By Mellow DeTray

Here’s our recap of the Normandy Park City Council meeting held on Tuesday night, Oct. 10, 2023:

Discussion with Representative Tina Orwall

Tina Orwall is the current Washington State Representative for the 33rd district, which includes Normandy Park. She gave council a rundown of the kinds of things the state legislature has been working on, and what changes she thinks might happen in the next session.

Since covid, many local homeowners have hired contractors to do home improvement projects, Orwall said, and then those contractors have taken off with the money. New legislation should help hold those contractors accountable and discourage them from fleecing people in the future.

In addition, a recent study showed that children growing up near the airport have high rates of asthma. A new program will give HEPA filters to families in need to help improve home air quality. Local schools are receiving these air filters as well.

Councilmembers asked Representative Orwall for her support getting state funds to build a recreation center for seniors. She responded that the funds for such a project would need to come from multiple sources, but she would support it once other funds are secured. The city will be sending out legislative priorities in November.

Parks & Rec PROS Plan Presentation

Just over 8% of the city responded to a recent poll that sought feedback on needs and preferences for parks services. According to the survey responses, the biggest want in the community is more public play spaces, especially covered areas to extend outdoor play during the rainy season. Another popular wish is for water access, either in the form of a public beach or a splash park. In addition, people wanted better access to parks including paved and unpaved trails, and public bathrooms at the parks. There was a strong focus on protecting and maintaining the habitat and forested areas of Normandy Park. One respondent wrote that the trees serve as vital natural filters from the noise and air pollution of the airport.

According to the presentation, the visioning process runs through the end of October. An interactive map will be sent out to residents. Using the map, people can add and comment on potential features throughout the city. For those who prefer in-person interaction and feedback, there is a second workshop at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 18 at City Hall. More feedback and interaction helps users to be more invested in their community and the parks.

Councilmember Shawn McAvoy said he knows how important public beach access is to so many people, but that it will require either a very generous donation of beachfront property from a private donor, or a purchase by the city of several million dollars. Other city parks were created by private land donation, and he is hopeful someone will come through with a waterfront land donation so all can enjoy access to the beach.

City Website Report

According to former Nortmandy Park Councilmember/Mayor Jonathan Chicquette of 575 Inc., total use of the city’s website has increased by 173% in the last year, with an optimized search function that increases usability. The number one use for the website is for finding permitting & inspection info. Staff have improved the content of the newsletter, and subscriptions have increased by 243%. The parks department received special mention, as traffic to their page has increased by over 3,000% over the previous year.

Costs for the city’s updated website are increasing by 20%, which is supposed to match the last few years of inflation and increased costs to the company managing it. Chicquette said that this project is close to his heart; he is on the webpage everyday, checking for functionality and making small fixes for free. He said any other company would charge the city much more, or provide far less for the cost.

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in Burien. For many years Mellow kept a moderately popular cooking & lifestyle blog, and she had a brief stint in political journalism during a local election. Clear and informative writing has always been a side hobby of Mellow’s and she looks forward to bringing you unbiased coverage of City Council meetings.