Not NIMBY but neighborhood, group says its part of Capitol Hill needs new community council

Over recent months, CHS has documented the rising activity of groups seeking to push back, contain and, sometimes, stop the redevelopment of Capitol Hill. But while the concern around massive projects in core areas of Pike/Pine or Broadway might get the most attention, some of the fiercest attacks against the development are happening in the areas of Capitol Hill where midrise and single-family residential zones meet — rip zones in Seattle’s tides of density.

[mappress mapid=”54″]”If you look big picture, the kinds of pressures that are going to be on this area are going to be pretty big,” Hill resident Anne Schwab told CHS as a group of neighbors she helped bring together prepared to meet earlier this month to talk about forming to better represent the area.

The Miller Park Neighbors (green) Schwab and others here along 19th Ave, feel like the issues for areas where they live and work are increasingly disconnected from the neighborhood as a whole. The Capitol Hill Community Council (red) is focused on the problems and opportunities of Pike, Pine and Broadway, she and others organizing the group say.

As an example, Schwab points to a four-story apartment development scheduled to be complete with construction this summer at 19th and Mercer. Zoned for multifamily, it will rise to four stories and bring 50 new apartment units to the corner in view of the blocks of single family homes in the area. While it will bring amenities including a new Linda Derschang restaurant and possibly a market to the block, Schwab says more should have been done to represent the community in its planning.

“There’s a lot that the community could have taken to make that a better project,” she said.

The Capitol Hill Community Council was reformed in 2008 after dissolving from lack of participation and leadership. Full disclosure: I was arm-twisted into running it as president for a term to get things going again. After that dark, twisted period of poor leadership, the council has matured and taken on larger responsibilities like the light rail station development. Currently headed by Seattle Gay News publisher George Bakan, the group appears to have achieved a sustainable level of activity and managed for the most part to keep in-fighting to a minimum — not a small challenge in the mix of personalities that are involved in neighborhood activism. The CHCC’s bylaws describe extensive boundaries that cover from Madison to 520 and I-5 to 23rd/24th Ave — yes, even Montlake is included. Meanwhile, there are other sub-community groups at play including the North Capitol Hill Neighborhood Association (blue) that most recently spoke out against biking and pedestrian improvements planned for the 520 replacement project.

With those overlaps and gaps as background, planning for the new Miller Park group is in the earliest of stages. The geographic focus right now, organizers say, is the area between Madison and E Aloha, south to north, and east and west boundaries of 23rd Ave and the village around 15th Ave. There is hope that the group can rise above NIMBY causes and keep the focus on what’s best for the area. Andrew Taylor, longtime neighborhood activist, head of the city’s East District Council (yet another community council) and a frequent CHS contributor, is also helping to organize as the idea moves toward its first community meeting. First, small steps have been taken. The Miller Park Neighbors blog is live:

Welcome to Miller Park Neighbors
This will be the home of “Miller Park Neighbors”, an East Capitol Hill neighborhood group which is in the process of getting organized.

To keep updated on what we’re up to, you can check back here, and/or join our listserv:

Send an E-mail to:

MILLERPARK-subscribe-request@talk2.seattle.gov

and act on the instructions in the E-mail you receive. Your E-mail will not be displayed in any messages (about upcoming meetings, etc) we send to you and other interested neighbors.

More info on our first meeting, and on upcoming gatherings. coming soon.

We’ll update as the group moves forward. In the meantime, anybody with plans for a Summit Slope Community Council, Broadway Hill, or Roanoke councils, let us know.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

7 thoughts on “Not NIMBY but neighborhood, group says its part of Capitol Hill needs new community council

  1. “There is hope that the group can rise above NIMBY causes and keep the focus on what’s best for the area.”
    Whose idea of what’s best though? There’s no consensus on what that is. If the goal is to tear down the Hill and rebuild it in the image of Bellevue then we are certainly on the right path.

  2. NO, we’re certainly on the wrong path if you think we should tear down and mimic Bellevue. Give me a break and think again.

  3. The East District Council, BTW, is a City sponsored “Council of Councils”, a gathering place for members of (more local) community groups to meet and share information about the (slightly) bigger picture.
    This is a picture of the basic idea: http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoodcouncil/cncstructure.gif

    and this is a map of how the City has sliced and diced the neighborhoods:
    http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoodcouncil/documents/CURRENTdistrictandNSCmap.pdf

    and this is the website for the top-level body (the City Neighborhood Council):
    http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoodcouncil/ which (IMHO) has great potential, and much valuable institutional knowledge but which is so dysfunctional and ornery that it seems to be pretty much ignored by the City.

    Nonetheless, the East District Council is worth attending (again, IMHO). Details from: karen.ko@seattle.gov

  4. NIMBYism concerns aside, if you live in the Miller Park Neighborhood, do check out the new blog. Before the disappearance of trees on 19th catches you off guard, send suggestions for where replacements might be planted. It isn’t just building height and density that concerns us, but preserving one of the greener areas of the city. Nice to have the liveliness of Pike/Pine and Broadway; better to come home to quieter, greener streets on the “East” of the hill.

  5. It seems you’ve got a problem with your article. Here’s what I’m seeing:

    > are happening in the areas of Capitol Hill where midrise and single-family residential zones meet — rip zones in Seattle’s tides of density.

    > [mappress mapid=”54″]“If you look big picture, the kinds of pressures that are going to be on this area are going to be pretty big,”

    This repros for me on both Chrome and Firefox. Feel free to remove this comment if you’ve fixed it already. Cheers!

    • Thanks — the map plugin has been causing performance issues so is currently disabled. Unfortunately, it’s not a graceful deprecation.

  6. Pingback: What streets are best for a bike-safe corridor from the CD to Capitol Hill to Montlake? | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle