Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – January 27, 2014
Board members present: Stephanie Pure, Elfriede Noble, Toby Thaler, Kevin McClain, Matt Gasparich, Shawn Mulanix, Matthew McCauley, Norma Jones, Erik Pihl, Linda Clifton, Judie Clarridge.
Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:
- Jessica Vets announced that the Cheers to Chambers event will take place on February 19 from 4:30 to 7:30. It will include business from five neighborhoods plus community organizations.
- Jessica also presented Toby Thaler with the Chamber’s Hammering Man Award on behalf of his work on Seattle Districts Now. The award is to honor determination in working on issues that require a long term commitment.
- Karen Ko announced that Saturday, February 8 is Neighbor Appreciation Day
- Kirby Lindsay announced that there will be a meeting to gather public input on the Seattle Parks Legacy Plan (which will be on the ballot in August) on January 30th at Bitter Lake.
- Stephanie stated that Mike Morris-Lent had responded to her message regarding the FNC’s concern about pedestrian safety at Stone Way N.and N. 41st Street. She plans to respond with a reminder that this crosswalk is of particular concern because kids use it while walking to Hamilton Middle School.
Newly Appointed 43rd Legislative District State Representative Brady Walkinshaw
Former State Senator Ed Murray’s election as Mayor of Seattle created a domino effect in the 43rd District. Jamie Pederson who had been a State Representative was appointed to the vacant Senate seat and Brady was appointed to Jamie’s State Representative seat. He is on the Transportation, Higher Education, and Food and Nutrition Committees. He is also working to protect the rights of residents who live aboard their boats. A big issue is the completion of the 520 Bridge. A small increase in the gas tax would take care of it. There was discussion about the need for a state income tax versus the regressive nature of increases to car-tab fees. The January 2015 legislative session will include passing a biennial budget. Also discussion about the legislature allowingKingCounty to get voter approval to increase the car-tab tax in order to fund Metro transit and the road funds for the county and cities. It was also noted that the Sound Transit 3 Levy will be in 2016.
Gas Works Park Kite Hill / Play Area Soil Remediation and Upgrades – Senior Planner David Graves, Seattle Parks Department
The Parks Department plans to scrape off the sod on Kite Hill, improve the soil, and grow new grass. This same process has been used in other parts of Gas Works. Kite Hill will be closed the day after Labor Day 2014 and re-open on Memorial Day 2015. The play equipment is in disrepair. They plan for a meeting on March 11th to gather public input. There was discussion about the poor condition of the sundial on top of Kite Hill, the need for a dog park in the area near the street, mitigation for nearby businesses. Linda asked for information, schedule, etc. closer to the time the project begins to be shared on the FNC’s website.
Pedestrian Safety – 43rd and Fremont – Brian Dougherty, Senior Transportation Planner, SDOT
Brian reported that their recent study found an increase in pedestrian traffic that now meets the threshold for needing improvements. The plan is for the crosswalk to be located in front of Café Vita which will cause a loss of 2 parking spaces on the east side of Fremont Ave.The crosswalk will be marked and curb ramps installed this summer. Will there be a stop sign on Fremont Avenue? No, the volume of traffic on N. 43rd is not sufficient even though it is an arterial. Matt thanked Jessica Vets for communicating with the businesses in the area on this issue.
Fremont Martin Luther King Day of Service 2014: Ralph Weathers reported on the success of the event: good turnout from the community; and participation of the Fremont and Wallingford Chambers, FNC, Literacy Source, and Patrick Place Apartments. There were 310 disaster emergency hygiene kits assembled by 163 adults, students, and children; 108 volunteers collected litter inFremont; and donations were received forPatrick Place. An excellent program was presented, including the “I Have a Dream” speech by Ralph. Kirby Lindsay was given the 2014 Drum Major for Service Award.
Membership: Norma reported that 11 people have already renewed their membership for 2014. She proposed that the first thing to be done is to send a message to the email list asking them to renew. Then, at the next FNC board meeting, she will bring supplies, envelopes, and stamps for a work party to put together the mailing. The plan to design and print business cards and other material is a good one but we need to move ahead now with what we have.
MOTION: Toby moved that Norma be authorized to make necessary purchases of supplies for the mailing. Seconded and passed.
Land Use and Transportation: Toby reported that the permit has been issued for the new apartment project at Woodlawn and N. 38th and Stone Way. That project will bring the number of new units coming to the area between Aurora and Stone Way, south of N. 40th, to 1,000. There was further discussion about additional apartment projects throughoutFremont. Jim Engelhardt noted the one in the 3800 block ofEvanston. Toby talked about the year 2014 inSeattle politics as incumbent City Council members assess the impact of coming District elections on their future. Tim O’Brien is chairing the Land Use Committee.
Because he is moving to back to Australia, this is Kevin’s last meeting. He sent the Board an email on January 6th with a review of transit issues that impactFremont and his thoughts and strategies that the FNC might want to consider. To follow on the earlier transit discussion with Brady Walkinshaw, Kevin noted that Metro staff is committed to the establishment of a low income fare. The Board expressed their appreciation to Kevin for the excellent job he has done as Treasurer and on the Land Use and Transportation Committee.
LUDC: The LUDC accepted the Lake Union Live Aboard Association into its membership at the January meeting. Three City issues were covered at the meeting: (1) The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) briefed on a policy being drafted for brick buildings with unreinforced masonry bearing walls (does not include single and duplex family residences) and the need for retrofitting to make them safer in case of an earthquake. The cost of retrofitting could cause some owners to choose to demolish the building, (2) DPD also briefed on the Pedestrian Zone Mapping Project to expand the areas designated as Pedestrian Zones. The LUDC expressed concern about the impact on businesses and reduction of available parking, and (3) The potential that the City Council may decide to redraw the 13 Neighborhood Council Districts to match the new boundaries for the 7 City Council Districts. The LUDC agreed to draft a letter of opposition for the City Neighborhood Council.
Public Safety: The North Precinct Advisory Board meets on the 1st Wednesday at North Seattle Community College. Stephanie noted that we need to recruit an FNC representative to attend these meetings. It was noted that the Fremont Abbey feels strongly that increased lighting on the east side of Fremont Ave by B. F. Day is needed. Linda mentioned the importance of integrating the Patrick Place residents into the community and of the work that has been done, in conjunction with Key Bank, to provide supplies to the residents.
Treasurer’s Report: Kevin reported the following:
BECU Checking $ 2,496.85
BECU Money Market 56,154.53
BECU Savings 5.00
46th Street Mural $166.39
Minutes: A motion was made to approve the minutes of the November 25, 2013 meeting as presented. Seconded and passed.
The next meeting will be held on Monday, February 24, 2014.