Fremont Neighborhood Council Meeting – May 20, 2013
Board members present: Stephanie Pure, Elfreide Noble, Toby Thaler, Matt Gasparich, Shawn Mulanix, Norma Jones, Linda Clifton, Kevin McClain, Matthew McCauley, Judie Clarridge.
Stephanie opened the meeting and invited everyone to introduce themselves and share any announcements.
• Jenny Frankl, who has been the Department of Neighborhood’s North Lake Union District Coordinator, covering Fremont and Wallingford, announced that she is not certain who will be covering Fremont beginning in June.
• Two fifth graders at B.F. Day will hold a Soccer Clinic on Thursday, May 22nd to benefit a classmate who is undergoing cancer treatment at Children’s Hospital for a brain tumor. The clinic will be from 5 to 6:30 pm at the upper playfield and is open to soccer players, ages 9 and under. http://bfdayptsa.org.
Update: Stone34 Project – Linda Mitchell
Linda noted that there is now a crane onsite at the Skanska’s construction project at 34th and Stone Way. The 5 story building will house Brooks Sports: headquarters offices, retail space, and a restaurant. You can watch the construction progress at http://www.truelook.com/clients/skanska-webcam/. They have partnered with B. F. Day Elementary, including connecting engineers with science teachers on topics of energy efficiency, etc. Matt asked about Skanska’s interest in the Traffic Signal Box Project; Matt and Linda will talk more.
Proposed Fremont Parking Changes — Jonathan Dong, SDOT; and Kendra Dedinsky, Metro
Jonathan and Kendra talked about the increase in transit service that has impacted the 3400 block of Fremont Ave. Since September 2012, the number of north and southbound buses stopping in this block increased from 8 to 15 per hour. This increase in service causes more than one large bus to stop on the block at the same time, however, the existing bus zones are not large enough to accommodate two buses pulling close to the curb at the same time. If a bus cannot pull to the curb it increases traffic congestion and delays.
To make the bus zones large enough, they are proposing that 2 parking spaces and an off-peak commercial load zone be removed from the east side of Fremont Avenue; and a passenger load zone and a off-peak commercial load zone from the west side. SDOT and Metro are gathering input from Fremont businesses, particularly those in the 3400 block of Fremont Ave. Residents are welcome to provide input to Jonathan Dong at 206-233-8564.
Protecting Seattle’s Waterways – Trish Rhay, SPU
Trish briefed on SPU’s plan to reduce sewage overflow that pollutes lakes, streams, and Puget Sound. About two-thirds of Seattle is served by a combined sewer system which carries in a single pipe: (1) residential and commercial sewage and (2) stormwater runoff from streets, rooftops, and parking lots. During dry weather the system works well and all raw sewage flows to the treatment plant. However, when it rains and stormwater runoff is heavy, the combined sewage and stormwater can exceed the capacity of the system and overflows into Lake Washington, Lake Union, Elliott Bay, etc. In Fremont, the overflow goes into the Ship Canal.
In order to comply with the Clean Water Act and state regulations, SPU is developing a plan to reduce sewage overflow. They have identified two alternatives: (1) The Sewage Overflow Reduction Alternative calls for making modifications to the existing sewer system, using natural drainage solutions (such as rain gardens and cisterns) to reduce the amount of stormwater that enters storm drains, and building underground storage facilities to temporarily hold sewage and stormwater during a storm and gradually release it when the storm is over, the volume of stormwater has decreased, and the combined sewer system has the capacity to move it to the water treatment plant. SPU and King County will share storage tunnels, some systems, etc. (2) The Sewage and Stormwater Pollution Reduction (or Integrated Plan) Alternative uses a combination of three strategies to reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality. These strategies would be implemented in neighborhoods throughout the city: Ship Canal (including Fremont), Piper’s Creek, Thornton Creek, Lake Washington, and Longfellow Creek/ Duwamish. For more information, see www.seattle.gov/CSO.
There will be an EIS scoping open house on Monday, June 3rd from 4:30 -6:30 p.m. at Seattle City Hall to provide input for the environmental process for the plan. Comments can also be sent by mail or online (www.seattle.gov/cso) and are due by June 20th.
Update on 38th and Stone Way Project: At the March meeting, the board approved sending a letter to the City Department of Planning and Development regarding the design review process for this project. Toby provided background on the concern about the design and size of the building and whether the space will meet the needs for retail space on the ground floor. The Design Review Board allowed the project to move ahead to the SEPA and MUP process even though the developer had not addressed the design concerns raised at previous reviews. Toby reported that the letter has not yet been sent. Initially the developer was not interested in meeting with the Fremont or Wallingford Neighborhood Councils, but Toby was able to meet with him recently. The developer is not happy with the design review process either. Toby says that a strong letter needs to be sent regarding the review process. Jenny Brailey who lives near the site of the project said she is interested in working with Toby and others on this issue. There was discussion about meeting with Richard Conlin who chairs the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee.
Progress on Ernst Park addition / urban forest: Matt continues to discuss this issue with the City Parks and Recreation Department. The department has leased some of this site to Chase Bank to use as a staging area while they remodel their new location at 34th and Fremont. The department has also cleaned up the site. Most recently, Matt talked with them about the “Fremont Forest” idea as a low-cost alternative. The department may have a bigger vision for this space than a plan to plant trees. There was discussion about working towards having this site included in the 2014 Parks Levy. Matt will draft a letter for Stephanie’s signature.
Jenny said that Mayor McGinn will be at History House on Saturday, June 1st at 11 am for the naming of J.P. Patches Place. Beginning about 10 am, he will make 2 – 3 stops at nearby locations. It may be possible to include the Ernst Park site as he walks around.
Traffic Signal Box Project: Matt also updated on the plan to work with Urban Artworks on painting some of the boxes in Fremont. At a previous meeting the board identified 3 boxes to be painted (intersections of Fremont Avenue North and 36th, 39th, and 46th). Matt offered that his business could fund an additional box at NW. 39th and Leary Way. After discussion, Norma suggested that Artworks submit drafts that the board could comment on. A possible schedule is to have the drafts by May 28th in order to get feedback in time to begin prep work on June 4th.
Street Clean Up: Jenny Frankl announced that folks from Wallingford and Fremont will be cleaning litter along Stone Way on May 28th between 3 and 5 pm. The work project will end at the Fremont Brewery.
Treasurer’s Report: Kevin, Stephanie, and Shawn met at BECU to update the authorized signatures with the new officers. Kevin and Shawn are transitioning files. There has been no change to the April report.
Minutes: Toby moved that the April minutes be approved as presented. Norma seconded. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned. The next meeting will be on Monday, June 24, 2013. Agenda items must be submitted to Stephanie by June 14th.