DEVELOPMENT: Neighbors appeal 2222 SW Barton approvals

Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes the notice for a hearing appealing the approval of plans to build a 66-unit, no-offstreet-parking apartment complex at 2222 SW Barton, just uphill from the southeast edge of Westwood Village.

(Image from Design Review packet by Cleave Architecture)

According to documents in the online files, the appeal was filed by residents who live a block away from the site, saying they don’t believe the city adequately addressed concerns including crime, traffic, and parking, and alleging that the site is incorrectly characterized as being in an “urban village.” Lawyers for the developers have filed a request to have the appeal dismissed, showing that the site is indeed in the middle of the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village as well as calling other concerns “without merit on their face.” Regarding the parking concerns in particular, they note that the city has no authority to require it because the project is close to “frequent transit.” They cite a traffic study as showing that the project could result in a “peak demand” for 66 parking spaces on the street, but that, they say, would still not come close to maxing out what’s available now. Unless the motion to dismiss is granted, the hearing is set for the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown at 9 am May 3rd.

34 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Neighbors appeal 2222 SW Barton approvals"

  • coffeedude March 29, 2018 (1:01 pm)

    I am not a close neighbor, but I wish this development was not happening.  That is way too many units for that tiny piece of land and no parking?  This is just insane.

  • just wondering March 29, 2018 (1:05 pm)

    66-unit, no-off street-parking apartment “

    According to the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC 11.72.110) it is not permitted to park in front of a driveway. In fact, there is a five foot buffer on either side of the driveway where parking is prohibited.

    If I lived in the area I would get ready to buy a can of yellow paint and paint 5 feet on each side of the driveways.   Then put Seattle Parking enforcement on speed dial to report infractions! 

    • T March 29, 2018 (2:18 pm)

      I back up this comment with personal experience. If common sense wasn’t enough, there’s the 5 foot law you kindly quoted. It’s also a law residents can paint their curbs. People still think it doesn’t mean anything though and regularly park too close or in the yellow area. PEOs are too busy or understaffed to patrol for these violations so the resident has to call it in which can take 30-60 minutes. Frustrating.

      • Swede. March 29, 2018 (3:00 pm)

        Few people seems to know this. Same with parking on the wrong side of the street. If the parking enforcement drove thru my neighborhood and ticketed cars in the wrong direction they would make a ton of money in just a few hours. 

        Maybe I need to tell them…

  • Sunny.206 March 29, 2018 (1:16 pm)

    Not to mention the funky intersection with the 66×2 people playing frogger to the bus stop between parked cars they say won’t be there. Someone will be adding 2 more stop lights with crosswalks for safety. Also the street behind (Barton) does not resemble what’s shown in the picture there aren’t even side walks starting at the top of the hill or a good street to handle the new volume.

  • gxnx March 29, 2018 (2:47 pm)

    This is a damn great idea, they should build more 50 stories high rises like those in China/Hong Kong- the Soviet stye apts and at the main floor house a medical center and a super market. All the garbage and  waste will be incinerated into energy.

    Why  need parking ??, you can always hail down Uber/Lyft and the driverless cars will be onsite in seconds.

    Welcome to West Seattle, the island of Paradise. 

    There will be a $50 toll on the W.Seattle Bridge and toll on the 509.

    More tourists and more people would love to live in the Island of Paradise..

  • skeeter March 29, 2018 (3:14 pm)

    If we want developers to build off-street parking, we need to start charging for street parking.  Because there is no way you can economically compete with free.

  • alkiguy March 29, 2018 (3:41 pm)

    OK. I’ll bite. The claim is that off street parking costs lot’s of money. Can someone provide documentation of that, or we just taking developers word on that.  I have yet to hear of a developer going belly up because they had to provide parking. Sure haven’t read of developers refusing to build a building because they would lose money providing parking. Lastly, can someone provide actual rent amounts for an apartment with parking and one without, in the same neighborhood?. Am holding my breath to see the savings!!! 

    • Ice March 29, 2018 (7:15 pm)

      I don’t think that anyone wants to do this research for you, but you can do some Googling to answer your first question. With that said, common sense alone dictates that digging a gigantic hole in the ground and then building a very large, well ventilated concrete structure inside of said hole is not going to be cheap. 

      As for the second question, a developer isn’t going to build anything if it’s obvious that they are going to lose money, and often times, building a structure that meets even the minimum parking requirement is going to make it infeasible to turn a profit, so the developers aren’t even going to buy the land in the first place. Of course you aren’t going to hear of a developer not building something, the failed projects that don’t make it off the drawing board certainly don’t make the news.

      For your third question, just call a few apartment complexes around the Junction or in the neighborhood of your choice. You’ll discover that you pay extra for costly amenities.

  • MJ March 29, 2018 (5:04 pm)

    Swede

    Heads up – The City allows motorists to park on either side of the street, non arterial streets

    MJ

    • Really? March 29, 2018 (5:21 pm)

      Hi MJ,

      I’m curious why you think this.  I found an older article that says it is illegal: 

      The restriction is detailed in section 11.72.470 of the Seattle Municipal Code.

      “No person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle on that portion of any street or alley lawfully set aside for the parking of vehicles or movement of traffic in the direction opposite to that which the parked vehicle faces.””

      Citation & article

    • Swede. March 29, 2018 (6:03 pm)

      No they do not. It’s classified as driving against traffic since you have to pull out into the opposite driving lane. $42 fine. 

  • skeeter March 29, 2018 (5:27 pm)

    ALKIGUY – I don’t think it’s a matter of developers “refusing” to build parking.  Developers are going to build whatever maximizes their return on investment.  If the developers think customers will pay a premium for parking they will build parking.  If developers think customers will not be willing to pay extra for parking they will not build parking. 

  • loveyellowpaint March 29, 2018 (5:31 pm)

    I am one of those people who had to paint their driveway yellow after 15 years of not having problems.  For the most part I’ve noticed people will respect it, if not and they’re more than a foot or so in the yellow, I call and it takes anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes (like ‘T’ mentioned) but they get a ticket. I’ve even had them make the decision to tow a few times.  It’s pretty bad in the winter though, for some reason there’s more people who seem not to care. They can see the yellow with their headlights!

  • skeeter March 29, 2018 (5:31 pm)

    But to answer your question, according to the study below, the 2014 cost of building an above-ground parking space in Seattle is $25K and a below ground parking space is $35K.  That is just the construction cost.  The land cost is more. 

     

    http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/HighCost.pdf 

  • DH March 29, 2018 (5:45 pm)

    Looking forward to this development when it gets past the NIMBYs. 

  • MJ March 29, 2018 (6:31 pm)

    Swede

    My neighbor is a Traffic Police Officer and the Parking Enforcement officer I have inquired both say it is permitted, or simply not enforced, to park on either side of a residential street.

    I know the street I live on only allows one way traffic when vehicles are parked on both sides, thus what is the direction?

    MJ

    Ps:  thank you for the Code Citation

    • huh? March 29, 2018 (6:56 pm)

      @MJ

      A) Do they say it is permitted or do they say it is simply not enforced?  That’s a pretty big difference, MJ.

      B) What street do you live in?  I’m confused, as I’ve never heard of a street that is only sometimes one-way.  Do you simply mean that it is narrow enough that cars cannot pass one another?  That doesn’t mean it’s a one-way street.  Terribly confused about what you are asking, but at least you should now know that what you previously thought was legal is in fact illegal.  Always better to know!

    • KM March 29, 2018 (9:10 pm)

      You can park on either side of a residential street, yes, unless it is signed otherwise. However, parking on the right hand side of the direction you are traveling is legal, parking on the left hand side of the direction you are traveling is not (i.e. crossing the oncoming lane to do so, even if there is just a “single lane” available due to street widths. The exception is if you are on (permanent) one-way.

      Simply, find a spot on your right-hand side, regardless of the direction you are traveling in.

    • CAM March 29, 2018 (10:23 pm)

      I can personally attest to the fact that parking tickets have been issued on non-arterial streets to people parking on the wrong side. 

    • Swede. March 30, 2018 (4:10 pm)

      As others stated too, parking on both sides IS fine but NOT against the traffic flow. If it’s not a one way street, then you can park either side but again, obviously, WITH the correct flow of the street. 

  • Jody Lam March 29, 2018 (7:49 pm)

    Just because an apartment building is close to “frequent transit” does not mean people don’t want or need their own car.  Many take the bus to work every day.  However, it is not practical to use transit or Uber every time you leave the house, especially at night.  The side streets around there do not have the capacity for 66 more cars to park.  This is another one of those brilliant ideas that looks good on paper but is not realistic.  

    • Jon Wright March 29, 2018 (8:58 pm)

      Nobody is forced to live there.

      And the side streets have plenty of capacity. The existing residents just don’t want to share it.

      By the way, street parking is a public resource to which nobody has “first dibs.”

  • chemist March 29, 2018 (7:59 pm)

    One development is going to take the off-street parking from 27-29% within 800 ft of this site to 47% usage, based on the SEPA analysis.  Although, it doesn’t really matter because current policy in urban villages near frequent transit is for SDCI to do nothing.  FWIW, Herbold is trying to pass an amendment that would give SDCI some additional parking mitigation authority when a project area is at 85% of parking capacity and committee co-members O’Brien and Johnson shut that down.  Maybe the full council will be more reasonable next week.

    “SMC 25.05.675.M notes that there is no SEPA authority provided for mitigation of parking impacts in Urban Villages within 1,320 feet of frequent transit service. This site is located in Westwood-Highland Park Residential Urban Villages within 1,320 feet of frequent transit service. Regardless of the parking demand impacts, no SEPA authority is provided to impacts of parking demand from this proposal.”

    Alkiguy:  Herbold asked that question on the parking committee and has some data, but we may soon find out as this parking reform bill will require motor vehicle parking to be leased separately from an apartment/unbundled in most cases.  Oddly, they didn’t write that requirement for bicycle parking and they’re requiring that to be built at 1 bike parking spot per unit, although it reduces to 0.75 after the first 50 so this development would need bike parking for 62 spots if it were a new project a month from now.

    • CAM March 30, 2018 (11:15 am)

      Chemist – are you suggesting that a developer should be forced to build off street parking when over 50% of the existing street parking is unused? Why would that make sense?

      • chemist March 30, 2018 (8:02 pm)

        I’m not sure how far these projects are normally supposed to search for parking.  If 800 ft is standard, then probably not.  But if another one of these were developed in the same area, particularly with park-and-hide issues, you might start triggering the SEPA-studied parking-related mitigations in ways Herbold thinks might be better addressed.

  • Oversimplified March 29, 2018 (8:58 pm)

    Living space gets more $ per cubic foot than parking space. This benefits the owner at the expense of the neighborhood . Comstrucion cost difference btw the two is inconsequential long term  

    The developer will build he largest volume building possible and look to maximize income to cubic foot ratio  

    Tough sh*t to the neighborhood 

    Keep fighting the stupid projects people

  • Ray March 30, 2018 (12:26 am)

    The developer could easy assuage the neighborhood’s fears by assuring those concerned about parking that rent will be so high no tenants will be able to afford a car.

    Everybody wins.

  • AH March 30, 2018 (9:53 am)

    Parking is a good with an associated cost. I’d like to know who is paying for parking in that neighborhood that can’t park their car. 

  • MJ March 30, 2018 (10:02 am)

    Huh?

    I believe the parking enforcement officer said wrong direction parking is not enforced on residential streets.

    My neighbor is a Seattle Police Officer and she parks her private vehicle on the supposedly wrong side of the street.

    And on residential streets, it is not a safety issue.  On Arterial streets it is and it is enforced.

    MJ

    • CAM March 30, 2018 (11:11 am)

      I’m not sure that just because a police officer does something makes it legal. And again, I know of a specific block (residential) in Morgan Junction on which parking enforcement did at least 2-3 sweeps over the course of about a year where they ticketed every car parked in the wrong direction. Your neighbor/friend may have an opinion on this but it doesn’t appear consistent with reality. 

  • Duane B March 31, 2018 (8:01 am)

    I live 3 blocks from this site. While I don’t mind improving the current run down building that currently exists, the no parking will impact me and sets a bad precedent. White Center and westwood is not a high density area and the only reason for no parking development is for developer profits. It doesn’t benefit the surround neighborhood what so ever. Hopefully the benefit of building here will force the builder to put in sidewalk and curb. 

  • D Burns March 31, 2018 (9:03 am)

    66 units does not necessarily mean just 66 cars though, right?

  • chemist March 31, 2018 (12:07 pm)

    When they did the SEPA, the plan was 39 apartments and 27 microhousing/apodment size units.  From the recent parking regulation bill before the city council, we learned that the city hasn’t studied/released any numbers on how many of these no/low parking buildings actually don’t have cars registered.   Lisa did get a map with percentages of household that don’t own a car, based on the census?, which pins the at 37% of households not owning a car.
    urban village

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