Minutes of the GLCC Meeting Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Call to Order 7:06pm – Paul Kostek

Mary Amberg – Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator North Precinct

North Precinct is by far the largest. Ship canal north, water to water. Please reach out if you have any questions. Best way to contact is email. If you’re not sure if the question is related to the police, please reach out to Mary. mary.amberg@seattle.gov

Seattle has a 7min response time for priority 1 911 calls. Priority 2 can be quick, or up to 45 minutes. Someone will always come out, unless they call you and tell you only priority 1 calls are being handled right now. That is rare. What often happens is an officer does show up, investigate, but doesn’t come to your door if you do not request for the officer to make contact with you.

Regarding robberies, for the last three months, the J3 area. One robbery on Aurora and 90th at a bus stop. It’s an area to be extra careful. Anytime you’re out at night, be careful. Keep your phones in your pocket. Some people will walk up and grab phones out of your hand.

You can register on the SPD site to see what’s going on in your neighborhood. You can see exact reports, minus names and addresses. Always keep situational awareness. If you have money in your hand, or your phone in your hand, be careful of people asking things of you.

Only three reported robberies in last three months.

Residential burglary is up 19% over last year. Most happen during the day. About a third are non-forced – people get in via open doors and windows. Get to know your neighbors that are home during the day, and let them know if they see anything during the day to call 911.

If you’re home during the day and someone knocks on the door, answer the door. Don’t open it, but answer it. If someone knocks on the door and no one answers, they might go to a side or back door and break in. If they think someone is there, they will leave.

Keep ladders locked up. No keys on the outside.

When do you call 911? Responses: Automobile accident. Gun fire. Fire. With SPD, call for all those and when you see something suspicious. What is suspicious? What looks abnormal to you. Idling cars, people going door to door and knocking. “Knowing without knowing why.” If your brain say “should I call 911?”, the answer is yes. Let the call taker to decide if it’s a priority 1 or 2.

We’re looking for behavior, not what people look like. Young, old, well dressed… it doesn’t matter.

Smart911.com lets you add supplemental information for a 911 operator to know. When people dial 911 from a cell phone, in Seattle we don’t know exactly where the call is from. A bubble of a possible location does show up.

New precinct has been “shelved.” Too many other projects were rolled into it, and it became too expensive of a project.

Three main types of burglars. One is “lifestyle” – petty crimes, larceny. Another is addicted to drugs. Seattle Rare Coins used to buy a lot of stolen items. They’ve been shut down and that has reduced crime, including shopliftings. Drugs to drive crimes.

Josh Castle, Low Income Housing Institute – Licton Springs Village

Tiny house community for those experiencing homelessness. Opened in March of 2017. Has about 35’ units, 8’x12’. Doesn’t have to abide by building codes required for larger units. A tiny house is much better than a tent. They have heat. The door can lock. Allows pets and families.

A new village just opened in the South Lake Union area. About 300 tiny houses. Have been able to transition about 350 people into affordable housing. Helped over 200 people gain employment.

The Licton Spring Village is coming up on its 2yr limit. There is a two year max on the permit. Working with the residents to transition into housing. Will be building on that site – 118 units.

HMIS is a county wide system to track those who receive services. That could be used to track if people are returning to assistance.

Jerry Suder – Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI)

The land use code itself is over 1000 pages. It’s complicated. It’s hard to understand. The City Council has amended it over and over again. It’s been called “the book of exceptions”.

The code keeps getting bigger. Zoning lines often run down the middle of the street, but sometimes run along property lines. Any changes to the code are made by City Council. The SDCI receives requests for thousands for permits. Not all of them are available for public comment. Some are. Once a decision has been made, it can be appealed. If appealed, it goes to the hearing examiner to make a decision.

The design review program was created to help with buildings that were being built and yielding a lot of complaints. It’s hard to put into the code “design a nice looking building” and have us be able to agree with the applicant. Thresholds for what triggers a design review has changed.

Q: Property that the hearing examiner is looking into. It’s based on a rezone. The developer wants to do seven stories, but it’s zoned for four stories. Was told that a decision would be issued on November 21st. How does the public know and can it be appealed?

A: Rezones are considered a quasi-judicial decision. It means they can’t talk about it with people. They are required to make a decision based upon the facts based on the record created by the hearing examiner. This is to keep the decision from being lobbied. When an applicant wants to rezone, SDCI will review, assuming they get the rezone. The council will make the decision. Relative to the rezone, the hearing examiner comes out with a recommendation, not a decision.

Q: Where does other, more broad zoning fit into that?

A: Everything is zoned. The process is normally a legislative decision – a political decision. Our zoning needs to be consistent with the comprehensive plan.

Q: How do we provide comments that fit your framework? What we say in a comment that you would pay attention to? Vs “like” or “don’t like”.

A: If you’re saying this building doesn’t fit the context of this neighborhood. What it comes down to, unfortunately, our neighborhoods have buildings that have been here for many, many decades. But development has been at a much slower pace in the past. The rate of change is what’s driving people.

Q: We set a neighborhood plan, and somewhere around three times the amount of permits have been issued for development. No one seems to be keeping track of the amount of permits. Who do I talk to about this?

A: If it meets the code, we approve it.

Karen Schure – Friends of Green Lake

Last night, four of us went to the Phinney Ridge Community Council meeting. King County is looking at ways to reduce the surface water that runs into the storm drains. Will be at the FOGL meeting November 27th – fourth Tuesdays of odd numbered months..

Will also be discussing the memorial fund for the young man who died in Green Lake on the Fourth of July. His family is trying to having a fundraiser that will benefit Friends of Green Lake.

The other item of interest is the location markers. These are for emergencies so you can tell the 911 operator where you are – more specifically.

Millfoil. People are complaining about the smell. Looking to hold a work party. There’s one person who does it now. Is looking for someone from the community to organize a cleanup event.

Doug Bambrick  -SPD North Precinct NPAC Report

Ed Mckenna came and talked about various topics, including how aggressive they are with homeless encampments. A runner was sexually assaulted as she ran by one of the encampments. The encampment was quickly shut down. The jogger came to the meeting to ask if they had made any progress. They had not.

There was a shooting out front of the Licton Springs Village. It’s low barrier (no barrier), which includes drug use. The city voted not to extend the permit for the tiny house village.

Gayle Garman – Zoning

One of the ways they can change zoning is to simply redefine – change the specifics without changing the zoning name. There are proposals out to have as many as three separate units on a single family lot. Mike O’Brien is looking to reduce the single family lot size from 4000 square feet to 3200. Also looking to remove the owner-occupied requirement.

Queen Anne Community Council has filed suit against the city. http://www.qacc.net/