Update: Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook seawall project

It’s been since December 2014 that the public comment period ended in regard to the Alki Coastal Erosion project spearheaded by the Seattle District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project outlines a plan to replace a stretch of seawall that precariosly holds back the 50″ diameter sewage pipe that flows around 2 million gallons of wastewater per day.

BartonPumpStation

A representative from the Army Corps Public Affairs Office promptly responded to my inquiry in wondering what the delay was for getting construction started….

“According to our project manager, we received a letter of concurrence from the State Historic Preservation Officer and we sent our feasibility report and appendices to our higher headquarters in Portland June 1 for review and approval. We are now waiting for them to review – if they determine we’ve adequately addressed their comments, then we’ll be ready to get going on the Design and Implementation phase. We are anticipating approval this summer.”

I’m not sure if “approval this summer” will result in any near-term progress. However, I can tell you that the Seattle Parks Department’s truck drivers are getting pretty nervous how the seawall is holding up every time they park near it to backfill the erosion

The newly refinished Barton Pump Station and nearly completed Murray Ave Station won’t do much good if the main artery to the West Point Treatment Plant ruptures due to a collapsing seawall. All of us living down near the beach will know first hand the meaning of “it all rolls downhill”.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Super Yacht Lady Lola cruising by

It looks like Lady Lola may have been leaving Bremerton when we spied her from the shores of Beach Drive. Here’s a pic heading towards Alki Point.
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This Super Yacht is 205 feet and available for charter for a mere $365,000… per week! Built in 2002, she was declared the most beautiful yacht of her time. Here’s more info.

If Lady Lola does something remarkable, making her worthy of membership to the Alki Yacht Club, she might be allowed to tie to our buoy!

Seattle Police Department Community Newsletter

The Seattle Police Department has released their community newsletter with important summertime safety tips. You can read the article by clicking here.

Bald Eagles off Beach Drive

The other day, a bald eagle apparently decided it did not want to share it’s small fish. (At least, I think it was a small fish).

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eagles fight for lunchI watched as these two flew back and forth, landing on rocks and post off Beach Drive by Emma Schmitz View Point.

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I have a couple more photos of the eagles posted at Beach Drive Bungalow.

 

 

Anglers at Mee Kwa Mooks

What’s with all the tents at Mee Kwa Mooks today? Well…it’s the second annual Emerald Waters Fly Fest!

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This event is free and features a cook-off. Last year, the event was held at Lincoln Park. Mee Kwa Mooks appears to be more conducive for this event with the lack of picnic tables. Click here for more info.

 

Beach Drive short term rental properties under direct fire (opinion)

Representation of known short term rental units in Seattle

More like a scattered shot gun approach if you ask me. The Seattle Mayor & esteemed Council members are set to propose strict regs on ALL short term (under 30 days) rental properties in the entire city. That of course includes all of West Seattle and the handful of units on Beach Drive which yours truly just went live with in May. 

The purpose and intention of the proposed legislation is to discourage homeowners with non-owner occupied properties to choose housing out of town tourists over more permanent long term renters. If it all goes as planned, the Council predicts there will be 300 new long term rental units on the market.  They stop short on claiming they’ll be “affordable” but that’s what they really want, and frankly should want.

Councilmember Tim Burgess that chairs Affordable Housing prides himself on using “smart policies and evidence-based solutions”. Really?

From personal experience, the few guests we have hosted so far have either had family living in West Seattle, were referred by neighbors that don’t have enough space for out of town relatives, a family from Minnesota that drove up from Portland to hang out and see a Twins game at Safeco Field, and a local West Seattle resident celebrating a landmark birthday with her out of area friends as a stay-cation. What they all had in common is…

  • They did not want to rent a hotel downtown and fight traffic and parking.
  • They did not want to stay in the basement of someone’s primary residence.
  • They all wanted a private waterfront home all to themselves which is not available anywhere commercially in the city.
  • They all spent a majority of time & money hanging out in West Seattle.

Other than required licensing, the Council is not going to hinder homeowners that are using their primary residence for housing STR guests. The idea is that this segment of the market is merely trying to make ends meet and subjecting them to the proposed regs wouldn’t result in additional permanent units anyhow. Well, the only 2 homeowners I know around here using their primary residence as a STR have entire apartment units on their lower floor and choose short term rather than permanent renters. Not trying to pull them into the crab boil as well but it probably won’t be long before the City sics their proposed staff of STR inspector goons on them as well!

Now we need to make a decision what to do with our house next door if the legislation passes through as proposed. Rent it out on a permanent basis? No, we also like the flexibility of using it for ourselves, family & friends. Sell it? Maybe some years down the road. Bottom line is that the City of Seattle will miss out on any further taxes & licensing fees we generate and West Seattle establishments will lose some year around tourism dollars. It’s just too much work & expense to run a STR like ours for the proposed limit of 90 days a year when the break even point is more like around 160 days.

 

WShotel

West Seattle’s one and only hotel/motel

I’m not saying a problem doesn’t exist in other parts of the city. All of Burgess’s example’s of why short term rentals are cheating permanent locals from finding affordable housing border downtown Seattle. He claims extreme abuses of entire apartment/condo floors being held out for STR to tourists. We’ve recently learned that “entrepreneurs” are actually renting out permanent apartment space and then jacking the rent to STR guests all with 100% approval of the building’s management team (also receiving a cut, of course). I also wouldn’t be surprised if abuses are taking place with the recent high density rezoning and micro housing attended for gram & gramps or permanent local renters.

Seems to me that the Council and Mayor should be targeting those abuses rather than ma & pa on Beach Drive.

 

Scupper, reporting/ranting for Beach Drive Blog

THE West Seattle Garage Sale is TOMORROW

garage saleHats off to West Seattle Blog for organizing the massive community garage sale taking place in West Seattle tomorrow.

We have decided, too last minute to be on West Seattle Blog’s list, to have a garage sale tomorrow.

Our sale includes some brand new items, that we had originally purchased for our vacation rental, Beach Drive Bungalow, like:

  • flatware for 8
  • new pans

We also have:

  • bathroom light fixture
  • used toaster oven
  • bar stools
  • clothes, shoes (some never worn)

I will also have a couple limited edition signed Giclee prints of Rooster of the Sea available.

PS: If you have a Beach Drive garage sale you would like to promote, let us know! We are happy to promote your garage sale on “West Seattle Garage Sale Day” and any day of the year!

Meet Beach Naturalist

Want to learn more about the marine plants and animals off the shores of Beach Drive? Meet trained volunteers with the Seattle Aquarium this summer for their “Meet Beach Naturalist” program. “South Alki” is off Beach Drive south the light house – just watch for the signs. Here are the dates.

2016 beach naturalist

Pair of Common Loons

I was just telling my hubby that in the years we’ve lived here, we have seen a lonely Loon singing but not a pair.

Loon

We were thrilled this afternoon to be able to watch two Common Loons.

 

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Here are some interesting tid-bits about local Loons.

Truck Vandalized on 5600 Block of Beach Drive

A Beach Drive neighbor reports:

My truck was broken into last night. Had a late work day so still had computers and chargers in truck. They took everything plus my workout backpack with gear and running shoes. 5600 block on Beach Drive.

This took place on Friday night. The back side window of the truck was busted out.