Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – March 25, 2013
Board members present: Matt Gasparich, Stephanie Pure, Elfreide Noble, Toby Thaler, Shawn Mulanix, Norma Jones, Amanda Boyle, Kevin McClain, Judie Clarridge.
Matt opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share announcements.
• Ben Schiendelman provided an update from Seattle Subway, a grassroots organization which advocates for a connected high capacity transit system that provides service between Seattle’s neighborhoods. The mayor has partnered with Sound Transit in advocating for a study to begin in 2013 to improve transit in the Ballard-to-Downtown corridor. Sound Transit’s focus is on high capacity transit (HCT), i.e. rail services with their own designated right-of-way / lanes, with a ridership of 50,000 per day. If the study identifies HCT options for this corridor, it would need to be included in a Sound Transit ballot measure. Seattle Subway believes that Federal funds may be available. They are working to get input from the neighborhood councils within the next year. Right now, Sound Transit is gathering input at community open houses (There was one on March 13th at Ballard High School).
Minutes: Norma moved to approve the minutes as presented. Motion was seconded and passed.
Treasurer’s Report: Shawn provided the following monthly report:
Checking: $ 3,373.89
Money Market: 56,059.85
46th Street Mural: 566.39
Hazel Heights: 256.56
Dongho Chang, City Engineer, Seattle Department of Transportation: Pedestrian Safety at N. 43rd and Fremont Avenue
Dongho said that the SDOT appreciates when a community comes to them with a request because it identifies a need. He spoke about the accident today at 75th NE and NE 33rd where 4 pedestrians were hit; 2 died and 2 are severely injured. Pedestrian safety is a very important issue especially in densely populated areas like Fremont. In response to a question about the process for improving safety at N. 43rd and Fremont Avenue, Dongho said that if the Lake Union District Council approves the FNC’s request, SDOT will study the location and provide cost estimates for options to improve safety. Generally, such projects are installed within a year.
Matt mentioned that installing a crosswalk could mean that 3 parking spaces on Fremont Avenue would be lost. There was discussion that the FNC should work to identify the location (in front of Pecado Bueno, or south where busses turn west from Fremont Avenue to N. 43rd) that would improve safety the most. There was a suggestion of installing stop signs at the intersection where the busses turn. Dongho said that could be studied. Also discussion about installing bicycle parking stands/racks in this area. Dongho said they welcome suggestions from the Fremont Neighborhood Council. He said John Vander Sluis will likely be the traffic planner POC.
• ARTWORK ON TRAFFIC SIGNAL BOXES: Matt spoke with Urban Artworks. They have agreed to paint 3 for $1,000 in order to build momentum. Matt asked for the board’s input regarding which locations to select. Top locations were: (1) Fremont Avenue and. N. 36th, (2) Fremont Avenue and N. 46th, and (3) Fremont Avenue and N. 39th, by B.F. Day.
• ERNEST PARK ADDITION: Matt has had discussion with Fremont business folks about the future of this vacant lot for which the City paid $800,000. There has been a suggestion to plant trees. The City has decided to lease space on the south (lower) side of the lot to Chase during their construction. Matt has also learned that the Parks Department does not want to be responsible for creating the design/plans for the addition. There was discussion about asking Chase to help with the cost of the plans (estimated to be about $1,200).
• APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT AT N. 38TH , STONE WAY, AND WOODLAND PARK AVENUE: Toby gave an update on a proposal for 5 story, 277 residential unit structure. He and the Wallingford Community Council have tried to initiate communication with Matt Driscoll, the developer, but have had no response from him. There was a Early Design Guidance 2 meeting on March 4th. The developer had done very little of what was asked of him at the first meeting. Nonetheless, the Design Review Board chairman told the DRB members that they needed to go on to the next step in the design review process.
MOTION: Toby moved that the FNC president send a message to the City Department of Planning and Development regarding our disgruntlement with the design review process and emphasizing that the developer needs to meet with the neighborhood organizations adjacent to the site of the development. Shawn seconded and the motion passed. Note: Toby will draft the message.
• ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING ON APRIL 22nd: Norma reported that Dic Selin told her that he does not wish to run for a position on the board at the AGM. He has served on the board for over 25 years.
Slate of nominees:
President: Stephanie Pure
Vice President: Toby Thaler
Secretary: Judie Clarridge
Treasurer: Kevin McClain
Others nominated to continue on the board: Norma Jones, Matt Gasparich, Elfriede Noble, Linda Clifton, Erik Pihl, Amanda Boyle, Shawn Mulanix, and new board member (see below) Matthew McCauley.
• NEW BOARD MEMBER: Norma announced that Fremont resident and FNC member Matthew McCauley has attended three meetings and is interested in serving on the Board.
MOTION: Norma moved that Matthew McCauley be accepted as a member of the FNC board. Motion was seconded and passed.
Public Safety: Pete Hanning reminded the board of the importance of having a FNC representative attend the monthly SPD North Precinct Meetings. Pete, who is a Fremont resident and business owner, represents the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and the Fremont Nightlife community at the meetings. He does not feel comfortable representing the FNC as well because residents and businesses may have different concerns on some issues. The board will continue to try to find someone to be the FNC focal on Public Safety issues and attend the meetings.
Meeting adjourned. The next meeting will be the Annual General Meeting on Monday, April 22, 2013.