Neighborhood Plan update survey results posted

One of the voting posters from the recent survey. Photo by Wendi
As we reported last week, many Beaconians voted on a Neighborhood Plan Update actions and strategies survey while attending the Beacon Hill Festival. Others have since filled out the survey online. The purpose of the survey was to ask North Beacon Hill neighbors and non-residents to rate their support for elements of the North Beacon Hill 2011 Neighborhood Plan update. Survey respondents were asked to indicate their level of support or agreement for various strategies to be included in the plan; those who voted at the Festival did this by placing stickers on voting posters to indicate their level of support.

Frederica Merrell has provided us with some vote results and highlights. Among quite a few other results, the voting reflected a high level of opposition to building commuter parking lots on the Hill, and a high level of support for such strategies as consistent broadband access, the Food Forest, and a Town Center Campus with redirected traffic. The highlights of the vote totals may be read here: Word .doc format, or PDF.

A spreadsheet containing all the vote totals may be found here: Excel format, or PDF.

All of the “vote posters” from the Beacon Hill Festival event may be seen in this folder. There are photos that show each entire poster (for context) as well as closer views to make the results easier to read.

12 thoughts on “Neighborhood Plan update survey results posted”

  1. This is really scary. It looks like a vast majority of people here support rezoning, establishing a more vital business district, bringing a farmer’s market to the hill, maintaining higher-quality public spaces, the list goes on. I for one am horrified. Pretty soon we’ll look like Ballard and actually be able to stay in our own neighborhood to eat, go out for drinks, and enjoy live entertainment. In other words: Armageddon.

  2. Hey, don’t look at me. I voted for more gas stations, hair salons, dentist’s offices and tax accountants 😉

  3. All correct Jay except the rezoning. A small majority don’t support rezoning. See jpg 3118. I would call it just a lack of consensus as none of the zoning proposals has a rating of 2 or higher. Clearly, some more work to do on a proposal that draws greater support.


  4. I’m not sure I would interpret the numbers the way you do, Freddie. There were 138 total votes for the two questions related to 50 and 65-foot upzoning. A combined 49 votes were for “Dont Support” with 81 combined votes for the three levels of support, and 8 no opinion votes. Plus, I’m sure I’m not the only one who voted “dont support” for one of the upzone options, but voted to support the other. Even the most significant upzone plan had more votes of support than votes not supporting. Even if you do as you suggested and just look at the photo of the results from the Festival and not include the on-line results, you see that the number of combined supporting and no opinion votes for evaluating the 65-foot zoning was 26, versus 23 votes not supporting. THe numbers are 26 versus 13 for the 50-foot zoning. I see the value of the weighted calculation done to compare the options, but the raw data clearly shows that there is general support for allowing some level of increased zoning.

    Clearly there is support for actually evaluating the need for rezoning. However, another project that seems to have some support, the Central Park, must be considered in that study. If successful, the Central Park will eat up a significant portion of the immediately available TOD property and potential housing units and may have the affect of providing more justification for upzoning the surrounding properties or expanding the upzone footprint, including the single family properties on 17th.

  5. Good points, Chis…

    With respect to the central park, at the last council meeting Councilmember Bagshaw was willing to state that the council would expect higher height rezones in the urban village in exchange for taking prime TOD land and using it for a park.

    I don’t think some of the more wishy washy councilmembers (Councilmember Clark for example) would have had the courage to make the quid pro quo that clear.

    For my part, I just hope the rezones happen soon. The longer those take, and the more a small minority push back agains rezones, the longer we’ll be stuck with the parking lots – and people driving to Beacon Hill from elsewhere.

    Suggestions from the mayors office that perpetual delay is no longer a workable strategy?

  6. Thanks chris and psf –
    not to mention people driving from Beacon Hill TO elsewhere in order to find the services we need and want. Density at our urban core is crucial for bringing us more commercial options. I am tired of going off of Beacon Hill for groceries (Red Apple charges much more for many of the items I buy at PCC – so far although I’d prefer to walk to the store, the economic trade-off isn’t worth it), a drink, dinner other than delicious Mexican food, a movie, shoes, etc. Jefferson Park is going to be amazing. All of us Beacon Hill walkers and cyclists can get there and even though we don’t have enough park space at our north end of the hill, I’d much rather see housing and commerce at the “town center” than a park. Now I’m just waiting for someone to tell me to move to Ballard . . . .

  7. I agree, we need more density around the station. There are already plenty of parks nearby and I’m not sure if a park will really encourage more development and signficant improvement of existing businesses. We can integrate green pockets with the new development, but a park next to the station doesn’t make much sense.

  8. Although there are a lot of questions, they suggest broader outreach to the community as a whole is needed. For example, issues pertinent to Japanese-American and Chinese-American seniors, as expressed at public safety and other meetings over the last two years, aren’t here. One that came up repeatedly is that parks and other amenities should be “senior-senior” friendly, so that elders over 75 years old will have activities in their neighborhoods.

    As Beacon Hill includes two of the largest tracks of forest in the city, the East Duwamish Greenbelt and Cheasty, the environmental and public safety issues in these forests need to be addressed. If Jefferson Park is going to be a safe place, public safety concerns arising out of the greenbelts north of Columbia Way to the Sound Transit tunnel and south of the Parks maintenance yard in Cheasty will need to be solved. The Columbia Way stretch has a history of being particularly dangerous. As the SPD is currently organizing neighborhood meetings about how the situation in the greenbelts will affect public safety this summer and into the fall, this very real situation deserves community attention.

    The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail isn’t really addressed in the plan either. There are two phases: the first is scheduled to begin this fall, with construction by SDOT of a lit pedestrian and bike trail south to Holgate, and the second phase of a ped and bike bridge over I-5 and through the I-90 spaghetti to be completed at a later date (the agreement between SDOT and WSDOT is being negotiated – stay tuned). Once public access to the area north of Holgate is open, one proposal made at the well-attended 2005 community forum on the future of the M2S, Jose Rizal Park, and the East Duwamish Greenbelt is to create a mountain bike area on the western slope of the hill – a backcountry bike group has advocated this, and it’s a good idea.

    The Food Forest at JeffPark is a good idea, but what some in Parks and the Seattle orchard community consider to be the most significant orchard on the hill and potentially the most productive in all of South Seattle is located in Dr. Jose Rizal Park. A community garden may be in the works for the area, which would particularly benefit the Asian American community. The lower area is going to be reconfigured as part of the M2S development – if you want input, get on board! This will include improvements to the off-leash area.

    Ideas around parks tend to center on family use and reforestation. An important public safety measure at the design level is often overlooked: CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. At Jose Rizal, CPTED from 2003 on was the determining factor in restoration and reclamation efforts. In all the mockups I’ve seen for JeffPark, CPTED principles don’t seem to be considered.

    Park rangers are another popular idea, but the program is up for reconsideration now. If it does expand, it will be expanded first into Chinatown/ID and Little Saigon, with the possibility to be incrementally expanded to Lewis Park, Jose Rizal Park, and the BHIS playground. That latter expansion will need advocates.

    Finally, the situation of homeless people on Beacon Hill is a real, everyday issue. Establishment of a DESC facility along Dearborn or on Beacon Hill would ameliorate some of the problems the community as a whole has had with homeless people, as would store compliance with the Alcohol Impact Areas around us. We could have had an AIA, and we still could have one or its equivalent. Because homeless people are our neighbors, too, I believe our community needs to be a part of the city’s and county’s project to end homelessness within 10 years – now into its third year, I recall.

  9. At the DPD public meeting I asked about two relatively significant public construction projects on the hill, one was the Mountains to Sound trail and the other was the new golf facilities. Several people tried hard to get answers to my questions, but generally had no idea what I was talking about.

    The Mountains to Sound trail extension is an excellent example of what Knute Berger describes in the link that Brook provided. More than 5 years ago it was being designed with features that made it cost double what was available for construction and as a result it still doesn’t exist.

    I’m not a big fan of the Park Ranger concept, but I honestly don’t know exactly what is intended. If the intent is to set up a network of trained, deputized, and armed officers dedicated to patrolling a particular neighborhood’s network of Parks and actually providing direct enforcement, then I’m all for it. If we are talking about Parks employees in different color uniforms walking around the parks with cell phone at ready, I think it is a waste of money. Frankly, I’d rather just use the money to add dedicated neighborhood police officers, either bike or foot-based.

  10. Hi, Chris! The M2S trail is being implemented in two phases, with the bridge coming second. The reason it wasn’t built out first is because the M2S trust actually raised half of the money needed for the bridge, with the anticipation that the City would pay the other half. Then, in 2000, the Nisqually Earthquake happened, which caused the City to reassess its funding. So, as it became increasingly apparent that the viaduct replacement would take precedent over most other Seattle transportation projects, the alternative route to Holgate was created, with the bridge TBD at a future time.

    I totally agree with you about park rangers; I’d much rather see bike cops and horse cops up on the hill and along the west side, plus a dedicated anti-crime team. I’d also like to see Community Police Officers (CPOs) reinstated, as they had the training to deal with homeless people, runaways, juveniles, but the CPOs were cut 6-7 years ago. My two bits, the level of communication between the various agencies needs to be better and a higher level of coordination is needed, but we’re not getting it from the mayor’s office right now.

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