Development 1486 results

Proposed Alki development, downsized, gets date for Design Review

The development proposal for 1250 Alki SW – once proposed for more than 100 apartments – has been downsized. Though the previous version made it through the first round of Design Review on its second try in January 2016 (WSB coverage here), it never went to the second round, and when we checked in with developers SolTerra a few months ago, they said they were still considering their options. Now, city files indicate they have a new plan. 1250 Alki is penciled onto the city schedule to go to the Southwest Design Review Board on May 4th as “a 6-story structure with approximately 44 residential units” and 66 underground parking spaces. (1.5 spaces per unit is mandated by what’s known as the Alki Parking Overlay.) No new site plan or design packet in the system yet; we have messages out to SolTerra seeking comment on the change.

‘Admiral Station’ at 2715 California SW gets first-phase Design Review approval on first try

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With an architect’s promise that it’s not going to be another bland box, 2715 California SW made it out of the first round of Design Review after just one meeting.

The Early Design Guidance review came two weeks after the board’s final look at another project on the same block (2749 California SW, apartments plus a new PCC Natural Markets [WSB sponsor] store on the site of the current one), and that project was evoked a time or two.

Three members of the five-person, all-volunteer Southwest Design Review Board were present, chair Todd Bronk, Matt Zinski, and Don Caffrey.

So was the project’s assigned city planner, Brandon Cummings from the city Department of Construction and Inspections, who explained, to the ~15 in attendance that this phase of Design Review doesn’t include a lot of detail – it’s mostly about the site, and the massing (size/shape).

Here’s how it went: Read More

West Seattle development: Now there are two self-storage facilities proposed for Harbor Avenue SW

The newest redevelopment proposal for Harbor Avenue SW includes a 5-story self-storage facility. And, we’ve confirmed, that makes it the second self-storage proposal on the table for a half-mile stretch of Harbor SW.

The new proposal is for the former Sea-Way Marine (etc.) site at 2501-2625 Harbor SW, including the building currently being leased by Seattle Consignment.

(File photo)

The site was put up for sale three years ago, but property records do not show a transaction so far. Two years ago, this site had an early-stage proposal for a mixed-use apartment/retail building. But that apparently did not proceed, and now it has a new proposal, with a different team, describing the plan as to “construct 51,445 sq. ft. commercial buildings with 5-story storage facility and 29 parking stalls.”

After spotting that, we wondered what ever happened to the West Coast Self-Storage proposal for 3310 Harbor Avenue SW, half a mile south [map]. Recap: We first saw it in city files almost exactly two years ago; then, in January of last year, we reported on a company rep briefing the Alki Community Council about the plan, which he said would include a street-vacation request for part of 29th SW as well as a new building replacing an old industrial building at the site as well as the towing yard to its north.

Looking into online city files regarding this project, the status wasn’t obvious, so we contacted West Coast Self-Storage, and heard back from vice president Steve Tangney, the executive who had briefed the ACC last year. He described the project as “very much alive and in process with the city,” including the street-vacation process, which, he noted, is “lengthy … We are progressing through meetings with the Seattle Design Commission on the vacation issue. My next meeting with them is in April. Our public benefit related to our street vacation will focus on improvements to the Alki Trail along our site frontage. We will be widening and reconstructing this section of the trail and adding landscape trees, art, lighting and relocating existing power poles out of the trail.” A document in the online files, dated last November, shows that the Department of Construction and Inspections suggests SDOT approval of the street vacation (on which the City Council has the final say). Tangney also told WSB that they expect much of the process to be “complete by July or August. We are excited to come to West Seattle and committed to developing a first-class facility.”

For the other site, no storage-company name is listed, but the prospective development firm is identified on documents as Lake Union Partners.

West Seattle development: 4220 SW 100th, 4754 Fauntleroy Way go back to Design Review Board on April 20th

While the official notices are not yet out, the city has penciled in a date for the Southwest Design Review Board‘s next look at two local projects of note. Both are now on the SWDRB calendar for Thursday, April 20th:

4754 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: This Triangle project on the site of a former pawn shop (and the parking lot to its north) is proposed for 108 apartments, 10 live-work units, and 107 offstreet-parking spaces. The review set for 6:30 pm on April 20th is the second and potentially final one for this project; here’s our report on the first one last August.

4220 SW 100TH: This Arbor Heights project proposing 9 three-story live-work units and 8 offstreet-parking spaces on the site of a former church is set for the 8 pm spot on April 20th. After the board took its first look at the project in January (WSB coverage here), it ordered a second round of Early Design Guidance – the stage in which size/shape comprise much of the discussion – so that’s what’ll be happening.

The “design packets” for these reviews – both happening at the Senior Center of West Seattle, the SWDRB’s regular venue in recent years – aren’t out yet; we’ll publish followups when they are.

West Seattle development: See 2715 California SW plan before Thursday’s Design Review

That’s the “packet” (also viewable here, PDF) with graphics and information for the next project to be reviewed by the Southwest Design Review Board – the mixed-use building proposed for 2715 California SW, which gets its first review this Thursday night at 6:30 pm (Senior Center/Sisson Building, 4217 SW Oregon). This is the phase known as Early Design Guidance, which focuses on project aspects such as the building’s size and shape. The architect is Clark Design Group, which summarizes the project as:

… a four-story mixed-use building with 48 residential units over ground floor commercial
use (2,404 square feet.) There are 1½ levels of below-grade parking for 46 vehicles that is accessed from the alley. There is a roof terrace garden and green house for residential amenity use.

This is the same block (across from Hiawatha and West Seattle High School) where the PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) site is set for redevelopment into a much-larger mixed-use building with 108 apartments and a commercial space in which PCC will be the lone tenant.

UPDATE: Ponderosa pine at heart of tree-vs.-house battle now being cut down


(WSB photos)

11:16 AM: Thanks for the tips: A tree-cutting crew is preparing to take down the “exceptional tree” at 3036 39th SW that had been at the heart of a neighborhood battle – it’s the ~100-foot Ponderosa Pine growing in the middle of a lot where the new owner intends to build a house. Here’s how the tree looked when we first reported on it nine months ago, interviewing a young neighbor who wanted to save it:

(WSB photo, June 2016)

Our most-recent update was three weeks ago, when nearby resident Lisa Parriott announced she was taking the fight to court, after the city Hearing Examiner ruled in favor of property owner Cliff Low in January. Court records show Parriott’s Land Use Petition in the case is scheduled for a hearing on March 31st – more than three weeks away. But the tree that neighbors dubbed the “Silent Giant” will apparently be long gone by then. Crews from Ballard Tree Service first cut a smaller tree on the lot this morning and are getting ready to take down the pine tree, with an offduty police officer hired to provide security on site.

The building permit for the house was issued more than a month ago. The tree crew says they expect to have the Ponderosa pine down by mid-to-late afternoon. We’ll check back at the site later.

1:32 PM: Stopped by about half an hour ago, before being diverted to breaking news. Limbs are being removed before they tackle the trunk.

4:48 PM: The tree was completely de-limbed when we went back over a little while ago:

Not long before our arrival, Craig Young took the next photo, as the tree’s top was removed:

ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Thanks to the texter who sent this photo from the end:

VIDEO: Morgan Junction reviews HALA rezoning proposals in West Seattle’s 4th and final Community Design Workshop

(Morgan Junction rezoning-proposal map, as marked up during small-group discussion @ workshop)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One phase of feedback on the proposed rezoning for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda component called Mandatory Housing Affordability is ending, and another beginning.

Last night, Morgan Junction became the fourth and final West Seattle urban village to have a HALA-related, city-coordinated Community Design Workshop for feedback on the proposed rezoning. (We covered two of the others – Admiral in February, and The Junction in January.) And today, the city announced its next West Seattle meeting will be an open house in Arbor Heights on May 6th.

More on that shortly. First – here’s how the Morgan meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy unfolded, with ~60 in attendance:

As facilitator John Howell from Cedar River Group noted in the opening explanation, the purpose of the workshop was to hear comments on the proposed zoning changes. “We want your comments, reactions, and thoughts … (the changes) have been prepared primarily for the purpose of providing additional ‘affordable housing’.” He said the conversation is happening “in every corner of the city.” It’s not “whether our neighborhoods are going to change” with so many new arrivals, but “how we want them to change.”

Howell (who also facilitated the West Seattle Junction workshop in January) introduced city reps including Spencer Williams from Councilmember Rob Johnson‘s office – Johnson chairs the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee, heading the HALA review – and Office of Planning and Community Development staffers Geoff Wentlandt, Sara Maxana, and Vinita Goyal. Wentlandt gave the background presentation, which has been given by someone different in each of the three workshops we’ve covered. The small-group facilitators for the discussions after the opening presentation/Q&A were from Makers’ Architecture and Urban Design.

Howell also said the night’s comments will be summarized and provided to OPCD as it works on a “final set of proposals,” and that they will be provided to the City Council. (Online notes have also been promised for the workshops, but notes from only one West Seattle workshop are up so far – notes from the Westwood-Highland Park workshop in November were posted in February.)

Here’s our video of the hour-long background presentation (largely the same as other workshops we’ve covered, so it’s not fully summarized in our text below) and the Q&A that followed:

The key points included the explanation of MHA, in case you are still not clear on it: Read More

DEVELOPMENT FOLLOWUP: Next round of comments for 5952 California SW microhousing

From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, the next phase of a microhousing project we first told you about in May of last year, at 5952 California SW, north of Morgan Junction, replacing this 1925-built house and the garage building behind it:

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

Last September, we reported on the “administrative design review” phase – a process in which comments are invited, but there’s no public meeting – for the proposal. Today’s notice (see it here) is for the land-use permit; the project has downsized from the first-proposed 48 units and is now described as “a 4-story apartment building with 29 small efficiency dwelling units and 6 apartment units (35 units total). Surface parking for 5 vehicles.” (Small efficiency dwelling units is the current official city term for microhousing.) Comments will be taken until March 20th, the city says; here’s how to send in yours.

P.S. Here’s the city’s final report on the aforementioned no-meeting design review.

HALA REZONING: Monday’s workshop in Morgan Junction; last week’s Westwood-Highland Park conversation; more

Three notes related to the ongoing community feedback on proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning as part of the city’s HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) initiative:

REMINDER – MORGAN JUNCTION COMMUNITY DESIGN WORKSHOP ON MONDAY: 6-9 pm Monday at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), it’s the Morgan Junction Urban Village version of the city-organized meeting that’s already been held in West Seattle’s three other urban villages (most recently Admiral last month – WSB coverage here – and The Junction in January – WSB coverage here). The city’s official description of the meeting – including how to RSVP, though that’s not required – is here.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK – WESTWOOD-HIGHLAND PARK CONVERSATION: This past Wednesday night, a community-led conversation about the proposed HALA rezoning happened at Highland Park Improvement Club:

Organizer Kim Barnes told the dozen or so attendees that she’s hoping to have two more meetings along the path of creating a community response to what’s proposed for the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village. The affected area has three neighborhood groups, but she’s hoping their response can be coordinated. That was underscored by Cindi Barker, one of the West Seattle community advocates who have been helping neighborhoods around the area get up to speed on the proposals; she said that talking points are vital so that neighborhoods “don’t get steamrolled.” Attendee concerns included how to ensure that existing small businesses, especially those owned by people of color, aren’t put at risk by the upzoning. No dates for future meetings yet, but Barnes says she hopes that once the HALA Environmental Impact Statement comes out, that a city rep will come out and present a briefing.

TWO LINKS OF INTEREST: First – if you’ve been to a Community Design Workshop already (Westwood-HP in November, WS Junction in January, Admiral in February) – here’s a survey you might want to answer. Save the link if you’re going to Morgan on Monday, so you can answer afterward.

Second – If you’ve wondered how the city is talking with builders/developers about the proposed upzoning, read the newest SDCI newsletter, published online earlier this week.

AND IF YOU’RE STILL NOT SURE IF/HOW YOU’RE AFFECTED BY ALL THIS – zoom in to your neighborhood via the interactive citywide map. You can comment via e-mail, at halainfo@seattle.gov, and the city has a feedback website, organized by urban village, at hala.consider.it.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Fine print’ item with 60+ zoning changes due for final City Council vote tomorrow

Last August, we reported on one city notice covering 60+ potential zoning-policy changes – from parking to signage to trees to marijuana – and more, including the “historic lot exception” rule, which has factored into various land-use controversies in this area and elsewhere. That August notice was the first official public announcement of what the Department of Construction and Inspections said would likely go to the City Council for final consideration by year’s end, as what it characterized as an every-two-years “omnibus” proposal.

The measure did indeed go to the council in January and got approval from the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee on February 24th – with two members present and voting, Rob Johnson and Lisa Herbold – after discussions at two previous meetings. We’re making note of it tonight because it goes to the full council for a final vote tomorrow (Monday, March 6th). The full 142-page text – with some changes – can be seen here. Some of the changes proposed before that vote are detailed in this memo from council staff; the original department memo summarizing the proposed changes is here. Tomorrow’s vote is scheduled during the 2 pm full-council meeting at City Hall; you can watch via Seattle Channel, cable 21 or online.

West Seattle development: PCC-site project done with Design Review after 3 meetings.


(California SW-facing side of the project proposal by Hewitt Architects)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The mixed-use project planned on the current West Seattle PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) site is done with Design Review.

It got final Southwest Design Review Board approval after three meetings – one more than the minimum, two fewer than, for comparison, were needed seven-plus years ago for the nearby Admiral Safeway project (evoked repeatedly during these reviews for its less-than-ideal features).

Along with more than 20 members of the public, four board members were present – chair Todd Bronk, T. Frick McNamara, Alexandra Moravec, and Matt Zinski – as was the project’s assigned city planner, Crystal Torres.

Here’s how it unfolded: Read More

West Seattle development: Upton Flats tower crane going up; 3 rowhouse projects

West Seattle’s first tower crane of the year starts off this roundup of development notes:


(WSB photos from 2 pm today)

UPTON FLATS CRANE GOING UP: Despite the ubiquity of tower cranes in some other parts of the city, West Seattle has been without one since the second removal at The Whittaker (WSB sponsor) almost five months ago. But that’s changing today with the first tower-crane arrival of 2017, at Upton Flats (6058 35th SW in High Point), first mentioned in our morning traffic coverage.

UF is a two-building, 4-story, mixed-use project with 100+ apartments and ground-floor retail over 100+ underground parking spaces; here’s our report from its final Southwest Design Review Board meeting last April.

And from today’s edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin, three rowhouse projects:

3914 SW BRANDON: A three-story, six-unit rowhouse with six offstreet-parking spaces is proposed for this corner lot across from Fairmount Park, to replace a 64-year-old house. Today’s notice opens a comment period until March 13th; here’s how to comment.

5015 FAUNTLEROY WAY & 5017 FAUNTLEROY WAY: Both are also in today’s LUIB and are being considered together, the city says, for “shared access”: Here’s the notice for 5015 Fauntleroy, a 3-story, 4-unit rowhouse with 4 offstreet-parking spaces; here’s how to comment (deadline March 13th). Here’s the notice for 5017 Fauntleroy, three 3-story houses with two offstreet-parking spaces. County records say the site currently holds a 68-year-old house. Here’s how to comment (also by March 13th).

3850 21ST SW: This notice is for the decision approving a land-use permit for a two-unit rowhouse with two offstreet-parking spaces. It opens an appeal period until March 13th; here’s how to appeal.

HALA REZONING: City Council briefing, postponed by snow, now set for Monday

February 23, 2017 9:11 pm
|    Comments Off on HALA REZONING: City Council briefing, postponed by snow, now set for Monday
 |   Development | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

As mentioned here three weeks ago, the City Council was scheduled to get a briefing February 6th about the HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning plans. Then … it snowed, and City Hall was closed for the day, with all business postponed. The agenda for next Monday morning’s meeting has arrived (February 27th) and the rescheduled HALA briefing is on it. The agenda also includes links to the documents and slide deck for the meeting; we just took a quick look and it appears they are the same ones prepared for February 6th (most still carry that date). The meeting starts at 9:30 am Monday at City Hall; this weekly meeting has no public-comment period, but you’re welcome to attend in person or watch via Seattle Channel (cable 21 or online).

OTHER HALA EVENTS AHEAD: Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village community discussion next Wednesday (info here); Morgan Junction Urban Village Community Design Workshop on March 6th (info here). And if you’re still not sure if your neighborhood is affected by the rezoning proposals, use the citywide interactive map to zoom in and look.

FOLLOWUP: Complete look at new design proposal for PCC-site project


(Rendering courtesy Hewitt Architects)

One week from tomorrow, the Southwest Design Review Board will consider the newest plan for the 108-apartments-and-grocery-store project featuring a new PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) store at the site of the current one. Last week, architects Hewitt gave a “sneak peek” to the Admiral Neighborhood Association (WSB coverage here); today, their full “packet” for next week’s meeting is online, full of images for various parts of the project plus detailed information on everything from its floor plans to its landscaping. The 77-page packet is on the city website, and we’ve downloaded it to embed below:

This could be the final Design Review meeting for the project at 2749 California SW, which has already had two Early Design Guidance reviews. It’s at 6:30 pm Thursday, March 2nd, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon); if you can’t be there to comment in person, you can also comment on the project by e-mailing the assigned city planner, crystal.torres@seattle.gov.

HALA REZONING: One week until Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village discussion

(Direct link to draft Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village rezoning map)

While the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village was the first of West Seattle’s four urban villages to get a city-coordinated Community Design Workshop about its HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability rezoning proposals, that November 9th event was so soon after those proposals were released that it was little-publicized and lightly attended. But community volunteers have continued to review the WW-HP proposals (see the official “draft rezoning map” above) and are inviting you to a meeting one week from tonight to collaborate on a community response while the comment period remains open. Here are the details, from Kim Barnes:

The Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village community volunteers will hold a followup short presentation and discussion centered around the city workshop held on November 9th, and community led workshop held on November 30th, 2016.

All members of the public interested in collaborating a full response to the MHA legislation and upcoming EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) that will provide the rezoning proposal of Westwood Highland Park are invited to attend.

Please note that this is a community led meeting and city employees will not be in attendance.

Please join us Wednesday, March 1st to get in the loop and collaborate. Topics covered in this tight
90 minute meeting will include:

o A very brief overview of the MHA Principles. Brief overview of the proposed up-zoning for the Westwood Highland Park Residential Urban Village.

o Where is the City information? Where to find the resources to learn more.

o Overview of the Revised Timeline for public input on the draft EIS.

o Review and discuss the Community Feedback gathered on November 9..What’s missing and why.

o Discuss what other neighborhoods across the city are doing—how they are formulating their own community response.

o Agree to a next-steps plan to collaborate knowledge and resources to develop a full response to the EIS in the coming months.

o Formulate a request to the City to present the draft EIS for our urban village as soon as it’s published.

o If time allows: Review the Urban Village up-zone map and 3D model presented in late November at HPIC.

What this meeting is not:

o A city-sponsored meeting with experts in the areas of MHA legislation, zoning, etc.

o A forum for comments or complaints regarding MHA and HALA to be conveyed by the volunteers to the city.

Date/Time: March 1, from 7 pm-8:30 pm, doors open 6:45 pm

Please rsvp for an anticipated head count to: kim.barnes.la@gmail.com

Location: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden Street

The city’s official notes from the November 9th meeting, by the way, were finally posted online about a week ago, and you can find them linked from this page (where the Junction and Admiral notes will apparently eventually appear, too).

West Seattle development: Approvals for 3062 and 3070 SW Avalon Way, 3204 SW Holly

February 21, 2017 12:33 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle development: Approvals for 3062 and 3070 SW Avalon Way, 3204 SW Holly
 |   Development | West Seattle news

From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, land-use permit approvals for:

3062, 3070 SW AVALON WAY: We first reported a year ago about these townhouse projects planned for sites that were once part of proposed apartment developments. Each of the two sites is now planned to hold a four-story, 9-unit, seven-offstreet-parking-space development like this:

Here’s the notice for 3062 Avalon, and here’s the notice for 3070 Avalon. Under different ownership, a 100+-unit apartment building was once planned for 3062 Avalon; it stalled after one Design Review meeting in 2012. The sites currently hold a duplex and 6-unit apartment building, both built in the 1950s.

3204 SW HOLLY: This High Point parcel has four 3-story single-family houses planned, each with space “within the structure) for one vehicle. Here’s the notice.

WHAT’S NEXT: For all three of the projects mentioned above, today’s announcement opens an appeal period through March 7th. The notices linked above include both the full texts of the decisions and information on how to appeal.

West Seattle development: 24 microstudios for 4807 41st SW

South-end redevelopment continues in The Junction. In the city’s online files, an early-stage plan has just been filed for 24 microstudios in a building that would replace a 70-year-old duplex (county assessor photo at right) at 4807 41st SW, next to townhouses that were built last decade at 41st/Edmunds. They are officially described as SEDUs (small efficiency dwelling units, the city’s name for what used to be more commonly known as microhousing), 320 square feet each. The plan doesn’t mention the height, but the site is zoned Lowrise 2, which maxes out at 35′. This project is expected to go through the city’s Streamlined Design Review process, which means no public meeting, but an opportunity for public comment.

West Seattle development: Demolitions at 5908 Fauntleroy Way, 6921 California; Design Review dates for 2715 California, 3257 Harbor

February 17, 2017 11:58 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle development: Demolitions at 5908 Fauntleroy Way, 6921 California; Design Review dates for 2715 California, 3257 Harbor
 |   Development | West Seattle news

More development news, starting with two teardowns:

DEMOLITION AT 5908 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: The old commercial building on which you used to be able to read the “WASH/DRY” sign is now a pile of rubble.

As first reported here almost a year and a half ago, a six-unit rowhouse building with five offstreet-parking spaces is planned.

DEMOLITION AT 6921 CALIFORNIA SW: Eight months after the cancellation of plans to turn an old house in south Morgan Junction into a branch of Chungee’s Drink and Eat (the Capitol Hill restaurant/bar whose owners lived in the house at the time), the house is coming down right now. As reported here in October, a four-unit residential building is now planned, after the site was sold to a construction company.

Now, an Admiral-project update:

2715 CALIFORNIA SW: Four months after we had first word of an early-stage mixed-use proposal to replace the buildings at 2715 and 2719 California SW, we have a few more details: It’s proposed as 48 apartments and ground-floor commercial, with 46 off-street parking spaces. And it’s going before the Southwest Design Review Board at 6:30 pm March 16th (Sisson Building/Senior Center, 4217 SW Oregon). This is just a few buildings north of the PCC-site project, so that will be a busy block before long.

Speaking of Design Review Board meetings …

3257 HARBOR SW: The SWDRB also has this site on its schedule, for 6:30 pm April 6th. It’s the combined first review for 34 townhouses split between four project numbers. We noted back in November that this new proposal had been filed for the site of what had been a two-building, 80+-apartment proposal at 3257-3303 Harbor SW (which even went through its first SWDRB meeting three years ago).

PCC-SITE PROJECT: PCC West Seattle sets closure date; project team gives Admiral Neighborhood Association ‘sneak peek’


(Design rendering shown to Admiral Neighborhood Association Thursday night)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Two developments this morning related to the mixed-use project planned for the current site of PCC-Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) at 2749 California SW:

First, PCC announced this morning that it has set the closing date for the current store: May 31. PCC spokesperson Heather Snavely also tells WSB that “details around the logistics of the closure” are being worked out. And:

An important part of the next few months will be recognizing just how special the West Seattle community is to PCC. We want to celebrate our members, shoppers and the West Seattle community we’ve had the pleasure of serving for over 25 years – including providing a sneak peek into some of the features to come in the new store. Expect more details in the coming weeks.

PCC had said in December that it expected to stay open “through spring,” but no date was announced at that time. Meantime, the May 31st closure announcement came just hours after the team working on Madison Development Group‘s project for the store site gave a “sneak peek” to a special meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, two weeks before they take it back to the Southwest Design Review Board: Read More

FOLLOWUP: Court challenge, city-fee settlement in tree-or-house case

Three weeks ago, after city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner ruled against the neighbor-filed appeal in the Admiral tree-vs.-house case, appellant Lisa Parriott was still considering what to do next. Now, she tells WSB she’s taking the case to court. And she revealed she’s reached a settlement with the city regarding the fees they sought to charge related to her appeal.

First, the basic backstory if you haven’t been following this: The tree is a 100-ish-foot Ponderosa Pine growing at 3036 39th SW, on what the neighborhood had long seen as the side yard for the house next door. Real-estate investor Cliff Low bought the property – house, tree, and all – in late 2015 and sought a city opinion to confirm that the side with the tree was a buildable lot. The city said it was. He filed for permits to build a two-story house with a two-vehicle garage. Neighbors launched a save-the-tree campaign. When the city formally said OK last October, both Parriott and the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition filed appeals, though ultimately Tanner only allowed Parriott’s case – and only in part – to proceed.

A hearing was held on January 12 (WSB coverage here); the ruling came in January 25th (WSB coverage here).

That is considered the city’s final say in the matter, so any challenge has to be taken to Superior Court, and that’s what Parriott has done, filing a Land Use Petition and Complaint. You can read the document in its entirety here; the contentions include the same argument at the heart of the case taken to the Hearing Examiner, that the site doesn’t qualify for a Historic Lot Exception because there is nothing on record suggesting it was considered a separate building lot. Parriott’s action also seeks an injunction to keep the tree from being cut and house from being built while this plays out; city files show the building permit for the house was issued two weeks ago, on February 2nd.

Meantime, with that court fight looming, Parriott reached a settlement with the city precluding a fight over fees charged for the interpretation she was forced to seek because the Hearing Examiner threw out her other potential avenue of appeal even before the January hearing. Here’s the agreement:

She paid the required $2,800 to cover staff time the city said would be spent on the “code interpretation,” and then the city sent a bill for more than $10,000, saying that was the cost of additional hours its staff spent on the case. As a result of the settlement, the Department of Construction and Inspections will waive that fee.

Next steps in Parriott’s land-use petition will likely be a hearing for both sides to argue before a King County Superior Court judge.

THURSDAY: See newest plan for Admiral’s biggest project before it goes to Design Review

(UPDATED TUESDAY WITH MEETING LOCATION)

ORIGINAL REPORT, MONDAY 8:47 PM: Instead of meeting on the usual night this month, which would be tomorrow, the Admiral Neighborhood Association plans a special meeting this Thursday (February 16th), 7 pm, with a special agenda – the first look at the newest plan for the biggest project currently in the works for the area. That’s the planned mixed-use project on the current PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) site, with a new PCC store planned as the commercial tenant beneath more than 100 apartments. ANA president Larry Wymer says the meeting will also be at a special location – likely the classroom space at PCC (2749 California SW) – watch for location confirmation here in the next day or so. The project goes back to the Southwest Design Review Board on March 2nd, as first reported here last month, but first, the project team, led by Hewitt Architects, plans to present it to ANA and all interested community members, so save Thursday night.

UPDATE, TUESDAY AFTERNOON: The location for the meeting will be St. John the Baptist Church parish hall, 3050 California SW (across from PCC and just south of WSHS). Enter either from the church entrance on the north side, or from 42nd SW on the east side.

VIDEO: Here’s what happened at the Admiral edition of the HALA rezoning Community Design Workshop

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Though both were billed as “Community Design Workshops,” there were major differences in the meetings about Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda-related rezoning for Admiral, held this past Saturday, and for The Junction, held last month.

Turnout was different – about 50 people for Admiral, more than 200 for The Junction – though that’s proportionate to both the areas’ population differences and their respective scopes of change proposed by the rezoning for Mandatory Housing Affordability, in which developers/builders will get extra capacity and in exchange will have to include “affordable housing” in their projects or pay a fee into a city fund that will bankroll some. The changes are proposed in the city’s Urban Villages (West Seattle has four) and for all commercial/multifamily property citywide (check this map to see how/if you’re affected).

Also different: The meetings’ format.

At The Junction’s meeting on January 26th (WSB coverage here), the initial explanatory presentation by a city Office of Planning and Community Development staffer was followed by a Q/A period, with slips of paper having circulated at the start of the meeting for participants to write down questions.

That didn’t happen in Admiral; a few questions were addressed when people spoke out during the presentation, but at its end, facilitator John Owen of consulting firm Makers Architecture and Urban Design pushed to get everyone into small-group breakouts, despite one attendee requesting a chance for Q&A so everyone could hear.

At Admiral on Saturday (a morning meeting at West Seattle High School), small groups were not preassigned as they had been for pre-RSVP’d participants in The Junction (an evening meeting at the Senior Center). Their work did conclude with another difference: At Admiral, each group presented a summary to the entire room; in The Junction, that didn’t happen – tables just wrapped up, left their notes, and departed.

We recorded the Admiral summaries on video, and you’ll see those relatively short clips later in this story. But first, toplines from the opening presentation: Read More

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