Satterlee House development dispute: The final witness

March 19, 2008 at 2:12 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments


As of 1 o’clock this afternoon, the testimony’s over, and paperwork is what’s next in the fight over what can be built on the big front lawn of the landmark Satterlee House (the “Painted Lady” at 4866 Beach Drive, photo above). The city called one last “rebuttal witness” this afternoon — someone who almost wasn’t called to testify, as the city legal team explained while closing hearing-room proceedings with an official protest following the testimony: Click to read the rest of Satterlee House development dispute: The final witness…

Satterlee House development dispute: Testimony almost over

March 18, 2008 at 6:53 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off


Now in its third (partial) week before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner, testimony in the Satterlee House (above) case is almost over, with no more than 2 additional witnesses expected tomorrow afternoon. It wasn’t supposed to continue into this week; property owner William Conner, who is appealing a city Landmarks Board decision about what he can do with the house’s huge lawn, isn’t even sitting in on the proceedings any more as of today: Click to read the rest of Satterlee House development dispute: Testimony almost over…

Satterlee House development dispute: Owner testifies

March 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 4 Comments


Today’s proceedings in the case of Satterlee House (Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady”) owner William Conner vs. the city Landmarks Preservation Board only ran three and a half hours in the morning, but that span included testimony from Conner himself: Click to read the rest of Satterlee House development dispute: Owner testifies…

West Seattle Crime Watch: 1 more break-in report

March 14, 2008 at 12:20 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Also from Upper Fauntleroy – thanks to Steve for the note:

There was also a burglary reported in the 8800 block of 38th SW, occurred around 9AM Thursday 3/13. Apparently a glass door was broken to gain entry.

A year ago a local locksmith told me it was highly unusual for burglars to break glass to gain entry, seems like that is changing.

We are just back from today’s half-day-only testimony in the Satterlee House case (that writeup to come) and will be checking with the Southwest Precinct shortly for more on what’s going on – stand by for updates.

Satterlee House development fight: Afternoon testimony

March 13, 2008 at 10:56 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 2 Comments


The city Landmarks Preservation Board lawyers have called all their witnesses, and now the lawyer for Satterlee House (aka Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady”) owner William Conner is calling his, with testimony continuing before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner at 8 am tomorrow and 12:30 pm Tuesday. It’s already gone on for 2 1/2 days (coverage links: testimony from the house’s previous owner/namesake David Satterlee here; first full day, last Monday, wrapup here; this morning’s testimony here) and is attracting a fair level of attention in the historic-preservation and legal communities, since disputes over development involving official city landmarks almost never get to this stage (an appeal argued before the Hearing Examiner). Here’s what happened this afternoon: Click to read the rest of Satterlee House development fight: Afternoon testimony…

Satterlee House development fight: This morning’s testimony

March 13, 2008 at 1:22 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 6 Comments


Looks like today will be the second full day of testimony in the case of Satterlee House/Beach Drive “Painted Lady” owner William Conner vs. the city Landmarks Board — it originally was set for a half-day but as we mentioned in our previous reports, the case has been taking so long, the city Hearing Examiner had to add extra time to the calendar. Backstory: Conner has owned the house since 2000. After a previous development proposal went nowhere in the early ’00s, nothing happened for a while, till he filed to subdivide the house’s huge front lawn into three separate lots. That was granted; but before anyone could build on those three lots, the city Landmarks Board had to grant a Certificate of Approval, since the house and site comprise an official city landmark. Conner took a proposal for three homes, about 3,000 square feet each, to the board, and it said no. His appeal of that decision is what is being argued now, courtroom-style, before the city Hearing Examiner, in her hearing room on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown. This morning’s testimony included revelations about how much Conner has spent so far — in legal fees as well as on the property — among other things: Click to read the rest of Satterlee House development fight: This morning’s testimony…

A matter of size: Satterlee House lawn-development dispute

March 11, 2008 at 2:32 pm | In West Seattle news | 8 Comments


We reported briefly yesterday (morning update here; afternoon update here) about the start of proceedings before the city Hearing Examiner over what the owner of the “Satterlee House”/”Painted Lady” at 4866 Beach Drive will be allowed to build on the huge front lawn shown above. Testimony continues Thursday morning on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown; before too much time passed, we wanted to post a more complete wrapup of what we saw and heard while covering the proceedings yesterday: Click to read the rest of A matter of size: Satterlee House lawn-development dispute…

“Painted Lady” development appeal hearing: Mid-afternoon update

March 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Just a few running updates (see earlier coverage further down the page) — In addition to the Landmarks Board witness who testified at midmorning, she was followed by the supervisor of the city’s Landmarks Preservation program, Karen Gordon. She reaffirmed the unusual nature of this hearing – saying she’s worked for the department for more than 20 years and only seen a few cases like this where applicants have challenged the board’s decision on economic grounds. (House owner William Conner’s contention is that he has to build larger houses on the site because that’s all that makes economic sense.) More on the afternoon testimony later. This is all moving slowly and general chatter is that it’s going to be difficult getting all the testimony done in the day and a half allotted before the Hearing Examiner. ADDED 4:09 PM: It’s looks like beyond the prescheduled time on Thursday, this may continue Friday morning as well, and possibly March 18 all day if needed. Those who are here, by the way, include Conner and his lawyer Richard Hill at the table across from the two city lawyers, and a few spectators, here in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower. Some of this afternoon’s testimony has included details about the condition of the Satterlee House itself – more on that in our full writeup later.

Beach Drive “Painted Lady” hearing under way

March 10, 2008 at 11:11 am | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

We told you last week about the first testimony in the hearing about whether the owner of the Satterlee House, aka the “Painted Lady” of Beach Drive, can build three houses on its expansive front lawn. Since the property is a city landmark, the Landmarks Board had to grant a Certificate of Approval – but last December said no, and this hearing is about the property owner’s appeal of that ruling. Last week’s testimony involved the previous owner of the property, David Satterlee. Today, both sides are presenting the bulk of their case, with time scheduled on Thursday for continuation. The major witness so far this morning has been the staffer for the Landmarks Board, who revealed one reason this is significant beyond West Seattle: Click to read the rest of Beach Drive “Painted Lady” hearing under way…

First round in “Painted Lady” front-lawn development fight

March 5, 2008 at 7:15 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

It wasn’t criminal court, but at times it felt almost that contentious — with occasional interjections of OBJECTION! — as the city Hearing Examiner heard the first witness today in the fight over whether homebuilding will be allowed on the expansive front lawn of Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady.” The home — an official city landmark — is also known as the Satterlee House, and its former owner David Satterlee was the first witness to testify, several days before lawyers on both sides will present the bulk of their cases. We went to the Hearing Examiner’s windowless room on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown to see how this would unfold: Click to read the rest of First round in “Painted Lady” front-lawn development fight…

Stand by for more news

March 5, 2008 at 4:01 pm | In West Seattle online | Comments Off

Sorry for the dearth of updates today, have just spent four and a half hours away from the keyboard (remote connectivity temporarily not available) at two events, including key testimony in the Satterlee House (Beach Drive “Painted Lady”) development appeal. Will file shortly; also checking out an Alki Crime Watch update and what one tipster describes as a “tree massacre” in Gatewood. Stand by and thanks.

Real-estate updates, Beach Drive and beyond

February 27, 2008 at 2:02 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 8 Comments


That’s yet another new sign on the big lawn in front of the “Painted Lady,” SatterleeHouse2DON.jpgaka Satterlee House (inset left), in the 4800 block of Beach Drive, this time for Ewing and Clark, at least the third time it’s switched listing agents since we started watching it a year and a half ago. Current price, $2.2 million. As we reported earlier this month, the proposal to build three houses on that lawn is going before the city Hearing Examiner in a few weeks; the Landmarks Preservation Board has a say because the Satterlee House is an official landmark, and its ruling is what’s being appealed. One more Beach Drive real-estate note: The fourplex at 4131 Beach Drive is up for sale, $3,050,000, and the listing says it’s in the process of condo conversion. And regarding real-estate in general – it’s been reported that prices are falling more slowly in Seattle than the rest of the country; if you want to track West Seattle real estate, WS realtor (and WSB sponsor) Bill Barna is now offering a regularly e-mailed “market tracker” report. Click here to e-mail Bill for the Market Tracker; or you can see a sample version here. (He also has an automated “new listings e-mail” service that we find useful to monitor for local listings which might be worth noting here.)

City hearing set for homes on “Painted Lady” property

February 2, 2008 at 10:12 am | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 9 Comments

While the “Painted Lady of Beach Drive,” aka the Satterlee House, remains listed for sale after a year and a half, city hearings are now scheduled for a proposal to build three homes on its sprawling front lawn. According to the city Hearing Examiner’s Office website, proceedings are scheduled to start March 5 with what the site describes as “testimony from David Satterlee on the appeal of William Conner from a Denial by the Landmarks Preservation Board for a certificate of approval for construction of 3 homes on property known as 4866 Beach Dr. SW.” (David Satterlee sold the property to William Conner in 2000.) The HEO site says March 10 and March 13 also are set aside for proceedings in the appeal. The short plat for the land was granted in May of last year; last word we had of Landmarks Board involvement was in July of last year. The house is one of a handful of officially designated landmarks in West Seattle (full list here).

Where the signs are hung by the curb with care …

October 21, 2007 at 12:26 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Maybe too soon for the Christmas phrase-turns; blame the decorations that already have sneaked into some stores … But we digress. This post is about real estate — always a Sunday pastime as “open house” signs pop up on corners around WS. A couple noteworthy offerings, not necessarily brand-new, but they just hit our radar. First, 4315 SW Stevens, across the street from PCC , across the alley from McDonald’s, $725K:


This is notable because the property was home to a hair salon that some neighbors were upset about (as reported here last March). Thanks to WSB reader Luckie for the tip that it’s now for sale; she sent the photo shown above as well as a photo of the flyer posted in the window, which touts “beautiful extended family home … also has a fully running hair salon … you can work from home!” Here’s the official listing page, though it currently appears to be displaying the wrong photos. … Now, to another up-for-sale home, with almost twice the price ($1,499,000), almost twice the age, and countless times the history:


That’s the Herren House at 1603 45th SW, shown in a photo from the city Department of Neighborhoods’ page detailing its history, which DON says dates back to 1891, though King County property records say 1900. Interestingly, the official listing website calls this house “The Painted Lady,” same as the still-apparently-unsold “Satterlee House” on Beach Drive.

3811 California landmark-nomination update

October 6, 2007 at 10:03 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Since our report yesterday quoting a 3811 California tenant as saying the endangered 80-year-old brick 4-plex across from Charlestown Cafe 3811cali.jpgwas apparently being evaluated for city landmark status, we’ve found out more from the city Landmarks Preservation Board. Coordinator Sarah Sodt tells WSB that the board has “asked the property owner to submit a landmark nomination … as part of the MUP-SEPA process.” That’s Master Use Permit and State Environmental Policy Act, both aspects of the development process. According to the city website, “All buildings over 50 years old that are proposed for redevelopment are referred to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board as part of the city’s SEPA policies.” However, Sarah also said the board has not “been in communication” with the owner, and has not arranged for a site tour (contrary to what the tenants were led to believe, apparently), but believes the owner is “working on preparing the nomination” paperwork. The bar for landmark status seems pretty high; the list of official city landmarks in WS contains only two residential properties (the Hainsworth House on 37th, sold earlier this year for $1,490,000, and the Satterlee House, aka Painted Lady, still on the market for $2.2 million). The process is explained here; looks like the next step after the nomination application would be a public meeting. The board’s website says it takes up to a month to determine if an application is “complete,” and it wouldn’t be scheduled for consideration at a public meeting until it is. Here’s the board’s schedule for the rest of the year. If a landmark designation does happen, a whole separate process begins regarding setting guidelines for what can be done with the property and which of its features must be preserved; that’s all outlined here. We’ll keep checking with the Landmarks Board to see how this progresses.

Painted Lady, the next step

July 26, 2007 at 10:00 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle housing | Comments Off

SatterleeHouse2DON.jpgAccording to Beach Drive Blog, the city’s landmarks board has a meeting tomorrow to talk about what’s going on with the Painted Lady, aka the Satterlee House, on Beach Drive. As we have reported in recent months (May 30, May 12, September) the house and its huge front lawn are for sale, and if they’re not sold together, the front lawn could become home to three other homes.

Just in from Land-Use Land

May 30, 2007 at 3:53 pm | In Development | 8 Comments

-Now we know why the “for sale” sign on Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady” (aka the Satterlee House) has moved all the way to the front of the house: The city just issued a permit for the short-plat that will allow three homes to be built in what’s currently the historic home’s front yard. We’re working to find out what happens next and when.


-A land-use permit’s also been issued to allow a new commercial development where the burned-out Schuck’s store shell now sits, kitty corner from Charlestown Cafe.


Giving it another go

May 12, 2007 at 9:47 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle housing | 2 Comments

Nine months after the landmark Painted Lady of Beach Drive (aka the Satterlee House) went up for sale again, we just noticed a change in signage outside the house and its front lawn. SatterleeHouse2DON.jpgNow, with a change in listing companies, it’s offered as one “estate” again, though the blurb goes on to say, this property is actually two parcels … the one the house sits on and the front parcel which has been short platted for three homes. Buy one or both!” Hadn’t realized the short-plat had gotten final approval but it seems that happened right before Christmas, on a day most of us had something else (like this) on our minds. So then how come somebody hasn’t snapped up the land already? (P.S. Dear John L. Scott, the new blurb is kind of over the top. “Coyly awaits restoration”? And it’s not “near Alki Point.” 1.5 miles, to be precise. Plus “flair” is the word you’re looking for, not “flare.” /nitpick)

Buy a piece of history

January 23, 2007 at 6:23 am | In West Seattle housing | 11 Comments

Yet another historic West Seattle house is on the market — a side note on this article reveals that this is your big chance to buy the “Hainsworth House” (our WS History page has a link to its backstory). And as far as we can tell, nobody’s ponied up yet for Beach Drive’s historic Satterlee House or its acreage-riffic front yard — but there’s been a price cut; the SH listing is now down to $995K, from $1.2m, where it had been since splitting off from the no-price-cut-yet front yard (originally last summer the two were bundled for $3m).

Land ho!

September 24, 2006 at 1:28 am | In Development | Comments Off

-The historic Satterlee House on Beach Drive (aka “The Painted Lady”) and its massive front yard are now separate listings, and the “subject to inspection” status of the listing for the “front yard” land would suggest a sale is near. (That’ll leave the house as a $1.2 million “fixer,” $300K more than it sold for in 2000.)

-Sad to see the latest permit granted for yet another teardown-to-buildup, this one at 1350 Alki Avenue, a red-and-white duplex where we recall seeing planters full of brilliant flowers (almost as memorable a display as Cindi Laws’ old place), till it was sold and marked for death. Goodbye, wood and planters, with a little room for the hillside behind it to breathe; hello, another five-story chunk of concrete, glass, and steel.

Sunday drive

August 27, 2006 at 3:51 pm | In Seen around town, West Seattle businesses, WS miscellaneous | 1 Comment

Got out and about for the first time in a few days … First, a couple notes from the Junction: Though the space posted as the future “Divina Cantina” does not appear open yet, a new store in front of it called “Divina” appears to be almost set to go. Its doors are posted with an artsy flyer trumpeting simply “Divina/Objects Of Beauty.” Looks like said objects include clothes, dishes, and wall hangings, among other things we didn’t quite have time to catalog while peering through the window … Also, just noticed that the former “In-Out Espresso” south of Pagliacci has changed its name to “Red Cup Espresso.” Sorry if that’s old news — gotta wonder, though, did those California burger people come after them, or did they just get tired of saying “No relation”?

Now, from Beach Drive … the “For Sale” sign at the historic Satterlee House sprouted a “PRICE REDUCED” signlet sometime in the past week or so, so we checked the listing again … wow, down to $2.5 million, from the original $3,000,000. Gosh, maybe I should try the mortgage calculator again.

Last but not least, we returned home to find out in a roundabout way that one of our favorite non-amateur blogs has poked fun at us, sort of. Wow … when the venerable Dan Savage is aware of your existence, you know you’ve really arrived.


Speaking of big old historic houses

August 13, 2006 at 7:19 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing | 2 Comments

Not long after I posted about the apparently doomed historic house at 4532 42nd SW (thanks to “WS Guy” for the comment on that post, enlightening me about its history — my copy of the wonderful “West Side Story” is in tatters and I need to find a “new” one), we were startled by this sight: The historic “Satterlee House” on Beach Drive is up for sale again, billed as a “$3 million fixer” with suggestions as to how some of its massive front-lawn space could be developed. It’s been five years since the slugfest over a plan to put cottages on that land; now the MLS listing suggests it could be used as “possible 3 building sites with completed short plat.” Whatever happened to the campaign to save the house and its site as is? Isn’t there any kazillionaire around here with a few spare bucks (I wish I did!) to preserve a little history? (or are they ALL on Lake Washington?)

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