Friday, January 13, 2017

Dogs Off Leash Not Allowed In City Parks And Neighbor Comments

The Laurelhurst Blog consistently receives comments regarding residents who regularly visit the Laurelhurst park and encounter off-leash dogs

The City Code (SMC 18.12.080) states: 

18.12.080 - Animals running at large prohibited

Except as expressly allowed in subsection B hereof, it is unlawful for any person to allow or permit any dog or other pet to run at large in any park, or to permit any dog or other pet with or without a leash, except Seeing Eye or Hearing Ear dogs or dogs used by public law enforcement agencies and under control of a law enforcement officer, to enter any public beach, swimming or wading area, pond, fountain, stream, organized athletics area or designated children's play area.
Any person with a dog or other pet in his or her possession or under his or her control in any park shall be responsible and liable for the conduct of the animal, shall carry equipment for removing feces, and shall place feces deposited by such animal in an appropriate receptacle.

18.12.085 - Violation—Civil penalties.
Violation of Section 18.12.080 shall be a civil infraction as contemplated by RCW 7.80.120 subject to the following penalties: 
  • Initial Infraction. Imposition of a monetary penalty of Fifty Dollars ($50);
  • Second Infraction. Imposition of a monetary penalty of One Hundred Dollars ($100);
  • Third Infraction. Imposition of a monetary penalty of One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($125);
  • Subsequent Infractions. Imposition of a monetary penalty of One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150) for each infraction

Here are some comments received:
I just needed to vent about an off leash encounter at the park recently.  I had an annoying conversation with a woman who had let her dog off its leash at Laurelhurst Park.  I walk my dog every morning and usually avoid the park because I am annoyed when people do not follow the leash law at the park. However, the morning was so lovely, I decided to walk in the park.  Her dog, a border collie looking dog, was running wildly around the park chasing squirrels. The dog's owner was quite far away from the dog and did not appear to have the dog under voice command.    When I reminded her that her dog needed to be on a  leash, she just asked me if I lived in the neighborhood and then said I was "one of those goody two shoes types".  I could not believe some of her

justifications for making the public park her personal dog run.   Statements like "some rules are made to be broken" and "he needs a lot of exercise" were her attempts to justify her actions.  Needless to say, she ruined my walk in the park! I also witnessed several people letting their big dogs off leash on Sunday.  The dogs were running around and almost knocked down a family with a little boy.  When I reminded them of the leash rule, at least they said sorry and leashed their dogs.  I am all for off leash areas.  I will totally support making part of the park an off leash area.  There is room.   I think it is great to have an area where dogs can run free.    It is just not okay to make the park, which is used by everyone, a personal dog run!  Not sure if this ever does any good!  I feel the only hope of making the park safe for all, is to put in an area for off leash activities.   I know there have been discussions about this.  I would definitely vote for it!  Then I can relax and  walk my dog on her leash and those who want their dogs to run free could have their space.  It certainly appears that the people who like to let their dogs off leash are not going to stop doing so.  That makes me sad.  

Please have anyone who might encounter a dog unleashed,  call the City of Seattle Dog Patrol at 206-386-7387   If all of us call and report all unleashed dogs, they City will step up their patrol and be able to spot check out park more frequently.

Recently we saw a dog walker place dog feces bag she was carrying into our "clean green" container.  When I caught up with her and suggested she take the bag to the dog's home, she told me that she thought the bag could go into the clean green container since the bag would decompose.  According to my search, the feces need to be DOUBLE BAGGED and go into the REGULAR GARBAGE containers.  This regulation is for the safety of the trash collectors.

Dog walkers need to take their scooped up dog poop with bags home with them and not dump them in my garbage bin.

Laurelhurst Park is an enormous play area that should be allowed to be used by all. While I agree that off leash dogs should never be allowed in the playground or near children and of course an owner is responsible for all their pet’s actions. I absolutely see no harm in an early morning game of fetch in an area of the park away from other users. I recognize that this is currently against park rules, but perhaps the area at the bottom of the hill on the west side of the park should be designated for off leash use during certain parts of the day?

Any dog owner who calls Animal Control on another owner should be ashamed of themselves. Especially when the dog in question is nowhere near other park patrons and has caused no issues. Other commentators speak of being neighborly and fostering a sense of community – well this obviously is the opposite of that message. I’d like to think people have more important things to worry about in life than a harmless game of fetch.

We appreciate the Laurelhurst Blog's posts increasing everyone's awareness of the dog poop issue, even though it is often the same thing being said again and again.  The Blog posted our comments regarding dog feces regularly left at NE 50th Street and 47th Avenue NE and we are happy to report that that stretch of the sidewalk has remained clean.  Thanks to the Blog for helping to make our sidewalks a more pleasant place to walk and thanks to the dog owners who are being diligent about picking up.
Many of dog owners throws the bags with excrements right into the (landscaped) bushes (on the street) as they walk to the park with the unleashed dogs. We see it happening all the time.

Winter Gardening Class At Center For Urban Horticulture

UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture  (3501 NE 41st Street) is having a class called "Gardening with the Seasons: Winter" " on Wednesday from 7-8:30pm.  The cost is $20.

The class information says:

Though it seems there isn't much to do in the garden over winter, dormant season tasks can set the stage for a good gardening year.  When weather keeps us indoors, we can plan ahead for tasks and garden changes to be done in the months ahead.   
When the weather is nice enough to spend time outdoors, it can be amazing how much we can actually take care of now.  This session will cover dormant season pruning and transplanting for specific plant types, winter weeding and garden care, best tools and practices, and planning ahead for the new growing season.

Register online or by phone at  206-685-8033.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

December Laurelhurst Real Estate Report And 2016 Overivew

4741 47th Avenue NE
recently sold for $750,000

Kim Dales has provided this neighborhood real estate activity monthly report:

December was quiet with just one new listing (pictured above) at 4741 47th Avenue NE, listed at $799,000 and sold for $750,000.  One property went under contract and there were no closings.

2016 Overview:

  • 60 homes sold  compared to 61 in 2015
  • 48 average days on market
  • Median sales price was $1,735,408 or $494.65 per square foot, a 24% increase over 2015
  • Of the 60 homes sold 56 were within the Beach Club boundaries, 10 sold for over $2,000,00, with one closing at $9,750,000

2017 looks to have a number of new construction properties hitting the market, with hopefully an increase in inventory in general, which should bring some balance to the market. Interest rates are predicted to have a moderate increase but remain low comparatively speaking.

Laurelhurst continues to be a very sought after neighborhood and many buyers are waiting in the wings to purchase here.


List Price
Price per/sq.ft
5142 46th Ave NE


List Price
Price per/sq.ft
4911 NE Laurelcrest Lane

All About Red-breasted Sapsucker From Local Birder

Here is a recent post from the Union Bay Watch Blog published by Larry Hubbell, long-time photographer and birder. 

Here also is an in-depth article about Larry and his work.

'Tis The Season
The red-breasted sapsucker is a diligent, hardworking bird. Ninety-nine percent of the time when I find one, it is hanging on the trunk of a tree, hidden among the branches and mining a sap well.  

In summer and spring I see them working primarily on deciduous trees. Trees which have no leaves in the winter must have a robust flow of sap when they are putting out new growth. Maybe, it is the volume of flow which attracts the sapsuckers or maybe the sap is simply sweeter - even to me maple syrup sounds sweeter than cedar syrup. 

In the winter after the deciduous trees have gone dormant, I find sapsuckers working in coniferous trees. About a week ago, for the first time this year I spotted this red-breasted sapsucker in a western red cedar.

The tree is about two feet in diameter at the base and maybe 35 feet in height.

It is covered with thousands of holes. The first thing people ask when they see all the holes is, 'Does it hurt the tree?' This tree's foliage may be slightly more sparse than other western red cedars, but it certainly does not appear to be dying. I do wonder if the tree might have been a bit taller by now if it had not been selected by sapsuckers. Two years ago I noticed a sapsucker working this tree - even then it was already covered with sap wells.

Curiously, just ten feet to the east is a second slightly smaller western red cedar tree. I have checked the second tree very closely and I cannot find a single well. I cannot help but wonder why the sapsuckers prefer one tree over the other.

This photo demonstrates the sapsucker's usual level of activity. The body is propped up on its tail and nearly perfectly still - while the head is in constant motion. Unlike most other woodpeckers, the tapping and drilling of sapsuckers is usually syncopated. Like the rhythm of a jazz musician or boxer throwing punches, I can never predict their pace. Click Here - and then scroll down and press the triangle - to hear one for yourself.

Whenever a large bird flies over, the sapsucker glances up at the sky.

Unlike a robin or a varied thrush which can be similar in size, the sapsucker is seldom flushed by a potential predator. Robins and thrush are usually more exposed because they are often eating fruit on the periphery of a tree. The sapsucker simply clings to the trunk of the tree, with numerous branches interwoven above its head. It finds safety among the shadows.

I have only seen the sapsucker leave the safety of the western red cedar tree once this week.

It landed on a nearby deciduous tree and began a sap well.

I suspect it was a test.

It was as if the bird was asking, 'Has your sweet summer sap really stopped flowing?'

The sapsucker soon flew away. Apparently, the little bird learned that wishing does not make it so.

Earlier this week, my friends Uli and Stella mentioned seeing a rare winter visitor in the Arboretum - the red-naped sapsucker. I have not seen it. Just in case one of us gets lucky, I thought it would be good to include this photo from January of 2015. I find the black and white stripes on the side of the head are the most obvious differences. I would certainly love to get more photos of a red-naped sapsucker.

In any case, the good news is we have just passed the winter solstice. The days are getting longer. There are buds on the indian plum - in which the hummingbirds like to nest. Creatures large and small are preparing for the new year. Any time now the great horned owls and the anna's hummingbirds will be laying eggs. It may be winter, but the signs of spring are all around us.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tonight SR520 Meeting Update Focusing On The West Approach Bridge

Tonight from 5:30-6:30pm, at the Graham Visitor Center inside the Arboretum, WSDOT is holding its monthly meeting focusing on WABN (West Approach Bridge North) construction updates. The Rest of the West / Montlake Phase team won't attending or presenting at this meeting.

Citizens are invited to drop in to meet with WABN engineers and hear about what is coming up in 2017 for the West Approach Bridge North.
The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) said:

This meeting will be about the West Approach Bridge North and give an update about its nearing the bridge deck girder completion of the installation.
One of the good things is that the work bridge extension to the north will be removed as the new WABN will support soon its own construction techniques and processes from now until completion. 
The negative is that the pilings that support the work bridge will create noise and vibration along the shoreline as they are removed. 
And, at last, the old SR520 pontoons are being floated away after having been stored in Union Bay for over 7 months.  This has been a safety concern  for nearby residents before more windy storms occur.

SR520 Project updates
The WABN structure
No need for a gym. Only one week into the new year and WABN is already making big changes in its physique. Just last week, on Thursday Jan. 5, crews installed the 353rd girder – marking the completion of all girder installation for the final WABN structure!  
With this final girder in place and more than 50 percent of the roadway deck placed, WABN can begin shedding its temporary work bridge. In the past few months, crews have been pulling back the extension piers of the temporary bridge, but now crews will begin the process of removing the main spine (wooden bridge pictured bottom right).
Trestle Photo
The temporary work bridge was the first stage in the construction process of the new WABN structure. For the past two years, the temporary bridge supported the work of hundreds of construction crew members, vehicles and equipment. Now, in its final year, WABN can support itself and in the coming months will begin to stand as a lone structure connecting the new floating bridge to Montlake.
What this means for neighbors:
  • No more nighttime deliveries, installations, or flagging on Lake Washington Boulevard for girders. However, there may still be nighttime deliveries for concrete pours to finish up the last 41% of deck placement. 
  • Crews will begin removal of the temporary work bridge on the eastern edge near the floating bridge and work their way west. 
  • All temporary work bridge removal work is currently scheduled to take place during daytime work hours.
  • Vibrations may be felt at nearby homes as the steel piles of the temporary work bridge are removed from the lake.


Pontoons being towed by tugboats on Lake Washington
Floating bridge
If you have not yet had the chance, check out the history in motion on Lake Washington. Only three of 31 old floating bridge pontoons are still floating near their old residence, and later this week, each of these 53-year-old pontoons will be escorted from Lake Washington via the Lake Washington Ship Canal before passing through the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks. Once through the locks, the pontoons are turned over to a third-party wholesaler for reuse.
Over the next few days, the following old floating bridge pontoons will take their final voyage:
  • Pontoon Z is planned to depart at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11.
  • Pontoon B is planned to depart at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12.
  • Pontoon N (with the lift-span) is planned to depart Saturday, Jan. 14.
If you are interested in seeing the final float-outs, you can track the accompanying tugboats Terilyn and Mudcat using a boat-tracker app or website such as MarineTraffic, and watch the float-outs from these suggested viewing locations
Departure timings and tugboats are subject to change; please follow the SR 520 Twitter account for the most up-to-date float-out information.

Saturday "Funny Vegetables" Story Time At Center For Urban Horticulture

family nature walk

Miller Library, located in Laurelhurst at the UW Botanic Gardens (3501 NE 41st Street)  is holding a storytime on Saturday with the theme of "Funny Vegetables" from 10:30-11:15am.

Storytime is geared towards children ages 3 to 8. All ages and their families are welcome.

information s

Some of the very silly characters in these books come straight from the garden. After the stories, kids can make a vegetable-head collage in the program room.

Books to be read are:
ZORA'S ZUCCHINI by Katherine Pryor
DOG FOOD by Saxton Freymann
Upcoming Programs:

The next storytime is February 4   and the theme is "Bundle Up! Cold Weather Stories."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

December Neighborhood Private Security Patrol Report And Seattle Police Crime Report

Below are two separate reports for December crime activity in the neighborhood. 

The first is the Neighborhood Private Security Patrol activity report (subscribe here) provided by the Laurelhurst Community Club.

The second is the Seattle Police Department crime report.

Laurelhurst Private Security Patrol Report:

Engaged with several homeless people walking in the neighborhood
Removed 4 cars of kids from the park
Secured open doors at the beach club and checked the area with one of the manager

Neighborhood Seattle Police Department Report:

12/1  11:20pm   4500 BLOCK OF NE 41 ST

12/5   11:02am    4700 block of 45th Avenue NE

12/5   12:31pm    3900 block of 45th Avenue NE

12/8    1:28pm  4300 block of  NE 41st Street

12/8     5:25pm   4200 block of 55th Avenue NE

12/10   10:47am   3900 block of NE 45th Street

12/10   2:36pm   4300 block of 43rd Avenue NE

12/16   10:07pm    5000 block of 38th Avenue NE

12/17    7:36pm  3000 block of Webster Point Road NE

12/17   12:33pm   5000 block of NE Laurelcrest Lane

12/1   2:03pm   4000 block of  50th Avenue NE

12/21    3:22pm   5100 block of 46th Avenue NE

12/24   6:46pm 4800 block of NE 45th Street

12/24   6:03pm     4400 block of 52nd Avenue NE

Car Broken Into And Bins Containing Paperwork Taken

The Laurelhurst Blog received this information:
We live on the 5100 block of 46th Avenue NE and on Sunday night  around 3:30am, our truck was broken into via a smashed window.   
Two bins, one plastic and one navy canvas approximately 18x24 were taken. The bines contained papers, pamphlets and files pertaining to commercial tires.  
If  anyone has found them dumped some where, please email

Monday, January 9, 2017

Give Input Tonight On New Proposed Hospital Entrance And Garage On Narrow 40th Avenue NE Posing Safety And Traffic Concerns

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) is holding its monthly Board meeting, open to all neighbors tonight at 7pm at the Laurelhurst Community Center in the Fireside Room.

Tonight's meeting will feature a presentation by Todd Johnson, Vice President of Facilities for Seattle Children's Hospital, who will be presenting the preliminary
concepts for the next phase of the  Major Institution Master Plan.

The new 293,000 square foot building, named the Forest B Building, will be located on the existing surface parking lot at an angle to Building Hope near 40th Avenue NE. It will be primarily used as a facility to provide chemo infusion therapy for day patients, with some surgical units.

There are plans to build a large underground parking garage that exits onto 40th Avenue NE, and changing the front entrance of the Hospital to 40th Avenue NE.

The new phase also  includes moving the existing ground level helipad onto the roof of the existing Forest Building along NE 45th Street.

Neighbors have recently expressed concerns about pedestrian safety as well as traffic congestion on 40th Avenue NE.

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) published this information in their recent newsletter:

New Children’s Hospital’s  Parking and Entrance Proposals

Seattle Children’s Hospital’s proposed Forest Building B, slated for construction 2017-2019, will add 293,000 square feet. This is allowable under their current Major Institution Master Plan and its phasing.

However, plans for a new underground garage and a shift of the hospital’s main entrance, both accessed from 40th Avenue NE, present serious concerns. Page 10 of the Design Guidelines under “Parking and Vehicle Access,” addresses entrances in the MIMP.

Neighbors and the Standing Advisory Committee already have noted that relocating the main entrance from Sand Point Way to 40th Avenue NE is of major concern. Backups already occur both on this short street and at the NE 45th Street stop light when buses and shuttles turn in either direction off/onto 40th Avenue NE. This street often queues up throughout the day, and can require several light cycles to crossing through it.

SCH Phase 2 proposes to add more cars from the new parking garage entrance/exit, exacerbating the existing tight conditions. In addition to patient drop offs, extra delivery trucks will supply the relocated cafeteria.

All of these new entrances/exits for additional functions would impact the capacity and efficiency of 40th Avenue NE for all other users. This street was originally designed as a residential street along the now-demolished Laurelon Terrace condominiums.

40th Avenue NE has a capacity about the length of 12 vehicles. It is already heavily used by SCH for access to: the main Emergency entrance for patients and ambulances, an ED parking lot, primary truck deliveries, and the SCH employee shuttle system.

Sandwiched between Sand Point Way NE and NE 45th Street., 40th Avenue NE, is a main access street to Laurelhurst Elementary and Villa Academy students, staff, and faculty. This short street also serves the residential neighborhood as a major crossing to the Fire Station on 40th Avenue NE /NE 55th Street, access to the northeast businesses (such as the Metropolitan Market), and is controlled by a long stoplight.

The corner intersections are also very dangerous points for pedestrians and bicyclists. Vehicular traffic is coming fast down the steep NE 45th St. hill, as well as along 40th Avenue NE off Sand Point Way NE.

LCC had voiced concerns about the safety of the intersection of 40th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street before the Master Plan was approved. LCC had met with both SDOT and SCH to discuss the intersection in the planning process of the first phase.

LCC’s Settlement Agreement with SCH (before the Major Institution Master Plan) required SCH to avoid excess use of 40th Avenue NE.

Looking from a wider perspective, LCC is concerned about the cumulative effects of traffic volume and congestion on the neighborhood’s transportation needs and its access to major roads and highways. The neighborhood is essentially surrounded by Sand Point Way NE / NE 45th Street and Montlake Boulevard. The ability to move along these routes is essential.

Those additional impacts on transportation include:
  • The University of Washington’s 20-year expansion plan of 12.9 million new square feet. Student/faculty/staff are expected to increase by 20 percent over the next 20 years.
  • The University District Upzone, which could triple the U-District population over the next 20 years.
  • The planned University Village expansion, which will bring increased numbers of shoppers and diners to an already busy area.

All of this projected growth will have a cumulative effect on traffic through Montlake Boulevard, Pacific Avenue, 25th Avenue NE, NE 45th Street, Sand Point Way, and the surrounding streets. 

LCC wants a new, comprehensive traffic study – including all of the projected growth along this corridor over the next 10 to 20 years – conducted by Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Seattle Department of Transportation. The study should be done as soon as possible so that new data are available before considering the addition of more vehicular traffic on 40th Avenue NE, as proposed.

To support the new services offered by SCH in Phase 2, better transportation access for patients, families, medical professionals, and staff need to be addressed, along with the requirement to preserve access for adjacent neighborhoods and local businesses in Laurelhurst and Bryant. 

If neighbors can't attend tonight's meeting, comments are accepted at and

LCC invites all neighbors are welcome to attend tonight and give input on potential traffic and safety concerns, especially along 40th Ave NE before the plans are finalized.

The Laurelhurst Blog recently published this information about the next phase.

Here is tonight's LCC agenda:

· Next Phase of Children’s Expansion:  Todd Johnson, Vice President of Facilities for Seattle Children's Hospital


· Calls/Concerns from Neighbors
· Treasurer's Report
· Announcements

· Emergency Preparedness

· CUCAC Update

· Crime Prevention
 · Road Safety
· SR520 Update

· Talaris update
· Adjourn