Monday, July 9, 2012

Minutes for May 22, 2012


Minutes for May 22, 2012
Meeting called to order at 7:02 PM.
Speaker: Steve Sheppard, Dept. of Neighborhoods.  He began with a history of the city going back to the 60's and how Seattle became a regional center after the 1962 World's Fair.  The functions of major institutions began to expand; UW and major hospitals began a rapid expansion into the 70's.  There were no zones specific for institutions; they would purchase land in adjacent zones which tended to be low rise.  The City negotiated with institutions as overlay; different rules would apply.  The City preferred upward growth, not outward. The City wanted a three way partnership and developed a master plan with the neighborhoods. with a redo every 10 to 15 years.  Look at the institutional needs and balance with neighborhood needs.  Most neighborhoods were less dense than other cities.
But there were conflicting interests. There was a need to protect the liveability of surrounding  neighborhoods but the City needs growth of institutions and jobs.  Institutions need certainty for growth.  This program and goals remained intact since the mid 70's. 
Major changes began in 1996 when the institutions came to the City with a strong argument; they can't effectively plan far into the future as they are hit with amendments to the plan.  They requested the nature of the plan be changed; develop height standards and review by that.
Today: Institution informs city it wants to develop a master plan and develops a concept plan.  A call is put out for people to be on an Advisory Council.  The notices go out in a half mile area around the institution.  There is a request for resumes.  There are usually 12 on the committee (can be from 6-12) with 3 or 4 alternates.  The City Council can expand the group.  The resumes go to Steve.  Each applicant is interviewed.  The institution recommends a list which goes to the Director of the Dept. of Neighborhoods who shares the list with Steve Sheppard.  Negotiations over who is on the slate: then present to list to Mayor and then to City Council.  Meetings can begin after the Mayor's approval with the understanding that City Council could make changes. 
Three groups are represented: staff, institution, residents but groups not always in sync.
1. lack of disclosure about plans and lack of end date
2. appointment process.  City Council in favor of wider representation.  Some conflicts around representation at Children's and Swedish-Providence.
3. Major changes in funding of major institutions; partnerships with private developers. Tussles around parking.  TMP-transportation management plan. How does the institution reduce single vehicle use & parking?  Every institution asks for more than the limited number; maximum is 135% of stated limit. (Yellow handout provided which provides excerpts from the Director's report on Code amendments)
Chris Leman: Regulatory reform developed in closed way; the parking issue did not involve the public.  DON learned about two months ago; he passed out copies of an email confirming this.
Betsy Braun (Virginia Mason) said they were developing a master plan and their transportation person was operating under the old parking limits.
Chris Leman said he hoped that Virginia Mason would stand with them at the hearing tomorrow.
Steve Sheppard: Right now plans are developed with CACs.
Jeannie Hale: Proposals are inconsistent with Master Plan. She expressed hope that "we can work together." Why did they drop having reps from CACs on the committees? There is no reporting back to the community if members are from other neighborhoods.  Neighborhoods originally chose reps unttil1996 when it was changed to City & City Council.
Steve Sheppard: They try to get representation from surrounding community but not taking from community organizations.  Attempts to bring the process in line with other Boards, giving more influence to City and City Council.
Betsy Braun: lessons were learned from Children's Hospital process.  VM has had good representation from surrounding communities.  There have been lively discussions and they had to go out and negotiate with the community.
Peter Steinbrueck: The process is best served with a diversity of representation and opinions.
Steve Sheppard: Always advises institutions to incorporate those in CCs even if adversarial .
Peter Steinbrueck: goal was to be representative of whole area.
Jeannie Hale: U Village should have master plan.
Janet Brucker said she was representative on Northgate group and felt it was broadly based.  She asked Peter Steinbrueck  how it came about?
Peter Steinbrueck said he wrote the process.  SC Chancellor led the process; he had credibility and has been written up nationally as a case study for effective representation.
Chris Leman said that 1996 was the expiration of  plans. Tended to be true dialogue at that time.
Kirk Robbins asked if there was a way a CC can receive communications if unable to get on the advisory council.
Steve Sheppard: Yes, just provide an email address.
Jorgen Bader: At the very  least, require that the community representative report back to the community.
Betsy Braun: Major institutional groups get together each year to discuss progress on plans and any issues.  Process is time demanding for volunteers; a burden.
Sonia Richter: I would like to focus on the future, not past battles with Children's. How do we proceed if unhappy with the plan adopted?
Steve Sheppard: This is a key element in the development of the 1300 block.  The neighborhood is not happy. Key issue is to know the representation; who is on the committee? Get good people to apply; develop a good relationship with the institution.
Chris Leman: Major institutions chose their own reps; communities should have the same process.
Jeannie Hale: Materials are not provided in advance even though there are complex issues. Children's did try but so many consultants.
Steve Sheppard: Institutions want a shorter process; so does the city. Compressing it creates problems but not really conspiratorial. Built in conflicts is cost and not wanting adversarial process.
DeCharlene Williams said she wouldn't vote on something she hadn't read ahead of time.
Betsy Braun: isn't time process mandated?
Steve Sheppard: Different issue; leasing on a building came up late; vote didn't happen.
Jeannie Hale: Make sure materials out ahead of time.  Issues in 2007 letter still appropriate.
Chris Leman suggested a letter restating the facts.
Ted Klainer: What is the genesis of this organization?
Chris Leman: the Federation started in the 1940's helping Japanese returnees. and expanded into a city wide group. The organization is interested in open government.
President's report: Jeannie Hale said the school district has discontinued allowing groups to use facilities after hours.  Ted Jonsson not being evicted; can live out his years in his studio/home.
Steve Sheppard thanked Chris Leman for his work on the artist's behalf.  CUCAC did write a
letter and Tom Rasmussen intervened. He urged all communities to get involved with major institutions and email him to be put on email lists:
Betsy Braun echoed Steve's urging. They are about to issue draft info on the VM website.  Meeting at VM tomorrow night.
Jeannie Hale reported that there is a 9 AM Seattle City Council vote on exempting 8 of the 14 major institutions from the parking regulations.
Chris Leman briefed the group on their face to face meetings with Council members (joint Federation & Neighborhood Coalition).  Burgess and Clark their last 2 to meet.  Conlin: striker amendment; would not give it to them.  No opportunity to read ahead.  Other CC members pushed for more time.
Bill Bradburd: Capitol Hill involved in this.  Irene Wall, Greg Hill and Nick Licata to propose amendments. 
Colleen McAleer reported that SR 520 design is proposing a Cable Stay design bridge at the West Montlake Park portion; it has taller towers and a busy look with more cables. Different design with shorter towers for the Portage Bay area.   (See attached documents.)

Round Robin: Yesler Terrace redevelopment should have a City Council hearing within the next few months.
MOTION: Rick Barrett moved that we write a letter asking that every low income unit (562) be replaced. Second: Chris Leman.  Vote: Unanimous.
Jorgen Bader said there is a meeting tomorrow evening at the Neptune on the Brooklyn Station name.  He also expressed concern about consolidating families in high rise buildings; buildings should be integrated.
Jim Erickson said the Advisory group was not segregating groups.
Kristin O'Donnell: redevelopment dependent on private developers.  They may not go for it; federal government backing out of subsidizing.
Chris Leman: The Advisory Committee is recommending mixed use buildings?
Jim Erickson: news to him that no longer mixed; go to the website.
Bill Bradburd: City Council getting briefings now
Diane Snell: Leschi has an Art Walk on June 9th from 11-4 PM.  She also introduced Jeff Floor, Leschi's recently elected representative to the Federation.
Meeting adjourned at 9:02 PM.

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