the Northgate Activist

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GOVERNMENT


The Mayor's Office: Mayor Greg Nickels currently serves as head of the executive branch of Seattle government; he will be up for reelection in November 2005. The Mayor had proposed an aggressive agenda for Northgate, much of which met intense opposition from the community. Activists were particularly dismayed that the Mayor appeared to have gone back on a campaign promise to daylight Thornton Creek on the South Lot and that his plan seemed to favor the Mall developer at the expense of the neighborhood. A compromise solution was worked out with the intervention of several dedicated City Council members and the community. Generally, the Mayor proposes legislation, which is then voted on by the City Council.

The Seattle City Council votes on legislation, whether self-generated or brought before it by the Mayor. Councilmembers Conlin, Licata, and Steinbrueck have been very supportive of neighborhood interests and were instrumental in forging the above-mentioned legislative compromise. Councilmember Conlin will be up for reelection in November 2005 and has several heavyweight opponents. He has been an advocate for neighborhood interests and extremely thoughtful in his approach; please support him!

The Seattle Parks Department plans to build the new Northgate community center, funded in November 1999. They are also involved in discussions about converting the Park and Ride lot at 5th Avenue and 112th Street into a park, for which funding has been obtained in the November 2000 election. Schedule of Park Commissioners' Board Meetings. The current Project Manager for the new Northgate community center is Tim Motzer @ (206) 684-7060 or via email.

The Department of Neighborhoods provides stewardship of the Neighborhood Plans and links to city resources; and operates the Neighborhood Service Centers. They were active in bringing the Northgate Comprehensive Plan into a "matrix" format (like the city's 37 other plans). A 2004 Priority Report spells out what projects they will prioritize in implementing the plan. One can track actual progress on the plan by viewing the Neighborhood Plan Implementation. The District Coordinator for Northgate is Ed Pottharst @ (206) 684-8896; the Neighborhood Steward is Scott Greer (Northgate Chamber of Commerce) @ (206) 522-9400.

Seattle Public Utilities is a Seattle city department responsible for our water, sewer, garbage, drainage and seawall systems. In the Northgate development arena, they are involved in managing Thornton Creek and in plans to lid the Maple Leaf Reservoir. They are also building the Water Channel on the property being developed to the south of Northgate Mall. Please see the Area Projects page for links to specific projects.

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Department of Planning and Development (DPD), formerly known as the Department of Construction and Land Use (DCLU), is a City of Seattle department that manages the approval process for building permits. Design Review of proposed projects also falls under their umbrella. Their office can provide copies of proposals and is usually the place to submit comments during the comment period on specific projects. DPD has been actively involved in the successful effort to institute neighborhood-specific guidelines for Northgate, which are considered during the Design Review process. Citizens can find out what new projects are proposed for their neighborhoods by searching the Land Use Information Bulletins.

Office of Policy Management carries out the priorities of the Mayor with regard to planning and policy development. Under Mayor Nickels' regime, this department replaced the former Office of Strategic Planning. Members of the department have been actively promoting the Mayor's agenda at Northgate, which had met with intense neighborhood opposition in the past.

The New Library: The Seattle Public Library's "Libraries for All" capital improvement staff are responsible for the siting, design and building of the new Northgate Library branch. Schedule of Library Board Meetings; click here for a list of project contacts.

 

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Sound Transit is planning and implementing the new Link Light Rail system in Seattle. Although there funding is not yet approved for an extension to Northgate, staff have been working on track alignment and station planning for several years. In fact, in 2005, decisions are being made about track alignment through the Roosevelt District to Northgate. From 1998-2001, Sound Transit worked with the Seattle Strategic Planning Office in planning for the development that may occur within a quarter mile of stations, including one at Northgate. This policy framework will come back into play when rail is funded for our area. For information about those efforts, click here.

The Elevated Transit Company is a Public Development Authority created to build a monorail that will serve a wide area of Seattle. The ETC is the result of two initiatives which were passed by Seattle voters: Initiative 53 in 2000 and Initiative 41 in 1997. The Monorail plan is currently in doubt due to higher than expected costs. A measure to continue the project, albeit in a scaled-back version, is on the November ballot.

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Washington State Department of Transportation and Seattle Department of Transportation are in the construction phase of upgrades to the Lake City Way NE (State Route 522) corridor, which extends to Interstate 405. Upgrading this roadway is part of the Regional Transit Authority's (RTA) Master Plan and the City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan. For more information, please see the city DOT's website.

The King County Council is the executive branch of our county government, and oversees a plethora of agencies and programs which have some bearing on the development and environment of our area. The county administers grants to improve stream habitat, and oversees programs to reduce pollution in storm water runoff, to name just a few. Their Earth Legacy program links to many of the ways the county impacts and can potentially improve our community.

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Updated October 25, 2005
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