Sunset Hill awarded grant to study vacant land

The Sunset Hill Community Association has been awarded nearly $15,000 from the Department of Neighborhoods Small and Simple Matching Fund.

Robert Drucker, the president of the SHCA, says the $14,985 will be to study the feasibility of making the vacant Sunset Substation land (just behind Picolinos on 65th) into a public open space. Gathering community feedback was part of the proposal and the SHCA wants to know what neighbors would like to see in this space. There will be a kick-off event and party on December 19th. If anyone has questions and useful suggestions, email Drucker at info@sunsethillcommunity.com.

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great idea
Member
great idea

that's a LOT of money to just 'study' the possibilities. Can't we just use the $15k to buy some play-ground equipment, a few benches, and maybe a bell to ring the waiter over from Picolino's?

pt
Guest
pt

I could do a lot of thinking for $15K

kim
Guest
kim

what exactly is the 15K for? some financial accountability would be nice. i agree w/the other posts. i could easily spend it on something tangible or that space right now.

NWCitizen
Member
NWCitizen

This project was the subject of much excitement and discussion here in Ballard a while back. Included in the discussion was the possibility of installing solar panels for renewable power generation above what would be a multipurpose public space. I'm glad to see that this idea is still alive and moving forward.

From the Department of Neighborhoods website:
S09154 Ballard Ames Sunset Substation Planning Sunset Hill Community Club No $13,975 $14,975
Description: The Sunset Substation, in the heart of Sunset Hill, has been identified as vacant public land that could serve the neighborhood's need for open space. With professional and community input, we will explore a variety of potential uses for a multifunction park, including the opportunity to generate renewable energy.

great idea
Member
great idea

It doesn't seem big enough for generating any significant renewable energy (although I laud the concept).
isn't it kind of shady back there most of the time? or are they considering something taller?

I'd prefer a windmill myself. takes me back to my dutch roots.

mvfishshack
Guest
mvfishshack

15,000 is NOT that much for studying possibilities guys. This involves design services, public meetings, and possibly geotechnical studies and environmental impact studies. As a design professional I would estimate that 15k pays for one FTE (full time person) to do all of this in 3 weeks. 3 weeks is really not that much time. Yes we could just go buy some playground equipment but I bet no one would want to spend time in an overgrown empty lot with a swing set and some benches. People tend to underestimate the value of having a professional “think” about the best use of space. Not to mention that the government can't do anything without soliciting the public's opinion, which trust me, slows down these processes ten fold. You can complain about that but the fact of the matter is that when it is public money everyone gets a say and your opinion may or may not be your neighbor's opinion – as we see on this blog daily.

Jules
Member
Jules

I think it would be fantastic to have a park in that space. (and anyone who thinks the parks are “underutilized” should try to find parking at Golden Gardens in the summer months.) I vote for a nice grassy park with a badminton court; there is no where at all to play badminton in this quadrant of Seattle- all the courts are in the NE or ID. Some benches, play equipment for kids would be fantastic. As more and more single-family houses (with yards) give way for condos and apartments, the more people need green space to “play” and enjoy the outdoors.

me
Guest
me

Am I the only one currious what are they going to do with the other $15?

Name
Guest
Name

I think the idea of open space is great. However, it seems there are much better opportunities than this parcel in Ballard. Further, this particular site is behind an old commercial building, it sets below a heavily vegetated embankment and the access is basically from an alley. As a parent with children, I wouldn’t be too keen on having my kids play in a low visibility area.

A location like this would appear more likely to attract the homeless, drug addicts and others who seek shelter from public view. We already have significant problems with this now in downtown Ballard. Putting a solar canopy over the site as suggested only makes it more inviting or attractive to this element.

No, I’m afraid this isn’t my idea of a walk in the park.

great idea
Member
great idea

So basically they bill out $125/hour while some low-wage intern goes out and does all the work?

how do we know these are all the design fees? A feasibility study sometimes ends at the 'pre-design' stage without any real detail beyond programming.

why doesn't some design professional step up and do some pro bono work for the community? I'm sure some of you are hurting and could use the good pr.

kim
Guest
kim

if this is a community effort, i will assume that SOMEONE in the community is qualified to do this and would step up to help out with a community project. it's doesn't have to be about the almighty dollar folks. and if it would take 3 weeks, why not spread it out over a matter of time since your impression leads me to believe this would be something done full time.

phil
Guest
phil

The playground at the Nordic Heritage Museum is very nice and only a couple of blocks away. The sight is adjacent to the Piccolino patio and pretty far from Market so I don't know how much of a problem would be seen with vagrants. How about some accessible open space that provides native habitat for creatures (small and very small) and a bench to watch the occasional bird.

SPG
Guest
SPG

The vagrants will find it. They always do.

pt
Guest
pt

OK,….OK already I will think about it for 14K

joebowler
Guest
joebowler

How about a really skinny bowling alley. It only has to be big enough for like 10 lanes. Picollinos could provide the booze. I miss bowling in Ballard.

Ytoo
Guest
Ytoo

Both a study and a park seem like a huge was of city money at a time when there re far more important issues we face. The area is not exactly ‘going condo’ and likely never will so I see no need for green space. I doubt anyone from down near Market will make the trek here to sit on a bench in a postage stamp. As a Sunset hill home owner I hate to see my taxes support this.

Ytoo
Guest
Ytoo

Joe you can buy property and start a bowling alley if you would like. I do not believe it has been outlawed.

Ytoo
Guest
Ytoo

Badminton equipment is quite cheap and space could easily be found in many existing parks in which to set up and play. My guess would be there is not a lot of call for public courts.

fubar
Guest
fubar

One cup of coffee at Picolinos?

fubar
Guest
fubar

A perfectly rational assessment. What on earth are you doing in Ballard?

phinneylife
Guest
phinneylife

someone would have to pay me $15,000+ just to listen to all of the community feedback…