Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Miller Park Neighbors Meeting Report 1/11/14

Andrew Taylor (blog & E-mail list, 2000 block E. John Street, meeting host)
Tamara (300 Block 21st Ave E., Meany School committee)
David (600 block 17th Ave. E)
Anne (600 block 20th Avenue East, Meany School committee)
Guillaume (300 block 21st Ave E, Co-Chair)
Julianne (100 block 22nd Ave E; Co-Chair)
Deborah  (300 Block 21st Ave E., Meany School committee)
Suzanne (600 block 22nd Avenue E.)
Merlin (400 block 25th Ave E, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)
Mimi (400 block 20th Ave E, dropped by for a few minutes)

This meeting was organized by Andrew Taylor, formerly Chairman of the “Miller Park Neighborhood Association (MPNA)”, for the purpose of moving forward with the reinvented neighborhood group to be known as “Miller Park Neighbors (MPN)”. The meeting agenda was primarily to refresh ideas and concerns, discuss group organization and boundaries, and as a follow up to the initial formation meeting on 11/11/13. There will be a MPN Public Meeting scheduled TBD Date in February.

The MPNA had a long and storied history primarily focused on the entrenched crime problems of the neighborhood, and in those efforts can be credited with spearheading and contributing a great deal to the renovation of the Miller Community Center and the contribution of the beautiful and much loved “Ron K. Mills Memorial Fountain”.   As the neighborhood gentrified and some troubled hot-spots were closed, the more tenacious of the crime issues receded, and the MPNA was retired.

The core spirit and some legacy membership was reactivated in 2013 to address 2 primary impending issues that with profoundly affect livability in the neighborhood.  First being the “Meany Middle School” renovation/reopening, and Second being the “23rd Ave Corridor/Repaving & Improvements” project and the related “23rd Ave Corridor Greenway”. These issues are summarized below.

Boundaries: MPN will consider itself a representing citizen group for issues affecting the area within the boundaries of: 25th Ave to the East, 17th Ave to the West, Aloha to the North, and Pine to the South.  These boundaries are to be considered “Fuzzy”, and may be extended if we have participating interest from neighbors outside the current stated boundaries.

Organization & Membership: Anyone residing, or with a compelling interest, in the wellbeing and livability of the neighborhood is encouraged to be a member In MPN.  MPN will operate with a loosely configured “Executive Committee” oversight board of 6 – 12 persons and 2 Co-Chairpersons.  Currently, the 2 Chairpersons were identified mainly by geography – Thomas/John St runs basically through the middle, and the Co-Chairs were appointed as “North Thomas/John” – Guillaume, and “South Thomas/John” – Julianne.  We are actively inviting people to serve a more involved role by joining the MPN Executive Committee.

Rules of Order: Currently being created, we ask the following from MPN members, in any forum (Blog or Public Meeting) to observe the following etiquette:

·      Although some of the issues can be contentious and emotionally weighted, we encourage all to avoid angry, insulting, or demeaning language or posturing.  We will conduct ourselves in a respectful, orderly, and polite manner.

·      Public Meetings will feature speaking limits and a gavel, both which will be respected.

·      Although you may disagree with a given idea, the individual, unequivocal “No” will not stand.  Decisions will be reached by consensus or majority vote.

MPN Issue/Primary#1 – Meany Middle School “Renovation”
·      Proposed student population of 850 – 1000 and the impact to the neighborhood is main concern. 
·      Currently, the Meany buildings house the “Nova” and “WorldSchool” schools, population combined, approx. 600.  Historically, student population was similar at 600 – 700 students.
·      Related transportation issues downstream recognized.
·      Great common interest in how the city, school board, SDOT plans on handling the impact to the neighborhood.
·      Classification as “Renovation” means Master Use Permit will be not be required, reducing the city’s obligation for public input hearings (among other things).
·      Consensus is we’d like to know how the school board thinks the existing structures can accommodate that population. MPN member is actively pursuing consulting land-use attorney.  Wishes to create legal document/agreement with “Management Practices” to be followed by school. 
·      Residential Parking Permit area for affected areas identified at potential proposition.
·      Recommended use of St. Joe’s and Holy Names as “Model” for mitigating transportation/parking/traffic impact via parking restrictions and flaggers. 
·      ACTION ITEM: Miller Park Neighbors “Letter of introduction” to be drafted, finalized, and sent to ToBeDetermined School Board Rep. Introducing Neighborhood Group and also requesting recognition for MPN as in involved/affected party with concerns, inquiries, and input. Letter to include invitation/request to be available at to next public MPN meeting TBD Date/Time.

MPN Issue/Primary#2 – 23rd Ave Reconfiguration & 23rd Ave Corridor Greenway

(T) 1/28 3:30 – 6:00 Douglas Truth Library
(W) 1/29 4:30 – 7:30 Soar [801 23rd]
(F) 1/31 4:30 – 7:00 Miller Community Center

·      Neighborhood in generally all in favor of any greenway corridor routes along 21st or 22nd as they happen for pedestrian and bike friendly travel – Supports “Seattle Neighborhood Greenways” efforts.
Seattle Greenways Link:

·      Neighborhood is generally very concerned about the impending changes (Aka “Road Diet”) of 23rd Ave from a 4 lane to a 2 Lane w/center turn lane and wished to assert themselves with the city to halt the project. 
SDOT Project Link:

·      ACTION ITEM: Miller Park Neighbors “Letter of introduction” to be drafted, finalized, and sent to ToBeDetermined SDOT Rep & Mayor’s office. Introducing Neighborhood Group, requesting “Overview” of ALL transportation initiatives that affect the neighborhood, and also requesting recognition for MPN as in involved/affected party with concerns, inquiries, and input.  Letter to include invitation/request to be available at to next public MPN meeting TBD Date/Time.


·      MPN wishes to engage a Land Use Attorney for pro-bono consultation.  Please advise any recommendations.

·      MPN actively wishes to foster relationships with any/all other local neighborhood committees or groups for facilitating communication and cooperation.  MPN wishes to recruit a volunteer to collect information and facilitate outreach in an “Ambassador” type role.

·      Restricted parking zones aka RPZs have been raised as a possible solution for impending parking problems for the streets surrounding Meany.  MPN wishes to recruit a volunteer to research the current requirements and “Scope” the impact, costs, and implications both to the MPN for application and for the neighbors that will have to be permitted to park in this scenario.

Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) Program

Update (1/21/14) from Debrah:
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;

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


  1. Hello! I'm pleased to hear your group is supportive of a neighborhood greenway on 21st or 22nd. I would love to get in touch with anyone who is interested in getting involved with the local Central Seattle Greenways group or wants to learn more. My email is gordon Thanks,


  2. I am strongly opposed to an enlargement of the RPZ. It greatly impacts people who have no driveway (like myself) and people who like to carpool to go hiking and other longer term temporary uses. Holy Names has done a very good job of mitigating their parking impacts and I think Meany could do the same without the RPZ.

  3. Is this group "Miller Park Neighbors" against the "23rd Ave" project? Do any of you live on 23rd?!

  4. Improving public safety and helping the community has always been a major point with Miller Park Neighborhood Association (MPNA). It was great how at this meeting they focused on renovating Meany Middle School and reconfiguring new transportation routes in the area. Both of these highlighted areas are of a major concern to the community.

    Daniel Roberson @ Mark Bentley PA