On Wednesday February 20st, the second meeting of the Central Area Community Development Coalition (CACDC) came together at the Greater Mt. Baker Baptist Church. The purpose of the meeting was to continue fostering a dialogue across residents of the Central District, focusing on upcoming development and planning projects around the neighborhood.
The meeting kicked-off with a welcome and introduction by Pastor Kenneth Ransfer and swiftly moved into discussions on the 23rd Ave Union-Cherry-Jackson Action Plan, one of the CD’s largest planning efforts since the 1992 creation and adoption of the Central Area Neighborhood Plan. The project name may be a bit clunky but Kerry Wade of Dept. of Neighborhoods and Quanlin Hu of Dept. of Planning & Development, two of the project’s leaders, were anything but as they described the process in refreshingly no-nonsense terms. The two women described the project as an opportunity for the neighborhood to collaborate with the City of Seattle in forming a shared vision for three core areas along the 23rd Ave spine at Union St, Cherry St, and Jackson St. The team is currently seeking applications for an Advisory Core Team, a diverse group of residents who will help ensure that the community’s voice is heard and documented in the City’s formal plan. More details about the project can be found at the City of Seattle’s official project website.
After the City of Seattle announcements, Amanda Bryan of the Judkins Park Partnership (JPP) shared an update on the current status of the group. JPP is currently seeking new leadership across the CD in order to forge new relationships and community support for improvements within Judkins Park. The group’s focus is on improving the park’s safety through neighborly engagement, promoting more regular programming & use by the community, and extension of the park’s usefulness to a broader range of age groups. If you are interested in helping be a part of that leadership, please contact Meg Olsen of the Colman Neighborhood at [email protected].
Last but not least, attendees rolled-up their sleeves and broke into three main discussion groups to discuss what people felt about the repurposing of Fire Station #6, the afore mentioned 23rd Ave planning project, and the Promenade 23 development. Residents expressed frustrations and fears about each of the three projects but also suggestions for how they would like to see each project proceed. There were some tough topics that the group grappled with but what seemed important was that everyone in the room was there for the same reason: we all wanted to take part in shaping our neighborhood.
If you’ve got a voice that needs to be heard or you just want to hear what’s afoot in the neighborhood, please come join the discussion! The next meeting will be on March 26th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Greater Mt. Baker Baptist Church.
by: Amanda Bryan of Jackson Place Neighborhood
Is this mainly a Jackson Place Neighborhood and Judkins effort centered around the needs of Jackson Place and Judkins Park? Those areas will definitely be impacted by what happens here. However, the organizers might want to be sensitive about trying to represent every one in the CD or in the 23rd Avenue corridor.
Joanna – you are absolutely right that the group should be focusing on the entire CD and you’ll see on their mission statement flyers, that it is striving to do just that. The summary above reflects the discussions of the last meeting and it just happens that Judkins Park was a topic of discussion but not THE topic of discussion. If you have suggestions on how the CACDC can reach out more broadly to the CD community, they are currently seeking out more ways to do so….which I might add is a task not easily achieved given the fragmented nature of our neighborhood.
I’m not entirely clear who the CACDC is or why we need yet another group? Neighborhood ‘fragmentation’ is probably not much helped by pulling in yet more directions.