The Wallingford Community Council meeting this past Wednesday did not have an agenda posted before hand, so attendance was light, although 2 city council candidates did attend. Kudos to Catherine Weatbrook and Michael Maddux for coming! Catherine Weatbrook is running against Mike O’Brien, who skipped the Wallingford debate in the last election cycle at the last possible second, with the excellent excuse that he needed to attend a fund raiser in Eastern Washington somewhere. More impartial reporting:
The first topic was live-in campers on N Northlake Way and the related problems. Related problems include trees used as camper fuel, human waste scattered around, needles, weapons, aggressive behavior towards pedestrians, and reportedly two murders over the last few years. The police take reports but take no regular action on parking enforcement (vehicles are supposed to move every 3 days), and nobody from government is cleaning the mess up. Businesses down there formed the Northlake Safety and Security Team a few months ago and are currently in the business of cleaning the street periodically and are trying to find a better solution. When they approach some of the vehicles they are being threatened.
Catherine kind of led the discussion as she’s been involved in working a similar situation in her neck of the woods, and she suggested in the short term regular scheduled cleanup / enforcement sweeps by government, possible installation of dumpsters and needle bins and other such stuff, and restricting parking further. Clearly the government is doing nothing to help at the current time, so I’m not sure they’d jump at the chance to regularly pick up human waste, but it’s a nice idea. One key problem is having a place to move people to, and there was a discussion about how we need something like a “Nickelsville” for camper vans in order to move the camper vans out of the neighborhood. I personally think in front of Bellevue Square Mall would be the perfect spot. We could call it Kemperville for campers!
The next topic was land use. Land use issues included a new development going in at the triangle of Midvale and 45th (30 units), which is apparently a project that is a good fit to the neighborhood plan and a developer that is working to alleviate neighbor and council concerns in the design. Yes, there’s only bike parking, but that’s city code we have no say in. The CVS development was mentioned, no red flags though, seems to be on track. Finally, the property between Harold’s and Meridian is being eyed for development, including mowing down Murphy’s, whatever the Rusty Pelican / Nicolas is these days, and the carpet place that is already ready with their going out of business sale signs. Except for the QFC lot, 45th street is zoned for 40 foot structures, but there is a desire to go to the next zoning level, which is 65 feet, but that’s unlikely to happen there. That project is just being looked at now and isn’t serious as yet.
There were also Lake Union waterfront projects being talked about. Emerald Landing is expanding and is supposed to be offering public access but it’s been closed off some. Lots of people want to build out the waterway at end of Stone Way into a pier, including Suzy Burke apparently. There were also a couple more waterfront projects being discussed but I forget as they were phrased in terms of waterway numbers. Apologies for being a bad reporter- next meeting I’ll bring a laptop so I can type faster. The council is clearly being overwhelmed by the number of projects and can’t police them all, and DPD is providing very little oversight.
Finally, there was miscellaneous stuff. The vote on NPSF projects will happen on Monday at the LUDC (on the calendar!), I’ll mention the Wallyhood feedback there. The WCC annual meeting will be in May and tentatively includes bringing in local candidates for the seattle city council. Unclear if that’s going to happen, the organization of the meeting seems a little haphazard at this point. The WCC is entirely volunteer driven, so it’s a matter of what people want to bring to the table. Guys that care about land use, they focus on land use (their Facebook is notices from DPD I think). Good stuff happens, but nobody is excited about sending out meeting agendas or rebuilding the Web site, so that hasn’t been happening. Greg Hill got chosen for the nominating committee as he skipped the meeting (I was there so I got to say “no thank you”). Anyhow, if you want to help, write to [email protected] In fact, I expect they need a new “pres”!