Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Feb 15 Miller Park Neighbors meeting report

Where the ~ 132 meeting participants came from 
(NOTE : 200 people have signed up for the 6PM February 28th Madison-Miller Urban Village Community Design Workshop at Miller Community Center. There's lots of good information about  Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) on the Wallingford Community Council website)


(See also the Capitol Hill blog meeting report, with lots of comments and comments on our previous post).



Miller Park Neighbors
Miller Park Livability – Guiding Principles for Planning 

Discussion from 2/15/2017 Meeting

(Discussion from break out groups is in blue)
Miller Park today is a diverse, affordable, livable community. We support a plan for increased density that promotes the following Principles for Planning.
Define diverse
·      diverse in types of housing (single family historic architecture, old apartments/condos, new town homes, Seattle Housing Authority scattered site housing, Capitol Hill Housing)
·      age

Friday, February 10, 2017

Join Your Neighbors to Protect Miller Park Neighborhood!


CRITICAL MEETING Feb. 15, 2017

6:45 PM, Holy Names Academy Auditorium, 728 21st Ave E, Seattle 

The City is planning significant zoning changes
Your Help is Needed to Shape Those Changes 

As part of the City of Seattle's HALA & the Mandatory Housing Affordability program, the City proposes to rezone ALL Single Family areas to Multi-family in & near Urban Villages (see map hereand to add 10 FEET to the height limit in  ALL the multifamily areas (apartments, townhouses  and condos in the NC and LR areas between Madison and John).

We need to organize as a neighborhood to develop a balanced plan that:
Preserves Neighborhood Character
Encourages Diversity and 
Truly Supports Affordable Housing Goals

Our Neighborhood currently exemplifies what an Urban Residential Village (URV) should be.  The proposed rezoning promises to make all streets in the urban village look like this:


Join Your Neighbors to Protect Your Community

at Miller Park Neighborhood Meeting, February 15, 

7:00  pm, Holy Names Auditorium, 728 21 Ave E.

At this meeting, we will:

  • Review the City’s draft proposal
  • Establish guiding principles for the neighborhood 
  • Discuss concerns
  • Prepare for City’s 2/28 Miller Park Neighborhood Workshop at Miller Community Center, a critical meeting, where we will voice our collective concerns & present our alternatives.   

It’s not too late to stop these drastic changes, but we must join together to succeed.

  
Stay informed. Learn more & subscribe to email list at millerparkneigbhors.blogspot.com
 
Contact millerparkneighborhood@gmail.com with questions.

TAKE ACTION! Submit Comments to City Council (calling works best):

Tim.Burgess@seattle.gov - 684-8806
Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov - 684-8802
Rob.Johnson@seattle.gov - 684-8808
Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov - 684-8016
HALAinfo@seattle.gov

FILL OUT THIS SURVEY! https://hala.consider.it


Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to stay in touch

To join our E-mail list, send an E-mail to:

MILLERPARK-subscribe-request@talk2.seattle.gov

Then act on the instructions in the E-mail you receive. Your E-mail will not be displayed in any messages (about upcoming meetings, etc) we send to you and other interested neighbors. Each E-mail you receive will include Unsubscribe instructions.

Quick note, the “Email notification of new posts” option on the blog won’t get you on the neighborhood association email list. That option will alert you to new blog postings.

To contact Miller Park Neighbors 

use this E-mail millerparkneighborhood@gmail.com 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Apartment and Condo height limit increases

Proposed height increases: click for larger version
The City of Seattle's HALA (housing and livability agenda) is proposing zoning drastic changes in parts of our neighborhood. Neighbors in the (mostly) single family part of the neighborhood (north of John /Thomas) are concerned about the changes and are organizing to suggest better alternatives to the City. I have made the blog and listserv available to that group.

HOWEVER the City HALA proposal would also add 10 FEET to the height of any new buildings in the multifamily part of our neighborhood (the area between John/ Thomas and Madison).

What can we (in the multifamily area) do to help? 
What might our strategies be?
  • The Single Family part of our area is facing a large upzone (from Single Family to Low Rise Multifamily 40 feet) and is considering suggesting a smaller upzone, to both preserve their neighborhood and to allow more affordable housing.
  • The multifamily parts of our area are proposed to all be upzoned by one floor (10 feet) so there's no middle ground we can offer.
  • The purpose of HALA is to increase density and affordability, so we could point out that we have already increased greatly in density, and have always had lots of affordable housing (thanks in main part to Capitol Hill Housing) and hence already meet the goals of HALA and so don't need to change.

Thanks,
Andrew Taylor

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Passing the torch

Back in 1990 a group of neighbors living near Meany Middle School formed the Miller Park Neighborhood Association, in response to rampant drug dealing around the school. The neighborhood association prospered and I became the newsletter editor, then a co-chair, then the website guru, then the blogger. We participated in the City's Urban Village planning in the late 1990's, helped design the Miller Community Center, and built the fountain next to it. (And along the way we fought off a TV tower and lobbied for better ballfield lights and a better ballfield). Eventually the neighborhood became so quiet that the need for a neighborhood group sort of tiptoed quietly away.

Back in 2013, neighbors expressed a desire to organize again, and we had an initial meeting (having stated our goals on this blog), and a committee meeting and declared ourselves to be Miller Park Neighbors. Not a lot has happened since then, other than the now completed Greenways project, and the new neighborhood group quietly languished, other than a few blog posts (see blog archive, on the right margin).

A group of neighbors is now concerned about the impacts of the City's HALA proposals on our neighborhood, and is working to inform the neighborhood of the issues. One of Miller Park Neighbors' co-chairs (Julianne Anderson) has left the neighborhood, and the other (Guillaume Mauger) is too busy to continue, but has agreed that we hand the reins of "Miller Park Neighbors" over to this new group, which includes several members who've been active in the neighborhood for the last 30 years that I know of.

We hope that this new group will:

  • educate us about HALA and what to do about it, via several meetings, etc.
  • appoint some temporary neighborhood association co-chairs
  • have a meeting to formalize the revived Miller Park Neighbors and formally elect some officers.
They already have a blog editor and a core group of neighbors working on the HALA issues.

I wish them all the best in their efforts to maintain the health of our quirky little neighborhood.
Andrew Taylor



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A rash of burglaries

What the ashes look like.
My house was broken in to last Wednesday during the day - broke a kitchen window, rummaged
around and seemingly left with nothing other than my house and car keys and my wife's ashes.

I posted this on Nextdoor.com (in case anyone saw the ashes) and got lots of sympathy (but no ashes):
My home was burglarized yesterday (20th & John). Broken window. Thief apparently searching for valuables - lots of drawers emptied out. Only obvious item missing is a clear plastic bag containing about 3 lb of my late wife's ashes. See photo: it's a fine white powder. If you see it around I'd sort of like to get it back. (I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so did both). I had scattered some of the ashes (hence got closure) but thought of a great location for the rest (it's been > 5 years so it's not been a pressing issue!). I have reported this information to the police.
Several other similar posts on Nextdoor - clearly one active burglar around, going only for expensive watches and jewelry. This follow-up post from Nextdoor provides excellent advice:

We were also burgled two weeks ago (Jan 9th) during the daytime on Olin Place. Similar story to what other neighbors here have experienced. They broke the glass in our backdoor and took only jewelry and watches. I agree with Trevor Cobb, they must have a way to sell these things much more easily, quickly, and safely than other items like lap tops and the like which they ignored. I haven’t seen any of it on eBay or Craigslist, so I wonder if they are using one of the other online options people here have mentioned.
And as someone else noted, there seems to be quite a lot of this going on right now on the Hill. The investigating officer said it was the third burglary call he got that day alone.
One thing the SPD officer did say about prevention is to get an alarm system that makes a lot of noise, ie, loud enough that neighbors can hear it when it goes off. He said the racket tends to send them immediately running. He also said one method they often use to identify houses to rob is to go door to door ringing the doorbell with some scam story to present and if no one answers at a house, they go around to the back and try to find a way in. There are doorbell-type devices that connect to your phone so that if someone rings it, you are called and can respond to whomever is on the other side of the door as if you were in the house. 
Curiously, he also recommended keeping a clean glass jar full of quarters next to collections of jewelry and watches. The coins are apparently irresistible and when they grab the jar to empty it, they leave their finger prints.

Update (1/25/17) from a Nextdoor fellow vicitm
Just a quick update on our situation, the detective has us looking at jewelry next week. They have apprehended suspects that were caught with goods that appear to match ours. We'll circle back if we're able to confirm as much.

Sounds similar to the work of this burglary group, though I'd never thought of my life as "high end". 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Residential Parking Zone impacts on Miller Park.

Several people on Nextdoor are concerned that the proposed RPZ expansion south of Madison will have knock-on impacts on our neighborhood, and that we should be working to get such an RPZ ourselves.


  • People interested in that? Chime in via the comments on this blog post
  • Anyone interested in heading up the effort?
  • Anyone interested in being an "Officer" for our neighborhood group. One of our co-chairs has left the neighborhood and the other would certainly like some help.
Some comments I've seen:

(from Nextdoor)

Hello, 
Don't know if anyone else was able to attend the SDOT's meeting on the expansion of Zone 2 parking zone. Basically everything South of Madison will be added to the RPZ. As a resident directly North of Madison, this is not going to be pleasant. We need to present a letter signed by at least 10 different residents from different streets in the Miller Park area. Let me know if you would like to help out. I have asked for a format letter from the SDOT. 
Regards, 


So, for the letter to SDOT, are you proposing adding Miller Park to the expanded Zone 2 or Zone 4 RPZ? I would support that. What boundaries: north of Madison, east of 19th (west of 19th is already Zone 4), west of 23rd, south of Aloha?

Are you looking to include your chunk of the 'hood to one of the RPZ's, or ask that the expansion not happen and both areas remain unzoned?
I support more RPZs or expanding current ones; I do not support fighting the Zone 2 expansion.

(comments to me)


I’m going to try to attend the Feb. 9 RPZ meeting at the Bullitt Center
I also propose convening a Miller Park Neighborhood meeting to discuss, once again, an RPZ in our neighborhood. With the Country Doc expansion (including apartments and no parking), Miller Playfield useage, upcoming Meany construction, and new apartments and businesses on 19th, parking for residents has become more difficult. I’ve even heard that Microsoft employees are parking in the neighborhood and then catching the commuter bus that stops in front of County Doc.

(From a while ago, from a neighbor about Meany School and the RPZ)

I just talked to the Land-Use attorney about Meany's renovation requirements, and because of the scope of the work (no new buildings more then 4000 sq. ft.) they will not be required to do a Type 2 Master Use Permit  (MUP) they may have to do a  Type 1 MUP, but that process doesn't help us. No hearings  or traffic studies required so no official accommodations.  TOPS had to do a Type 2 MUP which is why they had to go through a 90 day hearing process. The attorney is gong to try to find the recorded covenants between TOPS and the Eastlake neighborhood so we can use them as a template for an agreement between us and the school. Perhaps we can get them to agree to these without the MUP hearing process.

Vincent Gonzales, district project manager for Meany's renovation, is asking SDOT if they will do a traffic study of the streets around Meany as part of a collaboration between SDOT and schools having to do with student safety. We were told that Brian Doherty (hope that spelling is correct) is the SDOT liaison to the school district. Beyond the 23rd St. SDOT issues we should be talking to him as well.

It looks to me like the neighborhood is  on its own as far as Residential Parking Zone (RPZ) goes. I just looked up the Capitol HIll RPZ map and there IS at least one route that could easily continue onto our side of 19th.  One rule of the RPZ is that the zone must be at least 10 contiguous blocks which is why we want to modify the existing zone and bring it east across 19th on Mercer. From there we can propose to expand it as far as neighbors want. Certainly at least down and around Meany school.  I'm attaching the web page describing the process. They mention multiple times that it will take at least one year.  We need to add this to our SDOT agenda.  ALso, btw, the Capitol Hill zone is divide into "Area 1" and "Area 2". Area 1 is totally free to residents because it's institutional impact is Group Health. Area 2 residents pay $65./year/car (up to 2 cars), plus $30./year for visitors.  Coming down Mercer will be a continuation of Area 2, but maybe if we can show that we have multiple commercial and institutional impacts we can be  a free zone as well.   We need a neighbor to take this on and see it through which will be a long term commitment (at least one year).

Here is the RPZ web page;

http://shar.es/UoW2q

Seattle Department of Transportation, Residential Parking Zone Program (RPZ), City of Seattle