Tag Archives: neighborhood plans

Commentary: Is It neighborhood planning?

(The existing neighborhood plans for the Beacon Hill, Othello, and Mount Baker light rail station areas are in the process of being revised. Frederica Merrell attended the recent Othello neighborhood plan update and has some things to say about the process, and the upcoming North Beacon Hill meeting.)

By Frederica Merrell

The City held its first “neighborhood planning” update meeting for the Othello neighborhood on Saturday, March 14. I went to observe part of their process. I was interested in whether the meetings were representative of the community; how scope, planning areas, and discussions were organized; whether people were provided with information on the previous plan recommendations; and whether comments were accurately recorded. For people interested in how our update process on Beacon Hill might look initially, here is what I observed (I didn’t stay for the wrap-up).

I arrived at about 10:00 am; about one hour after the meeting had started. I spoke with a consultant at the door who told me that the first hour was dedicated to an introduction and a summary of the previous plan effort. I asked if the participants were provided with the neighborhood plan. There was one summary of the plan at each of six tables. None of the plan summaries were translated. There were no copies of the matrix of recommendations provided to participants.
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NBHC meeting to tackle density topic

The North Beacon Hill Council meeting this Thursday will include discussion of the Transit-Oriented Development bill, HB1490, and the changes and density that the light rail station may bring to North Beacon Hill.

The meeting and discussion, as with all NBHC meetings, is open to all residents of Beacon Hill.

Time and location: 7:00 pm, Thursday, March 5, in the basement of the Beacon Hill Lutheran Church, 1730 South Forest (just east of the Library). Ample parking is available.

Here’s the full agenda:

  • 7:00 Hellos and announcements
    • Jefferson Park Festival, June 27 – volunteers?
    • Picnic and Piñatas, July 18 – volunteers?
  • 7:10 Light Rail and Neighborhood Changes:
    • HB1490 Pro and Con, Update
    • Bill LaBorde, Transp. Choices Coalition
    • Jenna Walden, Community Activist, Othello Neighborhood Council
  • 7:20 A time for questions and answers
  • 7:40 Lyle Bicknel, Seattle Department of Transportation, and leader of the SDOT and Dept. of Neighborhoods team which is working with the Neighborhood Policy Advisory Committee (NPAC) – an update on what’s happening
  • 7:50 Questions and answers
  • 8:10 Seattle Police Department and/or Shelly Bates
  • 8:20 Comments and concerns
  • 8:30 Close

Thanks to Judith Edwards for sending out the agenda!

Neighborhood plan update meeting March 28 at El Centro

The existing North Beacon Hill neighborhood plan for the light rail station area is in the process of being revised. As we have seen recently, the topic of density and transit-oriented development in the neighborhood is controversial. You can make your voice heard in the process of rezoning and changing North Beacon by attending the City’s neighborhood plan update meeting on Saturday, March 28, from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Ave South.

Transit transformation of neighborhood plan?

The City is beginning a process of updating most of the 38 neighborhood plans throughout Seattle, but because of the light rail line opening next summer, Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, and Othello have been fast-tracked for station area planning and neighborhood plan updates. And they do mean fast. The stations open in July, and there is some indication that the city wants rezoning of the area done simultaneously with the plan updates. Things may be changing quickly, folks.

On Saturday, October 25 at 12:00 noon, the Southeast District Council and the Greater Duwamish District Council are hosting a community event to discuss the new neighborhood planning process and “how to create vibrant, successful neighborhoods at these stations.” The event is at the New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Avenue South, and food, beverages, and child care will be provided.

Also in the neighborhood planning arena, the city’s Neighborhood Plan Advisory Committee (NPAC) needs four at-large members, “with a good mix of neighborhood knowledge, new passion, and a commitment to healthy communities,” to sit on the committee. The deadline is today, October 17, at 5:00 pm. If you’re interested in helping guide the forthcoming neighborhood planning process as an NPAC member, fill out this PDF and get it in ASAP.

Thanks to the SDC and GDDC for the postcard about the event, and the Rainier Valley Post for getting the news out about the NPAC applications.