West Seattle development: Ex-café site’s next Design Review date, 3 more notes, and a reminder

June 23, 2014 at 10:05 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 18 Comments

Five development notes tonight:

ANOTHER DESIGN REVIEW MEETING SET: The Southwest Design Review Board hasn’t had a reason to meet since May 1st, but next month is getting busier. A second project has been added to the schedule for July 10th’s meeting, which already had the 7520 35th SW eye-clinic project on the docket for 6:30 pm. The 8 pm slot is now scheduled for the third Early Design Guidance review of 3824 California SW, the former Charlestown Café site. Two months have passed since the second EDG meeting for the townhouse/live-work-unit project (WSB coverage here). The July 10th reviews will be at the SWDRB’s usual meeting site, the Senior Center of West Seattle (WSB sponsor) at California/Oregon in The Junction.

ANOTHER CORNER ROWHOUSE ON FAUNTLEROY WAY: One block south of the south end of 4755 Fauntleroy Way (The Whittaker), a 65-year-old duplex on a LR-1-zoned corner at 5003 Fauntleroy is proposed to be demolished and replaced by a 7-unit rowhouse.

It’s a few blocks north of Fauntleroy/Findlay, where the 5-unit corner rowhouse mentioned here a few times is almost complete.

LAND USE APPROVAL FOR ARBOR HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY DEMOLITION: Days after the last school year for the old Arbor Heights Elementary ended, the city has published a notice of land-use approval for its demolition. The publication opens a 2-week appeal window, until July 7th.

APPEAL HEARING SET FOR 3078 SW AVALON: Permits for the 102-apartment building planned at 3078 SW Avalon Way are being appealed by the group Seattle Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development, founded in an adjacent neighborhood. They’re scheduled to go before the city Hearing Examiner on September 8th. The project received a key land-use approval last month.

REMINDER – ‘LET’S TALK’ WITH DPD ON SATURDAY: Interested in development/land use? Set aside 9:30-11:30 am Saturday morning to meet with DPD director Diane Sugimura and others from the city, specific to West Seattle issues and policy – here’s our most-recent preview.

18 Comments

  1. How much more crap are they going to continually approve for west Seattle? Another crappy “row” house. And the “Let’s Talk” B.S. with Diane Sugimura will be the same B.S. that the city council and DPD keeps espousing about “dense” development. West Seattle is getting screwed by these idiots!

    Comment by buckwheat — 10:09 pm June 23, 2014 #

  2. Caron Architecture is sure not having an easy time in West Seattle; 3rd EDG on one project and appeal hearing on another; kudos to the neighbors for keeping up the good fight for good design

    Comment by Diane — 10:21 pm June 23, 2014 #

  3. Hopefully we get something with hardy board panels, a few rows of cedar and some corrugated metal. How out of style will these things look in 20 years? It’s going to look then like Miami Vice era houses do now. Luckily there aren’t like a thousand of them going up around here. Oh wait there are.

    Comment by Jason — 11:59 pm June 23, 2014 #

  4. Pretty much finished tearing out and replacing houses on Delridge, so they are looking to Fauntleroy.

    Comment by dsa — 12:53 am June 24, 2014 #

  5. Are there plans to widen Fauntleroy to four lanes?

    Comment by The Real CW — 8:35 am June 24, 2014 #

  6. Jason: I can’t imagine anything could look worse than the house that is pictured. Architecture always gets the blame but it is clear to me that the true angst over change in West Seattle has to do with a range of other standard issues.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 8:42 am June 24, 2014 #

  7. Has it every occurred to anyone that these modern “row houses” and modern single-family homes continue being built in West Seattle because this is what buyers WANT. The developers are not building these homes to destroy the community. I live in one of these “row houses” that people on these posts blast as destroying West Seattle. My family and I LOVE our house. We love our community and West Seattle. And you know what? Our “Box” row-house is highly efficient, built from recycled and environmentally focused materials. Our carbon footprint is a fraction of your old, dated craftsman styled home.

    Maybe it’s time to evolve and grow up. Or maybe you’d prefer that we be part of the suburban sprawl and cut down a bunch of old growth in Issaquah to build a Craftsman home, and burn a ton of gas commuting into the city.

    Comment by Morgan — 9:32 am June 24, 2014 #

  8. My house was built in 1929 and I am burning every gallon of fossil fuel I can before I leave this earth. I will take old and well built any day Morgan, but if you want to live in something that looks like a library, that is your choice.

    You cannot be upset with people who have opinions and do not want their neighborhoods to look like a futuristic science fiction movie set.

    There have been three of these houses built in the Morgan junction recently and I have to admit that they are just plain ugly. No character whatsoever.

    It’s not you, it’s me!

    Comment by T Rex — 11:12 am June 24, 2014 #

  9. @Morgan:
    My opinion is that most people who complain about the larger/newer houses/townhouses, “crappy” architecture are deflecting their angst/anger of economic inequality.

    Economic inequality is something DPD cannot solve.

    Welcome to West Seattle, enjoy it, lots of good people here who have moved into everything from old “warboxes” to new mega mansions.

    Comment by wsn00b — 11:13 am June 24, 2014 #

  10. Architecture is in the eyes of the beholder. Thank you to Morgan for commenting. And wsn00b has a point – if you went back to read comments here during the pre-recession building boom in 2007-2008-ish, when most of the teardowns were for NON-modern-style townhouses, the complaints were much the same. The criticism was that they had “no style.” A few links from way back when:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2008/01/ever-wonder-why-some-townhouses-look-the-way-they-do/
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2008/01/by-request-townhouse-pix/
    .
    As a result, new city rules were drafted and passed, in fact. So if Craftsman and modern styles both are “no” style, what is? Any relatively new construction near you that you find benign or even beautiful?

    Comment by WSB — 11:21 am June 24, 2014 #

  11. Maybe people are thinking of “character”. Something developed with the age of a home. The lop sided bush, the window boxes, ect. The personal touches people put on the exteriors of their home over the years. The new look a bit sterile since they haven’t had time to develop “character”.
    - I do have 2 beefs though. Architecture implies more than what the new boxes have. I think design may be more appropriate. IMO once you’ve built xxx,xxx,xxx number of houses with the same “architecture” there really just the same design. An architect may have signed the plan but likely didn’t design the home. It’s a clever design made to maximize sq ft and ceiling height. It has worked very well for both buyers and developers.
    - the other is with the “efficiency” factor. Just look at the sheer volume of material removed from the old site and then replaced with 15x that amount. All that “stuff” came from a factory. And I can tell you from my own remodel MOST of that came from China where there is little environmental oversight. The old house could probably have sat with the heat a 85 for another hundred years before it would have the same carbon footprint as your new “highly efficient” home.

    Comment by Jw — 11:53 am June 24, 2014 #

  12. @Morgan:

    Welcome to West Seattle and I’m glad that you like your “Box”. You say: “The developers are not building these homes to destroy the community!” I agree, however that is a side effect of what they are doing which is MAXIMIZE their profit! You say:”Our “Box” row-house is highly efficient, built from recycled and environmentally focused materials. My “old, dated craftsman styled home” (built in 1926, remodeled in 1994) meets all codes in effect at the time of the remodel both structural and environmental. You say: “Our carbon footprint is a fraction of your old, dated craftsman styled home.” Some questions: 1) Do you know what happened to the home that was probably demolished to build yours and the others in your development? Was it environmentally recycled or was it tossed in the trash? My guess is that it was the latter! 2) What happens to the rain that falls on your roof? It probably goes directly into the storm drain. My “old dated craftsman” sits on a lot (small), that is large enough to absorb the rain which falls on my roof. 3) Do you have an off street parking space? 2/3 of the
    driveway in my “old dated craftsman” is made of
    porous material which allows me to wash my car without putting any water into the storm drain system. 4) Is your “lot” large enough to plant a tree which will absorb some of the carbon that you do generate? Mine is! 5) What is the life expectancy of your “box”? My guess is that it will be “long gone” before it reaches the current age of my “old, dated craftsman”. Check back in 88 years!! Is that taken into effect in measuring your “carbon footprint”? The fundamental problem that a lot of us see is the the developers are not contributing to the infrastructure required to support increased density, in fact they take advantage of tax loopholes which allow them to develop without paying any property taxes on the development for greater than 10 years!

    Comment by flynlo — 12:25 pm June 24, 2014 #

  13. @cjboffoli – First of all, I was mostly goofing I actually like the look of some of the houses, etc around here but I do wonder if it will one day look super dated since all of the buildings look very similar in style (to my untrained eye perhaps) and I remember when I was a kid in the 80s some fancy big houses going up with metal rails and octagon windows and I thought they were the coolest looking things I’d ever seen – now you look at them and can only picture pull-out kenwood stereos playing “dirty laundry” on cassette. But I can’t remember a time in my life that there was so much development of a single particular style, but maybe I’m just more aware now that I’m older.
    .
    It seems like there are certain classics that never really go out of style (I was going to use craftsman as an example but I see that’s been deemed no style haha), maybe this new design with these panels will be one of them and maybe not. Perhaps you’re an architect and my comments offended you personally, if so I’m sorry but it was an honest thought that popped into my head.
    .
    In regards to the angst, yeah there is a grieving process happening right now and sure I’m guilty of complaining about it now and then. Traffic is worse, there’s construction projects blocking roads all the time, parking is getting harder to find, roads are getting harder to drive down with cars parked on both sides, and yeah it’s all change and we should accept that things change but let’s be honest, it feels good to nag about stuff we have no control over, at least for a bit.
    .
    I’m just glad I own property here, and if you’re an opportunist it’s probably a pretty good time to start thinking about setting up shop to help accommodate and take advantage of all of this growth.

    Comment by Jason — 1:10 pm June 24, 2014 #

  14. The houses for this or any property for that matter, would sit as is – unless SOMEONE/the owner hadn’t decided to sell it!!!? Yes, of course developers like any other for profit business are in it to make money, and guess what? People are selling – to make money too! The city is growing!! Every neighborhood is experiencing this- we are lucky, that there is this much investment in our City.
    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/fyi-guy/2014/05/22/census-seattle-is-the-fastest-growing-big-city-in-the-u-s/

    Comment by hello!!! — 1:30 pm June 24, 2014 #

  15. So that’s what we’ve come to in West Seattle, attacking other people for no other reason than you prefer a diffent style of house than you do. Very, very childish.

    Comment by gotb — 1:34 pm June 24, 2014 #

  16. if you want to live in something that looks like a library
    .
    What’s wrong with looking like a library?
    .
    Signed,
    A Librarian

    Comment by datamuse — 2:02 pm June 24, 2014 #

  17. I hope our shop gets the bid to put in the heating. With the lack of work for us trades workers during the resesion all this building is helping to get the back bills paid and get our lifes back to normal.

    Comment by rob — 4:19 pm June 24, 2014 #

  18. This thread of comments is a great reflection of one of the things I love most about West Seattle: diverse, sometimes snarky but rarely in-your-face rude, expressed opinions! I read them and nod, smile, roll my eyes. As I comfortably bask in my 1940 (“modern then”) bungalow, thankful I am here…among you!

    Let us be kind.

    Comment by AlkiPolkadots — 11:23 am June 25, 2014 #

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