Friends of Ballard Corners Park

Snags in the Development Process

We had a steering committee meeting last Wednesday. Rebecca Carr, Gordon Waddell, Mark Stewart, Davidya Kasperzyk, and a new neighbor – Pam Hartman (who will be co-housing with another family in the triplex next to the park) were present.

We spent the bulk of the time trying to figure out how to proceed with development, but I did share two good pieces of news. First, the deconstruction of the house is slated to begin today (Tuesday, 21 Aug) and continue for several weeks. There was a piece on deconstruction in the PI yesterday. Check out the sign which will be posted on site.

Secondly, it appears that we have a potential solution for the raingardens. SDOT requires a minimum of 25 feet for roadway width in residential neighborhoods. 17th Ave NW is 30 feet wide. This might allow us to carve out 5 feet for a raingarden and still allow for parking along 17th.

On the thornier issues, we were stalled for several months while Pam Kliment was still our project manager at Parks. It turns out the reason for the stall is that Parks shows our project budget at $170,000 ($150,000 from Pro Parks and $20,000 from the King County Council), because that’s the only money they control. (We have much more money under our control.) They couldn’t contract with Barker because his fee was more than the allowable 10-13% of the construction budget, which is roughly 2/3 of the overall budget. Barker was asking for $75,000 to complete the project, but Parks wouldn’t go above 13% of 2/3 of $170,000 – roughly $15,000. Barker said he couldn’t do the design for that amount.

Our new project manager at Parks – Jon Jainga – is under a lot of pressure from his supervisor to complete the construction drawings by the end of the year, as that is when the Pro-Parks levy runs out. He wants to use a Parks landscape architect to do a very stripped down version of the park (with no raingardens, store front, meandering sidewalk, living room furniture, or play structure) that can be built for $113,000. I told Jon that the community is not likely to go for a barren grassy plain, given that we’ve worked hard to raise funds for a much more special place.

So, I’m meeting (again) with Jon today to work on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that spells out who’s paying for what and what the responsibilities of Parks, us (Friends), and Groundswell NW are. Then, on Thursday, Davidya and I will meet with representatives from Parks, the Seattle Department of Transportation, and the Department of Neighborhoods to find a way to create the park that the community asked for and has funds to build.

Some of my fears include the challenges of using multiple designers (Parks in-house landscape architect and Barker or another one we hire), having to negotiate multiple contracts for construction with possible multiple contractors, and slowing the process by having to jump over many challenging hurdles.

I’ll post more when we get a resolution.

Posted on August 21st 2007 by David Folweiler in Meetings | Comments Off on Snags in the Development Process |

Comments are closed.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.