The Walker Street proposal is one of only 12 applications chosen as “staff recommended,” with the comment “Staff preference for funding in this neighborhood.” This does not guarantee that the proposal will be funded, but it is a good sign. All the other North Beacon projects, including the North Beacon Hill Central Park, are listed as “Lowest staff-ranked projects.” The Central Park is the highest-scoring project to be ranked as “lowest staff-ranked,” but the comments about it indicate some reasons for this: “Possible conflicts with Neighborhood Plan and City Council desire for increased density here.” Additionally, this would be a high-cost project, as would the Walker Street Park, and both are located in the same sector.
On Monday, June 28, the applicants have the opportunity to present their projects at the Levy Oversight Committee meeting. In September, there will be a public hearing on project prioritization and funding recommendations, and in January 2011, project funding recommendations will be given to the Mayor and City Council. The Council is expected to approve the recommendations in March, and the projects can begin implementation shortly afterward.
The North Beacon Hill Council Board is submitting a letter of support for eight groups submitting applications to build new parks or improve existing parks in Beacon Hill. The 40+ people attending last night’s NBHC meeting unanimously supported this motion. Presenters were succinct and provided an impressive amount of information about their respective projects.
The Opportunity Fund is community-driven. A key aspect of the application is how much community support a project has. If you would like to share comments, concerns, or enthusiastic support about a proposal, contact Seattle Parks and let them know what you think. Use the comments page or contact Kellee Jones at 206-684-7052 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Susanne Friedman at 206-684-0902 or email@example.com.
Briefly, the eight proposals are:
Volunteers and community members seeking funding to continue efforts to improve Lewis Park, such as clearing invasive species, planting natives, and restoring the natural areas in the park’s ravines
Beacon Hill Youth Soccer Association efforts to improve the youth soccer field adjacent to Beacon International School so that it can be used year-round, by replacing grass with artificial turf
El Centro de La Raza seeking to improve their playground and increase access to the public by upgrading play structure; adding landscaping, outdoor meeting space, green features, and cultural aspects; adding ADA accessibility; and improving the basketball court
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:
7:05 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
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.
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.
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.
What if you could start from scratch and locate the Beacon Hill Central Park, the neighborhood’s focal point, anywhere on Beacon Hill—without disrupting existing businesses, without relocating current residents, without demolishing any of the many buildings of character on Beacon Hill? Ideally it would be located on Beacon Avenue, in the heart of the Urban Village, close to the transit station… and that is exactly what we are proposing.
The Parks and Green Space Levy Oversight Committee announced that there are funds available for the acquisition and development of park space. The intent of this project is to acquire the land surrounding the light rail station (see a map of the area here) to create an urban park in the heart of the North Beacon Hill Urban Village.
Our neighborhood has seen great changes in the past few years with the addition of a new library and the recent opening of the Beacon Hill light rail station. As both the adopted North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan (NBHNP) and the 2009 Draft Plan point out, the central area of our neighborhood is still missing public spaces that provide opportunities to play for young (play structure) and old (chess table), talk to friends and neighbors (benches, picnic tables), and for community gatherings (plaza). The adopted NBHNP points out that with the existing population North Beacon Hill does not even meet the minimum city standards for the ratio of open space to residents.
A park-like setting in the core will also help alleviate the lack of tree cover and vegetation. It would give residents and visitors a great opportunity to connect with nature, the environment, and the larger landscape of the Pacific Northwest, and for all to share the spectacular Beacon Hill views.
With community backing, this acquisition would most likely score highly due to the central location in our community, the consistency with the adopted plan, the coupling with the transit station, and the vacancy of the desired land. All these factors combine to make this an unique and creative opportunity.
Please comment on this blog about what you think and what you would like to see in the Beacon Hill Park. This proposal will be submitted to the North Beacon Hill Community Council for endorsement at the meeting on Thursday April 1, 2010. Please come out to express your support!!
Andrea Leuschke is a landscape architect who has worked on the Beacon Ridge Improvement Community (BRIC) stairway project. Tim Abell is a resident of Beacon Hill and an architect who designs and develops work force housing in Seattle.
(All images courtesy of Andrea and Tim. Click on each thumbnail image to see a larger version.)
If you didn’t make it to the NBHC meeting Thursday night, here are a few things you missed:
Al Terry and Barb Graff from Findlay Street Church presented the plans for their new sanctuary with affordable housing to be built at 14th and Bayview. You can see the slides on the church’s website. Some concern was expressed about parking impacts, but by and large the proposed development appeared to be welcomed.
Cheryl Sizov from the Seattle Department of Planning and Development presented an introduction to the DPD’s process of revising the Seattle Citywide Design Guidelines, originally created in 1993, used in the design review process, and used as the baseline for the various neighborhood design guidelines since. Largely, it’s a simplification and clarification measure, reducing the five original categories to three and the 31 original guidelines to 13, but bringing extra attention to the “sub-issues”, increasing them from 19 to 50. See the proposed revisions on the DPD website. Public comment is accepted until March 31st.
A motion was made to provide a vote of support to Glenn Herlihy’s 12-acre multi-focal gardening project on the western edge of Jefferson Park along 15th Ave S (some details in the forum), for use in applying for $250,000 in grants to advance the project. There was hesitance expressed by several attendees about issuing formal support for a project most of the council wasn’t terribly familiar with, and the motion was tabled until the April 1st NBHC meeting. Hopefully, there will be more details about the plan available here or in the forum by then.
David Gackenbach and Andrew Abian presented some initial thoughts about submitting for Parks funds for a project that would add to the open green space on Beacon Hill by using grant money to negotiate the purchase of the entire block at 17th and Walker, currently occupied by a single home, and converting it to a park. Expect more details about this project to appear here on the blog soon.
A neighbor involved with the 12th and Stevens power pole situation reported having their best meeting yet with Seattle City Light last Thursday, and that they are feeling optimistic. NBHC Chair Judith Edwards said “City Light is actually bending!”
This was another well-attended meeting, with likely more than fifty neighbors turning out. Next month, expect an appearance by City Council member Sally Bagshaw, speaking about parks and open space. Hopefully we’ll see you there!
Improvements are coming soon to the Beacon Hill Playground, with $180,000 provided by the Parks and Green Spaces Levy. According to Seattle Parks’ project page, the plan is to provide access improvements and other site improvements, including bringing the play area into compliance with current play area safety standards.
Jefferson Community Center is again offering the $2 Try It program, in which you can try a class or program once for only $2. Class dates are between January 4 and January 30, and classes include Zumba, Yoga, Pottery, Pilates, Pickleball, Badminton, Hapkido, Ballet, Hip Hop Dance, Cartoon Drawing, Instructional Basketball, Little Dribblers, Creative Dance, and Line Dancing. See the Winter class catalog here.
Thanks to Doreen Deaver for the info!
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Craig Thompson writes on the BAN list that many volunteers have been hard at work on Beacon Avenue and at Jose Rizal Park:
“Washington State Department of Corrections supervised a cleanup of street litter [Saturday] along Beacon Avenue and adjacent streets. Next week, WSDOC will continue cleanups of litter and trash in the East Duwamish Greenbelt, on the west side of Beacon Hill.
“At Jose Rizal Park, 20 volunteers, EarthCorps crew members, and community court service workers cut blackberries and moved 300+ potted native plants into the woods; these will be planted on Saturday, January 16, in a large volunteer event (100 people expected) that will kick off the Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday weekend of volunteer work in Seattle. On Saturday, January 9, the community court service workers will return for a general cleanup.”
If pedestrian issues are your interest, you still have a day to apply for the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Board. Three volunteers are wanted for the board, which advises the Mayor and City Council, as well as participating in planning and policy activities relevant to pedestrians. The board meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at City Hall. Board members serve for two years, and must be Seattle residents who are not city employees. Those interested in serving should submit a resume and cover letter by Wednesday December 16 to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, email Brian Dougherty, or call him at (206) 684-5124, or e-mail him at the address above.
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The International District Housing Alliance (IDHA) is a non-profit organization that provides housing services and community building to the Chinatown/International District and greater Seattle’s low-income, Asian Pacific Islander, immigrant and refugee communities, including many who live in Beacon Hill and surrounding neighborhoods. The IDHA is holding a Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, December 16 from 4:00 to 7:00 p,, and a Holiday Gift Drive until December 18. The dinner, at the Four Seas Restaurant in the International District, will help elderly neighbors celebrate the season with friends and family. Activities will include live entertainment, a six course Chinese banquet, a raffle, and door prizes. In the gift drive, CID elderly residents, youth and family clients send in gift requests, and Sound Transit and the University of Washington Law School help distribute gift requests and collect presents for participants. Presents will be wrapped and delivered between December 18-23. If you would like to donate to the holiday dinner, or to volunteer to wrap and/or deliver gifts, or you need information, contact Alma Dea Michelena at email@example.com, or call 206-623-5132, extension 322.
The squeaks, screeches, squeals, and thumps Sound Transit’s light rail trains make as they round the bend and enter the Beacon Hill tunnel apparently exceed federal noise limit standards, so yesterday the agency’s Board of Directors approved emergency funding of up to $1 million to address the problem — Seattle P-I
Craig Thompson is wrangling a number of SPU “CityQuest” community service volunteers (as well as willing neighbors!) this Saturday the 26th, living out SPU’s mission of “engaging the culture and changing world.” For details about the projects spanning the hill from Lewis and Jose Rizal Parks to El Centro to the Cheasty Greenspace and how you can help out, read Craig’s posting at Beacon Lights.
Giddens School, where I work and my daughter attends school, is offering child CPR and First Aid training and certification for parents and caregivers this Saturday (9/26), 9 am – 1 pm. The class fee is $35 per person and there are still a few spots open. Giddens is located at 20th South and S. Lane Street in Judkins Park. Contact me directly at my work phone or address if interested: 324-4847 ext. 37 or firstname.lastname@example.org.