June HPAC cancelled for Greenway Meeting July 9th

Our regularly scheduled HPAC meeting will not be happening in June, because SDOT will be hosting a Neighborhood Greenway Meeting instead that we encourage everyone to come to. If you are at all interested in having a Greenway come through Highland Park, and would like a say in which street the route is on- now’s your chance,  please join us.

It will be on TUESDAY, JULY 9th, from 6-7:30 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden. (please note, this is not our normal HPAC meeting day or time, so mark your calendars!)

What’s a Greenway? Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets where signs and pavement markings are used to guide people along the route; and speed and volume management measures discourage cars from avoiding main streets by cutting through on neighborhood streets. These amenities can be especially beneficial for families, children and seniors who might find these routes more comfortable than busier nearby streets. Find out more about them here.


More People to Contact regarding Nickelsville


Thank you again for all your support and willingness to make your voice heard by the Mayor and City Council through the petition we’ve sent around. To date, we have over 265 signatures on it. As we spoke about at our meeting last night, we have a meeting with the Mayor tomorrow afternoon and have assembled a great team of 5 folks to attend. We are working with a scheduler from Pete Holmes’s office (City Attorney) to meet with him in the next couple of weeks, and will be contacting each member of City Council to meet with as well. I am working on a printable flier that you can use to speak with your neighbors to get more support and should have that finished by the end of the weekend.

We need as many people as possible to come to a public hearing about the encampment legislation on June 25th. This one will be scheduled at an appropriate time so that more people will be available to attend. It will be at 5:30, at City Hall.

In the meantime, we can contact a few more folks- so if you are inclined, and have some time and energy… please think about contacting these folks on behalf of the Highland Park and Riverview Communities:

Each City Council Member:

Sally J. ClarkRichard ConlinNick LicataSally BagshawTim BurgessJean GoddenTom RasmussenMike O’BrienBruce A. Harrell

example of something to write or say:  We’d like to see Food Lifeline purchase the property 7116 W. Marginal Way SW and we encourage you to take action immediately to make that happen.  Highland Park and Riverview neighborhoods would not like the illegal and unsanctioned encampment that calls itself Nickelsville to remain on this site for a third summer….

Department of Planning and Development:

Diane Sugimura, Director. 233-3882

Faith Lumsden, Code Compliance Director. 615-0097

example of something to write or say:  According to Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) 23.90.004, the Director of the Department  of Planning and Development has a duty to enforce the Land Use Code explicitly for the benefit of the health, safety and welfare of the general public. We are writing as members of the general public and ask that you immediately enforce SMC Title 23: Land Use Codes where it applies to the property located at 7116 W. Marginal Way SW (Tax Parcel Number 7643400010). We also ask that you enforce those codes laid out in SMC Title 22: Building and Construction Codes, and SMC Title 10: Health and Safety to this same parcel of land.

City Attorney

Pete Holmes, City Attorney.

example of something to write or say:  The Highland Park Action Committee filed a claim on Monday, May 20th asking that the City immediately enforce SMC Title 23: Land Use Codes where it applies to the property located at 7116 W. Marginal Way SW (Tax Parcel Number 7643400010). We also ask that you enforce those codes laid out in SMC Title 22: Building and Construction Codes, and SMC Title 10: Health and Safety to this same parcel of land. We have been asking for political leadership on this matter for two years to no avail. We have had to resort to the beginnings of legal action, please move the illegal encampment that calls itself Nickelsville from this property immediately as it is having a direct and negative effect on our fragile community.

Department of Transportation

Peter Hahn, Director.

example of something to write or say:  As the owner of the property located  at 7116 W. Marginal Way SW, we ask that you stop hosting the illegal and unsanctioned encampment that calls itself Nickelsville immediately as it is  having a direct and negative effect on our neighborhood.

HPAC’s Claim filed with the City

We’ve just come back from the City Clerk’s office, where we filed a claim. We filed for “Declaratory Judgement” as to whether the Land Use Code, the Building and Construction Codes, and the Health and Safety Codes – all part of the Seattle Municipal Codes, apply to the SDOT property at 7116 West Marginal Way (current site of Nickelsville). We filed with a “Permanent Injunction” requiring the City to move the encampment. This asks the court to clarify if that parcel of land exists outside of existing laws governing the entire City, and if it’s not, then we ask that the courts order the city to move the encampment. Our application was submitted with photos and maps documenting the encampment and the specific locations of activity in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. We expect to hear back from them in 3-4 days with a claim number and confirmation, and then there is a 60 day wait period. If we don’t hear back, it opens the door to a lawsuit, which cannot be filed until this claim has been submitted… so the wheels of legal action are starting to turn, as of today.

Our petition has been signed by over 200 people, and is the number one issue City Council is hearing about from citizens right now- it is this type of political pressure that seems to carry more weight than any legal action. We hope to keep increasing the signatures  until Wednesday’s Committee meeting. If you send it around, please note that it can be signed anonymously if anyone would prefer that.

We also strongly encourage anyone who can to attend the Committee meeting on Wed, public comments will be towards the beginning, so you don’t have to commit the entire 2 hours to it, just from 2 to 2:30 or so, and I think signing up to speak is first come/first serve, and happens about 15 minutes prior to the meeting. The main thing to point out, for us- is that we would prefer a move out date before the summer- whereas the City and Food Lifeline’s move out date is probably closer to the fall. We need to explain why that difference is important for our neighborhood. The other important thing to point out is why this is a bad location for a permanent encampment- proximity to services being a huge reason. If this becomes permanent, they will bring in water and make the site a more livable and healthy space for encampment, complete with over-site and management-so those are moot points.

We will be discussing next steps at our monthly HPAC meeting, which is this Wednesday night, at 7 pm at the Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden.

HPAC’s next steps regarding Nickelsville

We just started a petition to send to Mayor McGinn and the members of our City Council. It’ll take 30 seconds to sign and pass on, and can be found here: HPAC’s petition
If you want, print out the petition and go door to door, let me know when you’re finished via email (hpacchair@gmail.com) and I’ll come pick it up.
Please pass this link on to anyone you know who owns property in the city, or to anyone that supports a better solution for the homeless. The Mayor’s actions to date have repercussions for everyone. We appreciate all the support we’ve gotten on this, we have a lot of irons in the fire right now. We are working on legal papers to file and are focusing the next few weeks on a more political route while all this legislation is coming to a head in City Council.
We are meeting with Council President Sally Clark’s aide this afternoon, and plan to meet with the Mayor at his office next Friday. We hope to have as many signatures as possible by Wednesday, May 22nd. That day there is Meeting of Nick Licata’s Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee at Seattle City Council from 2-4 where he’ll be presenting encampment legislation. Anyone who can make it to that, it would be great to try to have some community to encourage a change to the current situation. That night we have our regularly scheduled HPAC meeting, where we will discuss next steps. Join us at 7pm, Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden.
This is why the petition is important: 
If you support a better solution for the homeless, and/or own property in the city of Seattle, the Mayor is setting a precedent that may have repercussions for you: an unsanctioned homeless camp has been squatting at the intersection of West Marginal Way/Highland Park Way illegally for two years with the Mayor and Council’s full knowledge, is about to start its THIRD summer, and the Mayor has presented an option to make it permanent. The encampment has no running water or sewer hookup, there has been no public comment period, and no community engagement initiated by the city. We would like to tell the Mayor and City Council that they cannot treat our neighborhoods and citizens this way, and they cannot ignore our pleas for political leadership any longer. Two years is too long to ignore the Highland Park and Riverview neighborhoods, two years is too long to let this encampment exist without proper living conditions. If the city turns a blind eye to this even one more day, the neighborhood deserves to be informed and a public review process should begin immediately- just as would be done for any other neighborhood in Seattle. The City is dangerously close to setting a precedent for encampments to squat illegally anywhere in the city for years at a time with no public input, no permits, no public health code requirements, no fire code requirements, no water, no sanitary sewer, no over-site, no management, and no services to help the homeless. Please sign this petition if you would like to see the Mayor and City Council act immediately to end this poor treatment of Seattle neighborhoods and poor treatment of its homeless: they have been ignoring the situation for years.
and it asks the Mayor and Council to:
Move Nickelsville before the start of summer, or begin a public review process for the Highland Park and Riverview neighborhoods immediately. It is not our job to come up with a solution, but it is our job to tell you that you have a duty to enforce the Land Use Code, and the encampment is having a direct negative effect on our community. We are asking that you, our elected officials, come up with a better solution immediately.
Thank you again for all your support, and for sharing the petition link far and wide.

Who to share your opinion with about Nickelsville

In light of tonight’s meeting, here is some contact information to start with if you’d like to let some folks know how you feel about Nickelsville in its current location. If you think of it, please  copy me on whatever you send: hpacchair@gmail.com .

Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith: darryl.smith@seattle.gov , 233-7893

Jerry DeGrieck, Senior Policy Advisor at Mayor’s Office: jerry.degrieck@seattle.gov , 684-4029

Nick Licata, Seattle City Council: nick.licata@seattle.gov

Sally Clark, President of Seattle City Council: sally.clark@seattle.gov

I would say Mike McGinn, but it took him 8 months to reply to my last email, so I’m not sure it really matters to write him.

Here is a copy of what I sent as a precursor of a more formal letter to follow at the beginning of April:

I want to give you a heads up that the Highland Park Action Committee met last night, and while we have been very patient with having Nickelsville at the bottom of Highland Park Drive, the consensus in the neighborhood is that we are ready to call for an eviction and ask for a move out date. We have not asked for that yet, but have continued to inform you of our displeasure with having the camp in the same location for 2 years now.

You have set a dangerous precedent for all neighborhoods in Seattle, one I am confident not all neighborhoods will be tolerant of. Organizations such as Scott Morrow’s can now point to Nickelsville and your inaction (and help in some cases), as a justification for squatting illegally on public land for years at a time. We do not want to go through another summer with the encampment at its current location, and look forward to hearing a move out date from you as soon as possible. We understand that Food Lifeline’s interests in the property will end at the end of March, if you can’t figure out how to make that deal happen, you have missed a golden opportunity. Regardless of that opportunity, we would like that property free of an encampment. Should we not hear from you with a move out date, we will be forced to take action which will include media on a local and national level, a lot of emails and visits to your offices from our community, and a lawsuit.

Thank you for your prompt attention, and I am sorry to be so abrupt – we have tried to be kind, we have tried to be tolerant and understanding of both your situation, and that of the homeless, but we are finished. We feel taken advantage of and ignored, we feel disrespected as a community, and are one big group of angry voters. We are working on a more official call for eviction to come to you after Food Lifeline’s “end of March” date for having that deal figured out.




Contacting City Council Members for Food Lifeline

We heard from Food Lifeline at our last meeting, and they promised to send us some information about contacting members of city council to encourage them to move forward on their plans for a new Hunger Relief Solution Center.  Here it is! They have identified the site at the bottom of Highland Park Drive that currently hosts Nickelsville, and are actively working with Nickelsville and the city to find a relocation spot for them. The site would allow Food Lifeline to consolidate and expand operations to secure more food, deliver it to more people, operate even more efficiently, and work toward ending hunger in our community. The major parcels of the land that are needed are currently owned by the City of Seattle and the State of Washington. Work with the state is moving along well, but they need some help in convincing members of the City Council that the new building would be an ideal way to use that land.
That’s where you come in. Political leaders really do listen to their constituents. Speak up on their behalf to help move their vision forward. Please contact city council:

The City of Seattle’s Department of Transportation currently owns part of the site where Food Lifeline hopes to build the new building. The site is not currently being used, nor are there immediate plans for its use.
You can help by sending an email to the City Council membersTim BurgessSally ClarkRichard ConlinNick Licata and Tom Rasmussen. Let them know why you support Food Lifeline and its critical role in our community. Then, be succinct, passionate and direct in covering these points:

  • Food Lifeline needs a new building to increase its capacity to feed hungry children, families and seniors in Seattle
  • An identified site on West Marginal Way is an ideal location
  • The site should be declared surplus and transferred to Food Lifeline so it can serve thousands more hungry people for years to come
  • Ask them specifically for their support and to move quickly in taking action

Time is of the essence. They must move forward to acquire the land within the next few weeks to keep the building plans on schedule! Your investment in the campaign will build a new, consolidated 150,000-square foot Hunger Relief Solution Center where solutions to hunger are real and tangible, executed expertly and efficiently, and focused on ensuring that none of our neighbors goes hungry.

Some Helpful Links to help you help Highland Park

Because the city doesn’t know about our issues, or allocate resources, unless YOU TELL THEM:

Police Non Emergency Number: 206-625-5011

Police  Community On-Line Reporting Program for Property Destruction, Identity Theft, Car Prowls, Auto Accessories, Theft of Property (under $500), Narcotics Activity.

On-going Drug Activity:  call narcotics directly at (206) 684-5797 or our community police team at (206) 615-1976 to report ongoing drug activity, ask to file a “Narcotics Activity Report.” Can also be reported online.

Requesting a city Service, like overgrown vegetation/ impassable sidewalks, abandoned cars in the street, damaged sidewalks, graffiti, pothole report, parking enforcement…

Illegal Dumping

Seattle Animal Shelter, dispatch center:  386-7387 ext 7 or request service here. This is to report failure to leash, failure to scoop, injured or dead animals/wildlife, stray pets, dangerous animals, animal cruelty, things like that.

Filing an anonymous complaint, especially for things like junk cars in yards, junk stored outside in residential zones, and vacant properties opened to unauthorized entry.