DESC proposed jail facility in Jackson Place update

Dear All CD Neighbors,

The Jackson Place Alliance for Equity (JPAE) would like to provide an important

update on the status of the legal petition filed in King County Superior Court

on April 25, 2011 seeking an impartial, unbiased review of the siting of DESC’s

crisis diversion facility at 1600-1618 South Lane St.

JPAE’s attorney, through many hours of research, investigating and most

recently, the deposition of one of DPD’s Land Use Code experts, has filed an

opening brief dated August 22, 2011. A final review hearing between JPAE v City

of Seattle, DESC, C.J. & J Pacific LLC, William Hobson and King County is

scheduled for Friday September 30th at 9am. For more details, please visit

A copy of the brief in its entirety can be found on JPAE’s website

 The brief is lengthy and we hope you

will take the time to read it thoroughly, as it provides details and information

of how the crisis diversion facility came to be sited at 1600-1618 South Lane



Jackson Place Alliance for Equity

Below is a summary of the brief:

On April 2, 2010, King County P.A. Chief of Staff Manion provided updates to the

MIDD co-chairs, City Councilmembers and their aides, County representatives, and

both County and City attorneys regarding efforts to site the Crisis Diversion

Facility and indicated that the County would like to add an addendum to the RFP

“to let potential bidders know that they can consider sites in Seattle. . . .

What he’d like to have to include in the addendum is either a copy of the City’s

letter to the MIDD oversight committee or permission to drop a Seattle

Councilmember’s name (or two) that helps explain this new piece of info.”

City Attorney Holmes responded the same day, “I am glad to see so much progress,

and anxious to help sustain the momentum.” His Chief of Staff, Ms. DuComb, also

e-mailed that “Pete is happy to sign the letter and supports locating the

facility in Seattle. Just let me or Kim know, and we can get his ink on paper.”

On Saturday, April 3, 2010, DPD Director Diane Sugimura e-mailed Deputy Director

Justad, DPD Director of Planning Foster and other DPD staff, including Bryan

Stevens, Customer Service Manager and Industrial Permit Liaison in DPD’s

Community Engagement regarding her meeting with Mayor McGinn the day before,

Friday afternoon, April 2, 2010. Director Sugimura explained that she had

discussed several items with Mayor McGinn, including in particular finding a

site for the Crisis Diversion Facility: “They are very interested in helping to

find an appropriate site…” “…please contact Kathy Nyland to see if their office

is willing to approach whomever is in charge at KC and ask that we sit down with

them and discuss options, so we could try to get some control over siting rather

than having everyone running around trying to tie up property.”

The following day, Sunday April 4, 2010, Councilmember Bagshaw e-mailed Law

Department Chief of Staff DuComb regarding siting of the Crisis Diversion

Facility: “The only caution I’ve received from anyone is to avoid Pioneer Square

because the Council promised not to put more social services in that area right


Councilmember Bagshaw sent a similar e-mail to King County P.A. Chief of Staff

Manion, making sure that the City’s letter of support was received, observing

“This is the kind of intergovernmental cooperation that we need!” and

cautioning: “The only limitation I’ve heard from my colleagues is to avoid

Pioneer Square because there’s an agreement (personal, not legal I understand)

not to put more social services in Pioneer Square. 5th Avenue, 9th Avenue, or

anywhere close to the jail/admin will probably work without too many


Ms. Manion responded, “I hear you loud and clear on the Pioneer Square issue – –

no worries. I think we can direct our FMD real estate team to focus on sites

that are a little closer to the jail and Harborview.”

On April 6, 2010, Derek Farmer, a Policy Analyst in Mayor McGinn’s office,

contacted Deputy Director Justad by e-mail about Councilmember Bagshaw’s

suggestion about siting the crisis diversion center in a Martin Selig building

located at 5th and Yesler. Mr. Justad followed up, noting that Ms. Sugimura “was

planning to talk to Selig or one of his staff.” Deputy Director Justad also sent

Mr. Farmer the “zoning overview we sent to Sally B last week at her request.”

Between April 9, 2010 and April 12, 2010, Director Sugimura exchanged several

emails with Councilmember Bagshaw concerning the siting of the facility and Ms.

Sugimura’s meeting with Martin Selig. Director Sugimura explained, “I got the

impression you wanted to be proactive in terms of finding a site, rather than

waiting to see what happens.” Councilmember Bagshaw then invited Director

Sugimura to talk with her and King County’s Facilities Director Brown “about

where we can site this Crisis Diversion Facility!”

By July 7, 2010, King County had selected DESC as the provider for the Crisis

Diversion Facility. On that date, DESC Director Bill Hobson e mailed DESC

architect John Woodworth that DESC was “just . . . selected to do all of the

County’s new crisis diversion program. (We will be using the Lane Street site. .

.). The DESC Director celebrated landing the CDF contract to DESC`s architect in

something other than social service terms, enthusing that it was, “A new $6M

annual book of business.” (July 9, 2010 e-mail from DESC’s Jessica Cohen to DESC

architect Woodworth: “I think Bill shared with you that we got the CDF portion

of the County’s RFP so the Lane St site is a go for both CDF and CDIS.”).

Two weeks later, on August 17, 2010, Seattle City Councilmember Bagshaw e-mailed

DPD Director Sugimura again: “I have been working with the King County

Prosecuting Attorney’s office and the King County’s mental health group for

years to create an alternative for police to putting people with mental illness

in jail or at Harborview Medical Center. I recently learned that DESC was

awarded the RFP for the Crisis Diversion Facility and they have a site in

Seattle they are ready to remodel. Amnon Shoenfeld from King County told me that

the Department of Planning and Development said getting the permits necessary

for a change of use and for the environmental impact process will take 5-7

months instead of the usual 2-3 months due to their being short-staffed. The

money is available and the building is needed. I know you are short staffed and

doing more than any department should have to do in face of all these budget

problems, but can we do anything to move this project forward?”

October 6, 2010, Mr. Hobson requested a meeting with Ms. Sugimura, appealing to

the need to save the County and City “a lot of money:” “Unfortunately, I need to

ask for your help again because we have hit snags that could delay permitting

for this project by months.” His e-mail continues, “I sincerely hope there is

some way we can work together to expedite permitting for this project. It

promises to save both the County and City a lot of money each year in reduced

hospitalizations and incarcerations. Thanks for your assistance.”

DPD planner Swallow responded in an October 11, 2011 e-mail noting that DESC

architect John Woodworth had warned her that pressure would be brought to bear:

“John has told me from the beginning that the County is wanting this project

d ASAP and when I told him originally that the Type II process takes at

least six months to complete he told me people would be calling you.”

DPD Land Use and Zoning Manager Roberta Baker also weighed in on October 11,

2010, explaining that DESC was “appealing to Diane to have us waive the need for

an. However, there is no provision in the Land Use Code for “waiver” of a

required ACU.”

October 18, 2010 e-mail, the Mayor’s Legal Counsel Mr. Marquardt made it clear

to everyone that the public was not to be informed of the project location: “I

understand the location of the proposed site has not been announced, pending

outreach to residents, so we should preserve confidentiality on the specifics.”

October 19, 2010, although DESC had yet to actually submit its application to

DPD, DESC Director Hobson informed every Seattle City Councilmember that DESC

had completed land use reviews with City staff from the Department of Planning

and Development and are assured our use will be approved.

On October 27, 2010, DESC Director Hobson e-mailed Councilmember Burgess,

Councilmember Bagshaw, King County P.A. Deputy Chief of Staff Goodhew, City

Attorney Holmes, Sheriff Rahr, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, SPD

Deputy Chief of Operations Nick Metz, and King County’s Mr. Shoenfeld and Jackie

MacLean. Hobson’s email invites all of the recipients to attend a public

informational meeting scheduled for November 9, 2010 to (finally) let the

neighborhood know what they had all known for months.

The next day, City Attorney Holmes, Councilmember Bagshaw, and Councilmember

Burgess commented on the informational meeting. Councilmember Bagshaw was

effusive in her praise for DESC and in her disrespect for her constituents (whom

she referred to as “the beast”) who had questioned whether the site was

appropriate: “I too, want to sing your praises. I was very impressed at how you

handled the crowd, and your honest and direct answers calmed the beast. You did

well.” She then reaffirmed, “I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to get

this Crisis Solution Center built.”

Consistent with its assurances in response to pointed inquiries on behalf of

DESC from Councilmembers, City Attorney, County Prosecuting Attorney, and the

Mayor’s office, there was no land use public notice or public hearing and

comment period before (or after) DPD drafted and issued the decisions [regarding

the land use code request for interpretation and subsequently the land use

permit issued to DESC].

The Court’s Order allowed one deposition, a JPAE deposition of DPD’s Andy McKim,

the author of the DPD Land Use Code Interpretation Decisions. Mr. McKim’s

deposition on August 11, 2011, was revealing, perhaps unintentionally so, on the

City’s part. Mr. McKim stated that City Council is not supposed to have any role

in determining how DPD “interpret[s] the land use code,” that “we raise our

eyebrows . . . when somebody from City Council is telling us how to read the

code,” and that the issues presented here are ones on which the City Council has

no role.

Mr. McKim stated flatly that he had kept no notes of any kind concerning DESC’s

project or his Interpretation decisions. Mr. McKim admitted that he did not

check any of the factual premises that he had adopted in his Interpretation from

the letters on the Interpretation submitted by DESC and its attorney. He did not

even know the name or operator of the supposedly “similar facility operating on

the same model in Pierce” relied upon in his Interpretation decision, had never

been to the facility, had never talked to anyone who operates it, did not check

its zoning, and accepted the statistics provided by DESC regarding the Pierce

County facility without any verification.

The [DPD] Interpretation claims that the DESC facility is a “hospital” based on

the “entire record,” including “information about the services offered and the

nature of the staffing and physical components of the facility as described in

the RFP and as reflected in the submitted plans,” as well as on information

provided by DESC regarding the percentage of “clients” that will be referred by

entities other than the police. DPD’s McKim, the Interpretation’s author, was

not familiar with even key elements of the DPD record. He could offer no basis

for the premises in his Interpretation decision because they had come, without

any pretense of verification by DPD, from DESC and its attorney.

The facility is not a hospital. It is not open to the public; people will not be

able to “walk-in” to the facility or even make an appointment to be seen. The

actual record reflects that the DESC facility is first and foremost one for

detention as part of an alternative to jail – a jail diversion program.

Shakespeare returning to Judkins Park

Yes the Bard is back! Greenstage will be returning Shakespeare in the Park to Judkins Park this summer with two performances. On July 15th will be “The Tempest” and on July 22nd will be “Antony and Cleopatra”. Both shows will start at 7 pm! They loved the venue and the audience last year so lets show how much we enjoy them by attending these wonderful evening summer plays. Lawns chairs and a picnic spread advised!


Shakespeare in the Park Judkins Park this weekend

Green Stages Shakespeare in the Park will have two performances in Judkins Park on Friday July 16th and Sunday July 18th at 7 pm. Bring a balnket, food  and whatever and enjoy a summer night performance of the Bard. The stage is mid park near the Corner of S. Charles Street and the Park

Multi-family design presentation this Wends. 3/25, 6:00 pm

How Do You Like the Town Houses in Your Neighborhood?

Seattle is going to change the zoning laws for the design of town
houses & apartment buildings.

Will it mean better design in our neighborhoods? Will it mean more
citizen input?

If you don’t wish to read all 277 pages of the proposed legislation,
come to a Central Area community meeting to hear about it, express
your opinion about multifamily development in our neighborhoods, and
propose improvements to the code changes.

Wednesday, March 25
6 – 8:30 PM
Hiawatha ArtSpace Lofts
855 Hiawatha Place South
Seattle, WA 98144

Members of Congress of Residential Architects Northwest Chapter (CORA
NW) will present:

· What’s wrong with the Multifamily Code & why was it done that way
· Summary of the new proposal
· New housing types that would be allowed by a more flexible code
· How administrative design review works
· Critique of the proposal
Following the presentation:

· Q and A

· Community discussion

All are welcome!

Sponsored by Central Area Neighborhood Plan Stewardship Land Use, Open
Space and Housing Committee Website: >>

Can we save our schools, yes we can! Read on!

On Thursday February 26 at noon Espvison in concert with NAACP will
hold a march and rally to “Help us fight to keep our schools open”. It
will begin at the Garfield Community Center, then a march to the rally
scheduled for 1:30 pm @ 915 2nd Ave downtown (office of the US Board
of Education). NAACP will deliver to the Board complaints that are
being filed.

Here is the flyer that describes the concerns of Espvision, the
purpose of the rally and logistic details:

Can We Still Save Our Schools ?

This Saturday at the Douglas Truth library, yesler and 23rd, from 2:45 –
5:45 people can fill out complaint forms to be sent to the Department
of Education. As many parents as possible from our
area will need do this, so please do your best to stop by there during the
allotted time. Please pass this info on to as many parents as
you can!!!

Schools, It’s not over yet!

From a list serve I am on.

Here is the NAACP update I received. Didn’t know how many of you
are on the email.


Hello everyone-
I know that some of you on this list came to the NAACP meeting on
Thursday, so you already know this. But several people have emailed
me about an update. The message below was sent over the ESP Vision
list serv.

The NAACP meeting about the school closures this past Thursday was
breathtaking. With over 60 people (mostly Black) there vowing to
fight on, you should believe that this fight has just begun. The
NAACP wants to form an alliance with ESP Vision to build the biggest
possible rally! James Bible is planning on coming to our next ESP
meeting to explain more.


If you haven’t been to a meeting yet, now is a great time because
several very encouraging developments have arisen that should give
us a lot of confidence that the struggle to save our schools is far
from over:

1) It was announced that the national NAACP is coming in with

2) We are getting national news interviews with prominent national
newspapers and magazines! (If you are at an effected school and
would be available to speak to the media, please e-mail me your
school name and phone number).

3) James Bible alerted us to the fact that there is a Dept. of
Education office in downtown Seattle–the perfect place to rally
hundreds (if not more) and have families at the affected schools
march into the building and file their complaints on the spot (with
the media watching of course!). WE NEED YOU AT THE ESP MEETING TO

4) Mt. Zion Church is on our side and is going to help organize and
supply resources.

With all of this going for us, the worst we can do is further
isolate the superintendent and the board from public opinion–and we
have our schools to win!

See you all Tuesday-


Sustainable CD Greendrinks event Tuesday


Sustainable Central District is holding a neighborhood Greendrinks
The Central District branch of January Greendrinks will be hosted by Sustainable Central District. It will be held at the new Central Area Development Association Building (CADA) at 17th Ave South and South Jackson. Come for this great sneak preview of CADA’s new affordable and market rate development, which was built to “Built Smart” standards.
As with all Seattle Greendrinks gatherings, the event will begin between 5:30 and 6pm on Tuesday, Jan. 13th, and will end at 8pm.

Madison Market and All Purpose Pizza have generously donated to support this event. Sustainable CD Members are buying a pony keg (to which you can choose to contribute) and wine. Bring your own cup!
Greendrinks is a social gathering for sustainability minded people