Fremont Neighborhood Council Board Meeting – March 23, 2015
Board members present: Stephanie Pure, Elfriede Noble, Norma Jones, Viet Nguyen, Erik Pihl, Jim Engelhardt, Linda Clifton, Shawn Mulanix, Judie Clarridge.
Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements:
- Stephanie reported on the meeting on the King County Fremont Siphon Replacement Project: The Praxair Building has been demolished. It will be noisy and messy in the area as construction gets underway. For pedestrian and bicyclist safety, they will temporarily move the Burke Gilman Trail closer to the canal when construction is close to the permanent trail.
- Linda announced that the Troll’s Knoll P-Patch planning meeting which had been scheduled for tomorrow, March 24, will be rescheduled.
3519 Fremont Place N. Apartment Project – Daniel Stoner, property owner
Daniel purchased the apartment building in 1994 and has managed it since then. He has done research on the building which was built in 1916. It has housed a variety of businesses, including a tile manufacturer. During World War II, it was used for short term housing and then became apartments after the war. He does not believe that it is a historically significant building. A current retail tenant is Gold Dogs Vintage. The building is increasingly difficult to maintain.
He plans to demolish the existing building and build a 6 story building, with retail on the first floor and 45 apartments on the other 5 floors. No parking will be provided but there will be bicycle storage in the basement. There will be studio and one bedroom units (250 to 400 sq. ft.). Studios will rent for $895 to $995. His intent is to mitigate the mass of the building. The next Design Review Board meeting will be in early May.
Seattle Subway – Keith Kyle, President
Keith said that Seattle Subway is an independent, volunteer, grassroots organization that wants Seattle to be a complete transit city. Some of the volunteers are employees of Sound Transit but they do not speak on behalf of Sound Transit.
A major goal in 2015 is to influence the state legislature to grant a high level of funding authority. Sound Transit 3 will be $3.5 to $4 billion plus Federal money and will focus on north King County.
They want subways not streetcars. Keith discussed the Ballard to UW, “Ballard Spur”. In comparison to Metro Route 44 which now averages 9 mph, their plans would get riders between those 2 locations in 7 minutes. Their intent is that fare for subways would be a part of Orca. Rider-paid fare would cover a large, if not all, of the costs.
- Stephanie said that the FNC will be participating at the Neighborhood Expo on May 22 at Fremont Studios, from 4:30 – 7:30 pm
- Stephanie reported that Scott Kubly has accepted the FNC’s invitation to be the keynote speaker at the Annual General Meeting on April 27. Stephanie asked anyone who has questions they would like him to address to give the questions to her.
- Neighborhood Conservation Districts: Councilman Tom Rasmussen is proposing the design and implementation of a neighborhood conservation district strategy as a means of achieving neighborhood preservation goals. NCDs would have a geographic boundary, a distinct character, would develop guidelines to maintain and reinforce neighborhood character. The guidelines for each NCD would be unique to that area. There will be a public meeting on April 8 at the Phinney Neighborhood Center at 6 pm.
MOTION: Norma moved that Erik be authorized to send a letter (after the Board has had an opportunity to review, comment, and approve) stating the FNC’s position on this issue. Erik seconded. Motion passed.
There was further discussion on this issue: It is unclear whether this would be a zoning overlay. There was discussion about tenant rights in situations where landlords raise rents dramatically or sell current rental property. There are also Cultural Overlay Districts in the city that encourage the retention and development of arts and cultural activities.
Ralph Weathers offered to take a copy of the final letter to LUDC and CNC meetings.
- SEPA Appeal, Application 3017074: Judie reported on the SEPA appeal hearing on March 16. Toby presented significant adverse impacts that would be caused by the construction of an apartment building at 3639 and 3643 Linden. He called on expert witness Ross Tilghman who raised questions about the parking study that the developer provided: parking is currently over capacity, because area is commercial and residential, parking should have been studied during day and night and on different days. Certified arborist Michael Oxman testified regarding the reduction in the tree canopy that the project would cause. Two Linden Avenue residents testified by phone: Elaine Smith expressed concern about adequacy of sewer to accommodate many apartment units and storm runoff. Nancy Thompson, spoke about parking data she had collected and pressure on existing RPZ. The hearing will reconvene on a date (tentatively March 26) when those providing testimony on transit issues are available.
Leo Griffin added concern about run off in unpaved alleys caused by developers who pave only the portion of the alley where their building is being constructed.
- LUDC: Ralph reported on recent meetings: They have discussed 2015 priorities. Grant Harrington briefed on an upcoming marathon around Lake Union, specific streets that would be closed and the overall on the community. Updates by Department of Neighborhoods on Neighborhood Matching Funds and Neighborhood Park and Street Fund. For more information on 2015 application process and deadlines: http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborhood-matching-fund. Ralph reported on the Wake for Affordable Rental Housing. Discussion about Neighborhood Expo on May 22.
Minutes: Motion was made and seconded that the February 2015 minutes be approved as amended by Linda. Motion passed.
Jim reported the following balances in the FNC’s accounts:
Verity Checking: $ 1,572.21 46th Street Mural: $321.39
Verity Money Market: 56,690.70
The meeting was adjourned. The Annual General Meeting will be Monday, April 27, 2015.