Here's the latest on the Denny Substation dog park project. The substation itself will take up considerable room, but in the "Preferred Alternative" design, there is an area approximately 16,000 square feet that appears to provide the best opportunity for a decent size dog park (it's about 16,000 square feet).
Alot is still up in the air right now, but I feel cautiously optimistic. No one spoke out against siting a dog park on the City Light property. And it made my day when the representative of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance said that he would love to see a dog park there. (The SCCA building would be right across the street.)
I am pleased to report that City Light has invited me to represent the dogs of SLU at The Denny Substation Project Community Forum (Denny Forum). Here's how they describe the process: "Seattle City Light is designing a new substation, a transmission line to feed the substation, and a network distribution system to meet Seattle’s current and future electrical needs. Throughout this process Seattle City Light is committed to working with the community in a transparent and meaningful manner. In pursuit of that aim, City Light is forming the Denny Substation Project Community Forum (Denny Forum). The purpose of the Denny Forum is to promote meaningful discussion and information sharing between the project team and area stakeholders around the development of key project elements." "The Denny Forum is a time limited engagement, anticipated to last throughout environmental review and design - about 6 meetings over an 18 month period." My understanding of this process is that I will represent the SLU Dogs and the humans who love them. It will be my job to share the information I learn about the project and to raise awareness of it . I will be attending meetings held about once per quarter and will share with you what I learn.
This morning, I stumbled upon a link to a recent Seattle City Council meeting about the City Light substation project. www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp I encourage you to have a look, as it does mention the OLA potential. It starts getting interesting at about 131 on the video's timer.
I was happy to hear, from the lead landscape architect, that siting a dog park there has a lot of public support. Thank you all!! Of course, we can look forward to more public meetings and opportunities to be heard.
I'm counting on you all to show that we deserve a bigger, better off-leash area!
Wanted to let you know that Seattle Parks will be helping us rehab (the woefully inadequate) Denny Dog Park. They acknowledge that the surfacing is awful and that it was not properly installed. Not sure when, though. Whenever it is, it will require some volunteer labor. If you're not on the email list (newdogpark@gmail), please sign up so you can stay informed.
The plan for a bigger, better OLA at the old Greyhound Bus site is still in play. No word yet on when the next public meetings will be held, but I will let you know as soon as I know.
Our goal to create a new Off-Leash Area on the Denny Way City Light property remains alive. I received the following update from City Light: "There have been to the alternatives no revisions that would preclude an off-leash area. As we move closer to 30% design (currently scheduled for June 2013), we expect to clarify the open-space opportunities in recommendations to the elected officials. These will be shared in our public outreach processes as we move forward.
We appreciate your dedicated interest in the project. Please continue to check the Denny Substation website for updates." The website is http://www.seattle.gov/light/dennysub/
On a recent walk through the Cascade neighborhood, I was amazed to see the number of Mutt Mitt dispensors that had been distributed throughout the REI shopping district, all sponsored by Dave of the wonderful Scraps shop. I spoke to Dave about it and he told me that he is very happy to donate the dispensors. He told me that the bags are very inexpensive and were paid for by the businesses in the neighborhood. Dave expressed a willingness to donate Scraps Mutt Mitt dispensors to anyone willing to pay for the bags (which are very inexpensive).
Simultaneous with learning about Scraps' generosity, I found myself walking in other parts of SLU and along Denny Way, and being disgusted by the growing number of piles of dog sh*t left on the sidewalk. Then it hit me: Encourage SLU dog supporters to take note of the problem poop zones and spread Scraps' goodwill by asking businesses/condos/apartment managers adjacent to the poop zones if they are willing to receive free Scraps bag dispensors in exchange for purchasing the bags?
Please email me at newdogpark@gmail and share your thoughts.
Monday, October 22
Seattle City Hall
Bertha Knight Landes Room
600 Fourth Ave.
Wednesday, October 24
307 Westlake Ave. N
Thursday, October 25
Admissions & Alumni Building
12th Ave. & E. Marion St.
First, the good news. Dog-On-It Parks donated this cool faux fire hydrant for our boys to pee on in Denny Dog Park. Better than peeing on the benches!
Now, the more sobering news. I attended a South Lake Union Community Council meeting where Michael Clark of Seattle City Light discussed where they are at with the Denny substation plan. The substation construction is on the fast track because SLU/Denny Triangle is already in desperate need of more power. They plan to energize the substation by the 4th quarter of 2015. The Environmental Impact Statement will be out in the 1st or 2nd quarter of next year, with substation design documents made public in mid-2013.
From the discussions at the Community Council meeting, it became clear that there is no guarantee that City Light can provide the room we need for a bigger, better, OLA
Within a month or so, City Light will start doing outreach, soliciting opinions on their website. I will share the link when its made available so that SLU Dog Park supporters can express their opinion.
It's unanimous. Although the dogs tolerate it, us humans are not happy about the big rocks that got mixed into the gravel at SLU Dog Park. With your help, we can make it better. Within the next month or so, I will be organizing a work party with the goal of raking the big rocks off to the side, leaving the smaller pebbles. My informal survey (including OLA users and Patrick of Plymouth Pillars) gives me hope that this will be better for everybody. Once we have a date, I will share it here.
I have been brainstorming with Brenda Kramer of Seattle Parks on ways to improve SLU Dog Park on a budget. I asked for some feedback on the SLU Dog Park FB page and immediately got some from Alysha, Amy and Ellen. Alysha wanted to see a small dog area. Unfortunately, this temporary park is not large enough to accomodate a separate area for small or shy dogs. The future, permanent, SLU Dog Park will definately have that feature. Amy wanted to see a water bowl inside the OLA. I agree that this is important. The challenge here is that Parks did not have the money to bring potable water into the OLA. In an attempt to improve the situation, I've put a water bowl, and a water container, in the OLA. Hopefully, this won't be the 4th bowl that disappears. (It was beccause of this problem that a bowl was chained to the drinking fountain.) Please help by refilling the water bottle at the fountain and bringing it back into the OLA. Ellen asked that we put a "ball pit" in the OLA. I'm not exactly sure what that is, but it seems like she's requesting that we put lots of balls in there. To me, this also is a hint that we need more fun stuff in there for the dogs to play with. I am going to make this happen...keep your eye on Denny TempOla for the appearance of some fun stuff! Finally, I wanted to share with you that I have been talking to Brenda of Parks about improving the surface of the OLA. It was not installed properly...there should have been smaller, packed gravel on the surface rather than big rocks. In the not-so-distant future, we will hold the 1st Annual SLU Dog Park work party to improve the conditions at SLU Dog Park. Stay tuned...