Tag Archives: neighborhood plan update

Save the date: Hearing Feb. 29 on North Beacon Hill station area rezones

The proposed rezoning for the station area. Click on the image to see a PDF that contains a larger map.
The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, February 29 to discuss proposed rezoning in the North Beacon Hill urban village area, in order to implement the updated North Beacon Hill neighborhood plan. (See Seattle Council Bill 117375, currently in committee.) The proposed rezones may be seen in this PDF, and include rezoning several 40′ zones to 65′, changing parts of the El Centro properties from Single Family 5000′ to Neighborhood Commercial or Low-Rise zones, and changing some other areas to Low-Rise 3. Additionally, there would be a slight expansion of the Beacon Hill Station Overlay District.

The public hearing, which will be combined with a similar hearing for the Othello Neighborhood Plan update, will be held on Wednesday, February 29 at 6 p.m. at the NewHolly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Ave. S.

If you are unable to attend but still wish to comment, you may send comments to Councilmember Richard Conlin, richard.conlin@seattle.gov. Comments should be received by Tuesday, February 28, at 5 p.m.

More information about the neighborhood plan update and the rezone may be found at the DPD website, including the “Director’s Analysis and Recommendation on the North Beacon Hill Rezone Proposal.

Analysis: Neighborhood action plan still lacks clarity

This poster from the Beacon Hill Festival in June was covered with stickers that Beacon Hill neighbors used to vote on projects to prioritize in our neighborhood plan update. Photo by Wendi.
by Frederica Merrell

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has introduced legislation to the City Council for adoption of our neighborhood plan update in Councilperson Mike O’Brien’s committee next Tuesday, September 28. You can download the Action Plan PDF file here. In the past week, they have finally put in all the details that people have been asking to see. Don’t blink, you will miss it!

For comparison, here is the matrix of projects voted on at the Beacon Hill Festival (only the ones that received an average support rating of 2 or higher). Many great ideas are not included in the DPD update.

DPD actions are phased as: o for on-going, p for planning, u for underway, or d for done. There are lots of blanks where they don’t know which phase we are in. I have to wonder why we are getting “done” projects in our action matrix for a ten-year plan for the future? I guess we need a little padding in a few spots! Here is my educated review of the Action Plan:

Goals #1, 2, and 3. DPD has put a lot of emphasis on developing low-income housing. DPD again claims to be developing an urban design framework for us, but I still don’t know what that means. Clearly zoning and land use is DPD’s main interest and expertise area. (It doesn’t hurt that every development project that gets permitted puts money in the department coffers.)

All the actions under the first three goals (housing and commercial district development) are on-going or planned. There is one interesting exception: Resolving litter issues in the town center is listed as done! I am not sure how that has manifested in our town center, exactly.

There are no housing goals, nor is there acknowledgement of the huge amount of multi-family housing going in at the north end of the hill. Rating: OK but incomplete for rest of neighborhood and maybe a little inaccurate on the litter front.

It starts to get weird under Goal 4: Parks and Open Space. They have only two policies: Preserve and support El Centro, and Seek Small Pocket Parks. There is emphasis on the El Centro Civic Gathering Space, an indoor facility, I believe (see Goal 6). The only actions with a planning designation are El Centro’s civic gathering space, El Centro’s children’s play area and an urban design framework element for Jose Rizal Park. In spite of the fact that eight different proposals for open space were submitted to the Parks Opportunity Fund this year, the only one acknowledged by DPD is the El Centro Children’s Play Area project. What about the other five: Lewis Park, North Beacon Central Park, Walker Street, 12th Street View Spot, and the Gatehouse project at Jefferson Park?

DPD pads this section with completed or almost completed projects. Beacon Hill Playground project is listed three times and is already underway, probably to be finished before the end of the year. Under Jefferson Park Master Plan, a small number of projects are underway or done. Why is “recommission the South Reservoir” in there as an action? It was completed over a year ago!
Continue reading Analysis: Neighborhood action plan still lacks clarity

Results of recent neighborhood plan update surveys posted

City Councilperson Mike O'Brien speaks with Beacon Hill residents at May's town hall meeting at Mercer Middle School.
The Department of Planning and Development has posted the results of the recent town hall and Web surveys about the North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan Update. They sent out the following announcement:

Thank you for your participation and contribution to your Neighborhood Plan Update from the March 2009 meeting through the May 2010 Town Hall meetings and the online survey. Your input in creating the updates and your help prioritizing the Action Steps will guide the Implementation Phase, which we are just about to start. Implementation will involve a partnership of community members, community organizations, the City and funders. We look forward to working with you on the Strategies and Action Steps to bring about your community’s Vision and Goals.

The May 2010 Town Hall and web surveys results are now posted to our website. Click on the following link if you wish to see what your fellow community members think: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/Neighborhood_Planning/Overview/ (Editor’s note: You can go directly to the survey result PDF here if you prefer.)

Your commitment to your community is further demonstrated by the hundreds of Action Team members signed up to implement the Action Steps. City Departments will be activating the relevant Action Teams as we start our work in your neighborhood. If you did not sign up, but are interested, please contact your Neighborhood District Coordinator: Yun Pitre (yun.pitre@seattle.gov) if you are in Othello or North Rainier; or Steve Louie (steve.louie@seattle.gov) if you are in North Beacon Hill. In the meantime, you can keep up to date on our progress via our website and Facebook page.

Again, thank you for your commitment to your neighborhood. We are excited to begin our shared work plan in your neighborhood.

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.

Your opinions wanted for Neighborhood Plan Update survey

A neighbor at the Beacon Hill Festival, thinking about how to prioritize Neighborhood Plan ideas. Photo by Jason.
(By Frederica Merrell, with some added text by Wendi.)

138 people voted on a Neighborhood Plan Update actions and strategies survey at the Beacon Hill Festival on Saturday. If you couldn’t attend the festival, have no fear—click this link to take the survey online. (This is a different survey than the one we posted about several weeks ago.)

The purpose of this survey is to ask North Beacon Hill neighbors and non-residents to rate their support for elements of our 2011 Neighborhood Plan update. In the survey, you are asked to indicate your level of support or agreement for various strategies to be included in the plan. (Some examples of the strategies that are included in the survey: “Create affordable rental and home ownership housing targets for the Beacon Hill Urban Village and periodically evaluate progress,” and “Create the Town Center campus on Beacon Avenue between McClellan and 15th, by calming and redirecting traffic flow, extending the festival street, and creating bus/bike lanes and activated alleys.”) The proposed plan update will be edited based on your input. Questions or comments? Send them to nbhcplan@gmail.com.

This plan update is proposed by neighborhood volunteers, with ideas that come from neighborhood groups and individuals. It incorporates the work done by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) in 2009 and the comments they collected. Look for future reports on the survey results here on the Beacon Hill Blog.

Our neighborhood plan

The 1999 North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan has been a highly successful document because neighbors and City of Seattle departments implemented significant improvements for our community over the ten-year planning period. It was built on the shoulders of the 1993 North Beacon Hill Action Plan, our first neighborhood plan and one of the first residential neighborhood plans in the City. The 1993 Action Plan was supported by extensive study of housing trends, demographics, and conditions in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood.
Continue reading Your opinions wanted for Neighborhood Plan Update survey

Neighbors meet at Mercer to plan North Beacon’s future

Neighbors discuss the future of North Beacon Hill at Mercer Middle School. Photo by Wendi.
The North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan Update Action Team Kick-Off meeting last night drew an enthusiastic group of more than fifty neighbors to Asa Mercer Middle School to express their thoughts about the future of North Beacon. Idea boards were set up around the room and people were given stickers to apply to the boards to choose which proposals to prioritize.

One concern expressed by several people was that the ideas on the boards seemed to be poorly chosen, including some projects that were already built or being built. (For example, one of the ideas was to put lids on the reservoirs at Jefferson Park, a project which has already happened.) Many people were choosing to use their stickers to prioritize projects that have already been done, instead of prioritizing new potential ideas for the Hill.

Other ideas on the boards were vague, such as “Supporting a safe and healthy community,” which received a large number of support stickers from neighbors at the event. However, many other concepts on the boards were more specific, such as “SDOT Street Use will review and approve permits for benches and banners.”

If you could not make it to the meeting last night, you can participate online by filling out an online survey.

City Council member Mike O'Brien listens to neighbors' comments. Photo by Wendi.
Neighbors were given stickers to place on various boards to give their opinions or demographic info. Photo by Wendi.
Frederica Merrell points out some concerns with the idea boards. Photo by Wendi.
Deciding how to prioritize one's stickers. Photo by Wendi.

North Beacon Hill DNS appeal resolved

On May 3, the Seattle Hearing Examiner decided in favor of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and El Centro de La Raza when reviewing the appeal filed in late January by Frederica Merrell against the DPD regarding the Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) of the North Beacon Hill neighborhood plan update process. (Previous coverage and discussion of the appeal can be found here.)

The full text of the decision is here. The decision is based on findings that DPD environmental reviews were adequate in regards to the proposed update to the North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Plan. It also states that the proposed updates do not significantly change growth targets or other aspects of the City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan with regards to Beacon Hill:

“There is no evidence in the record that the Plan Update would result in increased density within the North Beacon Hill Residential Urban Village beyond that anticipated in the Comprehensive Plan. The proposed goals and policies in the Plan Update and those in the existing Neighborhood Plan both anticipate greater density in the town center area and near the light rail station. The Plan Update is a document that begins the process of determining how the growth that is already anticipated by the Comprehensive Plan’s existing growth targets for the Residential Urban Village will be accommodated and shaped.”

To learn more and to become involved in planning the future of North Beacon Hill and the Neighborhood Plan Update, attend the Neighborhood Plan Update Action Team Kick-Off meeting next Friday, May 14 at Asa Mercer Middle School, 1600 South Columbian Way.

First ruling on neighborhood plan appeal released

Sue Tanner, the Hearing Examiner, has released her first ruling regarding the appeal Frederica Merrell filed last month against the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) regarding the Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) of the North Beacon Hill neighborhood plan update process. Here is the full text of the ruling.

Tanner dismissed two issues in the appeal outright because they are outside the jurisdiction of the Hearing Examiner’s office (the issues were related to planning process).  She upheld one issue that DPD and El Centro de La Raza had requested to be dismissed, regarding whether DPD provided adequate notice for attendance at a meeting.

The revised schedule for the appeal is included in the document.  The final hearing on the appeal is currently scheduled for April 26 at 9:00 am.

Cienna Madrid at the Slog has reported on this as well, and notes that one of the other two nearly identical appeals filed last month, the North Rainier (Mount Baker) appeal, has been dismissed because the appellants did not respond to the motion to dismiss. The Othello appeal continues and is scheduled for May 24 at 9:00 am.