West Seattle development: 5952 California apartments now in Administrative Design Review


9 AM: Back in May, we mentioned an early-stage proposal for 48 apartments north of Morgan Junction at 5952 California SW.

Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes the official notice that Administrative Design Review is under way – that’s a no-meeting form of Design Review – for the project.

The project is now described as “37 small efficiency units and 4 efficiency dwelling units (41 units total).” As was the case when we made note of it last spring, 5 offstreet-parking spaces are in the plan, and it’s replacing a single-family house plus “garage spaces” behind that are part of an auto-body business.

One wrinkle with this, as of this writing – while you’re invited to comment on this project through October 12th, as explained in the notice, the design packet is not available on the city website as of the moment we’re publishing this. We noticed this last week, even before the formal notice was issued, and called it to the designated planner’s attention, but it hasn’t appeared yet, and the project’s page on the city website – where the notice says you SHOULD be able to view the design packet – says you have to go downtown to look at it. That’s why we’re showing the map from the notice above, rather than a frame from the design packet.

We’ll update if and when that’s fixed and the design is available for online viewing, as is usually the case with projects assigned to Design Review.

9:56 AM: Available now (here).

10 Replies to "West Seattle development: 5952 California apartments now in Administrative Design Review"

  • aRF September 29, 2016 (10:01 am)

    I understand the city’s push to build housing that encourages commuting rather than driving, but the reality is that many of the residents will have cars anyway. At some point there will be so many cars vying for parking spots along California that we’ll begin contemplating permit parking zones. I’d like to see a zoning clause placed on this building (and similar ones) that would prohibit residents from applying for a parking permit in the future. Otherwise, this is just a gambit to shift the cost of parking from the developer to the city and nearby residents.

    • Peter September 30, 2016 (9:18 am)

      “I’d like to see a zoning clause placed on this building (and similar ones) that would prohibit residents from applying for a parking permit in the future.”

      Do you also propose single family homes that don’t have off street parking also be banned from owning cars? In what other ways do you want people in our society treated differenty based on the type of housing they live in?

      • aRF September 30, 2016 (12:20 pm)

        Hi Peter.

        Thanks for taking the time to read my suggestion. You have a fair point, but there is a vast difference in scale between a single family residence and a complex that will house a minimum of 41 people and provide only 5 parking spots in a space formerly taken up by one house. That one building has the potential to suck up all the parking in an entire block. What happens when you place another on the same block?

        The city is making a design exception for these designs. Traditionally, builders have been required to provide one parking spot for each apartment. Correctly, the city wishes to encourage car-less living. Developers like the scheme because it allows them to offload the cost of providing parking to nearby businesses and residents.  If the city is really, truly, honest-to-goodness on board with these residents being largely carless, then they need to walk the walk.

  • WestCake September 29, 2016 (10:41 am)

    If there is one thing West Seattle needs – it’s housing. Please build more of these lovely units!

  • justin September 29, 2016 (10:56 am)

    Ugh. Please no more. This area really isn’t equipped for this. The micro-housing across the street is absurd ($900-$1500 for 200 odd sf) and it sounds like these will be similar. Its also absurd to assume that new tenants won’t have cars the neighborhood is already packed with cars two blocks either direction of California. Would love to put a pin in these projects until the City’s infrastructure can catch up.

    • Peter September 30, 2016 (9:19 am)

      “The neighborhood is already packed with cars two blocks either direction of California.”

      Assuming you mean this specific location, I have to call a lie a lie.

  • Gatewood September 29, 2016 (12:14 pm)

    City of Seattle, 5 parking places for 41 units?  How can you possible allow this?  You are destroying West Seattle with all these units?  I would expect 25-30 people that will be moving into this building have cars.  So that means they will be parking on side streets taking up parking.  Not to mention all the traffic.  41 units on what used to be one house.  Awful planning!  The only ones happy are the developers!  I’m willing to bet they aren’t Seattleites.

    • Peter September 30, 2016 (9:22 am)

       “They will be parking on side streets taking up parking.”

      In my almost entirely single family neighborhood, that’s exactly the same thing people who live in houses do, yet you direct your criticism exclusively at apartment dwellers. Interesting.

  • Brian September 29, 2016 (2:03 pm)

    More units with less parking involved, please. Make it a forcing function so people have to do something else than sputter all day in their hermetically sealed cages.   

  • 42nd Ave SW Neighbor October 8, 2016 (5:04 pm)

    This has to stop!!! 5 parking spots for 41 units? And another box? West Seattle has got to save some of the charm. At what point are these developers going to be held accountable to designing aeshetically pleasing structures? Neighborhood full of boxes. Parking must be provided for every unit! 

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