Category Archives: Development

35th Avenue Northeast reopens after months long closure

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After a seven-month closure, 35th Avenue NE has reopened to traffic. The road will still have periodic lane closures as finishing touches are put on the Thornton Creek Confluence Project. The reopening of the road will allow for the return to normal of Metro routes 64 and 65.

We drove the route soon after it was announced that it was reopened. The road surface still needs some obvious work as uneven surfaces make for a rough ride in spots. But the project significantly transformed and improved the route for Thornton Creek. The new culvert and flood plain will be put to the test on Saturday evening after the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for King County

The project included:

  • Landscaping.
  • Completion of a new two-acre floodplain and meandering channel for the creek.
  • A new bridge where 35th Avenue NE crosses Thornton Creek.
  • Improved fish and wildlife habitat.

After 82 years, public beach ruled to be private property; neighborhood groups advocating for public access

 

This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.

This Lake Washington access point was ruled to be private property at the end of NE 130th Street.

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New stairs were constructed to the beach before the lawsuit.

The only public access to Lake Washington in Lake City and Cedar Park was ruled to be privately-owned property, and the State Supreme Court recently upheld the ruling. This after 82 years of paddling, swimming, wading and enjoyment for land-locked folks in the community. After a unanimous vote by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, a network of organizations are now advocating to keep the beach access public.

The lawsuit came just as funding was secured and improvements were made to the park via a recent Parks and Green Spaces Levy. Lake City Live first reported about the legal dispute in April 2013. Click here to read story.

From the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance:

This small, local, Cedar Park community beach, established 82 years ago, is the only water access in the Lake City neighborhoods. It is the only public access to Lake Washington in the 5-mile stretch from Matthews Beach to Log Boom Park in Kenmore.

Since 1932 this beach has been open to public use. Nobody questioned the public nature of this property until it was purchased in October of 2010 and then 2 years later, the new owners and an adjacent neighbor sued King County and Seattle for ownership. By exploiting a technical procedural error made 82 years ago, they were able to take this property away from the public. There is no question that this beach was intended to remain public in perpetuity. Only a legal loophole allowed the adjacent landowners to succeed in their court case.

Resident David Pope has been working for years to bring awareness of the loss of the beach to the community. He regularly contributes to the Facebook Group “Friends of NE 130th Beach.” He will make a presentation to the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance in February.

You can read the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance letter to City of Seattle leaders below.

Download (PDF, 286KB)

You can see a Google Street view of the area below:


View Larger Map

Your help needed to advocate for new community center, Monday deadline

This message comes from the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance and is an important one. The deadline to write the City Council to advocate for a new community center is Monday, November 10:

The current Lake City Community Center

The current Lake City Community Center

IF YOU HAVE JUST FIVE OR TEN MINUTES TO DO SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY—DO THIS. We need you to write to the Seattle City Council in support of a full-service Lake City Community Center. Please do this by Monday, latest!

Background

Over the past several weeks, the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance has been steadily advocating for a full-service community center in Lake City, to serve children, youth, seniors, and all of us. Lake City offers pitifully few services for our children, youth, and older adults. Those of us with means and mobility can go to other neighborhoods, but our many neighbors who don’t are left behind. We need and deserve the recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities that come with a full-service facility here in Lake City.

Right now

Three of our City Council members, Sally Clark, Tim Burgess, and Mike O’Brien, are sponsoring a “Statement of Legislative Intent” that calls upon the Parks Department to report back to the Council by August 2015 with alternatives, including funding plans, for rehabilitating or rebuilding Lake City Community Center. Council Member Nick Licata has been the driving force behind this, but because he is the council budget chair and needs to be a neutral negotiator, he did not sign on—although he can still vote to support.

What we need from you

As an individual or a representative of a group, write an email to all of our City Council members, expressing in your own words why we need a full-service community center in Lake City. We need these communications to go out as soon as possible. You can do it over the weekend, but do it by Monday!

Here are some factors:

  • A growing population of children and youth
  • Many older adults with few senior services
  • Very little park space
  • No consistent programming such as that found at other neighborhoods’ community centers

What would you like to see—sport courts? A pool? A senior center? A community kitchen? Meeting rooms? All of the above? Tell the Council!
We have an historic opportunity, here. We must show a groundswell of support for the current council action, as it is a critical first step on our way to getting a full-service community center in Lake City. We want all of the Council members to vote in favor of this project!

You can send just one email to all the council members at once. Cut and paste these addresses into your recipient line and write your unique request:

sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov

sally.clark@seattle.gov

bruce.harrell@seattle.gov

nick.licata@seattle.gov

mike.obrien@seattle.gov

kshama.sawant@seattle.gov

jean.godden@seattle.gov

tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov

tim.burgess@seattle.gov

Thank you, friends! Let’s make this happen together.

 

Old Aqua Dive building demolished

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Many longtime Lake City residents learned to swim in the pool at the old Aqua Dive Swim and Fitness Club.

A few months back, a Facebook thread about the old swim club had people waxing nostalgic about the sound of kids echoing from the ceiling, swimming lessons, parties there, and of course the strong smell of chlorine that came from the facility.

There were lots of memories made in that old facility.

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Today, the forgotten Lake City swim club, where generations learned to reach, pull and kick, was turned into a pile of rubble.

The building sat vacant for years after it was closed. The building had become a sort of magnet for illegal activity and had regular homeless encampments inside. A neighborhood effort got the attention of the current owner of the property, who agreed it needed to come down.

From a blog post when the facility permanently closed in 2006:

Lake City has lost a warm and welcoming community gathering place –not to mention the cleanest and clearest pool water found in our city.  Nothing like a huge, over-sized sand filtration system (built when land was cheap) for clean water.  Your locker rooms might have seen better days, but they had accumulated decades of stories and friendships.  Your hot tub might have been intermittently hot in recent years, but it was always full of friends when your boilers ran full steam.

RIP AquaDive. You are irreplaceable to so many of us.  We relied on your calm, warm water for rehab and friendship. We’ll miss you.

‘World Of Tastes in the Heart of Lake City’ kicks off at last Farmers Market of season

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Today, Thursday, October 2nd, is the final day of the 2014 farmers market season. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of tasty food-centric events in the neighborhood. At the market, Lake City Future First is kicking off its “World Of Tastes in the Heart of Lake City” business support program.

The goal of the program is to support our diverse neighborhood food establishments, and to help community members discover some of the offerings here in Lake City. “We want to support our local establishments and enhance our economic development model to both retain and attract businesses,” said an announcement from the organization. Info follows:

We want to strengthen all the ties within our community and connecting you to some of our fantastic food offerings here in Lake City in a meaningful way will further our growing sense of community and place.

Let those business owners that you are familiar with know that you are glad they took part and use this as an opportunity to visit the places you had been meaning to check out but hadn’t found the time.

How Does It Work? Simply stop into any one of our participating businesses to pick up a passport and get started. Visit all seven locations and make your purchase to receive your stamp. Purchase a single entrée from a participating restaurant or spend $10.00 at one of the specialty markets and earn a stamp from each location. Once you have completed the passport with all seven stamps, return it to the Kaffeeklatsch by October 31, 2014 and you will automatically be entered to win our grand prize. One winner will be chosen at random and notified via the contact information they provided on the card within 24 hours of the drawing.

Who is participating? The following restaurants and markets are taking part in our first effort:

Mania Manila / Elliot Bay Brewing Co. / Pho An / Erawan Bankok Thai / Lake City Gyros / Beer Authority / Kaffeeklatsch

The generous prizes and additional support through donations to cover costs associated with the passport are provided by Two Dog Yoga – Kaffeeklatsch – Elliot Bay Brewing – Print Fusion

What can I win? $50 Gift Cards to both Kaffeeklatsch and Elliot Bay – 5 Free Yoga Sessions at Two Dog Yoga (over $100 value) and a $50 VISA gift card.

Don’t see your favorite spot on the list? We had so many wonderful businesses to choose from and not all were able to take part at this time. Let your favorites know that you would love to see them get involved next time.

Please join us in engaging with our business community by participating in the first of what we hope will be an ongoing support program.

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Olympic Hills Greenway lined with new stop signs

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Chances are if you have driven in the Olympic Hills neighborhood in recent weeks you have noticed lots of changes on some roads.

A neighborhood greenway on 27th Avenue NE from NE 145th Street to NE 130th Street is taking shape. The route will give cyclists and pedestrians the same priority on the roadway as automobiles.

Crews from Seattle Department of Transportation were out on Monday preparing dozens of intersections for new stop signs. Pavement markings were applied and temporary stop signs placed at dozens of intersections along the route.

So as you drive through the neighborhood, be aware that some intersections that used to have roundabouts or no signage may now require a stop.

The route is expected to be done in coming weeks and is the first part of a proposed network in Lake City.
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New DreamGirls at Rick’s illuminated video sign stirs controversy

Update: A City of Seattle inspector visited DreamGirls at Rick’s and found that the images displayed on the sign over the weekend were in violation of the permit issued for the illuminated video sign. You can see a report from KOMO/4, which happened to have a crew present during the visit, below.

The sign controversy and Rick’s management’s toeing the line on the rules is getting the business and their logo plenty of airtime.

(Original report below)

The new Rick's sign is causing controversy.

The new Rick’s sign is causing controversy.

A large video sign permitted by the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development in front of DreamGirls at Rick’s strip club is causing controversy. The sign has been installed on the property adjacent to bus stops used by many Nathan Hale students.

We originally published a story about the coming sign in June. You can read that here.

The permit issued by the City of Seattle for the 8-foot by 16-foot sign atop a 30-foot pole says images on the sign “shall not change more than 7 times per minute. No flashing, no video display methods, and no off-premises advertising is permitted by city ordinance.”

When viewing this sign during its first weekend of operation, it did seem to violate the “video display methods” requirement as there was motion in some of the images. It also quickly changed its state of illumination in a way that could be perceived as flashing.

You can see the sign operating in the video below and be the judge if it is following the rules set by the city:

In recent years, DreamGirls, owner of Rick’s, has battled with the Seattle Mariners over the location of a strip club and notably the illuminated sign next to Safeco Field. The dispute over the strip club led the Mariners to sue DreamGirls’ and the City of Seattle. Lawsuit filed here.

The Mariners eventually dropped the suit in an agreement with DreamGirls after the strip club chain agreed to not show certain types of images during days that the team was hosting events for children.

The City of Seattle is limited in its ability to dictate rules for signs because ones like Rick’s are legal and legislation and rules have not kept up with changing technology.

Over the last year the strip club has found itself in hot water with the City of Seattle and community groups after it topped the street trees in front of the business (our story here). The City has ordered the business to replant trees equal to the size they would have been before the aggressive trimming.

A community group also fought the placement of a large van with provocative imagery parked at the business and illuminated backpack signs people were paid to wear and walk along Lake City Way at night.

KING/5 reported on the sign over the weekend. In their report they found some of the images on the sign provocative enough that they blurred out images of dancing women and jiggling body parts. You can see their report below.

Over the weekend the sign caused many people to contact Lake City Live to voice concern. The sign sparked a discussion on our Facebook page about Lake City Way and the perception of the road that runs through our community.

The permit for the new sign also required removal of the classic neon Rick’s.

Seattle Drum School building being sold, looks to old Fire Station 39 as possible new location

Steve Smith, owner of the Seattle Drum School, is shown at the building  in north Seattle on May 4, 2013. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

Steve Smith, director of the Seattle Drum School, is shown at the building on 15th Avenue NE. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

In a post on The Stranger’s Slog, writer Trent Moorman reports that the Seattle Drum School in NE Seattle will likely have to move because their building is in the process of being sold. The building is in need of extensive and costly code updates.

City leaders and Lake City residents gather at the old Fire Station 39. (LCL photo)

City leaders and Lake City residents gather at the old Fire Station 39. (LCL photo)

The post on Slog titled “DEAR MAYOR MURRAY, Please Don’t Let an Automotive Parts Storage Lot Go Where Seattle Drum School Could Go” says that school owner Steve Smith is working to convince the City of Seattle that the school should be allowed to reopen in Lake City’s old Fire Station 39 building.

The City of Seattle has announced previously that a lease was being worked out with Pierre Auto Centers to use the building as parts storage for the car dealerships until a permanent decision can be made on the future of the property. That lease was planned to be for two years and was supported by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance as a mechanism to buy time while plans for the future of the civic core of Lake City are drawn up.

From The Stranger’s post:

Drum School director Steve Smith says the city has other options for this fire station property, and they need supporters to let the Mayor’s office and the city council know that Seattle Drum School belongs in Lake City.

Smith said, “What we need now more than anything is the city’s cooperation and support. We think there’s a lot of enthusiasm inside the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) for our attempt in acquiring the fire station. They have stressed repeatedly that getting politicians involved in the process is going to be critical to our success.

However, relocating to the old fire station is complicated. Like their current building on 15th Avenue Northeast, the fire station needs significant updates to bring it to code, including a seismic retrofit. And in a recent social media post, Lake City Neighborhood Alliance representative Janine Blaeloch —acknowledging the importance of the Seattle Drum School to the community— explained that Lake City is in the middle of creating an Urban Design Framework for Lake City’s Hub Urban Village and that the Pierre storage lease would keep the site as-is for two years while the Urban Design Framework is formulated. It has also been proposed that lease money paid to the City by the Pierres could go to help fund the Urban Design Framework effort.

“This is a more complicated siting issue than it may appear,” Blaeloch wrote. “It’s clear the Drum School has a lot of good will in the community, and I, too, hope they can stay in the Lake City area, but the old FS 39 site is not the uncomplicated solution it may seem.”

We will keep you updated as we get more info on the future of the Seattle Drum School. If you know of a good and available location that could keep the beloved school in Lake City please share it in the comments or email lakecitylive@gmail.com and we will pass it along.