Thank you to everyone who attended our November meeting. We had a good turnout of about 30 people, as well as the My Ballard Group live-casting the meeting on Facebook for those who could not attend in person. (Thank you, Lauri Miller! Video available at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1963240070601339/ )
BNSF Railroad Bridge Replacement
BNSF provided a detailed update about the proposed replacement for the Ballard Rail Bridge over Salmon Bay, which will be built 50 feet to the east of the current bridge (an aging bascule bridge, built in 1911). Work will happen along railroad right of way, with the Coast Guard as the lead oversight agency. BNSF anticipates two years of planning and three years of construction, with a final replacement bridge in about five years’ time. The first permit is expected to be filed in February or March 2019 and a web site will be created to share information with the public.
Proposed New Tree Ordinance
In the second portion of the meeting, we received helpful updates from Friends of Urban Forests and the Seattle Dept of Construction and Inspection regarding proposed updates to Seattle’s Tree Ordinance. See attached photo of a letter handed out by Friends of Urban Forests and visit their web site for more information and future updates: http://friends.urbanforests.org
2019 Board of Directors
Six BDC board members for the coming year were confirmed:
Tom Friedman, President
Brent Lackey, Vice President
Additional members: Don Benson, Jody Grage, Angie Gerrald, John Mitchell
We have a great variety of agendas in mind for upcoming months, to help our community stay informed and participate in the civic process during an era of immense growth and change.
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.
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.
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
Need some new tricks up your sleeve to find parking (for cars or bikes) in downtown Ballard? The Ballard Alliance has a handy map: http://www.visitballard.com/gethere/ . They’ve also worked with Dept of Neighborhoods and SDOT to improve wayfinding parking signage in the core business areas.
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)
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 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.
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.