Author Archives: LakeUnionNeighbors

UPDATE on moving forward with E Howe Street Park / Pedestrian Connection

See previous post in April 2012.

East Howe Street Park / Stairs and Pedestrian connection

We made significant progress on the establishment of this Park / Pedestrian connection when the Department of Planning made it a requirement of the developer at 1818 Fairview Avenue East to construct improvements including sidewalk, street trees, utilities as the standard required under state law.

The Wallingford Steps, are very similar in design to what we are striving for in the new East Howe Street Park / Pedestrian Walkway / connection between Eastlake Avenue East and Fairview Avenue East.

The starting point for the vision will somewhat depend on what the developer is proposing. If they looked at (or are willing to provide) a larger vision beyond their legally required development standards that will be a good thing.  

Where ever the developer’s vision ends, then that is one place we should start for developing the neighborhood vision.  If the developer is only planning a city standard sidewalk and stair, that is our starting point.

The property on which the project is located is a public street right of way that the community has long expressed a desire to develop as a pedestrian connection.  We would utilize the 30 foot wide East Howe right of way between Eastlake Avenue East and Fairview Avenue East. 


This connection would allow access from Capitol Hill through Colonnade Park to Fairview Ave E and the east shoreline of Lake Union where there are four public waterfront parks, connections to other trails around Lake Union, through South Lake Union to downtown, and north to the Burke Gilman Trail.


Most of the space of the East Howe ROW is open and ready for use as a walkway.  The neighborhood has already secured some of the needed labor, materials, financial and sweat equity for the development of the remaining approximate 75 foot section that needs work.  In addition, the developer of a property immediately adjacent to the Howe Street right of way has offered support for the design and construction of pathway.  The developer will contribute labor, materials and equipment for the clearing and grading of the undeveloped portion of the right of way.  He will also be required to contribute some minimum standard sidewalk, curbs and gutters and utilities as per required DPD directives. 


The community members of Eastlake will contribute additional funds and labor in support of the construction of this walkway.   Please sign up to help us show the city our support of this project so that our pledge of support can be used as match to secure additional grants and awards to pay for the balance of the project.


This public walkway plan has long been approved as one of the primary goals in the Seattle City Neighborhood Plan for the Eastlake neighborhood.


We are now turning our efforts toward raising the necessary funds to build this Park / Walkway / Stairs to the standards that will make it a place for the use and enjoyment of all our Eastlake residents.


Please contact me if you can pledge your support for this project.


Your neighbor,

Brian Ramey

The DUCK is planning to land in your back yard; what you can do


Go to:

and put in the MUP # 3013612

This proposed MUP # 3013612 at 1949 Fairview Avenue E sports a White Board which cannot be seen from the street due to the fact it is behind a large parking lot which separates the White Board from Fairview Avenue E ROW. Parked cars in the parking lot obliterate the view of this board. You can see in this picture a car which is doing just that.

It appears that the due date for comments is October 19. I have asked DPD extend the comment period 30 days. It might help if others in the neighborhood did the same at:

Ask to be a party of record.

It appears from the DPD web site that this the new development is going to be a boat launching facility and a new pier built for Mr. Brian Tracey’s Duck Tours. His tour people, employees, their cars and his fleet of amphibious boats will be parading in and out of our neighborhood. This will be very interesting when the fleet attempts to use Fairview Avenue E. These ships on wheels give the “Captain” very little ability to see what is around them when they are on land. I think this business does not belong in Eastlake. This is too close to people with children and destroys our vision of what we want our waterfront to be used for.

I never objected to NOAA having its ships here. The impact was very well controlled. This idea is a disaster for our neighborhood.

This new boat ramp and proposed load and unload facility will have serious impacts of the immediate neighbors. This will bring a huge volume of traffic to the neighborhood, adding to the issues of finding parking, loud speaker phones droning on at our shoreline at all hours of the day and for what? The answer is the financial well being of Brian Tracey’s pocket book. At minimum a traffic study needs to be required by an independent Engineer. .

Because of the Shoreline impacts, parked cars, new piling for a new wharf, etc. this project should tip the scales for a the required SEPA demands for full blown Environmental Impact Statement.

Does anybody feel the same way I do? I am sure the condos across the street and others would not like to see this happen in their front yards. Their property values will tumble.

Call Brian Tracey and ask him yourself. I saw him recently and asked about his “purchase” (lease) of DNR land at the old NOAA site he refused to talk about it. This non response means to me that he won’t be a good neighbor.

He lives in Woodinville now. He did live in Redmond.

We as a community need to let DPD know that this proposed use is not acceptable at this location without some serious covenants placed on the lease (deed). This is like having the tours boat at Pier 91 coming into Eastlake… I would think that this is a major impact.

Contact Brian Tracy and let him know how you feel.

I do not understand why our community council has sat back and let this one through the hoop.


Again, It appears that the due date for comments is October 19. However, the DPD White Board is hidden behind parked cars and I do not believe it has been posted in the proper way to meet the SEPA Laws. This is a major development with what I believe to be environmental impacts that should be vetted in a full review.


Thank you,

Brian Ramey

117 East Louisa Street, #187

Seattle, WA 98102

(206) 271-4744

New Park and Pedestrian Walkway in Eastlake needs your support

Dear Eastlake Neighbors:

I am writing to you to look for community support for the development of a pedestrian connection, possibly a pathway + stairs, via the East Howe right of way. If you’re not familiar with this public right of way, it is approximately on the north edge of the old Siam Lake Union property on Fairview and is currently subsumed into the parking lot of the adjacent office building. This connection would allow access from Capitol Hill through Colonnade Park to Fairview Ave E.

Currently, the development of the former Siam site offers a chance to design and have funded a pathway/ connection along the East Howe right of way, if the community shows enough interest. If we do not support a preservation of this public right of way at this time, it likely will be lost forever to public use.

Another reason why it would be especially good to act now is because of the vacancy NOAA has created and the resulting potential for incorporating better public access to the shores of Lake Union at this location. The developer for the Siam site is expressing a strong interest in contributing to the design and development of this pedestrian walkway, so right now a few things have come together to create a brief window of opportunity to talk back a public access route, and at the same time enhance our neighborhood’s pedestrian-friendliness.

To summarize, I am make a plea for your help in bringing back/ preserving E Howe as a critical link from Capitol Hill to the east shores of Lake Union. Please express your support NOW so this path may isn’t lost to the community forever.

You can email the following people at the City with your comments:

Peter Hahn, Director of Seattle Transportation, peter.hahn@seattle.govMoira Gray, Street and Alley Vacations, Seattle Transportation,

For your information I have attached a map and pictures of similar proposals. If you would like to see something along the lines of the Harbor Steps downtown or the Wallingford Steps at the north end of Lake Union, please let me know and show your support for this project.

I will make petitions available to sign at various businesses in the neighborhood. Also include with this post is a copy of the petition in pdf format. If you would like an electronic copy, I will email you the petition in printable form. Also, please consider writing an email or letter in support of this project. Please send me a copy at the email address below or drop it by Lake Union Mail at 117 East Louisa St, #187, Seattle WA 98102.

Thank you,

Brian Ramey

Lake Union Neighbors