Ballard District Council

November 2016 – January 2017
Update from Brent Lackey, WHCC President and Ballard District Council Representative
November 2016
Neighborhood announcements:
  • Ballard Rotary club has been very actively working to help success of the Market St. Homeless Encampment. Camp is being kept extremely clean and orderly by the residents there. The Rotary sponsored the installation of a solar-powered battery bank in October that provides limited night time personal (tent) lighting and mobile phone charging electricity to residents, and is really helping the quality of life there.
  • Ballad Historical Society has completed its 2016 neighborhood mapping project and residents from all over Ballard for their help with this great project.
  • Groundswell Northwest has a new website and seeks active engagement with Ballard area folks who are interested in protecting and providing open space.
Ballard Business Improvement Area—The New “Ballard Alliance”

In 2015, the Ballard Chamber of Commerce conducted a detailed study of the economics and needs of businesses in the Ballard area. This led to a 2016 agreement that the “business district” (which is mostly areas around Market St. and Ballard Ave from 15th to 24th) would benefit substantially from the creation of Business Improvement Area/District (“BIA”), like the one recently formed by businesses in the Pioneer Square core area.

In June 2016, the plans for a BIA were provided to the City for legal approval. In October 2016, the City approved an ordinance formalizing the BIA.  The Chamber of Commerce in Ballard is now in the process of “becoming” this new organization and ceasing its role as the Chamber proper.  The BIA will operate under a new formal brand-name called the “Ballard Business Alliance” or “Ballard Alliance.”

The Ballard Alliance will operate under an initial 7-year pilot term.  The main goals of the alliance will be focused on (1) Neighborhood marketing, (2) landscape/street/business district cleanup and beautification, and (3) special events and holiday decoration and street appearance.  They are funded as a special purpose district, meaning that there is a mandatory “tax” or assessment fee on a sliding scale paid by all businesses (including Multi-family housing) whose property is within the boundaries and is assessed at $400,000 or greater.

District Council Retreat

The BDC planned for participation and facilitation of a multi-district council workshop held on Nov. 20 in Crown Hill, for the city-wide district councils newly “abandoned” by the City, to discuss how (and if) to move forward as organizations in the future.  This will be an ongoing discussion by the BDC—the  most heavily attended of all District Councils—in the coming months.

Annual Executive Committee Elections

Nomination motions were made, seconded, and voted upon by attending quorum of members.  The new President is Don Aupperle, Sunset Hill Neighborhood Assoc.  Brent Lackey from WHCC was also elected as the
at-large member to the Executive Committee.

December 2016
Neighborhood announcements:
  • Neighbors who participated in the Crown Hill/Whittier Heights “Find-it, Fix-it” walk felt that the event was generally successful, and have a couple of grants “in play.”
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) Ship Canal Water Quality Project

Project manager Ed Mirabella from SPU provided an update on the planned Combined-Sewer Overflow (CSO) major capital control project planned in Ballard.  This project is one of several (also at Magnuson Park and at South Lk Washington)  large projects being undertaken to meet the federally mandated EPA Consent Decree requiring The project is currently completing the final draft EIS to be released for public review and comment in 2017.  This project involves the construction of a deep-bored large diameter (12-18 ft) tunnel from site of the former Yankee Diner restaurant in Ballard to the location of the Solid Waste North Transfer Station in Wallingford.

The project is scheduled for construction from approximately 2020-2025.  Work on the so-called north portal will begin first at the Yankee Diner site.  Substantial soil/earth material will be moved by truck (approximately 25,000 trips) during site prep there.  The much greater amount of material that will come from the actual tunnel boring will be moved off site exclusively by barge in the ship canal.

Much greater amounts of detailed information on this project and on the EPA consent decree for Seattle CSO’s is available at the SPU website(s).

January 2017
Neighborhood announcements:
  • Seattle Parks announces that the so-called Burke Gilman Trail “Missing Link” is finally moving forward to a final EIS for a preferred alternative. Expected for public review in March 2017.  Probably some public meetings to go with it.
  • Groundswell NW: Seattle Parks has a new plan map out with Parks “gaps” for 2017, which needs improvement. GSNW website has additional info and links.  GSNW is hosting a tour/workshop event focused on balcony gardening in late February. See website.
  • Crown Hill CC is hoping that the FiFi Walk will result in sidewalk repairs at 7709 15th Ave NW (west side).
Breakout Sessions: Future of District Councils, especially Ballard
  1. Digital Support Technology. A new citywide nested website architecture with a centralized support system is being developed for assisting with community groups and district councils and city neighborhood council (CNC). It is still coming together, but potentially is very helpful “go to location” for expediting neighborhood info and participation. More to come.
  2. BDC Membership. It is recognized that BDC needs to engage more folks. Ideas focused on enhanced website (possibly via new system mentioned above) contact, more connection with Ballard Alliance, and a much greater focus on outreach to local media.  Difficulty presented by lack of local media (i.e. no News Tribune anymore, minimal “reporting” by MyBallard.com).
  3. Future of BDC organization. All agreed that BDC, the most well attended and longest standing (30+ years) district council should not stop meeting/being.  Consensus that the Ballard District Council should form its own non-profit corporate status and continue without the City’s umbrella support for now in a manner essentially the same as it has been.  There was further discussion of forming a Political Action Committee (PAC), but it was eschewed (for now) in favor of a more traditional and simple nonprofit.
Next Ballard District Council Meeting

The next BDC meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 8th., 7:00-8:30 p.m., at Merrill Gardens Ballard, 2418 NW 56th Street. I encourage you to come and witness it for yourself and become more involved in our community!

Brent Lackey, WHCC President, January 2017