Lake City Urban Design Presentation Tuesday

The October meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council will feature a presentation by Katie Sheehy from Seattle’s Department of Planning who is guiding an effort with Lake City area residents and businesses to develop the Lake City Urban Design Framework.  This will be a great opportunity to view the draft document and provide feedback. Everyone is encouraged to attend. The meeting will start at 7 PM in the Victory Heights Co-Op Preschool in Victory Heights Park on Tuesday, October 21st.

As part of the regular monthly meeting we’ll get updates on issues that are relevant to residents of Victory Heights. Note the chairs at the school are sized for small children, so bring your own if you want.

City Wants Internet Feedback

The City of Seattle wants to hear from residents about your use of the Internet , preferences in receiving information from the City and how they engage with their local government and community.

Take the survey in English or Spanish before April 20th
at
 http://www.seattle.gov/tech/indicator2013.htm  

The Technology Survey covers:

•    Internet,
•    Cable TV customer satisfaction,
•    How you want to give your opinion or get info from the city
•    Social media preferences,
•    Cell phones usage,
•    Concerns about cost or security
•    High-speed Internet services

Answers from this survey will help shape the City’s strategic and engagement efforts regarding cable re-franchising, the City’s web site, Seattle Channel and public outreach. It is also used by others to help plan community outreach and education programs.

My little editorial about this is, I can’t see the city not awarding the cable franchise to anyone other than Xfinity (Comcast). They have invested millions into infrastructure and would not just walk away without a huge fight (i.e. lawsuit). But perhaps the city can extract concessions from Xfinity with regards to service for low-income residents, internet access, or public access channels. But don’t expect the name on your monthly cable bill to change anytime soon (barring yet another corporate name change or merger).

For more information on this Information Technology Indicators Project, visit www.seattle.gov/tech/indicators/ or contact communitytechnology@seattle.gov or David Keyes at 386-9759 or Vicky Yuki at 233-7877.

Neighbor Appreciation Day February 9th

While not quite the household name that Valentine’s Day is, Seattle’s Neighbor Appreciation Day turns 19 on Saturday, February 9th. It’s billed as, “a special day to reach out to neighbors, create new friends, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood a great place to live.” The city encourages residents to plan an activity for our neighborhoods, such as a block party, potluck, or work party. Or you could attend an event such as one of the fire station open houses, park cleanups, or swims around the city. You can even send a Neighbor Appreciation Day e-card to someone with artwork by local students. Or maybe it would just be a good opportunity to knock on your neighbors door and introduce yourself. Victory Heights is a pretty friendly place, so get involved!

Please take a minute to “Like” the Victory Heights Blog Facebook page.

Mayor On Sidewalks, Dog Parks, and Roundabouts

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn at the Town Hall on November 27th, 2012

Tuesday night, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn addressed resident’s questions at a Town Hall conducted at the Northgate Community Center. Moderated by friend-of-the-blog Philip Shack of Cedar Park (who was just elected chair of the City Neighborhood Council), McGinn took questions for 90 minutes on a series of issues. Numbers were distributed to those wanting to pose a question which were limited to one minute of speaking time (one person walked out in protest).

Regarding Northgate, he said, “Northgate has been changing and will change more,” particularly with the coming of Light Rail. The work around 5th Avenue NE and Northgate Way is nearly completed (though one person complained the new sidewalks were too steep), and a proposal to extend the hours for youth services at the community center did not pass the city council this year.

He stated the obvious about the redevelopment of the Bill Pierre Properties in Lake City saying, “It has some real opportunities,” and having met with two of the Pierres, was encouraged that a business wanted to do something positive for the neighborhood rather than just make the biggest buck by selling out.

On sidewalks (which as we all know are extremely expensive), he noted that his own neighborhood around NE 87th in Greenwood was also sidewalk-free and that, “It’s way over due” but “We need more resources to focus on it.” Noting, “I really think small projects matter,” he concluded with, “We have to find a better way to finance them than we have now.” (Philip Shack pointed out that Neighborhood Street Fund is currently accepting applications for projects in the $100,000-$750,000 range with a deadline of December 17th, 2012 if neighborhood groups wanted to organize for a desired project.)

There was a surprising constituency for roundabouts in Seattle (note, these are the large European ones beginning to be used on the Olympic Penninsula for some intersections, NOT traffic circles used on residential streets to slow traffic). He said the city had an interest in experimenting with them (“There are advocates in the Department [of Transportation],” but would need appropriate space in order to work as they are larger than the average intersection.

And more than a few people among the two dozen or so attendees wanted more off-leash areas for dogs. Apparently the 98115 zip code has more dogs in it than any other part of Seattle and no off-leash area.  Even the new giant park going in on top of the Roosevelt reservoir does not include one (resistance from the Parks Department was alleged by a member of the Maple Leaf Community Council). Giving a non-committal “I hear you,” the Mayor encouraged the community to keep telling officials that this is a priority for them if they want them.

Finally, on the topic of drones being deployed, McGinn described them merely like “a radio-controlled helicopter that will fly for 10-15 minutes” and would only be used when emergency responders needed an eye in the sky, for example during a siege situation. But he affirmed, “We will not use them until a proposal has passed the city council” to regulate their use.

 

Introduction To The North District Council

Next week the North District Council is having its monthly meeting (Wednesday, 7 PM, Lake City Library). Many, if not most of the people in Seattle are unaware of the history or even the existence of the City Neighborhood Council (CNC) and the thirteen Neighborhood District Councils. In this series of articles we’ll describe the history of the District Councils, how they are formed, and how they serve the community of Victory Heights.

These organizations were created by a resolution of Seattle City Council in 1987 that, at the same time, created the “Office of Neighborhoods” that has since become the Department of Neighborhoods.

The City Neighborhood Council (CNC) is a citizen-led advisory group, comprised of elected members from each of the City’s 13 Districts. The CNC’s purpose is to provide city-wide coordination for the Neighborhood Matching Fund, Neighborhood Budget Prioritization, and Neighborhood Planning programs. The CNC also provides a forum for a discussion of common neighborhood issues and is available for advice on policies necessary for the effective and equitable implementation of the Neighborhood Planning and Assistance Program. Its monthly meetings are open to the public.

So what are these district councils? The district councils consist of  “representatives of all community councils and neighborhood business organizations within the district who wish to participate. Other representatives may be added at the discretion of the District Council. The District Council shall seek to reflect the geographic, racial, cultural and economic characteristics of the district” [quoting from resolution 28115].

In the northeast corner of the city, we have the “North District Council” which comprise the neighborhoods of Cedar Park, Meadowbrook, Lake City, Olympic Hills, Pinehurst, Victory Heights, Northgate and Maple Leaf. The District Coordinator is Thomas Whittemore. Public meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month starting at 7 PM at the Lake City library, 12501 28th Ave NE. The next one is scheduled for June 6th.

Next : Part 2: How the Councils are formed and who serves on them.

Welcome to the Victory Heights Neighborhood Blog

Victory Heights is a neighborhood located in the north end of Seattle, east of Northgate, north of Maple Leaf, and south of Lake City Way. We felt it was time our part of the city was represented online as a way for neighbors to connect and share news and information about our area.

Please submit items to Ryan at victoryheights@aol.com for inclusion on this blog. We hope you will add comments and feedback to what you see here. Welcome!

Ryan
Somewhere in Lower Victory Heights