Laurelhurst Community Club
LCC Meeting of October 14, 2002
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:02 PM
ATTENDING: Pat Wright, Mark Holden, John Burge, Jim Romano, Kate Loyd, John Clark, Stan Sorscher,
Heather Newman, Don Torrie, Maggie Weissman, Todd Cahill, Jeannie Hale, Jennifer Biely, Mimi Levin,
Mark Trumbauer, Bonnie Zinn, Jean Colley
Excused: Karl Weyrauch, Shawn Whitcomb, Shahina Piyarali, Susan Torrance, Barb Ragee
Vance Thompson, Gordon Ruh: Friends of Magnuson Park, Karen Coe Seattle Department of
Neighborhoods, Andrew Schmid, Lee Holtz, Sue Tom
Friends of Magnuson Park: Vance Thompson spoke on behalf of Viewridge residents concerned about
lighting of the proposed playfields at Magnuson Park. He showed a photo simulation of the effect of lights,
as seen from homes on the hill above the playfields. Plans call for 618 lights mounted on poles around 11
of the 15 fields, which would stay on until 11 PM. The group hired a land-use lawyer to prepare for
hearings. The groups goals are to minimize the lighting as seen from nearby houses, by earlier ―lights
out‖ time at night, and lighting only those fields with the least visibility from neighborhoods. They are also
concerned about traffic noise and congestion.
Speed Bump Project: Lee Holtz and Sue Tom are active in placing speed humps on 50 Ave NE. Lee
th st rd
Holtz presented survey data on speeds for 198 cars on 50 Ave NE between NE 41 St and NE 43 .
Neighbors have pledged $2200 and started a petition, and they will apply for Neighborhood Matching
Funds for at least two humps. This project will be coordinated with Liz Otis and Karl Weyrauch
Changes to the Agenda:
Minutes: Minutes for September were approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Levin distributed a summary report listing account balances and activity.
CALLS AND CONCERNS FROM NEIGHBORS
1. Traffic Light at the Texaco: Richard Levy emailed seven times on October 10 and 11 about the
proposed traffic light on Sand Point Way at the Texaco station. He had heard that LCC had
somehow intervened in what he thought was a decision to postpone the project and wanted an
explanation. Hale responded that LCC has consistently supported a light at that corner. Levy then
said he heard that LCC had asked for further study before installing a traffic light and wanted LCC to
write a generic letter stating support for the project. After a few more messages, Hale contacted the
transportation department to find out the status. There has been no update to date. Levy was invited
to attend the October meeting, but was not present. Weissman offered to get in touch with Levy to
2. Parking Ordinance: Fred Hansen emailed on September 13 to tell LCC that he agrees with the
position we took on the proposal that would reduce and/or eliminate parking requirements for low and
moderate income multi-family housing. He also mentioned that he had noticed a vehicle apparently
stored on Laurelhurst streets around the bend from NE 41 where the street turns into Mary Gates.
He reported a large van with a flat front tire twice in the last month and a half.
3. Beach Club: Jessica Curtis emailed on September 30 to express concerns that neighbors that live
beyond 50 are not allowed to join the Beach Club. Hale responded that she would take this issue to
the board and that it has surfaced many times in the past. The Beach Club has expressed concerns
over traffic and parking, life guard capacity and insurance. Hale asked for volunteers to approach the
Beach Club Board for an update.
4. Overgrowth by the Playfield: Marissa LaMadrid emailed on September 12 to thank LCC for its
efforts in getting the overgrowth at the Playfield trimmed back. LaMadrid was concerned about
strangers approaching children in the area. Wright and Dave Yim from the Community Center
resolved the problem.
5. Magnuson Park: Tom Curran called on September 16 and is interested in volunteering on
Magnuson Park issues. LCC will add him to the email network.
6. Accessory Dwelling Unit: Dave Vanliew called on September 17 to inquire about a new mother-in-
law unit going in next to his house on 43 Avenue and 36 . LCC will follow-up to tell him where he
can get information on the Code requirements.
1. Andrew Schmid, from Cynthia Sullivan’s office spoke on several issues. Laurelhurst bus service was
displaced in favor of suburban routes. Schmid encourage citizens to get involved in regional
transportation issues, such as the TransLake Washington Project.
2. Absent: Weyrauch, Whitcomb, Ragee and Torrance had conflicts tonight and could not attend the
trustee meeting. Piyarali had babysitter problems and could not attend.
3. Thank You! Thanks to Colley, Lloyd and Clark who delivered trustee packets this month.
4. November LCC Meeting: The November trustee meeting falls on Veterans Day.
5. Helicopter Training: Airlift Northwest needs to conduct the required training landings for pilots at the
Children’s Hospital Helistop. This landing/takeoff training will occur on Friday, October 25, 2002
between the hours of 12:00 Noon and 3:00 PM as required in the helistop permit. The crane will be in
place for construction of Children’s patient care building during this Airlift training. Sellen and Airlift
have worked closely to assure safe procedures for landings and departures of helicopters bringing
critically ill children to Children’s during construction.
6. TransLake Open House: LCC TransLake representative encourages all trustees to attend and ask
questions at the TransLake Open House at MOHAI on Monday, October 28 between 5 and 8 p.m.
One should especially take note of the fact Seattle's elected representatives on TransLake voted
against the "preferred alternative" for 520 expansion including new HOV lanes, plus accommodation
for future High Capacity Transit. The problem arises because there is no place to put more vehicles
on the west side...
At the moment, the proposed preferred alternative configuration is really 11 lanes of concrete (not the
six which hit the headlines) closer to Laurelhurst to the north. There will be four SOV/GP, two HOV,
one bike/ped, two future HCT, and two shoulders. But the real problem, besides closer noise and
visual blight, is that under phase 1 (if not forever) any new bridge lanes will just "land", thus dump
traffic at Montlake, not I-5. So the westbound PM vehicle backup will move west to Montlake where
Laurelhurst residents will breath the sitting car fumes. Bridge capacity (thus demand) will be
increased, but there will be no improved, increased access for us Laurelhurst folks from the north via
Montlake Boulevard. This means Laurelhurst will not benefit from all this highway tax expenditure
proposed in Referendum 51 for 520. Often when 520 is flowing free, Montlake is backed up to U
Village because of the light for pedestrians at the UW hospital and in the Hamlin-Shelby area. This
will not change in foreseeable future.
7. Town Meeting with Council Chair Sullivan: Council Chair Sullivan is hosting a Town Meeting
cosponsored by Northeast District Council on Wednesday, October 30 from 6:30-9 p.m. The event is
titled, ―Is Seattle’s role changing in our region?‖
8. Fire Department Cuts: The mayor is proposing budget cuts to the Fire Department. Station 16 at
Greenlake is scheduled to be closed. This means that there would be a larger geographic response
area for the two closest companies—the one on 35 Avenue NE and the one on NE 95 Street. Of
even greater impact to the Laurelhurst community is the proposed decommissioning of Aid Car 17,
located in the U-District. This is the only aid car left north of the cut and responds with engine
companies and medic units to resuscitations (where there is ongoing CPR) all over the northend of
the city. These are the most critical runs the fire department goes on, for obvious reasons. In
addition this aid car regularly fills in for fire Engine 38. The Fire Department has asked for the
support of communities to retain adequate funding for the Department. LCC has suggested that it
write a joint letter with Children’s on this funding issue and Children’s is interested. The consensus of
the LCC Board was to proceed with the letter.
9. Holiday Cards: Trustees and Committee members who have public officials, city or county
department staff or others they would like added to the holiday card list should notify Hale. Card
signing will be at the November meeting.
10. Self-Defense Classes: Free Self-defense classes will be offered at the Community Center.
11. Pro-Robics: Ragee left a message confirming that Pro-Robics is building a new structure in the rear
of the property, just east of the cycling studio shed.
Crime Prevention: Wright reported that City funding will be available for Crime Prevention, and Diane
Horswell will remain in her present capacity. Other positions will be eliminated. The Newsletter may go
away. Consideration is being given to ―civility‖ laws for the U-District. Police will make window stickers
available with grant permission for police to stop cars between 1-5 PM.
UW Master Plan:
1. Process Issues: LCC and the other petitioners in the UW Master Planning process have submitted
responses on October 9, 2002 to the City Council’s preliminary decision on the UW Master Plan. The
Council has basically approved the proposed master plan intact, with the exception of four areas: the
rezone on the golf driving range, the need for more specificity in the plan for the development of the
additional 3M in square footage, adjustments to the transportation management plan and a ―Good
Neighbor‖ housing policy. The petitioners now have until October 24 to respond to statements
submitted by other parties.
Colley: The City Council is likely to maintain the decision against expanding the golf driving range.
CUCAC had approved the bulk of the UW Master Plan, although the process involved complicated
relationships between the UW, City officials, the press, and various neighborhood groups. The ―lease
lid‖ will be the next major issue, and it could quickly reflect into the Talaris development.
Zinn: Given the developments at UW, Magnuson Park, Trans-Lake Washington, [Chlldren’s Hospital,
U Village, Blakeley housing, …] traffic in the Montlake area will become a choke point that could spill
over from congested surface streets into SR 520, and the city center.
Loyd: The links between Talaris and UW could be solidifying, which would sharpen attention on the
Settlement Agreements provisions against major institutions gaining control of the Battelle site.
2. LCC’s Response: Peter Eglick’s statement submitted on behalf of LCC is included in the trustee
packets. Eglick commended the City Council for its excellent work and informed analysis of UW
Master Plan issues. He pointed out the UW and the mayor’s violation of the quasi-judicial rules and
the possibility that there would be more pressure to pay heed to extraneous factors, editorial
pressures and inside lobbying and urged the Council to proceed as it has been doing—focusing on
the record. In addition to addressing the golf driving range rezone, Eglick addressed the land
acquisition amendment adopted by the City Council. The amendment prohibits land acquisition in the
primary and secondary impact zones except for housing purposes. Eglick suggested that this
language be tightened to cover the possibility that land might initially be acquired for housing, but that
the University might later change its mind and use it for offices.
3. Public Disclosure Request: LCC submitted a request for public documents to the Mayor and City
Attorney’s office for documents relating to the UW Master Plan. Included in the documents received
was a memo outlining the mayor’s strategy to get around the quasi-judicial rules governing the
process. LCC also received materials about the lease lid and the mayor’s efforts to lift the lid without
even talking to impacted communities.
4. Newspaper Coverage: The Seattle PI has had balanced coverage of the UW Master Plan. The
Seattle Times, on the other hand, has distorted the issues. A September 29 editorial characterized
those unwilling to go along with all of the University’s demands as ―arrogant and ignorant.‖ LCC
learned through its public disclosure request that a Times reporter actually wrote the Mayor’s op-ed
piece. LCC and its two CUCAC reps submitted letters to the editor that have not yet been printed.
Magnuson Park Issues:
1. Christmas Ship Donation: Magnuson Park has again approached neighborhoods asking for a $50
contribution to the annual Christmas Ship event at Magnuson Park. The Christmas Ship has been a
holiday tradition for the past 52 years and the lighting of the bon fire and luminaria at Magnuson Park
has been a part of the event for the past ten years. Laurelhurst has contributed each year and told
neighbors about the opportunity to volunteer to help out with the event. Motion (Lloyd, seconded by
Holden): LCC donate $50 to support this year’s Christmas ship. Motion passed unanimously.
2. Sand Point Housing: In Clark’s absence, Lloyd reported on the effect of playfield development on
the Sand Point Housing Project. LCC will write a letter supporting funding for the Sand Point
Community Housing Association as the Mayor’s budget cuts funding by 65% for that project.
City Charter Amendments: Information about the City Charter Amendments that will appear on the
November 5 ballot is included in the trustee packets. The proposed charter amendments were
introduced and adopted by the City Council on the same day with no prior notice to citizens. The League
of Women Voters, the Northeast District Council, the Seattle Community Council Federation, Yes on I-80
and Sensible Seattle Coalition opposed Amendment No. 3, which restricts the citizen initiative process.
The League also opposes Amendment No. 1, which reduces the notice requirements for laws that the city
passes. The Federation opposes all of the amendments in part because no notice to citizens was
Charter Amendment No. 3 would change the current 20-day rule. Now, the City Clerk is required to
transmit the verification of petition signatures within 20 days after the signatures are filed. The problem is
that the County counts the signatures and, despite improvements in technology, they don’t get the
counting done on time in some cases. So, Charter Amendment No. 3 would give the County as long as it
wants to do the counting and the City Clerk 20 extra days after the counting is done to take the County’s
verification report upstairs to the City Council.
Those opposed to Charter Amendment No. 3 see this as a means to undermine the citizen initiative
process as the City Council has typically been hostile to citizen initiatives. They point to citizen initiatives
that saved the Pike Place Market, prevented fences and fees at the Arboretum and protected public parks
from sale and private encroachments.
Romano: Are other options available to resolve the tensions over citizens’ initiatives? Hale: City Officials
have acted without informing citizens’ groups, and pleas to show more sensitivity have had no effect.
Motion (Trumbauer, seconded by Biely): LCC support the League of Women Voters’ position in
opposition to Charter Amendment 3. Motion passed unanimously.
Talaris Update: Talaris has submitted its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to DCLU for review.
We do not know if their preferred alternative conforms to the Code or the Settlement Agreement. Carol
Eychaner is checking on this. The project is on its third planner at DCLU—first Stephanie Haines, then
Dave Van Skyke and now Marina Haufschild. A hearing on the draft EIS will be scheduled in the next
couple of months. DCLU is trying to coordinate on the publication dates of our newsletter to allow
sufficient notice to neighbors. It has been suggested that our next newsletter be devoted to the draft EIS
and issues in that document.
Now that Talaris has submitted the draft EIS, DCLU will review the document, Talaris will have an
opportunity to submit corrections, then the EIS will be made public.
Hale: Peter Eglick and Carol Eychaner responded to the letter from Jack McCullough, saying that the
terms described in the letter do not show enough promise to justify a meeting. Jack McCullough is
expected to confer with the owners.
Sorscher: At the meeting the Board discussed priorities regarding the development and issues in the
Settlement Agreement. The memo documenting those discussions is the LCC’s only written statement on
the subject. Hale agreed to encourage Eglick to review the memo so we can use it as a reference point.
Neighbor Appreciation Day: Although Neighbor Appreciation Day isn’t until February, it’s not too early to
start planning. Planners thought it would be fun to try and get our Laurelhurst schools involved in the art
contest. Children’s has also expressed interest in cosponsoring the event. Zinn and Coco Sherman will
coordinate the event. Other sponsors or participants may include schools and The Department of
Children’s Hospital Construction: Biely reported on the Whale Garage project – the retaining wall,
plantings, lighting issues, and noise. Children’s has worked with re-surfacing the garage and window
treatments to reduce lighting complaints. Next in the construction schedule will be a new wing with
Ambulatory Care and ER areas. This should continue through 2006. Cheryl Kitchen and Biely can be
official neighborhood representatives.
Park Projects: Torrie reported that funding is available for projects at Laurelhurst Park. This year, 5
concerts and the Salmon Bake (very popular clown) were all successful events at the park. The
Community Center is scheduled for renovation in 2004-2006.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:04 PM
Minutes submitted by Sorscher