Laurelhurst Community Club

Minutes for May 14, 2007

St. Stephen's Church, Seattle WA

 Attending: Maggie Weissman, Brian McMullen, Nan Haigwood, Susan Rupp, Don Torrie, Joe Herrin, Mark Holden, Barb Bender, Liz Ogden, Jeannie Hale, Marian Joh, Mark Trumbauer, Stan Sorscher

Excused:  Jennifer Biely, Heather Newman, Lora Poepping, and Leslie Wright.

 Guests: Colleen McAleer, Cheryl Kitchin

 Meeting called to order at 7:05 PM.

 Changes to the Agenda:  Add Neighborhood Street Fund/Cumulative Reserve Fund, replacement of Holly oak

 Treasurer’s Report:  Marian Joh distributed and reviewed the Treasurer’s report. Liz Ogden reported that the Newsletter was in a schedule crunch, with the Annual Meeting coming up on June 6. The Executive Committee approved $120 to expedite the mailing, in an email vote. LCC bylaws authorize the Executive Committee to authorize expenditures of up to $500 without board action.

 Marian said we have about 550 neighbors have paid dues so far this year. The trend for this year is in line with last year. This month's newsletter includes a reminder to pay dues. Marian has investigated Director and Officer insurance. We have relatively low liability as a non-profit. Annual premiums are in the $1100 range.

 Minutes:  The board reviewed the minutes of the March and April meetings. 

Motion by Liz Ogden seconded by Barb Bender to approve the March minutes, with the correction of spelling of Marian Joh's name. Motion passed unanimously. 

 Motion by Maggie Weissman, seconded by Mark Holden to approve the April minutes, with the correction of adding the word "invite" on the last page, so it reads "We should invite Dina Schuler… ." Motion passed unanimously.

 CALLS AND CONCERNS:

1.    Holly Oak:  After the March LCC meeting when LCC learned that a negligent drive had run up onto the Mary Gates/NE 41st Street median and mowed down one of the holly oaks, SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Diane Horswill checked police records to see if the culprit had been identified and found no information. 

 2.    Car Keying:  Ingrid Savage emailed on 4/09 to report that her two cars have been keyed over the past several months.  She and her husband suspect that the damage is being done in the late evenings.  She wanted to provide a “heads up” to other neighbors to keep alert.

 3.    Children’s:  On 4/11, Scott Fallis commented in an email that it sounds like Children’s is trying to work around the laws a bit—not break them, but maybe bend them.  LCC received an inquiry on 5/05 asking whether LCC had established a Children’s Legal Defense Fund to address upcoming issues relating to the Children’s Hospital proposed expansion and master planning process.  Ginny Sherrow called on 4/23 to inquire about the master plan advisory committee and to review her qualifications to serve.  Hale reviewed the portion of the Major Institutions Code that addresses this.  Grace Yuan called the same day to report that her meeting about Children’s with Councilmember Drago went very well.  She will be meeting with Councilmember Della and other council members.  Cheryl Kitchin is working with Yuan on these meetings.  Yuan followed up on 4/26 to report that Desiree Leigh from Children’s is taking councilmembers and others on tours of the hospital, as this is something that Councilmember Della told her.  Sherrow called again on 4/30 to make sure that LCC would be getting out the word on the upcoming Children’s meetings.  LCC’s webmaster has set up a link on the homepage with info about the proposed expansion.  Kitchin called on 5/01 to let LCC know about the interview process for the advisory committee.  Steve Sheppard and representatives from the hospital are participating in the interviews.  Bill Gore called on 5/03 to report that he had applied to serve on the master plan advisory committee.  Miriam Muller called the following day to report that she also applied and had a half hour interview.

4.    Flooding:  On 4/11, Scott Fallis emailed to follow up on flooding issues as a result of the big December storm.  LCC is still working on this, replied and will be back in touch with him.

5.    Waterway No. 1:  On 4/18, reporter Rick Anderson from the Seattle Weekly contacted LCC for background information about Waterway No. I.  He indicated that neighbor Kate Lloyd had been in touch and wanted him to do a story on the private use of public property issue.  He said that Lloyd insisted that the encroachments are illegal, despite the fact that both adjacent property owners have permits.  She also told him that she was told that she couldn’t disagree with the community club’s position to back off on the issue, so she quit the board. 

Hale provided the brochure that LCC produced on the waterway and the agenda for the design meeting, both which included quite a bit of background information.  In her message to Anderson, Hale explained that Kate was a major player in developing policies for the waterway and had been invited to participate in the neighborhood improvement project.  Hale went on to say that Kate had worked on parks issues for the community club and was always a valuable asset to the board.  

On 4/19, Doug Armintrout emailed to state that they had been contacted by the reporter.  He said that his family and the Lewis’s are frustrated with the inaccurate information disseminated by Lloyd.  Hale responded saying that LCC hadn’t heard from Lloyd or Thornton in quite some time about the waterway and had hoped that things had calmed down.  She asked if there had been any other incidents.  Armintrout responded that Thornton had gone over and pruned his hedge a few months ago.  A neighbor took photos of this. Armintrout filed a police report on the incident.

On 4/28, SDOT called to get Thornton’s phone number as she had complained that the pavers at the water were a safety hazard.  Contact information was provided.  Since then, SDOT has put orange tape around the pavers and signage has been provided.

In the meantime, SDOT is working with DNR in developing a plan to remove the noxious weeds at the waterway.

6.    Door-to-Door Sham:  On 4/19, Brad Covey, who lives on 47th Avenue at NE 50th Street, notified Karman Kaplan who then contacted LCC regarding a young man soliciting door-to-door selling books and magazines for his supposed championship lacrosse team.  The young man said he attended Bellevue Community College which has no lacrosse team.  LCC also heard from Bill Allen, who lives on 43rd Avenue at NE 41st Street about this.  Other neighbors who emailed include Mark Nagle, Amy White, Mary West, Brenda Ng and Roger Roffman.

7.    Pedestrian Safety Issue:  Rose Buckingham, a Laurelcrest resident, called on 4/23 to report that the sidewalk by the new four-plex isn’t complete on the 40th side.  She said the sidewalk needs to be extended to 50th north of the Sand Point clinic because there isn't one there.  She also said that the crosswalk by the clinic isn't well-painted or well lit.  Finally, she said there should be a bench at the bus stop in that area.

8.    Mary Gates/NE 41s Street Maintenance:  A couple of neighbors have commented to LCC trustees that the portion of the median maintained by the UW needs additional attention.  LCC is following up.

9.    UW Golf Driving Range:  Doug Armintrout emailed on 4/24 about David Elmainy, an instructor at the UW driving range who is submitting a business plan to the UW to take over management plans at the driving range.  The plan includes management, renovation and programming.  LCC sent Elmainy its letter endorsing the UW’s revised renovation plan that was written during the UW’s master planning process.  Elmainy will address the LCC board in June.

10. Bike shop: Susan Rupp took a call about the burned bike shop on NE 45th St at Sand Point Way. The owner finally put up plywood and painted it white.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.    Thank you:  Thank you to Mark Holden for coordinating distribution of this month’s agenda packets and for Nan Haigwood for assisting.

2.    Congratulations:  Neighbors sponsoring the SUN Park across the street kitty-corner from Laurelhurst School were awarded a $15,000 small and simple Neighborhood Matching Fund grant. 

3.    Gardening Info on LCC Website:  Elaine Willey taught the recent green gardening workshop at the community center.  Because we have so many gardeners in the neighborhood, the idea came up that LCC could have a section of its website devoted to gardening.  We could publicize plant sales, the master garden clinics, classes and provide other information.  We would need someone to provide the information and assistance from our webmaster.  Willey has also asked that LCC get behind the concept of gardening without pesticides and using safer alternatives.  Over the years, Willey has learned about the effects of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides on the environment and human health.  She said that pregnant women/fetuses and young children are among the most vulnerable populations, as are those with compromised immune systems or the chemically sensitive.  She added that there are other human health problems linked to the toxins such, including cancer and Parkinson’s.  Many local governments, including Seattle, prohibit their use.  Motion by Mark Holden, seconded by Stan Sorscher that LCC should help educate neighbors about gardening "smarter" and using environmentally safer alternatives. Motion passed unanimously.

4.    Concert Series:  The community center has finalized the summer free concerts in the park series.  The concerts will be on Thursday early evenings beginning on July 12 when Lost in the Fog (bluegrass/Americana) will perform.  On July 17, Deems Tsutakawa, smooth jazz pianist will be featured.  On July 26th, enjoy rockin’ boogie woogie with the Two Scoops Combo.  On August 2nd, Little Bill and the Blue Notes will perform classic rhythm and blues.  The season will conclude on August 9th with the Michael Powers group (blues and smooth jazz guitarist).

5.    Progress on Waterway No. 1:  Liz Ogden said the City and Department of Natural Resources are trying to coordinate their permitting processes on the Waterway, which is something new for the two agencies. SDOT staff turnover slowed things down, but a meeting is scheduled in the near future. New signs are coming, too.

6.    Boulevard: Bill Allen organized a group of about 30 people and SDOT provided materials to spread wood chips and do landscaping on the Boulevard.

 

REPORTS/ACTION:

Crime Prevention:  Weissman and McMullen briefed the board on party activity in the Park. A shooting was reported in the University District. A narcotics bust took place in the University District. A bank robber was arrested in North Seattle. A series of home break-ins in the area follow the pattern of using a crow bar to pop open windows to gain entry to the homes.

SR 520 Update:  Colleen McAleer wrote a letter to the City Council on behalf of LCC. The letter asks the Council to approve Citizen's Revised Resolution 30974, which seeks new design features to address concerns expressed by various groups. The letter also endorses a 4-lane replacement, and opposes the Pacific interchange.

Joe Herrin, Colleen and Jean Amick attended the Community Agreement Group meetings. Joe reviewed some of the materials from the meeting. Joe and Colleen talked about the City Council meeting, where no specific alternative was endorsed, although the Council wanted the design to include a transit hub at Husky Stadium. Mark Stoner spoke at the meeting. Motion by Joe Herrin, seconded by Nan Haigwood, to endorse statements 21-30 from the Community Agreement Group. Motion passed unanimously. The full report of the Community Agreement Group was included in Board packets.

LCC Board meeting format:  The meeting room in St Stephens Church is small and is cramped when a large group of neighbors wants to attend a meeting. The agenda is goes into the packets a few days before the meeting, but it is not posted publicly, so neighbors have no notice of speakers or topics for the meeting.

Suggestions:

            Move meetings to the new Community Center

            Create a distribution list to email out the agenda,

Post the agenda (speakers and topics) on the web site

            Put out the sandwich board to advertise meetings

 

Children’s Hospital Proposed Expansion

 Cheryl Kitchin has been active in Children's Hospital expansions for many years. She worked at the Hospital and lives next to the campus.  When a major institution proposes a new project, they can be very vague at this point in the process. The only specific they need to give is the size in square feet. The Advisory Committee will see details as the major institution releases them. That will include setbacks, landscaping, and mitigation of impacts. The conceptual drawings with "blob" meet that minimum standard. In the last 10 years, Children's added 750,000 sq ft of building and remodeled much of the original structures. The new phase of construction will go from 210 beds to about 600, and add three towers. Cheryl said many large projects show maximum expansion dimensions early in the process, then scale back somewhat as plans mature.

1.    Public meetings:  Children’s has scheduled two public meetings on Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m.-noon and Thursday, June 7, 6-8 p.m. at Laurelhurst Elementary School cafeteria.  Children’s would like to seek input on its master plan for its Laurelhurst campus.  The May 19 meeting will include an open house, a brief presentation and a chance for attendees to share their ideas.  The June 7 meeting will present a summary of the ideas heard at the May 19 meeting and will address how to stay involved in the process.  LCC has set up a link on its home page for information about the master planning process and a special email address for neighbors to comment (chmcexpansion@laurelhurstcc.com). 

2.    Master plan advisory committee:  Thirty interested people applied to serve on the Children’s master plan advisory committee.  The interview process is now complete and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) will soon come up with its list of the 12 people selected to serve.  The Major Institutions Code says that members should be selected from the following groups:  “area community groups, residents, property owners, and business persons; consumer groups using the services of the institution; and any other persons or organizations directly affected by the actions of the institution. One member of the Advisory Committee must be a general community or citywide organization representative and the hospital is entitled to one non-management representative.  

To the extent possible, the Major Institutions Code seeks people with expertise or experience in such areas as neighborhood organization and issues, land use and zoning, architecture or landscape architecture, economic development, building development and educational or medical services.  The DON’s goal, as stated in the Code, is to achieve a balanced, independent and representative committee. 

 The City Council then enters into a memorandum of agreement with Children’s, prepared by the DON and then adopted by a City Council resolution.  This process can change if there are issues regarding the number serving on the committee or the composition of the Committee.  The council can make changes in the size and/or composition of the committee or remand the matter back to DON for further action.  LCC has written to DON asking for a list of those selected to serve so that it can ensure a balanced, independent and representative group.  In the last master planning cycle, there were only three Laurelhurst neighbors selected to serve on the committee. 

Cheryl said the interviews were on May 5 and 6. The list of members should be posted very soon. By general agreement, Cheryl Kitchin and Steven Reisler were authorized to speak for LCC in support of balanced representation on the Advisory Committee.

 Sale of Union Bay Café:  Union Bay Café is a great restaurant and has been a good neighbor. The owners have decided to close it and sell. The new owner is thinking of a singles bar and longer hours, which will probably increase parking pressure in the area. John L. Scott closed their office at that corner. Motion by Nan Haigwood seconded by Susan Rupp to explore the possibility of 2-hr parking or a Residential Parking Zone by permit only in the Town of Yesler. Motion passed unanimously.

 LCC Nominating Committee:  LCC bylaws call for the board to designate a nominating committee to prepare a slate of candidates to serve on the board of trustees.  The slate will be presented at the Annual meeting June 6.  Liz Ogden has agreed to chair this committee.  A board vote on this appointment is necessary.  Motion by Mark Holden seconded by Marian Joh that Liz Ogden chair the nominating committee. Motion passed unanimously. Liz passed around a roster to poll incumbent Trustees about standing for re-election.

  Interested neighbors will be provided with LCC’s board responsibilities handout. 

 Annual Meeting Planning:  Ogden briefed the board on planning for the Annual Neighbors meeting. The Community Center meeting room is reserved for ballet class until 6:45. We can get in then to set up chairs, sound equipment tables for our meeting. We can assemble in the foyer at 6:30 or 6:45 to schmooze. Refreshments can be served there while the meeting room is being prepared. The meeting will start at 7 PM. The program will be speakers from Department of Neighborhood, Children's Hospital and students and faculty working in the Center for Urban Horticulture. We can introduce Dina Schuler, and maybe talk about SR 520.

 Liz asked for volunteers to get food and drinks and help set up before and clean up after the meeting.

 Neighborhood Street Fund/Cumulative Reserve Fund:  The deadline to submit project ideas for the neighborhood street fund/cumulative reserve fund is May 18.  LCC submitted several applications last year, and three were selected for funding.  It has been suggested that LCC resubmit application that were not selected last year and/or other priorities in the North Laurelhurst transportation plan.  This year, the city is interested in funding several large ($300,000+) expensive projects from the Bridging the Gap levy.  Board members were asked for their ideas.

We can submit proposals from last year for curb and gutter work on NE 50th St. near Villa Academy.

 Holly Oak Replacement:  The police have been unable to find the driver who destroyed one of the holly oaks in the Mary Gates/NE 41st Street median.  Unfortunately, when either the UW or the transportation department cut the tree remains down, the memorial name plaque was lost.  Board approval is necessary to replace the tree and the name plaque.  Motion by Maggie Weissman seconded by Nan Haigwood to authorize up to $500 to replace the Holly Oak tree and replace the plaque for that tree. Motion passed unanimously.

 Biely will walk along the median to determine whose tree was destroyed.  It has been suggested that LCC add a feature to its website with an attractive drawing of the beautifully planted median and a list of the donors and those for whom the trees have been dedicated.  The tags didn’t have enough room to list the donors.  This is something that Biely supports. Trustees approved pursuing that idea.   

 The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

 

Minutes by Stan Sorscher