No fooling—NBHC to meet April 1

Judith Edwards writes to tell us about this month’s North Beacon Hill Council meeting tomorrow night:

The North Beacon Hill Council will meet Thursday, April 1, at 7:00 in the Beacon Hill Library Community Room (2821 Beacon Avenue South). That’s not an April Fool’s joke! We invite everyone that lives or owns a business here on the Hill to come hear a group of individuals present their ideas for parks here on North Beacon. Each has applied for a Parks Department Opportunity Fund grant. Though all cannot be funded, we hope many will be. This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and learn more about the awesome events that are occurring here on North Beacon.

The agenda is as follows:

  • 7:00 Welcomes
  • 7:05 Presentations on applications for Parks Opportunity Fund grants, followed by Q&A
  • 8:00 Community Business
    • $1M insurance policy which NBHC must take out to cover events on Festival Street
    • Recognizing the Beacon Music Association as a sub-committee of NBHC
    • Upcoming music events on Festival Street
    • Beacon Business Association formation update
    • Update on Jefferson Park playground
    • Steve Louie, Neighborhood Coordinator
  • 8:30 Close

As always, all are welcome to attend. You are part of the council when you attend your first meeting, and you have voting privileges when you attend your second.

Opinion: Bringing a food forest to Jefferson Park

Click on this image to see a larger version of the Jefferson Park Food Forest plan.

By Glenn Herlihy

Pictured here is the first of several design options for the proposed Jefferson Park Food Forest. First and foremost, this would be a community garden where neighbors could interact and grow their own food. It would be a garden run and managed by community members and citywide supporters, to achieve a bit more food security by having a local food production facility. Second, it’s about creating a healthy park environment for all to enjoy. Third, it’s about promoting gardening as a sustainable recreation. Please remember this is a “design in process” as we look forward to more input from the community.

A food forest is a gardening technique or land management system modeled after a woodland ecosystem, but which substitutes trees, shrubs, herbs, and vegetables which have a higher yield for humans. It’s a polyculture method (as opposed to monoculture) of planting in guilds (combinations) that nurture each other through nutrient—soil fixing, attracting pollinators and self-mulching. The result is an edible woodland with meadows, pathways, and a grand source of fresh air.

The Jefferson Park Food Forest is located on the southern part of the western slope of Jefferson Park and covers about four acres. In the map pictured here, 15th Avenue South is shown on the left (west), South Dakota Street is near the bottom (south) and the reservoir playfield is up on the right (east). Seasonal water collection is shown in blue. The blue areas would be wet in the rainy season and dry in the summer. Paved areas are shown in orange with 16th Avenue South serving as a water collecting swale. Trees are shown in green with most of the forest on the hill to the east. The green areas are swaths of mixed plantings mostly consisting of berries and natives. Green colored P-Patches have curved paths (orange) through them. The yellow circle is a community shade structure with tool shed sub-grade.

The City-adopted North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan (2000) for this property calls for a forested, naturalized terrace with pedestrian pathways, educational facilities, and view accesses (Action PE2). This project builds on that adopted concept to create a food forest that is natural and educational, but more focused in producing food with recreational gardening. It also builds on the adopted recommendation in our neighborhood plan for distinctive park entry improvements in this area (Action PE4). The Jefferson Park Alliance did outreach to the larger community at the last Beacon Hill Festival (2009) on this concept and received significant positive interest from people who would like to garden and support urban agriculture in the park.

We will be presenting this design and answering questions on April 1 at the North Beacon Hill Council meeting and at the 2010 Beacon Hill Festival on June 5. We have a Food Forest meeting scheduled for April 6, 7:00 pm at the Lawn Bowling Clubhouse (4103 Beacon Avenue South) if you would like to hear more. Thank You.

Glenn Herlihy is part of a group that is guiding the Food Forest proposal through the application process for the city’s Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund.

11 of 13 issues dismissed from North Beacon Hill DNS appeal

The Hearing Examiner has dismissed all but two issues from the North Beacon Hill DNS appeal filed on January 29 by Frederica Merrell, stating that the dismissed issues are “broad, conclusory allegations unsupported by any stated facts,” and that they do not meet municipal code and Hearing Examiner requirements that issues raised in an appeal be clear, concise, and specific. Additionally, the ruling states that the issues “fail to give the Department and Intervenor fair notice of the claims being asserted.” Two of the issues were dismissed outright earlier this month, and nine more in a decision given on Monday.  The hearing will now address the two issues that remain.

The two remaining issues are:

#6: “The DPD failed to meaningfully consider the probable impacts of the future development that would be allowed by the proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan and zoning.” The ruling states, “Although the appeal failed to specify the probable impacts being referred to, the Appellant stated in her response to the motions to dismiss that this issue is addressed to the impacts of additional density on public services.” With that clarification, the issue was deemed sufficiently specific to be considered.

#8: “The DPD did not use notice procedures that were reasonably calculated to provide notice to property owners and other affected and interested individuals, tribes, government agencies, businesses, school districts, and organizations of the proposed amendments to comprehensive plans.” This issue was also clarified by Merrell; the March 11 ruling states that “the Appellant clarifies that the notice issue concerns the changes, alleged to be substantive, that the Department made while consolidating goals and policies after public notice of the DNS.”

For a full explanation of the decision, read the Examiner’s ruling here.  The appeal is still scheduled to be heard on Monday, April 26, 9:00 am at the Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Avenue.  The Othello appeal hearing has been rescheduled to May 24, and the North Rainier appeal was dismissed earlier this month.

See also Cienna Madrid’s recent post about this in the Slog.

(Editor’s note: Issues #6 and #8 appear to be the same as issues #4 and #6 in the original January 29 version of the appeal.)

Crime notes: Muggings and taserings

B - Burglaries, R - Robberies, O - Other

“chanman” wrote to the mailing list and described a mugging that occurred last night at about 9pm near the Valero station on Beacon where he was attacked by one of group of three teens:

Three high-school aged young men passed me on the sidewalk when I was walking home from the light rail station and one of them ran from behind and tried to grab my bag. When I resisted, he started punching me in the face and we tussled on the ground.

He also provided a pretty good description of the group:

They are 16-18 years old. The two onlooking friends: one is African-American, about 5’11, wearing a black baseball cap, while the second friend is lighter complected, possibly Caucasian and shorter, around 5’3-5’5 with large, bushy brown hair and a black jacket. The feisty manbag-grabbing/combat enthusiast was 5’6-7, either Asian or Hispanic, had a dark baseball cap, a white or grey hoodie with a logo on the front, and jeans. While he was pummeling me on the sidewalk I scratched his back in defense, which certainly left a mark. They headed north on Beacon Ave after the incident. The police were notified by passerby (thanks neighbors!) and the incident number is 10-102895. Please let them know if you have any information.

He’s OK and still has his bag and was composed enough in the aftermath to remind everyone that positive outreach and intervention to “written-off” kids can make a difference.

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Holly Park home

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A federal appeals court says the 2004 use of a stun gun on a pregnant mother on Beacon Hill who refused to sign a traffic ticket is A-OK. — KOMO

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Selected items from the scanner logs:


  • 3/19 12:45pm near 12th and Stevens
  • 3/23 11:45am near 13th and Lucile — Occupied forced entry burglary
  • 3/24 2:30pm near 16th and Lucile — Aubile alarm
  • 3/25 2:30pm near 14th and Atlantic


  • 3/25 8:30pm near 14th and Walker — Strong arm robbery


  • 3/19 7:45pm near MacPherson’s Produce — Fresh gang tagging


BRIC applying for grant to create Walker Street Park

View Potential Walker Street Park site in a larger map

The Beacon Ridge Improvement Community (BRIC) is applying for a grant through the Opportunity Fund to acquire land for a park located at 17th Avenue South and South Walker Street. BRIC is responsible for such neighborhood success stories as the stair restoration projects on Holgate, Hill, and Walker Streets (winning two grants from the City) and organizing neighbors to address crime and public safety issues.

At the March North Beacon Hill Council meeting, BRIC members Andrew Abian and David Gackenbach presented a slideshow of their vision for a “pocket park” and orchard. They are hoping to generate community support for this idea, both to strengthen their Opportunity Fund application and to get the community excited about the potential for a new park on Beacon Hill. To learn more about the proposal, click here.

To share your opinions regarding this proposal, attend the North Beacon Hill Council meeting on Thursday, April 1 at 7:00 pm at the Beacon Hill Library. You can also visit the Parks Department comment page. All comments must be received by April 2.

The Opportunity Fund provides $15 million solely for community initiated park projects. Neighbors have the opportunity to propose a park development project and/or propose a piece of property for Parks to acquire.

BRIC’s Walker Street Project application requests approximately $1.0 million to acquire 10 lots (an entire block!) of land to be used as a play area, community orchard, and green space. The current owner lives in the only house on the block and seems open to the idea of the property becoming a park.

This location was chosen because it is relatively level and accessible from a part of the neighborhood where there are no other parks easy for families with young children to reach. It is also uniquely situated on the boundary between the North Beacon Hill Urban Village and the North Rainier Urban Village—potentially bridging the gap between green spaces in both communities. Preserving tree canopy and open space in this location will help bridge the gap in green spaces in two areas slated for increased development.

The Walker Street Project is one of several proposals being submitted from Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill community members are also applying for Opportunity Fund support for an urban farm in Jefferson Park and a Central Park near the Light Rail Station.

Egg hunts this Saturday

Red Apple window art for Easter Egg Hunt

This coming Saturday, April 3rd, the Hilltop Red Apple is having their “1st Annual” Easter Egg Hunt at 9am. Stop by the store at Beacon and Lander across from the light rail station or call 206-323-1325 for more details.

An hour later, Jefferson Community Center and Van Asselt Community Center are hosting “Spring” Egg Hunts at 10am Saturday morning:

Bring a basket or a bag to gather up goodies at our Spring Egg Hunt! All children 10 years of age and younger are welcomed to the hunt. Come rain or shine! A pancake breakfast will follow the egg hunt. The cost is $1 per person or $5 per family.

Jefferson Community Center is located at 3801 Beacon Ave S and Van Asselt Community Center is located at 2820 S Myrtle St.

Sewer main blocked on South Waite Street

Neighbor Ben posted on the Beacon Hill Mailing List today:

If you regularly travel through the 1900 block of S Waite you’ll need to find an alternate route for the next few days. There is a sewer main blockage on South Waite Street around halfway between 19th and 20th. Seattle Public Utilities is on the scene working to order to restore service tonight and have closed the street to through traffic. In addition some parking on the street is currently blocked off and will remain so during working hours between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.

They expect to have a more permanent fix in place by Tuesday. The utilities crew will cover the excavation with a metal plate and open the road to traffic during off-hours and will pour a temporary asphalt patch once the fix is complete. They expect the road services crew to come in behind them within a month to delete the four concrete slabs affected by the work and pour some new ones.

View Larger Map

Neighbors invited to discuss future of ART’s on Beacon Hill coffeehouse

ART's on Beacon Hill at 13th and Shelton will host a community meeting this weekend and fundraising performances during April. Photo by Wendi.
Owner Michael Perrone sent this letter about the future of the ART’s on Beacon Hill coffeehouse in the former DeVos grocery at 13th and Shelton:

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for all of your recent and generous support, as we are working hard to provide a community center that supports and reflects the diversity and rich history of our Beacon Hill and Georgetown neighborhoods.

On Saturday March 27, 2010 between 5 and 7 p.m., you are invited to attend a special community meeting at ART’s to discuss upcoming events and options for further community involvement and support. All neighbors are invited so please spread the word!

As you know, we have been working closely with the City of Seattle to renew historic licensing allowing for the reinstatement of ART’s as the community corner where neighbors gather, share a cup of hot beverage, a tasty delight, and news of the day. It is our aim to continue this tradition and reopen the corner coffee shop as a community hub and center of creativity. To assist in this endeavor, ART’s has recently partnered with CULTURE FORUM, a non-profit Culture and Arts organization dedicated to artist and cultural exchange through community building.

ART’s current offering opens April 1 running through May 1, and is entitled MIXED: First Person and is a 42 minute multi-media stage play developed with the Evergreen State College, CULTURE FORUM, and of course ART’s.

We are very close to achieving our goals, but cannot do it without your input, involvement, and support. So please accept our invitation to attend this special meeting, and we hope to see you very soon at ART’s! If you have any questions, please feel free to give a call or just stop on by!

Sincerely yours,
Michael Perrone
ART’s on Beacon Hill
4951 13th ave south 98108
phone: 206-861-6260

Christian Ryser of CULTURE FORUM tells the Beacon Hill Blog that the city has agreed to reinstate the building’s original historic status and zoning, including retail and gallery use, and that they are allowing fundraisers to be held. The Mixed: First Person show is functioning as a fundraising effort for ART’s. He adds, “The bad news is that ART’s is suffering from the same banking malpractice as the rest of the world. Culture Forum has partnered with ART’s to provide artistic direction as well as an avenue for tax deductible donations. We are attempting to find a way to modify and or buy out the absurd loan on the building. ” They are working with an attorney from Beacon Hill in this effort.

Beacon Merchants Association meeting today

The Beacon Merchants Association is a newly forming organization of all businesses on Beacon Hill, both retail and home-based. They are holding their next meeting today, March 26, at 12 noon at Kusina Filipina, 3201 Beacon Avenue South. The meeting is open to any business or property owner in the area who is interested in improving the business climate on the hill. If you can’t be there, email the BMA at to be added to their mailing list.

Camp, classes among events at local community centers

Did you know that Jefferson Community Center has a pottery studio? Neither did we. Photo by Karpov the Wrecked Train via Creative Commons.
Molly Hueffed writes to let us know about adult pottery classes at Jefferson Community Center this spring, meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays during the days, and Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in the evening, depending on which classes you take. Classes start on Monday, April 5, and enrollment is open now. You can find and register for classes via this Teachstreet page, or via the Jefferson CC website (go to SPARC registration), or by calling 206-684-7481.

The community center is located at 3801 Beacon Avenue South.

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There will be a preschool summer camp at Jefferson Community Center from July 5 through September 3. The sessions are for 3 1/2- to 5-year-old (potty trained) kids and the cost is $125 per week. Kids can attend for a week or for the whole summer. Camp sessions are each day from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, and each week has a special theme such as “Summer Safari” or “Water, Water, Everywhere.”

For more information, see the Southeast Spring brochure.

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The first of three design meetings for the new Jefferson Park Skatepark, including updates on the Beacon Mountain Play Area and the Jefferson Park Playfield, is scheduled for April 14 from 6:00 – 8:30 pm at the Jefferson Community Center.

From 6:00 – 6:40 pm the project manager will provide updates on Beacon Mountain and Jefferson Playfield, then at 6:45 the design workshop will begin for the skatepark.

The community is asked to bring their skatepark ideas, images and drawings to share with the design team. The next meeting on May 26 will refine the skatepark ideas and a final meeting will be held on July 14 to review a final skatepark schematic design. Each meeting will begin with a construction update of the overall park, Beacon Mountain and Jefferson Playfield.

Find more information on the skatepark here, and more information on Jefferson Park here.

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If you’re closer to Rainier Beach than Jefferson Park, fear not, you also have a great new community center and pool coming soon! All are invited to come and learn about the design of the new Rainier Beach Community Center and Pool at a public meeting at the Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Avenue South, on Tuesday, April 13 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. For further information, see the project website.

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Thanks to David Gackenbach, Molly Hueffed, Frederica Merrell, and Heather Dwyer for forwarding us community center/park info!