2016 - Summer

JULY 9: Connect with City Councilmember Kshama Sawant at the Quarterly Meeting from 10:00 AM to Noon. Put it on your Calendar.

Seattle City Council, District 3, Councilmember Sawant Kshama
2015 Squire Park BBQ

Then connect with neighbors at the 10th Annual BBQ noon to 2:00 PM for fun, food, raffle and good conversation.  Both activities are at Centerstone, at 722 18th Avenue, Seattle, WA

Have you noticed?  A lot has been going on in Squire Park, much of it planned and mediated by the City of Seattle and our elected officials: new buildings, new neighbors, zoning changes, an arts district, New Major Institution Master Plans and construction, proposals to change the community council system,  new greenways, additional RPZs, transportation proposals and more.  Councilmember  Kshama Sawant will be on hand for a conversation about the future of Seattle and our neighborhood and to listen to and answer questions you bring. Our neighborhood needs your ideas. Bring them to Squire Park Community Council Meeting on July 9, 10:00 AM to noon.  See you on Saturday, July 9.

In order to ensure that everyone can take part we will be limiting the time that each person has to ask a question.

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CITY COUNCIL REVISES SWEDISH MEDICAL CENTER MASTER PLAN FOLLOWING APPEAL BY SPCC AND OTHERS

On May 16, the Seattle City Council, in its final action on the matter, adopted a Master Plan intended to guide the development of the Swedish Medical Center Central Area campus for the next twenty years or more.

The City Council had received appeals of the decision of the City planning department and Hearing Examiner from seven different parties, including, among others, the Squire Park Community Council, the Swedish Citizens Advisory Committee, the 19th Avenue Blockwatch, and the Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN).

Many of the same or similar issues were shared by the various appellants.  A primary concern of the Washington CAN appeal was the hospital’s administration of its uncompensated care obligation. In addition to that issue, other neighborhood-based appellants argued that the City Council should reduce the height, bulk, and scale of the proposed development, and take more vigorous steps to reduce the amount of traffic anticipated to be created by future development.

In brief, SPCC argued that, because of the large scale of the proposal by Swedish and the Sabey Corporation (the owner of approximately one half of the former Providence Hospital campus) Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan required some of the proposed development be located in other parts of the city.  The Comprehensive Plan is intended to direct major commercial development to commercial and industrial neighborhoods and major traffic generators to areas served by robust transit service, particularly light rail stations.  The SPCC argued that some of the Sabey Corporation tenants could be located in more appropriate areas, leaving more space available for Swedish Medical Center uses without the need for as much expansion as proposed by Swedish and Sabey.

The City Council, with the leadership of the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee, and its Chair Rob Johnson,  and members Mike O’Brien, and Lisa Herbold, reached a decision that accepted some, but not all of the arguments of SPCC and other appellants.  (Prior to a final argument, Washington CAN withdrew its appeal, having reached an agreement with Swedish for a much improved charity-care program.)

On a motion by Councilmember Herbold, the PLUZ Committee revised the proposed plan so as to reduce the height of development on the west and east edge of the campus.  The central portion of the campus can be built to a height of 160 feet.  On a motion by Councilmember Rob Johnson, the PLUZ Committee revised the plan so as to require a more vigorous transportation management plan to reduce further the increase in commuter traffic to the campus.

These changes will help reduce the impact of the development on the neighborhood and on the street and highway network.  Still, if the development occurs as planned, more than 10,000 trips per day will take place in vehicles heading to and from Swedish and Sabey facilities in the neighborhood of 17th and Jefferson.

According to the Swedish and Sabey transportation consultant, it’s likely that a major element of the success of getting commuters to and from the campus will be increasing the capacity of the Metro bus routes that serve the area from downtown --- currently Metro routes 3 and 4.  Given that that route is currently crowded and less than reliable, a major problem for future transit planning is squarely on the table.

Swedish and Sabey have not indicated a definite schedule for the commencement of development.

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Your Neighborhood Council

The Squire Park Community Council is a community organization for all people from 23rd to 12th, and from Union to Jackson,  --- homeowners, renters, students, young, old --- all are welcome.  The council can help your voice be heard in local government. SPCC can be a place for you to get to know your neighbors and build community dozens of different ways.  Check out one of the quarterly meetings, including the next one on July 9 where the major “task” is to have fun.  (10 AM, at Centerstone.) The SPCC board meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month.  (7:00 PM.  Frequently at the Seattle U. community room, 824 12th Avenue.  Location can vary so check SPCC Web site.) All are welcome. 

To learn a little bit more about the council, meet the president and vice-president of the board who responded to a few questions:

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