Category Archives: Streets

Capitol Hill Community Council

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Our mission is to advocate, activate, and educate our community.

THIS WEDNESDAY!! Join the us and the Capitol Hill Renter Initiative for a neighborhood social THIS Wednesday July 12th 6pm at Vermillion Art Gallery & Bar (508 11th Ave)! Come meet your neighbors, share ideas, and learn about real ways you can positively impact your community.

The Community Council is seeking nominations for board members and will be sharing what they’ve been working and how you can plug in to this exciting leadership opportunity!

Representatives from the Community Council and Renter Initiative will also be there to talk about opportunities for community-led programming for this summer’s 10 Pike People Streets! Are you an artist looking to showcase your work? A member of a community group looking to spread awareness for an issue? Just want to throw an awesome dance party in the street? This is your chance! More information and a quick and simple application can be found here: https://www.seattle.gov/transportation/pikeped.htm
+PLUS! Updates from the Capitol Hill Champion!

 

 

2014-15 Executive Committee candidates

Below are the candidates for the 2014-2015 Executive Committee. Elections will be 6/19 at the Cal Anderson Shelter House at 6:30.

George Bakan – for President

For 26 years George Bakan has been the Editor-in-Chief for Seattle Gay News. He has been overseeing the operation of the SGN weekly newspaper since 1983. George was born in Seattle, raised in rural Bellevue and in the 1960s he moved with his family to Eastern Washington. George returned to Seattle in the early 1980s to become a gay activist. Some of the highlights of his almost 30-years of gay community activism are organizing the Seattle AIDS Action Committee in 1983, which later became Mobilization Against AIDS. During the early days of the AIDS epidemic George and the Seattle AIDS Action Committee organized an annual candle light vigil at SCCC at Pine and Broadway on Capitol Hill. During his early days as an activist he co-chaired the 1984 Freedom Day Committee, now known as Seattle Out and Proud. George was the regional co-chair for the 1987 and 1993 National Marches on Washington, DC. During both organizing efforts Bakan led the Northwest sponsored push for bi and transsexual inclusion at the national events. He was on the Hands Off Washington (HOW) Executive Committee and was for a time Vice Chair for Hands Off Washington. HOW worked statewide on LGBT political issues from 1992 to 1996. Thought of retirement does not suit George. The LGBT veteran activist continues his daily oversight at the SGN and looks towards future projects, including health issues for old gay guys and setting up training and leadership workshops for young LGBT activists and a tree planting project in Seattle parks to honor people who’ve died of AIDS.

Zachary Pullin – for Vice President

Is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy, Montana and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Belize, he finds passion in service and illuminating how our myriad identities weave together. Currently the Communications Coordinator for the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, he also works with Gay City hosting community conversation events for the LGBTQ community. He is currently an at-large member of the Capitol Hill Community Council, a member of the Gender Justice League, Northwest Two Spirits Society, the Native American Advisory Council with the SPD, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Zachary has also spoken about social justice, inclusion, access, intersectionality, and community at universities across the country from Emory in Atlanta to Mills College in San Francisco, and is a freelance writer in notable publications such as The Advocate, Native Peoples, and Indian Country Today. His greatest accomplishment is bringing neighbors together for forums and summits to address intersectionality and community building.
I am interested in the Vice President role because I value that the Capitol Hill Community Council is for more than social justice, equity, and neighborhood livability. The CHCC is for authentic community; and, I would love to add to that mission. With experience in communications, digital media, marketing, sustainable development, nonviolent resistance, and community organizing, I know I will provide valuable experience and perspective to an already talented council. Refreshing our website and email management are my first goals as I hope to increase Capitol Hill resident participation at meetings and at various neighborhood events.
As a former Peace Corps volunteer, my inclination to serve is inherent in how I approach social justice and advocacy. As a young gay, Native American living on the Hill and organizing with various local community groups, I can add a fresh voice on the issues that matter to those who live, work, and organize on Capitol Hill. My interests are in affordable housing, neighborhood density, safety, the arts, and culture. I intend to represent the interests of renters, metro users, and marginalized groups with little to no access.

Mike Archambault – for Treasurer

I have have been living in Capitol Hill for that last 7 years, and I currently rent a 1 bedroom apartment with my partner in a beautiful, old (built in 1909!), brick building on Summit.

Over the years, I have worked with CHCC and community members to help make our neighborhood a safer place to walk, bike, and take transit. I’m proud to have been involved in past Community Council efforts such as the Complete Streetcar Campaign and the 12th Ave Safety Improvement Project, two fruitful projects that were made possible only through the strong community support and with the help of CHCC.
I currently see high housing costs as the most immediate crisis facing our neighborhood. I have witnessed too many friends and neighbors get pushed out of Capitol Hill to escape the quickly rising rents. If we want any chance at retaining the current fabric of residents and buildings that make Capitol Hill so special today, we need to work hard to make room for the inundation of new residents.
I’m thrilled by the opportunity to work as Treasurer for the Community Council. My strong math and engineering background make me well equipped to keep track of CHCC’s finances, and I’m excited to help the council find solutions that make Capitol Hill’s streets safer and its housing more affordable.

Elliot Helmbrecht – for Secretary

Is a Minnesota native and is approaching his 10-year anniversary of living in Seattle this fall. Four years ago, Elliot moved to Capitol Hill into an early-1900’s, brick building and in 2012 he and his girlfriend began co-managing the 29-unit apartment. During their two years of managing the building they have tried to foster a sense of community among the tenants by hosting events for neighbors to meet each other and socialize. Currently, Elliot works for Northwest Passage Consulting in Seattle. He previously worked for Capitol Hill Housing, an affordable housing developer and provider. One of his greatest accomplishments working with Capitol Hill Housing was his participation on a workgroup to assess and reduce barriers to housing for low-income neighbors in our community.
I am running for the Secretary position with the Capitol Hill Community Council to improve our online presence and meeting notices to encourage broader participation among Capitol Hill’s residents. We can expand our media relations to cover our meetings and issues we care about. I believe the Capitol Hill Community Council has shown evidence of being successful at neighborhood advocacy in the past. The potential to do even more is possible with an engaged and dedicated group of leaders and members.

Erie Jones – for Member at Large

I have lived, and also worked on the hill for 35 years and counting. In my view it is one of the best urban neighborhoods in the country. Simply stated, I would like to contribute to keeping it one of the best. This would include maintaining our diversity and tolerance for all, promoting affordable living, keeping local businesses healthy, creatively managing growth and development, preserving our cultural and architectural heritage, and especially maintaining our neighborhood feeling of mutual support. I have taught in Seattle Public Schools for 23 years, including at Lowell Elementary where I helped get the grants for our accessible playscape. I helped plan and build the Thomas Street P-Patch and am active in our neighborhood block watch. I have also helped, financially and through work, set up small businesses on the hill. I am a musician and currently teach music at Dusty Strings in Fremont.

Derek DeWolf – for Member at Large

I am a Seattle native. After graduating High School, I attended Arizona State University, graduating with a degree in International Business and Political Science. I served as an intern in the Senate during college assisting some of Arizona’s most prominent political leaders. After graduation I moved to Portland for a job with Nordstrom where I gained a better understanding of community, service, and consumer relations. Portland is a great city but never felt like home, which is why I moved back to Seattle. I currently live and work on Capitol Hill, the neighborhood I call home. I am fortunate to be a Real Estate Broker for Coldwell Banker Bain and primarily conduct my business serving the Capitol Hill community.

I am dedicated to serving on the Capitol Hill Community Council because I feel an abundance of community only found on Capitol Hill. The hill provides more than an address for me; it shapes the individual I am growing into. Capitol Hill teaches me about diversity, acceptance, understanding, passion, and most important, love every day. In my line of work and at a youthful age of 26, I am able to bridge a gap between different types of neighbors. Whether it be a renter living in an early 1900’s walk-up building starting their future, or a family who has been part of this community for decades dwelling in a large North Capitol Hill Craftsman. I sympathize with the young professionals who struggle financially while also sharing concern for the future of our community. My daily interactions provide me a path for communication. I recognize the history of leadership, activism, and perseverance it took to make a difference here, which is what I hope to do.

I am running for member-at-large position and will utilize my passion, experience with community, and deep-rooted commitment to making Capitol Hill a better place for my friends, my neighbors, and one day, my family in this role.

Thank you for considering my interest in this role.

 

Ten Cities Where the Most People Walk to Work

According to 247wallst.com, Seattle rates number 7 in cities where people walked to work. Of course, Capitol Hill plays a large part of this, despite the proliferation of residential building in Belltown and South Lake Union.

Just 2.9% of American workers walked to work as of 2012, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the Census Bureau notes that there were massive regional differences in the proportion of people who chose to walk to a work. Different factors influence commuters’ preferences, including a city’s layout, climate, and infrastructure.

Boston residents were the most likely Americans to walk to work, with 15.1% doing so as of 2012. By comparison, less than 1% of workers in Gilbert, Arizona and Plano, Texas commuted on foot. Based on U.S. Census Bureau figures, these are the cities with the highest percentage of commuters walking to work.

While commuters choose walking for various reasons — ranging from lack of resources to simply residing near their place of business — many of the cities reviewed were also pleasant places to walk. The publicly accessible walkability index generated by Walk Score gave seven of the 10 cities a score of at least 70, a rating described as “very walkable,” as measured by residents’ proximity to amenities as well as friendliness to pedestrians. New York City, where more than 10% of residents walked to work, had a walk score of 87.6, the highest in the nation

High population densities also tended to encourage walking. For example, the New York City metropolitan area was the densest metro area nationwide, with 31,683 people per square mile in 2010. The area included two of the cities where a high proportion of commuters walked to work, New York City and Jersey City. Five other cities on this list were among the country’s 10 most densely-populated metro areas.

A walkable city also tends to support public transit and bike infrastructure. The cities where people walked most to work also had among the nation’s top five transit systems, as measured by Walk Score. These include New York, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, which all have well-developed and heavily used public transportation systems. On an average weekday, the New York area’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a dailyridership of more than 8.5 million people.

Cities where people walk to work are also often ideal destinations for residents who enjoy riding bikes. Five of these cities were among the 10 best large cities for the quality of biking. Most notably, San Francisco was the third best such city, with a bike score of 70, according to Walk Score. In fact, some of these cities not only had a high proportion of workers who walked to work, but also a substantial proportion of commuters who biked. In Madison, Wisconsin, more than 5% of workers commuted by bicycle, the second-most of any major city.

Of course, with walking a viable option for a large number of workers in these cities — in many cases supplemented by biking and public transit — relatively few households elected to own cars. As of 2012, just 9.2% of households nationwide did not have a car. In New York, that number was greater than 56%, the highest in the U.S. At least a third of households did not own a vehicle in half of the cities where people were most likely to commute by walking.

Many cities promote walking as a way to get-around due to the various health benefits associated with regular, brisk walking. According to the American Heart Association, walking half an hour a day reduces the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke, while helping people improve their blood pressure and lower their body weight.

Based on recently released U.S Census Bureau figures, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the cities with the most workers walking to work between 2008 and 2012. Walk Score produced the figures on the quality of walking, biking and public transit. Data on population-weighted density and the percent of households without a vehicle are based on the 2010 Census and 2012 American Community Survey (ACS), respectively. We used the 2012 ACS for population data.

 

…..

7. Seattle, Wash.
> Pct. walking to work: 9.1% (tied for 6th)
> Walk score: 70.8 (10th highest)
> Pct. households with no car: 16.7% (23rd highest)
> Population density (of metro area): 4,721.6 (24th highest)

Seattle had the ninth best public transit score among all cities, according to Walk Score, which also ranked the city 10th for walkability, and 11th for bike friendliness. As a result, many residents chose to avoid driving to work. More than 9% commuted to work on foot and another 3.4% by bike, both among the highest proportions in the country. According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, the city’s long-term goal is to become the nation’s most walkable city. Although the Seattle metro area is more densely populated than most cities, the population is still relatively widely dispersed in comparison to New York, Boston, San Francisco, and other large cities of similar size.

 

Read more: Ten Cities Where the Most People Walk to Work – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/05/16/ten-cities-where-the-most-people-walk-to-work/#ixzz32BUEpEf3

 

 

 

Three projects considered for neighborhood funds

From Capitol Hill Seattle blog:

Last week, a Department of Neighborhoods community group considered nine new street and parks project for central Seattle and Capitol Hill. Below, you’ll find the three projects that made it through and are being studied for feasibility by the city to be part of some $1.2 million in funding through the Neighborhood Parks and Street Fund. We’ve also included descriptions of all the proposals just in case you want to rally around one of the passed-over ideas next year or you find something to inspire a similar project in your own neighborhood.

….

Project 2014-064 would create street, sidewalk and crossing improvements to E Madison for pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle safety at the site where a man was seriously injured in a collision with a cyclist last year.

Project 2014-021 would add curb bulbs and marked cross walks at the busy and frequently-crossed intersection of 23rd Ave and Boyer.

Project 2014-012 would repair a half-block stretch of “heaving” sidewalk on the north side of E Madison between Boren and McDonald’s.

No projects from Capitol Hill were chosen, mainly because only one Capitol Hill project (2014-052) was submitted.

To see all the proposals and read comments from District Coordinator, Tim Durkan, go here.

Sound Transit posts RFQ for CH TOD site

Sound Transit posted the RFQ for the CH TOD site, to develop its surplus properties as the light rail construction sheds its outside construction sites. (You can read a saved, zipped version here without registering for the ST site.) Besides pushing for the public amenities, the CH Champion also:

* Secured a public meeting co-hosted by ST, where the community will be able to meet proposing teams and bring in the community’s energy and vision.

* Published a concise piece of communication that will provide developers clear initial guidance, and an open door for further discussion.

 

CHS: City considers curbing building heights in response to outcry from neighborhood groups

From Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

A group of neighborhood activists organizing against taller building appear to have landed a major victory despite a year of rising demand for housing on Capitol Hill — and rising rents.

Following a petition and flyer campaign, Council memberSally Clark has called for the City of Seattle to consider lowering building heights in areas zoned for lowrise townuses and apartments.

The code correction would specifically target Lowrise 3 multi-family zones which includes most of the lowrise areas in Capitol Hill. “There is a sense that these new generation buildings have more height than necessary,” said city planner Geoff Wentlandt.

The Department of Planning and Development will hold a public meeting January 14th at 6:30 PM at Lowell Elementary to get public feedback on lowering the height limits. You can also provide feedback via email.

 

According to planners, lowering the height limits would mean fewer surprises for neighbors of new developments and would ensure those developments fit with the character of lowrise neighborhoods.

2013 was marked by a continued rise in housing costs on Capitol Hill as rents continued to soar and solutions like rent control became a serious part of political debate in the city. A recent report touted by the Seattle Times predicts that the city’s soaring rents may “stabilize” in the coming year — but even that report indicates a significant improvement in affordability in the area is unlikely.

In the meantime, CHS has noted a “mini-explosion” of townhouse development activity in the neighborhood.

The groundwork for the lowrise conflict was laid in 2010 when Clark spearheaded an update to the multifamily zoning code, including allowances for higher buildings. Now that the first generation of buildings under the new code has been constructed, many neighbors have complained the buildings aren’t keeping in the spirit of lowrise development. Where lowrise development is generally thought of as three to four-story townhouses and apartments, some developers have used incentives to cram five stories into tightly packed apartment andmicrohousing buildings.

A five-story microhousing building at 17th and Olive St., along with a handful of others, have sparked an outpouring of complaints that developers were pushing the height limits in onerous ways. In the meantime, Seattle’s Hearing Examiner will consider an appeal this week of a decision to approve rules to further regulate microhousing developments brought by some of the slow growth groups and Capitol Hill land use activist Dennis Saxman.

For the process to reconsider lowrise zoning, in an October letter (PDF), Council member Clark requested the DPD reconsider the height limits after meeting with some of the activists:

The concern they raised that I find most compelling has to do with ways some developers are combining incentives and the new approach to measuring height. Bottom line – I never envisioned or intended that developers would be able to achieve five stories in LR3 zones. I think five stories is too big a change in height and scale for the LR3 zone.

You can learn more on the city’s Lowrise Multifamily Code Corrections page.

Lowrise Multifamily Code Correction Community Meeting
When Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 6:30 – 8pm
Location Lowell Elementary School
1058 E. Mercer St.
Seattle, WA
Website Lowrise Multifamily Code Corrections
Event Contact Geoff Wentlandt
Event Contact Email Geoffrey.Wentlandt@seattle.gov
Event Contact Phone (206) 684-3586
What
We are studying recent buildings constructed in lowrise multifamily zoned areas, particularly the lowrise 3 areas. We will be considering code changes to help ensure the new buildings fit into the neighborhoods. To help guide our clean-up of the Lowrise 3 multi-family zones, we’re reaching out to interested groups. In particular we want to hear from neighborhood residents who live in or near lowrise multi-family zoned areas. We also want to hear directly from builders and designers of housing.

DPD Jan. 14th Community Meeting – lowrise zone building heights

The January 14th meeting is a citywide meeting to talk about the citywide issue of building height limits in Lowrise Multifamily zones. (Links to meeting info and project website are below.)  We want to hear from residents and others about how buildings built recently in lowrise zones are fitting into neighborhoods.  Capitol Hill has several areas of lowrise zoning. We’re evaluating possibilities for reducing allowable building height.

The meeting will be held on Capitol Hill at Lowell Elementary School at 6:30PM – 8:00PM. Please contact me if you want to discuss, and please pass this information on to members of your group if you would like.

Meeting info:  http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/aboutus/news/events/default.htm?trumbaEmbed=eventid%3D108385105%26view%3Devent%26-childview%3D

Project Website:  http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/changestocode/lowrisecorrections/whatwhy/default.htm

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Wentlandt  AICP, LEED AP

 Senior Planner
City of Seattle
Department of Planning & Development
Geoffrey.Wentlandt@Seattle.gov
p. 206-684-3586

Micro housing and SEPA comment period

From the DPD:

We welcome your comments on our proposed micro-housing legislation. Read the new regulations on our project documents page and then e-mail your feedback or ideas, by October 21, to mike.podowski@seattle.gov or geoffrey.wentlandt@seattle.gov.

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Review Draft
On October 7, 2013 we released proposed new rules for micro-housing and congregate residences along with a Director’s Report. We also published notice of a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) on the proposed rules, as a part of the required State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. The SEPA comment period runs from October 7 through October 21 of 2013.

Staff Draft – Micro-Housing Preliminary Recommendations
Our preliminary recommendations for code changes to address the permitting and design of micro-housing is discussed in the memo below. We’ve drafted our preliminary recommendations based on input from elected officials, residents, and property owners.

  • Background Appendices

Arts walk on 2nd Thursday nights around Cap Hill

Jeffrey Cook has put together an arts walking tour.

Join Jeffrey Cook, local theater scenic artist and Member at Large for the Capitol Hill Community Council, as he explores the Capitol Hill art scene at the monthly Blitz art walk on Thursday, October 10th. We will meet in the cafe at Elliott Bay Books (1521 10th Avenue) at 5:45 pm and depart there at 6 pm. Jeffrey will plan a route that stops to view and experience the art at several different locations. At 7 pm we will arrive at Vermillion Gallery (1508 11th Avenue) for a secondary rendez-vous point, then depart there at about 7:20 for a few more destinations, as time allows.

This is a free walking tour and all interested parties are welcomed to join in to meet neighbors and discuss the art and artists along the journey. Rain will not cancel, just come prepared with whatever you’ll need to enjoy the evening. We’ll wrap up by about 8 pm. Look for Jeffery, “The Tie Guy” at the Cafe at Elliot Bay Books by 6 pm!

Champion update on Sound Transit meetings for Sept ’13

From Mel Burchett at Capitol Hill Champion:

Thanks again to all of you who have supported the Champion’s efforts in realizing and advocating for the community’s vision for the development at the Broadway Light Rail Station.

This afternoon Sound Transit’s Capital Committee will meet to discuss the Development Agreement that was unanimously approved by City Council on August 5th and will implement some of the neighborhood vision for affordable housing, public plaza, festival street and more.  The public is welcome to attend, but please note that public comment will NOT be taken during this meeting.

The Champion will provide testimony in support of the Development Agreement at the September 26th Sound Transit Board Meeting. Public comment is welcome and will be taken at the start of the meeting, but there is no need to speak. You can support the Champion and Community by simply attending and standing up during our testimony to be counted.

We want to show our appreciation to the Sound Transit Board for taking the big step of embracing the process with Capitol Hill and the precedent it sets.

Sound Transit Board Votes on Development Agreement

Thursday, 26 September 1:30 – 4:00 PM

Union Station, Ruth Fisher Boardroom
401 S. Jackson St.

Submit written comments before the vote to: caphilltod@soundtransit.org

questions?? / comments- email caphilltod@gmail.com

 

Mel Burchett
Community Outreach
Capitol Hill Champion
mel@caphillchamber.org