Development 1539 results

ALERT: Seattle Fire Department training planned at Alki house starting Sunday

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

That century-old house at 3027 59th SW in the Alki area [map] will soon be demolished to make way for a three-townhouse building. First, the Seattle Fire Department plans to use the site for training exercises, with the owners’ permission. SFD says the training is scheduled for Sunday through Tuesday (August 20-22). The announcement adds, “This training will not include any live fire burning and every effort will be made to not impede traffic and/or access to the area. Observers are welcome! Areas will be marked off for safe viewing.”

DESIGN REVIEW CHANGES? City Council briefing focuses on new thresholds, ‘community outreach’ requirement for developers

(Seattle Channel video of PLUZ committee meeting Tuesday. Design Review discussion starts 1 hour, 53 minutes in)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If the city’s Design Review process is dramatically overhauled, as currently proposed, it could cut one or two months off the time it takes a development to get through the permitting process. The speed-it-up aspect was touted at the start of the mayor’s announcement earlier this month that the proposal was ready to go public.

But is that the most important goal? That’s one of the questions being considered by the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee, which got its second briefing Tuesday on the proposed Design Review changes.

They were told the all-volunteer Design Review Boards around the city have a backlog (although here in West Seattle, for example, as of this writing, the Southwest Design Review Board has only one project on its calendar, the September 7th review of 2222 SW Barton (the official notice was published today, but we reported on the scheduling two weeks ago).

One reason for scrutiny of the proposed changes: Design Review remains the only part of the project-vetting process that requires public meetings for some projects. If these changes pass, fewer projects will have to go through Design Review – and most of those that do will have fewer, if any, meetings. The overall changes are summarized in this council-staff memo:

1. Require early community engagement by applicants with the community;

2. Modify the thresholds above which design review is required. To ensure consistent application, thresholds will be based on the total square footage in a building instead of dwelling unit counts, use and zone;

3. Establish new thresholds to determine the type of design review required based on site and project characteristics;

4. Change the composition of design review boards (DRBs) to replace the general community interest seat with a second local residential/community interest seat and allow more than one Get Engaged member to participate on the boards; and

5. Modify and update other provisions related to design review.

At Tuesday’s briefing, city staffers focused on two components – the “new thresholds” and the “early community engagement.” The latter would in effect replace the first public meeting for some projects – with a new type of “outreach” that developers will be expected to arrange.

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FOLLOWUP: West Seattle street vacation for self-storage facility gets City Council committee OK

(Site plan showing where self-storage building would span what’s currently city right-of-way)

A full City Council vote in September is the next step to a street vacation for the West Coast Self-Storage project planned at 3252 Harbor SW. Today’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee hearing/vote – previewed here on Monday – was unanimously in favor of it (with two of the three committee members – chair Mike O’Brien and Rob Johnson – present) – first item in the Seattle Channel video, after open public comment:

SDOT’s point person on street (and alley) vacations, Beverly Barnett, explained that Nucor’s interest in an adjacent 25,175-square-foot section of unimproved 29th SW – added to the self-storage project’s request for 2,029 sf of unimproved SW City View – dated back to 20 years ago, when tracks were built there as part of a plan that ultimately fell apart. As noted in our preview, the self-storage company is promising a $300,000+ “public-benefit package” including improvements to the Alki Trail, such as moving utility poles. If the street vacation gets final approval, the land also would have to be purchased from the city at fair-market value.

Only one person spoke at today’s hearing, and his concerns involved the 850-storage-unit building’s projected 56-foot height (almost 30′ below what the site’s zoned for), not the street vacation itself. But if you have comments, you can still send them to the council before its September vote – find all councilmembers’ contact info here.

FOLLOWUP: New rules for vacant buildings advance out of City Council committee

(WSB photo, February 2017)

Remember the saga of that house in South Delridge, which stood for months after the third fire in five years? It was a reminder of city rules that make it difficult for nuisance houses to be dealt with – by the city and/or by their owners. Rule changes have been making their way through City Hall, and today, they won approval from the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee, after an extensive discussion and some amendments. In the Seattle Channel video below, it was the first item after a half-hour plus of public comment on various agenda items:

This has been an issue for many years – in 2009, North Delridge neighbors led a tour of problem properties, with City Councilmembers and department heads in attendance, and there was talk of changing the rules. No major changes ensued; at least one of the vacant houses featured in that tour is still standing, still vacant. The current proposal is summarized as:

Summary of the Proposal

Vacant Building Maintenance (SMC 22.206.200)
 Strengthen the standards for securing the windows of vacant buildings to require slightly thicker
plywood and fastening with screws rather than nails, and add the option of using clear polycarbonate
panels or other approved materials instead of plywood.

 Establish an expedited process for removing garbage, junk, or other debris from a vacant property if the owner does not respond to a notice of violation.

Demolition of Unfit Buildings (SMC 22.208.020)
 Establish an expedited process for ordering the demolition of a vacant building that can be documented
as hazardous.

Demolition of Housing (SMC 23.40.006)
 In instances when a final redevelopment permit has not yet been issued, reduce the length of time that
rental housing must sit vacant before a demolition permit can be issued … and expand this provision to apply in commercial, industrial, and multifamily zones (in addition to single-family zones).

(That’s from the start of the Director’s Report document you’ll find, along with other documents related to the bill, by going here. Among the docs is the following map, showing vacant-building complaints around the city:)

One concern long voiced has been that making it too easy to tear down vacant houses will reduce available housing stock. West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said it would be helpful to know more about the 200+ vacant buildings that are on the city’s radar, and which ones might be usable for housing. She also offered an amendment to try to toughen the scrutiny of demolition review for structures that might contain a “dwelling unit,” but it wasn’t approved.

Meantime, there was a compromise in a central provision of the new rules, reducing the waiting period required for demolition from 12 months after a building was last used for rental housing, to 6 months. (The original proposal was to cut it to four months; then there was a counterproposal for eight months; and six months was today’s compromise.)

After today’s committee approval, the rule changes move on to the full Council, likely in September, so if you have something to say about them before a final vote, there’s still time – you can start with Councilmember Herbold at, and/or contact all councilmembers via the info you’ll find here.

SELL THE STREET? ‘Vacation’ hearing Tuesday @ City Hall for Harbor Avenue self-storage project site

This morning’s City Council briefing meeting included a reminder of a major West Seattle item that’s on the calendar for the Sustainability and Transportation Committee tomorrow afternoon (as announced last month), including public comment if you have something to say about it – a “street vacation” sought in connection with the West Coast Self-Storage project proposed for 3252 Harbor Avenue SW. Above (or here), you can scroll through the slide deck that shows not only what’s proposed and where – one slide notes they expect the building to include ~850 units – but also what’s being offered in exchange for the “vacation.” It’s a request for the city to “vacate” what is currently publicly owned property, technically part of the street system but not being used as such. These requests have to include a “public benefit” package – the slide deck includes a list of what West Coast Self-Storage is offering, valued at more than $300,000, from moving a utility pole off the Alki Trail to including art panels in its building’s exterior. Eventually, the property that’s approved for vacation is sold at fair-market value. Also of note in this case: Nearby Nucor is a party to the vacation request for land that’s technically part of 29th SW and SW City View, seeking “to accommodate” railroad tracks. The proposed “vacation” area otherwise would be covered by the new 4-story self-storage building.

If you have something to say about the vacation request (see the full 81-page document here), be at City Council chambers at City Hall (600 4th Ave.) downtown at the start of Tuesday’s 2 pm committee meeting. If you can’t be there, you can e-mail comments to – Councilmember Mike O’Brien chairs the committee.

VIDEO: Final farewell for ex-Alki Tavern

Four and a half years after the final Taco Thursday, it’s Farewell Tuesday:

1:14 PM: Thanks to Carolyn Newman for the photo! Last week, we showed you the start of ground-level demolition for the mixed-use project at 1307 Harbor SW that includes the site of the former Alki Tavern, which closed in March 2013; its fans have been coming for a last look as the demolition equipment got closer. (If you’re new here, the tavern was long a popular spot for riders, especially on Taco Thursdays; the last one before the tavern’s permament closure was in March 2013.)

ADDED 4:53 PM: And now, the rest of the story … as the building came down. It’s part of this “video obituary” courtesy of Mark Jaroslaw:

Last call for Alki Tavern from JaroslawMedia on Vimeo.

HALA UPZONING: Last call for comments on DEIS; West Seattle real-estate listing pitches MHA avoidance

Two notes related to the ongoing move toward upzoning as part of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) component:

COMMENT DEADLINE TOMORROW: The extra two weeks for commenting on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the MHA upzoning – and its alternatives for how that might be achieved – is tomorrow (Monday, August 7th). That, you’ll recall, was a two-week extension from the original deadline. In her latest online update (second item), City Councilmember Lisa Herbold says she asked Office of Planning and Community Development director Sam Assefa for three more weeks, but he said no. He did, however, respond to her continuing concerns about displacement risk, she added:

(H)e did agree to significant new analysis on the displacement risks associated with the proposed upzones. I am specifically seeking more detailed quantitative analysis of displacement impacts on people-of-color and a more qualitative analysis of cultural displacement, both disaggregated to the neighborhood level. Director Assefa has also made an important commitment that the draft Final EIS will be shared with Council prior to publication. If the analysis for the FEIS is not sufficient to quantify disparate impacts, I may consider commissioning additional analyses either through a peer-review of the FEIS or other measure.

Whatever your comments, if you haven’t sent them yet, again, tomorrow’s the deadline; here’s how to send a comment.

ANOTHER REAL-ESTATE LISTING REFERENCING HALA: Last week, we reported on a $5.6 million real-estate listing in Morgan Junction offering 7 single-family parcels “bundled” in anticipation of HALA MHA upzoning, which could potentially, the flyer said, allow 148 apartments or 30 townhomes on the currently single-family-zoned site. This week, we discovered another West Seattle real-estate flyer with a HALA reference – this one, though, geared toward buyers who might want to avoid MHA (which would either require part of a project to be “affordable housing” or a fee to pay for some elsewhere). The flyer is for 3039 SW Avalon Way, seeking to sell the site where a proposed 71-apartment project passed Design Review last January, and has a Master Use Permit (MUP) “imminent,” per the flyer. Part of the flyer’s pitch: “The MUP allows a developer to break ground by the end of 2017, and equally beneficial, would not be subject to proposed HALA/MHA development fees scheduled to take effect in 2018.” Also from the flyer:

Avalon West is permitted for 71 apartment units, with a mix of studios, open 1-bedrooms, 1-bedrooms, and 2-bedrooms, and an average unit size of 525 square feet. Units will have high-end fixtures and finishes, including dishwashers and washer/dryers, with many units featuring views. Garage parking will be available for 18 cars, creating a premium on space and an opportunity to charge more than $100/space.

The listing doesn’t show an asking price.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: 2nd Design Review meeting set for apartments at 2222 SW Barton

One night after the Southwest Design Review Board looked at 8854 Delridge Way SW (WSB coverage here), its next meeting is set, and it involves another project in the same area: 2222 SW Barton, just southeast of Westwood Village. Last September, the board OK’d the Early Design Guidance version of the proposal (WSB coverage here), during which they were told the site might hold up to 80 apartments. For phase 2 of Design Review, the plan now is described as “a four-story apartment building containing 27 small efficiency dwelling units and 39 apartment units in an environmentally critical area.” The review is penciled onto the schedule for 6:30 pm Thursday, September 7th, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon). The design packet isn’t online yet, but should be by the end of the month.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: 2nd phase of demolition starts for project including ex-Alki Tavern site

(WSB photo)

FIRST REPORT, 12:01 PM: Two months ago, we reported on “soft demolition” for an upslope structure that’s part of the long-in-the-works project including the ex-Alki Tavern site. Today, demolition of the street-level structures along Harbor Avenue is under way.

(Photo by Carolyn Newman)

The crew started at the west end of the site; the former tavern – closed almost 4 1/2 years ago – is one of two structures on the east end. What’ll be built on the site: A six-floor mixed-use building with 15 residential units, office and “light manufacturing” space, ground-floor retail/commercial, 41 offstreet parking spaces, and a public hillclimb/breezeway between California Way and Harbor SW. We’ll be checking on demolition progress late this afternoon.

3:22 PM UPDATE: We went back just under an hour ago and the two structures on the west end were both gone, as was the crew.

At the left edge of the photo is the brick west side of the ex-tavern.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Thirty-one ~$850 apartments at 8854 Delridge Way SW? Project passes 1st round of Design Review

exauto(King County Assessor photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Where a burned-out former auto shop (above) now sits at the corner of Delridge and Henderson, a sawtooth-edged 31-apartment building will rise, if the project that just made it out of the first stage of Design Review gets built.

All four appointed-volunteer members of the Southwest Design Review Board – chair Matt Zinski, Alexandra Moravec, Don Caffrey, and Crystal Lora – voted to advance the project to the second and final stage. This was their first look at the project – the Early Design Guidance phase – which focuses on “massing” (size, shape, placement on site). Here’s the design packet put together for the review:

Along with the board members and architects, assigned city planner Abby Weber was at the meeting, plus two members of the public, West Seattle neighborhood advocates Kim Barnes and Diane Vincent. Both spoke during community-comment time. But first = here’s how the meeting began:

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FOLLOWUP: Ventana Construction announces new location

(Photo courtesy Ventana Construction)

Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) has just officially announced its new location – just blocks south of the old one that’s being redeveloped by that site’s owner. Ventana has moved from a log house to a “hacienda”:

We are excited to announce the move of our headquarters to a new location at the corner of California Avenue SW and SW Raymond Streets. This is exactly two blocks south of our leased office location, which was our base of operations for 10 years. Only one digit in the address has changed – 5958 California Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98136.

Moves are bittersweet, especially given how much we invested in and adored our rented office, but change is part of life-particularly when you’re in the construction business. We feel very lucky to have been able to stay on California Avenue SW in the Morgan Junction neighborhood, which has been our home since the company’s inception in 2003.

We are also thrilled to be stewards of one of the dwindling number of original buildings on California Avenue SW. The Hacienda was built in 1930 and still has the original finishes-mahogany millwork, coved ceilings with heavy texture plaster, a small fireplace with an alcove and red oak floors. It is in remarkably good shape given that it was a rental for most of its years. In the 1937, the tax assessor’s office noted that rent was $30/month.

It’s also one of the few corners that still looks substantially the same as it did in the King County Archive photo [above], which we believe is from the late ’30s. The streetcar tracks are gone, as are the beautiful street lights in the left of the photo, but much is unchanged. Proposed multi-family development planned around our building may soon change the character of this corner of Morgan Junction permanently.

We continue to remodel homes, often with additions and whole-house renovations, in West Seattle and other neighborhoods in the city. We also build custom homes and backyard cottages (DADUs). We welcome inquiries via phone 206-932-3009 and our website

We are also proud to have been a supporter of independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via advertising in the West Seattle Blog for 10 years as of this coming February.

SIDE NOTE: Before you ask, we’ll be checking on the timetable for the move of the house in which Ventana was previously headquartered.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Aegis project on Admiral has ‘topped off’

(WSB photos from Thursday)

The largest construction project in Admiral right now just marked a milestone. The 80-unit Aegis Living senior-residences project at 47th/Admiral/Waite had a “topping-off party” this past Thursday to celebrate the placement of the last beam and end of framing on the building, almost a year after work began at the site with demolition of the former Life Care Center building. Part of the party was lunch, from nearby Spud Fish and Chips:

That has a special significance because, as noted in our early coverage of the project, this company incorporates tributes to familiar neighborhood features, to help the comfort and enjoyment of its memory-care residents, and Aegis spokesperson Charlotte Starck tells us that the memory-care dining area of this building will “have a Spud’s influence in its interior that will spark fond memories for West Seattle residents every time they dine.” Construction is expected to continue through the winter and, after the licensing process, the building is likely to open by summer 2018. We first reported Aegis’s plan in fall 2013.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Demolition to start next month at ex-and-future PCC site

Wondering what’s going on with the past and future PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) site at 2749 California SW in Admiral, with building demolition yet to begin, two months after the store closed? A reader called us Friday, saying she was concerned about camping and trash outside the shuttered store. We checked the city permit files, and the demolition permit – applied for in January – is listed as in “reviews completed” stage. We also sent an inquiry to the site’s owner, Madison Development Group, which plans to build a mixed-use building with 112 apartments and a new PCC store. Then this morning, we went by the site, but didn’t see any sign of what the reader had mentioned. And today we received a reply from a PCC spokesperson, who said the inquiry had been forwarded to them by the developer: “Our team is visiting the site regularly until we hand the property off to MDG in mid-August. We also noticed the camp and took steps to clean up the area and tape off all entryways. We’ll be closely watching to ensure no one sets up there again. The plans are to demolish the building in mid-August to begin construction.”


From the city Department of Construction and Inspections files:

REDEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL AT 5214 DELRIDGE WAY SW: An early-stage proposal has just appeared in city files to redevelop this site [map], which has been remodeled incrementally in recent years and now houses multiple small businesses. The new proposal is described as follows:

Demolition of existing commercial structure and construction of new 3600 sf mixed use building and (4) townhouse units. Mixed use building to include (2) commercial spaces and (4) Small Efficiency Dwelling Units (SEDU). Parking for (6) vehicles to be provided on site.

(SEDU is the city’s term for microstudio apartments.) Again, it’s an early-stage proposal, just beginning its journey through the potential permitting process.

SEE THE DESIGN PACKET FOR 8854 DELRIDGE BEFORE FIRST REVIEW: Two miles south, 8854 Delridge Way SW [map] goes to the Southwest Design Review Board for the first time on Thursday night (August 3rd). We first reported a year ago that a mixed-use project was planned for the site of a burned-out former auto shop. The design packet describes as “a new 4-story building over a below-grade parking garage level with 31 apartment micro-units, retail (café) space, and 15 enclosed parking stalls.” Here’s the packet by Sazei Design Group:

Or, see it here. Next Thursday’s review is for Early Design Guidance, so it focuses on “massing” – size, shape, placement on site – and is set for 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon), including a public-comment period.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: 7 Morgan Junction parcels listed together for $5.6 million, banking on HALA upzoning

Our daily check of commercial-real-estate listings just turned up a new listing that’s the first one we’ve seen explicitly referring to the potential Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) upzoning: 7 Morgan Junction parcels listed together for $5.6 million, with the online listing and flyer noting:

It is located within the Morgan Junction Urban Village, where zoning is proposed to increase from Single Family to Lowrise 3 as part of the City of Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) proposal.

And, getting more specific, here’s what the listing says that could enable:

According to a preliminary feasibility study completed by NK Architects, an apartment site plan shows a 5-story apartment building with 148 apartment units, while a townhome scheme provides for 30 townhomes.

The 7-parcel site [map] is described as 37,000+ square feet, just east of the Morgan Junction business district – bordered by Fauntleroy Way SW to the south, 41st SW to the west, SW Graham to the north, an alley to the east. The upzoning that would turn this single-family-zoned area into a multi-family-zoned area is not expected to go to the City Council before next year; the HALA MHA Draft Environmental Impact Statement is still in comment phase until August 7th.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Hearings set for church’s townhouse rezone, storage-facility street vacation; 8-unit proposal for 7111 California SW

Three West Seattle development notes:

HEARING SET FOR CHURCH’S TOWNHOUSE PLAN: Almost four years after first word of the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene‘s proposal for six townhouses on single-family-zoned land it owns next door [map], the city is recommending approval of the rezone that the project requires. The recommendation has conditions including a component of Mandatory Housing Affordability. You can see the conditions in this notice published with today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. Also in the notice – before this goes to the City Council for final approval, a public hearing is set before the city Hearing Examiner on August 14th (9 am, examiner’s chambers at the Municipal Tower downtown). We talked with church leaders about the project back in 2013; they partnered with a local builder on the project and hope its proceeds will help them keep and renovate their sanctuary, while maintaining part of the land as the unofficial park it’s long been.

STREET-VACATION HEARING FOR STORAGE-FACILITY PLAN: Also set for a public hearing next month, the street vacation required for a new self-storage facility at 3252 Harbor Avenue SW, north of the West Seattle Bridge (first mentioned here back in April). Here’s the notice, which includes this map:

The hearing for the street vacation – which means the city would sell the land, not currently in use as a street, to the developer – will be at 2 pm August 15th before the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee at City Hall downtown. Here’s the notice from today’s LUIB.

One item that’s not from today’s LUIB – it just showed up in our daily check of city files:

8 UNITS TO REPLACE 1 AT 7111 CALIFORNIA SW: There’s an early-stage proposal for 7111 California SW [map], where a century-plus-old single-family house would be replaced by four townhouses, each including an “accessory dwelling unit” with separate entrance, for a total of eight units. The project would include four offstreet parking spaces.

2-building, ~300-unit project at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW moves to 2nd phase of Design Review

(Looking northwest over the proposed buildings, marked with beige shading)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The next major project in the pipeline for the intensively densifying east edge of The Junction has moved on to the second phase of Design Review – two buildings with a total of nearly 300 apartments, plus retail and live-work spaces, at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW [map] and across the alley at 4721 38th SW.

The sites are being developed together by Legacy Partners, and so were presented together last night to the Southwest Design Review Board. Three of the four current board members – chair Matt Zinski, Don Caffrey, and Crystal Lora – were there, as was fill-in (and former) board member Robin Murphy, and assigned city planner Carly Guillory.

This was the Early Design Guidance phase, which meant the focus was on “massing” – size, shape, placement on site – rather than specific aspects of the design itself. The site has history – it went through two SWDRB meetings when CVS planned a standalone drugstore, under different (potential) ownership and architects; then that plan was scrapped last year. We first reported on the emergence of the new plan last December.

The meeting unfolded with one format change – double the time (40 minutes instead of 20) for the architects’ presentation, since they were covering two sites:

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WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Key approvals for 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW

(Edmunds side of The Foundry – rendering by Mithun)

On the same day that 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW goes to the Southwest Design Review Board, its future neighbor “The Foundry,” at 4754 Fauntleroy, has received key city approvals. The notice is the only major one for West Seattle in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. The project on the ex-pawn-shop site at Fauntleroy/Edmunds will include 108 apartments, 10 live-work units, and 103 underground parking spaces. The notice (see it here) explains the decisions – determination of environmental non-significant, and finalization of its design review (here’s our coverage of the final meeting last April). It also sets August 3rd as the deadline for appeals.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: 6022 California demolition; Charlestown, 30th, Delridge projects; more

Five development notes:

6022 CALIFORNIA DEMOLITION: By day’s end, the commercial building at 6022 California SW [map] was gone. It’s the former home of City Nails, which has moved several blocks north to 5242 California SW. We first reported almost a year ago on the plan for this site and the already-under-construction one two doors north. On this site, it will be a relatively common arrangement – three live-work units, two townhouses, two single-family houses, five offstreet-parking spaces.

12 APARTMENTS IN LUNA PARK AREA: Plans for a three-story, 12-apartment building at 3026 SW Charlestown are proceeding, first mentioned here two years ago. In this week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin, the city published the notice of a determination of nonsignificance – meaning they don’t believe it will have significant environmental impact. If you want to appeal that, you have until July 31st – here’s how.

7-UNIT ROWHOUSE FOR 4214 30TH SW: Not far away, in a rapidly densifying North Delridge pocket, two houses are planned for replacement with a 7-unit rowhouse building at 4214 30th SW, according to an early-stage plan in city files.

12 UNITS FOR 5005/5011 DELRIDGE: A combination of rowhouse and townhouse units are shown on the early-stage plan for this site, currently home to 1960s-era multiplex units.

JUNCTION MICROSTUDIOS COMPLETE: The six-story, 58-unit building at 4528 44th SW is about to have its grand opening, and it has a name: Vega. Construction started 14 months ago with demolition of the 8-unit building it replaced.

HALA REZONING: City seeking changes in 3 West Seattle neighborhood plans; Junction group presents analysis of Draft Environmental Impact Statement

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Some neighborhoods have pushed back against the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda rezoning plans by pointing out that they conflict with longstanding community-crafted neighborhood plans.

Groups in Morgan Junction and the West Seattle Junction are pursuing amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan to try to ensure that HALA rezoning doesn’t overwrite parts of their neighborhood plan.

And this week, they learned that the city has launched a pre-emptive strike with its own amendment to do exactly that. Language in the Morgan, WS Junction, and Westwood-Highland Park plans, and six others citywide, would have specific zoning references struck by this part of what the city’s pursuing:

Make amendments to specific neighborhood plan policies.

Individual policies or goals in the Neighborhood Plan element of the Comprehensive Plan are proposed for amendment where they explicitly call for maintaining single-family zoning within an urban village or center. Certain policies that call for maintaining aspects of single-family areas (such as scale, character, or integrity) are proposed for amendment if they would clearly and directly conflict with the draft MHA implementation proposal. However, in cases where neighborhood plan policies call for maintaining aspects of a single-family areas (i.e. character) that are possible to achieve while implementing MHA, the neighborhood plan policy is not proposed for amendment.

Amendments would remove explicit references to preservation of zoning, in favor of statements to preserve physical scale or character where appropriate. For goal or policy statements that could be construed to directly conflict with MHA implementation short of direct references to zoning, policy language would be added to recognize the potential for addition of a variety of housing types, while preserving aspects of single family areas that are desired for preservation by the neighborhood plan policy. The following Neighborhood Plan policies would be amended.

• Fremont F-P13
• Morgan Junction MJ-P13, MJ-P14
• Northgate NG-P8
• Roosevelt R-LUG1
• Westwood/Highland Park W/HP-P3
• Aurora-Licton Springs AL-P2
• North Rainier NR-P9
• Wallingford W-P1
• West Seattle Junction WSJ-P13

You can read the entire city amendment document here. The next step in potential comprehensive-plan changes is a City Council committee hearing on July 24th – the proposed amendments, including those proposed by Morgan Junction and West Seattle Junction groups, are all linked here.

While those proposed changes are not part of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for HALA’s Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning, the city’s counterproposal did come up at Tuesday night’s Junction Neighborhood Organization Land Use Committee (JLUC) workshop on DEIS commenting, which is open until August 7th. Here’s what happened during that workshop, including what committee leaders say they have found so far in their review of the document’s hundreds of pages: Read More

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: See the design packet for 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, before next week’s design review

7 months after we first reported a new project was in the works for 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW – where CVS canceled its plan for a standalone drugstore – the new project goes before the Southwest Design Review Board one week from tomorrow. Looking ahead to that meeting, you can now see the “design packet” – embedded above, or on the city website here (PDF). The developer is Legacy Partners, which also built Youngstown Flats (WSB sponsor) in North Delridge; the architect is Encore. The project proposes two buildings, seven stories along Fauntleroy and four stories on the alley behind it, with about 250 apartments, and the same number of offstreet-parking spaces (per page 5 of the packet).

Remember that since this is the Early Design Guidance phase, the packet (and review) focuses on massing – size, shape, and where the buildings will be placed on the site – rather than appearance details, which would be proposed and reviewed in the next stage of the process. The meeting is at 6:30 pm Thursday, July 20th, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon), and it will include a public-comment period.

WEST SEATTLE DEVELOPMENT: Demolition under way for duplexes-to-rowhouses project at 61st/Admiral

3:39 PM: Thanks to Peter for the photo and tip: Demolition of the three 1940s-built duplexes on the northeast corner of 61st/Admiral is under way. We first reported last October on the plan to replace them with 12 three-story rowhouse units, eight facing 61st and the other four facing Admiral. The Alki Parking Overlay requires one and a half offstreet-parking spaces per unit, so there will be 18 spaces, accessible from the alley to the east.

4:48 PM: Just went by. Two duplexes down, one remaining, and the crews appeared to be done for the day.

Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, report #2: First look at 9049 20th SW

(Project location, from meeting ‘packet’)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Southwest Design Review Board has taken its first look at 9049 20th SW [map] – a South Delridge project that will “alter” a building rather than raze/replace it – in the second half of this week’s doubleheader meeting.

Three board members were present for Thursday night’s review – chair Matt Zinski, Don Caffrey, and new appointee Crystal Loya – as was the project’s designated city planner, Sean Conrad. (Here’s our report on the first review of the night, the post-appeal return of 3078 SW Avalon Way.)

Since this was an Early Design Guidance review, it focused on the project’s “massing” – size, shape, placement on site – and the board was satisfied enough to forward it to the next phase. Here’s what happened first:

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