Fremont Neighborhood Council Board Meeting – January 25, 2016
Board members present: Stephanie Pure, Linda Clifton, Shawn Mulanix, 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:
- Kirby Lindsay Laney shared that Fire Department Station 9, 3829 Linden Ave. N., will be participating in Neighbor Appreciation Day on Saturday, February 13, 11 am to 1 pm, with tours, demonstrations of firefighting tools and visits with firefighters.
- She also said that the Lifelong AIDS Alliance is hosting Gay Bingo at the Fremont Studios on Saturday, February 6 at 5 pm.
- The Fremont Market on Sunday, February 7th will include a Petit Troll Parade at 1:30 pm.
- Stephanie thanked Jessica Vets for her service with the Fremont Chamber of Commerce over the past 8 years and for doing a great job as a conduit between the Chamber and the Neighborhood Council.
Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) – Geoffrey Wentlandt and Patrice Carroll, Office of Planning and Community Development
Geoff provided background on the issues: There are 2,800 people in Seattle without shelter. There has been a 29% increase in the cost of renting one bedroom apartments. We need an additional 50,000 housing units within the next 10 years. 20,000 need to be dedicated new or preserved affordable units.
A yearlong public engagement process is beginning to gather resident input, including telephone town hall meetings, neighborhood focus groups, neighborhood meetings, online surveys. HALA implementation will not begin until mid-2017. The Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program ensures that new commercial and multi-family residential developments either include affordable housing or pay into a fund to provide affordable housing. The City will need to make zoning changes to implement MHA. Extensive community engagement will precede any zoning changes.
Patrice said that they are working on aligning the Comprehensive Plan 2035 and HALA, including tightening the relationship between land use and good transit service.
Developments in the Fremont Urban Village would be allowed to include an extra story for MHA. There was further clarification that this provision for increasing the height of these developments was not just within the Urban Village but could occur wherever the zoning changes permitted it.
Comments and questions from those in attendance included:
- What puts the brakes on these provisions when we reach the needed units?
- We want to have good walkability in the neighborhood.
- We want to have a clear idea of exactly what will change, how we provide input, and how to influence the outcome.
- It is state law that provides developers with the option of either including affordable housing or paying into a fund for affordable housing.
- There was concern that if developers choose to pay for affordable housing instead of including it, the amount of affordable housing in Fremont may not increase. How does the city make sure that there is affordable housing in Fremont?
- Housing should not be just studios and one bedroom apartments.
- It is important to value the character of neighborhoods: what features (like porches, etc.) encourage conversation with those walking by?
- How is housing for the homeless provided?
- Can MHA be made retroactive for developments that are beginning now? The answer was no.
- Can there be provisions to allow owners of single family homes to add an apartment unit?
- Attention needs to be paid to safety for the increase in pedestrians this program will generate: crosswalks, signage.
- Concerns about how construction of a large development can dramatically impact nearby residences.
- It is important not to just approve these developments on a one-by-one basis but to assess the cumulative effect of an increase in developments to the community.
- City Councilmember Mike O’Brien has confirmed for April’s Annual General Meeting.
- Will invite Rob Johnson to a meeting.
- Will invite King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles to a meeting to talk about transit.
- Linda encouraged the use of social media to share current issues, share posts on the FNC website.
- Matt said that Parks and Recreation will be assigning a project manager for Ernst Park. Suggested inviting that person to the March FNC meeting.
- Troll’s Knoll Park ribbon cutting should be happening soon.
- A representative from the Woodland Park Zoo will be providing an update at the February FNC meeting.
It was noted that work was underway on painting the Utility Boxes at 46th and Fremont, and at 39th and Leary.
Karen Ko shared that the deadline for applying for the Parks and Street Fund grants ($90K or less) is February 8th. Also, Neighbor Appreciation Day is Saturday, February 13.
Jim reported that $400 had been paid for maintaining the 46th Street Mural in 2016 and $199 was paid for Gravity Forms web update. The following are the current balances in the FNC’s accounts:
Verity Checking: $ 399.48
Verity Money Market: 56,512.99
46th Street Mural: $ 71.39
Toby has received a bill from SDOT for the annual $140 fee for having painted the 10 Utility Boxes. The consensus of the board was for the FNC to pay the bill. Also, Toby would like to have SDOT change the address where these bills are sent.
Minutes: The November 2015 minutes were reviewed. Linda moved that the minutes be approved as presented. Toby seconded and the motion was passed.
Note: There were 51 people who sign in at this meeting.
The meeting was adjourned. The next FNC Board meeting will be Monday, February 22, 2016.