HALA REZONING: Admiral Neighborhood Association discussion tomorrow

(Direct link to draft Admiral Urban Village rezoning map)

As reported here last week, more “community design workshops” are coming up to talk about the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda draft proposals for rezoning, including one for Admiral on February 11th. To get ready for that, tomorrow’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting (7 pm Tuesday, January 10th, The Sanctuary at Admiral [42nd/Lander]) will include an informational discussion with West Seattle community advocate Deb Barker. She co-led the peninsula-wide, community-organized HALA briefing back in November. Come to the ANA meeting to find out what’s being proposed and how best to understand it and comment on it before the proposals get much further down the road.

P.S. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s newest online update has the latest information on the timeline. As she told us during our “first year in review” interview published last week, this is all expected to play out over most of 2017.

23 Replies to "HALA REZONING: Admiral Neighborhood Association discussion tomorrow"

  • MSW January 9, 2017 (9:37 pm)

    Great. Let’s just ruin a great neighborhood with more ugly condos. We should secede from Seattle.  These builder will turn this area into an over crowded Urban Village Hellhole.  Been to Ballard lately?   

  • 123 January 10, 2017 (12:14 am)

    Not cool Seattle. Our street is not your commercial “buffer” – it’s home to families, seniors, taxpaying voters who have invested in this community for generations. Admiral cannot absorb the traffic that is already here (try getting on the bridge after 6:30a – thanks a bunch for that, BTW). Classrooms have been overcrowded for decades – see Lafayette portables. THERE-IS-NO-MORE-PARKING. Crime. Pollution.

    Show me some investment in schools, teachers, roads, law enforcement… clean up the needles/graffiti in our parks — and do it without relying on community members to pick up the slack. Because we’re the ones being replaced with your 8 story apartment buildings.

    Infuriating.

    • Steve January 10, 2017 (7:11 am)

      They don’t care!  Why isn’t the upcoming happening in madrona or magnolia?

      • Mike January 10, 2017 (10:20 pm)

        $$$ Magnolia $$$  Hell they have an H2 Hummer private police force looking for package theft. 

  • Chris January 10, 2017 (7:01 am)

    Thank you 123.  Well said.

  • Gina January 10, 2017 (8:16 am)

    I guess I should go and see what the change is on my block. There already are a three story apartment, two triplexes and a SHA duplex, along with two single family residences on a split lot.  Don’t see how rezoning for multifamily residential is a new thing, or why included on map.  All predated original urban village plan.  

    • WSB January 10, 2017 (8:53 am)

      The rezoning in many cases is not necessarily a change of classification but a change in height.

  • MorganRes January 10, 2017 (9:54 am)

    I agree.  Well Said, 123.  This is a terrible idea.  I can’t stomach the fact that I live on an established neighborhood block with lovely old homes with character that may suddenly be rezoned to “Lowrise 2”  (Change to building height, width, setback, etc).  All these people that get rezoned are simply going to stop caring for their properties, hope for some developer to buy them out, tear down their beautiful craftsman, and then a 3 story apartment with no parking will pop up.  

    And this is happening all over the city (small parts of Madrona and Magnolia too).  Interactive map here http://seattlecitygis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6aafeae86b1f4392965531c376489676 , and details on each zoning type here https://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cs/groups/pan/@pan/documents/web_informational/dpds021571.pdf

  • Mickymse January 10, 2017 (12:33 pm)

    Look… If you want to help shape HOW growth happens and what it will look like in your neighborhood(s), then this is one more way to learn about what is being proposed and how to offer your comments to the City.

    .

    But if your response is really — let’s just stop everything — then you’re just being ridiculous. Even if you could stop growth here in West Seattle, that will only make it LESS affordable to buy a home or rent here, it will make your property taxes RISE even faster, and you will get less investment from the City. Is that what you want?

    • Captin January 10, 2017 (2:10 pm)

      I agree. Not a popular opinion here on the blog but the narrative should be HOW to manage increased density, transportation needs, etc the best way possible. It’s not like we can just pretend this isn’t happening and most likely going to continue. Even when the economy cools off the city’s population will continue to trend upward over time.

      No city would exist without periodic tweaks to zoning to accommodate growth. What did this city look like 50 years ago?

      My father in law remembers playing in vacant lots where he grew up around 26th and 70th NE just North of the U-Village. The city is built out and infill is a real treatment for that. It’s an emotional subject if you’re property is impacted, I totally understand. A more than likely “positive” side effect is that property values in upzoned areas will rise faster over time. Development capacity is tied to value, I don’t know the math but I get the common sense aspect of that. 

    • Cmt January 10, 2017 (3:15 pm)

      Of course growth should be planned for.  This is such a shockingly ill-conceived one-size fits all proposal for West Seattle that it really should be scrapped.  Zero long-range planning other than a seeming hazy agenda to do away with single family zoning as much as possible.  Since there is little likelihood that the whole thing will be dumped, residents now have the burden of trying to make into something that won’t ruin the livability for West Seattle (glaringly absent from the HALA proposal) while providing for appropriate growth.  That SHOULD have been the City’s job.  Anyone who cares should find a way to get involved.

      • Captin January 10, 2017 (4:40 pm)

        This is what the public input part is all about. These discussions are healthy. Right or wrong I assume planners are looking at how other cities have accommodated growth and attempting to craft a plan based on proven scientific data. Are they? I don’t know.

        I don’t see how this is grossly ill-conceived. I’m also not a city planner, builder, or real estate mogul. Just a lay person trying to pay attention. Maybe it is.

        Most people that are mad on here are being rezoned. They want someone else to be rezoned. Someone else who will probably get mad they’re being rezoned.

        I guess what I’m saying is that at some point in the future someone will be upzoned to accommodate growth and it will be necessary. Maybe that time isn’t now.

        It would be more fair to allow more multi family anywhere in the city limits. But as soon as people that don’t live in urban villages found out about that proposal what a freak out! Or loosen regulation on DADUs. (Another freak out)

        So where do they upzone if no one anywhere wants anywhere near them upzoned?

        • Cmt January 10, 2017 (6:00 pm)

          Captin,

          You seem to readily accept that any upzone of single family is a good idea by default because . . . Density.

          Your assumptions regarding the scientific basis for this are optimistic.  First, this type of program (HALA) has  not been done in other cities.  Second, the affordability component is subject to legal challenge by developers that did not enter into the Grand Bargain with the Mayor, which would simply leave the neighborhoods with upzoned properties.  Third, these proposed upzones do not at all consider the advent of the light rail or where the stations will be placed in West Seattle, which will necessarily require density planning – this should be done simultaneously and not piecemeal.  Fourth, at least in the Alaska  Junction, if increasing density is appropriate at this time (questionable give that the area has far exceeded its share of growth targets) it can be done without destroying single-family neighborhoods.  Fifth, there are other areas in this city that are crying out for development and it makes sense to put density there.   Sixth, the rezone will result in the destruction of existing affordable housing in the rezoned areas which will be replaced with expensive housing.  And so on.

          To date, the City’s efforts to solicit input have been of the “check the box” variety, e.g.  the Shelby’s December 7  debacle with no meaningful notice from the City that rezoning would be discussed.

          I don’t see how anyone that owns a home in a single family area slated for upzone would view this as a positive unless they own a rental and/or purchased with the goal of selling to a developer.






          • Captin January 10, 2017 (7:33 pm)

            No I don’t mean to sound like “density, density, density”. I appreciate dialog and am trying to offer a perspective other than anger. I am in no way saying that I think everything or anything in HALA is a good idea. Just to me it sounds like most people on here start with the assumption that the entire idea was created by dumb evil people that want to ruin our lives and our city. I may be being way too optimistic and naive because I find that hard to believe. However, I do appreciate an attempt to be pro-active in any setting because I don’t see things like HALA or light rail are about right now. I see ideas in general (not necessarily this) as a starting point to collectively plan for the future of our city. I’m trying to appreciate how it must be incredibly difficult to work on things like this with 1000’s of parties in conflict about what to do (politicians, developers, home owners, renters). If Boeing lays people off to grow and make more money it’s just part of doing business. If the city decides to vacate an alley or rezone an area everyone goes nuts. And yes I understand those aren’t apples to apples but it’s an organization having to make a decision with perceived negative and positive impacts none the less. Again, I’m not advocating a rezone I just think people should be realistic about the progression of a city, company, or whatever and do it right for the future.

          • Cmt January 10, 2017 (10:14 pm)

            Thanks Captin.  We agree on some things – the desirability of collective planning, for one.  However, and while I do not think the proponents are “evil,” if you research how this plan came about, You may come away with doubts about its transparency as well as the City’s desire for a collaborative process with the neighborhoods.

        • 123 January 10, 2017 (6:42 pm)

          Some neighborhoods are responding positively to upzone proposals – look at the public feedback on the HALA site for specifics. I suggest starting with communities that actually want this.

          If you’re asking for other ways to approach our housing shortage, I would look for streets with a high percentage of single-family rentals or aging apartment buildings. I would look at travel patterns, traffic density and public transportation options for new residents (light rail for example). I would look for areas with high poverty and/or homeless populations that could benefit from investment, affordable housing and better amenities. I’d take a fresh look at commercial/Industrial zones that could be developed without displacing existing communities… I can keep going, but have a meeting to go to in a few minutes.

          So yes, I’ll be taking action in addition to complaining on a blog. As will the rest of my neighbors who had no idea (like me) that this was even on the table. Thank you WSB for keeping us informed.

          If we want to make this an affordable, livable place, we need to stop cramming more people on a peninsula with only one way in/out. There are better ways to improve our situation.

  • Diane January 10, 2017 (1:20 pm)

    if you are angry and/or want to learn more, show up tonight; it doesn’t do any good to just complain here; show up tonight

  • CMT January 10, 2017 (2:00 pm)

    The Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO) for the Alaska Junction area is in the process of forming an action committee to put together the Alaska Junction’s response to the substantial rezoning proposed for the single family areas surrounding the Junction. 

    There are so many problems with HALA, not the least of which is that the affordable aspect is subject to legal challenge which would then result in beautiful single family neighborhoods having been irretrievably upzoned for nothing (other than a benefit to developers).

    After attending a HALA-related meeting in Wallingford with 350+ attendees last Saturday it became clear that the 3 Junction areas should be coordinating on a unified response to a number of the aspects of HALA, although each Junction may have its own counterproposals for its specific neighborhood taking into account its unique features and community desires

    A voluminous, coherent and coordinated response, rather than a disjointed response, will be more likely to yield a response and/or bring the City to the table.  JuNO’s regular meeting is 1/17 at the Senior Center and we will be discussing these issues.

    • JVP January 10, 2017 (5:33 pm)

      I think the current HALA plan is just fine for the Junction.  Not sure why people are against it, you DO live live in an urban area if you live in or near the Junction.  Growth has to happen somewhere, and sure seems like in our walkable urban villages is the right place.  Love the walkability around here, I rarely have to drive – this place rocks, and it keeps getting better.

      • Cmt January 10, 2017 (10:03 pm)

        That’s great that you like the  plan JVP.  I love the walkability too.  It is one of the reasons we chose West Seattle.

        Not sure if you own a home on a single family block proposed to be rezoned for apartments?

        I do and, although our single family zoned block is included within the in the Urban Village, the West Seattle Neighborhood Plan, adopted by the City in its Comprehensive Plan many years ago, specifically provided that it would remain zoned single family. 

        We bought our 1910 Craftsman house here 13 years ago, have made tons of improvements to it and have (partially) raised our child here.  We had planned to retire here.  If the rezone goes through, we will probably end up moving in a few years after 40 foot apartments have started to replace our aging neighbors’ houses because it will be too painful to stay.  It is all the more painful because the growth could be planned for in a way that doesn’t destroy our neighborhood.


    • Heather January 10, 2017 (6:31 pm)

      All 4 West Seattle proposed sites should be coordinating a unified response. It is “West Seattle” after all.

      • Cmt January 10, 2017 (10:04 pm)

        Thanks Heather.  Didn’t mean to exclude Highland Park!

  • prayforrain January 10, 2017 (10:10 pm)

    I’m a home “owner” (in quotes because technically the bank owns it right now) and live very, very close to the area affected.  Just gotta say that I’m not all that bothered by this.  Density is great for many reasons but if I’m being 100% honest, this sort of thing will cause the value of my house to increase, probably by a lot.  Because ultimately we are headed toward a NYC situation- little land in a geographical area contained by water.   Think about what a brownstone in Manhattan is worth.  And being able to walk to get whatever we need is awesome.  Improved public transit is the next step but walking to the movies, to eat, to get groceries, to a bar (! hell yeah), is what city life is all about. 

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