Tuesday evening, August 2, just as many Eastlakers were gathered enjoying the annual Night Out event for neighborhoods, the Seattle City Council Redistricting Commission was also meeting and presenting a draft map for consideration. That map did not bode well for the neighborhood.
After discussion from all Commission members about the need to not split neighborhoods that is what they did in Eastlake.
The map dissolves Eastlake from District 4 where Eastlake is combined with Wallingford and the University District and instead splits Eastlake basically at Lynn Street, cutting the neighborhood in half, putting the north end of Eastlake in District 3 with Capitol Hill and the south end in District 7 with South Lake Union.
It was very disheartening said one commenter on the Eastlake Social Club Facebook Page, summing up what many people feel about the news, adding that the concept of Lake Union as a land use and environmental focal point is lost with the split.
The Eastlake Community Council had supported Map #1 which kept Eastlake in District 4. It was in line with the guidelines of following existing district boundaries and preserving the integrity of the neighborhood.
Public comment was not allowed at Tuesday’s meeting, but it will be allowed August 9 at City Hall.
The Eastlake Community Council encourages people to comment in person and on-line about the proposed split. The split makes Eastlake a minor part of two districts and neutralizes any gains made in the past as part of District 4 with City Councilmember Alex Pedersen.
The final map will not be issued until November, so there will be much work to do over the next couple of months to keep Eastlake whole and remind the Council that Eastlake is in fact a neighborhood.
Here is the draft map:
And link to Thursday’s Seattle Times article about redistricting.