proposal is that it will go through downtown Fremontand across the FremontBridgeto downtown Seattle. Bus Routes 26/28 which currently go along Leary and N. 36th to downtown Fremont and across the Fremont Bridge would go eastbound on N. 39th and use the Aurora Bridge to downtown Seattle. There was discussion about how these changes will impact the commute time for Fremont residents.
There is an opportunity for public comment. The plan is for changes to be implemented in September 2012. There was discussion about inviting a representative from Metro to the February FNC meeting. Tim Durkan, Neighborhood District Coordinator, Department of Neighborhoods, offered to help in contacting Metro. There was a suggestion about including this topic on the agenda at the FNC’s annual General Meeting in April.
Metro should be encouraged to study the ridership numbers on the routes they are proposing to change. There was discussion that providing transit service between “upper” Fremontand the Fremontbusiness district near the bridge has been an ongoing FNC issue. It appears that the change to Route 5 would provide service between N. 34th to N. 43rd onFremont Avenue.
- PARKS: Dic plans to attend the February 2nd Community Workshop regarding the B.F. Day Playground Improvement project. He intends to coordinate with people working on the other two park-type projects in Fremont: B. F. Day Playground and Troll’s Knoll. Friends of Troll’s Knoll (contact: Kim Schrivner) has received a Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund grant to improve the area on either side of the Troll. Dic will be leading the effort to submit a FNC request in 2012 for funds to improve the Ernst Park expansion area. The requests for large grants ($100K and above) must be submitted by July 16th. Requests for smaller grants ($20K) have a deadline of March 12th.
- LAND USE: Toby reported that Erik Pihl is not at today’s Board meeting because he is attending a Design Review Board meeting concerning a project at 3635 Woodland Park Avenue North. The FNC has had a chronic problem with the DPD scheduling evening meetings on projects in Fremont on the 4th Monday of the month. Because that day conflicts with the FNC’s monthly meeting, Board members have to choose which meeting to attend. Toby reminded Shelley Bolser, Interim Design Review Manager, of this issue when notification of today’s meeting was received and asked that in the future Fremont issues be scheduled on their 2nd Monday meetings.
FIRE STATION: Toby shared a letter sent to Matt from Fred Podesta, Director, Department of Finance and Administrative Services, City ofSeattle. The letter advises that construction bids will be advertised soon for the Fire Station 9 project. Construction is to begin in the spring with completion planned for early 2013. During construction, the Fire Station will be housed in a temporary facility at3600 Interlake Ave., N. Podesta stated that the Annex building and its façade will be demolished. He noted that “citizen testimony was not heard at either Council meeting in favor of preserving the Annex façade”.
There was discussion about the testimony of FNC Board members on this subject at committee meetings earlier in the review process. The FNC’s position was that the Annex building should be preserved and incorporated into the project. When it was clear from the committee’s response that the Council would not approve preservation of the Annex, it seemed pointless to attend the Council meetings. Although there was discussion during the committee meetings about preserving just the façade of the Annex and moving it to another location inFremont, the FNC advocated for preserving the building itself. Toby will prepare a response to the letter and send it to Board members for review and approval.
BACKYARD COTTAGES: Neal Griffin contacted Matt regarding his concern about construction of small cottages in the backyard in the 3900 block of Linden. There was discussion that such “detached accessory dwelling units” are permitted in Seattle.
- AURORA REDEVELOPMENT: Linda raised the issue of long range planning regarding redevelopment on Aurora Avenue. The vacant hotels are being broken into and neighbors are concerned about fires. Catholic Community Services will be constructing a 71-unit building designed for single residents, not families. There was been discussion of possible “aPodment”, apartments less than 200 sq ft, being built. Metro’s RapidRide streamlined service will be implemented on Aurora in 2013. Should Fremont-area community groups work together to encourage positive development along Aurora? Matt said that he got an update from Dick Haugen on the Italia/Isabella property: They are looking at 3 proposals: aPodments, subsidized housing, and market-rate housing. There was discussion that there has been a stigma to developments with an Aurora address.
Dan Wise, Catholic Community Services, said that they share the safety concern of neighbors about the former Thunderbird Motel. They are requesting a permit to demolish the building in late February.
MOTION: Toby moved that the FNC send a letter encouraging the City to issue a demolition permit for the 4251 Auroraproject as soon as possible. Linda seconded the motion. It was passed.
Matt will work with Dan on the letter. There was also discussion about the Thunderbird Motel sign. Dan said that she has been contacted by several people about their interest in purchasing it. There was further discussion about long range planning and which local organizations could be interested parties. The UW’s Urban Design and PlanningSchoolcould be a resource.
- MEMBERSHIP: There was discussion about sending out renewal information. Norma suggested sending an email to the membership list asking that they renew online. If some do, it will mean that fewer membership letters have to be mailed. Matt will check the features of Mail Chimp. There needs to be a comprehensive list that includes those who renew online and those who mail in their renewal. There was discussion about the value of a one page FNC information sheet for publicity. Stephanie will contact a neighbor who may be interested in working on the sheet. Toby said it would be good to have the sheet available to be given out at precinct caucuses (Democratic: April 15; Republican: March 3).
- FNC WEBSITE: Matt said that all Board members need to learn how to update the content and then update the content regularly. Stephanie is going to contact the organization who hosted the old website to ask that contacts be redirected to the new website.
- 2012 FREMONT STREET FAIR: Toby said that the Fremont Historical Society is interested in sharing a booth with the FNC. It has been hard for the FNC to staff the booth in recent years and material has not been prepared to give out. Although it seems a shame for the FNC not to be represented at the Fair, presenting ourselves poorly does not reflect well on the FNC. Discussion that Fremont residents make up a small percentage of Fairgoers. Would participating at the Fremont Sunday Market be better? Consensus of the Board was that the FNC will not share a booth at the Street Fair this year.
Matt moved that the meeting be adjourned. Stephanie seconded the motion and it was passed.
The next meeting will be Monday, February 27, 2012.