(Proposed ‘preferred’ massing for the development; rendering courtesy Nicholson Kovalchick Architects)
Tomorrow (Thursday) night is the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for 3210 California SW, the 166-apartment project that’s the first proposal for a block-long stretch of South Admiral upzoned two years ago, after an at-times-contentious process that started more than three years earlier. The meeting was set to happen last month – until neighbors pointed out that the notice had not gone to everyone affected, so the city postponed it at the last minute. Those neighbors live in the single-family neighborhood behind the proposed development plan; while they expect to be at the meeting, they also have drafted a 13-page letter they sent in advance in hopes the board members would have time to consider it. Here’s a copy they provided. It details their concerns, particularly regarding height, bulk, and scale of the new development. Looking at homes to the east along 42nd, you can see its potential top floors in blue to the west.
An excerpt from the letter:
1. The proposed project abuts a much less intensive SF zone of substantially different scale, along its long axis. 80-percent of the abutting single-family residences are one or two-story bungalows on 5000 sf lots. The absence of an alley for access and buffer is conducive to a project of smaller scale.
2. The proposed project is two full stories taller than the buildings on California Ave to its north and south. (See Section D in the project packet.)
3. The development site is of such exceptional length not only for its immediate context, but for Seattle overall. The proposed building is 200 feet longer than a downtown block, with a footprint equivalent to 6 NC parcel lengths and 9 SF parcel lengths. Even with one “break” in the building’s upper stories, the two masses are still each far longer than any other buildings.
4. The current proposal appears substantially greater in height and scale than in representations made in connection with a 2011 rezone.
The project packet can be seen here. This review is the second one on the board’s agenda for tomorrow night at the Senior Center of West Seattle (second floor of California/Oregon building) – at 6:30 pm, they take up the 39-apartment building proposed for 3829 California SW, and then 3210 California SW’s part of the meeting is scheduled to start at 8 pm. There’ll be a period for public comment on each project.
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