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Entries Tagged as 'Local News'

Uptown Alliance meets Thursday; Light Rail alternatives and UDF on the agenda

September 10th, 2014 by Laura

Editor’s Note:  If you’ve sent tips, stories, or questions since the beginning of September, please know that you have not been ignored. Due to illness, I’ve been away from QAV. I’m just now catching up on QAV email and the blog will return to normal soon. Thanks!

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uptownUPTOWN ALLIANCE Agenda
7:00pm, Thursday, September 11, 2014
COMMUNITY ROOM @ EXPO (100 REPUBLICAN ST.)

Go to 1st Ave. N. at Republican St.  ­Turn east toward Seattle Center.  Turn in at 100 Republican, the big crescent sculptures and walk up the stairs and through the gate.  

7:00 – 7:05pm    Welcome and introductions (Rick Hooper)

7:05 – 7:50pm     Light Rail Transit alternatives that could serve Uptown Urban Center (Karen Waterman & Rachel Smith, Sound Transit)

7:50 – 8:05pm     Topics of concern (all)

8:05 – 8:50pm     Uptown Development Framework (UDF) update and University of Washington Urban Planning studio presentation (Rick Mohler, David Blum, students)

8:50 – 9:00pm     Announcements (all), approve July meeting minutes & adjourn (Jean Sundborg)

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Wolf Creek Ravine restoration project kicks off Thursday with public meeting to rally volunteers

September 3rd, 2014 by Laura

Wolf Creek Ravine signLast week we posted about the upcoming Wolf Creek Ravine restoration project, and the volunteer opportunity is here! We first noticed changes when the Queen Anne P-Patch beehive disappeared (temporarily moved for the restoration work). Since then, signs have been posted to alert P-Patchers and residents about the upcoming work.

Wolf Creek Ravine is the natural greenspace that borders the P-Patch to the north, running under the McGraw Street and Queen Anne Drive bridges. The area near the P-Patch is full of blackberries and invasive knotweed, and the Green Seattle Partnership project will work on removing these plants and replacing them with native plantings.

Volunteers are needed to help with the project. To learn more about how you can help, attend a meeting tomorrow (Thursday), September 4th at 5:30pm to discuss plans and provide feedback. The meeting will be held at the P-Patch at 3rd Ave N and Boston St. Volunteers are welcome (and needed) to help with the restoration.

Wolf Creek Ravine Project

Work on Wolf Creek will begin soon with knotweed control completed by early Fall. The project length will be dependent on volunteers. Maps and more details can be found in last week’s post.

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Kidd Valley closes Queen Anne location to make way for CVS

September 3rd, 2014 by Laura

Kidd Valley closedThe Kidd Valley at the corner of Mercer St and Queen Anne Ave N has closed up shop. A sign on the door stated that September 1st was its last day in Queen Anne.

The building that houses Kidd Valley will be demolished for the upcoming construction on a CVS Pharmacy location. We first reported on the short future for the Queen Anne Kidd Valley last summer.

More on the upcoming new development is in our August 16th post.

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Jabu’s plans farewell celebration as deal to seal a spot for Streamline inches closer

September 1st, 2014 by Laura

Streamline webEarlier this month, we posted the news on a liquor license application by the Streamline Tavern. On August 19th, the owners of the Streamline applied for an assumption liquor license for Jabu’s Pub, a license issued “where there is a currently licensed business with the same exact type of liquor license”.

That currently licensed business was Jabu’s Pub at 174 Roy Street. Nothing is confirmed just yet, but this weekend Jabu’s took to Facebook to alert customers that it’ll be changing ownership soon. They’re throwing a goodbye & thank you celebration next Saturday, September 6th:

Jabu's Facebook post

What’s that mean for the Streamline? It’s closer to a new home, but there’s still a little over a week to go before everything is finalized. Anyone who’s been through a home purchase will understand – you hold your breath until everything is official.

Jabus Pub

Potential new home for Streamline

According to Mike Lewis, owner of the Streamline, “We’re close but the deal won’t be final for another week. Provided everything works out, we’re excited about becoming the new owners of Jabu’s.”

In the meantime, plan on sending off Jabu’s in style with karaoke, drink specials, and a fun send-off next Saturday at Jabu’s. Then, if all goes as planned, expect the Streamline sign to move a few blocks away to a new home in the near future.

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Free trees are still available via Trees for Neighborhoods

August 24th, 2014 by Laura

reLeaf Tree ProgramJust before the Trees for Neighborhoods annual free trees program kicked off, we gave the heads up about this program and how you could apply for up to 4 free trees.

Applications opened on August 4th, and 20 days later, there are still trees available. Apply today for free trees that will help beautify Queen Anne, provide shade, and even increase property values. Plus, the upfront investment is zero – the trees are free, you just have to plant them and provide care, and ReLeaf helps get you started.

White Oak

White Oak

Not only do you get free trees, you also get assistance for permit applications and training on tree planting and care.

Trees can be planted in planting strips (that space between the sidewalk and the street) or in your yard.

Plus, if you apply for a white oaksilver lindentulip tree, or black tupelo for your planting strip, it could be a future neighborhood landmark tree.

Tulip Tree flower

Tulip Tree

Street trees require a 7 or 8 foot planting strip with no overhead power lines. If you have the space and no power lines, what are you waiting for? Those of us who wilt in the summer heat will appreciate the shade that these trees will one day provide.

Apply today! Street trees applications are due by this Wednesday, August 27th. Yard tree applications will be accepted until October.

If you have any questions on the free tree program, send an email or call 206-684-3979.

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National Day of Rage for Ferguson Protest on Queen Anne today

August 21st, 2014 by Laura

0821 ProtestUPDATE: I walked by the protest at 4:15pm and the crowd was small. About 10 protestors talking to a film crew from KIRO.

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We’ve had quite a few readers write us today about the rumored “National Day of Rage” protest on Queen Anne. Many non-official outlets are circulating a list of cities where these protests are taking place, and the Seattle location is listed as the Queen Anne Baptist Church at 2011 1st Ave N.

The protest is scheduled for 4pm today. However, there are conflicting reports on what group is sponsoring this protest, with Snopes concluding:

“It’s virtually impossible to say who specifically began “Day of Rage” rumors calling for protests across the U.S. on 21 August. However, the @OpFerguson account and the @YourAnonNews account do not appear to be organizing or endorsing the actions mentioned in the circulating emails and Facebook posts.”

If you’re in the area today around 4pm – it’s a block away from the Queen Anne Farmers Market – heads up that there may or may not be a crowd.

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Donate a bike or bike parts this Saturday to benefit students in West Africa

August 20th, 2014 by Laura

Seattle Bike DriveIf you have an old bike that you’ve been meaning to get rid of, dust it off and head to Whole Foods Interbay this Saturday. Alaffia, a maker of Fair Trade Shea Butter products sold at Whole Foods, is running a bike (and bike parts) drive for its Bicycles for Education program.

Bikes and parts donated via the program are distribued by Alaffia to students in Togo, West Africa. According to Alaffia, 95% of West African girls who get a bike from Alaffia go on to graduate secondary school; a dropout rate that otherwise is 40%.

The bike/bike parts donation drive takes place this Saturday, August 23rd from 11am to 3pm, at Whole Foods Interbay.

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New developments on Queen Anne include 3 six story-plus buildings

August 19th, 2014 by Laura

There have been several land use applications for new developments on Queen Anne, along with 2 proposed multi-story residential buildings that share an Early Design Guidance meeting next month. The two with a shared meeting are side-by-side, one 6-story, one 7-story. Another 6-story building is proposed for 1st Ave N.

First up, the two residential buildings with live/work units that span the block of Thomas St between Queen Anne Ave N and 1st Ave N:

300 1st Ave W
The proposal is for a 7-story building containing 129 residential units and 9 live/work units. Parking for 113 vehicles to be provided below grade.

301 Queen Anne Ave N
The proposal is for a 6-story building containing 32 residential units and 6 live-work units. No parking provided.

300 1st Ave w

300 1st Ave W

301 QA Ave N

301 Queen Anne Ave N

The two projects above share an Early Design Guidance Meeting:

8pm, Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Queen Anne Community Center
1901 1st Ave W, Room #1      

The following addresses have Land Use Applications – decisions have not been made at this time, and no Early Design Guidance meetings have been scheduled:

219 1st Ave NLand Use Application – 219 1st Ave N
Application to allow a 6-story structure containing 45 residential units above 1,827.85 sq. ft. of commercial space. Parking for five vehicles to be provided. Existing structures to be demolished.

1010 5th Ave NLand Use Application – 1010 5th Ave N
Application to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

722 3rd Ave NLand Use Application – 722 3rd Ave N
Land Use Application to allow 3, 3-story residential structures with a total of 16 units. Parking for 16 vehicles to be provided within the structures. Existing structures to be demolished.

Here’s a map of the above projects:

August 2014 Developments

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New time-lapse video of Seattle features views from Queen Anne

August 18th, 2014 by Laura

Via Twitter, we received a new time-lapse video of Seattle. Created by Ryan Killackey, a photographer from Los Angeles, the video has views from across the city – and of course, the view from Kerry Park is a star. According to Ryan, he was visiting Seattle when his business meeting was postponed, giving him the chance to film our city.

Click on the image below to watch the video:

Beautiful Seattle video

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Yes, there is parking at the new Trader Joe’s

August 17th, 2014 by Laura

TJs courtyardWe’ve had a lot of readers ask about parking at the new Trader Joe’s location at 1920 Queen Anne Ave N. The street parking outside the new location fills up fast, and I’ve seen people toting Trader Joe’s bags around the corner near Menchie’s and the Queen Anne Pool to cars parked on the street.

But, fear not, street parking is not the only option. The Towne complex has an underground parking garage.

Trader Joes parking entrance

If you’ve ever been in the Eden Hill garage across the street (the Bartell Drug building), you may have some understandable reservations. That particular garage is small and tricky to navigate.

I walked through the new Trader Joe’s garage today and it’s huge. Plus, it was practically empty on a Sunday afternoon. Trader Joes 2 hour parkingParking is limited to 2 hours and there are special priority parking spots for low-emission vehicles.

The entrance to the parking garage is off Crockett St, right across from Safeway. One could argue that the parking situation in the garage is far better than the old location’s parking lot.

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Tree removal becomes part of Boston Street sidewalk replacement

August 17th, 2014 by Laura

Boston Sidewalk Repair 1

Trees on Boston prior to SDOT work

Late last week we received several emails from readers who saw SDOT removing the trees along the side of Starbucks on Boston St. The crew was working on the sidewalk replacement project that we wrote about in mid-July. The project did not originally include tree removal. The sidewalk was slated for replacement and the tree pits were to be enlarged.

When the trees were ripped out last week, QAV reader Geoff Saunders sent us the photo of the SDOT crew in action (thanks, Geoff!). By the time I got up to Boston and Queen Anne Ave N, the trees were completely gone. As of this weekend, the construction area is prepped for the sidewalk, with no hint that there were ever trees in the space.

Boston Tree removal

Boston St tree removal,
photo courtesy of QAV reader Geoff Saunders

We contacted both SDOT and Picture Perfect Queen Anne (PPQA) about the tree removal. According to PPQA, tree removal was not originally included in the project plan, so we contacted SDOT about the removal of the trees.

SDOT prepared a statement for QAV readers, to explain their justification for tree removal and plans for the future.

Here’s the statement from SDOT – it’s lengthy, but explains their rationale:

During a sidewalk repair project, SDOT removes the old sidewalk, examines the tree roots, and evaluates tree health and structure.  Root pruning is routinely performed as part of this process as a means to preserve both tree and sidewalk.  In some cases, the amount of root pruning necessary to construct a new sidewalk exceeds the threshold that could sustain a healthy tree.

In this case, the westernmost tree and easternmost tree required extensive root pruning, which would have severely affected their health, jeopardized their structural stability and caused safety risks.  Therefore, SDOT determined the best plan is to replace them.

The center tree (the smallest one) did not require such extensive root pruning, so it could have been preserved for the time being. However, all three trees were Ash, which adapt poorly to – and often decline after – root pruning. Given that this smaller tree was impacted by root loss, the decision was made to replace all three trees to support the community’s desire for uniformity along the block, while adding diversity to the street tree population. There is the potential future threat of Emerald Ash Borer finding its way to Seattle, and SDOT  weighs that risk when considering opportunities to replace Ash trees in the street tree population. The replacement Gingko trees are extremely insect and disease resistant and have demonstrated excellent health and vigor in other business districts where we have recently planted them.

Boston Sidewalk prep

Boston St sans trees, prepped for sidewalk

The bad news: the old trees are gone, and it’ll be a while before the new trees provide the benefits of mature trees. The good news: Gingko trees will replace them.

However, let’s hope the Gingkos are male trees, as a Seattle Times article from 2009 notes that the female trees can be very smelly and drop “sticky, slimy” seeds:

“Female ginkgoes produce the troublesome seeds, which are covered in a fleshy coating that contains butyric acid, also found in rancid butter.”

According to the article, many cities have decided to remove their Gingko trees or replace the female trees with male trees. The city of Seattle has Gingko trees listed on their approved Street Tree List, so they’ve been used elsewhere in the city – hopefully without too much olfactory impact!

UPDATE: It’s a boy! SDOT has confirmed that the Gingko trees are all males, so no stinky, messy trees.

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Queen Anne Beer Hall coming in 2015

August 15th, 2014 by Laura

203 W Thomas Exterior

Exterior of building – interior is larger than it looks

In October, we posted about new plans for the Cotton Caboodle building at 203 W Thomas St. At the time, developer Scott Shapiro envisioned the 6,700 square foot space becoming a Melrose Market-like collection of eateries and shops.

Finding tenants proved difficult. The space would have housed up to 9 businesses, plus an outdoor deck. However, according to Seattle Magazine, the space has found a tenant – the huge warehouse-like space will become Queen Anne Beer Hall, and the adjoining 400 square foot outdoor space an attached biergarten.

The concept belongs to Andrej Ivanov, an East coast name in beer halls – he opened Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Brooklyn 2007 and Pilsener Haus in New Jersey in 2010. Queen Anne Beer Hall will be his first beer hall on the West coast.

Ivanov spoke to Seattle Magazine, and said:

“As soon as I walked in, I knew this was going to be the spot… I’m quite confident we can do a great job. We can enhance your beer I.Q., so to speak, in Seattle.”

Beer Hall interior

Interior of the site, photo by Bill Thornton, Seattle DJC

According to Seattle Magazine, Ivanov credits himself with opening the most authentic beer halls on the East coast, saying: “We started the whole beer hall revolution in 2007 and then just watched these places mushroom everywhere.”

The Queen Anne Beer Hall will serve both craft and imported beers – and with nearly 7,000 square feet, there’ll be room for a wide range of beer options.

If all goes as planned, Queen Anne Beer Hall will open in February 2015.

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