HPAC Meeting Minutes – May 23, 2018

(Approved with amendments on June 27, 2018)

The meeting was called to order by HPAC Chair Charlie Omana at 7:00pm, and the minutes for the April 25, 2018 were approved. Executive members present: Vice-Chair Gunner Scott and Secretary James Tucker.

Highland Park Way / SW Holden St Roundabout Project Update

James Le from the Seattle Department of Transportation updated HPAC on the Highland Park Way / SW Holden St Roundabout project.  In October of 2012 a proposal for the roundabout was made by former HPAC Chair Brian Dougherty.  In 2013 the committee applied for a grant through the Neighborhood Street Fund for a roundabout or traffic signal.  In 2017, the Find It Fix It meeting with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Councilmember Herbold highlighted the need for a roundabout.  Afterwards $200,000 was dedicated to start the design work on the roundabout.  Also, $300,000 was dedicated to construction.  In 2017, an attempt to get a state grant for additional needed funds was denied, but it was noted that the grant proposal received a great number of letters in support from the community.  In April 2018, WSDOT encouraged SDOT to apply for a grant under the state’s City Safety Program which bases approval on reduction of fatal or serious injury.  The HP roundabout project was found to have a 4 to 1 benefit/cost ratio in this regards, with a 2 to 1 ratio being considered good.  We’ll hear about whether this grant succeeds in December 2018.

James Le spoke then about the current state of the project.  Approximately $50,000 has been spent for a survey. Basemapping, which overlays utilities and the like, is taking place now.  The next step is analysis and design concepts which $100,000 has been allocated.  A design firm is being contracted to start this phase.  The entire project is estimated currently to cost around $2.5 million, $800k for materials and labor, a 40% contingency for cost overruns or additions, and 25% design/inspection/right-of-way costs.  Outreach from SDOT will be done once the design phase is underway to solicit feedback from the community.

A good summary of the discussion can be found on the West Seattle Blog at http://westseattleblog.com/2018/05/from-the-roundabout-to-the-triangle-highland-park-action-committee/

Community Announcements

Highland Park Improvement Club

The Album Side Saturday event will be held the second Saturday in June with music and food from 4-8pm.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) Feedback

The city produced a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for ADUs in May 2018 and is seeking feedback.  You may find the report and submit feedback up until June 25th at http://www.seattle.gov/council/adu-eis.

RV Problem

There was discussion on the problem of people living in their RV’s in Highland Park, particularly near Riverview Park.  The problem of how to get the city to enforce the laws already on the books was brought up. Specifically, that vehicles wider than 80 inches can’t park overnight on streets in areas not zoned industrial.  Also, an RV is the jurisdiction of the Parks Department when on park property, and the Seattle Police Department when on rights-of-way.  Having SPD and the Parks Department attend a future HPAC meeting was discussed.

Delridge Triangle Project

Kim Barnes from the Westwood Roxhill Arbor Heights Community Coalition discussed a project to redesign a small patch of land at SW Barton St and 18th Ave SW called the Delridge Triangle.  The current design of the property is encouraging of  bad behavior like drug use.  The project team is working to get a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant from Seattle to fund phase one which includes coming up with a new design for the property.  Phase two would be build-out of that design and be funded by a future grant.  To get the matching grant requires community involvement, so the team is asking for people to get informed and involved.  Look for upcoming communications asking for pledges of time, labor, money, and/or in-kind contributions to help bolster the grant applications chances of success.  See https://delridgetriangle.org/ for more information.

HPAC Executive Committee Updates

Mayor’s Visit to Highland Park

The current status was reported by Chair Charlie Omana.  HPAC is still trying to get a commitment for when Mayor Durkan will attend an HPAC meeting.  A deputy mayor will be attending a morning meeting in coming weeks to see the challenges currently being encountered at the Highland Park Way and SW Holden intersection.

Update on 16th and Holden Left Turn Lane

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 southbound 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.

Next Steps for Meyers Way

Vice-Chair Gunner Scott discussed the current status of the Meyers Way encampment work being done by HPAC.  Many letters are being sent to city officials asking for our concerns to be addressed.  Future updates will be forthcoming.

The meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.

Submitted 6/17/2018 by HPAC Secretary James Tucker.

The next HPAC meeting will be Wednesday, June 27th, 2018.

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Response to Camp Second Chance Permit Renewal

On June 7, 2018, the City of Seattle Human Services Department announced that the permit for Camp Second Chance would be renewed for an additional 12 months on the site known as the Myers Way Parcels.

In response, the Highland Park Action Committee issued a joint statement with the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council to outline our position on this issue and to invite the director of the Human Services Department to engage in a discussion with our communities about the impacts of the city’s homelessness policies on neighborhoods like ours.

We have played host to the city’s dubitable policies long enough without receiving commensurate recompense in the form of needed investments in infrastructure and safety. It is time for accountability. 

Please find the letter below:

June 8, 2018

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

Interim Director Johnson:

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.

Camp Second Chance established itself on the Myers Way Parcels on July 23, 2016 (“Myers Way Parcels,” 2016), 10 days after former mayor Edward B. Murray declared that the property would be retained by the City of Seattle for the purposes of expanding the Joint Training Facility and for expanding recreational space (“Mayor Murray announces,” 2016). Polly Trout of Patacara Community Services—the organization which would become the sponsor for the camp—is reported to have used bolt cutters to break the lock on the fence that had been securing the property (Archibald, 2017a), thereby allowing the group of campers, who had defected from SHARE Tent City 3 earlier that year (Archibald, 2017b), to trespass and establish their new camp. The status of the camp remained in limbo for some time thereafter.

In a post on her blog concerning a possible eviction of the camp, Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold (2016), who represents the district in which the camp is located, relayed that she had “urged the Executive [branch of city government] not only to have its work guided by established public health and safety prioritization criteria, but…asked whether outreach workers have the ability to ask for more time if – in their estimation – more time would help get campers access to services.” Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw and King County Council member Jean Kohl-Welles, who are not representatives of the area where the camp is located, had requested from Mayor Murray that the camp not be immediately evicted (Jaywork, 2016). Within 5 months of the camp’s establishment on the Myers Way property, the Murray administration proceeded to officially sanction the encampment (“West Seattle Encampment,” 2016), thereby delaying the community’s request to have the Myers Way Parcels relinquished to the Parks and Recreation department for future development of the site in accordance with community wishes.

I want to make clear that the communities surrounding the encampment are not strangers to disadvantage. Our neighborhoods have suffered from a lack of investment going back at least a century, and from redlining in the 1930s. The lasting effects of this lack of investment in our neighborhoods are palpable to this day!

Data from the American Community Survey (5-year Series, 2009-2013) show that Highland Park (Census Tract 113) has a lower median income ($53,182) and a higher proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White (49.8%) than Seattle as a whole ($65,277 and 29.4%, respectively). The King County census tract immediately to the South of Highland Park, which encompasses the land area where the Myers Way Parcels are located, shows even starker demographic departures from Seattle.

Census Tract 265 overlays the southeastern-most portion of Highland Park in the City of Seattle, as well as a portion of White Center, which is part of the North Highline unincorporated urban area. There, the proportion of residents who identify as a race or ethnicity other than White increases to 60.1%, while the Median Household Income drops to $35,857.

Like most Seattleites, residents of our neighborhoods are compassionate and wish to address the homelessness crisis with empathy. However, in as much as the City claims to promote equity, we ask that neighborhoods like ours not continue to be overwhelmed with the responsibility of shouldering the burden of the City’s homelessness policies while wealthier, less diverse neighborhoods remain largely unscathed.

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!

Given this history, the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC) has sought resolution from the Human Services Department on a number of items, including

1) The adoption of a set of best practices (manifested as our “Neighborhood Protocols for Sanctioned Encampments” which have been provided to the department on many past occasions and are again enclosed below) by which the City of Seattle will abide prior to sanctioning an encampment in any given neighborhood.

2) That the Finance and Administrative Services Department accelerate the relinquishment of the Myers Way Parcels to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

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

4) A 10% increase in the number of police officers assigned to the Southwest Precinct Patrol to help mitigate the increased burden on our current resources. (At 124 Full-Time Equivalents for budget year 2018, the Southwest Precinct Patrol Budget Control Level is the lowest in the city.)

Despite a reply on April 18 from Catherine Lester, the previous director of the Human Services Department, the Highland Park Action Committee does not feel that our requests have been satisfactorily addressed. We understand that some of our requests will require coordination with other departments. However, it is our belief that the City needs to take a holistic approach to its encampment-sanctioning process. To date, the methods employed have lacked transparency and eroded neighborhood trust in city government.

In an effort to allow residents of Highland Park and surrounding neighborhoods to get a better understanding of the City of Seattle’s homelessness response, the Highland Park Action Committee invites the Director of the Human Services Department (whomever that may be at the time) to attend our scheduled meeting on September 26, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. PDT for a moderated discussion on homelessness policy.

We kindly ask for confirmation of acceptance or declination of this request by August 17, 2018.

Sincerely,

Charlie Omana
Chair, Highland Park Action Committee
206-880-1506
hpacchair@gmail.com

Liz Giba
President, North Highline Unincorporated Area Council
lgiba@northhighlineuac.org

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
homelessness@seattle.gov

Citations

Archibald, A. (2017a, February 22). A new kind of camp. Retrieved June 7, 2018, from http://realchangenews.org/2017/02/22/new-kind-camp

Archibald, A. (2017b, September 6). Camp Second Chance splits with supporting nonprofit. Retrieved June 7, 2018, from http://realchangenews.org/2017/09/06/camp-second-chance-splits-supporting-nonprofit

Herbold, L. (2016, July 28). In-District Office Hours, August 4 SDOT meeting on 35th Avenue SW/West Seattle Greenway, Myers Way. Retrieved June 7, 2018, from http://herbold.seattle.gov/in-district-office-hours-august-4-sdot-meeting-on-35th-avenue-swwest-seattle-greenway-myers-way/

Jaywork, C. (2016, August 02). City and County Councilmembers Ask Murray Not to Clear Homeless Encampment. Retrieved June 7, 2018, from http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/city-and-county-councilmembers-ask-murry-not-to-clear-homeless-encampment/

Mayor Murray announces planned usage of Myers Way property in Southwest Seattle. (2016, July 13). Retrieved June 7, 2018, from http://murray.seattle.gov/mayor-murray-announces-planned-usage-of-myers-way-property-in-southwest-seattle/

Myers Way Parcels now home to encampment. (2016, July 24). Retrieved June 7, 2018, from http://westseattleblog.com/2016/07/myers-way-parcels-now-home-to-encampment/

West Seattle Encampment: Mayor announces ‘sanctioned’ camp on Myers Way Parcels site. (2016, December 1). Retrieved June 7, 2018, from http://westseattleblog.com/2016/12/west-seattle-encampment-mayor-proposes-authorizing-one-on-myers-way-parcels-site/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director of External Relations and Outreach for the Mayor’s Office Views Highland Park Way / SW Holden Intersection Congestion

HPAC leaders and neighbors met with Kyla Blair, Director of External Relations and Outreach for the Mayor’s Office, to discuss the need for improvements for Highland Park Way and SW Holden intersection. We did brief walk through of the area during the height of the morning commute on Wednesday morning so the Mayor’s office could understand the impact of the back ups, lack of crosswalks, and cut through traffic in Highland Park. We look forward to Mayor Durkan addressing this issue in Highland Park in the near future.4C54E7D5-BB6E-40A5-93B6-60619754E2B0

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
spdparks
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!
night

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.

Community

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

Business

  • 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

Neighbors,

A
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.

Sincerely,

Charlie Omana
Chair, Highland Park Action Committee

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