The Capitol Hill Community Council held its March meeting Thursday evening. The council meets every other month and serves as a sounding board for neighborhood issues to ensure members have a voice in community affairs. Highlights from the meeting are below:
As tunnel boring for the University Link light rail continues underground, city, transit, and neighborhood leaders are hashing-out street-level development plans for the Capitol Hill station. Capitol Hill TOD Champion group leader Cathy Hillenbrand led a discussion on possible uses for one of four land parcels identified for redevelopment. The group seeks to promote community concerns on the Capitol Hill Station – TOD (transit oriented development) site.
Members of the group said they are hoping to secure space for an LGBTQ youth center in one of the buildings. Others discussed the possibility of several non-profits occupying one building to create a “one-stop-shop” for social services. Several meeting attendees voiced support for a 8-10 story, “neighborhood defining” structure that would house a mix of retail, office, and residential space. Hillenbrand said she would relay the comments to city and Sound Transit officials.
CHS last wrote about the community effort to shape the Capitol Hill station development here — Hopes for a (really tall?) LGBTQ civic center grow at Capitol Hill’s light rail station
Two Sound Transit community liaisons were also on hand to announce the imminent meeting of the north and south tunnel boring machines. The north bound machine is currently between Thomas and John, while the south bound is at Republican. No word on the exact meeting date, but officials said crews are aiming for a daytime breakthrough for optimum media exposure.
Bottom line: Let’s not create another Beacon Hill station.
Parking changes on the Hill
Seattle Department of Transportation’s Mary Catherine Snyder announced parking changes coming to the Hill this summer, including:
- – Reduced parking rate south of E. Olive/John Streets to $2.50/hr.
- – 3-hour parking after 5 p.m.
- – Creation of north and south areas in the neighborhood with reduced rates
- – Introduction of tiered rates in high-use areas, including Broadway blocks north of Olive.
The changes are based on the results for the city’s 2011 parking study. Snyder also said the city was working out the final kinks in mobile payment, which would allow drivers to add money to their meters via cell phone. More details to come. CHS wrote about some of the paid parking changes here — No more Capitol Hill 5p paid parking roulette
Bottom line: Parking fees going up and down, longer parking times to come.
Mixing business and housing
Rebecca Herzfeld presented her concerns with the mayor’s “Regulatory Reform Proposal,” which would allow commercial development in low-rise multi-family zones. CHS recently reported on the proposed changes and Herzfeld’s efforts. The regulations are going before the city’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee on March 29th at 9:30 a.m., with an additional public comment meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m.
Bottom line: Proposed regs will sully neighborhood vibes.
Citizens Rethink Yesler
Two members of a group opposed to the city’s planned Yesler Terrace Redevelopment project presented their concerns with the massive neighborhood overhaul. Bruce Bowden of Citizens Rethink Yesler, said he supports some redevelopment in the area, but that the current plans to replace single-family units with several towers would increase traffic and remove existing green space.
Bottom line: Yesler Redevelopment is too damn high.
- Saving the Volunteer Park Conservatory — The group Friends of the Conservatory have kicked off a fundraising effort to amass $3.5 million for renovations to Volunteer Park Conservatory buildings that have fallen into disrepair.
- CH Times changes owners — Stephen Miller, recently appointed editor of the Capitol Hill Times, said the paper’s new management is breathing new life into the paper with a revamped print and online design.
- 12th Ave. group gets grant — CHCC’s 12th Avenue Safety Committee received a $17,000 grant to continue their efforts to improve bike and pedestrian safety along the street. Committee leader Mike Kent said the group is finalizing its recommendations report and encourages public input.
The full minutes of the meeting provided by the Council are below:
CHCC March 2012 General Meeting Minutes
The Capitol Hill Community Council is open to everyone who lives and works on Capitol Hill. Meetings are held at the Cal Anderson Shelter House on the third Thursday of every other month. For more information visit capitolhillcommunitycouncil.org.