10:55 AM: Proposed rezoning for the West Seattle Triangle – and adjacent areas – is going before the City Council’s Committee on the Built Environment during the meeting that’s under way right now (the meeting started at 9, but they had a big agenda). You can watch the live video feed here – click “play”:
Here’s the presentation they’re being shown about the proposed rezoning, which would rezone some parts of the Triangle/east Junction area to allow 85-foot-high buildings, as well as changing an even-larger area from “commercial” to “neighborhood commercial” zoning, which doesn’t change the height but does change expectations at street level, for example. The Triangle Advisory Committee did not endorse the upzoning, as council staffers are noting in the briefing, but
DPD council staff is recommending expanding that upzoning beyond what had previously been discussed. You can read their extensive memo here. It mentions a bombshell dropped recently by the Seattle Planning Commission, which suggested that the concept of a “single iconic tower of 160 feet or more” be considered for the Fauntleroy/Alaska vicinity. That is NOT currently part of the rezoning proposal, but something to keep an eye out for. We’ll add some notes once the meeting is over.
11:51 AM: Meeting’s over. Council staff will draft a bill to be voted on by the committee on November 30th if possible (the sentiment expressed was that they would “like to get this wrapped up by the end of the year” – watch the agendas here). West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen expressed concerns about zoning in the area of 40th/Oregon, where he expressed appreciation for old bungalows that have townhouses built behind them; he thought that was a more appropriate and “pleasant, unique” use of the land than changing the zoning so those bungalows are all facing demolition and replacement with what he called “schlocky townhouses.” Council President Richard Conlin said he wanted to be sure the “canyon effect” – taller buildings, both sides of the street – wasn’t going to result from changes here. Councilmember Sally Clark (the committee’s chair) said she favors DPD’s proposal and appreciated the firsthand look she got during a recent Triangle walking tour (WSB coverage here). Conlin and Councilmember O’Brien said they’ll probably come out this way for their own firsthand looks.
One other thing discussed, the issue of “hide and ride” parking – Clark said that was raised during the walking tour, and she supports the proposal to have SDOT study the area for potential parking regulation to reduce that possibility.