Tag Archives: parks

Walker Street Park prospects promising

View Parks Opportunity Fund application sites in a larger map
Click on each marker to identify the site
Two projects in North Beacon Hill, the Walker Street Park and Orchard and the North Beacon Hill Central Park, have scored in the top ten citywide among applications submitted for 2010 Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund grants, with the Walker Street Park achieving the status of “Staff recommended.” Eight North Beacon Hill projects were submitted in April to be considered for the grants. They were among 95 applications submitted city-wide, competing for $7 million in this funding cycle.

This week, Parks and Recreation released the results of the initial staff evaluations of the projects. You can read the criteria they used for scoring the projects here.

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.

Thanks to Andrew Abian for the tip!

Eight Beacon Hill projects pursue Opportunity Fund grants

View Parks Opportunity Fund application sites in a larger map
Click on each marker to identify the site
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 eight groups presented information about applications they are submitting to the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund for parks in Beacon Hill.  You can find out more about the Opportunity Fund in their FAQ.

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 kellee.jones@seattle.gov, or Susanne Friedman at 206-684-0902 or susanne.friedman@seattle.gov.

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
  • Development of a Food Forest in Jefferson Park, including bicycle and walking paths, a community shade structure, and habitat renewal for beneficial insects and birds
  • Acquisition of land around the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station to develop a North Beacon Central Park
  • Walker Street Park and Orchard proposal to acquire 10 lots on the boundary of the North Beacon Hill and North Rainier Urban Villages
  • 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
  • Efforts to preserve and renovate the historic reservoir gatehouse building in Jefferson Park
  • Development of a viewpoint pocket park at 12th and Hill, including addition of a retaining wall, viewing platform, and seating area

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.

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.

Opinion: A bold idea for Beacon Hill’s Central Park

Do you have an opinion? We welcome opinion articles on topics related to Beacon Hill. Please email us your articles.

by Andrea Leuschke and Tim Abell

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.

Neighbors enjoying a park's wading pool in the summer.
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.)

March NBHC capsule recap: new church, guidelines, green space

Bev Graff of Findlay Street Church opens a presentation on the new church building to be built at 14th and Bayview. Photo by Wendi.
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!

Breakfast, groceries, and bowling among upcoming events

For more details on each item, follow the links.

THURSDAY 3/4 (today):







Neighbors invited to discuss Beacon Hill Playground improvements January 5

The Beacon Hill Playground will see some upgrades soon. Photo by Bridget Christian in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
The Beacon Hill Playground will see some upgrades soon. Photo by Bridget Christian in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
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.

Neighbors are invited to an open house next month to discuss the project design. The meeting will be Tuesday, January 5, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at Jefferson Community Center, 3801 Beacon Avenue South.

For more information or to comment on the project, contact Kelly Davidson, 206-684-0998 or kelly.davidson@seattle.gov.

Thanks to Shelly Bates for the heads-up!

Beacon Bits: Affordable housing, volunteerism, and our own dive bar

Customers visit the hot dog cart in front of Beacon Pub, summer 2009. Photo by Jason.
Customers visit the hot dog cart in front of Beacon Pub, summer 2009. Photo by Jason.
It may be a dive, but it’s our dive: The Beacon Pub was featured recently in the Seattle Weekly website’s Dive Bar Advent Calendar.

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Homestead Community Land Trust is a local nonprofit group, intended to create affordable housing by taking the cost of land out of the purchase price of a home by using a community land trust. The HCLT Advantage program provides funds for purchase assistance to help families buy homes in Seattle. Interested? Orientation classes for the HCLT Advantage program are held periodically at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Avenue South. The next two classes are Saturday, January 9, and Thursday, January 26. Further info is here.

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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.”

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For those who want to do their civic duty in other ways, there are a couple of upcoming possibilities to help make your neighborhood more livable. The first round of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund is currently open for your nominations of potential park development and acquisition projects. The nomination process begins with the submittal of a proposal letter, due by February 1, 2010. Letters and Opportunity Fund criteria may be found at this link. There will be workshops in early January to help develop proposal letters and explain the process. For more information, visit the Opportunity Fund website.

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 brian.dougherty@seattle.gov. 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 almadea@apialliance.org, or call 206-623-5132, extension 322.

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An application has been made to the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to install T-Mobile antennas on the rooftop of the Amanuel Ethiopian Orthodox Church at 2101 14th Avenue South.

A couple of DPD decisions have been handed down related to Clearwire utilities in our area. At 3114 South Warsaw Street, a decision was made to allow a Clearwire utility (antennas and a microwave dish) to be mounted on a City Light transmission tower. At 3802 South Othello Street, a Determination of Non-Significance with conditions was decided regarding the installation of a Clearwire utility (antennas and an equipment cabinet) on the rooftop of the existing five-story residential building.

The deadline to appeal these decisions is December 28.

Beacon Bits: Squeaky wheels on the Information Superhighway

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

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Beacon Hill’s bandwidth problem was mentioned by mayoral candidate Mike McGinn at a recent town hall meeting. Glenn Fleishman delves into McGinn’s Internet platform plank in an interview at Publicola.

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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.

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Our neighbor Sheba wrote to the mailing list:

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 sburney-jones@giddensschool.org.