HPAC Meeting Minutes – June 27, 2018

(Draft for Approval)

The meeting was called to order by HPAC Chair Charlie Omana at 7:00pm.  Executive members present: Vice-Chair Gunner Scott, Secretary James Tucker, and Treasurer Michelle Glassley.

Community discussion with SPD SW Precinct Lieutenants Steve Strand and Ron Smith and Robert Stowers from Seattle Parks and Recreation

Ron Smith, who is retiring after 38 years serving the community, was honored with a cake.  Ron reflected on his years at the Seattle Police Department (SPD).  Lieutenant Steve Strand will be replacing Ron at his post in the Southwest Precinct.  Steve is very familiar with the community.

The meeting attendees discussed the issue of recreational vehicles (RVs) parked on residential streets and parks was discussed with the officers.  Lieutenant Strand talked about the draft protocol for RVs which includes an offer of human services and shelters.  It was noted at vehicles over 80 inches in width were not permitted to park in residential areas from the hours of midnight to 6am.  After services are offered, SPD can put a 24 hour sticker on the vehicle, and it can be impounded after that period has expired.  A problem that Lieutenant Strand brought up is that many times the RVs are in such poor condition that they are auctioned off for less than the impound fees, often being repurchased by the owners.  It was suggested that the City’s legislative and executive branches need to better address the issue so that the police can effectively enforce.  Treating the RV issue as a parking issue and not a homeless issue would make enforcing much easier for officers.  The officers noted that there is a proposal for navigation teams specifically for RVs.

HPAC Chair Omana asked Seattle Parks and Recreation head Robert Stowers about what happens when an RV is on Parks property outside of park hours.  Mr. Stowers said that Parks is a part of the navigation teams, and the political environment is difficult since it’s see as a homeless issue.  Advocate groups have applied a lot of pressure on city government to address the homeless issue.  Mr. Stowers informed the attendees that Parks is starting to put up gates at park entrances now to discourage parking by RVs.

Concerns were raised about Riverview Park and the RVs parked there and associated illegal activities there.  It was noted that any time there is sanitary or environmental risk it adds more ability for the City to do something about the RV.  Also, SPD must be careful when impounding an RV in order to not have it turn into a lawsuit which might affect the future ability to impound.

HPAC Chair Omana raised the issue of the Meyers Way parcels and when they might be transferred to Parks department as originally planned.  Mr. Stowers said that after Camp Second Chance stops getting a renewal then the parcels will be transferred to the Parks department.  Parks budgets are a 6 year plan, and the next round of budgeting will be in the Spring of 2019 for the 2020-2026 budget.  If the parcels are released by Spring 2019, then they could be included in planning.  Nothing has been designed for the parcels as of yet.

HPAC Chair Omana brought up the issue of the landslide on Highland Park Way.  Omana had contacted SDOT about landslide mitigation efforts, but SDOT said that it was not a high priority at that site right now.  Mr. Stowers said to follow up with him and he’ll have an urban forest person come and take a look at the area.

The next issue discussed was a recent series of break-ins in Highland Park.  Lieutenant Smith said that there were four different break-ins, possibly committed by one individual.  One person of interest has been identified.  Emphasis patrols have been started in the area.  The use of window locks or simple wooden dowels to keep windows closed was advised.

Community Announcements

Highland Park Improvement Club

Corner Bar returns 7/6 folowed by Art Lounge.  The HPIC yard sale will be on September 8th.

Your Voice Your Choice

Voting on Your Voice Your Choice is open until July 16th.

Delridge Triangle

An application to the Neighborhood Matching Grant program has been submitted for Phase 1 design work.  See http://delridgetriangle.org for more information.

National Night Out

National Night Out is on August 7th.

West Duwamish Trails Association

The West Duwamish Trails Association has a couple of guided hikes planned on 7/7 and 8/4 for the Duwamish areas.

West Seattle Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber is hosting a forum for candidates in the upcoming area elections on 7/19.

Approval of Minutes

The HPAC meeting minutes for the meeting on May 23, 2018 were approved with a small change from “northbound” to “southbound” in regards to the left-turn lane project at Holden and 16th Ave SW.

HPAC Executive Committee Updates

Meyers Way Camp Second Chance

A joint letter was sent by Highland Park Action Committee and the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council lamenting the renewal of the Camp Second Chance (C2C) permit.  An excerpt from the letter was read,

The neighborhoods of Highland Park and the various neighborhoods comprising the unincorporated urban area of North Highline are extremely disappointed to hear that the City of Seattle has extended the permit for Camp Second Chance for an additional 12 months at the Myers Way Parcels (Fiscal and Administrative Services PMA #4539-4542). With this extension, the camp will have effectively been present at the current site for 2 years and 8 months, easily exceeding the allowed 2 year stay duration for encampments as outlined in Seattle Municipal Code Section 23.42.056, subsection E.1.

Over the past decade, Highland Park has hosted three encampments and served as a staging area for a proposed safe lot for individuals residing in recreational vehicles. This burden has impacted not only our neighborhood, but the neighborhoods immediately south of us along the city limit. No other neighborhood in Seattle has willingly or unwillingly taken on as much and to the same extent!”

Walk through with Mayor’s office representative

HPAC representatives and community members are invited to meet the morning of 7/13 at HPIC to walk a member of the Mayor’s office to the future Highland Park Way roundabout site.  This should help emphasize the problems of the HP Way/SW Holden intersection.  HPAC Chair Omana filmed a brief interview about the roundabout with KOMO News recently to raise awareness.

Mayor’s Visit to Highland Park

HPAC Chair Charlie Omana has been in touch with Chris Faulkner at SDOT and he said that SDOT had been developing a plan for a left turn lane for northbound 16th Ave SW at SW Holden St.  However there is no project to implement any design on the books.  HPAC needs to get a definitive answer.  Charlie Omana will reach out to other city contacts and Lisa Herbold for more information.

West Seattle Blog

Chair Charlie Omana said that the West Seattle Blog provides great service to West Seattle residents, and suggested it might be nice to pay them back.  If you have any ideas please send them to hpacchair@gmail.com.

Strategic Planning for HPAC

HPAC has been working to better Highland Park for at least 30 years, and we need to work on strategic planning for the future.  With goals like getting more people involved in HPAC and ensuring continuity between executive boards from year to year. This is something we’ll be addressing over coming months.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.
Submitted 9/18/2018 by HPAC Secretary James Tucker.
There will not be meetings in July or August.
The next HPAC meeting will be Wednesday, September 26th, 2018.

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