West Seattle development: City OKs Alki rowhouse project

October 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 19 Comments

(WSB photo, April 2013)
Three months after dozens of Alki neighbors voiced their concerns about a rowhouse project, they have received word that the city has approved it. That’s the word from Marie McKinsey, who along with her neighbors on 55th SW sought and received a public meeting at which they spoke out. We first wrote in April about their petition for a hearing on the proposal for 11 units in three “rowhouse” buildings on the parcels currently known as 2414, 2418, and 2424 55th SW (map). In response, the city scheduled a July hearing at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge, and more than 25 people attended it, with about half of them speaking. They stressed that they weren’t opposed to development, but to the density of this particular proposal, and its potential effects on wildlife, stormwater runoff, traffic, and parking, all concerns voiced under the auspices of the State Environmental Policy Act review of the project. Here’s the decision (embedded below or read it here), dated October 10th, though the neighbors did not receive written notification until October 15th. As McKinsey points out, the approval includes a few conditions:


She hasn’t heard of any neighbor prepared to appeal the decision; the deadline for that would be October 24th. The city pages for the project are here.

8:17 PM: The project is getting some discussion at the Alki Community Council meeting that’s under way right now, including a mention of McKinsey’s website and its extensive documentation on the project, as well as a suggestion that ACC members might be able to assist with a possible challenge or a longer-term look at whether zoning could be re-examined in the general area.

19 Comments

  1. I am late for work so I don’t have time to locate this part of the decision, but note the part where they concluded that this project would put no additional parking burden on the neighborhood!

    This project has something called “tandem parking” which means that the two cars are supposed to be put in the garage end to end, so one car blocks the other. Under the code that is counted as two parking spaces.

    How likely do you think it is people would really use their garages that way?

    There is a lot of “pretend” involved in the code.

    If you are interested in the true absurdity of this project, look at the sketches of how this will look and then take a walk on (dead end) Wickstrom place and imagine how it will look from the houses there. It is nuts.

    BTW, I don’t live on Wickstrom. I live on 55th, where the scale of the project is inappropriate but not insane in the way the Wickstrom side is.

    Comment by Lisa — 9:02 am October 18, 2013 #

  2. WSB – would you be able to access the floor plans for this project. They were available at the meeting a few months ago but I don’t think that they are on the web anywhere.

    It would be helpful to be able to look at them more closely.

    Comment by Lisa — 9:03 am October 18, 2013 #

  3. Did you look at Marie McKinsey’s site? http://whereiamnow.net – she has an entire section devoted to it and I’m sure MUCH more material than we ever published – look for the tab “Alki Rowhouse Project” (or similar) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:18 am October 18, 2013 #

  4. More proof that the DPD does not care about the citizens of Seattle. It’s a joke that they put up signs and ask for comments. They probably don’t even read one response. And does anybody notice that after the comment time frame expires they don’t even remove the postings? They tend to eventually fall down and clog the nearest drain. The DPD is destroying the city of Seattle.

    Comment by DTK — 9:18 am October 18, 2013 #

  5. Couldn’t have said it better myself, DTK.

    Comment by enough — 10:38 am October 18, 2013 #

  6. Where’s bofolli’s snark on this one. We must be “antiquated” to have opinions on this.

    Comment by Rick — 10:51 am October 18, 2013 #

  7. It’s sad. This house has been part of the community for a long time. It brought such enjoyment for those who lived there. I will give it a blessing before it is finally disperesd of.

    Comment by alki forever — 11:03 am October 18, 2013 #

  8. I moved out of W. Seattle last year, partly because of the overdevelopment with corresponding lack of infrastructure improvements.

    Went back to see the Junction last week. How sad.

    Now, on with the destruction of Alki. What an ugly building is proposed.

    The developers have stolen the soul of the community. Very glad to be out of my once loved city.

    Comment by Bill — 12:44 pm October 18, 2013 #

  9. The plans are HIDEOUS, and completely out of keeping with the flavor of the neighborhood. I’m furious that developers, aided and abetted by DPD, are being allowed to tyrannize West Seattle and bully it’s residents despite overwhelming protests. We are not being heard. Time for some justice in the form of monkey-wrench activism.

    Comment by anonyme — 2:19 pm October 18, 2013 #

  10. Most of these houses were owned by the same landlord/landlords for years. S/he sold the houses to the developer at market rate. Not including the property owners (who were not residents of these houses, but long time landlords) in this volatile blame game is seriously naive.

    Comment by anónimo — 3:14 pm October 18, 2013 #

  11. You’ll get over it.

    Comment by robespierre — 4:53 pm October 18, 2013 #

  12. WSB – I found those floor plans (site plan) on the city’s site – I had not seen it there before. Sorry about that.

    Comment by Lisa — 6:57 pm October 18, 2013 #

  13. If you think the city council, the mayor, or DPD cares about you, think again. Has there been any projects that they have said no to? What a joke.

    Comment by buckwheat — 8:30 pm October 18, 2013 #

  14. Buckwheat, do you see ways to change that?

    Comment by Lisa — 9:11 am October 19, 2013 #

  15. Earlier this morning, I was looking over the ballot for the Nov. 5th election. As I scanned it, I made up my mind that I am NOT going to vote for a single incumbent. Mayor or City Council. These people are involved in the distruction of this part of the city. We know it and they know it, but they are all behind it.

    Comment by artsea — 12:48 pm October 19, 2013 #

  16. Lisa, I concur with artseat. Vote them out. Seattle needs elected officials who have a clue and who can push through a development with some common sense. Currently, the development plan is a mess! Look at Portland with their development. Light rail everywhere and continually expanding, cool neighboorhoods, and better zoing laws regarding development. It is time vote for people who are leaders wiith some vision…

    Comment by buckwheat — 1:49 pm October 19, 2013 #

  17. 55 th is multifamily zoned so any house that goes on the market will most likely be torn down and replaced with row houses or have a couple units added behind. There are a few more I know in the works right now. Single family homes as most know (home with nice yard) will soon be a thing of the past in that neighborhood very sad. Was a great place to grow up in the 60′s 70′s. The house I grew up in we could look out the large picture window and see a hillside full of trees now it looks into townhouses that were built on the alley blocking the sun and view. Parking in that area is at a premium now and will only get worse thanks to our city planners and mayors past and present.

    Comment by wetone — 2:11 pm October 19, 2013 #

  18. buckwheat- Who would you vote in? Its not enough to say vote them out – they have to be replaced by someone. so who has a different perspective -and is running? any info on that would be much apprecuiated.

    wetone – you know of projects in the works on 55th or near it? could you tell us what you know?

    Comment by lisa — 6:05 pm October 19, 2013 #

  19. @Buckwheat
    As an Oregonian for most of my life. The light rail in Portland is horrendous. The Seattle public transportation network (flawed as it is) is much more useful than Tri-Met in Portland. The light rail in Portland is the equivalent of having light rail from Kirkland to West Seattle (with nothing else) The zoning laws however definitely seem to handle growth and sprawl much better though.

    Comment by Wes C. Addle — 1:02 pm October 21, 2013 #

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