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.