Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood

 

May 16, 2007

  

Steve Sheppard

Department of Neighborhoods

7005 5th Avenue, Suite 1700

P.O. Box 94649

Seattle, Washington  98124-4649

 

RE:  Master Planning Advisory Committee Applicants for Children’s Master Plan Committee

 

Dear Steve,

 

            At its May 14th meeting, the Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees reaffirmed its commitment to a balanced, independent and representative Children’s master plan advisory committee and continued work with the Department of Neighborhoods and the City Council to ensure that the size and composition of the committee meet the requirements of the Major Institutions Code.  As we await the Department of Neighborhoods recommendations regarding composition of the master plan advisory committee, we would appreciate receiving the list of potential members submitted by Children’s hospital and the complete list of applicants.  Please send this information right away so that LCC has the opportunity to continue its participation in the process.  We offer the following additional comments below.

 

            Because Children’s Hospital is located in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, it is our position that at least three quarters of the committee should be Laurelhurst representatives.  We believe that the committee should include Laurelhurst neighbors from the Community Club, our residents, property owners, business owners and consumers of services provided by Children’s—mandates included in the Major Institutions Code for composition of the committee.  It is important to have at least one representative from Laurelon Terrace.  Because Laurelon Terrace is one of the most directly impacted segments of Laurelhurst, we recommend two representatives from that group, or at minimum, one representative and a designated alternate for that position to ensure that the interests of that segment of the neighborhood are represented at each meeting.  Similarly, we recommend a representative from the Laurelhurst Community Club and a designated alternate for that position.  Many of our neighbors take their kids to Children’s and have great affection and commitment to the hospital.  Therefore, we recommend that the patient representative on the committee be a Laurelhurst representative.  The Community Club is aware that at least one neighborhood applicant could serve as the patient representative.

 

The Major Institutions Code also calls for representatives from other organizations directly affected by the actions of the institution.  In this regard, we believe that it would be appropriate to include a representative from Ravenna-Bryant, Hawthorne Hills, Windermere and the Aviation Heights portion of the View Ridge neighborhood if applicants from these areas have applied to serve on the committee.  These are the areas affected by the proposed expansion.  While individuals from areas outside these communities might have an interest in Children’s proposed expansion, they are not directly affected and will have other avenues to provide input into the proposed expansion and the zoning changes that will be sought as part of the master planning process.

 

As you may know, the Northeast District Council (NEDC) includes 20 neighborhood and business representatives.  Most of NEDC’s member organizations, such as Montlake, the University District, the two Roosevelt groups and View Ridge are only peripherally affected by the activities of Children’s Hospital on its Laurelhurst campus.  They are impacted very little, if at all, by the traffic and transportation issues as Sand Point Way is not the most direct thoroughfare for their communities. 

 

Montlake is the least impacted as its residents are far removed and only enter the vicinity via Montlake Boulevard, the primary route to University Village and Sand Point Way for neighbors frequenting Magnuson Park.  They would have little interest in land use issues such as building heights, view blockage and shading, and whether there should be a new entrance to Children’s on NE 45th

 

Similarly, View Ridge is not directly impacted, other than the narrow Aviation Heights segment of that community and we are not aware that anyone from that area has applied to serve on the committee, although we do not have the complete list of applicants.  View Ridge played a major role in shaping the development of the Children’s office complex across from Magnuson Park in the past and that was appropriate as they were the most impacted by that development.  That is not the case for the current proposed expansion on the Laurelhurst campus, other than an applicant from Aviation Heights.

 

Applicants from the two Roosevelt groups and the University District are also far removed from the requirement of the Major Institutions Code that the committee include representatives from impacted communities.  Although the University of Washington, whose representative regularly attends the NEDC, is not in the immediate vicinity in terms of impacts, it would seem that any applicant from that institution should be considered due to the intertwining transportation issues and commonality regarding issues relating to medical services and familiarity with the major institution master planning process.

 

If applicants from NEDC member organizations that are not directly impacted by Children’s proposed expansion such as Montlake, the two Roosevelt groups, View Ridge and others would like to continue involvement in the Children’s master planning process, they will have many opportunities.  They will be briefed at NEDC meetings.  They will have the opportunity to comment at advisory committee meetings during the public comment portion of each meeting.  They will also have other opportunities to participate in the process relating to the zoning issues. 

 

The priority for composition of the Children’s master plan advisory committee should be inclusion of community representatives from areas most directly affected, principally from the Laurelhurst community. 

 

We are aware of a few of our neighbors who have applied to serve on the master planning advisory committee.  To provide further input as to the size and composition of the committee, however, it is important for us to have the opportunity to review the complete list of applicants, as well as the list of recommendations from Children’s.  Thank you very much for your assistance in providing this information.  We appreciate your cooperation in this process and look forward to working with you further.

 

                                                                                    Sincerely,

 

Jeannie Hale, President

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631

jeannieh@serv.net