HPAC’s June 27th meeting will be with SPD & Parks – Mayor Durkan To Be RESCHEDULED for Fall 2018.

jenny2NOTE: Due to scheduling issues, the Mayor will not be attending this month. Mayor Durkan will be joining us for in Fall 2018.

June meeting start time will be 7:00 pm and doors open at 6:30 pm.


Agenda this month will focus on crime and RV parking and policies concerning encampments on Parks Department property.

7:00 PM
Welcome from HPAC Chair Charlie Omana
7:05 PM
Community discussion with SPD SW Precinct officer and Robert Stowers from Seattle Parks and Recreation regarding clarification to the areas bordering the Riverview Play fields on the south along SW Webster street, RV parking and policies concerning encampments on Parks Department property.
7:30 PM: Community Announcements
7:40 PM: Reports from HPAC Executive Committee
  • Additional Issues to Highlight for Mayor’s visit in Fall.
  • Joint response from the Highland Park Action Committee and the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council to the extended permit for Camp Second Chance on Myers Way
    • Excerpt:
      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!

8:30 PM: Adjourn
Where: All HPAC meetings are held at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden, Seattle, WA 98106 on the 4th Wednesday of the month  (from Jan – June & Sept – October)
This is out last meeting for the summer – see you in September!

REMINDER: National Night Out is August 7th from 6-9pm


May Flowers Brings… SDOT to Our Next Meeting!

Join us on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

All HPAC meetings are held at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden, Seattle, WA 98106 on the 4th Wednesday of the month (from Jan – June & Sept – October) Doors open at 6:30 – Meeting from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

HPAC Meeting Agenda

7:00 Welcome from HPAC Chair
7:05 Approval of previous meeting minutes (provide link to minutes https://hpacinfo.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/hpac-meeting-minutes-april-25-2018/)
7:10  Guest Speaker: James Le from SDOT to provide update on HP Way/SW Holden Roundabout project
7:30 Second Guest Speaker TBD
7:50 Community Announcements – HPIC, Other
8:00 HPAC Executive Committee Updates
            – Mayor visit to HP
            – Update on 16th and Holden turn lane
            – Next steps for Myers Way
8:10 Initial Discussion on HPAC Strategic Planning
8:30 Goodnight!

HPAC Meeting Minutes – April 25, 2018

(Approved May 23, 2018)

The meeting was called to order by HPAC Chair Charlie Omana at 7:10pm, and the minutes for  the March 28, 2018 were approved. Executive members present: Vice-Chair Gunner Scott, Secretary James Tucker, and Treasurer Michelle Glassley.

HPAC Executive Committee Updates

Meyers Way Follow-up Letter

The letters sent to the Director of the Human Services Department Catherine Lester were discussed.  For the most recent letter, see HERE.  Discussion continued with a history of the Meyers Way encampment, followed by discussion of the response HPAC received from Ms. Lester.  The response letter is posted HERE for your reference, and further discussion posted HERE.

Meeting with Representatives from Mayor’s Office

Chair Charlie Omana discussed a recent meeting with representatives from the Mayor’s Office, including the Director of External Relations and Outreach.  The Mayor’s Office solicited feedback from various neighborhood groups about how to improve communications.

Highland Park Way project Update

Chair Charlie Omana discussed a recent email communication with Jim Curtin who is managing the Highland Park Way roundabout project. In May 2017 $200,000 was committed for design of the roundabout.  When asked about an additional $300,000 which was reported as being identified for the project, HPAC was told that no other funds have been committed.

City Council-member Lisa Herbold, who was in attendance at HPAC’s April 2018 meeting, believes that the $300,000 is committed to the project and will follow up on the situation.  Currently, SDOT is completing the survey of site conditions, and expects it to be complete within 30 days of mid-April.  After the site survey is complete, the design can begin.  SDOT also has a public engagement plan which includes public meetings to discuss the roundabout project.  HPAC Chair will be following up in late May / early June.

Mr. Curtin also relayed that a grant proposal was submitted for the WSDOT 2018 City Safety Program. He does not expect to hear back on whether the grant is funded until December 2018.  The hope is for the project to move forward sooner rather than later, as costs will only increase with time. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.5M with $200K committed thus far.

HPAC is still seeking a mayoral visit to the neighborhood. There were discussions with the mayor’s office about inviting the Deputy Mayor to view the Highland Park Way traffic issue in a morning meeting.  This will be communicated out once details are known.  There was also discussion of having Mayor Durkan attend a future HPAC meeting.

Open Discussion on Timely Issues

The remaining portion of the meeting consisted of an open discussion of various topics affecting quality of life in Highland Park.  The topics discussed are listed below.


How to build a greater sense of community in Highland Park.

  • Highland Park Improvement Club
  • Park benches
  • Parklets
  • Roundabout beautification
  • Outreach to renters
  • Night Out in August
  • Create an HPAC listserv for multi-way communication


  • Upzone of City Light lot at 16th Ave SW and SW Holden St.  An upzone of the parcel would make development more attractive.
  • 9th Ave Country Grocery and Deli property is for sale – Discussed rezoning of residential property to commercial to create a larger commercial space. Would require property owner to seek rezone
  • Food markets

Transportation & Infrastructure

  • Light rail
  • Increase in service for bus line 131.  An effort will be made to have a representative from King County Metro attend a future HPAC meeting.
  • Bicycle service
  • Ride-share / taxi service
  • Crosswalk at 11th Ave SW and SW Henderson St.

Crime & Safety

  • Property crime increase
  • Car thefts/prowls
  • Police presence
  • New Seattle Police chief.  An invitation will be made to the new Seattle Police chief, once named, to an HPAC meeting.

In attendance and providing useful information on their programs were the following:

King County RainWise
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Duwamish Rowing Club

The meeting adjourned at 8:25pm.

Submitted 5/6/2018 by HPAC Secretary James Tucker.

The next HPAC meeting will be Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018.

Update on Myers Way Parcels and Homeless Encampments in Highland Park


t our April 25th Open House, I communicated to our membership that HPAC had received a reply from Department of Human Services (HSD) director Catherine Lester (I have attached the letter in a link below for your reference). Although Director Lester replied to each of our concerns in turn, HPAC does not feel her responses sufficiently addressed the issues which we have brought to the attention of the Human Services Department as early as 2016. Namely, HPAC seeks resolution on the following three items:

1) The city’s adoption of our Neighborhood Protocols for Sanctioned Encampments

2) An accelerated timeline and concrete plans on the relinquishment of the Myers Way Parcels to the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department

3) A comprehensive plan that addresses jurisdictional issues related to providing services in the presence of homeless encampments, whether sanctioned or unsanctioned, at the interface of city, county and state lands (It should be noted that Director Lester affirmed that this issue was beyond her department’s purview, and HPAC will follow up with the appropriate contact to address this issue)

As such, a follow-up message was sent to HSD on April 25, 2018 by HPAC Vice-Chair Gunner Scott seeking accountability for the ways in which the City of Seattle addresses (or does not address, as the case may be) issues arising from the homelessness crisis. This follow-up was prompted by a concerned neighbor in Riverview expressing dismay at the continued presence and lack of enforcement of occupied, non-resident vehicles accumulating in our neighborhoods.

HPAC’s position remains that Highland Park has disproportionately borne the responsibility of accommodating the city’s responses to homelessness, hosting 3 encampments and absorbing the increase in incidental crime over the preceding decade. It cannot be stressed enough that Highland Park continues to suffer from a historical lack of public investment, and our neighborhood has seen no commensurate redress while we have hosted these encampments. We therefore believe that the most equitable response from the city would be to decline the renewal of the present encampment at the Myers Way parcels, and to enact a 10-year moratorium on any future encampments in our neighborhood.

Catherine Lester’s final day with the city is May 1, and present deputy director Jason Johnson will assume the position of interim director at HSD upon her departure. As chair, I believe it is in HPAC’s interest to momentarily table this issue during the staff transition at HSD and while we await a final decision on the permit renewal for Camp Second Chance. This time will allow HPAC’s executive committee to thoroughly explore all options and opportunities available to us to bring resolution to the issues outlined above.


Charlie Omana
Chair, Highland Park Action Committee

Please click here to read the April 18, 2018 letter from Catherine Lester, Director, Human Services Department.


Join us for HPAC’s Community Open House! 4/25/2018

Next HPAC Meeting is Weds. April 25, 2017

(Food will be provided. To ensure there is enough for everyone, please RSVP HERE bySunday, April 22, 2018)

Come learn about HPAC, share your thoughts and comments about what is needed in the neighborhood, and most of all, share some food in the great company of your neighbors! All are welcome, including kids. We will have low key format. Let’s kick off spring together!

All HPAC meetings are held at the Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden, Seattle, WA 98106 on the 4th Wednesday of the month (from Jan – June & Sept – October) Doors open at 6:30 – Meeting from 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Agenda Includes:

7:00 PM – Welcome from HPAC Chair Charlie Omana
7:05 PM – Approval of Minutes

  • Please see the March 28, 2018 meeting minutes HERE

7:10 PM – HPAC Executive Committee Updates:

  • Myers Way Follow-up Letter (READ HERE)
  • Meeting with Representatives from Mayor’s Office
  • Highland Park Way project Update

7:20 PM – Open Discussion on Timely Issues

Over bites and beverages, let’s discuss the needs of Highland Park. What positive changes should our neighborhood pursue? What elements and characteristics should be preserved? Potential topics could include:

  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Crime and Safety
  • Recreation, Green Space, and Environment
  • Business
  • Community

The following community resources will be on hand to distribute information and engage with attendees:
King County RainWise
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Duwamish Rowing Club


Engage With Your Community!

Link Light Rail will not be reaching the south peninsula transit service area anytime soon, but the two Metro downtown bus routes (125, 131) that serve Highland Park may be impacted by the light rail extension into West Seattle.

To ensure that your transportation questions and concerns are addressed, be sure to attend the West Seattle and Ballard Link Light Rail Extensions Neighborhood Forum to be held at the Masonic Lodge (4736 40th Ave SW, 98116) in West Seattle on May 5, 2018 from 10am to 12:30pm. You can learn more here and RSVP for this event here.

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Public Forum on Homelessness on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 1pm-3pm at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center Theater (4408 Delridge Way SW, Seattle WA  98106).

Representatives from the Seattle Department of Human Services, Plymouth House, Mockingbird Society, and SPD’s Southwest Precinct will be on hand to discuss this timely topic and answer questions.

Admission to this event is free, but RSVP is requested. Please register at the following link by clicking the blue “Register Now” button: http://westseattle.wschamber.com/events/details/a-public-forum-on-homelessness-hosted-by-the-west-seattle-chamber-2445

The Duwamish Alive! Coalition is holding an Earth Day Celebration at various locations along the Duwamish River watershed on April 21 from 10am to 2pm for habitat clean-up/improvement.

The Duwamish River is the major body of water nearest to Highland Park. It provides critical habitat and feeding grounds for salmon, pinnipeds, and waterfowl, as well as being an important industrial waterway. To find the location nearest to you and sign up to volunteer, please follow this link: http://www.duwamishalive.org/event/duwamish-alive-earth-day/

Be Prepared!
A catastrophic emergency in our region coupled with Seattle’s unique geography may render transportation and communication infrastructure unusable, effectively isolating many neighborhoods within the city.

To prepare for such an event, the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubsand Seattle Auxiliary Communication Service will hold a full-city simulated power outage exercise on April 28, 2018 from 9am to 12pm, with three locations located within West Seattle. To volunteer or participate, find more information here.

Fundraiser for HPIC – Join us for an evening of wine, art, food, and most importantly, community!  We sell out every year, so book early.
May 19, 2018 at 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Highland Park Improvement Club
1116 SW Holden St
Seattle, WA 98106

Community Events & Meetings

Happening at Highland Park Improvement Club (HPIC)

April 29, 2018    Volunteer Work Party # 1! (10AM – 2PM )

  • 1st Fridays – Corner Bar
  • 2nd Fridays ART LOUNGE Art Class + community art lounge + HPIC bar
  • 3rd Fridays Family Movie Night
  • Mondays and Thursdays 7:00 pm Yoga Flow All Levels
  • Saturdays @ 9AM (60 min) – Hatha Yoga

Delridge Neighborhood District Council Monthly Meeting
3rd Weds of the month at 7p – See Facebook page for location

Follow-up Letter Concerning the Myers Way Parcels and Sanctioned Encampments

From Charlie Omana, Chair, Highland Park Action Committee:


On April 3 HPAC sent a letter to Seattle’s Human Services Department to follow-up on previous letters submitted in March of this year and December of 2016 for which we have yet to receive a response.

As you may be aware, Catherine Lester, Director of the Human Services Department, has tendered her resignation and her final day will be May 1, 2018. As such, I made sure to also address this letter to Jason Johnson, the current Deputy Director who has been appointed by the mayor to oversee the department in the interim upon Ms. Lester’s departure.

Given the length of time that has elapsed since HPAC’s original letter in 2016, I felt it pertinent to request a response from the city no later than Friday, April 27, 2018 addressing the concerns of Highland Park residents and surrounding communities concerning the Myers Way Parcels’ conversion to parks and the overarching issues related to having encampments in our communities.

I must inform you that at the most recent Camp Second Chance Community Advisory meeting, there was discussion about allowing the camp to remain in place longer than the 2 years allowed by city ordinance. Presently, sanctioned encampments can only stay at a site for 12 months, with an option to renew for a 12-month extension. Any changes to this ordinance must be made by the city council. Should the council decide to take up such an amendment, it may prolong the length of time for which Seattle residents and our neighbors in unincorporated King County can expect to see usable park space at Myers Way.

As the city mulls permitting Camp Second Chance for another 12 months at the Myers Way site, it is only appropriate that the city assume responsibility to the community by addressing our 3 requests (found in the letter text below) in turn:

April 3, 2018

Catherine Lester, Director
Jason Johnson, Deputy Director
Department of Human Services
City of Seattle
Seattle Municipal Tower – 58th fl.
700 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98124-421

Director Lester and Deputy Director Johnson:

I am following up on a letter that was sent to the Human Services Department on March 8, 2018 concerning the Myers Way Parcels, specifically, and sanctioned homeless encampments, generally. That letter, in turn, was a follow-up to letter sent on December 13, 2016 to George Scarola, Director of Homelessness under the administration of former mayor Edward B. Murray.

As you are aware, Camp Second Chance became established on the Myers Way Parcels in July 2016, meaning that the encampment has already been present at this site (in both unsanctioned and sanctioned capacities) for one year and nine months. Our most recent letter to you requested that Camp Second Chance not be permitted for an additional 12 months on Myers Way, and that a new site be procured for this camp outside of the boundaries of the Highland Park neighborhood.

In addition to not renewing Camp Second Chance’s permit on Myers Way, our letter requested the following three things:

1) Adoption of a set of best practices (manifested as our Neighborhood Protocols for Sanctioned Encampments which are enclosed below) by which the City of Seattle will abide prior to sanctioning an encampment in a given neighborhood.

2) An accelerated timeline and plan on when and how the Finance and Administrative Services Department will relinquish the Myers Way Parcels to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

3) A plan on how jurisdictional issues that arise from the presence of sanctioned and unsanctioned encampments at the interface of city, unincorporated county, and state land will be resolved.

Allow me to reiterate that per the 2010 United States Census, Highland Park has a lower median income ($47,600) and a higher proportion of residents who identify as a person of color (50.2%) compared to Seattle as a whole ($74,458 and 33.7%, respectively). Our historically working-class neighborhood has suffered from a lack of investment going back at least a century and from being redlined in the 1930s. Yet we have overwhelmingly borne the burden of the city’s response to homelessness by hosting three encampments over the last ten years and serving as a staging area for a proposed safe lot for those residing in vehicles.

The residents of Highland Park and surrounding communities rallied to preserve the Myers Way Parcels as recreational space for the enjoyment of all citizens. Despite our limited resources, we have risen to the challenges brought by the homelessness crisis and have gone beyond what most other neighborhoods in Seattle have been asked to do. The neighborhood of Highland Park now implores the City of Seattle to demonstrate its commitment to equity by responding to our requests as outlined above.

To that end, we respectfully ask to receive a response to our requests by Friday, April 27, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.


Charlie Omana
Chair, Highland Park Action Committee


CC: Mayor Jenny A. Durkan
Council Member Lisa Herbold, Chair: Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts
Council Member Kshama Sawant, Chair: Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights

Suggested Neighborhood Protocols for Sanctioned Encampments

For the Neighborhood
1. Transparency:

A. Provide information what other sites were investigated and the reasons why that site was chosen.

i. For the Myers Way site – why no other site in West Seattle were viable.

B. Provide information on how the race and social justice tool was used in deciding upon the proposed site.

C. Identify and work with the neighborhood groups/committees to put together community info sessions including locations, dates, and outreach methods to present the plan for the neighborhoods and the encampment.

D. Develop outreach materials that are multilingual and provide language and sign interpreters at community meetings.

E. Utilize trained facilitators to run community meetings and have present the Dept. of Neighborhoods, Dept. of Health, Director of Homelessness, SPD, the non-profit charged with outreach and support of the encampment, and any other relevant Departments and decision makers that can answer questions and make decisions. Take our feedback and incorporate any additional needs/resources.

F. Publish final plan prior to encampment being permitted.

2. Accountability:

A. Provide a written agreement between Neighborhood Group(s) and the City on how long the site will remain, the size of the encampment, how the encampment will be constructed, and how it will be deconstructed.

i. For the Myers Way site – we are requesting the one year permit for the sanctioned encampment to be retroactive to when the camp was established in July 1, 2016. Therefore, a one year permit until July 1, 2017.

ii. That Highland Park, Myers Way or any other sites in the surrounding South Delridge/Westwood/Roxbury Hill/ Arbor Heights/White Center/North Highline area will not be chosen again for 10 years.

iii. The Myers Way encampment will not grow beyond 35 tents and up to 50 people and will continue as a clean and sober camp.

iv. Why is it tents and not tiny homes?

B. Provide a plan and outline the increase of police, fire, EMS, and other services.

i. Specific to Myers Way – outline of how situations will be handled that cross city lines between Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s office.

C. Assign a consistent contact person within the City to be a single point of contact for neighbors and businesses for specific issues related to the encampment, as well as the unsanctioned encampments/RVs in the area, outside of any emergency situations.

i. This contact person should coordinate any needs between other departments – such as SPU, SDOT, etc…

D. Implement programs to help reduce homelessness and crime such as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) and REACH

i. In Highland Park and South Delridge within the next 3-6 months.

E. Provide a timeline and plan for addressing existing unsanctioned encampments and RVs in the area and how any future unsanctioned encampments that may develop as a result of the sanctioned encampment being in the area will be handled.

F. Provide a timeline and plan for addressing existing abandoned homes/squatters in the area.

G. Evaluate and increase of lighting in the area – especially near any bus stops, residential and business properties and have regular trash/dumping pick up.

i. Provide regular trash/dumping pick up at least 2x per week for any problem areas that surround an encampment on Myers Way

H. Plan and execute regular public education sessions on issues of homelessness and substance abuse with the appropriate non-profits for the community at large.

I. Provide updates and feedback sessions via community meetings at least every three months in addition to the community advisory council.

J. Provide each of the local community groups the opportunity to each have a seat on the community advisory council.


HPAC Meeting Minutes – March 28, 2018

(Approved April 25, 2018)

Community Announcements

  • Highland Park Improvement Club Updates

HPIC has many upcoming events including Corner Bar featuring the band Moonspinners on 4/6, Art Lounge on 4/13, and family movie night on 4/20. There will be an HPIC work party on 4/29 from 10am-2pm. Coming in May is the 10th annual Uncorked fundraiser, and coming in June is the 2nd annual Album Side party featuring a food truck and paper airplane contest for the kids.

  • Seattle Police Department Updates

Lt. Ron Smith reviewed crime statistics for the area.  Highland Park is seeing a drastic increase in property crimes. Residential burglary count is 21 so far this year, with only 10 at the same point last year.  Car prowls are up 14 from last year thus far.  An effort is underway to get an emphasis patrol for the Highland Park / South Delridge area.

HPAC Executive Committee Updates

  • Introductions

The HPAC 2018 Executive Committee was introduced, including Charlie Omana as Chair, Gunner Scott as Vice Chair, Michelle Glassley as Treasurer, and James Tucker as Secretary.

  • HPAC Letter  and Meeting concerning Camp Second Chance and Myers Way Parcels

The letter  written by HPAC to the head of the Seattle Human Services Department regarding the Camp Second Chance renewal was discussed. Various requests of the city were made in the letter, and we have yet to hear back. It was also pointed out that Highland Park and surrounding neighborhood has borne the brunt of the homelessness issue, and it’s only equitable to have other neighborhoods step up to host encampments. Other issues raised included jurisdictional issues and feeling that those who were voicing negative comments about the camp were not being heard by the City.

  • Meeting with Mayor’s Office

Vice-Chair Gunner Scott met with the mayor’s office to discuss a meeting to Highland Park for which the mayor accepted an invitation during her West Seattle “town hall” meeting on February 24, 2018. HPAC has not yet received a response from the mayor. Watch this space.

Find It, Fix It Walk Report Read-Through

The Find It, Fix It Community Walks: Post-Walk Update report issued by the city for Highland Park in October 2017 was reviewed and discussed.

Standing Committee Breakout Session: Neighborhood Infrastructure and Neighborhood Engagement

Time was running short, so committee breakout sessions did not take place.

Next Meeting

Please be sure to join us for our April 25, 2018 HPAC Community Open House! Food and drink will be provided.

Come learn about HPAC, share your thoughts and comments about what is needed in the neighborhood, and most of all, share some food in the great company of your neighbors. All are welcome, including kids. We will have low key format. Let’s kick off spring together!

To ensure that there is enough food for everyone, please be sure to RSVP at the following link by April 13, 2018: RSVP here.