7:03pm – Call to Order – Paul Kostek
Rain Wise Program – Maddie McCort
Rebates to property owners for having rain gardens or cisterns installed on their property. Collaboration between Seattle Public Utilities and King County.
Looking to stop stormwater runoff. Stormwater and sewage go into one system. During heavy rains, overflow can go into the sound. Rebates cover 80-90% of cost of rain gardens. Rebate covers about 70% of rebates on cisterns.
Regular webinars are available. Next one is coming up in April. https://www.700milliongallons.org/event/plan-a-spring-rain-garden-with-rainwise/
Can check your eligibility at https://www.700milliongallons.org/rainwise/eligibility/
District 6 Discussion – Dan Strauss
Bill – Bringing Business Home. Relax land use code regulation regarding home occupancy businesses. There are many levels of regulation, this is specific to land use. Makes it easier for home based businesses to operate for one year.
Green Lake repaving. Panel and pavement on most areas is complete. More improvements to be made, and then all repaving will be done. Expect work to be done by early summer. West Green Lake Way – a lot of people concerned about the closure there. Was based in part for ongoing construction work. Not a lot of sidewalk around the golf course. One direction is now reopened so that there is access to all ages and abilities to dog park. Southbound. West Green Lake Way will remain closed to northbound traffic.
Metro. With light rail opening, Metro is making changes. New shelters, and real time information displays. New transit islands will increase accessibility. Will not be rerouting busses onto 80th.
Parks Department is working on planning for new community center and pool. Project is continuing to move forward.
Library. Accepting returns, but not curbside pickup. Not doing so now because they don’t have staff. Later this month, some libraries will offer inside service. Curbside pickup is available from Greenwood and Ballard libraries.
Homelessness. We’re 11 years in this crisis. Currently in 6th year of this state of emergency. If there are 4000 people living on our streets, we need 4000 places that are safe for people to go. There are 2400 beds open, and there are roughly 4 beds open every night. Seattle is bearing the brunt of a regional issue. Bearing a lot of burden here in Seattle. Need to have places for people to go when we engage with them. Takes about two years to build permanent supportive housing. In short order, also need to give people a place to go. A lot of people are living in groups, and need places to support that.
Would need to spend an additional $100,000,000 year. Might change with how King County is responding. Currently spending $150,000,000 directly on homelessness services. There are also secondary costs. Because we’re not dealing with the root of homelessness. Also tertiary costs.
Park & homelessness. Is there a cap we’ll put it at?
Different styles of encampment removals. Some basic sweeps. When you use programs like Just Care. It means the service providers are working together to help ensure folks get the care they need and don’t return to the area. Don’t have a timeline for you. It’s up to the executive departments to implement funding. Last year, budgeted for two outreach workers.
People are asking about the community centers, pools, when will they reopen?
Need to get new information. Can email back to us. Has been asking regularly.
Minneapolis is spending more money on police. They tried to defund, but found it doesn’t work. Where are things going in terms of revamping police, but still ensuring we have adequate response times.
Here in D6, a lot of the behavior are crimes of opportunity or related to suffering in the streets, and organized crime. Wants to address homelessness in short order as it will address some crime. For organized crime, we need detectives following up on leads. Last year we fully funded the police staffing plan. Did not engage in a hiring freeze. Also need to be funding first response programs. 56% of SPD calls were non-criminal last year. Need to allow other first responders to pick up the slack.
Q: Bringing Business Home. Has been running a home business for 34 years. The current legislation was crafted with some guardrails. A limit of two employees. Signage, size limitations. New legislation eliminates cap on employees, and 8’ wide sign. Thirdly, no limitation on parking or traffic impact.
Purpose of bill is to provide clarity to inspectors and businesses. An inspector won’t make an inspection unless a complaint is filed. Regarding signs, with the current code, you can have many signs. Size of sign expands, but is limited to one. With parking and traffic, it’s important to provide this flexibility. Time limited bill.
Q: Dan, will you address how our policies, that of the city council, invite the homeless here; what are your plans for the drug addicts who have no interest in being moved into housing and will likely destroy it in short order if moved in to housing
Working with other cities to “whack” them when they aren’t helping. The majority of people want to come inside. Need to solve for the majority of people, and that will make it easier to solve for the others. As far as housing being damaged, it’s better to have a hole in the drywall than cleaning up garbage in the park. Permanent supportive housing can help people in crisis.
Q: Where are we getting outreach workers and counselors? Is there a labor barrier?
Seattle Central CC has created a program that creates a pipeline to get people into these jobs. There are multiple other groups that train people for these programs. Important to look at the spectrum. Some have high needs, some have low needs. The higher the barrier for housing, the lower the management. The lower the barrier, higher the management. Unemployment is pretty high right now. We don’t pay these positions well enough. High burnout rate.
Aurora Reimagined Coalition – Tom Lang
Group of neighbors who are forming to reimagine Aurora from bridge to 145th St. Why? In last 10 years, 22 people have been killed in crashes. City & state are budgeting for a $2M study to address safety. If you’re interested in helping or want more info, contact AuroraReimaginedCoalition@gmail.com
Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets – Brock Howell
Looking to create a protected space for people who are using the path along the west side of Green Lake Park. In 2019, a pedestrian was hit by a car and seriously injured. In 2020, Parks Department required that bikes not use the inner path, and directing them and others to use the outer path.
The outside lane of the three, wasn’t available for a car for very long. With the “keep it moving street”, things have improved, but this stretch is still pretty bad.
Friends of Green Lake – Rob Zisette
Proposed water quality monitor based on impact from homelessness, city & county rejected it. New algae in the lake, much worse than milfoil. Working on plan to remedy that. Also working on floating wetlands, working on permits and coalition to get that done.
Geese. Lack of management. Need to educate citizens to not feed the geese. Notified parks department, and signs went up very quickly.
Also met with Seattle Jewish School. Helping teachers engage students with monitoring the lake and other projects. Very exciting to get kids involved.
New Seattle Parks Environmental Director will be at next FOGL meeting. Very supportive of environmental protections in our parks. March 27th, on Zoom.
Meeting adjourned 8:25pm.