Revitalization at Corner of Washington and Maxwell

Community Frameworks is constructing a new block of affordable apartment housing called West 315 in the organization’s old office location at the corner of N Washington and W Maxwell.

Along with other recent developments such as the relocation of the Women and Children’s Free Restaurant, this could help revitalize a traditionally overlooked corner of Emerson-Garfield that has begun to see renewed interest and activity.

The latest rendering of the new building is pictured below with the current view of the location (courtesy of Google Maps) provided beneath it.

West 315

West 315 redevelopment

West 315 old

Current view of the West 315 location

They anticipate breaking ground in mid-September. In the meantime, they’re looking for additional funding to pave Calispel and make related improvements.

A representative from Community Frameworks will probably be speaking at the October meeting of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council (EGNC) to provide an update on the construction and other topics of interest.

It’s worth noting here, too, that Community Frameworks was considerate enough to reach out to the EGNC during the preliminary planning phase to say they were trying to develop in accord with the broader ambitions of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Action Plan (PDF) and solicit input from the council along those lines. At each subsequent stage they checked back in and met with EGNC reps to discuss their progress and incorporate feedback. It was a show of respect that was greatly appreciated (and, we hope, fully reciprocated) by the neighborhood.

 

Recap of the August 2015 E-G Neighborhood Council Meeting

Typically the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council holds a very casual meeting with a light agenda after the neighborhood’s Summer Potluck, and this year was no different. However, owing to shifts in the annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) deadlines, the agenda included preliminary decisions on how the neighborhood intended to allocate its $56,299 for 2016.

Here’s a brief recap of some of the discussion and decisions from the August 12, 2015 neighborhood council meeting. (Click here for a photo gallery from the potluck.)

Potluck_201510-crop

Because the proposal due August 31 only needed to be an indication of the neighborhood’s interest in particular projects, the allocations were discussed in broad terms. The CHHS “ground rules” this year are that the minimum amount to be allocated to each project, aside from sidewalk funding, is $10,000. That total can be a combination of multiple neighborhoods. Two of the four projects that appealed to voting members involved such cooperation with another area.

The project with the most interest was a collaboration with the North Hill Neighborhood for the vacant property on North Monroe near Cora Street. Trees and shrubs could be planted in order to beautify the unused land. Funding from other sources could cover irrigation, neighborhood gateway signs, and other planting or beautification initiatives.

The second proposal of interest involved the Fulcrum Institute‘s Ash Street Workforce Training Station. The neighborhood council allocated money to the Lands Council for the training station last year, which would serve to train former inmates for work, potentially reducing recurring crime in our neighborhood. This particular project would be partnering with Chief Garry Park Neighborhood for the third training bay.

The third project voted on was the garage or ADA ramp for the West Central Community Center. As a substantial portion of the center’s clients are residents of Emerson-Garfield, this project was of particular interest to the voting members.

The fourth project voted on was for public safety improvements for Emerson Park. Improvements could involve lighting and a perimeter sidewalk. Transients seem to be a strong problem along the perimeter of the park. Increased traffic, such as walking dogs in a loop, might be a deterrent to those who occasionally sleep in the park.

There were other projects that were discussed, but which received no official votes. One such project was the addition of new sidewalks within the neighborhood. This was not chosen as an official project, because Emerson-Garfield is always in need of new sidewalks. We can use the remainder of the CDBG funding for sidewalk projects, and we may also use traffic calming funds for sidewalks.

Another topic of interest was North Monroe revitalization. This road project has been delayed until 2018, so it would not be ideal to allocate funding that would need to be used within the 2016 calendar year. The neighborhood council still has interest in channeling significant funding this project, but it would be best to use this funding closer to the time of the revitalization.

One last topic was SNAP home repair. Because there is no longer a 2-to-1 matching of funds, members did not rank it as highly.

This was followed by reports from various committees. The first report was regarding Corbin Senior Activity Center. Laura Schlangen reported that the Department of Commerce informed the center that the State Capital Budget includes an appropriation of $300,000 for their elevator project. It will cost more than that, but these funds will need to be used soon.

On Saturday, September 19 the center will be having its annual auction dinner. The cost is $30 in advance. She encouraged donations and attendance.

Barb Biles reported on the Land Use Committee. The cell-tower moratorium was extended to October. Notification must be given in advance to occupants within a wider radius of 600 feet. There is also an effort to make the cell-phone towers aesthetically pleasing.

Carlie Hoffman, the neighborhood’s representative on the Pedestrian Traffic and Transportation (PeTT) Committee, talked about how it is difficult to identify sidewalks needing repairs. They desire more participation from residents in identifying those projects.

Carlie also encouraged everyone to view and make use of the new interactive Spokane transportation maps that have a great deal of visual info on transportation conditions.

Megan Kennedy reported on the West Quadrant Tax Increment Financing (WQTIF) Committee, which she is hopeful to become an official member of in the coming months. The last meeting the committee did not have a quorum, so it involved more casual conversation, but Megan learned that the development of North Monroe was delayed until 2018 primarily because the City wanted to take the time to weigh options as to how best implement the improvements based in part on continued feedback from stakeholders and in part on what they learn from other corridor improvement processes in the meantime.

The last report prior to the conclusion of the meeting concerned the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers came through on July 31 to see how the market is accepting Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers  to encourage a healthier diet for low- and moderate-income families.

Photos from the 2015 Neighborhood Summer Potluck

Here’s a gallery of photos of the recent neighborhood Summer Potluck that took place in Corbin Park on August 12, 2015. We’re grateful to Jonathan Martinez for taking time out to snap and send them!

Tomorrow we’ll be posting a recap of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting that followed the potluck.

Register Now for Free Trees

The Residential Tree Program — also known as “Wow! Free trees!” — proved to be incredibly popular here in Emerson-Garfield this past spring, so we wanted to let everyone know that there’s going to be an autumn distribution too. Registrations to claim free trees opened last week and run until the first week of October.

They’ve done such a good job of explaining the details of the Residential Tree Program over on the City’s website that we’ve re-posted their announcement below (with some changes specific to Emerson-Garfield).

What is the Residential Tree Program?

The Residential Tree Program aims to give away 2,000 free trees to Spokane City residents in 2015. The first 1,000 trees were distributed last April and the last 1,000 trees will be distributed this October.

The Residential Tree Program is operated under the Forest Spokane Initiative. The Forest Spokane Initiative will plant 10,000 new trees within the City of Spokane by spring 2016 as a means of mitigating stormwater runoff from reaching the Spokane River. To learn more about the Initiative and other programs, please visit the Forest Spokane Initiative webpage

Trees provided through the Residential Tree Program are to be planted on private property only. Residents who live within the Spokane municipal boundary and are the property owner where the tree is planted may register for one tree for their property, property owners who own multiple properties are not eligible to register for more than one tree.

By registering for a tree in advance you are able to reserve the tree species of your choice prior to the October giveaway event. Registration to reserve a free tree will close on Wednesday, October 7, and a voucher will be mailed out to the address you’ve provided on Friday, October 9. You must bring your voucher to the participating nursery to pick up your tree. It is your responsibility to pick up your free tree from the nursery and plant and care for the new tree.

Any remaining and un-registered trees will be available on a first come, first served basis on the day of the event. The same rules apply for the remaining trees: you must be a property owner, one tree per property owner, and you must be a resident who lives within the Spokane municipal boundaries. Please check back on the City’s website for updated information about tree availability.

What tree species are available through this program?

Before getting registered for your free tree, you must know what tree species you are requesting and be able to provide this information at the time of registration. To review the tree species available through this program, please read the Residential Tree Program – Tree Species List. This list will be updated at the beginning of each week as tree species become unavailable. If you do not provide the name of the tree species you are registering for you will not be eligible to reserve a free tree prior to the event.

How do I register to get a free tree from the Residential Tree Program?

  • Register online! By registering for a tree your contact information will be provided to your neighborhood council and the neighborhood Friday Update for future notifications. You will have the option to unsubscribe from the mailings after you’ve received the first e-mail.
  • Go to the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting on Wednesday, September 9. It’s at the Corbin Senior Center (827 W Cleveland) and starts at 6pm.

Where do I pick up my free tree?

When you receive your voucher in the mail, after October 9, it will indicate the nursery name and address where your tree is being held. Please visit the nursery indicated on the voucher as the two nurseries will be providing different tree species. Bring your voucher with you to receive your free tree.

Please do not call the nurseries to register for a tree or the vouchers. The nurseries are NOT distributing any vouchers or reserving trees for the public for this program. To register for the vouchers, register online through the link above or attend the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting on September 9.

When do I pick up my free tree?

  • Home Fires Nursery: Pick up your tree from Home Fires Nursery any time between October 17 and 24 ONLY.
  • Spokane County Conservation District: Pick up your trees October 24 ONLY. They are not distributing any trees before or after this date.

free-tree-event-important-dates Questions? Comments? Stop by the info booth at the Emerson-Garfield Farmers’ Market on any Friday or make a point of attending the September neighborhood council meeting.

Request for Comments: 1728 & 1730 W Buckeye

As part of a citywide effort to keep neighborhoods better informed of land use decisions, the City has begun distributing RFCs (requests for comments) to the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council whenever there’s a zoning or parcel change relevant to our neighborhood. The last time they did this was for the construction of a broadcast tower at the back of the new Spokane Public Radio building.

RFC_Site Plan_Z1500069PSP

The current RFC is designated the “Miller” Preliminary City Short Plat (file no. Z1500069PSP) and concerns the parcel(s) at 1728 and 1730 W Buckeye. The proposal is to split one parcel that currently has two single-family residential units on it into two lots.

You can download the property owner’s application, which describes what sort of changes have been requested, and you can download the request for comments, which contains the City’s own summary of the change as well as contact information.

Usually these RFCs are pretty anodyne (as this one appears to be), but we prefer to be proactive with information rather than have folks find out about changes after the fact.

Any comments should be directed to Dave Compton, Assistant Planner, at dcompton@spokanecity.org or (509) 625-6089.

New Spokane Transportation Maps

The Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) is experimenting with new, more visual maps that don’t just use traditional lines and points but also pictures, charts, graphs and other visual indicators to convey transportation data.

Several new maps of this kind are available on SRTC’s ArcGIS Online website.

SRTC maps 2015

Some of these new maps include:

  • bridge condition map showing bridges in Spokane County that are structurally deficient functionally obsolete
  • before-and-after map for transportation improvement projects showing how roadways and other transportation facilities looked before and after construction
  • A heat map showing collisions involving vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians, serious and fatal collisions, or all collisions between 2009 and 2013
  • The Horizon 2040 Corridor Screening map, which details the process used to define top urban transportation corridors

To view all the new maps as well as the old classics such as the Spokane Regional Road Construction Map or the Spokane Regional Bike Map, click here.

Concert in the Park (Aug 2)

This year’s free Concert in the Park featuring the band Broken Whistle will be on Sunday, August 2 starting at 5pm in Emerson Park (1116 W Alice).

This concert is open to everyone who would like to attend. Bring blankets, folding chairs, friends and family and make an event of it!

E-G Concert Poster 2015If you’re on Facebook and would like to RSVP to the event, click here.

Many thanks to our sponsors — Gina Lanza of Farmers Insurance, Corbin Park Homeowners Association, Rogue Heart Media and Mary Monroe — for helping to make this concert happen.