Welcome to My Ballard’s new design

Welcome to the all-new My Ballard. It’s been 10 years since we launched, and we’re a little embarrassed to admit the site was so old, things were breaking all over the place. Our apologies.

So we’ve upgraded with a clean, fast design. You’ll notice that the comments now work, and we’ve added an events calendar where you can submit your own events.

We’re still tweaking and updating a few other things, so thank you for your patience!

New zoning plan closer to reality, Crown Hill could see most change

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess and Councilmember Rob Johnson released the city’s “preferred alternative” today for upzoning several neighborhoods as part of the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan.

It’s an interactive map that you can browse right here. (To close the splash page once it launches, click the OK button in the lower right).

(From the new “preferred alternative” map.)

As you can see — and as the Seattle Times previewed a few days ago — Crown Hill would be one of the most impacted areas in the city.

“Crown Hill in Northwest Seattle is one of the leading laboratories for the grand-bargain experiment,” explain reporters Justin Mayor and Bob Young in the Times. “In one scenario proposed by the city, Crown Hill faces the greatest encroachment into single-family areas of any of the ‘urban villages’ where the city aims to steer growth.”

The mayor held a press conference today in Capitol Hill. “With this plan, we will extend our requirement that new developments contribute to Seattle’s affordable housing supply,” Burgess explained. “We’ve already implemented this requirement in the University District, downtown, and elsewhere. Now it’s time to bring this requirement to other high-opportunity neighborhoods so that we can hasten our progress in building a more inclusive and equitable city.”

In the “high-opportunity” neighborhood just to the north of Ballard, the Crown Hill Committee for Smart Growth has argued for less upzoning, more support for small businesses, better infrastructure and a neighborhood plan. As we reported last week, one of the area’s oldest businesses, Crown Hill Hardware, is closing at the end of the month.

While the plan is one step closer to reality, the full council vote isn’t scheduled until summer of next year. In the meantime, there are several community meetings scheduled to receive more community feedback. We’ll keep you updated.

New apartments, assisted living and retail center proposed

Browsing the list of upcoming design review board meetings, we discovered some new proposals in Ballard and Crown Hill:

8-story apartment building, 2432 NW 56th St

This is a proposal to build 55 units (with parking for 48 vehicles below) on 56th, behind the Mark 24 apartment complex in central Ballard. Looks like one or more houses would be torn down. The early design meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4th at 8 p.m. at the Ballard Community Center.

5-story and 6-story assisted living and retail center, 10002 Holman Rd. NW

This maps to the location currently occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Wok and Childish Things at Holman Rd. and 4th Ave. NW. The proposal is for two structures with 95 assisted living units and retail at ground level with underground parking for 51 vehicles. The existing structures would be demolished. The early design meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4th at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard Community Center.

We reported on these next two proposals earlier this summer, but there are design review board meetings coming up:

4-story “congregate residences”, 8311 15th Ave. NW

The map takes us to the home of Restaurante Michoacan, and the proposal is for “five congregate residences with 80 sleeping rooms” and retail on the ground floor. The next meeting is Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Ballard Community Center.

4-story apartment and retail space, 8541 15th Ave NW

This address leads us to 85th and 15th and a building occupied by the Wild Orchid Thai and Taki’s Mad Greek restaurants. This proposal is for “four small efficiency dwelling units and 36 apartments above retail space” with no parking planned. Existing structure will be demolished. The meeting is Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard Community Center.

Officers on the lookout for off-leash dogs at Carkeek Park

With the salmon spawning at Carkeek Park, Seattle Parks and Animal Control will be conducting emphasis patrols for any off-leash dogs.

Piper’s Creek at Carkeek is a popular salmon viewing spot, and Animal Control says dogs pose both a danger to the salmon and themselves. Salmon poisoning is fatal in 90% of dogs.

So officers are asking everyone to keep their dogs on a leash and out of the creek. Fines can range from $54 to $162.

For those wishing to view salmon in Piper’s Creek, the Salmon Stewards will be at the park every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. until Dec. 3 to help visitors spot returning salmon and answer questions.

Registrations open for the Turkey Trot

It all began back in 2007 when three Ballard residents decided to go for a Thanksgiving Day run with family and friends. Now the annual fundraiser for the Ballard Food Bank has turned into a big event, drawing thousands of runners around Seattle.

Registrations are open for this year’s Turkey Trot on Nov. 23rd, and you have until the 14th to sign up with early bird pricing. Teams are already forming. Kids and dogs are welcome, too.

The Trot is a 5K jog, walk or run — rain, shine or snow — that starts in Sunset Hill at 9 a.m. and ends at Golden Gardens.

This is an important fundraiser for the Ballard Food Bank, and if you don’t want to run, you can always donate and get the T-shirt.

Ballard High’s documentary for IMAX gets big screen premiere

Back in June, Ballard High’s short documentary, On the Backs of Salmon, was released by IMAX online. This Thursday evening, the documentary premieres on the big screen at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center IMAX theater.

“Can you believe it?” said the Ballard High film program’s Matt Lawrence. “My students are walking on air.”

On the Backs of Salmon tells the story behind the largest dam removal in world history – the Elwha on the Olympic Peninsula. Ballard was one of five high school filmmaking programs to be selected by IMAX and the United Nations to win a $5,000 grant to product the documentary.

Thursday’s screening will be shown at a private, members-only event, but IMAX reserved 75 seats for the Ballard filmmakers “and their entourage.”

Lawrence said one of his students explains the premiere this way: “Film doesn’t get any bigger than IMAX!”

Man in critical after being set on fire, passerby extinguishes flames

Update: Police have released a name and a photo of the suspect: 31-year-old Christopher Burrus.

Detectives believe Burrus doused the 39-year-old male victim with a flammable liquid and set him on fire.

Police say if you know where to find Burrus, call 911 immediately and do not approach him.

Earlier: Police say a man was set on fire just after 7 last night in the 4500 block of Leary Way in Ballard, across the street from the BevMo.

A passerby extinguished the flames and called 911. Medics arrived and took him to Harborview Medical Center, where he’s in critical condition.

Detectives are looking for a male suspect and his girlfriend in the case. There’s no word on possible motive or if the suspect and victim knew each other.

If you have any information regarding this case, detectives would like to talk with you: call the homicide/assault tip line at (206) 233-5000.

Earlier this year, a woman was killed in a stabbing in an RV parked a couple blocks north of this location on Leary Way.

Ballard voters jam library drop box

Update: The drop box at the Ballard Library has been a popular spot, filling to capacity on several occasions today.

And earlier…

The King County elections folks have been stopping by periodically…

The next closest drop box, according to the map, is either in Green Lake or up at North Seattle Community College.

Earlier: It’s election day! If you haven’t mailed in your ballot, you have until 8 p.m. to deliver it to the Ballard Library‘s official drop box (or others throughout Seattle). Or you can send it in the mail, as long as it’s postmarked today.

If you can’t find your voters’ pamphlet, here it is (.pdf).