White Center Food Bank search, King County plans, more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s first 2021 meeting

February 7th, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County, King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center Food Bank, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The White Center Food Bank‘s search for a new home and King County reps’ update on local services headlined Thursday night’s online meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.

WHITE CENTER FOOD BANK: Associate executive director Carmen Smith was the guest. While she discussed WCFB’s search for a new home – since its current site is going to be redeveloped for affordable housing and other nonprofits’ headquarters – she offered some background and other updates first. WCFB is dedicated to ensuring that food is a right, not a privilege. WCFB has been around almost half a century.

COVID 19 has forced WCFB to switch to an outdoor grocery sort of model, Farmers’ Market-style.

Clients can visit the WCFB up to three times a month – here’s how their usage increased last year

“The community really showed up for us (last year),” Smith said.

Relocation has been at least four years in the making – even if they had chosen to be part of the redevelopment, they surveyed clients and found that the current location is “really hard to get to.” They were missing “a large pocket of northeast WC.”

They’ve been looking for a new home for “almost two years now and not having a lot of luck.” A property on 13th SW near Steve Cox Memorial Park looked good but someone else is buying it. They’ve looked at a wide range of possibilities and “nothing is the right fit.” They’ve got a few more to review, such as the former Bank of America building, finally on the market. Here’s what they’re looking for:

They really want to stay in WC but could move outside if it comes to that. Their deadline for getting out of the current location “might be within the next year” depending on how the permits for the redevelopment goes. “It’s super-scary,” Smith acknowledged.

Is the county helping? NHUAC’s Liz Giba asked. County Councilmember Joe McDermott said yes.

What about the never-used Top Hat quarantine site? “It looks kind of small,” Smith observed. McDermott said that could be a possibility – that site’s future is supposed to be decided with community consultation.

KING COUNTY: Councilmember McDermott was asked to offer some highlights of what’s going on. He started with the county’s COVID-19 response. He hit some recent highlights such as King County (and six others comprising two “regions”) moving to reopening phase 2 as of this past Monday. Vaccinations were the main topic of his e-newsletter last week (see it here).

He said it’s important for people to know they’re not alone in having trouble making appointments.

Though the county has never had to activate the aforementioned Top Hat quarantine site, it continues to maintain the site to be ready if needed, ‘for the duration of the pandemic.” He also acknowledged the ongoing interest in a Housing/Opportunity analysis for North Highline. There’s a similar type of review, for housing only, that’s been done and will be presented in a County Council committee; McDermott promised to let NHUAC know about hearings and meetings.

Next, KC Local Services director John Taylor presented updates. “We’ve been out a lot,” distributing masks and hand sanitizer, especially in unincorporated areas with a large low-income population:

Local Services also has been “working on getting local businesses to survive this pandemic”:

Community Needs List development is also big.

Money for participatory budgeting will come from sources including marijuana taxes.

Taylor also noted that Local Services’s major divisions have kept running throughout the pandemic – Road Services has been busy:

Permitting also has been going “full speed ahead,” Taylor said:

Then, Q&A: How will community members participating in the participatory budgeting be identified? asked NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin. “We don’t know yet,” said Taylor, but noted that racial equity will factor into it. McDermott said they’re “making sure we have a broad input to decide how to spend these funds.”

What’s being evaluated for mass-vaccination sites? McDermott was asked. He noted that Kent and Renton were chosen because of the transmission rates in those areas. County sites are meant to be stopgaps but if you have a health-care provider, that’s your first stop.

When will the fireworks-ban bill be on a committee agenda? he was asked. It has been re-introduced, and on February 17th at 9:30 am, it’ll go before the Committee of the Whole, he said.

Other discussion included the concentration of low-income housing in White Center, and potential zoning changes compounding existing “substandard development.” Taylor countered that now is the time to speak up about what you want to see in zoning. “To be sure, there’s a tradeoff between more density and quality of life in a community … but there’s also a sweet spot.”

Giba thanked the county for allotting masks and hand sanitizer to the North Highline Fire District and said NHFD will have a distribution event in March.

McDermott wrapped up by reflecting on the effects of the pandemic beyond health and economy … even something as seemingly simple as the fact this meeting had to be held online. “I hope we will build back better.”

KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: Maj. Jeffrey Flohr spoke about an emphasis patrol held around the turn of the year, adding an extra car to Skyway/White Center – making three cars at that time instead of the usual two – for a few hours a night. That happened in a time of rising violence, drug problems, and traffic trouble.

Firearms crimes and “narcotic distribution crimes” have been a focus. Most of the latter have been people coming in from other communities to sell drugs and guns “to our residents” …. “people in crisis” that were being “preyed on.” He showed the results of just one night:

One suspect known to deputies had a lot of drugs on him “and we were really excited to get him off the streets. Maj. Flohr qlso showed fake Oxy pills that are actually made from fentanyl and are endangering people.

A traffic stop netted this gun and drugs.

Fury the drug-detection dog helped:

Dogs like Fury are NOT trained to detect marijuana, Maj. Flohr said … just illegal drugs. The table Fury is sitting on included drugs seized in White Center and elsewhere – worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fake credit cards and tools to make them, too, plus thousands of dollars in cash; six people were arrested, and one child was taken into protective custody. “None of these people were from our area,” Maj. Flohr stressed, saying none were addicts, either – just involved in “business” with “poison.” In response to a question, he said the suspects are still in jail.

Here’s what KCSO is focusing on:

They are working on “wraparound services,” he said.

Whatever happened to Block Watches? asked an attendee. “We’re trying to get this going again,” said Maj. Flohr, as the result of many community comments.

Another question: What’s being done to address the root cause of all this? Best Starts for Kids is one thing, Taylor mentioned. also: Deputies are getting trained in LEAD, which has long been in the works for White Center, Flohr said.

Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer‘s update was next. He said traffic complaints on 106th and 107th have been on his radar – literally – he spends time there clocking cars but is not detecting many speeders.

Commercial burglaries in the unincorporated South Park area and Beverly Park have been a problem – 9600 block of 4th Ave. S., “a very dark industrial neighborhood” – he’s met with businesses and discussed crime-prevention advice. Last month saw 8 commercial burglaries – “up a lot” – and 2 residential burglaries.

The 9800 block 18th SW problem house is believed to be linked to a trash problem that the county has cleaned up;

Kennamer is working on a case against the house.

Another recurring problem: RVs and abandoned cars. He tries to get RV dwellers into housing but “100 percent of the time it’s been unsuccessful,” he says. LEAD outreach services will be a game-changer, he believes. “There should be more counselors and advocates out in the area. Right now there are none.” Towing or impounding an RV is a last resort, said Maj. Flohr.

One last point – “a lady who is breaking windows in White Center” has behavioral issues and “we have nowhere to take her.” She broke windows on 16th SW with a hammer, he elaborated.

NEXT MEETING: 7 pm March 4th; watch for the link.

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THURSDAY: White Center Food Bank’s future, King County Local Services, more, @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

February 1st, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County, King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline UAC, White Center Food Bank, White Center news Comments Off on THURSDAY: White Center Food Bank’s future, King County Local Services, more, @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Big lineup this Thursday at the online meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – here’s the preview:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
When: Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7 pm
How: Join Zoom Meeting: https://kingcounty.zoom.us/j/98750682577

Meeting ID: 987 5068 2577
Passcode (all caps}: NHUAC2021

Unable to join via Zoom? Please Call: 1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 987 5068 2577
Passcode: 956569157

Happy Groundhog Day to North Highline, movie buffs and Bill Murray fans! 2020 is over and 2021 offers new opportunities to support a healthy community that does not back away from our struggles. At our last meeting with Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Sen. Joe Nguyen, we heard that the White Center Food Bank (WCFB) may soon be displaced from its home near Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. WCFB’s Associate Executive Director Carmen Smith will join our first meeting of 2021 to update us on this essential community organization.

Because North Highline is an unincorporated area (not part of a city), King County serves as both our regional (county) and local (municipal) governments. Many of the decisions that will form our future are being made by King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council and implemented by King County’s Department of Local Services. King County government is a common denominator for the people of North Highline. Its impact includes: COVID-19 to public health to economic and ethnic justice to segregation and discrimination to displacement, fair housing and opportunity to schools, parks and open spaces to density and permitting to roads and infrastructure, police, and public safety to fireworks and cannabis shops to taxes and the budget….

That is why NHUAC is pleased that we will also be joined by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott and John Taylor, Director of the Department of Local Services.

The King County Sheriff’s Office is another essential part of our community. This month we will be joined by Major Jeffrey Flohr and Deputy Bill Kennamer.

Knowledge is power.
Learn, share, and help make North Highline a better place.
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7 pm – Tell a Neighbor!

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CANCELED: Tonight’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting is off

January 7th, 2021 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on CANCELED: Tonight’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting is off

Just received:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting scheduled for tonight, Thursday, January 7, has been cancelled..

Please plan on joining us for our next scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 4th.

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THURSDAY: White Center Food Bank’s future, King County Local Services, and more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

January 5th, 2021 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on THURSDAY: White Center Food Bank’s future, King County Local Services, and more @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Thursday night, you’re invited to 2021’s first North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 7 pm

HOW: Join Zoom Meeting
https://kingcounty.zoom.us/j/97919005010

Meeting ID: 979 1900 5010
Passcode: NHUAC2021 (case sensitive)

Call in:
253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 979 1900 5010
Passcode: 030143620

Good News! 2020 is over and 2021 offers new opportunities to support a healthy community that does not back away from our struggles. At our last meeting with Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Sen. Joe Nguyen, we heard that the White Center Food Bank (WCFB) may soon be displaced from its home near Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. WCFB’s Associate Executive Director Carmen Smith will join our first meeting of 2021 to update us on this essential community organization.

Because North Highline is an unincorporated area (not part of a city), King County serves as both our regional (county) and local (municipal) governments. Many of the decisions that will form our future are being made by King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council and implemented by King County Local Services. King County government is a common denominator for the people of North Highline. Its impact includes:

COVID-19 to public health to economic and ethnic justice to segregation and discrimination to displacement, fair housing, and opportunity to schools, parks, and open spaces to density and permitting to roads and infrastructure, police, and public safety to fireworks and cannabis shops to taxes and the budget…

That is why NHUAC is pleased that we will also be joined by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott and John Taylor, the Director of the Department of Local Services.

The King County Sheriff’s Office is another essential part of our community. This month we will be joined by Major Jeffrey Flohr and Deputy Bill Kennamer.

Knowledge is power.
Learn, share, and help make North Highline a better place.

Thursday, January 7th, 7 pm

Our coverage of last month’s meeting is here.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council talks Legislature, stormwater @ December meeting

December 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council talks Legislature, stormwater @ December meeting

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

Previews were the order of the night when the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council met online last Thursday.

Two of our area’s 34th District state legislators previewed the next session, and a King County rep previewed

LEGISLATORS’ PREVIEWS: State Sen. Joe Nguyen and State House Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon were the first guests, to talk about the legislative session ahead. Sen. Nguyen – just elected to a leadership post – opened with a recap of the busy time between sessions. He said he works a lot on transportation and technology (his professional background is in the latter). “Helping youths be successful” is another focus, “on the human-services side.” Leading up to the session, “progressive revenue” has been a major focus for him, with so many needs. He talked about growing up in Park Lake Homes – now Seola Gardens – and how the kinds of programs that helped his family then need support and investment now. Climate and sentencing reform are also priorities.

Rep. Fitzgibbon hopes to continue as the chair of the Energy and Environment Committee (House leadership decisions will be made next week). There are many environmental issues, he noted, from addressing air/water pollution to improving recycling and composting. He now lives close to White Center, he added, in south Highland Park, not far north of the city-limit line. He hopes to pursue the fireworks-law changes again this year, to help facilitate a ban in unincorporated King County (provided the County Council passes one). He also talked about land use and ensuring that affordable housing is more equitably distributed.

NHUAC’s Liz Giba talked about what she had found regarding a sizable amount of affordable housing being built in White Center and Fitzgibbon agreed that more had to be done to avoid that sort of concentration. “We have to find a balance,” said Nguyen, while again noting that affordable housing served his family years ago. Giba talked about the need for an Opportunity Analysis, with White Center having been ranked as a “low-opportunity neighborhood” with rampant health challenges. NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin added that there’s a cycle – they’ve been told affordable housing is built there because the costs are lower, but that leads to increased community needs that can’t be addressed.

Dobkin also pointed out that unincorporated North Highline is plagued by rural-style rules, or lack of them, such as no required trash pickup, no revenue for road repairs, no tree protection. Fitzgibbon agreed that the Growth Management Act doesn’t account for how unincorporated urban areas like White Center and Skyway can be appropriately addressed. He also agreed that it’s most appropriate for development to go where there’s infrastructure to support it. Ultimately, North Highline needs to be incorporated into “one of your neighbors,” he said. Dobkin pointed out that it’s not likely to happen for a long time, but in the meantime the area is served by as little as two deputies at a time. “There’s a lot of connecting problems … I wish there were an easy answer,” Rep. Fitzgibbon said.

At that point, King County Local Services Director John Taylor chimed in. “I will say this, there are some good things going on for unincorporated King County,” largely because of his department’s creation, he said – among them, the Subarea Plan development, which is “now a community plan,” not just a land-use plan as originally envisioned. That’ll include a Community Needs List, which is the place for the kind of needs Dobkin detailed. That’s not necessarily a guarantee such services will be funded, but it starts to set up some accountability, he said. The recently passed budget includes a $10 million capital fund for unincorporated King County, as well as the $1.8 million (or so) marijuana taxes that’ll be reallotted. “We’re a lot better off today than we were two years ago,” Taylor declared, adding that pre-COVID, they were close to sending a road levy to voters … but that will be revisited. He said the tree protection issue might be easily solvable; the trash issue, not so easy to address. (He revealed he worked as a trash pickup person for 5 years.)

In Q&A, Sen. Nguyen said he’s been working on the “state bank” bill, which he sees as a “fantastic opportunity …I’d rather keep those dollars in the community instead of sending them out.” Next Q: Any chance of state help for White Center impacts from the West Seattle Bridge closure? Sen. Nguyen said a transportation package is a priority but the state doesn’t have jurisdiction for traffic mitigation. He added that the area’s US Rep. Pramila Jayapal is working on bridge funding too.

An attendee asked about absentee landlords; the state doesn’t have jurisdiction there, but local code compliance might help.
Next question: Whatever happened to the microhousing “demonstration project”? No further details – even Taylor hadn’t heard anything recently.

One attendee asked about the White Center Food Bank‘s need to find a new space because of the affordable-housing project taking ovrer its site. Sen. Nguyen said he’s been talking to them to figure out how to help.

What about the Top Hat site that’s never been used for COVID quarantine – a rumor suggested it might be a supervised injection site. Giba said County Councilmember Joe McDermott had assured them the site’s fate had not been settled and would not be without community input.

GREEN STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE: Jessica Engel from the county explained the concept. She showed an example – Hillside Church in Kent donating use of an underutilized parking lot that was converted into 44 garden beds, plus cisterns, composting systems, and bioswales.

It’s growing a lot of food and not even done yet, Engel said. She said they’d like to hear from the White Center community about what kind of project might work, what kind of incentives might be needed, etc. This is Phase 2 of preparatory outreach, she added, citing lots of enthusiasm so far:

They have funding for 2021 and 2022 to “implement what the community wants to see.” Now they’re looking for more suggestions about who they should talk to.

In Q&A, Engel was asked about runoff standards for new development. It’s pretty stringent – with a manual – she replied, so what they’re trying to get under control is what existing development. produces. What about cleaning up Hickman Lake? Engel said some community conversation would be needed – “do people want it to be restored? recreational opportunity? ecological function?” The program, by the way, is funded by a fee that property owners pay plus grant funding.

A new White Center resident asked about the overall goal of the program: Reduce flooding and reduce polluted runoff getting into local waterways.

CRIME: Deputy Bill Kennamer said that for October, major crimes are up (largely fueled by auto theft), less-serious crimes are down, though he suspects the latter might just be fewer victims filing reports.

He said the recent West Seattle Marijuana Store heist was a “takeover robbery,” armed, forcing the manager to open the safe, and also making off with several hundred dollars in merchandise. He plans to talk with cannabis-shop operators about “a better safety plan.”

He also said they’re looking for the suspect in the 14th SW SWAT domestic-violence situation.

Maj. Jeff Flohr followed to talk about firearms crimes. A special team has confiscated 118 guns from felons in the past couple years. “That’s a real impact,” he said. Also: “LEAD is still coming to White Center.” And he said there’s ongoing discussion about policing reform and supplementary service. Yes, “the cops DO want this” – homelessness and crisis responses, and more. “We’re very open to criticism, we’re very open to change,” he insisted. He would like to have a third car in the area, though. White Center only has about half the officers per capita that Seattle does, though, he added. The budget’s done, staffing’s not changing, special emphasis teams remain.

Giba noted that the previoud day was the 14th anniversary of Deputy Steve Cox‘s murder.

NEXT MEETING: January 7th, 7 pm, online.

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THURSDAY: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council invites you to December meeting, online

November 30th, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

Third online meeting for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council – here’s the announcement:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 7 pm
How? Join Zoom Meeting: kingcounty.zoom.us/j/93688219357
Meeting ID: 936 8821 9357
Passcode (Case Sensitive): NHUAC2020! (please note that there is an exclamation point (!) after 2020 that you must enter in the passcode)

Unable to join via Zoom? Please Call: (+1) 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 936 8821 9357 Passcode: 4810516954

Good News! It has been a long time coming, but King County is going to do something about stormwater in North Highline. Water Planner Jessica Engel will discuss the Green Stormwater Infrastructure strategy and ways it can be used to help improve our community.

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon and Sen. Joe Nguyen will also be joining NHUAC’s last meeting of 2020. NHUAC has asked them to think about ways to improve the health, lives, and opportunity for our North Highline community. In 2018, at the county’s annual Town Hall, NHUAC delivered a Petition to King County Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council. It started:

(1) Opportunity gives people access to what they need to succeed.

(2) According to a 2011 Opportunity Mapping Analysis, White Center is a “low opportunity neighborhood” with “some of the worst health outcomes in King County… ranking number one for diabetes-related deaths, infant mortality, and heart disease….” The report also cites “academic achievement and poverty challenges.” “School poverty has serious implications not just for students, but for districts, communities and the region.”

We, the undersigned:

“Ask King County to conduct a Fair Housing Assessment and Opportunity Analysis of the North Highline community as part of White Center’s “community of opportunity” designation.“

Unfortunately, King County has not given any indication that it intends to conduct either analysis. We hope that Sen. Nguyen and Rep. Fitzgibbon can help us around this quandary.

NHUAC is always happy to see White Center Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer, who will be joined by Major Jeffrey Flohr and Community Engagement Specialist Manny Apostle.

Knowledge is power. Learn, share, and help make North Highline a better place.

December 3, 2020 at 7 pm – Tell a Neighbor!

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Newest plan for Subarea Plan @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s November meeting

November 10th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, North Highline UAC, White Center news 2 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The reinvention/relaunch of King County planning for this area headlined the November meeting of the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council.

NORTH HIGHLINE SUBAREA PLAN UPDATE: David Goodman from the King County Department of Local Services made a repeat appearance. For context, he shared a demographic snapshot of North Highline compared to King County as a whole, and a few trends:

“The relative affordability of White Center has decreased quite a bit,” Goodman observed. He also showed a snapshot of recent developments – “not a tidal wave of development, but some pretty significant” additions.

And he explained Opportunity Zones, which cover two census tracts in the area:

There’s no requirement to disclose when a project is being funded as part of this program, Goodman noted.

Updating the Subarea Plan process, he said its scope has been expanded beyond its original land-use focus:

The work already done on the land-use plan will be incorporated into “this new structure,” Goodman promised. The Community Needs List that’ll be built will help shape what goes into the next county budget, he added. Here’s the type of topics they hope to hear about:

In the nine months of outreach done before the planning process was “paused” in March, here’s some of what Goodman said they heard a lot about;

“The book is still open on all these things,” he stressed. Here’s the timeline over the next year and a half:

They already have some ideas for the Community Needs List:

NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin asked for more information about the Opportunity Zone – whether construction that happens in it results in tax-exempt properties. Short answer, no, said Goodman. NHUAC’s Liz Giba suggested that the countywide permit process needs to be “tightened up.” Impact fees should be reconsidered to help consistently fund sidewalks and schools, for example. She also wanted to see an “opportunity analysis” and more green space – additional pocket parks “in places where there are decrepit buildings right now,” for starters.

Traffic calming is badly needed, too, said Dobkin, with speeding problems on east-west arterials.

King County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Kennamer said mandatory trash pickup should be considered – it’s optional in the unincorporated area but not in cities, he noted.

Goodman also said they’ve heard a lot of interest in smaller commercial spaces – “It’s a little tricky to find a way to make that happen, but it’s one thing we’re thinking about a lot.” They’re trying to “think of some creative ways to incentivize” this, realizing that landlords might be more inherently comfortable with large established tenants. Giba noted that small businesses are more popular than large corporate ones, and recalled large buildings’ commercial pasts, such as the DSHS building on 15th having been a grocery store. She also wondered if anything’s being done about the West Seattle Bridge detour traffic’s effects on White Center; Goodman said he has a regular call with Seattle city planners and is talking with them about some engagement in White Center. Deputy Kennamer says this is affecting streets all the way down to 116th. He also noted he’s getting a radar gun soon and plans to “run traffic” on 26th, 28th, 106th, 107th, and 112th.

His regular update was next up at the meeting:

DEPUTY KENNAMER: He said he can’t book people into jail right now for trespassing or theft, He also noted that staffing remains low and not likely to change. He said everyone arrested in the shooting behind the Smoke Shop pleaded guilty recently. He mentioned that people keep breaking into the house next to the burned-down Yarington’s Funeral Home site, where there was a fire recently.

A discussion of graffiti vandalism broke out from there; Kennamer said the murals have been the most-effective tool used against it, but also observed that there is not a big problem with gang graffiti locally, just tagging.

Regarding property crimes, Kennamer said auto theft’s up, residential burglaries are down.

CREDIT UNION STRATEGIC PLANNING: The meeting began with a presentation about grant opportunities through the Community Development Financial Institution Fund.

Speaker Rick Thomas said they’re working with Express Credit Union to help people in the area with financial opportunities, through a grant program.

He said the program could even lead to an ATM or part-time presence in the community for Express, which has had a program going in Othello and hopes to replicate that success in White Center.

COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS: White Center Kiwanis is selling nuts as they do every year – text Scott at 206-465-8432 if you’re interested.

NEXT MEETING: The next first Thursday is December 2nd – watch here and nhuac.org for updates.

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THURSDAY: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s November meeting, online

November 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Online, White Center news Comments Off on THURSDAY: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s November meeting, online

However the elections turn out, local advocacy carries on, and your next chance to be part of it is at 7 pm this Thursday, online. The announcement from the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting
When: Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 7 pm
How: Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 943 1011 0478
Passcode: NHUAC2020!

Unable to join via Zoom?
Please Call: (+1) 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 943 1011 0478
Passcode: 7581259731

We did it! NHUAC’s October meeting was different in its format, but still full of important information. Now that we have our first Zoom meeting under our belt, we want to assure you that you can still be an informed and involved community member despite COVID-19. Although Zoom allows more accessibility, it is not your only option. You can call in, too. Our North Highline community is worth the effort!

Have you applied for a loan lately or know someone who relies on payday lenders in times of need? Have you heard of Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs? They go back to the 1970s and the Community Reinvestment Act. The CRA was needed because of the lack of access to responsible and affordable credit and capital in low-income communities. Does North Highline need access to a CDFI? Rick Thomas of Credit Union Strategic Planning will join us to discuss this important topic.

David Goodman of King County will update us and gather our feedback on the evolving North Highline Subarea Plan. The plan will guide development in North Highline over the next 20 years. According to the county’s vision statement: “North Highline is a diverse, inclusive, and family-friendly community that supports a thriving small business community, enjoys proximity to urban amenities and green space, and provides opportunities for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to live, work, and thrive.” The big question is: How do we get there from here?

NHUAC is always happy to see White Center Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer, who will update us once again about police activity in our community.

Knowledge is power. Learn, share, and help make North Highline a better place.

November 5, 2020 at 7 pm – Tell a Neighbor!

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Election in the spotlight as public-safety leaders visit North Highline Unincorporated Area Council’s first online meeting

October 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline Fire District, North Highline UAC, White Center news 1 Comment »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has finally arrived in the world of online meetings, and the first one, this past Thursday night, was as info-packed as their in-person meetings have historically been.

Though this one spotlighted public safety, with leaders from the North Highline Fire District and King County Sheriff’s Office, the real theme was the November 3rd election, with both departments having a lot at stake in ballot measures on which you will be voting.

NORTH HIGHLINE FIRE DISTRICT BENEFIT CHARGE: Assistant chief Ray Pettigrew opened by noting he has been with affiliated Fire District 2 for 35 years, and explained how the two districts consolidated at the start of last year after many years of cooperation.

He talked about the “benefit charge” changing the way NHFD is funded, starting six years ago after its 2014 passage, to take care of the problem with tax-exempt properties not contributing to the district funding. And he listed everything it’s enabled, as voters get ready to decide whether to renew it for 10 years. The charge “spread the cost out, made it more equitable,” Pettigrew explained, and led to a small decrease in what homeowners pay. The charge enabled the consolidation, and also led to a rating agency upgrading the department’s rating, which is good news for property owners’ insurance rates – the rating is now a 3 (1 is the best). The department also was able to buy two new fire engines that are based at Station 18. “We’re a very busy fire department,” with 11,000+ calls last year, he said, and the engines that were replaced had a lot of miles on them.

The stable funding also has enabled them to station an aid car at Station 18 most days – “it increases our ability to answer emergency calls by almost 50 percent.” They’ve upgraded air packs, and added a public educator, too. Also: A local firefighter is helping with the COVID-19 testing area that has been opened in Tukwila; Pettigrew said they were looking for other sites, maybe even White Center, but couldn’t find an available property. King County is reimbursing them for the firefighter’s work. Last but not least, they’re working on an “FD CARES” response unit – “usually an SUV” with a firefighter and nurse or social worker – to answer certain kinds of “low-acuity calls and works with the person to address their needs in a more appropriate manner.” King County Public Health has provided some funding for this. They’re hoping to have the unit up and running early next year. “We think we’ve been very good stewards of your tax dollars,” summarized Pettigrew, pitching for the renewal.

What if it’s not approved? asked NHUAC’s Barbara Dobkin. Reply: The property tax rate would go back up, and the FD would have to re-evaluate what it’s doing. What’s the rate and is it different from the last one? It’s been fairly consistent and is expected to continue that way – “approximately $1.50 per thousand” (dollars of property valuation).

KING COUNTY SHERIFF: KCSO sent several reps to the meeting, starting with the sheriff herself, Mitzi Johanknecht.

She talked about the every-decade county-charter-amending process. Two amendments on the November 3rd ballot would affect KCSO: Amendment #5, which would change the sheriff back to an appointed, rather than elected, position, more than 20 years after the previous change. She’s the fifth elected sheriff, in her first term, which started in early 2018. If Amendment #5 passes, the County Executive would appoint the sheriff, with County Council approval. Then the council put Amendment #6 on the ballot – “having an elected sheriff, but with conditions … that the King County Council would create an ordinance … that determines the roles and responsibilities of the sheriff.” Currently, state laws regulates sheriffs’ roles.

Dobkin mentioned hearing County Executive Dow Constantine talk about the measure on a podcast and say that since people who aren’t in the sheriff’s jurisdiction get to vote for them, changing the law made more sense. Johanknecht noted that other countywide officials are voted on by all county voters too. But, she noted, KCSO does have countywide responsibilities – Metro and Sound Transit policing, among other things. “I also think it’s important that if you’re voting for a sheriff, the sheriff should have a standalone opportunity to represent you.”

If it went to an appointed position, might that lead to cuts/changes? Johanknecht said the COVID-19 crunch has already required some cuts, so she cut some vacant positions, “the least amount of FTEs possible” so it wouldn’t harm 911 response and crime-solving. NHUAC’s Liz Giba said she’d heard the marijuana-tax money had been pulled from KCSO – was that true? The sheriff said that’s a complicated issue but it’s not resulting in any cuts/changes. She also noted that 58 percent of the KCSO budget is revenue-backed – maybe the only county agency that brings in this much money helping cover its budget.

What sort of anti-racism reforms has KCSO been working on? The sheriff said reform is one of the major things she ran to accomplish. She says her deputies now have “less-lethal tools” and that they’ve developed new policies for the critical-incident review board, plus they’ve been training in de-escalation and crisis intervention – 48 hours of the latter, “years ahead of what the state is going to demand.” They’ve also gone through implicit-bias training, and are wrapping up investigations of social-media posts that drew attention and concern. She said the issue has made her job “the most important thing I’ll ever do in my life.”

The budget includes full funding for the KCSO storefront locations, including White Center, she said, in response to a question.

She was followed by Manny Apostol, the new community-engagement specialist for KCSO, a longtime department employee. Listening to communities is his task – here are the slides outlining what he’ll do:

He was asked how he’s working on rebuilding trust with Southeast Asian communities in the wake of the Tommy Le killing. He said he’s been reaching out to groups.

STOREFRONT DEPUTY BILL KENNAMER: He talked about a problem house in the 1800 block of SW 98th that’s finally been cleared out – the eviction moratorium pushed the handling of the situation back several months. They were evicted “due to the criminal activity associated with the house,” he said. “That was the worst house in White Center right now,” he said. Among other things, one of the people associated with the house “was a murder suspect with a $2 million warrant.” Kennamer said one neighbor told him he’s had the first night in a long time that he wasn’t awakened by some trouble at that house. But there are others, it was noted.

Other wide-ranging discussion included the murals on many businesses being a graffiti-vandalism deterrent.

Dobkin also mentioned traffic issues diverting off Roxbury, which in turn is a lot busier because of the West Seattle Bridge closure. Kennamer agreed, “The traffic is absolutely ridiculous” and “going to be frustrating for a very long time.” Dobkin said it’s a safety issue with people “flying through our streets” on streets without sidewalks. Kennamer said he’d reach out to Roads – maybe a stop sign on 106th could help, “so they can’t pick up so much speed.” He also advised “don’t walk with your back to traffic.”

What about mail theft? Kennamer was asked. “If you see it, call us quick, because they’re gone quick.” Locking mailboxes can help but some people even use saws to cut them down.

MAJOR JEFF FLOHR: He’s now the KCSO Southwest Precinct commander. The area always has at least two deputies on duty, he said. He started out talking about the “use of force” dashboard, which he said would show “how rarely we use force.”

His main topic: White Center is one of the areas where KCSO is about to run a pilot camera program – in-car and body-worn. 10 deputies will be using the cameras for 90 days, working in different areas.

He went over the functions and policies they’ll be testing.

At the end, they’ll evaluate and document what they learned, “identify the features we want if funding is provided for full implementation” – right now, it’s NOT budgeted.

Flohr also said they’re “ready to go” with the LEAD program in White Center/North Highline, just waiting for some documentation with a service provider to be finalized. Asked to refresh memories, he gave an example – say deputies respond to a mentally ill shoplifter, they deal with a team of people trying to get that person help, “trying to keep people out of jail and get them the services they need … it’s exactly what the communities have been asking for, they just don’t know that we’ve been doing it.”

CHIEF JESSE ANDERSON: He talked about “8 can’t wait” policy changes: No chokeholds unless it’s a force-type situation “last resort,” de-escalation, requiring warning before shooting, duty to intervene, no shooting at moving vehicles (unless deputies are trapped), among other things.

Regarding policing reform, he acknowledged that many of their calls are more “quality of life issues” than crimes, but he also said staffing is at the lowest level it could be while still allowing them to respond to calls.

NEXT MEETING: NHUAC plans to continue via Zoom for the foreseeable future – the meetings are usually first Thursdays at 7 pm – watch nhuac.org for updates. Next time, the North Highline Sub-Area Plan will be a spotlighted topic.

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THURSDAY: Public safety spotlighted @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

October 6th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County Sheriff's Office, North Highline Fire District, North Highline UAC, White Center news 4 Comments »

As previously mentioned, the first pandemic-era North Highline Unincorporated Area Council is set for this Thursday, October 8th, online. Here’s the announcement with full details:

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

Where? North Highline Unincorporated Area Council Meeting

When? Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7 pm

How? (Here’s the link)
Meeting ID: 946 9398 2872
Passcode: 179306

Dial-in: 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 946 9398 2872
Passcode: 179306

NHUAC Is Baaaack!!! NHUAC’s first meeting since February will be held Thursday, October 8th at 7 pm. It is going to be a virtual meeting via Zoom so it will be different, but the goal will be the same: To provide an opportunity to be informed, involved, and heard about issues affecting North Highline.

COVID-19 has changed our lives. We have been staying home to stay safe. Meanwhile, what has been happening in White Center, Top Hat, Boulevard Park, other North Highline neighborhoods? What is about to happen? To help us catch up and prepare, NHUAC’s October 8th meeting will focus on our first responders.

Have you ever called 911 because of a fire or medical emergency? If so, you know how important the North Highline Fire District is to our community. Assistant Chief Ray Pettigrew will discuss NHFD and ballot measure NHFD Proposition No. 1 to continue the Benefit Charge.

The climate around policing has gotten intense. King County’s response requires our serious consideration. If Charter Amendment No. 5 passes, voters will give up their right to vote for Sheriff. According to the King County Elections website, “The next sheriff would be appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the county council.” Charter Amendment No. 6 would transfer much of the Sheriff’s control over KCSO to the King County Executive (currently Dow Constantine) and the King County Council.

Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht will discuss these issues and others specific to North Highline. We will also be joined by Chief Jesse Anderson, who recently left Precinct 4 to become head of the Patrol Operations Division. Major Jeffrey Flohr, Precinct 4’s new Commander; Manny Apostol, KCSO’s new Community Engagement Specialist; and last, but certainly not least, Deputy Bill Kennamer will also join us.

Knowledge is power.

Do not miss this chance to learn and help make North Highline a safer place!

October 8, 2020 at 7 pm – Tell a Neighbor

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REMINDER: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets next week, not this week

September 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Online, White Center news Comments Off on REMINDER: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets next week, not this week

A reminder from the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

2020 has been a year of many challenges and the creation of many new norms. With that said, NHUAC will not be holding a meeting on the first Thursday of October, and instead will be holding the meeting on the second Thursday, October 8th.

With continued Social Distancing recommendations, the meeting will be held via Zoom. You will also have the option of calling in on your phone. We will send out info on how to join the meeting, as well as info on our guest speakers as we get closer to the meeting date.

Please plan on joining us as we will be discussing issues that are very important to the future of our North Highline Community.

So fire up your computers and get ready to Zoom.

Community Matters
Stay Informed, Stay Involved, Be Heard

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FYI: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council changes October meeting date

September 22nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, Online, White Center news Comments Off on FYI: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council changes October meeting date

Set your calendar for October 8th instead of 1st – the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council has moved its meeting date back a week. Connection/teleconferencing details to come – watch nhuac.org.

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No September meeting, but set your calendar for October!

August 30th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No September meeting, but set your calendar for October!

Announced by the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting
Thursday, September 3rd cancelled –

But mark your calendars for NHUAC’s virtual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 1st 7 pm –

Our NHAC board was hopeful that we would be able to resume in person meetings on Thursday, September 3rd, but COVID had other plans for us. Although statewide hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have not risen for the past three weeks, they have not gone down. With that in mind and the continued directives that we limit the size and the frequency of our social gatherings, we are canceling the September 3rd meeting.

The good news is that we plan on resuming meetings on Thursday, October 1st when we will hold NHUAC’s first-ever virtual meeting. We are excited and look forward to connecting with the community.

As we get closer to the meeting date, we will provide information on how you can join us on your computer or by phone.

So stay tuned as we plan on having some important guest speakers.

Stay Safe – Stay Healthy

Questions- Please contact: bdobkin@northhighlineuac.org

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council update – including free masks and hand sanitizer!

July 1st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Holidays, North Highline Fire District, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council update – including free masks and hand sanitizer!

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

As in our prior years, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council (NHUAC) will not be holding July and August meetings. We will resume meetings on Thursday, September 3rd. Wishing everyone a safe, happy, warm, summer –

In the meantime, please see the info below regarding mask and hand sanitizer distribution that the North Highline Fire District in partnership with NHUAC and King County, will be handing out on July 4th.

The North Highline Fire District is Pleased to Announce

We will be distributing face masks (2 per person) and hand sanitizer (1 bottle per household) on July 4th in partnership with the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council and King County.

Your firefighters work hard to ensure the safety of North Highline.

We look forward to seeing you in our community on July 4th and making sure you have the protective gear you need to stay healthy!

If you need a mask or hand sanitizer before the 4th of July, please e-mail your contact information to: office@northhighlinefd.org

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No June meeting

June 2nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: No June meeting

From NHUAC:

Due to ongoing Covid-19 issues and Social Distancing requirements, The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council will not be holding the Thursday, June 4th meeting.

We hope to see you all soon.

Stay Safe – Stay Healthy

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No North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting again this month

May 4th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on No North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting again this month

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

In keeping with the continued “Social Distancing” order, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council is cancelling the Thursday, May 7th meeting.

We are hopeful that we may be able to return for our next scheduled monthly meeting on June 4th. We will make sure to keep everyone updated.

Please stay safe – and we hope to see you all soon.

If you have any questions please contact: Barbara Dobkin @ Bdobkin@northhighlineuac.org

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North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: ‘Stay home – stay safe’

March 30th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on North Highline Unincorporated Area Council: ‘Stay home – stay safe’

From the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council:

In keeping with Social Distancing, the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council will not be holding the Thursday, April 2nd meeting.

If you have questions or community concerns please contact:

Liz Giba: lgiba@northhighlineuac.org

or

Barbara Dobkin: bdobkin@northhighlineuac.org

Stay Home – Stay Safe

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No North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting for March

February 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on No North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting for March

From North Highline Unincorporated Area Council leadership:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, NHUAC’s Thursday, March 5th meeting is cancelled. Please plan on joining us for the next scheduled meeting on Thursday, April 2nd.

Thanks – we look forward to seeing you all in April.

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Open space, future zoning, crime & safety @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

February 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Open space, future zoning, crime & safety @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor>

Three hot topics comprised this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting, first one of 2020.

OPEN SPACE: Sarah Brandt from King County Parks leads this program and tackled several topics, starting with the Land Conservation Initiative.

The county’s been accelerating protection of habitat and acquisitions in the past couple years. While several different types of open space are covered, she primarily spoke about urban greenspace. To make greenspace more equitable in urban areas, they used several criteria to identify areas where it’s most needed – including parts of White Center. The Parks Levy provides up to $10 million a year for acquisition, and there’s a tax that can be used too.

What’s in the potential pipeline includes:

-White Center Heights Park – a house nested in the park was purchased and will be demolished (on 8th just north of 106th)

-Forested 5-acre parcel toward the east (8th S., 101 to 103) – they’re in negotiations for this

-Looking at opportunities to grow Dick Thurnau Park

-Looking at an area south of Roxbury

“We’re doing more and want to hear more from the community …it can be a pocket park, a trail connection ..” She opened the floor. NHUAC president Liz Giba suggested that the current WC Food Bank site would be better used as open space (currently it’s slated for mixed-use development).

What about an area near Grace Church? someone asked. Discussions are under way, in fact.

Another suggestion: Consider the health impacts when you remove trees. Concerns were voiced about the removal of street trees. And another: Take into consideration residential development and how kids living there will get to parks.

Question: Once the county buys the land, what happens? Answer: Thy’re trying to cultivate partnerships. Washington Trails Association is one such organization. Grant programs can help with that. “We’re trying to help people understand how to fit together these funding sources.”

Question: What about the big open area near The Bog? Answer: Parks will endeavor to work more closely with Natural Resources.

There was also some discussion of what would happen to open-space-designated areas if North Highline were annexed. It was pointed out that the city zoning code is more complicated than the county’s, and in an annexation the annexing city might try to match its closest comparable zoning with what’s there now.

Another suggestion, when the subject of currently vacant land came up, 1st and 112nd.

Next topic – trees. A new climate-action plan is due out before year’s end. The county is close to its promise of planting 1 million new trees, she declared. By the end of this year, they hope to have a 30-year plan/vision. They want to remove barriers for people working to enhance that. “Our business district has one tree,” pointed out NHUAC vice president Barbara Dobkin. “Vocal advocacy” was advised by Brandt.

Some other concerns were voiced, including unstable trees and how to deal with them – before and after something disastrous happens. That spun off into a discussion of replacement policies – in King County and some of its cities. Hugo Garcia from the county said he’d look into what the policy is when government crews have to remove a tree.

Big question: Is access to greenspaces – like sidewalks – part of the plan? “Tell us that’s important,” urged Brandt. A discussion ensued of sidewalk challenges like this swamped section on the south side of Roxbury between 12th and 14th (photo courtesy Gill Loring):

NORTH HIGHLINE SUBAREA PLAN: David Goodman brought an update on the taking-shape plan, first one since October. He’s talked to “all sorts of people” in recent months, including schools, businesses, and “came up with this general proposal.” (Get a closer, clearer look via the PDF on the Subarea Plan website.)

The residential-zonng overview: “Housing affordability was a big theme,” he began. So they’re “slightly increasing the allowed density” near the 16th Ave. corridor. Where there’s one house now, there could be two units. They tried to focus on areas close to a commercial core and/or near a bus line. A zoming change, he stressed, wouldn’t mean you HAVE TO make a change if you didn’t want to. Greenbridge isn’t included “because it’s already at a higher density than we’re proposing.”

There’s a “P” designation – where you see that, the dimensions wiil be restricted to what they are now.

One person asked about Accessory Dwelling Units – they can be up to 1000 square feet. They would drop the current rule for one to be awner-occupied. (UPDATE: Goodman later clarified with the following:

The requirement that when a property has both a primary dwelling unit (a regular house) and an accessory dwelling unit (allowed to be up to 1000 square feet in size) one of them must be owner-occupied will stay the same. The difference under our proposed zoning for particular neighborhoods is that you could have two primary units (such as in a duplex or a townhouse-style development) in many cases where you are currently only allowed one; in this case, with two primary units, neither has to be owner-occupied because neither is an accessory dwelling unit.

In both of these cases you have two units on the property; the difference is that in the first case one is a primary and one is an accessory, and in the second case both are primary. In practice there is minimal difference between these two situations, but the regulations for owner-occupation kick in only when one of the units is considered accessory.

Regarding sidewalks – they would be required with increased density, Goodman noted. He also addressed the proposals for commercial areas – first, expanding the pedestrian area, so future new construction would be “less car-oriented.”

Two parcels that are east of 15th and south of 100th and that are currently industrial would be changed to commercial and mixed-use – retail ground floor, apartments over it, mindful of the fact that RapidRide H Line will be running on 15th SW. They would be required to be 20 percent housing that’s “affordable.” Meantime, in the heart of downtown White Center (along 16th), they do NOT plan to go higher-rise – “mostly at the scale it currently is,” limited to three stories.

Who would be trying to attract new investment/development? Prospective buyers/developers could work with Garcia’s Economic Development department, he said.

What about parking? King County still has requirements for that, Goodman said.

Seguing to Top Hat, Goodman pointed out that the last plan for this area was written in 1994. Unlike WC, Top Hat would allow some industrial uses – “small manufacturing,” for example. What’s zoned commercial now will remain that way, but certain small industrial uses will be allowed – a special “additional allowance,” if you will.

Garcia said they’re hoping that over time more such things – a small firm making dog accessories was mentioned multiple times – will move in.

He also said the King County Conservation Corps is moving further into WC and they hope to expand it to Top Hat. And Garcia urged people to get more deeply involved in the plan because there’s still time to have a say before this goes to the County Council.

As mentioned in our coverage of last week’s open house, what’s ahead in the Subarea Plan process includes:

-Public draft plan mid-March to mid-April
-Official draft to County Council in June (there’ll be commenting opportunities while they consider it too)

The county reps were invited to return in April to talk about other things such as the Opportunity Zone and the Hub project (on the WCFB site).

KING COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE: Deputy Bill Kennamer first offered praise for Local Services, saying “it’s kicked butt” in improving downtown White Center.

Crime stats are “pretty even year to year” – auto theft’s still high, burglary is down.

Problem properties: Two of the worst are moving well along, the deputy said – code enforcer Nick Stevens has been working on a house whose owners are a “large property management company” that just got a $12,000 fine and is suddenly up for sale, not far from Holy Family. Then there’s a “drug house” near 98th/13th; its owner died without a will, a family member moved in and allowed people to stay there in exchange for drugs – with no water service. It was in horrible condition, Kennamer said. But the probate’s since been settled; it’s expected to be sold, and the problem relative has been arrested three times. A cleanup crew’s been there and it’s been sealed with plywood. Regarding another one, near 1st/106th – they’ve spoken with the landlord and the problem tenant’s out, with the house being remodeled.

A variety of other quick questions were addressed. Deputy Kennamer noted the past month included about half a dozen firearms-involved crimes with people who shouldn’t have had guns. Earlier Thursday, he added, they were chasing a suspect wanted on warrants.

Kennamer also mentioned that LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) is on the way to White Center.

NEXT MEETING: If you care what’s going on in your community – be there in person next time! 7 pm March 5th, North Highline Fire District HQ (1243 SW 112th). Options for White Center youth will be discussed.

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Parks, Subarea Plan, more this Thursday @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

February 2nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in North Highline UAC, White Center news Comments Off on Parks, Subarea Plan, more this Thursday @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

This Thursday night, you’re invited to the first meeting of 2020 for the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council, which sent this preview:

When: Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 7 pm

Where: North Highline Fire Station at 1243 SW 112th Street in White Center

(Parking and Entrance are in the Back of the Station)

The Opportunity to Be Informed, Be Involved and Be Heard!

The first NHUAC meeting of 2020 will provide you and your neighbors a new opportunity to be informed, involved and heard about important decisions, which will determine the future of our North Highline community.

The quality of our natural environment affects the quality of our lives. Sarah Brandt, King County Parks, Open Space Program Manager, will join us to discuss the Land Conservation Initiative; why access to green space is important; and the gaps discovered when King County looked at the intersection of health outcomes, proximity to existing parks, and income. Sarah looks forward to hearing our preferences for green space and amenities in North Highline.

King County is also working on the North Highline Subarea Plan, which will guide development in North Highline over the next 20 years. The plan will focus on zoning, long-term land use, and issues like housing, commercial and industrial areas, and community character. A vision statement describes what community members want their neighborhood to be like in the future. County planners drafted this vision statement for the North Highline Land Use Subarea Plan: “North Highline is a diverse, inclusive, and family-friendly community that supports a thriving small business community, enjoys proximity to urban amenities and greenspace, and provides opportunities for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds to live, work, and thrive.” The big question is: How do we get there from here?

To discuss these important, long-term decisions, NHUAC will be joined by North Highline Subarea Plan subject matter experts, David Goodman and Kevin LeClair; Opportunity Zone subject matter expert, Hugo Garcia; and HUB Project subject matter expert, Isaac Horwith.

NHUAC is always happy to see White Center Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer, who will update us once again about police activity in our community.

Knowledge is power.

Learn, share and help make North Highline a better place.

February 6, 2020 at 7 pm – Bring a Neighbor

For a preview of the Subarea Plan discussion, check back here tonight/tomorrow; we will be publishing a report on Thursday night’s open house.

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