What We’re Doing

Our Skyway/West Hill Community Plan is the framework for big-picture decisions to grow community and preserve the character of our neighborhoods. This is our piece of King County’s Comprehensive Plan. This is a community-driven process that will result in a doable list of projects to be implemented.

The plan is the roadmap for our community’s future. Skyway Solutions will engage the whole community to build on past visions. We will pool our resources to take advantage of the opportunity to design and improve our community. We are focusing on safety, prosperity, education, transportation, affordable housing, and healthy connected neighborhoods. The Community Plan is a plan for people, not just land use.

How We Got Here

For generations, the intention of Skyway/West Hill’s residents and organizations has been to create a community that is culturally vibrant, intellectually curious, innovative and beautiful. In 1994 our community was stagnating and our air quality was dangerously polluted. But Westhill had a plan — to reinvest in the urban core and address land use issues. By linking land use, transportation, green spaces and people, we aimed our efforts into creating attractive, livable neighborhoods instead of sprawl. Over the past 40 years our community has grown, but it still lacks a vibrant economy. We need to clean our environment and create support for our community to work, live, play and thrive. Today we want to create walkable neighborhoods, a public transit system, a robust connected business district, and access to sustainable food cultures. These are features that communities around the world would want to emulate. We want our residents to have equitable access to opportunities to advance their well-being and achieve their full potential.

The Community Plan addresses some of our community’s most pressing challenges, including income disparities, high unemployment, a low high-school graduation rate, and environmental concerns. Practical, measured and strategic, the plan recognizes that our community — now and in the future — will be a more racially, ethnically and age-diverse community, that various parts of neighborhoods are different, and one size does not fit all.

The Purpose of the Community Plan

The community plan is the official process to formally reach out to all community members and groups to get wide agreement on the most important issues facing the community today and into the future.

The community’s plan provides guidance and rules used by King County to evaluate allowing future land development proposals in Skyway West Hill.

King County will use the community’s plan to help identify and prioritize which local projects should receive support and resources (such as fixing sidewalks, adding lights in the park, participating in grant projects, etc.).

How Is This Community Plan Different?

The Community Plan focuses on a core set of priorities:

  • Prosperity, education, health and equity
  • Better partnerships will drive change
  • Strong civic infrastructure is essential

How We’ll Do It

  • Close the gaps
  • Engage the community
  • Build partnerships
  • Launch a racial and ethnic justice initiative for community
  • Increase focus on disability equity
  • Increase accountability

Our 13 Measures of Success

  1. Equity and inclusion
  2. Resident satisfaction
  3. Educated youth, and community
  4. Prosperous households
  5. Growing businesses
  6. Job growth
  7. Transit and active transportation
  8. Reduced carbon emissions
  9. Complete connected neighborhoods
  10. Healthier people
  11. Safer community
  12. Culture, art, and innovation
  13. Access to open spaces
  14. Useable parks

Timeline

This is the timeline for how the Skyway West Hill Action Plan will be processed for inclusion in the King County Comprehensive Plan.

June 30, 2015: Submit the SWAP document to the county

July 1, 2015 to Nov. 30, 2015: Begin more intensive discussions with the Executive Office and Councilmembers on the needs/projects identified in the SWAP

December 1, 2015 to First Monday in March 2016: Formal public comment processed initiated by the county take place at various times during this period prior to the Council’s vote

December 1, 2015: Executive formally recommends that the Council approve, amend, or deny the SWAP

First Monday in March 2016: Council places the SWAP on an upcoming meeting calendar for deliberation and vote

8 Comments

Min.Earl G. Brock

We were at Holy Tech last Sunday when you made your announcement.My wife and I are interested in participating in worthy cause.What we have we feel strongly it can strengthen and help the community alone with what you are trying to accomplish.Thank you. Sincerely The Brocks.

Reply
Andra

Hi Min. Brock please join us at our next steering committee meeting on August 12, 2015 from 6:30-8:30p at the Skyway Water and Sewer District. If you would like to meet one on one with our team please email jared.burwell@skywaysolutions.org

Reply
Ken Noll

This plan has been in force for a while now. Of “Our 13 Measures of Success” what has been accomplished for each of the 13 items? Is there an explanation of each item somewhere? Example, #1 Equity and Inclusion. What is that and what is a measure of success for that item?

Reply
Andra

The SWAP is focused on meeting the needs of all residents low income, senior citizens, middle income, property owners and renters. We are using the same definition of Equity as King County uses in its Equity and Social Justice Initiative. If you click this link we have some information about Equity http://buildskywaywesthill.org/equity/

The 13 measures of success our focus areas, we want to actually see residents lives improve as result of implementing the SWAP. We will do this by
•Close the gaps (between residents thriving and not thriving)
•Engage the community (ensuring we outreach to all types of residents: renters/homeowners, businesses/nonprofits, low and middle income households, youth, families that speak a different language)
•Build partnerships (both private and public, local and regional)
•Launch a racial and ethnic justice initiative for community (we have racial disparities in our community we want to address those)
•Increase focus on disability equity
•Increase accountability

Thank you for your comments and questions.
Please join us at our next steering committee meeting on August 12, 2015 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Skyway and Water Sewer District.

Reply
Mark J

This plan hasn’t been officially blessed by King County, although some of its ideas are already being worked on around the community. However, there is a great need to get King County on board, because only our local government can afford our community the opportunity to see the taxes we already pay reinvested in our community in a meaningful way. For years, there has been little reinvestment unfortunately.

The Skyway West Hill Action Plan has been submitted at this point to be made part of the 4-year major King County Comprehensive Plan update in 2016. That update is scheduled to be enacted by the council near the end of next year.

Currently, it is only the 1994 West Hill Community Plan that has been an official part of King County’s comprehensive future planning. That plan, up to this year, was only available within the county to someone who had a paper copy. The King County government steward, the Community Planning Section, has been reorganized several times in the intervening years. The plan hasn’t been updated since 1994, although other planning exercises have been undertaken since.

The 1994 West Hill Community Plan, in its chapter X – Implementation is the “action plan” within the larger document. It contains 35 proposed projects in 8 categories, most with potential funding sources identified. I’ve tried to gauge how these projects have been addressed in the past 20 years, from what I have experienced or could research. My assessment finds 17 of these projects were either never apparently attempted, or were only partially completed.

To me, this points out the need for more frequent community input into our community’s long-range plan so that the projects identified may continue to be addressed by local government.

Here is my take on these 35 projects from the 1994 plan:

===========================================
X. Implementation

This chapter provides the means to work toward achieving the goals of the West Hill community. It will serve as a basis for program planning and funding by the County and other agencies, provide guidance coordinating efforts between King County,

the cities of Seattle, Tukwila and Renton, local service agencies and community groups and be a source of information for the community about County coordination of implementation efforts. Community Planning Section staff will act as coordinators and advocates for the implementation project listed here.

Regulation, a variety of funding sources, staff assistance and the commitment of elected officials provide the necessary tools to implement the West Hill Community Plan. The King County Comprehensive Plan, the West Hill Community Plan an Area Zoning, King County ordinances and state and federal laws establish the regulatory framework. Capital Improvement Program funding, special assessment districts, fee. mitigation payments, and loans and grants from County, state and federal agencies combine with private sector dollars to fund housing, recreation, transportation and business area improvement projects. As an outgrowth of plan development, staff will advocate County funding proposals and matching private sector and community organization initiatives to implement specific projects.

Many of the West Hill Community Plan policies are implemented through the Zoning Code and regulations applied through the Area Zoning. Other policies are to be implemented through the projects in this chapter. The organization of the projects listed below matches the organization of the plan chapters. Potential funding sources, cost estimates (if known) and likely participants are described for each project. King County Community Planning staff will coordinate the project unless noted otherwise.

I. Identity, Image and Character Protection (1 shared project)

Project #1 – possibly completed at one time but entry points have changed over time and not been maintained
Define entry points to West Hill community and Skyway business district at the following locations:
1. Off 1-5 along Martin Luther King Jr. Way
2. Along Martin Luther King Jr. Way north of Sunset Blvd.
3. At Renton Avenue South near 88th Avenue South
4. At Renton Avenue South and 68th Avenue South

Potential Funding Sources:
o Expansion of planned King County CIP projects
o Formation of a Business Improvement Area

II. Land Use and Density (1 project)

Project #2 – Not Done. No real mixed-use project has ever been attempted or completed.
Coordinate development of a model mixed-use project combining affordable housing with associated services.

Potential Funding Sources:
o Senior Housing Tax Credit program.
o Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
o Washington State Housing Assistance Program.
o Housing Opportunity Fund.
o Community Development Block Grant.

III. Skyway Business District (5 projects)

Project #3 – Partially completed in recent years.
Reconstruct Renton Avenue South between 68th Avenue South and 78th Avenue South to include curb, gutter, sidewalk,

landscaping and coordinated access to business. The feasibility and need for a left-turn lane should also be evaluated.

Continue curb gutter and sidewalk north to South 112th Street.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP.

Project #4 – Completed
Improve signage for reduced speed limit along Renton Avenue South between 68th Avenue South and 78th Avenue South. .

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division.
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP.

Project #5 – Not Done
Construct new lighted access and parking for Skyway Park from the Skyway business district.

Probable Lead: King County Parks Division.
Potential Funding Sources:
o King County CIP.
o Formation of Business Improvement Area.

Project #6 – Completed
Upgrade traffic light at Renton Avenue South at 76th Avenue South to include pedestrian-activated walk signal.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division.
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP.

Project #7 – Completed and changes to bus service implemented.
Study improvements to bus service to Skyway Business District.

Potential Funding Source: Metro.

IV. Street Access and Circulation (18 projects)

Project #8 – Probably addressed.
Increase and maintain speed signage throughout West Hill neighborhoods.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: Roads Fund.

Project #9 – Partially completed. Sidewalk only one side of MLK between 57th Avenue South and South 129th Street.
Construct sidewalk and shoulder or bike lane along Martin Luther King Jr. Way between 57th Avenue South and South 133rd

Street.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division.
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP, Washington State Department of Transportation.

Project #10 – Possibly addressed.
Realign intersection of 87th Avenue South at South 124th Street.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division.
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP.

Project #11 – Partial Bicycle lane on Renton Ave, no comprehensive bicycle lane network.
Improve signage on designated bicycle routes.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP.

Project #12 – Compeleted.
Install traffic signal and turn channels at intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way at 68th Avenue South (Monster Road).

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division·
Potential Funding Source:
o King County CIP
o City of Renton
o Washington State Department of Transportation

Project #13 – Possibly partially addressed as paved shoulder along South 133rd/South 132nd Streets. No marked bike lane.
Study preference of the following routes for shoulder paving for use as bicycle/pedestrian route: South 129th Street at

Martin Luther King Jr. Way to South Langston Road to 78th Avenue South to Renton Avenue South, or South 133rd Street at

Martin Luther King Jr. Way to South 132nd Street to Renton Avenue South.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division.
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP.

Project #14 – Not Done
Pave shoulder or construct bike lane along Beacon-Coal Mine Road between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Southwest Grady Way,

or along South 129th Street to establish direct access to Green/Duwamish Trail system.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division.
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP.

Project #15 – Possibly addressed. Now no longer in unincorporated area.
Study to determine best location and establish safe crossing facilities to Airport Way from Renton Avenue South.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division.
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP, Washington State Department of Transportation

Project #16 – Not Completed. Some sidewalks and paved shoulders – one side of street.
Pave and stripe shoulders or construct sidewalks or pedestrian pathway along 78th Avenue South between Renton Avenue South

and South 116th Street.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #17 – Not Completed. Paved and striped shoulder one side part way.
Pave and stripe shoulders or construct sidewalks or pedestrian pathway along South 116th Street between 78th Avenue South

and 84th Avenue South.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #18 – Completed (shoulders both sides).
Pave and stripe shoulders or construct sidewalk or pedestrian pathway along 84th avenue South from 124th Avenue South to

Rainier Avenue South.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #19 – Partly addressed. Striping exists on S 123rd St and 81st Pl, one-side sidewalk on part of S 122nd St Remainder

of S 122nd St not completed.
Pave and stripe shoulder or construct sidewalk along the following pedestrian route: South 122nd Street at Renton Avenue

South to 80th Avenue South to South 123rd Street to 81st Place South to South 124th Street.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #20 – Partially addressed? Sidewalk one side between S 126th St and 76th Ave to 124th St and one side 124th St to

80th Ave. No sidewalk on 76th Ave S between S 128th St and S 126th St (new library sidewalk pending, though).
Construct curb, gutter and sidewalk along the following route: 76th Avenue South at South 128th Street to South 124th Street

to 80th Avenue South.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #21 – Completed? Sidewalk one side.
Construct curb, gutter and sidewalk along South 126th Street between 76th Avenue South and 78th Avenue South.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #22 – Completion unknown.
Evaluate pedestrian crossing needs for the following intersections:
o 64th Avenue South/South 129th Street/South Langston Road
o South Langston Road/Beacon Avenue South/South 132nd Street
o South Langston Road/South 132nd Street
o 76th Avenue South/South 124th Street
o 76th Avenue South/South 122nd Street
o 78th Avenue South/Renton Avenue South
o 78th Avenue South/South 122nd Street
o 78th Avenue South/South 116th Street
o 78th Avenue South/South 130th Street
o 80th Avenue South/South 124th Street
o 84th Avenue South/South 116th Street
o 84th Avenue South/South 121st Street

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #23 – Completed
Improve circulation and safety by redesigning intersection of Renton Avenue South at 76th Avenue South.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #24 – Not Done (and still heavily used as a short-cut).
Discourage the use of South 132nd Street as a short-cut from Renton Avenue South to Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

Probable Lead: King County Roads Division
Potential Funding Source: King County CIP

Project #25 – Not Done.
Develop bicycle/pedestrian path along Seattle City Light right-of-way.

Probable Lead: King County Parks Division
Potential Funding Sources: King County CIP

V. Landscaping (1 shared project)

See Project #1 above

VI. Parks, Open Space and Public Amenities (4 projects)

Project #26 – Part done. Lighted walkway in place. Main Entrance to business district not done.
Improve main entrance to Skyway Park. Provide lighted walkway through Skyway Park and lighting around park perimeter.

Probable Lead: King County Parks Division
Potential Funding Sources:
o King County CIP.
o Washington State Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation.

Project #27 – Not Done.
Acquire Washington State Department of Transportation property at South 106th Street and Rainier Avenue South and develop as

waterfront park.

Probable Lead: King County Parks Division
Potential Funding Sources:
o King County CIP
o Washington State Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation.
o King County Real Property Division (land swap).

Project #28 – Not Done.
Improve and maintain Bryn Mawr Park trail and establish neighborhood connections with trail.

Probable Lead: King County Parks Division
Potential Funding Source: King County Current Expense Fund

Project #29 – Not Done.
Examine potential for construction of covered swimming pool and alternatives.

Potential Funding Source: Staffing provided in Community Planning Budget

VII. Utilities and Services (3 projects)

Project #30 – Completion unknown.
Arrange assistance for low and moderate income households requireing sewer service.

Project #31 – Drainage study complete; 20 projects identified. Unknown completion of these projects.
Prepare areawide drainage studies and construct identified stormwater retention/detention facilities.

Probable Lead: King County Surface Water Management Division
Potential Funding Source: King County Surface Water Management Service Fees

Project #32 – Not done.
Coordinate distribution and maintenance of litter bins in the Skyway Business District.

Potential Funding Sources:
o Community Development Block Grant
o King County Current Expense Fund

o Formation of Business Improvement Area

VIII. Human Services (3 projects)

Project #33 – Done: then undone (Community Center became Boys and Girls Club at Dimmitt).
Establish West Hill Community Center.

Potential Funding Sources:
o Community Development Block Grant
o Community fund raising
o United Way
o Established foundations
o Formation of Business Improvement District

Project #34 – Completion unknown. (Some tutoring programs now exist on the hill.)
Research options for tutoring programs.

Project #35 – County-wide home repair programs described on KC website, no known info on yard maintenance program.
Create a directory for funding sources and programs for senior home repair and yard maintenance.

Potential Funding Source: Staffing provided in Community Planning budget.

Reply
Mark J

I’d be pleased to have anyone review the above and let me know if they come up with a different take.

Reply
Andra Kranzler

Hi Mark,
We are examining the projects that have been implemented from the 1994 plan as well as the project priorities identified in additional planning and visioning efforts and prioritized in the SWAP surveys. Additional projects and funding resources that have been identified as priorities from the community. The main issue is balancing the projects, available resources, and capacity to champion full investment in this community. We need residents and community stakeholders to champion the whole plan and specific projects, to get involved and own these efforts. Please join us this evening at the SWAP SC meeting, 6:30-8:30pm, Skyway and Water and Sewer District. We hope to see you there.

Reply
Mark J

Insofar as the 1994 plan is the “current” community plan acknowledged in the most recent King County Comprehensive Plan 2012 update, I believe it is important to acknowledge progress on that plan, as well as any concerns over its implementation, as part of the development of the 2016 Skyway West Hill Action Plan. I posted the information here because it seemed appropriate in the context of discussing questions about the plan that has been in force for awhile now.

I’m making no request about priorities in the new plan. But again it’s important to be able to acknowledge the outcome of past plans.

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