4755 Fauntleroy Way development proposal: Design Review Thursday – see the ‘packet’ now

September 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm | In 4755 Fauntleroy, Development, West Seattle news | 76 Comments

Just published to the city website this afternoon – the “packet” of graphics and information for this Thursday night’s first Southwest Design Review Board meeting reviewing the biggest West Seattle development proposal yet – 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW, including the ex-Huling Chevrolet site between Alaska and Edmunds on Fauntleroy, the gas-station site to the north, and the funeral home and ex-used car lot facing Alaska to the west.

You can see the packet here (PDF).

It includes four proposed alternatives for the site. Three – #2, #3, #4 – split the commercial area into 60,000 to 65,000 square feet apportioned between a grocery store, a drug store, and other shops; each includes two buildings and would require an “alley vacation” – seeking City Council approval for a current alleyway to be built over. This one is Alternative 2:

Here’s Alternative Three:

And #4:

The apartment count, according to each alternative, could range from 400 to 600. The other one (Alternative 1) – the version that could be built if no alley vacations were allowed – would not be able to accommodate the grocery, so it would have three buildings, 662 apartments and 32,000 feet of retail:

(The project team reconfirms that the overview page’s mention of 105,000 sf of retail is an error; the four alternatives range from 32,000 to 65,000.) As is always stressed, this is a very early stage of design, meant to determine the size, shape, site coverage, and other factors – so take a look, and bring your opinions to the meeting, 6:30 pm Thursday, Senior Center of West Seattle.

5:53 PM NOTE: We’ve added the “massing” (height/shape) renderings for each of the four alternatives that are in the documents for Thursday’s meeting. Again, the “packet” includes details specific to each one, and a lot of other information regarding where entrances might be, among many other details, and the reason we’ve been watching closely for this to appear on the city website is so those interested can get as much time as possible to take a look before bringing comments to Thursday’s meeting. Page 20 has detailed summaries of the pros and cons – as the project team sees them – for each of the alternatives. (Pay attention to the list of “departures” – those are specific aspects that would require an exception from the zoning code’s rules.) Another interesting point, in case you read past it above – we had reported that developers confirmed they were talking with a grocer, but this also mentions a drugstore, and then miscellaneous shops. No potential tenants have been publicly identified yet.

76 Comments

  1. wow..that’s BIG !

    Comment by JanS — 4:56 pm September 24, 2012 #

  2. I cant wait to see the traffic when they are done taking away car lanes and adding 600 apartments worth of people.

    I’m becoming more and more ashamed of West Seattle as they build higher and higher with no thought to infrastructure to support it.

    Comment by Elvis — 5:19 pm September 24, 2012 #

  3. ARE WE NOT WO-MEN? Remember when West Seattle was assigned TWO Urban “Villages” while more prosperous neighborhoods such as Magnolia avoided any? Who could have imagined back then the hideous impact the social planners would inflict on the good people of WS by allowing such vast/immoral changes to areas initially zoned for single family housing ONLY, as well as the areas zoned for apartments which have been exponentially and I think illegally allowed ridiculous additional building height allowances and the resulting and increasingly insane population density per average parcel increases? More on point to this proposed Huling area increase of up to 600 units and additionally the Alaska Junction PetCo plans…Neither of these areas were included in the parameters of Urban Village area forced on WS! We have been like frogs dying by being boiled in slowly heating water. Slowly our lives are being ruined by corporate developments built outside even the insane Urban Village zoning laws and even more evil have not been required to plan and pay for impacted infrastructure, road capacity, additional parking, additional school capacity, working commute time impact and payments for time and suffering of commuters and other items most states require be included as part of the deal prior to granting building permits. When will we rise up and finally say NO…? Is anyone familiar how to raise $$ ethically and accountably to hire professionals to advise residents about our rights and to develop cost effective, intelligent procedures to protect our quality of life already irretrievably harmed by developers, the City’s social planners who make $$ then go away? Interested residents should be meeting at minimum twice monthly…not haphazardly at these usually fake meetings for public comment which occur long after any substantive changes are possible! Great job WSB for your great work giving us a chance by your alerts re all these new and probably illegal developments. If there is an interest, I’ll make my home available or find a meeting place to plan intelligently and powerfully.

    Comment by SaveWestSeattle — 5:25 pm September 24, 2012 #

  4. I really hope that since this building is such a big heavy looking square that the colors and landscaping will be softer.

    Comment by SillyGoose — 5:36 pm September 24, 2012 #

  5. size of the buildings reminds me of vegas. out of curiosity, what ‘grocery store’ do they envision renting to? There’s a qfc, safeway and trader joes within two blocks. That leaves Thriftway and Red Apple, plus Metro Market and PCC. Can WS support two MMs and two PCCs?

    Comment by steve — 5:45 pm September 24, 2012 #

  6. I like how the rendering depicts development across Alaska and not the deep pit that is currently there now. Forward thinking or Science Fiction?

    Comment by cjboffoli — 5:48 pm September 24, 2012 #

  7. That is big!

    Looks like #4 would be the easiest on the eyes/be the least imposing.

    Comment by junctioneer — 5:53 pm September 24, 2012 #

  8. Anyone notice that “The Hole” is represented as an actual building in this artwork? That’s wishful thinking :)

    Comment by Brontosaurus — 6:28 pm September 24, 2012 #

  9. I can’t make the meeting Thursday. Would someone ask the city council representative how much tax revenue the city projects from this project – please press for a specific answer to that question – then ask how those taxes will be used to improve WS transportation infrastructure, and how the city is going to improve an emergency corridor from WS to Harborview (hospitals on first hill).

    IF like I, you don’t like the looks of this project, think harder about voting for some people to represetn us (WS)in city council rather than just looking for the endorsement by some organization.

    Comment by Rick E — 6:42 pm September 24, 2012 #

  10. Rick – this is not a City Council meeting. This is a meeting specifically for people to give feedback on the design of the project. No one there will have that kind of information – and it won’t even be projectable until they arrive at a specific design with specific # of units, retail space, etc.

    Comment by WSB — 6:44 pm September 24, 2012 #

  11. Another grocery store in the junction? Seriously? I find that highly amusing.

    Comment by Delridge Mom — 6:48 pm September 24, 2012 #

  12. The thought of more development in the Junction just sickens me. My love for the Junction is not for what is to come but what is now lost forever. RIP, Junction.

    Comment by alex — 6:52 pm September 24, 2012 #

  13. It’s tragic and sad. As a life long west seattleite I wish we had the opportunity to just say no. The infrastructure isn’t established, jobs, health care, etc. it’s just wrong.

    Comment by Kathi — 6:54 pm September 24, 2012 #

  14. West Seattle seems to be changing quickly. We seem to be losing our wonderful West Seattle to big developments and more traffic. Traffic already is heavy, and not being helped by blocking traffic with the new bus stops. West Seattle as we have known it for so many years is becoming but a memory. Are we going to become a “downtown” type place now? Memories.

    Comment by Faith4 — 6:58 pm September 24, 2012 #

  15. I heard that Trader Joe’s is planning another location and is targeting this spot.

    (Needless to say, that is a j-o-k-e)

    Comment by My two cents ... — 7:26 pm September 24, 2012 #

  16. #4 s the ONLY one that actually feebly begins to respect the fact that the corner of the development is one of the main entrance views into West Seattle. I think it should be stepped back from the corner more… or .. SOMETHING!

    Comment by sam-c — 7:28 pm September 24, 2012 #

  17. Everything that was once wonderful about West Seattle and that initially brought people here to live, is being torn down and ripped out. My 7 year old daughter got it right when she said “that looks like a football stadium”! But even if you think this is bad, just wait until the developers have their way with the main core (the 2 blocks on California Ave.) of the junction.
    We will be having a Summer Festival in a canyon that is lined with chain stores and all the character that was once WS will be gone. RIP junction, indeed!

    Comment by fauntleroy fairy — 7:44 pm September 24, 2012 #

  18. Sad is right. Just too much! Ballardification:(

    Comment by B-squared — 8:06 pm September 24, 2012 #

  19. What’s the grand total of living places at the junction with all these places? I smell way more on the bridge and more backups that they didn’t account for.

    Comment by Eaglelover — 8:32 pm September 24, 2012 #

  20. “Ballardification” is right. If you want to see where we are headed take a drive to Ballard and look at all the enormous apartment complexes that have sprung up around 15th and Market Street. It’s a very unfriendly streetscape.

    This development is so out of scale for the area. ‘Such a behemoth to welcome folks to West Seattle. :( ~z

    Comment by zephyr — 8:47 pm September 24, 2012 #

  21. Why can’t it be a clothing store? My God there is nowhere in West Seattle to buy apparel.

    Comment by Me — 8:59 pm September 24, 2012 #

  22. Remember these are just massing studies which means they are looking at ways of fitting things on this site. If there are things you feel are important about how the buildings will look, now is the time to bring them up – like how the corner should look, colors and materials and improvements along the street. Where trucks might come in and out and how parking would be accessed by people who will like there. Maybe even suggest improvements for things that will be caused by adding this many more residents…

    Comment by raincity — 9:08 pm September 24, 2012 #

  23. Thanks, RC – that also brings up a reminder, since we haven’t had an alley/street-vacation project in a while: If the city grants that kind of a request, the developer has to offer “public benefit” in exchange. In projects we’ve seen before, like Admiral Safeway and the starting-sometime-soon Equity Residential project in The Junction, that usually involves something along the streetscape – but could be more. It also requires a different level of review/approval (Design Commission, City Council) and there are public-input points along the way there too (we will cover all of them, as we did with those previous projects) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:11 pm September 24, 2012 #

  24. Fill in the empty holes before digging new ones.

    Comment by alex — 9:14 pm September 24, 2012 #

  25. Whole Foods is rumored to be looking at a space a few blocks from TJ’s, not the hole.

    Comment by Neighborly — 10:06 pm September 24, 2012 #

  26. Do our West Seattle area representatives have a stand on this kind of development? What about the business association? Other than individuals providing feedback at design review meetings, is there any organized group providing input that would actually have an impact?

    Comment by sgs — 10:14 pm September 24, 2012 #

  27. “SaveWestSeattle” — Right On!! West Seattle is turning into a “site” for sore eyes. How many times has Seattle and West Seattle voted NO on developments (urban village) and other issues only to have our politicians ignore the people’s vote!? Seattle’s city council continually shows their disdain toward NO votes by going ahead with their hairbrained, ill-conceived plans to ruin West Seattle, Ballard, QueenAnne, etc. What a crying shame.

    Comment by Seattlite — 10:17 pm September 24, 2012 #

  28. I’m surprised there is a demand for all the new condo/apts…

    Comment by ttt — 10:22 pm September 24, 2012 #

  29. This is really a new neighborhood happening there. What will be the name of this neighborhood?

    Comment by I. Ponder — 10:39 pm September 24, 2012 #

  30. To hell with West Seattle now.

    Comment by Ian — 10:46 pm September 24, 2012 #

  31. I’m ready to rise up and slay my oppressors.

    Comment by JoAnne — 10:46 pm September 24, 2012 #

  32. It seems to me that it would save an awful lot of time if we could just cut and paste into this space all of the comments from the announcement of every previous apartment building. The complaints never seem to change, from the moans about traffic and parking to the wails about the dreaded “B words” (Ballard and Bellevue), to the reality that everything is not going to stay cheap and ropey forever.
    .
    Curiously, the apartment buildings we’ve gained in the Junction over the past few years don’t seem to have produced absolute gridlock. How many apartments are there at Link? 200? Funny how I can drive through any part of the Triangle with absolute ease at all times of day. And it still seems like they roll up the sidewalks around there at around 7:30.
    .
    Not everyone in West Seattle wants to burn the bridge so no one else can come here. There is plenty of ugly in West Seattle (especially in the Triangle) that needs to go the way of the dodo. None of these apartment buildings ever seem to break new ground in terms of architecture (how could they when everyone demands that everything be built as a beige faux imitation of the 1920′s?). But those hideous, empty car dealership properties are begging to be developed.
    .
    We need to stop worshiping our cars and start realizing that the educated, upwardly mobile new people coming to our peninsula will continue to make our community a more vibrant place, with more foot traffic for our local businesses, a higher good citizen to creep ratio for our streets at all hours, and denser use of space for more sustainability.
    .
    Cities don’t work well when we’re all sitting by ourselves in our cars, or in our houses surrounded by chemically treated lawns and fences. They work when people are closer together and have an opportunity to interact, to share ideas, to bump into each other on the sidewalks. This country has plenty of “geography of nowhere” suburbs for people who feel the need to drive everywhere in a 3,000 pound vehicle. But I for one welcome denser development and more walkability in our urban hubs. And above all I say we should be welcoming new people and directing our complaints to our ridiculous continuing addiction to cars.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 11:03 pm September 24, 2012 #

  33. We tore down the old growth forests to build YOUR precious house or condo…paved over nature to build the restaurants and coffee shops you like but NOW you want time and change to stop? If only reality worked that way….you can’t rip apart a forest to build a city and then magically make it static once you have it the way you like it. Once you start change it just keeps on going…no matter how much you want your childhood version of West Seattle to stay held in stasis forever.

    Comment by Dave — 11:09 pm September 24, 2012 #

  34. ttt, the rental market is incredibly tight right now. Last spring the vacancy rate was something ridic like 3%, and rent increases have been reflecting that. Do you know anyone who rents? Ask them.
    .
    I’m a little curious what the rest of you are objecting to. The size of the building? The Huling Brothers lots have been sitting vacant for five years. Every time I go past them I think what a shame it is that that land is just sitting empty and collecting trash.

    Comment by datamuse — 11:14 pm September 24, 2012 #

  35. what Elvis said. There’s nothing wrong with development, if it’s accompanied by the requisite infrastructure. Likewise, those of you who love to lecture the rest of us about getting out of our cars: AS soon as Seattle has an adequate transportation system, there will be no-one to lecture to. Most people who are not single young-ish adults, without dependents, won’t be jumping on a bike, no matter how passionately the argument is made. It’s simple. Develop a decent transportation system, and the people will use it. Decent, like most great cities of the world have. Decent does not equal a bus every half hour.

    Comment by visitor — 11:40 pm September 24, 2012 #

  36. People are forgetting about the funeral home which has been there and serving our community for over 75 plus years! I understand that they are not closing, but still it is so very sad. We are truly losing the West Seattle we used to have. It is changing for the worse!! Dick and Arlene Kennedy are rolling over in their graves… This is disgusting. My family has been in West Seattle for over 3 generations. Once this happens I am moving out of West Seattle and never coming back… good riddance

    Comment by Joe — 11:46 pm September 24, 2012 #

  37. If people dont like the scope of the buildings, well thats fine, but empty dilapidated buildings arent a pretty sight either. Something needs to be done there.

    Comment by catcall — 1:02 am September 25, 2012 #

  38. Hmm, are those renderings a preview of what’s to come across the street at “The Hole” as well?

    Comment by Nick — 1:13 am September 25, 2012 #

  39. No. I saw the current plans when researching for the story I wrote in July. It’s the same design they had previously, except that what was to be Whole Foods will be replaced by a fitness center (LA Fitness, by multiple accounts, including what was sketched in on the plans, though the company has yet to answer our request for comment, and the site’s owner has not answered a request for comment on when they plan to start building).

    Comment by WSB — 1:35 am September 25, 2012 #

  40. Queen Anne Neighborhood has been able to stop this type of development. The residents gathered and coordinated and did stop developments like this. As well as the “big box” stores from coming into their neighborhood.

    I agree that a 7 story development here and at the former Petco location does not seem necessary. And changes the neighborhood. And NOT for the better.

    Comment by StaceyD — 7:04 am September 25, 2012 #

  41. Seattle is growing. It’s environmentally and economically responsible to accommodate the growth at the urban center so people who work in Seattle are not pushed out to Bonney Lake and Lake Stevens.
    -
    My wish: with this new growth, the mayor and city council should bump West Seattle up on the priority list for light rail, streetcars, more water taxi runs (and maybe water taxi docks?), and other forms of mass transit that don’t rely on joining the flow of traffic over the West Seattle Bridge. Rapid Ride isn’t going to cut it.

    Comment by Kim — 7:39 am September 25, 2012 #

  42. THERE GOES WEST SEATTLE…A HUGE BUILDING AT A TIME…

    I CONCUR WITH THE URBAN VILLAGE COMMENTS ABOVE. HAVE YOU BEEN TO BALLARD LATELY? IS THIS WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR PROVINCE?

    IF THIS PROJECT HAS TO BE SO MASSIVE, I GUESS I’D HAVE TO VOTE FOR #4 — LOOKS LEAST LIKE A PRISON.

    ALL THESE NEW EURO-HOUSING CUBES IN WEST SEATTLE ARE REALLY DEPRESSING TO LOOK AT.

    CAN’T THESE DEVELOPERS FIND CREATIVE ARCHITECTS?

    AT LEAST WITH DECENT DESIGN PORTFOLIOS?

    TIME TO LOOK FOR A NEW WEST SEATTLE KINDA TOWN TO MOVE TO…

    SIGH.

    Comment by sarah — 8:19 am September 25, 2012 #

  43. I live within the boundaries of this “urban village”. I spoke up against urban villages back when Mayor Rice dumped them in our laps. We didn’t even get to vote on them. It was his vision of social planning and all that jazz to meet the state Growth Management Act, which I think we DID vote for. Me and many neighbors spoke up, went to meetings, city council, DPD (former DCLU), wrote letters, etc. His proposal was going to destroy the single family feel of West Seattle. Looking at it now, we’re getting EXACTLY what Mayor Rice envisioned. EXACTLY. Multiple apartment buildings, get people out of their cars, and take the bulk of the population growth into the cities. None of this is new. Unfortunately those of us that have homes inside the boundaries are being closed in by the apartment buildings. I’m sure all that are living “outside” these boundaries are glad it’s not happening on their block, and glad it’s being contained in the Junction. Kind of “we really need to accommodate this growth” while at the same time saying “thank Goodness it’s not on my block”. West Seattle residents never think of impacts far into the future. Just band-aid fixes. That’s where we’re at now.

    Comment by JS — 8:46 am September 25, 2012 #

  44. What’s next? Turn Alaska into a pedestrian zone and cover it with an arched canopy four stories high that serves as a screen for impressive, hourly sound-and-light shows like the Freemont Street Experience in Las Vegas?

    Comment by DTK — 8:47 am September 25, 2012 #

  45. Cjboffoli: well said! I’m tired of the same overblown scare tactics being used by the anti-housing crowd every time a new building is proposed. These parcels are long overdue for redevelopment as high density mixed use. And this:
    http://seattlesubway.org
    Just sayin.

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 8:58 am September 25, 2012 #

  46. I’m happy to finally see so much anti-development support. Thank you! However, the damage has already been done IMO. It would be great to stop future “BS” but the West Seattle many of us know and love is gone. Already “jumped the shark”. Traffic is horrible, schools are overcrowded, road rage on our neighborhood streets, etc!!!

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 9:15 am September 25, 2012 #

  47. Light rail please!!!!!

    Comment by Elisa — 9:43 am September 25, 2012 #

  48. We need to start having sit-ins during the council meetings. West Seattle is not being represented fairly. If we are expected to burden these neighborhood changing developments then we must be given the tools, such as light rail, to make our neighborhoods viable. As it is, we are giving away our lifestyles for the profit of developers who aren’t providing anything in return to the community.

    Sit ins at City Hall. I say we start next week. Who’s with me?

    Comment by Neighbor — 10:06 am September 25, 2012 #

  49. Thanks Christopher, for your 9/24, 11:03 comment. You saved me a lot of typing.

    Comment by dawsonct — 10:07 am September 25, 2012 #

  50. The next Manhattan being built right in front of your own eyes. West Seattle use to be a mostly blue collar populated area not anymore. West Seattle will soon be a very impractical place to live if you have to commute to work as cost such as tolls and travel time greatly increases. A toll across the West Seattle bridge probably isn’t to far off. What will that do to our property prices ? Well find out in the next few years.

    Comment by Wetone — 10:19 am September 25, 2012 #

  51. Of the four proposals, #4 is the only one that doesn’t have an “office park” bland feel to it. Some incredibly boring architecture. Almost suspect developers don’t use architects anymore, just hire a structural engineer to maximize the use of the land.
    Density IS good if it is focused, (despite the hand-wringing) but it would be really great if we could have some buildings that reflect some architectural creativity. The Josef Stalin-style architecture that we are being saddled with doesn’t work, doesn’t age well.
    It is important that a development of this size be very pedestrian friendly.

    Comment by dawsonct — 10:28 am September 25, 2012 #

  52. We are a victim of our own success.

    http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2019251870_apartmentrentsxml.html

    This is why projects are getting built right now. I am going to cut and paste this in every thread from now on asking why these projects are getting built.

    Low supply.
    High and climbing rents.

    Comment by kgdlg — 12:20 pm September 25, 2012 #

  53. The hideous architecture shown in the proposals is the result of build as much as you can as cheaply as you can on a small parcel. That’s what old Mayor Rice’s urban village vision (now a reality)was going for which results in an increased flow of taxes to the city which they will egregiously misuse as usual.

    Comment by Seattlite — 12:45 pm September 25, 2012 #

  54. If people are so opposed to the design of the building, I’m curious as to what they want put on that site. Surely you dont want an empty building to sit vacant there.

    Comment by Strike'em out Kinney — 1:17 pm September 25, 2012 #

  55. Vote out council members who support living jowl to jowl (as one commenter put it)! Other communities have put a stop to it but good ol’ West Seattle is just bending over and taking it up the wazzu apparently. No offense WSU grads :)

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 2:06 pm September 25, 2012 #

  56. And the Eagles “Last Resort” plays in the background….

    Comment by Tracy White — 2:38 pm September 25, 2012 #

  57. So, all of the NIMBY’s here would rather have vacant car dealership lots? That corner is awfully ugly right now.

    I say yay for urban density! Lets bring light rail over the bridge next.

    Comment by Brad — 3:20 pm September 25, 2012 #

  58. Hey cbjoffoli, Dave and your fellow Spin Spewers, folks in WS are not so stupid to fall for the pro-development, ‘let’s bury all the cars’ spin you are spewing. Your comments are right out of the Pro-Development Approved Talking Points on this issue.
    1. “Scare Tactics” – Accuse all citizens concerned about the City and Developers’ intent to turn West Seattle into “West Shanghai Mumbai” of using evil scare tactics even though the time to be scared has long past as other commenters above have lamented as irrepreible damage has already occurred.
    THE TRUTH: Most are simply asking that the City stop inflicting mass highrise developments down the throats of WS, Ballard and other former blue collar neighborhoods while leaving upscale areas alone. Would Magnolia residents allow even one of these poorly constructed WWII corregated wavy tin hanger-esque monstrosities in their area? The City ignored our dismay in the 90′s by choosing WS as the only area in the City forced to allow not just one, but 2 urban villiages. Apparently recently they mislead us and somehow we now have THREE! It could have been done nicely but look at what they have wrought!

    2. Use the “Addiction to Cars” Card: THE TRUTH: WS has almost the highest % of adults residents who faithfully use mass transit and bikes to go to work. Yet because developers have not had to pay for the impacts excessive piling of people like rats in a tiny cage has had on our neghborhood enviornmental quality, quality of life…the addition of tens of thousands of cars to the same road infrastructure we had in 1950…nor have they been forced to pay for new schools, ADDITIONAL POLICE PROTECTION and so on. They build, take the $$ and go away.
    3. Use the “They don’t like new people” and/or “Anti-Housing Scum” card: We love people, and housing improvements ~ just not 20,000+ crammed into formerly lower density areas. We already are over populated due to the urban villiages inflicted on WS. Yes, the Huling site and the Hole should be brought to life again… just not 6 story monstrosities similar to the McMansions that went up in former one story bungalow areas countrywide.

    From the comments above you should see people simply want further developments to be limited in heighth and IMHO no further apartments/units should be allowed in WS but should be more fairly distributed in Magnolia, or other areas.

    Not all desire to live like New Yorkers or in fear as Chicago murder capitol of the world residents.
    ——–
    Can anyone provide an idea/procedure for a safe way for people to meet in person and/or virtually to discuss how WS may fight these developments from being built as currently conceived? Ws has suggered enough already! If we fail to rise up…will we soon have four Urban Villiages?

    Comment by SaveWestSeattle — 3:23 pm September 25, 2012 #

  59. Huh. I didn’t get a copy of the Pro-Development Approved Talking Points. Did they find out my decoder ring was a fake?
    .
    The thing that sticks for me is, every time this topic comes up, the main argument against seems to be wanting to keep things exactly the way they are, even if “the way they are” is a horribly ugly existing building (no way will anyone convince me that the former Petco building has charm–it barely has windows, for heaven’s sake) or a lot of vacant lots that used to house a car dealership bigger than some towns I’ve visited.
    .
    No, of course I don’t want another Ballard. I saw which way that wind was blowing in the late 90s, and decided on West Seattle instead.
    .
    On the other hand, people gotta live somewhere, and the single-family-house-with-yard model that dominates much of Seattle is kind of how we got here: ask anyone who rents and they’ll tell you they can’t AFFORD to live in the city because rents are too high. If you want to see the results of that, come on down to Highland Park where we have empty houses suffering from serious neglect. (And if it’s a pseudo-suburban mostly blue collar neighborhood you fancy, by all means please move here. We like new neighbors.)

    Comment by datamuse — 4:05 pm September 25, 2012 #

  60. SaveWestSeattle — You the bomb. I would like to see WSeattlites control their own development density destiny…

    Comment by Seattlite — 4:53 pm September 25, 2012 #

  61. Every West Seattle resident should attend the next Thursday meeting. Get your friends and neighbors to fight this. Remember we are paying their salaries and this and future projects should be put to a vote!

    Comment by Ray K — 5:22 pm September 25, 2012 #

  62. It seems like both “sides” to this argument are excluding the middle to make the other POV dismissable.
    .
    As a few have said already, the problem is not with the development of these lots — that’s a good thing. My problem is with the scale and numbers. Why 400 or 600 units and not 100 – 200?
    .
    I know, the answer probably has to do with maximum developer profitability and a city starved for tax revenue.
    .
    But to indulge myself, I looked around the web for apartment housing that seemed like good scale/good architecture to me. Yes, i know, the images in the article are just for “massing” — well here is a mass I could support from the U of BC campus in Vancouver.
    .
    http://www.planning.ubc.ca/database/rte/images/Pacific.JPG

    I also like this design/edifice that gives the illusion of smaller business/apartments in a town center.
    http://www.ktgy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/MU_Paragon-at-Old-Town_01.jpg

    Comment by MellyMel — 11:27 pm September 25, 2012 #

  63. I HATE all of these. For once I’d rather be looking at the empty Huling lot. How are we supposed to support this many tenants being added to the roads and schools? And do they really think they can fill these to capacity? There was something mentioned earlier when the beautification project was first discussed about making the road-side building height set back a bit to make it not so canyon like. The drawings don’t look like they have that. Alaska is swallowed up by these buildings. We need to come out in force against this kind of design.

    Comment by D-Mom — 8:13 am September 26, 2012 #

  64. MellyMei, I like those designs you added.

    Comment by D-Mom — 8:14 am September 26, 2012 #

  65. I don’t like the mass size of this thing and I hope they choose an option that forgoes the maximum capacity in exchange for something a little less monolithic. I also hope the city remembers that we need infrastructure to support this growing community. If folks want better representation by the City Council, we need to support the election of Council members by district. Then we’d have a representative answerable to our community. There’s a new group organized to push district elections again: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/09/26/new-group-wants-seattle-to-approve-district-elections
    .
    I moved to West Seattle two years ago, and I welcome the added density if we get appropriate infrastructure. The Junction is so sleepy even on some evenings and the area east toward the Triangle is desolate with a few spots of activity. I never walk down there at night but I might if I knew more people were living around there.

    Comment by Mightymoh — 10:39 am September 26, 2012 #

  66. I can understand people being against this primarily because of the scale of this building, however there needs to be some kind of development there. Like some posted, dilapidated vacant buildings are not a pretty sight. I for one don’t like the way that parcel looks right now

    Comment by Strike em out Kinney — 2:49 pm September 26, 2012 #

  67. The problem isn’t the size of the buildings, it’s the shape. If they were wiling to use the 85 feet allowed under NC3-85 zoning, then they could get the same floor are ratio (i.e. similar profit margin) with a smaller footprint. This could be broken up into four separate eight story buildings that would provide more open space on the ground, and more air and light between the buildings. That approach would also be more in line with current trends in urban design.
    -
    http://seattlesubway.org/

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 3:44 pm September 26, 2012 #

  68. No development without light-rail. Period.

    Comment by WorldCitizen — 8:31 pm September 26, 2012 #

  69. District elections for Seattle
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/politicsnorthwest/2012/09/26/group-wants-district-elections-for-seattle/

    Comment by a better future — 10:01 pm September 26, 2012 #

  70. We reported that here today as well:
    http://westseattleblog.com/2012/09/should-west-seattle-have-its-own-city-councilmember-new-elect-by-districts-push

    Comment by WSB — 10:08 pm September 26, 2012 #

  71. Peter, I think once you go to 85 feet you are onto steel and concrete construction which is a lot more expensive, for no real change in rents, so less profit. The only market where this really works is bell town, where the average rent is not almost 2k a month.

    Comment by kgdlg — 10:26 pm September 26, 2012 #

  72. Please come to the meeting tonight and hopefully those who would like to stand up and fight against even MORE apartment units being added to our area without required, developer paid neighborhood infrastructure improvements to reduce the impact and to push for maximim 3 story building heighth restrictions no different than allowed in most non urban villiage areas and so on could gather and plan ahead. I applaud MellyMel comments and suggestions as to the “middle POV” and actually think most hold that position but are accused of being Scare Mongers and car worshpers solely because we think WS has already had its fair share of new apartment units with ZERO infrastructure improvements paid by developers to lessen the impact. Most are happy to work toward reasonable, higher quality, much smaller scale improvements to areas like the the Huling site. We want WS to be a vibrant constantly improving retail and residential neighborhood. We have just seen so many huge ugly cheaply constructed buildings covered with sleezy corregated tin. Don’t give up on WS, don’t let Peter, Subway and their ilk have thier way. It is possible to force higher quality, less dense, smaller improvements which will benefit all if we fight.

    Comment by SaveWestSeattle — 10:14 am September 27, 2012 #

  73. My thoughts on proposal: They are sneeky!
    1. Just curious when the City allowed this area to allow NC 85 zoning instead of NC 65 which is the maximum for surrounding zoning and still considered way too high at NC 64 for most in West Seattle.
    2. How can 8 stories which includes a grocery store be built not to exceed 85′? Isn’t your statement on page 13 stating the 85′ max is only for the residential floors and does not include the height of the commercial base an illegal/Departure?.
     How high will the building including the retail base reach?
    3. Does the height start at ground level or at parking level?
    4. Page 2: Overall summary
    • Units = 370 Parking = 570
    5. Yet when the actual alternatives are discussed, we see a different story:

    • Page 13 – Units = 662 Parking = same?
    • You admit site “severely under parked”. Where will residents and guests and retail customers park?
    6. Page 15 – Units 621 Parking = still severely under parked,
    • Plus this goes against rule of no blank walls and you admit “Provides minimal natural light and negative residential unit outlook.” as well a numerous additional “Departures”.
    7. Page 17: Units = 551 Parking = 570?
    • The Cons and Departures are criminal especially exceeding maximum lot coverage of 80% and huge reduction in natural light. Must we live without sunlight?
    8. Page 19: Units 398
     Again Natural light is impacted in addition to the other unacceptable departures!
    9. WS citizens: This summary page deletes many departures and all the Cons.

    ————————————————————
    Proposed Demands/Requests
    1. Total height from street level including all commercial and residential floors should not exceed 65′ and preferably be zoned 45′ maximum. NC 65 is max of adjoining property height and why allow extra 40′?!!! (Currently the alternatives show 85′ for residential but the base commercial floor is not included so this development would tower at least 40′ over other already too tall and dense zoning. This is 125″ up from the normal 45!
    2. Residential units should not exceed 200 and there would be two parking spaces per unit at minimum so as to not impact street parking. This has nothing to do with using Metro. Most will use Metro to go to work but will have guests, drive places in addition to work and there needs to be off street parking to support merchants.

    3. Absolutely ZERO Departures should be allowed. Especially all which involve blank walls and loss of natural light.
    4. More Open park like area walking area should be incorporated. Currently too MASSIVE, DENSE AND UGLY.
    —-
    Other ideas?

    Comment by SaveWestSeattle — 11:51 am September 27, 2012 #

  74. SaveWS – The zoning change was finalized last December. DPD tacked it onto a process involving The Triangle. But there were multiple chances to comment – we reported on it all along the way – lots of coverage in stories such as this:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/11/happening-now-triangle-rezoning-before-city-council-committee
    .
    I always wondered why the North Seattle rezoning that was going through the system about the same time drew all sorts of uproar and this one didn’t. The information was all out there.
    .
    Anyway, alternative 4 is the only one that resembles what the project team had talked about previously. They had said repeatedly in conversations with us and community members that they weren’t planning on using the full allowable height. Alternative 4 goes to a 70-foot height. Developers are required to bring multiple alternatives to Design Review – usually 3 is what’s expected – including their “preferred alternative.” Though it’s not labeled as such, the way #4 is presented make it seem like the only feasible one. And no, there is no proposal for 125 feet. Whether 70, 85, or something else, that includes the retail and the residential.
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:54 pm September 27, 2012 #

  75. Thanks, WSB. I hpoe I misread the statement:
    “Where residential occurrs it is 7 levels to 85′ maximum over 1 level commercial.” So the seven levels will not be 75″ maxium plus one level commercial….I hope. Seriously, unless units have LOW ceilings there is no way 7 levels and one commercial will fit under 85′. This sure isn’t what I dreamed of when I think of a “Village”.

    Comment by SaveWestSeattle — 2:03 pm September 27, 2012 #

  76. As much as most of you are frustrated by the changes coming, indeed they shall come…Land is very scarce and these developers will cram in as much as they can with minimal care. Soooooooo- the next best thing we can all do is attend the meetings and DEMAND that design and materials used are the most attractive for the area!!!! Enough of the UGLY crap just thrown together..If it’s going to be big let it be BEAUTIFUL! Demand EXCELENCE! Don’t be scared of change…but be part of it…use your voice and ideas.

    Comment by cici — 11:06 pm September 27, 2012 #

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