During this week last year, the entire city was talking about the leaked proposal from the HALA committee that proposed eliminating all single family zoned areas: this year, the summer steam directed at the Mayor’s office centers around the disbanding of the neighborhood district councils.

As the August primary ticks closer and half of your office has their inbox set to autoreply, here are some of the other stories that we’re all talking about this week.

  • Last Wednesday night, a crowd gathered at Seattle University for a design review meeting for the building set to replace the Madison Valley City People’s Garden Store. The building, which will be home to a PCC Grocery, is drawing ire from the residents in the valley due to it being “out of scale” with neighboring homes and its impact on traffic on nearby streets.

    The group “Save Madison Valley” has enlisted former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck in its fight, truly completing Peter’s journey from sensible civic activist to local angry person.

    The development has already made several concessions to local concerns, including separating the parking entrances into residential and commercial. Not much was gleaned from the first appearance before the design review board- the project will appear there again in 2-3 months and we will see how much of an impact local opposition has had on the project.
The proposed building on the City People’s site.
  • Something that we missed reporting on earlier in the month: Senator Maria Cantwell announced that Seattle will be the recipient of the largest federal grant ever awarded to a project in the history of the State of Washington.The $45 FASTLANE grant now brings the unaccounted-for amount in the $140 million project to $35 million. This is a pretty good deal: for $140 million, some people only get Hulk Hogan to stop suing them, or 6 years of a quarterback playing on your football team.

    SDOT has been shopping around two options for the overpass design, both with two general purpose traffic lanes in each direction: one has a 6 foot sidewalk on either side, whereas the other has a 14 foot multiuse path. The multiuse path is really the only option that provides any bicycle infrastructure.
Proposed SDOT designs for the Lander Street Overpass (SDOT)
  • The City of Seattle on Thursday announced that the Meyers Way Parcels bordering the Seattle Fire Department’s Joint Training Facility will not be sold off. Neighborhood and citywide activists were calling on the City to reverse its decision to sell the land for development.

    The $5 million anticipated to have been gained from the sale would have gone toward funding the city’s state of emergency on homelessness.Seattle Parks & Recreation does not have any plans to develop the area into a park right away: From Ed Murray’s statement: “At a future date, Seattle Parks and Recreation will conduct further public outreach to determine how best to use the property.”West Seattle Council member Lisa Herbold was quoted as saying she is “pleased” with the decision by the City to retain Myers Parcels.

    The Myers Parcels: will not be sold off by the city. (City of Seattle)
  • Incidentally, on Thursday the King County Boundary Review Board approved the proposal by the city of Seattle to move forward with an annexation ballot measure for White Center and Unincorporated North Highline area. If everything proceeds as scheduled this should be on the ballot in November 2017. We anticipate digging into that proposal when more information becomes available.
No, not that Highline. (Swanny Mouton on Flickr)
No, not that Highline. (Swanny Mouton on Flickr)


Top image: wall art in Yakima, WA. Look for more photos from our writer’s travels at our Instagram account.

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Ryan Packer lives in the Summit Slope neighborhood of Capitol Hill and has been writing for the The Urbanist since 2015. They report on multimodal transportation issues, #VisionZero, preservation, and local politics. They believe in using Seattle's history to help attain the vibrant, diverse city that we all wish to inhabit. Ryan's writing has appeared in Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, Bike Portland, and Seattle Bike Blog, where they also did a four-month stint as temporary editor.