Design sketches give glimpse of new park at 19th and Madison

19TH_and Madison_Eddy Concept_PLANThe sketches have been drawn, and now it’s up to the community to decide how the new park at 19th and Madison should look.

Landscape artist J.A. Brennan & Associates and public artist Carolyn Law designed the three sketches, which were unveiled at the design meeting March 27.

A slide, amphitheater, climbing sculpture, interactive wall, sensory garden and picnic area are just some of the suggested design features that would transform the 4,500 square foot lot at the corner of 19th and Madison into a tranquil green, urban oasis. Continue reading

Zoning proposal could restrict Seattle marijuana sales in tourist areas, historical districts

A recent DPD map showed areas where legal marijuana could potentially be sold

A recent DPD map showed areas where legal marijuana could potentially be sold

Some city councilmembers want to shield the city’s tourist areas, historical districts and family zones from the effects of legalized marijuana.

Councilmembers Nick Licata and Sally Clark are proposing an amendment to the city’s Land Use Code, to restrict production, processing, selling and delivery of marijuana in Capitol Hill’s Harvard-Belmont area, the downtown core, and other historical districts and family zones throughout the city.

The changes could further restrict the already tight squeeze predicted for marijuana retailing locations that might not run afoul of federal guidelines.

We wrote recently about the potential for 23rd and Union to be one of the only central Seattle pot sales locations. The changes proposed in the ordinance do not appear to directly take the location off the table for recreational marijuana businesses. While the ordinance would not allow sales in small neighborhood commercial zones (NC1), 23rd and Union is zoned NC2. We have requested clarification from the city to confirm that the corner would not likely be affected.

UPDATE: Brennon Staley from DPD says the proposed ordinance would not affect 23rd and Union:

The proposed ordinance would not impact the NC2 zones outside of historic districts.  This includes the commercial areas around 23rd and Union.  It would limit the growth, processing, selling, and delivery of marijuana in the adjacent residential zones.

The proposals come in response to recently enacted I-502 and the necessity to develop a process for regulating marijuana and marijuana products, according to the city.

The proposal would not alter federal or State criminal law related to marijuana, and it would not place any City employee in the position of permitting or sanctioning any marijuana-related activity. Continue reading

Should the City Council be elected by districts?

7-2_map_largeThe petition has been filed to create a district-based city leadership election system, and now signatures are needed to get the movement to a vote.

Currently, all nine Council members are elected citywide, or at-large. The proposed 7-2 “mixed system” would create seven districts in Seattle, each with about 87,000 voters, and two at large, citywide representatives.

If Seattle Districts Now is able to gather the 40,000 signatures needed to qualify for a city charter amendment on the November ballot and voters approve the plan, the seven district representatives would be elected in 2015:

Two years after that, we’d elect our two at large or city-wide representatives and so it’d would go in alternating election cycles.  One cycle, we’d elect our district representatives, then in the next our city-wide representatives.

It would ensure city councilmembers are closer to the people they represent and that voters better know their city councilmembers.  And the seven district representatives would provide for geographic distribution of Councilmembers, while giving individual neighborhoods a distinct voice and real access on major issues, while the two at-large representatives ensure that the citywide perspective is maintained. The best of both worlds. Continue reading