Bottom line: Plug your nose & talk to the State

In our continuing coverage regarding the foul Beach Drive bouquet, A small community meeting with representatives from King County Waste Water just adjourned from the sidewalk of 4700 Beach Drive SW. Armed with a color 4 page report regarding the soundness of their sewer, King County says it wasn’t them!

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Four leakage sensors were setup inside man-holes along the circa 1957 main line that runs along the drive…



With no solid evidence supporting sewage runoff as our culprit, the meeting turned into a “now what” conversation. An ecologist from the county recommended that neighbors start a permit process asap with Washington Fish & Wildlife for dealing with the next round of rotting sea lettuce. The permits apparently last five years. If  NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is correct, we could be literally blown out of our houses next summer! An article issued by King 5 back in July reported NOAA’s prediction for Seattle’s chances of continued warming…

SEATTLE – There’s a 90 percent chance El Nino will continue through this coming winter and an 80 percent chance it will extend to early spring 2016, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center reported Thursday.

The stench has been no stranger to the Fauntleroy Cove area where residents took action to remove the seaweed. The Seattle Times reported

When the problem last emerged in 1990, state officials attacked it by corralling the seaweed in nets and hauling it out into the sound, where it was dumped. They did this for three years at a cost of about $10,000 a year, then stopped. The problem abated until this summer, when average temperatures were three to four degrees above normal and the Puget Sound area saw more sunshine than usual.

A few residents present at the meeting showed interest in moving forward to find a solution. Maybe consulting with other neighborhoods that have or are currently dealing with this issue would be a good start. We did learn that Dumas Bay click here for their study & Shilshole Pt. were also plugging their collective noses and working on solutions.


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog



A small historic Beach Drive cottage connects to nauture

Editor’s Note: This post was submitted by Beach Drive neighbor, Janice Nyman.

At Douglas and Chilberg, right off of Beach Drive, Janice Nyman Architect of, and clients Kathy and Kevin Meyers, recently converted a historic old shop above a single-car garage into a 450 square foot cottage. The conversion included raising the shop’s roof, and adding a trapezoidal bay window to the existing structure.

Views are focused to the neighboring western red cedars.   Thanks go to Kevin Meyer’s who retained the original historic signage displayed in front of the cottage: “Lee’s Shop-The difficult I do now, the impossible takes longer.” “Built by Robert Hoffman brother of Lee 1920.”   These are certainly words of wisdom!

Floor plans show the original 1st floor garage, and 2nd floor conversion to a studio apartment.


Interiors after the remodel of Lee’s shop

cottage 1 cottage 2



Historic Photo of Beach Drive


This was sent in by one of our Beach Drive neighbors:

House from the 30s torn down in the 60s with lot subdivided into three lots with middle lot now at 4731 Beach Drive. Note roof of current existing house in right side of photo with tile roof. Photo obtained from Puget Sound Regional Branch archivist.

Thanks for sharing!

Spectacular Wind and Waves off Beach Drive Shores

About a half hour ago (4:06 pm), we had a high tide of 10.32 which combined with the wind gusts up to around 38 mph from the south/southwest, has caused some Beach Drive shores to be hammered by some waves and spray.

I took these photos from the comforts of INSIDE my home…so I apologize for the window reflection.

This is about a 2 – 3 story tall splash of salt water spraying our neighbors home.


Although this is breathtaking to watch, I’m glad that the tides are heading lower!

Official News Release regarding popular Beach Drive seawall project

Hot off the press from the Seattle Division of US Army Corp of Engineers:

SEATTLE – The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, has partnered with the Seattle Parks and Recreation to design and implement a coastal storm damage reduction project under Section 103 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962, as amended. The public comment period for this project runs through Dec. 31.

Emma Schmitz Overlook is located at 4503 Beach Drive SW, south of Alki Point in Seattle. The site includes a seawall built around 1927 that has deteriorated over time. Currently coastal storms and erosion threaten public infrastructure located in and around the seawall, including a 54-inch King County sewer main, a major public arterial, city park property and other underground utilities. The recommended plan includes construction of a soldier pile seawall parallel to the shoreline throughout the study area. The new seawall would be a few feet higher and seaward of the existing seawall. This would provide protection against damages caused by coastal storm events that occur in Puget Sound.

In 1998, the City of Seattle was prompted to take emergency action to stabilize the shoreline to the north of the proposed federal project when storm waves resulted in the failure of a similar section of existing seawall and subsequent erosion of shoreline protection that threatened utilities, roadways, and public lands. The city completed permanent emergency repairs on this adjacent site, which is not included in the scope of the proposed Federal project.

The recommended plan was chosen because it has the least environmental impacts, cost the least cost and meets all project purposes. Coordination with resource agencies and federal tribes is ongoing and preliminary indications expect a concurrence with the project.

The implementation cost of the recommended plan is estimated to be $2.29 million and will be cost-shared 65 percent federal ($1,488,000) and 35 percent non-federal ($801,000). The non-federal sponsor, Seattle Parks and Recreation, is responsible for all lands, easements, right-of-ways, relocations, and/or disposal areas which are controlled by the sponsor. Economic analysis suggests the project could prevent millions of dollars of physical and non-physical damages, resulting in a favorable benefit-cost ratio.

Submit comments to this office, Attn: Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch, no later than December 31, 2014 to ensure consideration. In addition to sending comments via mail, comments may be e-mailed to The Notice of Availability and Draft DPR/EA can be found at the following website: Requests for additional information should be directed to Ms. Melissa Leslie at 206-764-6587, or the above e-mail address.

Tanya M. King
Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
206-764-6958 (office)
206-422-2679 (cell)
206-764-3769 (fax)

I would like to think that this project could grease the skids of King County in favor of Beach Drive residents considering to raise their own seawalls from events caused by global warming.

Historic1968 Emma Schmitz Park seawall circa 1968. Photo credit to City of Seattle archives

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Wind Storm: AFTERMATH!

Well, it appears we may have gotten away with one as long as a hill doesn’t slide away in the next day or so. The timing of the tides vs wind spared many a basements on the west side of the street.

Don’t tell this to Rudolph and Santa though. They were pretty blown away at the 50 knot gusts!



Asked Mr. Menashe about how the Christmas village faired last night, blessed at just a few knock-downs and the toppling of the ornamental arch over the walk way. Not bad at all!



Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Apartment Fire at 3800 block of Beach Drive

You can smell the smoke in the air. Several fire vehicles are there or en route to what appears to be an apartment building or condo off Beach Drive. Scupper is in route. We hope everyone is okay. More to follow – including a video towards the end of this post (scroll down).

Update 3:27 pm. Here are some photos from Scupper who is on the scene at the fire at 3855 Beach Drive. Beach Drive is currently blocked from all of the fire rescue vehicles. Scupper counts at least 9 firetrucks plus at least a couple paramedics with more on the way.

The hoses ran from Carrol Street near LaRustica for a couple blocks. Scupper counted as many as 20 different types of rescue vehicles at one point.



Via Twitter, a lower unit is engulfed in flames.

  IMG_3621 SDP offering to bring in a Metro bus for residents of the apartmentment and checking to see if they have shelter. IMG_3616 Photos from the beach show the burned lower apartment. IMG_3625 IMG_3624 IMG_3626 IMG_3632

Scupper reports that some of the fire trucks are leaving now. According to neighbors, it looks like no residents were seriously injured.

4:15 Update: West Seattle Blog reports that a fireman was hurt and was taken to the hospital.

7:30 pm update: One firetruck with crew remains and the fire investigators have recently left the scene of the apartment that caught fire off Beach Drive this afternoon. More information will follow as to the cause of this incident.


Here’s additional coverage from West Seattle Herald.

Sirens and Smoke at 4800 Beach Drive

Sirens screamed down Beach Drive in the wee hours this morning to the call of a fire in a home at 4800 Beach Drive.


Scupper was on the scene and learned that the fire was put out by quick thinking and a garden house before the fire trucks arrived. You can still smell smoke in the air.

Thank goodness nobody was hurt. Back to bed!

Check out the back door on these 100 year olds!

While 2013 featured only one Beach Drive home (and a lighthouse) turning 100, this year needs enough candles for a half-dozen! Check ’em out…




This Lowman Beach Cottage remembers when Lincoln Park was named Fauntleroy Park prior to 1922.





One of my favs to be sure on the 5000 block.





An extensive remodel in 2009 but the bones are unmistakably 1914. Being nestled right up against Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, I’m pretty certain it witnessed some pretty swank Schmitz parties!




This gem is so well hidden these days, I had to use a county photo from 2003.


This most northern 100 yo on Beach Drive may have a 1914 sports page in the attic featuring the Boston Braves sweep of the Philadelphia A’s, 1st sweep in World Series history.





Think it knows it was built the same year as the Smith Tower??






This is one of those beauties that sits down from the street south of where the Peavey Saw Mill used to reside on Alki Ave. (now named Beach Drive).


*A majority of these photos were lifted off the King County Dept of Assessments site.


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Voyage of the sv Hot Potato

Making headlines for the second straight day on BDB, folks on the 5000 block of Beach Drive woke up to the un-named/registered 26 foot sailing vessel anchored out in front of their views.



You ask how you could be so blessed to have this blue tarped boat swaying near your buoys?? Seems it was towed there by what looked like the Seattle Harbor Patrol! We first noticed the sailboat several days ago anchored out front of Weather Watch Park but recently noticed it was leap frogging south about a hundred yards or so during every flood tide. Here’s how it unfolded yesterday…

1:00 PM – The head honcho of BDB makes a call to the Coast Guard to alert them of an unsecured vessel. They pass her onto Seattle Harbor Patrol which in turn passes the buck to King County which in turn tells her to contact the Coast Guard… well, see a pattern here? Nobody wants responsibility to tow or secure the boat.

6:15 PM – The 26′ “Hot Potato” floats off it’s anchor heading out towards the shipping channel

8:00 PM – Near miss! A container ship heading north almost sends Hot Potato down to Davy Jone’s locker for good.

Approx 9:15 PM – A patrol boat with blue lights flashing is seen towing said vessel southward towards which we thought might be Des Moines or Tacoma.

Some good news for our Beach Drive neighbors is that 2 notices have been neatly taped to the aft cabin of Hot Potato. One of which reads Notice of Intent to Obtain Custody. It’s one of the first steps in disposing derelict vessels in an environmentally responsible way and, not to mention, allows time for the rightful owner to step forward.

(b) Before taking temporary possession of the vessel, the authorized public entity must make reasonable attempts to consult with the department or the United States coast guard to ensure that other remedies are not available. The basis for taking temporary possession of the vessel must be set out in writing by the authorized public entity within seven days of taking action and be submitted to the owner, if known, as soon thereafter as is reasonable. If the authorized public entity has not already provided the required notice, immediately after taking possession of the vessel, the authorized public entity must initiate the notice provisions in subsection (1) of this section. The authorized public entity must complete the notice requirements of subsection (1) of this section before using or disposing of the vessel as authorized in RCW 79.100.050.


In other news, wouldn’t you think they could find a more visible location for this sign?




Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog