West Seattle development: Next review for 18-house proposal

December 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm | In Development, Environment, West Seattle news | 31 Comments

While we report most often on apartment, townhouse, and rowhouse projects, single-family-home development is on the rise in West Seattle too. Checking the permit files for what’s new in the system, we noticed that a proposal to build 18 single-family homes on an acre and a half of eastern West Seattle land is resuming its journey through the city permit system, after being dormant for a year or so.

New city signage is now up on both sides of the site, which carries the official address 2646 SW Holden (map) but stretches between Holden and Webster, just west of the Navos campus. The sign above is on the Holden side, where the site’s only structure – a boarded-up 90-year-old house – would be demolished. Here’s the Webster side:

As the signs and the online information point out, the proposal for a subdivision called Madrona Glen would involve the removal of 10 “exceptional trees.” It went through the Streamlined Design Review process exactly one year ago (here’s the city planner’s report on how that went) and a land-use-permit application has now been filed. The 18 three-story homes (each with a 2-car garage) would be accessed via a central drive opening onto Holden – here’s the general outline shown on the city signage:

Documentation says that 20,000 square feet of the site would be kept as a “non-disturbance area” – basically, a greenbelt – along the east property line and its northern “panhandle” on a dead-end section of Webster.

TO COMMENT: A formal notice for comment on the environmental review should be forthcoming on the Land Use Information Bulletin, including a deadline, but in the meantime, you can comment to PRC@seattle.gov and reference project #3013915.

P.S. You’ll note the city signage accompanies “for sale” signs on both sides. We haven’t found a formal publicly accessible listing, so we don’t yet know the status on that; county records show the site changed hands just last year. Its zoning is mixed, part single-family 5000 (square feet), part Lowrise-1; the latter section of the site was proposed for townhouse development back in 2006.

31 Comments

  1. Finally some movement on that property, it will be nice to see that blight removed.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 6:02 pm December 28, 2013 #

  2. From the looks of that property, I’m thinking a few coyotes are going to be looking for a new home… / Houses over a 100-plex monstrosity. How refreshing.

    Comment by Chuck & Sally's Van Man — 6:44 pm December 28, 2013 #

  3. From these photos, I’m certainly not seeing anything that might be described as ‘exceptional trees’.

    Comment by transplantella — 7:51 pm December 28, 2013 #

  4. I’d feel better about this if there were zero parking spots onsite.

    Comment by SomeGuy — 7:54 pm December 28, 2013 #

  5. Transp – it’s a 1.69-acre site and since it’s private property, I wasn’t going to trespass to photograph the whole thing – keep in mind it stretches a full block between Holden and Webster. The full tree inventory is among the documents downloadable from the city DPD website. “Exceptional” is a city definition, explained here:
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codes/dr/dr2008-16x.pdf

    Comment by WSB — 9:27 pm December 28, 2013 #

  6. Yes, transp, as WSB pointed out, “exceptional tree” is a regulatory definition, and it’s not up to the layperson to decide what they think is exceptional. Sheesh.
    .
    Coyotes do use this greenbelt, I’ve seen them three times. I just hope that the new homes are attractive and not the cookie-cutter townhomes that popped up nearby (Delridge and Highpoint). However, since it’s a single developer planning the entire site, I’m pretty sure the cookie-cutters are in our future.
    .
    There’s an orange-crowned warbler that nests there (past 2 years) that will also be displaced, which is sad. I hope the homes are worth it and sell quickly.

    Comment by AE — 10:06 pm December 28, 2013 #

  7. Apparently none of you live on the block most impacted 28th).
    It’s ludicrous to think 18!!!! single family, two car garage homes will fit in there.
    Where is the infrastructure to support that many people who will butt VERY closely to the homes lining the east side of 28th? Cramming 50 pounds into a 2 pound bag not only screams greed, but lack of foresight to (real) neighborhood development. The house-stacking & cheap resemblances any form of architectural design we WILL see is laughable.

    Comment by Beth — 11:05 pm December 28, 2013 #

  8. The math does not add up. If you were to utilize 100% of the ground space, the max sq/ft of each lot could be 2400 sq/ft. Take into consideration the required distance between each structure, a driving path to get to said 2 car garages and the ability for a firetruck to enter the development, i don’t see how that’ll falls into the ‘subdivision’ category of development.
    .
    Honestly, the developer is pushing the limits of the law with this. Ask the fire department to review the plans and find out where new fire hydrants will be since they won’t be able to get a firetruck in there safely.

    Comment by Mike — 4:38 am December 29, 2013 #

  9. Where’s the “You’ll get over it” guy?

    Comment by DTK — 6:03 am December 29, 2013 #

  10. Madness. Why don’t they go and develop the White Center, or George Town. Greedy and selfish with no concern for anyone.

    Comment by stopthegreed — 9:41 am December 29, 2013 #

  11. cram em in like sardines

    Comment by dangit — 10:04 am December 29, 2013 #

  12. Plan on visiting the property ,as I do with others posed to be bulldozed for the record, I find properties like this visually stimulating. Also look out for plants to rescue especially our native sword fern. I am the guy

    Comment by NW — 10:07 am December 29, 2013 #

  13. This looks terrible. I much prefer apartment or condo complexes on already developed land in transit-friendly locations over this sort of suburban spawl that will destroy a significant amount of greenspace and large number of important trees.

    The ‘dead-end’ road and distance for bus routes makes this a pedestrian unfriendly design, guaranteeing that all houses will have at least one, probably two cars. This is far, far worse than the zero parking or limited parking buildings being proposed in other (better) locations.

    Comment by Moose2 — 10:12 am December 29, 2013 #

  14. Just a quick thank you for posting the map link, which is very helpful to this newer WS resident.

    Comment by Jennhx — 10:26 am December 29, 2013 #

  15. NW, I’d love to rescue some plants, especially sword fern. Are you the guy to contact? If so, how?

    ‘Dense’ would be an apt description for these developers. I’ve often wished that I could have that little house moved; it’s a charmer, for sure, although I don’t know what condition it’s in after having been abandoned for so long. Agree with others that the math doesn’t add up. I equate these developers with the logging companies that bullied their way through bureaucracy and raped our state of millions of acres of forest they weren’t entitled to. The same thing is happening with development. They get away with murder, because they CAN.

    Comment by anonyme — 11:26 am December 29, 2013 #

  16. Moose2′s comment seems quite valid, and in general, this does seem like yet another poorly-planned development, leaving the majority of the community with a problematic eyesore for decades to come, and $$$ in someone’s already bulging wallet.

    Comment by pupsarebest — 11:56 am December 29, 2013 #

  17. Take a couple of deep breaths, people or make that next coffee a decaf. “Rape,” and “murder” in the context of developing a piece of property? This city is so stressful and much of it is self-inflicted.

    Comment by G — 1:08 pm December 29, 2013 #

  18. As noted by Beth, none of you endorsing this aberration clearly live near it. This is the City doing everything possible for cash. Those of us who own homes on 28th bought their houses because we wanted to live in a neighborhood with normal single family homes. Part of that has been destroyed by the townhouse monstrosities on Holden with “garages” that can barely hold a Mini so everyone parks up and down Holden. Not only does this contribute to an already bad traffic problem on Holden, because there is nothing easy about getting to the bus stops on either Delridge or 35th so people drive, it is super dangerous for people getting in and out of those cars, especially when it snows. Further, part of the reason that I bought my house was because I could see the trees that are now going to be destroyed for no good reason at all. There was not a single person in that neighborhood that endorsed this plan and I know many had plenty of comments demanding rejection but that didn’t stop the City. They do not care one iota about the impact upon the lives of those who live there and they don’t give a damn what any neighbors have to say, especially in West Seattle, the dumping ground for all horrible planning ideas. This isn’t even remotely “urban planning”. It is absolute delusion that many homes can be crammed into that space and that there will be a “greenbelt” as pointed out by another poster. Square footage is square footage and it will destroy the rear areas of those people who have owned their homes on 28th for years and paid good money for them, and who continue to pay taxes only to have their properties destroyed. So, we add more people who will absolutely be driving to an already overcrowded neighborhood where people use 28th and Holden as a freeway, where fire trucks will have no chance whatsoever of access, destroy some tress, destroy property values of those already living there and the City has the nerve to call it “progress”. Good job Seattle! The people at the City Planners are absolutely positively committed to destroying West Seattle. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind. They approve whatever piece of junk any developer brings to them. Why exactly are we not seriously considering breaking away from Seattle? The population of WS would make it the 6th or 7th biggest city in the state. Let’s put an end to the rest of the city using WS as their dumping ground and let them find another income source neighborhood that they can fill up with the horrible jokes that they describe as “housing”.

    Comment by MAH — 2:41 pm December 29, 2013 #

  19. believe it or not folks, not everything can be built on an arterial with good bus service. This development will be about six blocks east of Route 120 on Delridge, with inbound and outbound stops just south of Webster. Will people likely walk that distance when it means dashing across Delridge to get home? Probably not. But it will be a net increase in traffic only if all 18 families move here from somewhere besides WS and only if they start using a second car they weren’t using before.

    Comment by metrognome — 2:59 pm December 29, 2013 #

  20. Metrognome – AGAIN, you clearly do not live in the area but first, why would it matter if the family moves from within WS or not? Are already existing WS families limited already to one car? Or are you saying that it won’t increase traffic if one WS family just moves around WS? If so, then that is inaccurate because the point is NOT about WS traffic overall, it is about trying to get out of OUR neighborhood. It is becoming increasingly impossible to get out of our neighborhood in anything remotely resembling a reasonable timeframe. Delridge is a nightmare because of the school and the refusal of the City to time traffic lights and is almost impossible to use in the morning or at any time before 7 pm. Then there’s the traffic impact on Holden and 28th as I described, which people use as a freeway. All of that gets worse with this plan, as well as all of the cars parked on Holden. And as we all know, bus service is being gutted and the service up Delridge is already sporadic and its dangerous late at night. So, it’s not an option.

    And look at the design. The “backyards” for these houses will be a strip of grass about 1 foot wide as far as I can tell, which will separate them from the houses behind. How is that fair to those already existing homeowners? And the supposed “greenbelt”? That’s the box of property at the end which cannot be built upon because of sloping. This is a very bad joke and the traffic is just one of the very many problems with this project which the City just glossed over in its report with cut and paste pro forma nonsense.

    Comment by MAH — 4:00 pm December 29, 2013 #

  21. Bring on yet more Cali-boxes

    Comment by Eric Thomas — 4:22 pm December 29, 2013 #

  22. I’d rather see them put a small technology office park on that land. We could use some non-service sector employers in West Seattle. Especially if we’re going to secede…

    Comment by Alphonse — 5:49 pm December 29, 2013 #

  23. Does anyone find it odd that an architectural firm submitting to build this multi-million dollar (gross) development doesn’t even have a website?

    And, that in today’s business the petitioner doesn’t even have a robust LinkedIn profile?!!?

    These kinds of simple business practices are tall telling signs that this is going to be a build it and leave it proposition. Are they an out of state company? Do they own/run and have REALY business commitment in Seattle, or just DBA?

    Couldn’t find anywhere noting if these will be full-price, NON HUD sales or will be (yet more) federally subsidized housing.

    Comment by WTF — 6:13 pm December 29, 2013 #

  24. Anonyme yes your welcome to contact me I have an add on CL search under the “Sevices” section Native Plant Rescue.

    Comment by NW — 6:19 pm December 29, 2013 #

  25. There ARE reputable architects who don’t have websites. (I’ve probably had to look up 100+ architecture firms in the course of covering development over the past six-plus years.) Reputable other types of businesses, too. If ’twere up to me, everyone would have a website. Some just don’t. As for LinkedIn, I don’t have much of a profile there, and I *live* online – just don’t like LinkedIn, sorry. So that’s not necessarily a yardstick.
    .
    As for what kind of homes they are – that doesn’t figure into city applications. Single-family homes on small lots is a growing trend, though – see Solstice Walk by Lincoln Park (different firms), six homes on a corner parcel, central driveway:
    .
    https://sites.google.com/a/alchemyrealestate.com/4615-sw-othello-st/site
    .
    (updated) At least three have sold for $500,000+
    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/4621-SW-Othello-St-98136/home/49785546
    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/4617-SW-Othello-St-98136/home/49751621
    http://www.estately.com/sold/7304-47th-ave-sw
    (looks like the other three are still on the market)
    .
    Stone’s throw away from another lot where one house was demolished and three are going in (Bainbridge Place), as noted here recently in another development roundup.
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/west-seattle-development-new-projects-updates-microhousing-marketing/

    Comment by WSB — 6:28 pm December 29, 2013 #

  26. I’m curious if anyone knows anything about the history of this property? It seems unusual that a single family dwelling would have such a large parcel of land, and be layed out in that particular way. Was it part of the old West Seattle hospital property? Perhaps as a home for the chief of staff? Maybe it used to be a more rectangular plot, but parceled for the homes along 28th years and years ago leaving its present long and narrow shape? It is a nice little house from what I can tell. I’m just curious.

    Comment by Friend O'Dinghus — 7:19 pm December 29, 2013 #

  27. @WSB

    “If ’twere up to me, everyone would have a website.”

    Really?

    What are you saying exactly? Are you saying that under your rule businesses without websites would somehow be punished?

    Your statement doesn’t sound very well thought out.

    All bow down to the mighty WSB.

    What a laugh.

    Comment by Jeffrey — 12:38 pm December 30, 2013 #

  28. Jeffrey, the only laugh is the way you twisted WSB’s comment into something that expresses a bias that you apparently have against WSB….

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 8:49 am December 31, 2013 #

  29. Yes, Jeffrey, having a website allows other residents in an area to easily see what other projects a company has “designed.” A company with multi-million dollar projects and no online presence makes one pause and wonder about professionalism and full disclosure. No agenda — just a critical thinking reflex.

    Comment by fionaenzo — 11:31 am December 31, 2013 #

  30. Meant to thank WSB for their hard work in keeping us all updated on all of these projects. A lot to digest and present. Thank you.

    Comment by fionaenzo — 11:34 am December 31, 2013 #

  31. MAH – I just started a discussion about this development on our neighborhood facebook group. Please consider joining us there to make your concerns known to the rest of your neighbors. (The group is titled west seattle: sunrise heights – it’s a closed group, you’ll have to ask permission to join, but we’re up to 120 neighbors discussing all sorts of relevant topics about our ‘hood.)

    I live a block north of you on 28th and have been wondering about this project for a while. I have already commented to the city about increased parking on Holden – it’s already hard to pull onto Holden from 28th just due to the blindness of the hill. This place should require some increased parking regulations for managing parking view obstructions at that intersection.

    Comment by rudy — 2:31 pm January 2, 2014 #

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