The first local information site to do it right

Why can’t I wait for EveryBlock to hit Seattle? I’m nosy. I like knowing where houses are being built in my neighborhood, I love knowing when a local restaurant was shut down by the health department, and I’m a sucker for truly local – like my neighborhood – news and sometimes the Capitol Hill blog is just slightly behind the times or just slightly east of 15th. I also want to know about crimes more minor than the Tully’s hold up.

16 thoughts on “The first local information site to do it right

  1. The City of Kirkland has an interactive map. If you click on your neighborhood, it will take you to all of the permits and the status of those permits. Some are very minor permit requests, like changing a tub in a bathroom. Others are new construction or massive remodels. One is a permit for Tent city…an ongoing issue here in Kirkland for many.

    It’s a great resource. I’ll come back to this comment after I post it and put in the link to the site.

  2. The City of Kirkland is one of the best City websites I’ve ever seen. Each neighborhood also has a walking tour download. Routes are mapped for 3 different difficulty levels. Pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about Kirkland is on that site. Couple that with Kirkland Weblog, and you’ve got a ton of info.

  3. I’m watching this permit request:

    “Additionally, Kirkland Congregational Church would like to have the option in the future to build affordable housing on their property at 106 5th Avenue.”

    I’ll be surprised if someone can get approval to have “the option” to do something in the future. That would lock future City Council Members into a decision of the current Council. Generally not done in most government structures. I’ll be surprised if they get approval to do something in the future. That issue should be left to the powers that be at the time the project is at the planning stages, and not approved in advance, possibly years in advance.

    I love small local government politics. It’s great to get this stuff on a website or watch it on TV, but I miss the days and drama of everyone packing the halls to witness things first hand.

    I remember one such meeting in CA where the people couldn’t get in because they scheduled the hearing in too small of a venue for all who wanted to be a part to get in. An “open” meeting, but no room for the guests πŸ™‚ The people stood in the hallway and banged on the walls and made so much noise that the meeting couldn’t proceed. It was canceled and rescheduled at a larger place. Funny though, I don’t remember what the meeting was about. All the banging scared my kids though, I remember that. I had to leave before a riot broke out.

    Small town politics…gotta love it.

  4. There is a ton of information people would find relevant if they could only get at it in a usable format. Police blotters, when you can set your own geography, are suddenly a must read and much more valuable than watching the news tell you about a murder on the other side of town.

  5. Rhonda – There are some things that make Seattle, at least at this point, not as fertile Everyblock turf as, oh, say, Chicago. Not the least of which is the police info. That’s why I go to the precinct a couple times a week to read the reports and post notes on the site. It may all be available in a db format someday but it sure isn’t right now. As others have posted, yes, the development news is available. But it takes a human to call the developer and get renderings, comment, etc., which is what we do. If people don’t still find that valuable once an automated service is pulling some of this stuff – that’s certainly their choice. But one of the Web 3.0 trends is “trusted human guides” enhancing what you can get via RSS/automation/etc. so that’s where we’re putting our stake, and hoping we keep staying a step or two ahead of the curve.

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