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Minutes of Board Meeting
June 20, 2007
NSCC Northstar Dining Room

Directors Present: Jerry Owens, Debra Willendorf, Kay Mesirow, Tom Meyer, and Ellen Beck.

Board Representatives Present: Ken Thompson (North Precinct Representative).

Visitors: Jean Wirch, Kathleen Braden, Melissa Coiley, Sherry Carr (Candidate for District 2 of the Seattle School Board), and Steve Moddemeyer and Brennon Staley (both with the Seattle Department of Planning and Development).

Board member Tom Meyer called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Introductions were made around the table.

Minutes: The May 16, 2007 minutes were approved as presented.

Treasurer’s Report: Debra Willendorf had nothing to report.


Seattle School Board Candidate
Sherry Carr, who lives in District 2 (on 82nd and Bagley Avenue North), is a candidate for the Seattle School Board. Sherry said she was running because she is certain that we can do a better job for Seattle’s schoolchildren.

Her experience includes working with a team of parents, teachers and neighbors to save Daniel Bagley Elementary (her daughter was in school there), which was failing. It took five years for the team to turn things around and now there is a waiting list at Bagley and they have 330 students (up from 150). She has also served as President of the Seattle Council PTSA, co-chaired the school levy campaign, and was a committee member of the Community Advisory Committee for Investing in Educational Excellence. She has worked 20 years as an employee and finance leader at Boeing.

Discussion followed Sherry’s comments and she answered questions.

Seattle Peat Bog Regulations
Steve Moddemeyer and Brennon Staley, who are both with the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, talked to us about the new proposed peat bog regulations.

The City of Seattle began focusing on areas in the City containing peat bog because of what happened in the Greenwood neighborhood. There continued ground water pumping associated with construction eventually caused houses to tilt, street pavement to rupture, and utility pipes to break. This was the effect of dewatering peat deposits underlying the area.

Peat bogs are formed over tens, hundreds, or thousands of years through the process where organic material in wetland areas dies and falls into the wetland, new plants grow, and the cycle repeats forming peat (partly decayed, moisture-absorbing plant matter). A bog is typically an area of saturated, spongy ground, or a small marsh or swamp. In some areas peat bogs are below ground and not apparent at the surface – like in the Greenwood residential area. Quite a few areas containing peat bogs exist in the City of Seattle, including Licton Springs!

After having the soils of the City evaluated, the City now has documentation showing where peat bogs exist. They have created two classes of environmentally critical areas, the highest concern being for Greenwood (Grade 1), and all other areas being less serious (Grade 2).

The new regulations are designed to protect peat bogs from being dewatered. Under the new regulations, anyone getting a building permit for an area containing peat will be restricted in how they can build on top of that area. In any designated peat area, groundwater pumping or draining will be prohibited – to avoid dewatering the peat. In cases where the water table is shallow, basements may therefore not be allowed. Buildings can still be built, but builders will have to get permits and attention will be focused on the soil (depth of the peat bog beneath the top soil) and depth to ground water. In the Greenwood Grade 1 area, no net gain in surfacing (asphalt, concrete, etc.) will be allowed in new construction or improvements in order to ensure the amount of percolation of rain to groundwater is not lessened.

Steve and Brennon had aerial photos of our neighborhood, and the areas containing peat bogs were highlighted. The wetlands at the north end of NSCC and west to the North Precinct and also across I-5 to the transit station were highlighted, as was Licton Springs Park. They said that there was likely peat in the Pilling’s Pond area, also.

The new regulations would affect approximately ten percent of the City of Seattle, but are necessary to avoid situations where neighbors’ houses, utilities and streets are adversely affected by development in peat areas.

Community Cleanup. Debra suggested that perhaps next year we could arrange for a dumpster to be brought into the neighborhood, and have a neighborhood cleanup.

Discussion followed. All were in favor of this idea.

Permit Application for Strip Club on Aurora
Ellen read an e-mail received from Shanna Woo Ganem, who lives in the neighborhood. Shanna had heard there was a request for a permit on the west side of 95th and Aurora for a strip club, following the City’s lifting of its strip-club moratorium. Discussion followed. We are not really equipped at this time to act quickly on something like this. It was determined that Shanna’s information should be forwarded to the GAIN folks, since they are organized to respond to things happening on Aurora.

Viewlands Future Use Task Force
We received an e-mail from Lynn Wirta concerning the Viewlands Future Use Task Force and a roundtable discussion to take place June 28, 2007 at the Greenwood Library Meeting Room.


Community Garage Sale. The community garage sale was discussed. Because no one had the time to head up this event, it was decided that it would not be held this year.

List Serve. Kathleen Braden reminded everyone that she needs to receive new e-mail addresses for the list serve. She suggested that perhaps we could have information or applications at the HT Market.

Debra said that we need to make full use of having a list serve. She wondered if the meeting agenda couldn’t be sent out by the list serve.

Ellen said that LSCC definitely should have a presence at the Northgate Festival. This is an event that draws in many neighborhood people and there is entertainment and food, as well as booths with information about businesses in the community.

Tom said that he believed that a domain name gave us one or more e-mail accounts. We could perhaps have an e-mail address of If people visiting the website were directed to e-mail to that address to be added to the List Serve, those e-mails could be automatically forwarded to Kathleen.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, July 18, 2007.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen M. Beck, Secretary

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