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March 2001

Public Trail Along the Creek? 
On February 26 a standing room only gathering of over 65 very concerned creekside property owners and friends of Thornton Creek packed into a former school classroom for an answer to the question: "Does Seattle have plans for public trails along creeks in the Thornton Creek watershed?"

Petition to Form an Organization 
A petition signed by those in attendance directed a committee of volunteers to draft by-laws and formally incorporate a new organization whose specific purpose is to provide a unified voice on behalf of creekside homeowners to advance their interests in protecting both the fragile creek ecosystem and the privacy of their backyards.

Why Organize? 
Seattle will spend aproximately $50,000,000 in the Thornton Creek watershed to rectify water quality problems on both public and private lands.  New city regulations are being drafted regarding what homeowners can do or will be required to do on their property.  Seattle passed a $198,000,000 parks levy last fall, a portion of which is to acquire and improve public trails.  The City has attempted to build trails through Thornton Creek backyards in the past. Creekside owners need a formal organization to stay abreast of city plans for trails and regulations affecting our property.

Bylaws Ready 
After many hours of executive debate, the committee has completed its work and is ready to present bylaws for adoption as a requirement for registering with the Secretary of State in Olympia. Bylaws can be viewed at <> or call 363-6906 for a copy to be delivered to you. The bylaws will be revised as necessary six months after adoption.

Organization Name To Be Chosen 
The first gathering was called under the name F.I.S.H.!  (a foundation to improve stream habitat), however that name was simply used as a convenience to get things rolling.  Accordingly, a permanent name for the organization will be chosen by the membership on March 29, 2001 (see Calendar, Meeting Agenda).  Suggestions to date include "Friends of Thornton Creek" (FTC), "Thornton Creek Protective Association" (TCPA), "Riparian Owners of Thornton Creek" (ROTC), and "a Foundation to Improve Stream Habitat" (F.I.S.H.)!

Have a Good Idea? 
If you have a suggestion for a name, call 363-6906 to have it placed on the ballot for the kickoff meeting, or you can mail it to "F.I.S.H.!"  c/o2005 N.E. 130th Street, Seattle, WA 98125, in time for delivery before March 29, 2001.

Whatever name is finally adopted, it is the hope of the organizing committee that it will convey the notion that riparian (the legal term for creekside property) owners: are respectful of the creek, themselves, and the general public; are thoughtful and good stewards of the fragile creek system; and are well organized and unified in their desire to preserve the creek system, as well as their privacy & private property rights.

Want to Participate/Help?
You can join as a charter member by making a check out to "Riparian Owners Fund TBD" for $15.00 as first year's membership dues, and send the check to F.I.S.H.! c/o 2005 N.E. 130th Street, Seattle, WA 98125, to arrive no later than April 30, 2001.

Thus far, checks totaling over $600 have been contributed to fund initial organizing efforts. These monies together with dues collected at the March 29 kickoff will be deposited promptly into a checking account in the organization's chosen official name and used to reimburse the following organizing expenses to date (aprox.):  printing and mailing of flyers - $200; postage for mailing (700 pcs.) - $250, newsletter printing - $100; filing fee/secretary of state - $30; meeting room rental - $50; meeting supplies, document and records research fees - $50. Reserve for the next mailing - $350.

Additional information will be posted to the website, including the original flyer announcing this organizing effort, the full bylaws, incorporation petition with a short essay, as well as troubling language from recent public records. 

Urgency: Why Now? 
Some may ask "Why the sudden rush to organize?"  Answer:  the City of Seattle is presently drafting a "Watershed Action Plan" (WAP), required by law to make the waters of the Thornton Creek System fishable and sustainable (Federal Clean Waters Act 1992), along with the fact that Coho Salmon were just listed on the Endangered Species Act this year. The City is scrambling to finish the WAP and public hearings are going to be held soon (see <>). 

We riparian owners will be the focus of new laws and the spending of millions of dollars.  We will need a strong unified voice at these hearings to insure that our interests don't get overlooked, dismissed, or run over. Whether as a creekside property owner or as a concerned neighbor, your support is needed. We hope you will attend the March 29th Meeting at Lake City Hall. (Also, be sure to inform your neighbors in case they were omitted from the print or email distribution.)


Respectfully reported:  Paula Bennett, Irv Berteig, Mat DelFave, Garth Douglass, Sally Henry, A.D. "Skip" Knox, Fran Martiny, Trent Miller, Lowell Warren; Bylaws Organizing Committee, March 16, 2001


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