Let’s get out the vote, Ballard!

Primary ballots are due back by Tuesday, August 6. Odd year elections typically have lower turnout, when local measures and municipal level positions are up for election. Given all the growth, changes, and challenges our neighborhood and city are experiencing, don’t ignore your summer mail — spend some time reading, listening, and learning about the options on your ballot. Encourage other community members to participate in local democracy, too!
 

Helpful links:

Ballard District Council 7/10/19 Meeting Notes (Interbay Armory & more)

Our July meeting included three different agenda items, with the main portion of the meeting devoted to an update from Rep. Gael Tarleton regarding the Interbay Public Development Advisory Committee, followed by updates on the Ballard P Patch and the Our Redeemer’s Safe Parking Pilot.

The meeting ended with our annual ice cream social. We appreciated new community members who joined us and hope Ballardites will continue to spread the word that all are welcome at our civic meetings. (Reminder: no August meeting. We’ll be back in September.)

Interbay Armory Public Development

Web site: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/about-us/research-services/interbay-public-development-advisory-committee/

Important dates:

  • Public Meeting – Tuesday July 23, at Interbay Armory (1601 W. Armory Way), 9am
  • Open House – Tuesday, July 30, at Ballard VFW Hall (2812 NW Market St), 6pm

Background:

The 25-acre Washington National Guard armory site in Interbay was built in 1974 and is currently used as a readiness center. Due to transportation and congestion issues, it is insufficient for current requirements and the Guard has been working toward relocating.

In 2018, under enacted SSB 6095, Section 1004 (10), the Department of Commerce was tasked by the Legislature to explore potential future uses of the Interbay Property located in Seattle’s Ballard-Interbay manufacturing industrial center that is currently used as a readiness center by the Washington National Guard (Guard).

The Governor and Legislature appointed members of the Interbay Public Development Advisory Committee to advise and help identify potential future uses of the state-owned site. Assuming the Guard is able to relocate, the Advisory Committee will help guide the redevelopment process with the goal of recommending a use that maximizes public benefit.”

Notes from Rep. Tarleton’s Presentation:

  • Interbay has contiguous properties of: state, port, city, county, school district, Sound Transit, and private property owners
  • The Interbay corridor (Holman Road > Ballard Bridge > East Marginal Way) is a freight corridor for the state (secondary to Hwy 99, which is secondary to I-5)
  • Every state, federal, and local agency has a stake in whether the freight corridor works
  • Almost no one in Olympia “knows what Interbay is” so she is working hard on this
  • Area is known as BINMIC = Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing and Industrial Center
  • State legislature budget proviso created an advisory committee to determine:
    • How to help the Guard move if they want to
    • What does the federal government say?
    • What happens if the Guard moves and the 25 acres comes available (Gov Gary Locke was previously approached by a Chinese developer with strong interest in the property; he recognized this wasn’t in the public interest – need to determine what is if Guard leaves)
  • Area involves complex interactions between transit, rail, shipping, cruise lines, etc.
  • It is industrial land but very mixed zoning
  • She is very focused on governing what comes next:
    • Retaining public interest in future use
    • Has to serve “maximum public benefit compatible with industrial lands”
    • No current public development authority (e.g., NW Seaport Alliance) is sufficient for this, so advisory committee formed
  • There is no current plan to redevelop the property. They are examining: What are some options? What is the community saying? City? County? Federal government? Port? Private property owners? Metro? Sound Transit?  Gathering input and perspective.
  • Current best estimate from the Guard – IF the state can finance purchase of North Bend property – is a move in 2025.That is the soonest this might happen. “Everyone can take a breath.” We should put this time to best use.
  • A lot depends on the U.S. Army approving plans, design, purchase, etc.
  • 2025-2030 is the time frame that things will really happen
  • Question:  Why is the army moving? Answer: they’ve been trying to for about 15 years. Since the Nisqually quake. They’ve been planning, doing environmental cleanup, looking for land, weathering economic recessions and guard deployments. In 2011-2012 state budget cycle, it finally started to seem possible. (Traffic/transportation congestion are factors in current location not being ideal.)
  • Question: Are you talking with Seattle Public Schools about having 3-5 acres for a school to serve Magnolia and Queen Anne? Answer:  The school district has been coming to meetings and should come to the July 23 meeting. Note that it is a liquefaction/fill site, so not all options are possible. The public meeting will be 3.5 hours, with 30 minutes for public comment (9am – noon meeting, with 12-12:30 for comments).
  • Question: Given all the disparate interests, who is the decision maker? Answer: The state owns the property. A 7-member committee will receive recommendations from a consultant and decide: will the legislature help the Guard move or not? If they do move, need to set up a governing body. That is who will make decisions (along with the legislature appropriating funding).
  • Question: In determining the “greatest public good,” what metrics are they using? Answer: Qualitative and quantitative. Determining what are the categories of public interest at stake. Examining highest market value, geographical constraints, … articulated in strategic plan. Might do a competition with university students (urban planning, transit with livability, etc.)
  • Question:  Is there a railroad siding to the east to serve the Guard property? Answer: might be; let’s look.
  • Questions: Does development have to be in the manufacturing realm? Possible for light manufacturing? Answer: Mix of light industrial, tech industrial, etc. City zoning is an interesting thing. Part of this project is educating ourselves and the agencies involved. What is the economy of manufacturing and ship building today as opposed to the past? Clean energy revolution to take into account, etc.
  • Question: will existing buildings be repurposed? Answer: Not likely. They are old and not suited for it. (Reiterated that no development will happen prior to 2025.)

The meeting had two additional agenda items:

  • Ballard P Patch –– There was a brief presentation from a member of the group trying to save the Ballard P Patch, located at 25th NW and NW 86th. The property is owned by the adjacent Our Redeemers Lutheran Church, and they have been offered $1.8 mil for the property from a developer, who would build 4 houses in the property. So the P Patch group needs to raise $1.8 mil to purchase the property, from individuals or grants from public or private organizations.
  • Safe Parking Pilot — Lisa Gustaveson, from the City of Seattle Human Services Dept, gave an update on the plan to expand the overnight vehicle parking program in the parking lot at Our Redeemers Church (same church mentioned above for the P Patch project), where it has been operating since 2012. The City and church have agreed to increase the allowed overnight live-in vehicles from 2 to 7. The church allows access to persons in those vehicles to use the restroom and shower facilities inside the church. No drugs or alcohol are allowed. The City will fund an outreach worker from Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. (Additional links: HSD Launches Mayor Durkan’s Safe Parking Pilot by Supporting Full Utilization of Existing Program and Seeking Faith Community Partners to Expand Services, Car-dwellers in Seattle may soon have parking spots to call their own)

Rob Mattson Way Celebration! Monday, July 8, 5:30pm

Shared from Thomas Whittemore at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods​ — Monday, July 8, is the Rob Mattson Way Celebration. Seattle Department of Transportation​ will be installing Rob Mattson Way honorary street signs @ 22nd Ave NW and NW 56th/57th Streets, by the Ballard Library. Rob worked for the City for over 40 years, much of it as a Ballard District Coordinator for the Department of Neighborhoods, part of the former “Little City Hall” program.

DATE: July 8th
TIME: 5:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Next to the Ballard Customer Service Center at 22nd Ave NW and NW 56th St.

Mike Stewart (Ballard Alliance Executive Director​) will be facilitating the event @ 5:30 p.m. A few guests and family members will speak in honor of Rob Mattson.

The unveiling of the Rob Mattson Way signs will take place at 6 p.m.

We hope you can join us for the lovely event and raise a glass of sparkling cider in a toast to Rob!

Thank you to Leif Erikson Hall in Seattle Washington​ and others who supported this effort (https://www.facebook.com/LEHallSeattle/photos/a.1600455023308057/2051517951535093/?type=3&theater)

Additional links:
– http://www.myballard.com/2018/09/11/former-mayor-of-ballard-rob-mattson-has-passed-away/
– https://www.westsideseattle.com/ballard-news-tribune/2018/09/17/rob-mattson-unofficial-mayor-ballard-dies
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi18r7OaujM

Join us at the July BDC Meeting (Interbay Armory, ice cream, and more …)

Our July agenda includes a visit from State Representative Gael Tarleton, to update us on the Interbay Armory project, and will end with our annual ice cream social. Additional agenda items include an update on efforts to save the Ballard P Patch, the expansion of the Safe Parking Program at Our Redeemers, and a quick introduction from King County Council candidate Abigail Doerr.

Please join us!

See the event listing for detailed agenda and additional reading links.

Video of Our D6 City Council Candidate Forum

THANK YOU to everyone who attended our D6 city council candidate forum at the Nordic Museum. We had a very full house of more than 275 people. Way to show up, Ballard!

The candidates were champs, answering almost 2 hours of questions and chatting with voters one-on-one afterward.

We have posted a full video on YouTube, so please share it around with other D6 voters. There is a guide below the video with links to specific questions so you can jump to topics of particular interest.

And KBFG 107.3 North Seattle​ will be broadcasting audio of the event on Tuesday, June 18, from 6-8pm!

It is a crowded election field for the August 2019 primary and BDC opted to invite 7 of 13 District 6 candidates, based on their record of fundraising and democracy vouchers, as well as consideration for candidates who have demonstrated community engagement by attending some of our meetings this past year. See information at the base of this post for more information on all the candidates. 

What Did We Ask the Candidates?

Below is a copy of the questions that were posed.

Opening Remarks
• Please introduce yourself and why you want to represent the greater Ballard area.

Homelessness
• Given the number of homelessness programs and services Ballard provides, what do you consider to be the largest issues regarding homelessness in central and greater Ballard, and how should they be addressed?

Affordable Housing / ADU / Single Family Zoning
• Current zoning in single family neighborhoods allows one Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) per lot. Where are you on the legislation currently being considered by the City Council, that would allow BOTH an ADU and DADU on a 3200 square foot lot in single family zones, with no requirement for owner occupancy or off-street parking?

Transportation
• During your term in office (next four years), what specific transportation related improvements would you support to improve public transit, traffic, bicycling, and parking in Ballard?

Neighborhood Engagement
• About 3 years ago, the City discontinued support for the 13 District Councils, which had been a central source of information to and from the City for neighborhoods for about 30 years. What would you do during your term to improve city interaction with District 6 neighborhoods?

Police / Public Safety
• During your term, in the next few years, how would you improve public safety and police service in Ballard, and what do you think are the biggest obstacles to doing so?

Industrial/Maritime
• The industrial/maritime industry is a significant contributor to the state and local economy. What steps would you take to preserve industrial and maritime jobs and land uses in Ballard?

Landlord/Tenant – Renting
• City council has passed a flurry of landlord/tenant legislation in recent years, including ‘first in line’ tenant selection (currently held up in court) and no criminal background checks allowed. What ideas do you have to work with small landlords, who have traditionally provided some of the most affordable housing?

Parks & Greenspaces
• In 2014, voters approved the Seattle Park District, creating special taxing authority to maintain and improve parks, boulevards and recreational facilities, with city council serving as the Governing Board. Has the board been doing a fair and equitable job for all Seattleites and what is your vision for overseeing Seattle parks?

Business
• How would you work with businesses to make them feel welcome in the city and also incentivize them to bring their resources to bear on important social issues in our city?

Legislation
• Describe one or more pieces of existing (or proposed) city legislation that you would like to revise or repeal in your first year in office.

Closing Remarks
• What is your one great idea you would advocate for if elected and why are you the best person for this job?

Additional Information

June 12 Candidate Forum — In the Great Hall at the Nordic Museum

We are pleased to announce that our Wednesday, June 12, City Council Candidate Forum will be held in a larger venue than originally announced. Please note the change of location from Sunset Hill Community Club to the Nordic Museum (2655 NW Market Street).

We are also excited to announce that our event moderator is civic icon Jean Godden (former Seattle City Councilmember and longtime journalist).

We welcome District 6 voters to join us and make the most of this civic opportunity.

Doors will open at 6:30pm. Forum starts at 7pm.

We will have 7 candidates participating in this forum:

We are grateful for support received from Rotary Club of BallardNordic Museum, Whittier Heights Community Council, and a private Ballard donor.

More information is available on the event page.

Help spread the word to other community members and join us on June 12!

Watch Video of May 2019 Meeting with Seattle Community Police Commission

BDC hosted the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC) at our May 2019 meeting. CPC provides community-based oversight of Seattle Police Department and the police accountability system, originally established under the 2013 federal consent decree and made permanent under 2017 city legislation.

Nick Christian, Community Engagement Specialist, and Jesse Franz, CPC Communication Advisor,  presented a “CPC 101” overview, describing the history of the organization and its newly expanded scope, followed by a community Q&A.

A full video is available, thanks to a community volunteer! Attendees asked questions on topics ranging from patterns of systematic non-enforcement, to biased policing practices, fear of crime versus reasonable statistics, understaffing and slow response times, community service officers, and support for local recruitment and true “community policing.”

Video Guide
  • 0:00  — Community Introductions & Announcements
  • 12:33  — Welcome to CPC
  • 15:30 — CPC 101 Presentation
  • 41:38 — CPC Q&A

The video was also featured on the CPC web site .

If you have additional questions for CPC, please forward them our way (info@ballarddistrict.org) or contact the CPC directly (OCPC@seattle.gov).

Additional CPC Background

  • Their Mission: “CPC listens to, amplifies, and builds common ground among communities affected by policing in Seattle. We champion policing practices centered in justice and equity.”
  • CPC appoints its own executive director, not the mayor. The mayor used to appoint all the commissioners. Now there are 15-21 commissioners: up to 7 appointed by CPC, 7 appointed by mayor, 7 appointed by city council.
  • CPC staff is expanding from 4 to 9 (including exec administration, policy analysts, communications/outreach, etc.).
  • Before, the work was very policy heavy (focused on consent decree). Now, they are creating their own work plan with a stronger focus on community engagement.
  • CPC is one of four “legs” of Seattle’s new police accountability model:
    Office of Police Accountability (OPA): includes civilian and sworn personnel; 3 “complaint navigators”
    Office of Inspector General (OIG): responsible for auditing and accountability
    Seattle Police Department (SPD)
    Community Police Commission (CPC)
  • The biggest issue they hear citywide (and especially north precinct) is “response times” (police capacity)
  • It is important for communities to understand the difference between “law enforcement” and “public safety” (not all public safety issues are policing issues)

More info about CPC is available on their web site, where you can sign up to receive their newsletter.

Public Open Houses for Interbay Armory Site Redevelopment

Tonight, Wednesday, May 15, 2019, there is a public open house regarding the Interbay Armory site redevelopment. This is a historically significant opportunity for potentially adding significant affordable housing and community amenities, adjacent to light rail, with proximity to downtown, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard.

According to My Ballard, this second open house is “to discuss options for the redevelopment of the large National Guard Armory site in Interbay is coming up in May. The state-owned site, located just behind the Whole Foods on 15th Ave W in Interbay, is being considered for redevelopment as it’s no longer an ideal location for the National Guard.”

Note that there will be additional open houses on July 30 and October 1.

Visit the Interbay Public Development Advisory Committee web site for more information. You can sign up for email alerts with updates on project development.

Who serves on the Interbay Public Development Advisory Committee?

  • Representative Gael Tarleton, Washington State House of Representatives
  • Senator David Frockt, Washington State Senate
  • The Honorable Gary Locke, former Washington State Governor, former US Secretary of Commerce, former US Ambassador to China
  • Brian Lloyd, Vice President, Beacon Development
  • Doris Koo, Community Development and Affordable Housing Expert
  • Colonel Adam Iwaszuk, Construction Facilities Management Officer, Washington Army National Guard
  • Commissioner Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commission

Seattle Community Police Commission at Our May 8 Meeting

Whether you’re concerned about regional and national policing issues (e.g., biased policing, use of force) or public safety in your corner of the neighborhood, please join us for a presentation and Q&A with the Community Police Commission (CPC). Seattle’s Police Department has undergone major reforms in recent years. CPC provides ongoing, community-based oversight of SPD and the police accountability system. Spread the word and encourage a great community turn-out for CPC’s first visit to Ballard.

Join us at 7pm on Wednesday, May 8, at Sunset Hill Community Club (3003 NW 66th St). See the Event page for more info.

Two City Neighborhood-Oriented Events – Saturday, April 27

On Saturday, April 27, the City of Seattle is hosting two different neighborhood-oriented events:

 

  1. The Seattle Planning Commission, a volunteer body of Seattle residents, is hosting a conversation with renters and home owners about the housing challenges and opportunities in single-family areas. Learn about the history of residential neighborhoods in Seattle, and discuss your ideas for growing equitable neighborhoods. RSVP here.

    Saturday, April 27th, 2019
    North Seattle College
    Room: CC1161 9600 College Way N.

    10:00AM Sign in, join a small group
    10:30AM Neighborhoods past & present
    11:30AM Group discussions
    12:00PM Closing comments

    Remember to do your homework. Here’s a link to the 50-page report: “NEIGHBORHOODS FOR ALL: Expanding Housing Opportunity in Seattle’s Single-Family Zones

  2. That same day, Seattle Dept of Neighborhoods is hosting a Neighborhood Matching Fund event. Find out how to get funding for your community project. Learn what makes a competitive application.

    Saturday, April 27, 10-11:30 am
    Loyal Heights Community Center
    2101 NW 77th St