Former “Mayor of Ballard” Rob Mattson has passed away

Rob Mattson — mentor, coach, advisor, friend, champion. Whether you were part of a group, a member of an organization that was part of the District Council system, or a community member with an idea or issue or puzzle, Rob was there to help. He helped you, and in return, he asked that you mentor others in navigating city hall, the city departments, and building community support for projects.

Photo courtesy of the Ballard News-Tribune, Westside Seattle. Photo by Pulitzer Prize winner Jerry Gay)

Anyone attending a Ballard District Council meeting during his long career, had regular access to his mentoring — both directly and indirectly. An issue would be raised, and Rob would on the spot talk about how and who to approach. The number of times that his advice to a group in one context, applied directly to another project, was notable. Remember the first round of Ballard Rain Garden ponds that failed to drain? Rob was instrumental in getting SPU to the table with the affected community and not only helped the next round of rain gardens be successful, but SPU and King County’s approach to the Ballard CSOs and what will eventually be a much improved south end of 24th Ave NW, can find its genesis in projects Rob helped nearly two decades ago.

Search for Rob Mattson Ballard — and you start to get a list of all the projects and programs in which he had some part, and you begin to see that his reach went beyond Ballard. He was a tireless worker and happily shared his enormous repository of knowledge. He will be missed by many people.

Read the tribute by My Ballard here

June and July BDC notes

Below is a summary of what happened at both our June and July Ballard District Council meetings. And if you missed the July meeting, you missed out on the ice cream social!

*Note that BDC does not hold a meeting in August. Please join us again on Wednesday, September 12. The meeting agenda will include a presentation on LEAD (law enforcement assisted diversion program).*

At our June and July monthly meetings, BDC attendees heard presentations on three major new developments in Ballard, as well as overviews of programs and activities at Seattle Maritime Academy and Port of Seattle properties in the Ballard area (Shilshole Marina and Fishermen’s Terminal).

Here are some of the updates we heard about three of the larger building developments currently underway in Ballard:

Ballard Blocks 2

  • Located just south of Ballard Blocks 1 on NW 46th Street, on east side of Ballard Bridge
  • Activity began in 2015, with a 2-year process with Dept of Ecology (very contaminated site; being remediated carefully)
  • Regency Centers bought Ballard Blocks 1 in January 2018 and owns both sites now
  • Ballard Blocks 2 will have 4 buildings
    • PCC grocery store will be on west side of lot (next to bridge)
    • 5-story mixed use will be on NE corner (Bright Horizons daycare + some mix of office space plus possible fitness/restaurants/salon/medical/dental
    • West Marine building will be on SE side (will have outdoor play area on roof, connected by skybridge to daycare in adjacent building)
    • 1000-sq foot “jewel box” building will be on SE corner – looking for unique small tenant to appeal to Burke Gilman Trail users
  • Broke ground in Q1 of 2018. Will complete in 2019.
  • On the Ballard Blocks 1 site, the Edith Macefield (“Up” house) site will also be rejuvenated. Looking for unique local tenant with appealing neighborhood character (coffee house?)
  • Ballard Blocks 2 will have 250 stalls of parking underneath + 60 surface level
  • Ballard Blocks 1 already has 560 stalls of parking
  • More info at https://www.regencycenters.com/property/detail/60849/Ballard-Blocks

Stimson Bay Office Campus

  • On Salmon Bay waterfront, just below Shilshole Ave NW (on east side of old Yankee Diner site)
  • Brief history: lumber mill in 1880s, warehouse and manufacturing space in 1950s
  • Planning for fall 2018 permit, spring 2019 construction
  • Architect is Mithun (who also designed Nordic Heritage Museum)
  • Campus will include 5 buildings, with approx. 500,000 sq ft – a major addition of office space to Ballard
  • Will include some surface parking and a parking structure
  • No tenants announced yet
  • Traffic access to/from Shilshole Ave is being carefully coordinated with SDOT (and the TBD plans for the Missing Link)
  • Link to flyer with conceptual drawings and site plan is here: Stimson Bay

15th & Market Building

  • On NE corner of 15th/Market Street intersection
  • Under development by Martin Selig Real Estate; David Selig (new resident of Ballard) presented info
  • As of mid June, it was 80% leased (retail and office)
  • The 4th and 5th floors will be occupied by WeWork (co-working space)
  • The 3rd floor is currently open
  • 2nd floor tenants include PolyClinic, a barber, and a kinetic sports lab
  • The ground floor will be a “signature version” Target, with products specifically chosen to suit residents of the neighborhood (signage will be of reduced scale, respectful of building architecture)
  • The 5-story building will have 67 parking spaces underground, with some reserved for Target customers
  • LEED silver certification
  • Construction began February 2018 and should be complete by end of year (“no hiccups” so far)
  • More info at https://martinselig.com/property/15th-and-market/

Mayor Durkan visits Ballard

On Saturday, March 31st, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan came to the Ballard Community Center to discuss on how we can work together to create a more affordable, inclusive, and vibrant Seattle.  Before the community discussion, they also held a resource fair, so residents can work directly with our City departments on essential services and solutions

March is a busy month for concerned local residents to get involved!

March is a BUSY month for local input on civic topics. Spread the word and encourage Ballardites to participate:

Wed, March 14 – BDC Monthly Meeting — Topic: Sound Transit and King Co. Metro
(7pm, https://www.facebook.com/events/1908237285915714/ )

Mon, March 19 – Webster School Redevelopment & Neighborhood Impacts
(6pm, Ballard High, http://www.myballard.com/…/city-moving-ahead-with-plans-to…/)

Thurs, March 22 – Whittier Heights Tiny House Village Community Meeting
(6:30pm, https://www.facebook.com/events/341843499644443/ )

Fri, March 23 – SPD Police Chief Community Input
(5:30-7:30pm, http://www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsroom/police-chief-search )

What is Going On at Ballard Commons?

by Elisabeth James, Speak Out Seattle, guest writer

If you have passed through Ballard Commons Park lately, you have likely noticed that the north median of the park has numerous tents and tarp enclosures, with shopping carts, bikes and other items spilling out across the sidewalk.

Over the past few years, this park has become a magnet for unauthorized camping and people living in vehicles on three sides of the park, which takes up many usable public parking spaces in a high-density, high-traffic area of downtown Ballard.   (read more at Speak Out Seattle)

Thing you can do:

If you see something, say something.  Use the City of Seattle’s   Find It Fix It App.

Come to the Ballard District Council meeting December 13 at 7:00 p.m.  at Merrill Gardens, 2418 NW 56th St.

The Ballard Alliance is interested in developing a children’s play area to help activate Ballard Commons.  The term “activation” is used because the theory is that when a wide variety of people use the park, problem uses are diminished.

The Ballard Alliance asks you to take this brief online survey.

Learn more at: www.visitballard.com/playground.

 

 

Police respond to a complaint from a local business of a group of people smoking a substance in proximity to children and passersby, 12/9/2017.
Ballard Alliance asks you to take this brief online survey. Learn more at: www.visitballard.com/playground.

BDC May Meeting Focus

May 10, 2017 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Merrill Gardens, 2418 NW 56th Street

The Ballard District Council’s May meeting follows up our March look at regional demographic changes and the April focus on Ballard’s “engine room” along the Ship Canal.

This time around we’ve requested updates from several developers and land owners from Ship Canal North to about Market.

The guest panel format used in the previous two meetings will be slightly modified to include presentations by each group followed by questions/answers in an open discussion between guests and attendees. We continue our series gaining knowledge to intelligently lobby for the long term interests of our community.

For the May 10 meeting we have extended invitations to representatives from:

  • New Seasons Grocery, NW 46th and 11th Ave NW
  • Ballard Blocks, NW 46th and 14th Ave NW
  • Martin Selig’s 15th and Market
  • Stimson Marina, Shilshole and 22nd Ave NW

To help us sort out the many implications of city zoning we’ve again invited one of our panelists from April, David W. Goldberg, Strategic Advisor – Equitable Development Team, Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development

Although we are awaiting final confirmation from several of those invited, the evening’s topic will generate interesting and educational discussions.

Projects invited represent several of the higher profile developments in our area but we are always open to additional participation and encourage other organizations to contact us.

Please join us.  All are welcome whether you are a part of our member organizations or not.

BDC March Meeting Focus: Demographic Changes and Growth

MARCH 8, 2017

BALLARD DISTRICT COUNCIL MEETING

Location:  Merrill Gardens, 2418 NW 56th Street
Time:  7:00-8:30 pm

Please join us!   All are welcome whether you are part of our member organizations or not.

The format for the March meeting will be somewhat unusual as we focus on the demographic changes and growth Seattle is now seeing and will experience over the next one to two decades.  With a better understanding of these wider changes we can be better prepared to intelligently evaluate options and lobby for the best interests of our community.  Following up in April we will focus more tightly on competing interests in Ballard along the transition blend of ship canal maritime, industrial, commercial and residential.  In both cases the meeting structures will be panel discussions with invited guest panelists bringing a variety of appropriate expertise.

7:00-7:15  Introductions and brief announcements

7:15-7:25  Update on BDC non-profit application, letter of support for industrial use of Interbay land

7:25-7:30  A rapid fire look at changes past, present, & near future to illustrate magnitude of changes

7:30-8:30  Panel discussion with audience participation encouraged.

A few of the panelists who have generously offered their time and expertise to give us an inside look at this basket we’re all in:

  • Tim Thomas, PhD candidate in Sociology at the UW and demographer with a focus on Seattle
  • Joshua McNichols, KUOW “growing pains” reporter since 2015
  • John Fox, Seattle Displacement Coalition, focused on changing housing needs
  • Steve Cohn, retired city planner having worked with several surrounding municipalities dealing with Growth Management Act

Other specialists may also join us as they sort out their schedules.  It promises to be an educational and interesting evening.

Where do we go from here?

The Ballard District Council met December 15, 2016.  Members indicated they want to continue to work on behalf of Ballard and our member organizations.

District councils across the city feel the same way.  On November 20, 2016, The Ballard District Council hosted members of the District Councils from across the city and members of the City Neighborhood Council to discuss our combined interest in neighborhood-based advocacy.

We recognize the loss of the City of Seattle Neighborhood District Coordinators, who assisted in preparing agendas, invited guest speakers, and publicized meetings through City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods email lists.  We appreciate these individuals, whose role was to provide a conduit between neighborhood interests and the public outreach agendas of city, county and other agencies.  This is no longer the case, and we are forced to continue without this assistance, that has been in place since 1986.

In some ways this forced severance from the City is freeing for our neighborhood District Councils (whatever we may call ourselves in the future).  Our advocacy role is no longer tied to city processes. Outreach in the hands of citizens is freed up to grow into something new.

The underlying need for neighborhood groups to organize and communicate effectively remains.  Mayor Ed Murray and certain council members are acting upon a concern for inclusivity.  District Councils recognize that inclusivity is important.  Equally important is advocacy that arises from the grassroots.

Our work going forward into 2017 is to retool the district council neighborhood groups to increase meaningful civic participation.

Meaningful civic participation is urgently needed at a time dialog with public agencies is flattening out to internet-based polls, push technology and hand-picked committees.  We do not think these types of dialog represent a full- spectrum of citizen involvement.

There is no substitute for the hard work of finding out what is really going on at city hall, and communicating what you think needs to be done with your elected officials.  This is the heart of democracy.  Meeting face-to-face with people for information exchange is essential to this process.

Seattle is a beautiful, people-friendly city precisely because its identity is rooted in its unique neighborhoods. The Ballard District Council stands on the shoulders of feisty grass roots activists who came before us.  Ballard is a neighborhood with deep civic roots. We are not about to give up now.

-Jalair Box, Member, Ballard District Council
representing Canal Station and Canal Station North Condominiums