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 Melissa.L.Leslie@usace.army.mil. The Notice of Availability and Draft DPR/EA can be found at the following website: http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/EnvironmentalDocuments/2014EnvironmentalDocuments.aspx. 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)

http://www.nws.usace.army.mil

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!

IMG_3668

IMG_3670

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!

IMG_3671

 

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.

IMG_3604

IMG_3607
IMG_3610IMG_3614
IMG_3613
IMG_3611

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.

IMG_3634

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.

4800

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…

 

1914dd

1914d

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

 

 

IMG_3231

1914e

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

 

 

M&EHouse

M&Ea

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!

 

 

4209B

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

4209BeachDrive

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.

 

 

IMG_2737

5317BD

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

 

 

1914cc

1914c

6535BDa

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.

IMG_2995

 

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?

IMG_2999

 

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Garage sale this Saturday at 4620 Beach Dr SW

This garage sale is NOT TO MISS! The owner’s are really nice folks but… really have no idea how highly valuable their loot is. Rumor has it that they’re unloading priceless paintings for only a couple of bucks. This is just one of many items that have spent years collecting dust in their daughter’s closet…

RaphaelPainting

Other items include several jewels of the Queen said to be still lingering under the cushion of this plush throne…

chair

Hope to see all you treasure hunters bright and early this Saturday & possibly Sunday starting at 9:00 AM…and to receive the super “whamo deal”, make sure you tell them Scupper sent you!!!

 

PS: If you have a garage or yard sale around Beach Drive that you’d like to promote – drop us a line!

 

Scupper, schlepping for Beach Drive Blog

Sunny flash-back Thursday on Beach Drive

The super fine folks at the the Southwest Seattle Historical Society dug up another vintage photo for us to enjoy…

2014-05-15_0646

The caption read: “Beach area below Jacobsen Dr on the left approximate location of Emma Schmitz and the houses on what was the orginal orchard area (of the Schmitz estate).”

I lined up the houses and vacant lots in the photo to put the circa between 1921-25. It appears that the old seawall was quite a bit higher and set back further than the current seawall constructed in 1927.  The one remaining mystery of this historic photo is the house(s) to the far north/left. Are they the houses at the north end of the park or were homes at one time built on the wider strip of land of the park? I’m thinking the cameras were just that much better in the 20’s :)

DSC_1182

 

The above photo was taken yesterday at low tide. The kids were splashing around where the old sewer/run-off  structure is now. If you’re thinking the water must’ve been freezing and it must’ve been some sort of a double-dog-dare, think again! I measured the water temp in the shallows to be around 75 degrees…no fool’n!!

IMG_2641

As far as the “original orchard” is concerned, a life long resident in the area told me that this is likely the last remaining fruit tree still standing from the original Schmitz family estate (now Mee-Kwa-Mooks park)…

DSC_1164

 

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Pump Station #39 project under way @ 5000 block of Beach Drive

Construction for placing a permanent diesel generator at SPU Pump Station #39 is well under way. It’s the last of 9 pump sites recently granted a permanent solution for keeping the sewage flowing during a power outage. Several other sites around the city  require portable generators to be hauled in during outages.

IMG_2118

This project required a City Council vote early this year to approve the proposed “shallow” set-back from the sidewalk. The proposed location of the generator is actually a compromise helped along by effected neighbors that didn’t want the generator located further up the hill. Their first choice, along with others along the drive would be to have the entire project located underground. This would cost approx 3 times as much as the proposed so it appears a fair compromise was worked out. Other compromises worked out by our local neighbors include an eight foot wood fence rather than the standard 6′ chain-link and that the generator is only run/tested once every month for 30 minutes rather than the weekly noise which is standard elsewhere.

Rumor has it, some neighbors were actively working on making this one of Seattle’s new “pocket parks“.

 

IMG_2125

The station was originally installed in 1959 and is located on city of Seattle property.

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Tall ship riding the out going tide & the pic of the week

Caught up with the Hawaiian Chieftain square rigger on it’s way from Port Orchard to Kirkland where she’ll be fixing her canons on the Lady Washington! Carillon Point Marina will host the two traditional sailing vessels for mock battles and ship tours thru Sept 2nd.

IMG_1987

 

And here is our pic of the week taken by Ron Sterling across the street from Lowman Beach. The controversial Murray CSO Control Facility is in full swing…

7030BeachDriveHouse_MidDestruction_web

 Say goodbye to this 1926 duplex and the other long-standing houses along the strip.

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog