Fremont Neighborhood Council Board Meeting – February 22, 2016
Board members present: Stephanie Pure, Linda Clifton, Shawn Mulanix, Erik Pihl, Viet Nguyen, Jim Engelhardt, Toby Thaler, Elfriede Noble, Norma Jones, Matt Gasparich, Judie Clarridge.
Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:
- There will be a drilling rig in Fremont as part of the preparation for the Fremont Ship Canal Water Quality project.
- It looks like the Monkey Puzzle tree at 4106 Linden Ave. N. may be saved.
Special Guest – King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles
Jeanne represented the 36th Legislative District in the Washington State House of Representatives for two years and the Senate for 21 years before being elected last fall to the King County Council, District 4. She noted that many constituents come to see her and few lobbyists. It was just the opposite in Olympia. She will chair the Health, Housing and Human Services Committee and the Regional Water Quality Committee. She will also be a member of the Law and Justice Committee; the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee; and the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. She will also represent the County on the Board of Health, 4Culture, Woodland Park Zoo, Puget Sound Regional Council, and others. She noted that the County’s jurisdiction regarding affordable housing is unincorporated King County. She also talked about film productions (TV, film, commercials) and the problem that many have moved to British Columbia. She supports an increase in film incentives. She also mentioned that 70% of the General Fund goes to justice and safety.
Woodland Park Zoo – David Shaefer, Public Affairs and Communications
David Shaefer spoke about the Zoo’s interest in gathering feedback on the use of the 3.4 acres which had been the elephant exhibit area. The plan is to use that space for animals from Asia. There is an online survey (www.zoo.org/feedback) which presents 3 options: (1) more than one species in the exhibit. Visitors will see interaction in social groupings, (2) a diversity of animals, some are more endangered than others, and (3) animals with the highest need for preservation. The zoo will also be asking for input from Seattle residents who are from the country whose animals will be in the exhibit.
Discussion: Request that the habitat not be overcrowded. People like tortoises and walk-in/through aviaries. They like a path that would go through the area so you could see animals closer, not just from the periphery. Where do visitors come from? Seattle, King and Snohomish Counties, British Columbia. When will the new exhibit be built? 2019-2020. David also said that they plan to reopen the nocturnal exhibit in 2018. A butterfly exhibit is also coming. The City owns the property and the buildings but the zoo has to raise money for new exhibits, etc.
Parking at the zoo: 160 surface spaces were added last year. For staff: more bike space has been added and showers. Stephanie commented that Metro has changed its policy to allow small children to stay in strollers on buses. That may make taking the bus more appealing to parents. Zoo Lights turned out well; 85,000 visitors. Phinney businesses supported it with monkey signs in windows. They drew a diversity of visitors this year including young adults.
King County Waste Water Treatment – Doug Marsano
The Fremont Siphon serves sewer and storm water from a 60 square mile area. The Siphon enables the wastewater to pass under the Ship Canal on its way to the Discovery Park treatment plant. There are 5 treatment plants in King County; the one at Discovery Park is the largest. The new siphon will be west of the existing siphon. The Siphon Replacement project cleared the Fremont site, south of Fleur de Lis, in 2015 when the Praxair building was demolished. The tunnel shaft is 90’ underground in Fremont; 80’ down on the Queen Anne side. The new 9’ pipe will be made of fiberglass. After the siphon is completed and the pipes connected, the next step is the construction of a maintenance building on ground level. It was necessary to remove 20 trees in the course of the project; 40 new trees will be planted. It is envisioned that the project will be completed in the spring/summer 2017.
- Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA): Included are proposed changes to the land use code that would enable apartment developers to be approved for an additional story for their projects in exchange for either (1) setting aside 5% of their apartments (5% of square footage or 5% of the units is unclear) or (2) paying a fee that would be used to build affordable housing somewhere in the city. All single family housing would be eliminated in urban villages. Both Toby and Erik are applying to participate in a focus group on this issue. Suggestion to send an email blast to the FNC membership to encourage them to apply.
- Linda reported on the concerns of residents in the eastern part of Fremont about the impact of HALA. Jenny Brailey has proposed mailing basic information regarding HALA to this area. There was discussion about a postcard mailer and using Facebook to publicize the FNC Annual General Meeting on April 25th. It was suggested that a proposal be presented at the March meeting where the Board could authorize an expenditure. Further discussion that there are a range of views in Fremont on this issue. Need to be mindful that the FNC represents not only home owners but all residents. Linda and Jenny were asked to compare the cost of mailing to all of Fremont or just to those areas where zoning could be affected. Also, to propose what the content of the mailing would be. Stephanie thanked Jenny for her work on this issue.
- The Neighborhood Expo will be held at Fremont Studios on Wednesday, April 6 from 4:30 to 7 pm. Tables are free for non-profit organizations. Toby will respond to the Chamber regarding the FNC’s interest in a participating.
Jim reported that $133.19 had been spent on the membership mailing. The following are the current balances in the FNC’s accounts:
Verity Checking: $ 348.29
Verity Money Market: 56,525.00
46th Street Mural: $ 71.39
Minutes: The January 2016 minutes were reviewed. A motion was made that the minutes be approved as presented. The motion was seconded and passed.
The meeting was adjourned. The next FNC board meeting will be Monday, March 28, 2016.