West Seattle development: Comment period starts for 18-house plan on SW Holden; another north Morgan Junction project

Two development notes so far today:

2646 SW HOLDEN: First, a followup on our report last Saturday about the 18-house proposal for an acre and a half between SW Holden and SW Webster: The comment period is now officially under way, with an announcement in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. The notice is here; the direct link to a comment form takes you here. The notice says comments are being accepted through January 15th.

5936, 5938 CALIFORNIA SW: Second, another project in north Morgan Junction that’s been making its way through the system since late November, replacing a 90-year-old house at 5936 California SW with two townhouses and three single-family houses.

The five 3-story units, with five offstreet parking spaces, are covered by four permit applications – the townhouses (fronting California) are here; the westernmost house is here (5938 A); the middle house is here (5938 B); the easternmost house is here (5938 C).

The lowrise-zoned site was sold four weeks ago to a builder in the Blueprint Capital co-op (whose website already lists the three houses as “under construction”). It’s a busy area, with two other nearby (but not related) projects of note: On the west, this site is almost directly across from the future microhousing site at 5949 California; on the east, it’s a few doors down the alley from the six townhouses proposed on church-owned land.

17 Replies to "West Seattle development: Comment period starts for 18-house plan on SW Holden; another north Morgan Junction project"

  • Grumpy Oldtimer January 2, 2014 (5:33 pm)

    “Blueprint Capital”: “We live in Magnolia, where urban villages and increased density overlays do not exist!”

    Reality check. The developers are doing what they always do, which is build whatever they think will make them money. This is all within the City of Seattle guidelines for growth. If you agree with this plan, do nothing. If you think there could be more thoughtful planning, please attend public meetings…and hope you won’t be told “Too late! It’s a done deal!”

    I’m not anti-growth. I’m pro public transportation, which is not yet in a place to support the upcoming West Seattle density.

  • pupsarebest January 2, 2014 (7:05 pm)

    Destroying this charming home at 5936 California SW is a downright shame.
    I’m sure it “needs work”, but to lose the character and appeal of this home, to the monstrosities that typify the current building boom, is sad, to say the least.

  • WestofJunction January 3, 2014 (5:47 am)

    We can argue about density issue, but these older homes are reaching the end of their structural lives. Foundations deteriorate, siding and structural supports deteriorate. They were originally bulit by a developer to make a profit,based on a handful of prevailing designs, by the way.

  • WestofJunction January 3, 2014 (7:03 am)

    These old houses contain lead and asbestos. They do not have reinforced foundations. No m,aster bathrooms, no walk in closets, no open floor plan. The plumbing is gone and the electrical is inadequate. It is more expensive to modernize than to tear down and rebuild.

  • Andy R. January 3, 2014 (7:04 am)

    Where do you go to give input to the city on these projects? I am very concerned about parking.

    As an example I went to the Admiral to see a movie last night. I had to drive around for five minutes before I found a place to park. I found the last place in a parking lot that was three blocks away. The residential street parking was full.

    I can not understand how developers can be allowed to build these projects without providing adequate parking. The streets are already full.

  • WestofJunction January 3, 2014 (8:23 am)


    This is what the majority of Seattlites voted for. More density and fewer cars. What would help would be a down-zoning of property and/or a moratorium on variances to existing zoning. What would happen, though is that these old houses would be replaced by new single family homes at a minimum price in the $600-$700k range.

  • natinstl January 3, 2014 (4:38 pm)

    I completely disagree with you WestofJunction. My home was built in 1918 and it’s in good shape, in fact it’s been through A hell of a lot more than newer houses and our foundation is fine. It also has a heck of a lot more character. Like any house if you keep it maintained it won’t crumble down around you. I come from the NE and there are homes from the 1800’s still around.

  • natinstl January 3, 2014 (4:55 pm)

    Just looked up Blueprint Capital and what do you know Double Lot Dan Duffus is the co-founder and director. He is notorious for cramming as many homes as possible on one lot and the dept. of planning seems to approve everything he does, including his smoke and mirrors re-zoning. Everyone should be concerned because you may not think this can affect you, but he has caused a lot of turmoil in many neighborhoods. He cares nothing about the neighborhoods he builds in.

  • natinstl January 3, 2014 (4:58 pm)

    For those interested in reading about Double Lot Dan and Seattle’s current zoning laws this is a good article.


  • datamuse January 3, 2014 (6:28 pm)

    Five minutes to find a place to park is unreasonable? In a neighborhood with enough density and traffic to support multiple restaurants and a movie theater? Wow.

  • WestofJunction January 3, 2014 (6:58 pm)

    Nat- The average life expectancy of a house is 100 years. Some last longer due to care, better construction materials and better framing. We would have to look at the percentage of homes built in a certain year and see how many of them are still standing and in habitable shape. And charm or lack of, is in the eye of the beholder.

  • anonyme January 4, 2014 (6:46 am)

    Most of the older homes in our region were built with old-growth lumber, and can be expected to last at least 100-150 years, not including interior updates. This custom of ripping down the old is uniquely American, and one that is gleefully perpetuated by developers. In Europe, wood houses are cared for, treasured, and last for centuries. The monstrosities being thrown up in their place are often falling apart within 10 years.

  • wetone January 4, 2014 (11:21 am)

    I agree natinstl 100% well said and true. I also agree with the comment by anonyme. Too me this new home craze of flat roof box look does nothing for me and I much prefer a craftsman style build any day. Problem we have here in this city are groups like blueprint that have a lot of pull with the city and 99% of the time get what they want. With the smaller lots this city is allowing there is really only one type of design that fits and that is the BOX. I really don’t like the way Blueprint does business, but in the end it’s our city agencies that allow all this.

  • charmer January 4, 2014 (12:42 pm)

    Seattle is beautiful but so are places you can afford.

  • bolo January 4, 2014 (5:51 pm)

    Strongly disagree w/ @WestofJunction:
    “…It is more expensive to modernize than to tear down and rebuild…”


    NOT true in MOST cases.


    In most cases it’s most economical and efficient to (as needed) upgrade the old (K&T?) wiring, superceed old galv. plumbing with easy-to-install PEX, and repour failed foundation footers. Earthquake retrofit for extra credit. WAY less $$$ than complete demolition/rebuild.


    UNLESS someone already wants to build multiple units where one unit existed before, but then, the objective in this case is much different (quick $$$ payout and get out).


    RE: Lead and asbestos: These materials ARE hazardous ONLY if disturbed. Benign if left intact. Way more toxic risk during a complete teardown/rebuild.

  • WestofJunction January 5, 2014 (7:35 am)

    Bolo, not necessarily. Older houses can have serious structural issues due to deterioration/pest infestation. Additionally, these houses are functionally obsolete – kitchen size, choppy floor plan, no master suite, etc. Not to mention too small for most peoples tastes.

    I personally dislike flat roofs for this climate – I see problems due to the volume of rain and leaves. Nothing beats a metal shake on a moderately steep pitched roof.

  • natinstl January 5, 2014 (3:13 pm)

    WestofJunction, I think we’ll all just have to agree that tastes are different and not everyone feels the way you do about old homes. Seeing as they still sell pretty quickly (bungalow next door to me sold for $440k in one day) obviously floor plan and master suites don’t matter to everyone and I think that’s a generalization anyway. My house isn’t choppy and my closets are more than sufficient. My master bathroom is located right next to my bedroom and my kitchen size is fine. I actually took the opportunity to go to an open house around the street today, 4,000 sq feet and 800k box style modern home. I still prefer my home, but for a large family I can see that the other might be preferable. I still can’t see how it was worth that much though.

Sorry, comment time is over.

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