Video: How did development get to this point? Morgan Junction meeting provides primer, context

December 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

Two more meetings are now set related to concerns over the Morgan Junction development first reported here almost two months ago, before the sign went up – a 30-unit, no-parking-space apartment building at 6917 California SW. They follow the meeting recorded in our video above, held last night by the Morgan Community Association and Concerned Morgan Junction Neighbors, a grass-roots group coalescing around the development proposal.

In the video, you will hear/see community advocates and city Department of Planning and Development managers talk about the development process, including some of the relatively recent changes that have paved the way for developments like this, such as the 2012 change that enabled developers to propose no-parking-space buildings in urban-village areas with access to what the city considers “frequent transit.” (City planning director Marshall Foster – a West Seattleite – explains that, at about 37 minutes into the video, which captures the entire meeting, unedited, except for the last few minutes of Q/A. “The goal was to let the market have some flexibility,” he said.)

Even if you’re not in the Morgan area, listening might be instructive, if you’re interested in what preceded the kind of development proposals emerging today.

The next two meetings are coming up on the next two Thursday nights, according to an announcement sent out tonight. Next Thursday (December 12th), 6917 California SW developer Mark Knoll will meet with neighbors (and anyone else interested). That meeting is set for 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6700 Sylvan Way). Then December 19th is the date for a city meeting about the project, resulting from Concerned Morgan Junction Neighbors’ petition, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).

14 Comments

  1. Guess they haven’t heard that SoundTransit is gutting bus service in 2014, so perhaps approval for a no parking building should be reconsidered.

    Comment by Morgan Live — 10:46 pm December 6, 2013 #

  2. I dont drive for my commute but I would still need a car for skiing and out of town trips. I dont understand how you can go without at least one car spot for each unit.

    Comment by wsea — 8:23 am December 7, 2013 #

  3. Thanks for posting this — after the end of this video, Marshall was asked to further clarify “frequent transit” and he admitted that it had nothing to do with carrying capacity, but is currently based on bus timetables. (If a bus travels the route, but can’t pick you up because it’s full, it still counts as “frequent transit”.) He said they are currently working to amend that rule to consider capacity.

    Comment by DrDimentico — 9:51 am December 7, 2013 #

  4. Dr. D, sorry we didn’t get those last few minutes, battery ran out (don’t ever trust your camera when it claims you have 5 hours … sigh). I think I heard that somewhere along the way, having listened to the entire video last night; would have been there myself but it was concurrent with two Design Review meetings which weren’t going to get covered any other way, so thanks to WSB team member Katie for recording this meeting. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:01 am December 7, 2013 #

  5. “The goal was to let the market have some flexibility.”

    Now that says it all.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 11:04 am December 7, 2013 #

  6. I would hope that anyone who has ever in the past stated or had the thought that Land Use and Zoning codes and issues are boring has now realized how important it is to follow any proposed changes or revisions to code that DPD/City Council puts on the table.

    Screw ‘The Market’, the real market is those that live with the fall out of the lunacy that is happening before us.

    Comment by Del Martini — 12:41 pm December 7, 2013 #

  7. In case you folks haven’t received the memo yet, there is this little thing called global warming happening. And emissions from cars are a big contributor. We need to stop building infrastructure that encourages driving. Seattleites like to think of themselves as good environmentalists. Well, let’s stop pretending and really be a leader in sustainability. Allowing buildings to be built without parking is one important step in that direction.

    Comment by David — 2:49 pm December 7, 2013 #

  8. @David Too bad not providing any new development parking in the here and now won’t really affect whether or not those residents bring their cars. Street parking will become the de facto solution and congestion the natural result. We have to make the switch gradually by making sure the infrastructure (like mass transit) can support these decisions. Maybe a world-class city like Seattle should start prioritizing that?

    Comment by Jen — 3:48 pm December 7, 2013 #

  9. Yeah David, we know. And cars are a smog contributor, but likely not the primary cause of global warming. We’ve got big coal, natural gas extraction(which causes a lot more global warming contributors at the front end), massive deforestation, cattle/pig farming, even expanding agriculture for ethanol production releases massive amounts of global warming contributors.

    We are well aware of the problem. But without a car, you are stuck. Our system isn’t set up for public transportation because the citizens will not accept the taxes to pay for it.

    Comment by Civik — 3:55 pm December 7, 2013 #

  10. Cars don’t cause global warming. Emissions from the burning of fuels in vehicles does. Good thing the future of vehicles is hydrogen and that emmits water vapor. The dense cramming of thousands of toilets does more ecological damage locally than a h1 hummer driving the city streets. Did you know the toxins from one metro diesel bus put out more environmental damaging emmissions than 30 gas h1 hummers?

    Comment by mike — 5:00 pm December 7, 2013 #

  11. Deforestation, either by fire or logging, at higher latitudes might actually have a cooling effect via the albedo effect, offsetting carbon sequestration. But yeah, even if everyone in the entire state gave up cars, it would have a statistically meaningless effect on world temps. Water vapor, btw, is by far the most significant greenhouse gas, interestingly enough.

    Comment by G — 7:26 pm December 7, 2013 #

  12. Good grief. Really David?

    Clearly you don’t understand science, nevermind the science of global warming.

    What you seem to understand is “repeat after me”.

    One might wonder if David would like a cracker.

    Comment by Jeffrey — 7:49 pm December 7, 2013 #

  13. The most salient point that I took away from this meeting was this:
    .
    Any developer that submits an application for a building permit does so under the current regulations and circumstances. That means that the builder doesn’t need to worry about the fact that Morgan Junction will lose its Rapid Transit capability within the next year due to Metro budget cuts. As far as the city is concerned, the area had Rapid Transit when the permit was requested so it’s not breaking any rules.
    .
    It’s one of those things that makes sense strictly on paper but when you actually say it out loud and think about the implications you just scratch you head and say “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. This is madness.”

    Comment by iamseriodotus — 7:18 am December 9, 2013 #

  14. Car prowlers rejoice! All the new cars parked on the street should be easy pickens for you.
    As any West Sea resident knows, car prowling/break ins are a rampant problem. Ensuring ALL the streets are lined with targets seems like a bad move to me.

    Comment by zark00 — 2:57 pm December 9, 2013 #

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