VIDEO: September’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting

In our video, you’ll find this month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting from Thursday, September 1st, led by president Liz Giba. Pull the cursor ahead to just past two minutes in, to get past the roll call and to the start of discussion.

Before the first scheduled guest, there were community announcements, followed by Giba’s announcement of a meeting scheduled at 6:30 pm Thursday, September 15th, about a “temporary homeless shelter” proposed for the old Public Health building next to the White Center Food Bank.

The proposal, according to the announcement that was read, is to provide emergency overnight shelter for 70 people experiencing homelessness in the White Center area. The Salvation Army would operate the shelter from 5 pm to 8 am; evening and morning meals would be provided, and the people in the shelter would be offered assistance in finding permanent housing and other services.

As we have reported previously, the building is proposed for future redevelopment as a mixed-use building with space for nonprofits and low-income housing.

Concerns expressed at the meeting included questions about where the shelter users would be going during the day, and whether White Center truly had 70 people experiencing homelessness and unable to find shelter.

The September 15th meeting is set for the Bethaday Community Learning Space at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park. We are working to find out more about the proposal and the meeting, since it doesn’t appear an announcement was sent to media.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: At 19 minutes into our video, the first scheduled guest was brought up, Christine Jensen, invited to talk about the process of updating the King County Comprehensive Plan for the first time since 2012. Proposed changes have been under review since March, she said; just last week, Councilmember Rob Dembowski proposed a “striking amendment” with changes and additions suggested for what King County Executive Dow Constantine has proposed. She said some of the key proposed changes involve toughening policies related to equity and climate change. And she highlighted a change related to the Community Service Areas – such as North Highline – that could enable a return to “sub-area planning.” North Highline would be scheduled to start a “sub-area planning process” next year, which would include “significant outreach with the community.”

How would potential Seattle annexation – which might even come to a vote next year – affect that? asked NHUAC board member Elizabeth Gordon. Jensen replied that it would go forward either way – “it would probably just have a different focus if annexation gets approved.”

If projects on the drawing board now turned out to be dissonant with equity changes in the Comp Plan once it’s passed – likely by year’s end – would they be stopped? Jensen said she couldn’t speak to that.

Next step in the process of reviewing the plan was a King County Council committee meeting set for earlier today (Tuesday, September 6th) and one of the last steps will be a public hearing tentatively set for November 28th, Jensen said. Find out more – including how to comment, in the meantime – on this page of the county website.

ANNEXATION: A spirited discussion with board members and attendees followed the Comp Plan agenda item. The board discussed coming up with “minimum requirements” for Seattle to meet, even before it would consider whether to support potential annexation.

(By the way, we checked with Seattle’s point person on the issue, Kenny Pittman, recently. One point: No one filed an appeal of the King County Boundary Review Board‘s approval of potential Seattle annexation by the deadline in mid-August; another, Pittman told us there is no date set yet for potential next steps by Seattle’s mayor and council to consider sending annexation to North Highline voters.)

TOP HAT PROJECT: A fair amount of discussion was also devoted to the plan for a multi-family-housing development on the old Bernie and Boys market site in Top Hat (11225 1st Avenue South). Giba noted that the project had recently gone before the Washington State Housing Finance Commission for funding. On its website, we found notice of a July 28th public hearing, describing the project, Vintage at Southside, as “a 298-unit multifamily housing facility … (with a) percentage of the total units … set aside for persons or households with low incomes.” Its estimated cost: $71 million. Minutes of the public hearing say no one from the public testified but the commission heard from Vintage Housing president Ryan Patterson, who said the project will include “an onsite business center, bicycle storage, and a playground.” Further elaborating on the low-income aspect of the project, he is quoted as saying that 100 percent of the development will be “at 60 percent of the area median income and will set aside 20 percent of the units for households with disabilities and will include 18 live/work units and set aside 20 percent of the units for large households.” A document on the King County website (which has a different address, 11241 1st Ave. S.) says four buildings are planned.

The company’s closest complex appears to be Vintage at Burien, described online as a seniors-only community, 55+.

NO CRIME REPORT: The King County Sheriff’s Office was unable to send a representative. It was mentioned that the newest date for their storefront move to Steve Cox Memorial Park is October 1st.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets first Thursdays, 7 pm, at the North Highline FD HQ; watch for updates between meetings.

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8 Responses to “VIDEO: September’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting”

  1. After nearly a week, Valerie Kendall finally responded to my request for more information.

    “Additional information regarding the Temporary Emergency Overnight Shelter in White Center will be shared at the community meeting on September 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm located at the TAF Bethaday Community Learning Space (605 SW 108th St. Seattle 98146) in the multi-purpose room on the ground floor.”

    Per DPER:

    “As you know, building permits in unincorporated King County are processed by the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. For any building permit questions, please feel free to contact DPER. For your information, at this time we do not have a building permit under review for the proposed temporary emergency shelter.”

    Not very helpful.

  2. It took me two days but I just got the meeting notice finally and will be publishing something separately. Thanks for mentioning it at the NHUAC meeting as I don’t know how else we would have found out – nothing was sent, previously, and I couldn’t find anything on the county website. Regarding a building permit, it doesn’t sound like they would need one – if it’s just going to be a shelter where they bring in beds for 70 people.

  3. Question Mark Says:

    If the county agrees to forego tax revenue from a new $71 million housing complex, it also forces local government services the county doesn’t provide such as emergency medical and fire services, and public schools to also forego revenues from that source.

    What impact is that going to have on the community, and for how many years to come?

  4. Hey Question Mark what kinda ironic that the county can and will most likely make up for that 70 million in I-502 sales tax reimbursement’s.

    You know from all those pot shops that you have been complaining about.

  5. Question Mark Says:

    Hey Jimmy, do you have any numbers to back that assertion up? The claim seems pretty far fetched …


    Total Marijuana Excise Tax To Date

  7. Oops I forgot the other 20 million in regular sales tax on top of the I-502 taxes.

  8. Where is the money they got in FY 2016?