What constitutes ‘frequent transit,’ when it’s time to decide how much parking a development needs or doesn’t need?

March 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Back in December, we reported that the city was planning to rewrite its rule about what kind of transit availability is required before development projects to be built without parking. That was part of the fallout from a ruling by the city Hearing Examiner on a West Seattle group’s challenge to issues including a project’s use of multiple bus routes/stops to contend “frequent transit service” was available nearby.

That group, Seattle NERD, says the proposed “director’s rule” runs counter to the ruling in their appeal (we covered the appeal hearing – here, here, and here – and the ruling, last fall). This is all unfolding as the deadline for comment on the rule rushes up – it’s tomorrow (March 5th).

If you blinked, you might have missed the notice that the rewrite was ready for review and comment (we did, until Seattle NERD pointed it out) – it was linked from this notice in a recent edition of the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin, and lumped in with an unrelated proposed rule change, as per the screengrab below:

The overview of the proposed rule:

Purpose

The purpose of this rule is to define the Department’s requirements for demonstrating that a development site is eligible to be developed without parking (pursuant to 23.54.015 Table A, Row J or Table B, Row M) or qualifies for a 50% reduction in amount of required parking (pursuant to 23.54.020.F) due to the site’s location within walking distance of frequent transit service (FTS).

Background

To promote environmental and transportation policies of the Comprehensive Plan and support alternatives to driving, either no parking is required, or a reduction in the required amount is allowed for residential uses in multifamily and commercial zones in areas of the city where transit service is adequate to serve commute and non-work related trips.

The full text of the proposed rule is here. (Note that its example involves 35th/Avalon.)

It would, as Seattle NERD alleges, allow combination of bus routes and stops to arrive at a determination of “frequent transit” availability. The group points this out, including color-coded comparisons, in detail on the home page of its website. It’s pointed this out to City Councilmembers, and at least one, West Seattle-residing Tom Rasmussen, has promised to check it out.

This isn’t just an abstract process; the future of at least a few development projects awaits the decision – for example, the microhousing project planned at 3050 SW Avalon Way (with no offstreet parking) has been corresponding with the city on the issue.

If you have any comment on the proposed rule, e-mail Mike Podowski, whose address is on the notice – and again, tomorrow is the deadline.

West Seattle development: New plan for 4532 42nd SW, six years post-demolition

March 3, 2015 at 2:46 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(WSB photo from November 17, 2008)
At 4532 42nd SW in The Junction, that house with history – a long-ago hospital, WSB’ers told us – came down in fall of 2008. At the time, a 35-residential-unit, 54-parking-space development was in the works. As happened to some other projects right around that time, it got shelved. Now a brand-new proposal has emerged, a mixed-use building with 84 apartments and 70 underground parking spaces. The project would also include the site of the small brick house-turned-office at 4536 42nd SW, placing the building immediately north of Capco Plaza (QFC/Altamira).

(WSB photo, taken this morning)
According to the early-stage site plan that just turned up in city files, the building’s parking garage would have an entry on the same alley used for the Capco Plaza garage, and the residential entry on 42nd would be just north of the alley. This will require Design Review – no date yet. It’s an NK Architects project, as are the two noted below:

SIDE NOTE: This proposal’s emergence means three projects are now in the works for the two-block stretch of 42nd between Genesee and Alaska in the heart of The Junction. Construction equipment has been parked for a while outside two of the three houses scheduled to come down for 80-apartment Junction Flats on the west side of 42nd just north of Oregon; just south of Oregon, 4505 42nd SW, with 41 apartments and 9 “lodging” units, won Design Review approval earlier this year.

West Seattle development notes, from demolition to Design Review

February 26, 2015 at 2:32 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | No Comments

West Seattle development notes today include this demolition work:


TEARDOWN TO … ? That 1911-built house has just been torn down at 37th/Hinds; thanks to Diane for the tip.

What’s on file online with the city mentions both demolition and “additions and alterations to existing single family residence including attached garage,” rather than a teardown/rebuild, so we’re not sure exactly what’s going to follow.

OTHER DEMOLITION NOTES: A permit is granted for tearing down a duplex at 5917 Fauntleroy Way SW, one of two neighboring sites with rowhouses ahead … a permit application is in to demolish a house and commercial building at 4038 California SW, where the city notes say 7 units are planned, two of them live-works.

DESIGN REVIEW NOTICES: We’ve already published word of both of these reviews scheduled for March 19th, but in case you missed it, the formal notices are in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin:

****CVS drugstore project: This is filed at two addresses, 4722 Fauntleroy Way for the building and 4721 38th SW for additional parking, and both reviews will be held at 6:30 pm March 19th at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (Our most-recent story is here.)

****Junction apartment building: The 60-unit building proposed at 4528 44th SW will be reviewed at 8 pm March 19th, same location. We first reported on this plan last November.

Delridge development: Mixed-use building at 5414; new configuration at 4150

February 15, 2015 at 6:34 pm | In Delridge, Development, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

Though by nature and zoning it hasn’t drawn triple-digit-unit developments, Delridge Way has seen plenty of building the past few years, and we have two more notes from city files:

MIXED USE AT 5414 DELRIDGE: A few doors north of DESC’s Cottage Grove Commons, 5414 Delridge Way has an early-stage proposal for a mixed-use building to replace the 85-year-old cottage in this photo:

Four stories, 7 residential units and 1,000 square feet for retail/office. A “site plan” just filed last Thursday shows the ownership as Christianson Development, same as the townhouses-over-office space units that start one door down; architect for this project is listed as Nicholson Kovalchick. According to the DPD website, this will go through Design Review.

4150 DELRIDGE: This not-previously-developed site north of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, last mentioned here in fall 2013, has a new configuration.

The newest proposal is for four 2-unit, 4-story rowhouses. Ownership is a Burien company; architect, David Neiman.

West Seattle development: 1 demolition and four design reviews

February 11, 2015 at 12:19 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | Comments Off

DEMOLITION OF THE DAY: The teardown work did indeed start this morning at 3210 California SW, the future 136-unit Admiral East Apartments. Thanks to contractor Exxel Pacific‘s superintendent Scott Weston for the photo.

2ND DESIGN REVIEW MEETING FOR 4515 41ST SW: Now on the Southwest Design Review Board calendar for 6:30 pm March 5th, the second review of the proposed 66-bed memory-care center in The Junction at 4515 41st SW. Here’s our report on its first review back in December.

1ST DESIGN REVIEW MEETING FOR 4528 44TH SW: Also new on the SWDRB calendar, the first review is set at 8 pm March 19th for 4528 44th SW, the 60-unit apartment proposal first reported here two months ago. It will replace an eight-unit building built in 1952.

LAST THURSDAY’S DESIGN REVIEW MEETING: We weren’t able to get a reporter to the doubleheader meeting last Thursday for 4505 42nd SW and 4106 Delridge Way SW, but we have the results courtesy of Deb Barker, a former SWDRB chair who attends most local project reviews: 4505 42nd SW got final board approval; 4106 Delridge, making its second appearance 6 years after its first, was sent back for revisions. Both are mixed-use projects.

Followup: Demolition equipment arrives for Admiral East Apartments

February 10, 2015 at 7:19 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
The equipment has arrived, but the teardown hasn’t started just yet at the block of buildings about to be demolished – as announced last Friday – for the block-long 3210 California SW project. It’s now known as Admiral East Apartments, mixed use with 136 units and 152 off-street-parking spaces, part 4 stories high, part 5 stories. In case you missed our previous report, here’s the notice shared by contractor Exxel Pacific (see it here as a PDF, and embedded below):

It’s been ten months since the Intracorp-developed project received a final Southwest Design Review Board approval vote. Construction is expected to last a year and a half.

Demolition to start Tuesday for block-long 3210 California SW, now ‘Admiral East Apartments’

February 6, 2015 at 1:22 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 29 Comments

(November 2014 WSB photo)
Demolition starts Tuesday for the block-long 3210 California SW project, as just announced by contractor Exxel Pacific. Fencing has been up for more than two months, and tree protection went up a few days ago, so this has been expected for some time. The official flyer (see it here as a PDF, and embedded below) also gives a nod to what developer Intracorp is calling the project, Admiral East Apartments:

The 136-unit, 152-offstreet-parking-space project gained final Design Review Board signoff ten months ago. Intracorp had at one point also planned a 60-unit apartment building across the street at 3211 California SW, but as noted here (final item) last month, those plans have changed.

West Seattle development: First look at proposed CVS drugstore, with Design Review debut set next month

February 5, 2015 at 2:46 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 59 Comments

The first Design Review date is set for the CVS drugstore project at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW. We broke the news of the proposal a year and a half ago; after the initial “site plan” filing, it sat dormant for a while. Then back in December, we talked to a CVS rep who said the project was proceeding but not expected to open this year. Now, it’s on the way to Design Review – tentatively set for a March 19th meeting – and the packet just turned up online. Above is the site layout described as the one preferred by the project team (while not labeled as such, the top square labeled “parking” is the Les Schwab lot, not part of the CVS plan). The project now has two numbers and addresses in the city system, one for the building and west parking at 4722 Fauntleroy Way, one for additional parking off the alley, at 4721 38th SW. Here’s the packet currently in the city system (keep in mind, it might be revised before the meeting next month):

The packet put together by architects Schemata Workshop describes the proposal as “a single-story CVS retail building with a pharmacy and a loading mezzanine. The project will include parking and a drive-through for the pharmacy. Loading will be accommodated in the alley.” That’s the alley east of the 4700 block of Fauntleroy, where the drugstore is planned to replace the building that currently houses West Seattle Produce and the consignment store Suite Arrangements. While the site is primarily zoned for development up to 85 feet high, the packet notes that there is a covenant for no building higher than 30 feet. It also notes that the land is being leased, not bought. The Design Review schedule says this project will take up both potential meeting slots on March 19th, starting at 6:30 pm.

SIDE NOTE: If you missed the earlier coverage, the West Seattle plan is part of CVS’s expansion into this state; it has stores open now in Burien and Renton, and others planned in Seattle including Wallingford and lower Queen Anne – some of those designs are shown in the packet you can browse above.

West Seattle development: The almost-all-about-Fauntleroy (Way) edition

February 3, 2015 at 6:03 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

DEMOLITION OF THE DAY: The 99-year-old house at 6540 Fauntleroy Way SW is being torn down, three months after the demolition permit was issued. A new house will replace it – with a different address, 6501 44th SW.

ALSO ON FAUNTLEROY WAY: New in the city files, a 64-year-old house at 5628 Fauntleroy Way SW is set for demolition, to be replaced by three houses, with three parking spaces on the alley to the east.

SPEAKING OF FAUNTLEROY: Tomorrow is your last chance to comment with “early guidance” for the streamlined design review process under way regarding four townhouses proposed to replace a house at 5917 Fauntleroy Way SW. Here’s the “packet.” (Updated: A nearby resident points out a rowhouse planned to replace the house next door, 5915 Fauntleroy Way, is separate.)

AND SPEAKING OF DESIGN REVIEW: Reminder that the Southwest Design Review Board has a doubleheader public meeting on Thursday night at the Senior Center of West Seattle, for two mixed-use projects – 6:30 pm, the fourth review of 4505 42nd SW, see the “packet” here; 8 pm, the second review of 4106 Delridge Way SW (with a 6-year gap between reviews), see the “packet” here.

West Seattle development notes, from Admiral Way to Seola Beach

February 2, 2015 at 11:20 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

From our latest check of the city Department of Planning and Development files:

THREE HOUSES ON ADMIRAL WAY HILL: An undeveloped 12,350-square-foot parcel between the east side of Admiral Way and the west side of 31st SW, north of the bridge, is proposed for three 3-story houses. The proposal is on file with the address 3116 SW Admiral Way.

SW HOLDEN SUBDIVISION: While the 18-house subdivision between Holden and Webster has already received key approvals, three parcels still have to be split into 18 for the individual houses that are planned, and the comment period has opened for that application – here’s the official notice from today’s Land Use Information Bulletin.

CHANGE OF USE: Also from today’s LUIB, comments are open on a proposal to change the use of a house at 9248 25th SW to a “community center.” The notice doesn’t specify what that means, but in a document in the online files, the applicants list religious uses as their plans for the building. The notice includes information on how to comment.

DEMOLITION PLANS: A 61-year-old house at 11825 Seola Beach Drive would be demolished as part of a new-construction approval that also was announced in today’s LUIB; also, at 8443 12th SW, a house is proposed to be demolished, with at least one new one to be built (there’s also a lot-split proposal at the address).

LOT-SPLIT: Early-stage application to split one parcel at 3617 SW Holden into two.

How did we get here and how are ‘urban villages’ doing after 20 years? Review to be presented Wednesday

January 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 70 Comments

For some, the intensive redevelopment in the heart of West Seattle – particularly The Junction – might seem to be relatively sudden, just the past few years. The groundwork was laid 20 years ago, when the city Comprehensive Plan designated some areas as “urban villages.” West Seattle has four:

Some were bitterly opposed to what they saw as a plan forcing West Seattle to bear an unfair share of future growth, with a legal challenge and secession movement resulting. The urban villages went forward, and much of the potential redevelopment is only just now coming to pass. Meantime, the city is getting ready to revise the Comprehensive Plan to look ahead another 20 years, to 2035, and as part of that, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck is presenting this Wednesday “a study that measures results and achievements of the urban-village strategy.” The presentation is not in West Seattle, but some community activists here are so interested in attending that the next meeting of the West Seattle Land Use Committee (usually on the fourth Wednesday) has been canceled so members can attend this instead. It’s fully previewed here, happening Wednesday night (January 28th) in the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the ground floor of City Hall downtown, open house at 5:30 pm, presentation 6-7 pm, all welcome.

West Seattle traffic alert: Junction 47 tower-crane takedown day

January 24, 2015 at 9:10 am | In Development, West Seattle news | Comments Off

9:10 AM: Thanks to Kyle for the tip: 42nd SW is closed from the main Jefferson Square entrance north to Alaska as the contractor for Equity Residential takes down the tower crane for its two-building Junction 47 project after almost 11 months. More to come.

10:03 AM: Photos added. The crew on scene told us they expect to finish sometime this afternoon – it’s gone a little faster than expected because of the size of the portable crane that was available to lift the sections over the eastern building and down onto 42nd so they can be trucked away.

This leaves two West Seattle projects with tower cranes right now – 4435 35th SW and 4745 40th SW. The next tower-crane installation will likely be at The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW), whose project team told us at the November groundbreaking that it will have two cranes, arriving sometime this quarter.

West Seattle development: 2nd local mixed-use project for Lennar; updates on Holden subdivision, Y expansion, more

January 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Here’s what’s new and interesting in the development files:

LENNAR’S SECOND WEST SEATTLE PROJECT – 2501 HARBOR: Seven months ago, we mentioned this one-acre parcel with three industrial/storage buildings was listed for sale. Among the possibilities touted in the listing: “Excellent potential for apartment, office or mixed-use redevelopment.” The latter is what’s on the drawing board now. According to an early site plan in the city’s online files, Lennar Multi-Family (residential developer for The Whittaker in The Junction) is proposing a 142-unit, 117-parking-space mixed-use building with 4,500 square feet of commercial space, to replace the three existing buildings. The zoning is C1-40 but the site plan proposes a building rising 48′ above grade. Parking would be entered from SW Florida, on the west side of the site. This will require Design Review; no date set yet. We’ll be following up on questions such as timeline and the future of the businesses currently on site.

YMCA EXPANSION GETS KEY APPROVALS: This week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin from the city includes the notice of key land-use approvals for the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) expansion/remodel. The approval notice includes a link to information on how to appeal. The expansion plan was announced last September.

2646 SW HOLDEN, 1 HOUSE GOING, 18 COMING: A demolition permit is now being sought for the one old, vacant house on this site stretching between Holden and Webster:

One land-use permit has been issued for the 18-house subdivision planned here, and another one is being sought for other aspects of the planned development.

OTHER DEMOLITION-PERMIT FILINGS: 10037 39th SW in Arbor Heights, except for the foundation; 3402 SW Morgan in High Point, to be replaced by two duplex townhouses; 3031 59th SW in Alki, to be replaced by two single-family houses and a two-unit townhouse.

320O BLOCK OF CALIFORNIA SIDE NOTE: We mentioned earlier this month that two addresses here are going to Streamlined Design Review with a mix of townhouses and live-works. What we didn’t notice, until some neighbors pointed it out, is that the sites were part of the location proposed for a 60-unit building at 3211 California SW. So it appears that project – which had made its Design Review debut last spring – is apparently no longer in the works.

West Seattle development: 4106 Delridge Way design review postponed, added to February 5th slate with 4505 42nd SW

January 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(Design Packet for 4106 Delridge, as found on city website in December)
The Southwest Design Review Board‘s first meeting of 2015 is now postponed to February 5th, with the review for 4106 Delridge Way SW (5 stories, mixed use, last reviewed in 2008) moved to 8 pm that night, instead of its original date this Thursday. According to the city website, February 5th also will feature the board’s fourth look at 4505 42nd SW (seven stories, mixed use, last reviewed in December), with that review starting at 6:30 pm.

West Seattle development: Demolition of the Day, 4400 SW Alaska

January 6, 2015 at 1:47 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

West Seattle’s Year of the Busy Backhoes continues. Today’s demolition is at 4400 SW Alaska, kitty-corner from the Junction parking lot that is home to the West Seattle Farmers’ Market each week. As first reported here in May 2013, the 74-year-old brick multiplex is making way for 36 apartments and 4 live-work units in a building that won final Design Review approval last February (follow that link to see a “before” photo and a rendering of “after”). It’s two doors down from an under-construction apartment building of similar size, though very-different design, at 4535 44th SW, and as first reported here in November, yet another apartment building is proposed on the block, 60 units to replace 8 at 4528 44th SW.

P.S. Thanks to tipster LB, who sent word Monday that “no parking” signs had gone up outside 4400 SW Alaska – that’s what led us to go by this afternoon, discovering the backhoe at work.

P.P.S. You can catch up on our development/demolition/construction coverage any time by scrolling through this archive (newest-to-oldest).

West Seattle development: Today’s teardown, and other updates

January 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

Less than 24 hours after our last development roundup, we have more to tell you about. First, another example of the premise for our headline on Sunday’s story: Thanks to Jonathan French for the photo of today’s teardown, the 72-year-old multiplexes on the northwest corner of California/Andover. We’ve written about them before, most recently last July, when the demolition-permit application turned up; the city’s online files indicate they are to be replaced with a 4-unit rowhouse, 2-unit townhouse, and 3 single-family homes.

ALSO ON CALIFORNIA SW: As formally announced in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, “streamlined design review” is ahead for two smaller-scale projects to replace 60+-year-old commercial buildings on the west side of the “upzoned” block of California SW between Hanford and Hinds. This means public comment is allowed but there won’t be public meetings. The first notice is for a “4-story building with 2 live/work units and 4 residential units [2, 2-unit townhouses] with 4 parking spaces” at 3219 California SW; the second notice, for 3221 California SW next door, is for “2, 4-story buildings, 1 containing 2 live/work units and 2 residential townhouse units and the other structure containing 4 residential townhouse units. Parking for 4 vehicles to be provided at grade.” Deadline for comments on either or both: January 18th.

LOT-SPLIT PROPOSED IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: This also is from the LUIB – 10030 31st SW is proposed to be split into two lots, with the city notation that the existing house will remain.

HOUSE PLANNED BY THISTLE STAIRWAY: A sloping lot on the south side of the top of the fabled SW Thistle stairway – second-longest in the city – has a new development proposal for a single-family house.

The plan for 4355 SW Thistle just emerged in the city system over the past week, with site photos added today. Those who exercise on the stairway might find it a busy spot at some point this year, since, as reported here back in October, there’s also a proposal right across the street to tear down one house and build two at 4316 SW Thistle, both with “accessory dwelling units.”

City files show the lot split enabling that proposal was approved a month ago. (Thistle photos added 4 pm)

NEXT PHASE FOR THE WHITTAKER: A quick note on West Seattle’s biggest development project – a spokesperson for The Whittaker says “mass excavation and drilling for the shoring piles will begin” at the 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW site this week.

West Seattle development: 2015, Year of the Busy Backhoes?

January 4, 2015 at 6:10 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 43 Comments

With demolition expected soon at already-approved project sites such as the block-long 3210 California SW and numerous smaller projects, this is likely to be the Year of the Busy Backhoes in West Seattle development, more than another Year of the Crane. Here are recent filings we found in the city permit system:

MORGAN JUNCTION TEARDOWN: 6715 California SW (photo above; map), 97-year-old house. To be demolished and replaced by three single-family houses.

ALKI TEARDOWN: 3054 Alki SW (map), 94-year-old house. To be demolished and replaced by duplex and single-family house.

CHARLESTOWN COURT TEARDOWN: After two rejected landmark nominations, it looks like Charlestown Court, the brick fourplex at 3811 California SW (map), is coming down this time at age 88. To be demolished and replaced by four 2-unit townhouses.

NOT FAR SOUTH OF THERE, ANOTHER CALIFORNIA SW TEARDOWN: 4031 California SW (map), 97-year-old house. One 4-unit rowhouse, one 2-unit townhouse, and one single-family house are planned to replace it after demolition, per the city files, following a lot-boundary adjustment.

BEACH DRIVE TEARDOWN: 6021 Beach Drive SW (map), 89-year-old house. To be demolished and replaced with new single-family house, following recent lot-boundary adjustment that turned three parcels into two.

FAUNTLEROY WAY TEARDOWN: 5008 Fauntleroy Way SW (map), 73-year-old house. We’ve written about this before – but the demolition permit hadn’t been formally applied for at the time. To be demolished and replaced with what’s described as a rowhouse proposal, though only two units are mentioned; this one also follows a lot-boundary adjustment.

NORTH DELRIDGE TEARDOWN: 2838 SW Genesee (map), 35-year-old duplex. To be demolished and replaced by three new houses.

HIGHLAND PARK TEARDOWN: 7621 8th SW (map), 96-year-old house. To be demolished and replaced by a new house.

SIDE NOTE: One teardown of note just outside West Seattle – the eight-years-vacant ex-Wendy’s/ex-Ezell’s/ex-El Chalan on 16th SW south of the White Center business district was demolished on Friday; a 42-unit apartment building is planned for the site.

‘Let’s Talk: West Seattle’: What has (and hasn’t) happened since the ‘talk’

December 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(WSB photo, June 28th)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Almost six months after a city-organized event that was envisioned as a prototype for conversations with neighborhoods around the city, a West Seattle community advocate laments that months of following up have shown the “experiment in communication has not worked out.”

Held on the last Saturday morning in June, the event titled “Let’s Talk: West Seattle” was announced as being for “encouraging civic engagement around development issues” – a chance to discuss those issues in a big-picture context, instead of the usual one-development-at-a-time.

Click to read the rest of ‘Let’s Talk: West Seattle’: What has (and hasn’t) happened since the ‘talk’…

West Seattle development: Design Commission revisits The Whittaker; see the art, landscaping planned around its site

December 22, 2014 at 11:40 am | In 4755 Fauntleroy, Development, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

The Whittaker update @ Seattle Design Commission


When the Seattle Design Commission gave its qualified approval last year to The Whittaker, West Seattle’s biggest development project ever (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW), they told the project team they’d have to come back when certain aspects of the project finished taking shape.

That return visit happened on Thursday, and revealed more details of the art and landscaping that will surround the building. We’ve since obtained the full slide deck shown at the meeting (see above), which resulted in some suggestions by the commission, whose role in the project is related to the fact it required an alley vacation (subsequently approved by the City Council this past April).

Click to read the rest of West Seattle development: Design Commission revisits The Whittaker; see the art, landscaping planned around its site…

West Seattle development followup: CVS drugstore project still in progress, but ‘not currently scheduled for 2015′

December 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 32 Comments

It’s going on a year and a half since our first report that the CVS drugstore chain‘s first push into this state included a proposed West Seattle store at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW (map) – a site zoned for up to four stories, though the drugstore is proposed for one. So much time has gone by that CVS’s other projects in the area are far down the line, including two stores that recently opened – one in Renton, and this one in the Five Corners area of Burien:

There are new signs the West Seattle project is moving ahead. First, we made contact with CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis, who told us, “We are still in the very early planning stages for a new store on Fauntleroy and it is very premature to announce any timetables. I can tell you that this project is not currently scheduled for 2015.”

Since our exchange with him a few days ago, new documents have shown up in the project’s online files, for the first time since the ones that tipped us to the proposal in July 2013. The documents show a few more details about the “early planning stages.” The site plan that’s now in the files shows its parking lot (with 76 spaces) on the north side of the lot, abutting the Les Schwab Tires parking lot and building, with the store itself on the southwest side of the lot. A drive-through window is still planned. The project will go through Design Review, but there are no renderings yet, nor a meeting date. The newest documents list the architect as Schemata Workshop, whose website shows renderings for the Wallingford CVS, one of at least two other stores the company plans to open in Seattle, along with lower Queen Anne. Schemata and CVS’s development firm have met privately with members of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, according to its director René Commons, who told the group’s mailing list that “they are having dialogue around ways to make the project something more creative than an ordinary box pharmacy with a drive through for our neighborhood. We have asked for space for food trucks and a community center meeting room on their development site.” You can watch the city’s status page for the project here.

What do you think about growth? How can Seattle encourage affordable housing? These and other questions …

December 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news, West Seattle online | 31 Comments

The city’s been running online surveys in abundance lately. This one, though, speaks to topics that we cover often here on WSB, and after going through its questions and open-comment spaces, we thought you might be interested, given its questions about everything from housing costs to your opinions of growth. It’s being presented as part of the mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda. It’s not the usual basic online-survey format; be forewarned, you’ll find some spots requiring scrolling, and some questions where you can check as many circles as you want, others where you have to settle on one. Start the survey here (and note the open-comment thread at the bottom of the start page, if you just want to say something without taking the survey at all).

Update: Lane closures on 35th SW for tower-crane installation

December 13, 2014 at 6:31 am | In Development, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | Comments Off

(SCROLL DOWN for updated info/photos)

(WSB photo, taken Thursday)
6:31 AM: That’s the construction site at 4435 35th SW, the mixed-use project where tower-crane installation is set for this weekend, with a permit to close 35th between Avalon and Alaska both days for that work. In case you missed our earlier mentions of this, here again is the message from the contractor:

We are approved by the City of Seattle to close all 4 lanes on 35th AVE SW adjacent our jobsite (4435 35th Ave) to erect our tower crane. The plan is to roll on site at 5:30 am Saturday with our mobile crane so we can start work by 8:00 am. Weather permitting, we’ll have the crane put together on Saturday and come back Sunday to remove our mobile crane. Though we are permitted to work until 10 PM with the lane closures, we are confident (weather permitting) we will be out of there by noon. Again, we apologize in advance for any inconveniences this may cause to your weekend commutes.

The published reroute for Metro’s RapidRide C Line and Routes 21 and 50 in that area says only southbound is affected; we’ll be checking later in the morning to see if that’s true.

9:31 AM UPDATE: One northbound lane is currently open, so the bus reroute IS just for southbound.

ADDED 11:56 AM: We’ve added photos from this morning, above and below.

This will be the third crane currently at work in West Seattle, following Junction 47 at California/Alaska/42nd and the Alliance project at 40th/Edmunds.

ADDED 3:10 PM: Thanks to Eddie for this view:

P.S. We went back just before sunset; crane-building wasn’t done yet:

We’ll check its status on Sunday morning.

West Seattle development: 4106 Delridge Way mixed-use project returning to Design Review, 6 years after first meeting

December 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm | In Delridge, Development, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Rendering by SMR Architects, looking at project from the southwest)
New on the Southwest Design Review Board calendar: 4106 Delridge Way SW, a project that went on hold after its first SWDRB review six years ago. It’s set to go before the board on January 15th, still described as:

… a five-story structure containing 4,000 sq. ft. of retail at ground level and 36 residential units above in an environmentally critical area. Parking for 39 vehicles to be located within the structure.

The site is vacant land at Delridge/Dakota, zoned NC1-40. We covered its October 2008 design review in the second half of this report. It’s changed architects in the interim; SMR Architects is the firm that put together the packet for the upcoming meeting, and it’s already online:

The January 15th meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California).

The Whittaker on Seattle Design Commission agenda next week

December 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm | In 4755 Fauntleroy, Development, West Seattle news | Comments Off

For the first time in a while, the Seattle Design Commission has a West Seattle project on its agenda. At 9 am next Thursday – December 18th – the commission will be checking in on the “public benefit” program promised by The Whittaker (under construction at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW) as required for its alley vacation (explained here). The SDC reviewed the project four times last year before giving its blessing; here’s our coverage of the final meeting, including links to the three before it. Next Thursday’s meeting is open to the public, in the Boards/Commissions Room at City Hall downtown.

City’s ‘no parking necessary if built near frequent transit’ rule proposed for a rewrite

December 11, 2014 at 9:30 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 43 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:30 AM: What’s officially on the city Department of Planning and Development books as “Director’s Rule 11-2012 Parking Reductions Based on Frequent Transit Service” is getting a rewrite. This city policy is the reason some development projects in recent years – here and elsewhere in the city – have been approved to be built with few or no offstreet-parking spaces. If you’ve never read it, see it here or below:

A notice in today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin says that because of a “recent” decision by the city Hearing Examiner, DPD proposes to rescind (cancel) this rule “and write a new one in 2015.” Which decision? The notice doesn’t say; we’re inquiring with DPD. But we wouldn’t be surprised to hear it’s the one we reported on December 1st, involving the Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development (NERD) appeal of 3078 SW Avalon Way – since parking figured into the challenge and the decision. We’ll add anything more we find out from DPD.

5:35 PM: DPD spokesperson Bryan Stevens has replied to our questions:

Yes, the notice which proposes to rescind Director’s Rule 11-2012 is related to the recent Hearing Examiner decision on the proposal at 3078 SW Avalon Way. It may have been a little premature though, as the Hearing Examiner’s decision isn’t final until the appeal period on that decision has lapsed, which is December 22. However, our proposal to rescind would not occur until sometime after December 26, after taking public comments.

The Hearing Examiner took issue with the averaging technique allowed in Director’s Rule 11-2012, a method sometimes used by applicants to demonstrate whether their site was located close to frequent transit service, thus not requiring parking if located within an urban village. The Hearing Examiner felt the averaging technique within the rule allowed too much leeway in how to determine if a site was located near frequent transit service compared to what the actual code required. Projects under review still have the ability to apply the Director’s Rule while it’s in effect. However, those few projects that may currently be applying the averaging technique shown in the rule will be advised of the recent Hearing Examiner’s decision and could be at risk of a similar appeal.

However, the frequent transit service parking reduction will continue to remain in effect within the Land Use Code. To qualify under the existing code definition, an area must have transit service headways in at least one direction of 15 minutes or less for at least 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and transit service headways of 30 minutes or less for at least 18 hours every day. Most projects within an urban village apply this method, which may be the only method for demonstrating frequent transit service if the Director’s Rule is rescinded.

Weekend transit/traffic alert: Tower-crane arrival at 4435 35th SW

December 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm | In Development, Triangle, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

(WSB photo, added Thursday)
2:04 PM: If you ride Metro, you might have seen this just-sent advisory, warning that southbound C Line, 21, and 50 buses will be routed off 35th SW between Avalon and Alaska this weekend between 5:30 am Saturday (December 13th) and noon Sunday (December 14th). We just confirmed that southbound 35th will be blocked in the area because of the tower-crane installation for Trinsic Residential‘s 159-apartment mixed-use development at 4435 35th SW (south of KFC). Northbound traffic on 35th will NOT be affected, according to the alert, but whether you bus, drive, bike, or walk, you’ll want to avoid southbound 35th in The Triangle until the installation is over. (We’ll check on it as the weekend goes.)

3:25 PM UPDATE: Metro has updated its advisory to say this will affect BOTH directions. And Trinsic says its expected hours of work will actually be 7 am-5 pm *both* days.

West Seattle development: Why the Southwest Design Review Board wants to see 4505 42nd SW for the fourth time

December 8, 2014 at 11:43 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(EDITOR’S NOTE: For the first time in a long time, the Southwest Design Review Board had a two-project meeting last Thursday night. Our report on the first project, 4515 41st SW, is here. This morning, on the other side of the holiday season’s busiest weekend, here’s our report on the night’s second project.)

(NK Architects’ rendering: South side of 4505 42nd SW)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Southwest Design Review Board wants to see 4505 42nd SW at least one more time.

The city’s Design Review process requires at least two meetings for a project – one for Early Design Guidance, at which size/shape are the primary focuses, and one for Recommendations, at which final design touches are discussed. The board needed two meetings to sign off on EDG, and determined last Thursday night that it wants a second one on the final phase. A major sticking point was what the building should look like on its south side, considering that side is expected to eventually be hidden from view by future development.

Click to read the rest of West Seattle development: Why the Southwest Design Review Board wants to see 4505 42nd SW for the fourth time…

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