Bolz
Bolz

Fifteen years ago, I became a member of the Mad P P-patch, the community garden at 30th and East Mercer, just downhill from City People’s Garden Store. The Mad P is one of 88 community gardens in this city, and we are here, in part, because of you: it was PCC who helped start the City of Seattle’s P-Patch program back in 1973.

You may be our new neighbor, as the City People’s property at 2925 E. Madison St. is also the future home of  PCC Community Markets. I read your full-page advertisement in the Seattle Times. I read your website. I learned that we have this in common: we value community. In fact, so much so, that your statement, “In everything, we strive to be an advocate for our community,” suits me as well.

I expect your inclination is to stop reading now, as you can guess what follows. I urge you to continue, as perhaps you have been understandably preoccupied with opening stores to pay much attention to the ruckus here in the Valley about your new building.

Did you know that your new building will shade the p-patch? We are 35 people who tend together the 21 plots we use to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers for our community. We gave 383 pounds of produce to the food banks last year. I can’t believe I have to tell you that shade doesn’t help us. You’re PCC.

Did you know that your new building will turn our neighborhood into a driveway for a parking garage? We’re on a cul-de-sac. It has the Mercer Steps, the Mad P, the woods above and Dewey Place East. It’s a nice place for people. The second garage entry makes the cul-de-sac a place for cars. I heard testimony before the Hearing Examiner in December 2018 that said the Dewey Place entry is a bad effort to fix motility issues in your East Madison Street parking garage, specifically, your shoppers are stuck on the exit ramp.

Let’s look at the trees and the grove on Dewey Place, which are going to be cut down for your store. This hillside has great birds, observed and recorded by us birders. Some birds we saw this year in the greenbelt are Wilson’s Warbler (Common Birds in Steep Decline) and Brown Creeper, dependent on big trees.

Now, in their own words, the Velmeir Companies. They said this to Capitol Hill Seattle, in May of this year:

“It’s their neighborhood, they have strong emotion and it’s their right,” said Geza de Gall. “But you know, the project is not going to be half the size because from an economic standpoint, it would not be viable.”

And this:

“If we are still in the review process a few months down the road, that gives us the opportunity to rethink and go in with an even larger project,” de Gall said.

On HALA and adding a floor to the building, in November, he [Geza de Gall] said Save Madison Valley’s “talking points are being diminished with every step of the process,” and it would be interesting to see the neighborhood group essentially oppose affordable housing.

Geza said this to the Mad P: bees, you don’t need them.

In that ad in the Times, PCC, you said we share values. You said we share traditions. I think we have history, and I think you forget who you are. You’re PCC.

Wallis Bolz is a 23-year resident of Madison Valley. She is a Green Seattle forest steward associated with the Alder Creek Natural Area and a member of the Mad P P-patch. Her kids are Seattle Public Schools students who go to the Nova Project.