What is a “Community Conversation” (and Why Should I Care?)

Open House_graphic snippet

A design concept presented as a possibility for redeveloping property owned by the Pierre family.

Do you ever feel like you’re the last to know? Where did all those speed bumps come from? Wait, there’s a new brewery opening?

Neighborhood changes are often planned for years before the public actually sees the results. A Community Conversation is a great way to find out about upcoming changes AND a way to give input while your opinion can still count!

What is a Community Conversation?
These events are sponsored by Lake City Future First – a group of neighborhood volunteers working to support economic diversity in the Lake City area. While volunteers run the event, they also work with city officials to help bring current information about proposals and upcoming changes .

Why Should I Care?
Lake City is going to be experiencing a great deal of growth and development in the very near future. Lake City Future First wants to ensure everyone is involved in that conversation. Some favorite local establishments will be faced with issues regarding development. How do we retain our unique neighborhood assets and cherished gems? What new assets are desired? NOW is the time to be heard and get involved.

Public engagement liaisons help make it easier for community members to find out what's going on. Translation services are available too!

At the April Community Conversation, public engagement liaisons helped reach out to community members. Translation services are available too!

Please join your community on June 24th at the Lake City Community Center from 6 – 8 PM for the next official Community Conversation.

What will be there?
Free food from some of Lake City’s wonderful restaurants, in honor of the launch of this year’s “World of Tastes in Lake City Passport Program” which helps celebrate local restaurants.

Many representatives will be on hand to discuss everything from zoning to the need for open space in Lake City. The Urban Design Framework document will be on hand too. If you’re wondering whatever happened with the Pierre Visioning Project… you’ll find your answer there.

Road construction projects come to Lake City Way

  
Two large construction projects have come to Lake City Way. They will likely impact traffic as equipment and workers take to the roadway.

The first started in early June at the intersection of Lake City Way and 24th Avenue NE. From the Seattle Department of Transportation:

Pedestrians and bus passengers will soon benefit from improvements now underway near the busy intersection of 24th Avenue Northeast and Lake City Way Northeast. A contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation is constructing new sidewalks and other street elements to improve safety, and expects to complete the work in about three months. The project includes sidewalks, a curb bulb, curb ramps, a new crosswalk, an upgraded traffic signal, and improvements to a bus stop and storm drainage, many of which were recommended by the community.

The project at 24th Avenue was identified through the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project.

The second significant project is happening farther north at the inyersection of Lake City Way and NE 145th Street. It started June 12th. Again, from SDOT:

This project, intended to improve safety for all travelers, includes new curb ramps (southeast and southwest corners), roadway pavement panels, storm drainage improvements and an upgraded traffic signal.

Over the summer, contractors will remove and replace the existing curb ramps, upgrade signal poles and conduct electrical work. During construction, the contractor will reduce lanes, relocate the bus stop and detour pedestrians on an as-needed basis.

The crews will typically work from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with possible work on weekends. SDOT expects the project to be completed in mid-August, weather permitting.

Two new restaurants coming to Lake City

A pair of new restaurants appear to be opening soon on Lake City Way in the Rekhi Building. We knocked on the doors of both but no one answered from behind the covered windows. We looked up permit info from the City of Seattle but there wasn’t much available.

The first restaurant is Mo & Lu Pasta Co. Rumor is that the business will open around the end of June. It will offer another addition to the increasingly diverse selection of food in the Lake City core.

The second restaurant is 2C Thai Bistro & Spirits. Both will be welcome additions to the neighborhood.

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

Seattle City Council supports use of eminent domain to reclaim formerly public beach

The saga of the small beach at the end of NE 130th Street —formerly the only public water access for a 5.5 mile stretch on Lake Washington shoreline— continues.

The beach at the end of NE 130th Street. (LCL photo)

Adjacent property owners sued to secure ownership of the property, because of what has been described as a legal loophole, and won. The ruling was upheld by an appeals court and they now own the small stretch of shoreline.

The beach had previously been public for 82 years. Community members have fought back by organizing and rallying to return the property to the public. Momentum within the movement to return the small piece of property to the public has now spread aross much of Northeast Seattle.

(You can read about the case in previous coverage here, here and here.)

Now in the most recent development, all nine Seattle City Council members have signed a letter to Mayor Murray, stating that they support the use of eminent domain to reclaim the NE 130th Street Beach for the public.

A petition with over 2,400 signatures was part of the effort to sway the councilmembers.

“This fight is not over. It is possible that eminent domain litigation may take months or even years, unless a settlement is reached. But we will prevail in the end, and the NE 130th Street Beach will be a public park forever, as everyone intended back in 1932,” said a statement from members of the Save the Beach campaign.

Stairs leading down to Lake Washington offer messages about the beach. (LCL photo)

You can see the letter from the Seattle City Council below.

Download (PDF, 386KB)

It’s market season! Lake City Farmers Market opens June 11

(LCL photo)

(LCL photo)

The much-loved Lake City Farmers Market will be back, starting on June 11th. The market runs every Thursday through October 1st, from 3-7 pm.

The market welcomes back many of their farmers and food artisans – and a few new vendors for 2015. New vendors include:

  • Deiros Artisan Chocolate
  • Fresh & Wild Seafood (starting mid-August)
  • Jikoni (authentic West African Food)
  • Lowercase Brewing, Mariposa Farm, White Heron Wine
  • Mt. Baker Berry Farm
  • Napkin Friends (Latke press sandwiches – food truck on rotating schedule)
  • Yellow Belly Farm (honey)

On opening day market visitors will find sweet, luscious strawberries, cherries, crisp fresh lettuces, beautiful heads of broccoli, crunchy carrots, and dozens of other vegetables. Kittitas Valley Greenhouse will have ripe heirloom tomatoes, and there will be plenty of fresh basil on the farm tables.

The market is also hosting a full schedule of fun events for kids and grown-ups, including a free cooking class with chef/author Amy Pennington on June 18, the Cherry Pit Spit Contest on July 2, and the Zucchini 500 car races on Sept 3. You can find events calendars and farmer/vendor lists on the market’s website here.

Community Garden Survey

community garden site photoHave you ever noticed that empty strip of grass just south of Fred Meyer? (You know the one pictured here… arguably a bit of an eyesore?) Would you like to see that space transformed into a community garden?

Lake City Future First and Fred Meyer are working in partnership to do just that – create a community garden in that space. Please give input on how you’d like to see this space developed. Would you like to see chess tables? Or beds filled with edible plants? A mural?

Please share your thoughtful ideas by responding to this quick Community Garden Survey. It only takes 5-10 minutes to complete and could help shape the future of that space.

Inspired? Feeling passionate about this project? Visit Lake City Future First’s volunteer page and sign up if you’d like to help see this project to fruition.