January 8, 2020
Belltown Community Council Meeting
2400 3rd Avenue #200 Seattle, WA 98121
Meeting was called to order by Keith Kentop, Vice President at 6:35pm.
BCC Board introductions were given: Michael Faulring, Ann Marie Hitchcock, David Levinson, Liam Hallinan, Charlie Bauman, Jane Savard and Zander Batchelder were in attendance. Cassidy Rush was working on the new website and Joleen Oerman was out of town on a work trip.
Thanks were given to Belltown Pizza for hosting the meeting and providing pizza. Thanks were also given to the community members, calling out several people in attendance.
Catherine Hunt announced that there would be a blood drive in February and would bring flyers to the next meeting. It would be a mobile van unit parked on Third Ave, near Antioch University.
Steve Hall reported on the latest news from Friends of Historic Belltown about the 2nd Ave Belltown Redevelopment Proposal (Project 3033991-LU). Summary: “Over the holidays, the City posted notice of a "Master Use Permit" application (MUP) for the 2nd Ave "redevelopment" project (Rocco's to Tula's). FHB requested an extension so that comments can be accepted until next MONDAY. Note that the project is still in the review phase and we're probably a year away from bulldozers (but could be sooner or later).
Comments on the City's review of the MUP should focus on adverse environmental impacts and mitigation to address those impacts. The post below has more info on the types of impacts and mitigation FHB is recommending.
PLEASE consider sending comments by January 13 that request that impacts from demolishing the long-time heart of Belltown (and displacing its workforce community) be evaluated, documented, and mitigated. Including personal info about your connection to this key block of Belltown and the values and community it provides to you are also helpful.
Comments should be provided by January 13th to email@example.com. Reference project 3033991-LU, 2224 2nd Ave.”
Jeanne Kohl-Welles was sworn in today serving her first term as King County Council member. She previously represented the 36th Legislative District as State Senator and earlier as State Representative. Besides chairing the Council’s Health, Housing and Human Services Committee, she serves on the Budget Leadership Team and was recently elected as Chair of the King County Board of Health.
“Happy New Year and a heartfelt thanks to all who supported me in my reelection to the King County Council! I’ll cherish my 74 percent victory for many New Years to come and pledge to do all I can in addressing our climate change, homelessness, affordable housing and child care and tenant protections, accelerated conversion to all-electric, non-fossil fuel and affordable transit, income inequality and poverty, the opioid crisis, immigrant and refugee rights, domestic and gender violence and missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, gun violence, racial and ethnic disproportionality in our system of justice, equitable and affordable health care, sustainability for our orcas and salmon, environmental justice and sustainability, arts and culture expansion and equity, and so much more! My wish is that 2020 will be a year of vast accomplishments for the common good and a rolling back of the divisiveness that has been exacerbated in the past few years. None will be easy to achieve but it is paramount that we all do all we can!” Jeanne had to leave immediately after due to a death in the family, Keith asked everyone for a moment of silence for prayers and thoughts.
Andrew Lewis was sworn in on Monday to represent District 7 on the Seattle City Council. He introduced Parker Dawson, Legislative Assistant and made a promise to the Belltown Community that one of them would do their best to attend our monthly BCC meetings to keep abreast on what was happening and listen to feedback from our community. (They will be attending the community meetings all across District 7.) He announced the rest of his staff Kamilah Brown, Legislative Assistant, Katherine Sims, Legislative Assistant and Jacob Thorpe, Legislative Assistant. https://www.seattle.gov/council/lewis
“It is an honor to assume the role of Seattle City Councilmember and represent the people of District 7. It has been a great
honor and privilege to represent my neighbors in court as a city attorney, and on various city commissions including the Seattle
Human Rights Commission. I look forward to continuing my public service in this new role. I promise to lead with our collective
values, including increasing Seattle’s affordable housing supply and assisting renters facing eviction; expanding diversion
programs and increasing public safety; being an advocate for neighborhood concerns such as a replacement for the Magnolia
Bridge; and an emphasis on fiscal accountability and oversight. I also believe in the role of neighborhoods, where our parks, our
community centers and our neighborhood gardens are at the core of making our city a livable, sustainable and beautiful city. As
long as I am a member of the Seattle City Council, I will fight for our public spaces and our green spaces. We will not win every
fight we suit up for, and I know there will be times when we disagree. But I promise to always assume good intentions and listen
to the concerns of my neighbors. Together, we will build a District 7 we can all be proud of.”
Followed by a Q & A with Andrew from the meeting attendees covering various aspects including what the term “homeless” meant, eliminating redundancies in the local government, accountability, city charter and performance auditing, state of some of the local shelters and low-income housing, LEAD program.
Laura Jenkins from the Department of Neighborhoods spoke about the reduced Link service as new tracks are being built downtown to extend the light rail to the Eastside in 2023. She
brought Rider Alert flyers and also commented on preparations being made for the upcoming prediction of snow.
Jon Keahnau, co-founder of Recharge the Battery brought a model of the Battery Street Portal made by UW graduate design students. He gave an update on the latest information about the development of the Battery Street Portal site as part of the Waterfront Seattle project. The landscape architecture firm GGN (Gunderson, Guthrey & Nichols) was chosen to work with Recharge the Battery (2.0) and the community with the design planning process. Community input will be very important. Jon gave a brief overview of the history and people who have been involved in the process.
“It’s official, Belltown is getting a new park at the Battery Portal Site as part of the Waterfront Seattle project. At about three acres, the future Battery Portal Park will bring much needed green space into one of the Seattle’s densest residential neighborhoods. The park also represents a victory for Recharge the Battery, a community driven initiative advocating for improvements along the Battery Street Corridor. Aaron Asis, a founding member of Recharge the Battery, said the design of the future Battery Portal Park will be completed in conjunction with the Bell Street Park Extension, offering opportunity for two projects to tie into each other. During the coming year, the City of Seattle and landscape architecture firm GGN will work with Recharge the Battery to hold public events that encourage community engagement with the design planning process. Additionally, a citizen advisory committee made up of delegates who represent different Belltown neighborhood interests will also be convened. Recharge the Battery first attracted the Seattle’s attention with their plans to convert the Battery Street Tunnel into a subterranean open space. When the high cost of preserving the tunnel proved an insurmountable barrier for attracting the political support necessary to move the project forward, the campaign restyled itself as Recharge the Battery 2.0, with the Battery Portal Park topping the campaign’s wishlist for improvements within and near the Battery Street Corridor. Recharge the Battery is thrilled to have GGN landscape architects as project partners, welcoming the “opportunity to explore options with professional firepower” brought by GGN’s design team. At the same time, Asis has been also careful to emphasize the important role the Belltown community will play in determining the park’s future. “We want to stress that this whole thing came about of the spirit of Belltown,” Asis said “We have been making friends and looking at ways to make things better. Because we now have professionals and city on our side, we don’t want to turn our backs on what got us here.”
Jon also announced a few other topics of note:
• SDOT did offer the waterfront planters for use along Battery Street, but there is still a chance to plant actual trees as the tunnel is not completely filled, so there is still hope.
• Root Pie Day would not be happening this year, hopefully back next year.
• The pop-up park between Denny & 5th is up for adoption.
• King County Clinic is scheduled for February 13-16, 2020 at the Seattle Center.
There was a short town hall discussion and the meeting was closed at 8:00 pm.