Capitol Hill Community Post | Your Voice, Your Choice Results — Four District 3 Projects

From SDOT

We’ve counted each vote and checked it twice! And, now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the announcement of vote results for Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets!

DISTRICT 3  

  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at I-5 Exit on to Olive Way (Cost: $75,000, Total Votes: 240)
  • Central District: Traffic Calming on 17th Ave S between E Yesler Way & S Jackson St (Cost: $15,000, Total Votes: 200)
  • Judkins Park: Improved Connections to Judkins Park from S. Dearborn St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 173)
  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at 19th Ave E & E Denny Way (Cost: $83,000, Total Votes:  171) 

As a bonus, while Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reviewed ideas submitted by Your Voice, Your Choice participants, it ran the projects through its program priorities and was able to fund additional traffic calming and pedestrian improvement projects in underserved neighborhoods throughout the City. SDOT will work with communities to announce, design, and implement these projects in the upcoming year.

To provide some context to the results above, with $2 million to spend on park and street improvements, we allotted a maximum of $285,000 per City Council District. After the top projects in each district were selected by voters, there was $233,019 remaining in the budget. These dollars were used to fund one additional project in the three districts with the highest voter participation (Districts 1, 2, and 5).

You will also note that the number of funded projects varies per district. This is because the fund allotment is based strictly on overall cost and not the number of projects. The funding for these projects will be included as part of the Mayor’s 2018 Proposed Budget, and the work will begin in 2018.

This is the second year we have asked residents to weigh in on how to spend a portion of the City’s budget. Last year the focus was on youth, and this year anyone over the age of 11 could participate.  We are blown away by the response with 7,737 community members voting for projects in their neighborhoods! We are so grateful to everyone who participated:

  • The community members who kicked things off in February by submitting 900 ideas for projects.
  • The community members who participated on the Project Development Teams.
  • The Vote Champions who mobilized their communities.
  • The educators in Seattle Public Schools who made sure students’ voices were heard.
  • Our Community Liaisons who were out in force with translated ballots in Arabic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  • The amazing City staff at libraries and community centers who facilitated in-person voting.
  • And, of course, you the voters!

19th and Madison’s Mount Zion to be considered for Seattle landmark protections

With more than 125 years of history in Seattle, one of the largest black churches in Seattle will soon find out if its 1962-built home qualifies for landmark protection. The Mount Zion buildings at 19th and Madison will be considered by the Landmarks Preservation Board in September:

Landmarks Preservation Board to consider nomination of Mount Zion Baptist Church for landmark status

SEATTLE (August 4, 2017) – Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will consider nomination of the Mount Zion Baptist Church (1634 19th Avenue) located in Central Area on Wednesday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue, Floor L2) in the Boards & Commissions Room L2-80.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and make comments regarding the nomination. Written comments should be received by the Landmarks Preservation Board at the following mailing address by 3:00 p.m. onSeptember 5:

Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

You can also submit comments via email.

According to our Re:Take history of the church, Mount Zion was founded in the 1890s, and for its first decade rented a few different spaces downtown. Church members date Mount Zion to 1890 when “a small group of African Americans held prayer services in their homes.” The church eventually bought its own property and moved to 11th and Union joining another African American — First African Methodist Episcopal (First A.M.E.) at 14th and Pine. 24 years later, Mount Zion moved to its present day home.

As development on East Madison has risen around it, Mount Zion has also been making longterm plans for redevelopment. The church has also recently sold off nearby property. In 2015, CHS was there as Mount Zion celebrated its 125th anniversary.

The full nomination document is below. Continue reading

CHS Pics | March showers bring Capitol Hill rain gardens

It has been an abnormally rainy start to spring for Seattle with rainfall more than double your typical wet and dreary Pacific Northwest March. You can learn how to put that extra rainfall to work for flowers and plants at a Meet-a-RainWise Contractor Fair coming up in April at Madison Valley’s City People’s:

Meet-a-RainWise Contractor Fair

We found this “RainWise” garden in motion along 19th Ave E. The joint city and county program helps take some of the burden off its taxed sewer system by providing rebates that cover “most or all” of the cost of installing cisterns and rain gardens. “To receive a rebate, you must live in an eligible combined sewer overflow basin,” reads the fine print. You can learn more here.

New owners have got the garden store looking good again (Image: City People's)

New owners have got the garden store looking good again (Image: City People’s)

Meanwhile, we reported here on the interim rebirth of City People’s following delays of the mixed-use grocery and apartments project being planned to replace the garden store. Meet the new owners Alison Greene and Jose Gonzales:

Longtime employees Alison and Jose are the new owners of City People’s Garden Store. Jose has been working at the Garden Store since 1998 as the Annuals Buyer, and Alison started in 2003 becoming a Manager and the Tree & Shrub Buyer. The two worked closely with former owners Steve Magley and Dianne Casper to move the business forward.

Chamber ramps up campaign for expanded Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area

A campaign to create a $1.6 million program to address clean streets, public safety, and business growth across Capitol Hill’s commercial districts will begin a new phase this week with the first in a series of planned open house sessions to gather support for an expanded Capitol Hill Business Improvement Area and a new, larger charter for the organization behind the campaign, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.

Open House – Capitol Hill BIA Expansion

In February, when chamber director Sierra Hansen officially announced the campaign to form a new Business Improvement Area, she said the organization had received commitments from about half of the 60% of 650 commercial property owners needed to move the proposal forward to the City Council for approval.

As the petitions have been circulating, Hansen said much of the past month has been spent following up with those committed owners, gathering official signatures and scheduling meetings with other stakeholders.

“Our list of supporters is strong,” she said, noting it includes Capitol Hill real estate developer Hunters Capital, faith-based organizations, Capitol Hill Housing, and residents.

Hansen declined to say what gains in the percentage of needed signatures the chamber has been able to secure in the early days of the campaign.

Not everyone is buying into it. Morris Groberman, who along with an investment partnership owns Harvard Market, says the current, smaller BIA focused only on Broadway already doesn’t do enough to clean up the neighborhood and keep crimes down — and he says his taxes are high enough already.

“I can only pass so much on to the residents before it hits my bottom line,” he said. Continue reading

Why Capitol Hill’s newest restaurant — and plenty of others — are adding service charges

Chef and owner Brian Clevenger is celebrating the opening of Contadino and its sibling pizzeria on 19th Ave E. While he would prefer to talk about fresh pasta and pizza, he, like a growing number of Capitol Hill food and drink owners, is answering questions about an italicized note at the bottom of his menus notifying diners of a “5% service charge” that is “distributed in full to the employees you do not see” —

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 12.00.52 PM

While pro-labor advocates call the new crop of service charges added by owners like Clevenger protests of “the fact that they have to pay their workers a living wage,” the Contadino restaurateur says he is trying to find a new path to solve an issue close to his heart. And he might soon find some help from the last guy you might expect to lend a hand to a restaurant atop Capitol Hill, Seattle. Continue reading

Contadino and its sibling pizzeria begin new story on 19th Ave E

After “a thoughtful but speedy remodel,” a classic Capitol Hill restaurant space is ready to go back into motion. Contadino and its sibling pizzeria make their 19th Ave E debut Monday night:

Contadino is an intimate room that offers seating for 45 in an understated space defined by simple lines and shades of gray and white. A banquette runs along the north wall with marble table tops and black bentwood chairs adding a bistro vibe. The open kitchen has a bar height four-person chef’s counter, where diners can enjoy a $70/person tasting menu, plus a full bar with seating for 12. There is also a semi-private dining area for up to eight guests. Continue reading

Ritual House of Yoga stretching, expanding, breathing in new space on 19th Ave E

(Image: Jenny Jimenez Photography)

(Image: Jenny Jimenez Photography with permission to CHS)

Eighteen-month-old Ritual House of Yoga had pretty much outgrown its space on 19th Ave E in the former Little Theatre shortly after opening.

“We had great success from the very beginning,” owner Sarah Pohl told CHS.

Students filled classes and workshops from the start and the community spoke loud and clear that they were ready to expand, so Sarah and her husband and business partner Stuart Pohl responded, telling their landlord to let them know if anything else comes available in the area. Recently something did

The multi-style yoga studio now plans to expand to the retail space two doors down, sandwiching Fuel Coffee in the middle.

Much of that success is because of Ritual House’s teachers, Pohl said.

“We’re stronger than we’ve ever been, and I just feel really really lucky to get to work with them,” Pohl said. “It’s just been a joy to run this business.” Continue reading

From Melrose to 19th, Capitol Hill Chamber launches campaign to create $1.6 million Business Improvement Area

The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is ready to start its campaign to build a $1.6 million a year program to help fill empty store fronts, attract visitors, expand street cleaning, improve public safety, advocate for affordable housing and improved service from City Hall, and make local attractions like Cal Anderson Park more inviting. Now the nonprofit just needs 390, or 60%, of some 650 commercial property owners to sign on to its plan to expand the neighborhood’s Business Improvement Area across Broadway, 12th Ave, 15th Ave E, 19th Ave E, Melrose, Olive/Denny, and Pike/Pine. If it can hit that threshold, all commercial properties in the BIA will be required to pay into the program.

“It’s gonna be a lot of groundwork,” director Sierra Hansen told CHS about the expansion campaign. Starting with Wednesday night’s announcement of the campaign’s launch, the chamber this week is delivering petitions to the 650 property owners within the proposed new BIA boundary. “I’m a very stubborn person,” Hansen said.

She is also already half way there. Continue reading

Closure on 19th Ave E: Ernest Loves Agnes — but only for a few more nights

After just over a year of business and two years to the month when its predecessor the legendary Kingfish Cafe served its final meals, 19th Ave E’s Ernest Loves Agnes will close at the end of January to make way for a new project:

Ernest Loves Agnes owner, Jason Lajeunesse, announced today that he will close his restaurant and bar after service on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

Jason said on behalf of his business partner, Joey Burgess, and himself: “We will be serving our last dinner at Ernest Loves Agnes at the end of the month to make room for a wonderful new project. We have loved serving our neighbors, and hope that you will join us for our last week of service, ending with our last night January 31, 2017.”

Details about the new project will be released in the coming weeks.

CHS reported in November on the restaurant’s one-year anniversary — and yet another rotation of characters in the kitchen at the Hemingway-inspired Italian and pizza joint.

Owner Jason Lajeunesse declined to comment further on the closure and what comes next for the space at this time. Continue reading

Ernest Loves Agnes marks marks first year with new ideas in kitchen, familiar Capitol Hill face behind bar

Back in September Italian restaurant, Ernest Loves Agnes celebrated one year since its 2015 opening at 19th and Mercer. Shortly after hitting that milestone, new chef David Nichols stepped up to the stove and Veronika Groth recently took over the bar to bring new changes to the neighborhood eatery.

Nichols is expanding the restaurant’s Italian cuisine to include more Mediterranean flavors. “So we’re not just pigeon-holed to one specific thing,” Nichols said. Continue reading