West Seattle development: New Junction group forms to fight 40-apartment plan at 4439 41st SW, meeting on Friday night

March 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 54 Comments

A new group has just formed to oppose the 40-apartment, 5-parking-space building proposed for that site at 4439 41st SW in The Junction. We’ve written about it twice in the past four weeks – first, here, when we discovered March 4th that the original townhouse proposal for the site had morphed into an apartment building, and then last week, when the comment period was extended. The group invites you to a meeting at 7 pm tomorrow (Friday, March 28th) at Holy Rosary:

Led by a group of neighbors, the newly formed group, Residents of the Junction will have a meeting to discuss apodments being built in our neighborhoods.

Neighbors in the Junction area of West Seattle are meeting Friday night, March 28, at 7:00 pm at Holy Rosary School’s meeting hall, located at 4142 42nd Avenue SW to rally support in blocking the development of 4439 41st Avenue SW, currently a single-family home, into an apodment complex with 40 – 300 square feet each- units and five parking spaces. (Project #3015444).

All in our community who are interested and/or affected by this, and other, development in our community are welcome to join us at the meeting.

The objectives of the community meeting are as follows:

· summarize the shared concerns to create a group letter/petition to the city (planning, council, Mayor, etc.).

· identify a critical path for the group to pursue, once the comment period is over.

· identify areas of expertise and resources within the group and assess what additional resources are needed.

· identify other neighborhood groups who have expertise in organizing opposition to over development of our neighborhoods.

· identify research for various group members to conduct and report at an agreed upon next meeting time.

If there is adequate response, it would be great to grow the size of the group through active recruiting and get the appropriate professional expertise to make the apod style development in our community infeasible.

One note – while the neighbors’ announcement refers to this as “apodments,” that’s a trademarked term for one brand of microhousing, and while this project is proposed as small apartments, so far as we can tell from the online plan set, they are not technically microhousing – they have individual kitchens.

54 Comments

  1. That doesn’t sound obstructionist at all. I am sure the design review meeting will be really constructive, and not bunch of people screaming no.

    Comment by vincent — 4:45 pm March 27, 2014 #

  2. Vincent – this project is not going through Design Review. This isn’t even one of the “if 50 neighbors petition, the city can convene a public meeting” events; I don’t know if they have requested one, but this is wholly a neighborhood-organized event.

    Comment by WSB — 4:48 pm March 27, 2014 #

  3. Enough! This anti-development nonsense has gone too far. Nobody has any right whatsoever to dictate what others can or can’t do with their private property within the law. This is a selfish attempt by a privileged few to bully others into subjugation, and they’re resorting to outright lies about what a project is in order to deceive others into opposing it. If you people don’t want something built here, then you could have bought the lot yourself, but you didn’t, and now you want to deprive the rightful owners of the legal use of their property. Your lies are disgusting, and your disregard of property rights is disgusting. Seattle is a growing city and that’s good. If that is unacceptable to you, then move away. Good like finding some place in Fantasyland that never grows and never changes.

    Comment by Peter — 5:20 pm March 27, 2014 #

  4. so TR; are these micro-studios, like what Mark Knoll is building up in Morgan? and NK is building across from Wells Fargo in the Alaska Junction?

    Comment by Diane — 5:30 pm March 27, 2014 #

  5. Let me know when Holy Rosary pays property taxes. Or, the Lutheran church in that vicinity. Those entities pay ‘zip’ in taxes, yet they want to have any say in land use? Pathetic.

    Comment by Heaven Sent — 5:31 pm March 27, 2014 #

  6. wow, google maps, so outdated; still shows the old homes on the lots where Oregon 42 has been under construction for 2 yrs; yikes, REALLY old, shows LINK under construction, Trader Joe’s not even started yet

    Comment by Diane — 5:37 pm March 27, 2014 #

  7. They send cars through twice a year or so but not everything updates … about a year ago, the California/Edmunds visuals FINALLY changed from one taken during Summer Fest (you could tell from the tents and detour signs) several years earlier!

    Comment by WSB — 5:38 pm March 27, 2014 #

  8. This whole “urban village” legislation that was passed long ago by the King County Council has already ruined the Junction. You can count on the people living in this 40-unit complex having cars and parking in front of your house, too. Not enough West Seattleites stood up and fought against this 20 years ago and now the chickens are home to roost.

    Comment by Bradley — 5:40 pm March 27, 2014 #

  9. I highly doubt anyone is concerned about the size of the units inside this building. To me it seems the primary concern, as it always is, has to do with private cars and people protecting their perceived right to park on the street. There will be a lot of sound and fury obfuscating that fact. But I expect that’s what it mostly boils down to. It’s clear that the increasing density of this part of Seattle does not match people’s perception of this peninsula as one house per lot suburb. But I simply don’t share the “we were here first” mentality that so many of my neighbors apparently do.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 5:43 pm March 27, 2014 #

  10. NK project at 4400 SW Alaska is not microstudios. Unit matrix in newest plan set says 4 live/work, 7 efficiencies, 16 studios, 12 one-bedrooms, 1 one-plus-den.

    Comment by WSB — 5:53 pm March 27, 2014 #

  11. I’m talking about the NK project kiddy corner, next to the acupuncture biz; on the triangle lot between Glenn Way and 44th; across from Wells Fargo; with zero parking; they even suggested during design review that tenants might be able to rent parking spaces at the WF lot
    ~
    the NK project on Alaska was the bright green that I liked

    Comment by Diane — 6:03 pm March 27, 2014 #

  12. 300 sqft. That’s quite small.

    Comment by heather — 6:03 pm March 27, 2014 #

  13. Who is the king County Council and what is their urban village plan?

    Comment by Brian h — 6:18 pm March 27, 2014 #

  14. The developer is only doing what he is allowed. So if he gets several hundred thousand or more from not building subgrade parking lots and allowing his future tenants to park cars wherever they can for free, he gets to whistle all the bank with the dough-ray-me.
    -
    Oddly, opposition is not growth-opposed, it is giving away a public good (on-street parking) for free without extracting something. And please don’t tell me public parking is not a public good because you levitate or bike ride to work; it is to 92% of us who neither levitate nor bike to work. Charge the developer half of the savings from not having to provide parking and dedicate it to a transit trust fund. Or 60%…quid pro quo.
    -
    Just don’t pass an idiotic feel-good building code (car-less young professionals with more-money than cars will come…no really, they will…) instead of a reality-based assessment of who will actually live here.
    -
    Like on Avalon, sure, there is a bus route across the street but it will be full by the time the bus sails past the stop. Especially if these residents really do ride mass-transit or bike or in the odd case, levitate.
    -
    We need to change the stupid building code that allows this worthless development (by worthless, only the developer profits and the public and the nearby homeowners get the shaft.)

    Comment by JayDee — 6:33 pm March 27, 2014 #

  15. DPD needs to get this under control. Because WS will have four grocery stores in as many blocks, elimination of parking, deterioration of public transportation, and the ridiculous rerouting of main streets doesn’t mean there will be infrastructure to support the volume of people expected to move here. Regardless of private property owners “rights” there are ordinances and codes that need to change that will ensure viable building. DPD has lost sight of the big picture and is focusing on the short-term gain $$. Have we not learned anything from other cites that have made this same mistake. Don’t believe me, drive down California Ave. Saturday afternoon when the temp is over 60, or travel WS bridge at 7:45 in the morning then imagine that x 40%. It’s an ugly picture.

    Comment by Beth — 6:54 pm March 27, 2014 #

  16. Er…so are we angry that there aren’t ENOUGH cars involved with this building? We WANT more parking and more cars, because we want more traffic…or…er…huh? I thought we WANTED less cars? I do get the issues over more people and changes to the neighborhood, but it will adjust. I’ve walked through similar 4 lane streets in downtown, and New York and Chicago, and Des Moines Iowa…we can handle a couple 6 story buildings. I mean seriously, get a grip. West Seattle has over 60,000 people. Addding another 50 here, 300 in other apartments (Whole Foods), will NOT impact West Seattle statistically. I remember when both the QFC and Mural went up, same concerns. Nothing happened. I’ve never “sat” for 5 minutes for a line of cars leaving the Mural or QFC building. Just doesn’t happen. I know this SEEMS emotionally like a big change, but the numbers don’t add up. It’s just NOT that many people compared to how many live here already. If West Seattle DOUBLED in size (added 60,000 more people/apartments) we’d have issues, but an increase of 10% over 10 years isn’t statistically significant. I completely agree the character of the junction is changing, it’s not the “small town” it felt like in the 60s or 70s. But nothing can change that. Seattle has changed, downtown, Cap Hill, Belltown, South Lake Union. West Seattle will grow whether we like it or not. My question is simply…do you have a BETTER place to put these new apartments/buildings? Do you want them in more small residential neighborhoods? On small 2 lane side roads? Away from bus/transit? That doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. IF we’re going to have growth, and we will, lets PLEASE put it on the major routes, on the busiest transit lines we currently have…it’s the best we can do. All that being said, the extreme minimum of car parking spaces seems the ONE silly thing to me, because even if MOST of the 50 units use bus transit exclusively, many folks will still be forced to park on the street, THAT is dumb. If they solve that, it seems like a fine development.

    Comment by David — 7:10 pm March 27, 2014 #

  17. Get ready for the next big money grab by the city. Parking permits and the fees that go with them. We get what we vote for.

    Comment by boy — 7:14 pm March 27, 2014 #

  18. David:

    It is not that there won’t be cars with this proposal, it is that just because you would like the new renters not to have them, doesn’t mean the cars+renters won’t actually own them. Without parking spots, where would they go? On the streets whose current single family or businesses rely on turn-over for traffic. Perhaps they would drive them because the transit lines were not what was promised.
    -
    As for putting the growth on major routes: Great. Just have enough buses to serve the “car-less” riders…but they won’t be car-less if the bus is full because there were tons of other developments upstream.
    -
    Get the greater picture: We are enriching developers by not requiring parking. Why not? Because there is nearby transit. But what if there isn’t sufficient transit or the development is at the end of the line?
    -
    Wouldn’t it make sense that that those that get “A get out of having to provide a parking spot” free card actually pay for transit improvement rather than just opine that that if your build it those car-less people (young, transit loving) will come? If 20 of the 35 non-parking spot apartments (assuming no one doubles up at $750/month) actually have cars, what would you say?

    Comment by JayDee — 8:39 pm March 27, 2014 #

  19. Hang on tight. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

    Comment by WTF — 10:09 pm March 27, 2014 #

  20. Always such a good debate in these comments. Seattle DPD is working on their next long-range plans – for 2035. Seems a long way away until it’s not. http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cityplanning/completeprojectslist/comprehensiveplan/whatwhy/

    Comment by Kim — 10:17 pm March 27, 2014 #

  21. That came up in our conversation with the mayor, too – from which I still have a couple topics to break out.

    Comment by WSB — 10:20 pm March 27, 2014 #

  22. Heavensent,

    Holy Rosary, Hope and Seattle Lutheran High School are pluses that add to the value of our neighborhood. Apodments that could turn into halfway houses for drug addicts/registered sex offenders are not. Cramming this in, particularly in a section of single family houses/townhomes DECREASES everyone’s quality of life hence property values.

    Comment by WestofJunction — 7:07 am March 28, 2014 #

  23. Let’s think this through. Some people don’t own a car and don’t want to so why pay for a parking place which they won’t use. If someone NEEDS a parking place then they wouldn’t even consider renting/buying in a building that offered none. The tenant/owner with a need for parking would be looking at buildings which offer parking. Parking spaces cost money and add to the cost of each unit. Why? It is because of the space they take up is valuable. If one were to buy a condo and want an extra parking space it would cost between $20,000 and $30,000 if there were any available to purchase. It is the same if someone wanted a condo with amenities such as a workout room and pool they wouldn’t mind paying more and getting more. Buildings which have those amenities will have higher rents or homeowners dues. Someone who has no desire to use those facilities would not even consider paying extra for something they won’t use.

    Comment by WS since '66 — 7:09 am March 28, 2014 #

  24. There was a time when only “homeless” people lived in boxes. Now boxes line the streets of what once were unique and inviting neighborhoods.
    Piling human beings into condensed spaces only leads to degradation of the community. I used to want to invest in W. Seattle, however, all the copycat development forces me to reconsider. I wonder how long before W. Seattle gets its own Super Wal-Mart?
    Developers are selfish and they destroy the personalities of communities. Just because someone can afford it, does not make them entitled to disregard the personality of a community. But that’s what happens when complacent communities do business with parasitic companies and property owners.

    Comment by JustAthought — 7:50 am March 28, 2014 #

  25. Well, they are renting and not purchasing so your logic is no good. I’ve lived in apartments where they charged $25-$50 per month for covered parking so there are options. I’m sure that the seller would say there is plenty of street parking. Lets see how much they charge per sf for rent to see if having zero parking is to the benefit of the tenant. These units work will in dense, urban areas and not places that abut residential single family homes.

    Comment by McFail — 7:57 am March 28, 2014 #

  26. The most concerning aspect I have heard about this development is that the SOLE access to the building is via the alley- which runs directly behind Hope Lutheran & between Hope & part of it’s playground. Yes Hope Lutheran is a Church – but it also home to P-K through 8th grade School.

    Comment by Gene — 7:58 am March 28, 2014 #

  27. JayDee and Beth, very well said.

    Some of the most beautiful towns and cities that people actually want to visit and enjoy have strict building codes – private property rights are not the highest good. Thanks to the person sharing the new strategic plan before it is approved…….

    Comment by sgs — 9:06 am March 28, 2014 #

  28. The goal – green $
    The victims – WS residents
    The result – more crime, property damage, congestion, parking meters, and money in the pockets of investors who are also known as ‘constituents’ of the city’s politicians.

    Pockets are lines – too bad WS residents – move somewhere else (outside of the city, because this is happening everywhere)

    The city council is only concerned with the next election & keeping their $100k plus jobs (that includes visits abroad – a total waste of time)

    The system is corrupt, whether you’re talking about the unions that run the politicians and overpay mediocre employees. Sad, but that’s the way it is.

    Don’t expect the ethics commission to do anything about it. The city council writes the rules for them too.

    Comment by WSgoingdown — 9:10 am March 28, 2014 #

  29. The “average” studio apartments built prior to this push to “micro-housing” ranged from 450-600 square feet. These are not apartments, these are cages.

    Comment by WestofJunction — 9:14 am March 28, 2014 #

  30. Like over 20% of Seattle apartment and condo-dwellers, I don’t own a car, and have no plans to. Why do these people think I should be forced to pay for space to store one, anyway? Why shouldn’t developers be allowed to cater to the carless?

    Comment by david — 10:54 am March 28, 2014 #

  31. JayCee–if on-street parking is a public good (and I agree with you that it is), why should public policy be oriented around assuring one segment of the population–single family homeowners near a major road–have privileged/unfettered access to it?

    Comment by david — 11:02 am March 28, 2014 #

  32. Bottom line: if convenient car storage is really important to you, you should pay for it. Buy a house with a driveway/garage or build one on your current property or buy/rent an apartment/condo that comes with parking. Anyone, regardless or whether they live in a house or an apartment/condo, is free to rely on whatever free access to parking on government property is available. But if you choose the latter route–storing your car for free on government land–you have no rightful claim to special privileges to convenient locations. You certainly shouldn’t be able to force me to pay for a parking space I’m not using, just to make sure your access to a public good remains extremely convenient for you.

    What is it about parking that makes people so crazy, anyway? I have a friend who goes to crossfit 4X a week, and complains bitterly if he has to park a few hundred feet from his house.

    Comment by david — 11:09 am March 28, 2014 #

  33. That’s interesting that people are calling these places ‘boxes’ and ‘cages’. There is no shame in living in 300 square feet or less. In fact, it can be quite liberating.

    Homes are like purses. The larger ones aren’t necessarily better, they just hold more stuff and in the end can be much heavier.

    Paris (and many other cosmopolitan cities) is packed with efficient living spaces, many 200 square feet or less. Why? Because having a lot of stuff just doesn’t mean much to people outside the US. A small flat is fine because life is on the outside. Are the small flats of Paris filled with drug addicts and sex offenders? Is the city devoid of culture? Absolutely not; in fact quite the opposite. To insinuate that a small living space only appeals to people of a deviant character is ignorant, classist and blind.

    I’ve lived in spaces ranging from 300 square feet to 3000. I’ve been the same law-abiding citizen throughout. I’d actually prefer the former to the latter if it was just me.

    I had a great urban planning professor in college who said “Most people’s idea of urban planning is this: My neighborhood was the perfect size the day I moved here. A week before, it still needed people. A week after, it started getting a little crowded.”

    As for the city ‘giving away’ public parking to developers … um .. are you kidding? The whole point is, it’s public. It never belonged to any specific group in the first place. There is no transfer, that would imply it was ‘yours’ and now it is ‘theirs’. Some public areas are empty, some are crammed full, depending on how popular they are. But they all belong to everyone.. not initially some people and then others.

    Comment by Betsy — 12:11 pm March 28, 2014 #

  34. Jeez, 300 square feet = box/cage? Somebody should go tell that to all those college students in <300sqft dorm rooms that are shared between two roommates. Matter of fact, next time I see my parents I will accuse them of abuse for subjecting me to such harsh conditions over a decade ago. I'm thinking reparations are in order!

    Comment by stopwhining — 1:02 pm March 28, 2014 #

  35. A lot of commenters here obviously have no sense of square footage. In I college I lived in a 320sf studio on FirstHhill (I measured it myself). It had a full kitchen with full size appliances, a full bathroom with a full size shower/bath, walk in closet, built in bookshelves, and a main room with space for a full bed, love seat, dining table with two chairs, two more bookcases, and a coffee table. And no, living in a 300sf apt did not turn me into a drug addict or sex offender. Please get some perspective, people.

    Comment by Peter — 1:46 pm March 28, 2014 #

  36. Yeah, 300 SF for one person is more living space than probably 99% of all humans who have ever lived have had.

    But if it sounds awful to you, don’t rent the apartment! Don’t try to force others to pay for more space than they want or need. People have different preferences.

    Comment by david — 2:32 pm March 28, 2014 #

  37. My main concern with all the development taking place is the lack of an adequate mass transit system. The busses are altready standing room only when they leave the junction. Seems to me that the city made some assumptions about mass transit that are unrealistic. I don’t understand why it is ok for the city to continue issuing permits which add to the strain of the transit system when there are no plans in place to add capacity. Oh wait… metro is run by king county, so the city is not at fault if metro can’t keep up with demand

    Comment by PS — 6:22 pm March 28, 2014 #

  38. These developments bring down the property values in the neighborhood. And just because some (underdeveloped) parts of the world are too poor for people to have decent housing doesn’t mean we need to follow suit. In many countries, indoor plumbing is a luxury – do you propose we allow a 20-unit apartment with one latrine and one water tap?

    Comment by WestofJunction — 1:29 am March 29, 2014 #

  39. I’m glad to see westofjunction admit what this is really about: he wants the government to restrict other peoples housing options, forcing them to pay for space and parking they don’t want or need, so his investment will increase in value at a higher rate. It’s rare to see anti-development folks be so forthright about the true nature of their agenda.

    the difference is obvious and I don’t believe you don’t already understand it: indoor plumbing is a public health concern. Parking spaces and big spacious apartments are lifestyle preferences.

    Comment by david — 7:38 am March 29, 2014 #

  40. Something interesting that was brought up last night at the meeting was the little known fact that these developers do not pay property taxes on these places they are constructing. And obviously neither do the tenants who rent them. So developers aren’t required to provide parking nor do they have to pay into the tax system which keeps the services running for the non car-owners who move in. Sounds like a sweet deal to me, if your a developer or a tenant. At a previous meeting where reps from the DPD were present and when asked how many persons could legally inhabit a space as small as 300sq ft? They believed up to eight… Now, will 8 people move into each of these 40 apartments? Probably, hopefully not. But it is irresponsible to assume situations like that won’t start occurring. So up to 320 people who won’t own cars or pay into vital services for the area. In 5 years it will be a ghetto.
    And while I appreciate the meeting last night I believe this battle would be best fought on a larger scale by banning together. It shouldn’t and can’t be best resolved if people only become concerned when it directly effects them or their neighborhood.

    Comment by honest2pete — 12:16 pm March 29, 2014 #

  41. Honest2 – the allegation that multifamily developments don’t pay property tax is not actually true. I believe (my story is still in the works) the person who said that was referring to the multifamily tax exemption that *some* properties apply for (last mentioned in discussion following our story about the second microhousing project on Avalon). Info here:
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/housing/incentives/mfte.htm
    .
    Current participants citywide:
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/housing/incentives/MFTE_RentalBuildings_02-27-14.pdf
    .
    (The one thing that list is missing is, current applicants and those who received the exemption and are still under construction.) Participants are not taxed for the building for 12 years (provided they meet the prerequisites of holding a certain amount of units at a certain rent), but they still pay tax on the land. Not an inconsiderable savings, however – you can check the status of any property via the King County Parcel Viewer. Mural, in The Junction, is an MFTE participant, for example, and as this page shows, is taxed for about a seventh of its value – the land and its commercial space:
    .
    http://info.kingcounty.gov/Assessor/eRealProperty/Dashboard.aspx?ParcelNbr=7579200155
    .
    There are many points on which development proposals are (and can be) critiqued, but it’s important to stick to the facts -

    Comment by WSB — 12:44 pm March 29, 2014 #

  42. Let’s be realistic and not continuously downplay MFTE here. I believe we can reasonably assume the property in question, as well as all the micro-unit developments in Seattle, WILL be under MFTE. Before coming to the defense of MFTE, check out the “affordable” rent numbers in comparison to the regular rent within the same building. I believe the difference at Oregon 42 is less than $50 per month. I wish someone would connect the dots on this.

    Comment by Realistic — 2:02 pm March 29, 2014 #

  43. ” On the streets whose current single family or businesses rely on turn-over for traffic. ”

    So add time limits and paid parking. These are not impossible problems.

    Comment by Brian ws — 2:17 pm March 29, 2014 #

  44. A bigger issue is at hand.

    Seattle is growing like New York City did 75 to 50 years ago, without consideration for the downside of growth.

    As the panhandlers increase, public defecation is more prevalent, and the take over of public lands by poachers increases, the community seems to get ignored when they say stop.

    This is about the gracefully growth of a beautiful city to maintain the quality of life for all.

    We are regualted by building codes and laws to manage that growth.

    Too often for the sake of expediency or ‘growth’ those laws and the existing community is ignored.

    Take a look at Manhattan and Brooklyn today. The reason the Seattle neighborhood fought expansion so long and hard, is because they wanted to be better than what they experience in those areas back East when they lived there. They brought their experience to Seattle and tried to make it a better place with the best in quality of life.

    So let’s all do the ‘Seattle Thing’ and speak up in mass. Let’s maintain quality of life for the masses by making it the top priority.

    Some how, when rapid expansion takes place without that priority, the area looses quality and 20, 30, 50 years downstream, they neighborhoods become the wasteland you see in Detroit.

    I don’t wish that on the future generations in Seattle.

    Joan Bateman

    Comment by joan bateman — 2:19 pm March 29, 2014 #

  45. another point that was brought up last night, a bit separate from the MFTE property tax exemption; that Seattle does not charge developers any transit impact fees, or any impact fees of any kind; that our city keeps saying they are prohibited from doing so by the state; but how is that true if there are many other nearby cities that do in fact charge developers impact fees? if these developers are saving many thousands of dollars by not having to provide parking (underground parking costs min $20k per spot), and assuming tenants will use the bus, then why are developers off the hook in not having to help pay for transit, and road maintenance? currently, they pay zero

    Comment by Diane — 2:32 pm March 29, 2014 #

  46. yep, the “affordability” to the renter of MFTE is ridiculous; at 80% AMI, and calculated related to their other insanely high priced apts; when I checked at the LINK opening a couple years ago; the MFTE studio was teensy, and going for nearly $1000 (plus still have to pay all the other regular charges that add extra $200+/mo); that is NOT affordable; so the developer gets 12 years of significant property tax exemption, and they’re only losing at most $100/mo rent on 20% of their apts; HUGE developer profit; and the city; they get to say “oh look at all these ‘affordable’ apts we have now”
    ~
    we need much more affordable housing in the 30% to 60% AMI range; these are the people who cannot afford the new high rent apts; that means we need to keep writing, calling, meeting with city council members, and the mayor, to get them to pass more progressive rules to get more REAL affordable units in these new developments

    Comment by Diane — 2:46 pm March 29, 2014 #

  47. Realistic, I’m not defending it. But like the game “telephone,” I’ve heard a couple of people at meetings lately toss out the belief that all multi-family housing is exempt from all property tax, which it is not. Even MFTE itself is not a total exemption from property tax, as noted above, though it’s most assuredly a LARGE tax break. We are dedicated to accuracy here, in all matters. (And this is one of the few places you will find the MFTE relatively routinely mentioned – you mention Oregon 42 – we included its agreement in a story published before construction – http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/meetingrecords/2011/fullcouncil/fullcouncil20110314_19.pdf – from http://westseattleblog.com/2012/05/west-seattle-development-oregon-42-construction-to-begin – according to its website, rents range from $1255 to almost $3000 – http://oregon42.com/floorplans/#studio-96 .)
    .
    Anyway, MFTE is a city program, so if you want it eliminated, that’s who to hit up. I’m pursuing the list of applicants to find out who beyond the list linked above is actually in for it. Also note the writings of John Fox of the Displacement Coalition, included in a variety of issues he speaks up about: http://www.zipcon.net/~jvf4119/

    Comment by WSB — 2:52 pm March 29, 2014 #

  48. Wait for all the traffic at the choke points at the bridge from all the crap development. In five years there will plenty of parking, but it will be all the cars parked on Avalon, California, Delridge, Harbor Ave, and the West Seattle Bridge. It is amazing the lack of foresight and leadership by the Seattle/King County Government Offices.

    Comment by buckwheat — 3:15 pm March 29, 2014 #

  49. Seattle is growing like New York City did 75 to 50 years ago, without consideration for the downside of growth.

    What are you talking about? Between the years you mention, New York City grew very little–in the 40′s, modest growth of about .5% a year, no growth at all in the 50′s and early 60′s. The period you identify is actually the first extended period of time in its history that NYC wasn’t gowing rapidly. This information is freely available on the internet, so I don’t see why you think you can get away with false statements like this.

    Comment by david — 4:47 pm March 29, 2014 #

  50. Thank you WSB for clarifying about the property tax information. I will gladly take a look at the links you offered. I in no way intended to stray from the facts as they were not totally clear to me. And even after reading through some of the facts I don’t feel much better about our situation here in WS. But it is still shocking just how much the city and city counsel are giving away to developers at the expense, one way or another, of the whole community. And let’s be honest and face some facts here. Most individuals that will inhabit these clean and modern complexes could care less about their impact on the community. In a couple years they will have moved on. But the developments mark on our community, the skyline, and our quality of life will endure.

    Comment by honest2pete — 6:32 pm March 30, 2014 #

  51. David, it is about the competing interests of property owners – we don’t want some property owners profiting at our expense. Do you honestly think the developer and owners of these places are doing this as a public service? No, they are not. They will charge a premium for these little boxes and drive down the interests of other property owners. Renters are just customers – your apartment is not your “home”. The owner can kick any tenant out at any time- can convert to a congregate care facility/dorm/condo. Landlords are only required by law to maintain a certain minimum of habitability, which you may be suprised to know is a standard much lower than most people would be happy with.

    Comment by WestofJunction — 6:00 am March 31, 2014 #

  52. @David, you comment as if your view is the prevailing one even as you admit that only 20% [a figure I think may be too high] of W. Seattle apt/condo dwellers are carless which makes them a fairly small percentage of all W. Seattle residents. So why should your concerns carry more weight……especially since you may decide to leave W. Seattle next year and move to Ballard?

    The truth is many of the people living in apodments are not carless. The truth is the quality of construction of apodments [at least in W. Seattle] is not good. That means in a few years these buildings will experience substantial deterioration. We also can expect that turnover will be higher than in a normal apt building……..since very few people consider ‘dorm’ rooms the ideal living arrangement.

    Frankly, this building will do little to benefit its neighborhood and could ultimately cause the neighborhood some serious problems. It needs to be stopped in its current configuration.

    Comment by Alki — 9:53 pm April 2, 2014 #

  53. Alki, I completely agree with you. Additionally, these places are very management intense, that is they need skilled full time staff. They are not a preferred way to live – in the U District, rooming houses used to be a good investment because of a ready supply of college students. Now, college students predominantly prefer to either live in dorms or rent an apartment with chosen roomates. Those rooming houses are now mainly populated by registered sex offenders, people with mental health issues on disability, etc.

    Comment by WestofJunction — 7:53 am April 3, 2014 #

  54. Heavensent: I couldn’t agree more re the churches paying taxes. If they don’t pay taxes then STFU because of you don’t pay then you don’t play.

    WestoJunction: “Holy Rosary, Hope and Seattle Lutheran High School are pluses that add to the value of our neighborhood. Apodments that could turn into halfway houses for drug addicts/registered sex offenders are not. Cramming this in, particularly in a section of single family houses/townhomes DECREASES everyone’s quality of life hence property values.” I think I know where you pulled that one out of.

    Bradley: It wasn’t that many years ago when all the shops in the Alaska Jct closed at 5pm and wondered why they couldn’t stay in business. Now the Jct is a destination.
    Tell us how the Urban Villages “ruined” the Junction. I’ve read the whining about Urban Villages being the problem and that values near them have gone down and has ruined the neighborhood. That is such a misguided and uninformed statement where did you get those “facts”? Homes located within walking distances of Urban Villages have seen their values go up more than those where someone has to get in a car to drive to that same UV then has to park said car. Most people like to be able to take a walk to get a cup of coffee, eat a meal, shop, seek entertainment and enjoy the open spaces that are found within the UV districts.

    UVs actually cut down on the actually having to use and park a car. The walk tends to be good exercise which improves health and saves money. Shops and businesses within that UV benefit from those previously described homeowners and renters who enjoy that walk to the amenities.

    We actually had a chance to address the traffic and transit problem some years ago with the Monorail. There were 5 different ballot measure about the Monorail. Of those 4 were approved and one was not thereby shutting down the whole project. Even adding a year for “overruns” we would have been enjoying a ride to downtown and beyond for the last 4 years. I wonder how many of those bitching about the transit and traffic voted against it.

    I understand why so many are upset and emotional about more people moving into “our” West Seattle but the fact remains that YOU and your family were once the people who were scorned for having the audacity of moving into “our” home.

    Comment by WS since '66 — 8:35 am April 7, 2014 #

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