Golden Garden beach cleanup coming up soon

On September 12, a group of Ballardites will be at Golden Gardens for a big beach cleanup. Windermere Ballard is hosting the cleaning party, which they say is their 1st Annual Beach Clean Up Day.
Party Poster Big (14)

According to Windermere, they’ll be picking up garbage and doing any other small projects as needed. They’ve teamed up with Seattle Parks and Puget Soundkeepers to organize the event.


Two of Seattle’s parking ticket hot spots are in Ballard

Ballard has two of the city’s most parking-ticketed streets. According to a Seattle P-I article, Shilshole Ave and Ballard Ave are among the city’s parking ticket hot spots.

After compiling stats from the Seattle Municipal Court, the P-I reports that in the past year, there were 161 parking tickets given out on Shilshole Ave, 157 of which were for parking in a no-parking zone.

Ballard Ave is one of the most ticketed streets in the city, with 224 tickets given out this past year on the busy block. The P-I reports that 219 of those are cars that blocked a curb ramp.

Most of the city’s hot spots were in areas near popular parks and nightlife, with Capitol Hill attracting the lion’s share: 38 percent of the parking tickets in the city in the past year were handed out in that neighborhood.

Ballard Development Update: townhomes, rowhouses and subdivisions

Three applications for subdivisions and townhomes, one subdivision approval, and a streamlined design review notice make up today’s development update, provided by the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Land Use Information Bulletin.


MapForNotice203832412 NW 61ST ST

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6453487. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

MapForNotice203857359 24TH AVE NW

A Land Use Application has been submitted to allow a three story, 5-unit rowhouse structure. Parking for five vehicles to be provided. Existing structure to be demolished.

MapForNotice203762418 NW 61ST ST

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6452794. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.


1546 NW 62ND ST

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 2,449 sq. ft. and B) 2,552 sq. ft. Existing structures to be removed.

Notice of Stremlined Design Review:

MapForNotice203968342 MARY AVE NW

Streamlined Design Review Application to allow one, three-unit townhouse, and one, four-unit townhouse structure (seven units total).  Parking for six vehicles to be provided.  Existing structures to be demolished.

The Director will accept written comments to assist in the preparation of the early design guidance through September 13, 2015. You are invited to offer comments regarding important site planning and design issues, which you believe, should be addressed in the design for this project. Please note that this is the only opportunity to comment on this proposal.

Comments should be submitted to or

City of Seattle, DPD, PRC
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

Following the public comment period, the Department of Planning and Development will issue a written design guidance report. This report will consider public comment and the applicable city-wide and neighborhood specific Design Guidelines and will serve as the basis for further review of the building permit. Once the applicant has incorporated the design guidance into the proposal they may apply for a building permit. No public notice of the building permit application will be provided.


Ballard’s proposed tent city to have tiny homes

As the debate over a tent city in Ballard continues, local organization Sustainable Ballard is helping raise funds to build tiny homes to include on the proposed Market Street encampment site. The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and Nickelsville already have six tiny homes to move to the Ballard site.

tiny home
Tiny home built by the Tulalip TERO program. Photo courtesy LIHI

LIHI’s Melinda Nichols says the Ballard site would likely be a combination of tents and tiny homes. The homes are 9 feet by 12 feet, (96 square feet total) and are big enough for one or two people, she says. “I know these will be wonderful for folks,” Nichols tells us, adding that they’ll be very attractive and will line the sidewalk in front of the encampment. “They have a great village kind of feel,” Nichols says. “We are hoping that this a model that makes sense.”

Neighborhood organization Sustainable Ballard is helping with the plan; they’re raising money to build as many tiny homes as possible. “This important project will provide a safe place to live for people currently living on the streets,” they write in a newsletter.

According to Sustainable Ballard, the houses cost $2,350 each. That breaks down to $1,800 for lumber, $250 for overhead lights and a ventilation fan and $300 to transport it to Ballard. They say the houses will be built by volunteers and LIHI is looking for artists to paint the front doors.

Sustainable Ballard will be raising money for the homes at the Sustainable Ballard Festival, where they’ll have a tiny house on site for people to view. If you want to donate to the tiny home fund, do so via Paypal or mail a check to Sustainable Ballard, 2442 NW Market St. #286, Seattle, WA 98107.  Please note “Tiny House Campaign” on your check.

Public climatology app shows data indicating an uncomfortably warm Puget Sound

Scientists gathered at Shilshole Bay Marina (7001 Seaview Ave NW) in July to discuss their concerns about the ecological effects of the unusually warm conditions in the Puget Sound region this summer. University of Washington’s Principal Oceanographer & NANOOS Executive Director Jan Newton says concerns are still valid a month after the initial advisory.

She encourages citizens to monitor environmental data with the help of a climatology app user guide that was released online today.
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Seattle School District requests city zoning waiver to expand Loyal Heights Elementary

The Seattle School District wants to double the size of Loyal Heights Elementary, and they are requesting a waiver from city zoning regulations to begin the rebuild. There will be a meeting to discuss the request at the Loyal Heights Elementary School lunchroom(2511 NW 80th St) on September 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Plans for the expanded Loyal Heights Elementary School (view PDF here)

The district is anticipating an expected enrollment increase from 450 to 660 students in the coming years, and the plans include a three-story addition onto the original building and modernizing the current structure. The requested zoning waiver includes an increased lot coverage from 35 percent to 50 percent, increasing the maximum height allowance from 35 feet to 60 feet, and eliminating requirements to provide off-street parking. The district also requests to continue the on-street bus loading.

At the meeting, Seattle Schools will provide a presentation about the requested changes before the Development Standards Departure Advisory Committee, which is a group of neighbors, school district and city representatives. The public is invited to make comments following the presentation.

The committee will make recommendations to move forward, whether that be granting the requests outright, grant with conditions, or fully deny the zoning modifications. According to the city, the final decision is made by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.

Community members who cannot attend are welcomed to submit written comments to Maureen Sheehan with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649, or via email at For more information, call Sheehan at 684-0302.

What’s on this weekend

Ballard feels the usual buzz of live music this weekend, but may feel sleepy due to on-and-off drizzle the whole weekend.

We see a high of 71 degrees today, with a chance of returning rain. Tomorrow, an almost sure chance of rain accompanies mid-temperatures; a similar pattern for Sunday sees a 60 percent chance of rain.

Weather-allowing, a couple outdoor movies play in Ballard this Friday night (August 28). Meanwhile, Populuxe Brewing hosts their last summer family fun day this Sunday, and a paint nite event takes place at Ballard Annex.

Watch out for downtown traffic due to PAX Seattle, which runs Friday through Monday, August 31. Also, a free Seattle Center Concert at the Mural plays this Friday with a ‘Swingin’ Roadhouse Night’ theme to end the 2015 series.

FRIDAY, August 28

SATURDAY, August 29

  • Free yoga in the park: Every Saturday starting July 25th a free yoga class will be held in Ballard Commons Park with instructors from the Ballard Health Club. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturdays through September. Bring a yoga mat! All levels of experience welcome.
  • Work party at Shilshole gateway– Sunset Hill pulls weeds to help keep the sightlines open at the 36th Ave NW median, starting at the north end. Some gloves, tools, and safety vests will be provided as well as and light refreshments. Contact: Dave Boyd, 498-6636
  • Live Music
    • Summer Concerts at the Ballard Locks Botanical Gardens: 2 p.m. Featuring Altaeus Woodwind Quintet- music performance of all periods of classic music.
    • Indie Rock at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Cathedral Pearls, The Echolarks, and TBD. Tickets $8.
    • Jazz/Cabaret, Rock/Pop at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring TubaLuba and The Fabulous Party Boys. Tickets $10.
    • Rock/Pop at  Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Wesafari and Hand of the Hills. Tickets $8.
    • Jazz at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St). Featuring University Prep Jazz Combos and  the Jason Parker Quartet at 7 p.m. Chris McCarthy Trio at 9 p.m. Tickets $10.

SUNDAY, August 30

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Family Fun Day at Populuxe–Populuxe Brewing (826 NW 49th St.) hosts their monthly Family Fun Day from 3- 6:30 p.m., the last one of the summer. A bubble bar will be available for the kiddos, along with facepainting, Dizzy’s Tumblebus and more (all complimentary).  Food and ice cream available for purchase from No Bones About It and Balleywood Creamery. For more information view facebook event page.
  • Paint Nite at Ballard Annex Oyster– paint with a master artist from 2- 4 p.m., eat and drink, and take home your creation.
  • Live Music

West Woodland parents frustrated by delay in portable classroom additions

Parents from West Woodland Elementary are worried the school won’t have enough space for students for the upcoming school year. The school district is asking parents to be patient, saying they’re taking steps to alleviate the problem.

The number of students at the school has increased, and there’s a need for portable classrooms to provide enough teaching space. Parents have been worried because the classrooms haven’t yet arrived and the first day of school is September 9. A recent letter from Seattle Public Schools says the portables are on their way.

West Woodland parent Kate Bovey wrote a letter to Seattle Schools saying she is, “extremely disappointed to hear from some of our wonderful teachers that they are being forced to teach without adequate classroom space. They are also understaffed for the enrollment numbers we are facing.” Bovey say the district promised more portable classrooms, but with just a couple weeks left before school starts, they’re worried it won’t be installed in time.

In her letter, Bovey asks that the district install the new portable classroom now. She also asks that they consider adding a new teacher to the staff, as opposed to hiring a substitute.

West Woodland Principal Farah Thaxton responded with a letter sent home to parents that addresses their concerns. They say they’ve hired a new 1st grade teacher, and are working hard to get the portables delivered as soon as possible.

“I have been working with central office this summer regarding the delivery of the portables,” Thaxton writes. “I  appreciate your ongoing support with this and feel your frustration.”

Richard Best, Director of Capitol Projects and Planning for Seattle Public Schools wrote a letter to parents with the updated timeline for the new portables, saying they’re currently being constructed by the factory and will be delivered to the school the weekend of September 19. Two 2nd grade classes will move into the portables once they’ve been inspected by the school district. Best regrets the delay, saying the district had been taking bids for the portables in an effort to, “make wise use of taxpayer dollars.”

“This action resulted in a delay of the construction of the portables we ordered, including the new West Woodland double classroom portable,” Best writes. “We are grateful for your strong support for West Woodland Elementary School and sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We ask for your patience until this project is completed.”

Throwback Thursday: Ballard’s parks of yesteryear

This week we take a look at Ballard parks of the past.


A group of boys waiting to take turns sliding down a playground slide at an unknown Ballard park in 1910.


A group of kids on swings at a Ballard playground in 1910.


Kids on a swing/seesaw set in an unknown Ballard park in 1910.

1910 photo taken at Golden Gardens. Harry Whitney Treat is in horse-drawn carriage with a Ballard streetcar in the background.

All photos courtesy the Ballard Historical Society

Ballard Development Update: another subdivision application

One subdivision application makes up today’s development update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

MapForNotice203542410 NW 61ST ST

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6453488. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.