Laurelhurst Community Club
Office of the Mayor
12th Floor, Municipal Building
600 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104-1876
Dear Ms. Tu and Mr. Byers:
On Saturday, August 11th Mayor Schell met with several northeast Seattle community leaders to discuss various issues. Laurelhurst asked for Mayor Schell's assistance regarding the scheduling of the scoping meeting for the Talaris proposed expansion on the 18-acre Battelle site. Mayor Schell suggested that we contact you in this regard.
The Laurelhurst community has a long history of involvement with the Battelle site. The property was recently sold and plans are underway to create an institute dedicated to studying how the brain works in infants and young children. The property is subject to a 1991 Settlement Agreement and the Laurelhurst Community Club has been working with Talaris on expansion plans consistent with this Agreement since purchase of the property. Our community is very interested in participating in the process regarding expansion on the property and we want to ensure that neighbors have that opportunity.
DCLU has told us that they will be scheduling a scoping meeting for the EIS process on the evening of August 28th and that notice of this meeting will go out on August 16th. This is very bad timing for our community. Aside from the fact that the scheduled meeting date is right before Labor Day and a prime vacation time for our neighbors, our monthly community newsletter will not reach neighbors until about September 5th. Not many neighbors read the Daily Journal of Commerce, and that newspaper cannot be accessed online unless one pays for a $440 online subscription fee or $210 for a hard copy subscription. The North Seattle Herald-Outlook is no longer available at Barnes and Noble in University Village and is not delivered in the neighborhood, so neighbors have to make a special trip to the U District to pick up a copy. Notice of the meeting will likely be included in DCLU's Land Use Information Service, but each neighborhood only receives one copy of that publication and few access it online. The best way to provide notice to our neighbors is through our community newsletter. Please won't you help us in getting the date of the meeting changed?
The scoping meeting is important because it provides an opportunity for our neighbors to learn about the project from the applicant, to talk with other neighbors and hear those views and to provide their own comments.
When we asked Mayor Schell about rescheduling the scoping meeting at the meeting on Saturday, Mayor Schell stated that this is a fair request. As for other possible dates, any time after Labor Day and before Thanksgiving would ensure an adequate opportunity for our neighbors to have notice of the meeting and an opportunity to participate. Other important community meetings are already scheduled on Wednesday, September 5th (a candidates night that we have been working on for three months with several other northeast Seattle neighborhoods), September 6th, and September 10th. We believe the scoping meeting should be held no earlier than September 18th so as not to conflict with beginning of the year school meetings and activities and other community activities.
We appreciate your assistance in rescheduling the scoping meeting. Our September newsletter is going to the printer in the next couple of days, so we would appreciate hearing from you very soon.
Jeannie Hale, President
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
525-5135 / FAX 525-9631