Author Archives: Families For Lake City

How Does HALA Affect Lake City? Workshop this Saturday!

HALA reportThere’s been a lot of press about the Mayor’s new Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). Much of that press has focused on the elimination of single-family zoning. Feeling confused? The report itself is long and complicated (65 recommendations and 76 pages long). However, it’s critically important to understand as Seattle grapples with the very real problem of housing affordability and livability. Wondering how HALA will impact Lake City?

Please join your Lake City neighbors for a workshop this Saturday, Aug. 1st, co-hosted by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance (LCNA)Lake City Future First (LCFF), and North District Council (NDC).

All are welcome!
12509 27th Ave NE (in the downstairs ADA-accessible meeting room)
8:30 am – Coffee available
9:00 am -12:00pm – Workshop


Goals of the Workshop?

LCNA logo with PEOPLE copyLCNA Chair, Sandy Motzer notes, “We are not attempting to seek unanimous support for any recommendation but rather to convey Lake City’s support and/or opposition and/or concerns in five areas:

  1. How-to achieve the Mayor’s stated goal of 20,000 affordable units over the next 10 years
  2. Housing (and small business) displacement
  3. Proposed single-family zoning changes
  4. Proposed development/construction requirement changes
  5. Infrastructure requirements for livability.”


Workshop agenda includes:
Brief introductions to the workshop and to the 5 topic areas, small-group discussions. There will be time for everyone to attend two of the 5 small-group discussions of choice. Discussion leaders will summarize each discussion topic for the large group. That content will be what is sent by LCNA to the Mayor and others on behalf of Lake City. LCNA is encouraging each neighborhood organization and all individuals to write letters as well. Workshop sponsors ask that anyone attending the workshop read the HALA Report as submitted by the Committee to the Mayor. You can find the report here.


Lake City Passport Program Underway


Last year’s winners surrounded by program supporters.

Want to support local businesses? Celebrate Lake City’s diversity? In it’s second year, this “World of Tastes in Lake City” program is designed to help do just that. Many of the participating businesses are family-owned by local Lake City residents.


To participate, grab a passport from Kaffeeklatsch.  Visit the other participating restaurants and markets any time between now and August 9th. Once you’ve completed your passport, return it to Kaffeeklatsch. Winners will be drawn at random from completed passports. First prize this year is a $250 Visa gift card!


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.

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.


You’re Invited!


Last year’s attendees shared their visions for Lake City and now many of these ideas are underway. Come learn more about what’s going on and how you can get involved.

More than 150 people attended last year’s Community Conversation at Elliot Bay Brewery. Come join us for another Community Conversation happening April 29th, 6:30-8:00 pm at the Lake City Community Center. This time around, enjoy free food and entertainment provided by Manila, Manila, our fabulous local Phillippino restaurant and market.

This free event continues the work of Lake City Future First (LCFF). Last year you shared your ideas and visions, and now it’s time to see them come to fruition! The event will include opportunities to learn more about a variety of Lake City actions, including:

  • A new community garden in the works
  • Ideas to activate the mini-park at 125th and Lake City Way
  • The new Urban Design plan for Lake City (spearheaded by the Department of Planning and Development)
  • Learn more about neighborhood greenways and other changes to address traffic safety
  • Meet members of LCFF and the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance – get connected with your local community groups
  • Provide feedback
  • Get involved
  • Did we mention free food?

The invitation includes a tear off RSVP form. Return the completed form to Kaffeeklatsch and receive a $1 off any Kaffeeklatsch item.

Mayor Murray Comes to Lake City for ‘Find It, Fix It’ Walk

Photo courtesy of Office of Mayor Murray

Photo courtesy of Office of Mayor Murray

This Monday, August 25th, Lake City becomes the sixth neighborhood visited by Mayor Murray’s ‘Find It, Fix It’ campaign. This is one of a series of community walks by Mayor Murray focusing on crime hotspots. If you’d like to join, Lake City’s walk will begin Monday at the Lake City Mini Park. (To view a map of the walking tour, click here). The agenda will be:

7:00 – 7:15 p.m.
Short program featuring Mayor Ed Murray, City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Sen. David Frockt, Seattle Chief of Police Kathleen O’Toole, and department representatives.

7:15 – 8:30 p.m.
Walk commences along the following route:
Head East on on NE 125th
North on 33rd Ave NE
West on NE 130th St
South on 30th Ave NE
West on NE 127th St
South on 28th Ave NE
East on NE 125th St

8:30 p.m.
Walk concludes and department representatives are available for follow-up questions.

From the Office of Mayor Murray – “At the walks, community residents, police, and city officials walk together to identify physical disorder and solve it. As a result of these walks, Seattle City Light, the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Department of Planning and Development, and Seattle Public Utilities have worked – and continue to work – to make improvements in Seattle’s neighborhoods. Watch videos, view photos and read actions taken as a result of these walks at:”  

The walking route is similar to walks conducted by Lake City community advocates over the last several years. Working through the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, community residents came together to invite City Council members and then-Mayor McGinn on walking tours to discuss some of Lake City’s challenges and possible solutions. The walks helped build relationships with departmental staff and improvements in drainage, pedestrian safety, etc. over the last few years have been a direct result of these walks. Since Mayor Murray took office back in January, the LCNA has worked to establish those same advocacy relationships developed under former Mayor McGinn.

SalmonFest Coming Soon!

LogoSalmonFest Seattle is almost here and there’s really, truly something for everyone at this year’s revamped Lake City street festival. Events run Friday, August 1st through Sunday, August 3rd. Where to start?


Market goers sample salmon sauces for the upcoming Salmon Bake

Market goers sample salmon sauces for the upcoming Salmon Bake

Salmon! This year’s salmon bake features a new salmon supplier. Loki Fish Co. is locally-owned and known for it’s sustainable harvesting and direct-marketing of wild fish. Festival organizers also field-tested three exciting new sauces at the Lake City Farmers Market this month, polling market-goers for their favorite to be used alongside the Loki salmon this year.

Salmon Bake
(Lake City Community Center, 12531 28th Ave NE)

  • Friday, Aug. 1st – 12:00pm-6:00pm
  • Saturday, Aug 2nd – 12:00pm-6:00pm
  • Sunday, Aug 3rd – 12:00pm-5:00pm


Music!  This year’s main stage line-up includes a wide array of music, from big band swing to folk music, acapella, rock, gospel and more, including Pacific Northwest favorites Reilly & Maloney. Visit the SalmonFest site for the maintstage entertainment schedule.

salmon masks

Kids make salmon masks in preparation for SalmonFest

Entertainment!  The weekend kicks off Friday evening with a contra dance at the Lake City Community Center. If you’ve got youngsters, don’t miss famed Reptile Man on Saturday, Aug. 2nd at 3:30pm. Look for other performances likely to captivate audiences young and old – including ballet and martial arts.

Art Show!  This year’s street festival is also expanding to include a juried art show. Artisans will share a range  of wares from fine wood and metal working to wearable art and delicate baked goods, like those from Thumbprint Baking Co. Visit the SalmonFest site for a list of vendors.

Street Festival
(along 125th between Lake City Way & 25th Ave NE)

  • Saturday, Aug 2nd – 10:00am-6:00pm
  • Sunday, Aug 3rd – 10:00pm-5:00pm

Old favorites, like the Seattle Gymnastics tumbling area and classic car show will be back. But new traditions are joining the festivities – including a beer garden hosted by Elliot Bay Brewery.


Clowning aroundParade!  For long-time residents, no need to worry, the traditional Pioneer Days Parade is still the highlight of Saturday’s events. And as always, any child or family can dress up and participate in the Kiddie Parade.

Pioneer Days Parade, Saturday, Aug. 2nd
(Lake City Way between 125th and 135th)
Kiddie parade 6:00pm
Main parade 7:00pm


Animals!  The new Sunday addition to the street festival provides fun for pet owners, with the Petalooza. The Palooza Stage will feature dog contests, K-9 demonstrations and high fashion doggie wear. Bring your pets and come enjoy the day!


SalmonFest 2014 Street Map

Greenways Letter to City

Greenways logoGreenways logoGreenways logoAfter news like the permitting of Ricks’ street sign, we often hear from readers asking what can be done. When writing to city representatives, articulate and compelling arguments are more likely to be heard than angry rants. Here’s a great example of an advocacy letter written by Lake City Greenways in response to the recent permitting of digital pole signs along Lake City Way.

You can lend your support to a letter like this by simply copying and pasting it, adding a small section expressing your own views on the matter, and emailing it to council members (addresses below).

Mayor and City Council email addresses:

Ricks Permits New 16 Foot Sign

A sample image of what Rick's new sign might look like from Lake City Way.

A sample image of what Rick’s new sign might look like from Lake City Way.

Rick’s will soon have a new electronic two-sided pole sign to help advertise its adult entertainment along Lake City Way. A new permit approved by the Dept. of Planning & Development (DPD) allows Rick’s to install an 8’ by 16’ double-sided display board. The digital board will include changing imagery – up to 7 different images per minute. This will be similar to the pole sign installed earlier this year at the Pierre-owned car lot across the street. Neighborhood advocates already working to address safety issues via the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor project are concerned this will add even more visual clutter to an already busy thoroughfare.


Backpack sign advertising Ricks at the intersection of LCW and 125th

Backpack sign advertising Ricks at the intersection of LCW and 125th

Rick’s is also known in the neighborhood for “pushing the envelope” when it comes to its advertising. Just last month, Rick’s was cited for illegally topping the street trees located in front of its existing billboard display. Before that, neighbors successfully fought provocative backpack boards worn by Rick’s employees along the sidewalk during rush hour. And before that, they successfully fought the Rick’s Dreamgirls van (pictured below) parked streetside for days at a time.

Van parked in front of Ricks

Van parked in front of Ricks


But this new sign is legal and DPD does not have legislation to enforce the content of the sign. Signage issues have been a challenge throughout the city as legislation has not kept up with changing technology.


Parents with curious youngsters are already familiar with the questions these images generate. Rick’s location makes it well-suited for catching the eyes of school children, as school bus routes for John Rogers and Jane Addams travel through the intersection of 115th and Lake City Way twice daily during the school year. High school students are also known to frequent the bus stop just across the street from Rick’s.


So what can you do?
Get involved! The Lake City Neighborhood Alliance can help you get connected with your local community group, or if you’re interested in bolstering positive economic growth in Lake City, consider volunteering with Lake City Future First.


An Urban Design Framework (UDF) is currently underway for the Lake City hub urban village (HUV). Request a signage “overlay district” be added as part of this process. An overlay district would require a Lake City design review board to approve ALL exterior signs and would restrict the sign type, size, quantity, lighting, material, shape, etc. Katie Sheehy has worked closely with the Lake City community to develop the UDF. Contact her at


Raise awareness among elected officials. Write to City Council and the Mayor’s office to request updated sign codes. This isn’t just a Lake City issue, similar signage concerns have cropped up throughout the city businesses find new ways to outpace dated signage laws. Be sure to cc DPD’s Steve Sampson on any message -

Market Brings More Than Just Produce


The “Jazz Paints” booth at the Lake City Farmers Market

Beyond fresh food and produce, the Lake City Farmers Market also offers something a little less tangible – an opportunity to build community.


Take Jasmine Harrick, age 10, of Lake City. Jasmine is a talented young artist and entrepeneur who coordinated with the market’s director, Molly Burke to offer a free face painting station at today’s market. Jasmine spent nearly two hours painting intricate designs on young and old alike. In exchange for her services, she simply asked people to donate. Jasmine plans to donate all the funds she received to a local Lake City charity.


Jasmine said she started face painting about two years ago, but described herself as “really bad back then”. Apparently, practice paid off, because she had a steady stream of satisfied customers at today’s market. If you missed her today, no worries – she’s planning to return again next week.



Lake City knitting group at the market

Another example of community building in action was the table full of knitters set up adjacent to the market.  Though they don’t offer formal lessons, these ladies were happy to answer questions from eager beginners and make recommendations to help them get started. And if you’re already a knitter, well, just pull up a chair and join them.


The knitting group meets weekly at nearby bakery, Kaffeeklatsch, during winter months but plans to be at the Lake City Farmers Market throughout the summer, weather permitting.


SmallSketching1Tina Koyama, of Maple Leaf, was also at the market today. She built a kind of Norman Rockwell-esque artistic chain by mirroring Jasmine’s face painting in her own artwork. Tina participates in Urban Sketchers, a non-profit that works to foster the art of on-location drawing. To see the two vignettes Tina created of today’s market, visit her Flicker portfolio.

Half butterfly painted by Jasmine

Half butterfly painted by Jasmine



Rainbow painted by Jasmine

Rainbow painted by Jasmine