West Seattle Blog... » Development http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:32:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 West Seattle development: Comment time for Upton Flats http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/west-seattle-development-comment-time-for-upton-flats/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/west-seattle-development-comment-time-for-upton-flats/#comments Thu, 19 Nov 2015 18:39:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=329639 After other proposals surfaced and stalled in recent years, the mixed-use project making its way through the city system for 35th and Graham in High Point has just hit another milestone: Official application for a land-use permit, as announced in today’s edition of the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin. This means a two-week public-comment period has opened.

(From the second Early Design Guidance meeting’s information packet)
After two Southwest Design Review Board meetings – find the reports here – the project at 6058 35th SW is now proposed as two 4-story buildings, with a total of 102 apartments, 10,000 square feet of commercial space, and an underground garage with 109 parking spaces. The notice is here; you can use this form to send in a comment – December 2nd is the deadline. Meantime, this project, currently named “Upton Flats,” still has to go back to the Design Review Board at least one more time; no date yet.

P.S. This development only covers a fraction of the sprawling vacant space at 35th/Graham, specifically the 35th SW frontage and part of the corner; the rest of the site is still planned for an 11-building, 52-unit townhouse development, under the address 3420 SW Graham, shown in the image above, to the east of the 6058 35th SW buildings.

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FOLLOWUP: Disputed tree cut down at site of proposed 4532 42nd SW development http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/followup-disputed-tree-cut-down-at-site-of-proposed-4532-42nd-sw-development/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/followup-disputed-tree-cut-down-at-site-of-proposed-4532-42nd-sw-development/#comments Sun, 15 Nov 2015 20:49:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=329196 While chainsaws are certainly busy around the city during this break between tree-toppling storms, some tree-cutting in West Seattle this morning had nothing to do with the weather. We learned about it via this video tweet:

Twitter user @n7gon noticed the tree-cutting on the site of the proposed mixed-use project at 4532 42nd SW and asked us about it. You might recall our report about the latest Southwest Design Review Board meeting related to that site – at which board members told the development team to design the project around one particular tree, though the owner-developers had received an opinion that the tree fell short of being what the city considered “exceptional.” They said keeping the tree would present challenges including fewer units and fewer offstreet-parking spaces. They also said that the tree would likely die when the site north of theirs is redeveloped, a site under different ownership, currently holding a single-family house but zoned, as is most of that area, for something much bigger.

Now the tree’s gone (along with others on the site). Nothing in the project’s online files indicated tree-cutting was imminent, so after hearing about it, we went over to see if anyone was still there.

We didn’t find anyone on site, so we e-mailed the property’s owner/developer, West Seattleite Mark Braseth, to ask for comment. He replied with this:

To whom it may concern,

The City of Seattle only regulates exceptional trees on private property over 30 inches in diameter, and limits tree removal on commercially-zoned, privately-owned sites to no more than three trees larger than six inches in diameter within a single year. The City determined that all trees on site were non-exceptional (under 30 inches in diameter), and therefore the three trees taken were allowed to be removed without a permit. The City requires that any new development replace the previously-existing tree canopy with the same or equal amount of tree canopy cover, upon the new trees’ maturity.

As a family development company with long-term roots in the West Seattle community, we are excited to develop this property into something that we can own and be proud of for a long time. We understand that trees are important to the community, and they are important to our project design. We are working with our architects and landscape architect to design a building that includes mature landscaping and large trees that the public can enjoy for the long term future.

Mark Braseth

The city’s tree policy is here.

Back in 2009, under different ownership, the site was approved for a different development that stalled. Braseth bought it earlier this year and brought forth a different proposal which as of last week’s meeting was penciled in as 6-stories, ~75 apartments, 3,813 sq.ft. of commercial space, and offstreet parking for ~63 vehicles (though the site is in a “frequent transit” zone with no requirement for any offstreet parking). One structure on the site was demolished in 2008; the one that remains will be torn down for this project.

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Missed tonight’s Seattle 2035 meeting? 8 more days to comment http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/missed-tonights-seattle-2035-meeting-8-more-days-to-comment/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/missed-tonights-seattle-2035-meeting-8-more-days-to-comment/#comments Fri, 13 Nov 2015 06:44:11 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=328957

Over the course of tonight’s West Seattle open house for the city’s Comprehensive Plan update process – aka “Seattle 2035” – about sixty people stopped by, according to city reps. That leaves about 99,940 West Seattleites who didn’t. Maybe you’ve already commented on how you think the city should shape growth over the next 20 years. If you haven’t, you still have time – until November 20th, one week from tomorrow. Here’s what you’ll want to look at first:

*Open-house presentation slide deck
*Online illustrated doc explaining the process
*Overview document including the four options the city is suggesting for how growth could happen – scroll all the way to the end to review “Alternative 1: Continue Current Trends,” “Alternative 2: Guide growth to Urban Centers” (The Junction is our area’s Urban Center), “Alternative 3: Guide growth to Urban Villages near Light Rail,” and “Alternative 4: Guide growth to Urban Villages near Transit.”
*The full 394-page document is here

Last but not least, here’s how to comment.

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Design Review report: 4532 42nd SW advances to next stage, tree in tow http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/design-review-report-4532-42nd-sw-advances-to-next-stage-tree-in-tow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/11/design-review-report-4532-42nd-sw-advances-to-next-stage-tree-in-tow/#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2015 07:56:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=328428 A tree played a big role in the Southwest Design Review Board‘s latest look at mixed-use Junction project 4532 42nd SW.

(From the project “packet,” a rendering of building massing if the tree were kept)
The meeting was a second round of Early Design Guidance for the newest proposal for the site right behind Capco Plaza – 6-stories, ~75 apartments, 3,813 sq.ft. of commercial space, offstreet parking for ~63 vehicles (though this is in an area where projects can be built without any parking because of the proximity of “frequent transit”).

This location was approved for a different project under different ownership back in 2009.

That stalled until West Seattleites Mark and Susan Braseth bought it for $3.3 million this past February and brought forward the new proposal. A big old house, once a hospital, was demolished on part of the site in 2008, north of a structure that will be torn down to make way for the project but has in the meantime served as construction offices for Junction 47 nearby.

Thursday night’s meeting ran more than two hours – theoretically the 6:30 pm review on Design Review Board nights is supposed to end by 8, regardless of whether a second review follows – and the tree was the big issue.

When the project came before the board for its first EDG meeting last July (see the city’s official report here), the board told the project team they wanted to see options preserving the tree – a Western red cedar on the northeast corner of the site – but since then, the developer and architect said, they had found via consulting with multiple arborists that the tree does not meet the standard for being an “exceptional” tree; their reports show its trunk diameter at midpoint is 29.7 inches, while 30 is the baseline for the city’s definition. They also said the tree would not survive if the parcel north of this site, which has different ownership, were ever developed.

With that, NK Architects presented a treeless option. The project team says saving the tree would have effects including 16 fewer parking spaces, and that point brought out local businesspeople to say that’s vital to The Junction – restaurateur Dave Montoure and real-estate executive Mike Gain both spoke to that point, while two other local businesspeople, Jack Miller and Rob Wunder, spoke to the Braseths’ character and the importance of local ownership.

But the meeting was about the design. Board member T. Frick McNamara said that it’s within the board’s rights to consider the tree status regardless of whether it’s exceptional or not.

Another issue that emerged: The alleys along this site, to the south and east, were brought up by commenters included René Commons from the Junction Neighborhood Organization. The project’s ingress/egress has to be considered in the context of the alley behind Capco Plaza/QFC, she said, as that one already is challenged. Other neighbors voiced concern about a trash problem in the alley that they link to Oregon 42 to the north. Alley parking access is a point of concern too.

In the end, the board decided to let the project proceed to the next phase of Design Review – provided the tree stays. That conditional approval means they can apply for a master use permit but will have to go through at least one more meeting with the SWDRB, in the “Recommendations” phase. A date for that will be set later.

In the meantime, you can comment on the project by e-mailing planner Katy Haimakaty.haima@seattle.gov – be sure you refer to project #3019962.

NEXT UP FOR THE SOUTHWEST DESIGN REVIEW BOARD: 6:30 pm November 19th, 4106 Delridge Way SW, “a five-story structure containing 3,700 sq. ft. of retail at ground level and 36 residential units above in an environmentally critical area (with) parking for 36 vehicles” – details and docs here.

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West Seattle development: Mixed-use 4106 Delridge Way SW goes back to Design Review Board next month http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-mixed-use-4106-delridge-way-sw-goes-back-to-design-review-board-next-month/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-mixed-use-4106-delridge-way-sw-goes-back-to-design-review-board-next-month/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2015 16:00:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=327493 From today’s edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin:

The mixed-use building proposed for 4106 Delridge Way SW has its next date with the Southwest Design Review Board, 6:30 pm Thursday, November 19th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle. This project was revived after seven years on hold – it went through Early Design Guidance in 2008, but didn’t go on to the second stage until this past February (the official city report on that meeting is here). It’s currently proposed for 36 residential units over 3,700 square feet of commercial space, with 36 parking spaces “within the structure,” envisioned as five stories high, on a sloped lot on the east side of Delridge Way. The “packet” for the November 19th meeting isn’t available yet, but you can see the one from February here.

To see the other projects we’ve covered lately – scroll through the WSB Development coverage archive.

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West Seattle development: New Avalon Way apartment proposal, on the other side of the street http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-new-avalon-way-apartment-proposal-on-the-other-side-of-the-street/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-new-avalon-way-apartment-proposal-on-the-other-side-of-the-street/#comments Tue, 27 Oct 2015 17:51:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=327280

For the first time in a few years, a new apartment building is proposed for the south/east side of the heart of SW Avalon Way: An early-stage application has just appeared in city files for 3039 SW Avalon Way (map), to replace the duplex in the photo above. The north/west side of the street has seen far more action in recent years, with three projects in various pre-construction stages (30, a fourth under construction, and a fifth complete, but on the south/east side, nothing’s been proposed since the completion of Vue at 3261.

The documents on file so far for the new proposal say “approximately 60″ units are envisioned for 3039 Avalon, with 20 underground parking spaces. Prolific multifamily-specialist firm NK Architects is attached to the project, which will, according to notations, go through Design Review. The site is zoned MR (midrise) like most of this stretch of Avalon. Since this is in the early stages, no formal application is in yet, so there’s no official comment period, but if you have an early comment, you can e-mail PRC@seattle.gov and refer to project #3022717.

To see what other new projects and updates we’ve reported on lately, scroll through the WSB development-coverage archive here.

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West Seattle development: New proposal for once-controversial Junction site – 4 units instead of 40 http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-new-proposal-for-once-controversial-junction-site-4-units-instead-of-40/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-new-proposal-for-once-controversial-junction-site-4-units-instead-of-40/#comments Fri, 23 Oct 2015 22:54:00 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326933 Checking what’s new in the city’s online permit files, we happened onto a new proposal for a familiar address: 4439 41st SW in The Junction.

Last year, a proposal to replace its single-family house with a 40-unit, 5-offstreet-parking-space apartment building drew neighborhood concern, which led to a special city meeting for comments on the project in May 2014. DPD records indicate that reviews for the apartment-building project continued into the early part of this year – and then the activity stopped.

Now there are two new early-stage land-use applications shown for the address, one for a “lot boundary adjustment” – the site currently consists of three lots zoned Lowrise 2 – and another for a four-unit rowhouse building facing 41st, with four offstreet parking spaces off the alley to the west.

This is the third proposal in three years for the site; the 40-apartment plan had been preceded by one proposing eight townhouses.

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West Seattle development: Comment time for microhousing at 4122 36th SW http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-comment-time-for-microhousing-at-4122-36th-sw-but-somethings-missing/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-comment-time-for-microhousing-at-4122-36th-sw-but-somethings-missing/#comments Thu, 22 Oct 2015 16:24:56 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326787

9:24 AM: The major West Seattle item in today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin is the start of a comment period for Early Design Guidance on the four-story, 20-unit, no-offstreet-parking microhousing (Small Efficiency Dwelling Units) building proposed to replace the 95-year-old triplex (above) at 4122 36th SW. We first reported on this project when it turned up in the online files in July. This is going through Streamlined Design Review, so NO public meeting, but the public does have the chance to offer comments on the design via e-mail. Just one thing missing: The design packet is nowhere to be found online. The official notice from today’s bulletin warns that this is your only chance – deadline November 4th – to comment on the project, and explains how to do that, but we’ve checked various spots in the city’s online files (such as the project’s page on the Design Review website) and can’t find the design packet you’re supposed to be able to comment on. We’ve sent the project’s assigned city planner a note asking for it to be made available in hopes of adding it to this story.

9:38 AM: Planner Holly Godard has responded to our e-mail and says it “should be there shortly.”

9:44 AM: And indeed it has just appeared in the places where it should be (here’s the direct link). In some cases, you’ll find a Design Review packet online before the notice – note that the cover page for this one is dated September 30th.

10:13 AM: Added image from packet, by architects Alloy Design Group. Note that the Early Design Guidance stage does not show the final planned look – its focus is on the building’s shape and size, aka “massing.”

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FOLLOWUP: Appeal dismissed in West Seattle ’104 rooms = 14 units’ case http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/followup-appeal-dismissed-in-west-seattle-104-rooms-14-units-case/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/followup-appeal-dismissed-in-west-seattle-104-rooms-14-units-case/#comments Mon, 19 Oct 2015 06:39:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326418 A decision is in, and the hearing is off.

Checking the city files, we discovered that Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner has dismissed the most-recent 3050 Avalon Way project appeal filed by neighborhood group NERD (Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development):

As we reported three weeks ago, this all started when the group requested an interpretation of whether the city was properly treating the microhousing project as 14 “dwelling units” instead of 104 apartments. The latter number is how many “sleeping rooms” the project calls for, but they are clustered with 14 shared kitchens, and under the city rules that were in effect at the time of the application, each cluster with a kitchen constituted one “dwelling unit.” (The rules have since changed.) The number of units makes a big difference in how a development is reviewed – whether it will require Design Review, and what kind of environmental review. One year ago, the project had been under orders to either go through Design Review or make changes, as explained here; the developer opted for the latter.

After the interpretation arrived in August, affirming the “it’s 14 dwelling units, not 104 apartments” decision, NERD filed an appeal (read it here), contending among other things that the project shouldn’t have been considered as “vested” under the old rules. The case was to be argued in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers on November 5th.

Then after a pre-hearing conference in mid-September, both the city and the developer moved to dismiss the appeal. This past Wednesday, Tanner granted those motions (as detailed in the document embedded atop this report), ending the case and cancelling the November hearing. The ruling largely dwells on a technicality – saying that an appeal wasn’t filed against the Determination of (Environmental) Non-Significance for the project, and that because it wasn’t, the examiner did not have jurisdiction to consider an appeal of the interpretation.

A Hearing Examiner ruling is the city’s last word in a case like this, meaning that for a decision to be challenged any further, it would have to be taken to court. We have a message out asking NERD if they’re considering that. Otherwise, the project has its land-use permit, but appears to still be awaiting its construction permit.

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Design Review doubleheader, final report: 9021 17th SW project sent back because ‘it feels like a mini-fortress’ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/design-review-doubleheader-final-report-9021-17th-sw-project-sent-back-because-it-feels-like-a-mini-fortress/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/design-review-doubleheader-final-report-9021-17th-sw-project-sent-back-because-it-feels-like-a-mini-fortress/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2015 04:49:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326139

In the second part of Thursday night’s Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader, a 31-apartment, 31-offstreet-parking-space building proposed for 9021 17th SW was told to give Early Design Guidance a second try – though board members agreed the design had promise from the start, they were most concerned about how the building would relate to its setting.

Four SWDRB members were on hand – chair Todd Bronk and Matt Zinski, who are West Seattleites; Donald Caffrey from Beacon Hill; Alexandra Moravec from the Central District.

With them, Tami Garrett (at right in photo above), the DPD planner assigned to the project.


Bob Guyt with Bremerton-based Blue Architecture and Design said it’s a 4-story building over underground parking “optimiz(ing) the zoning for the site,” which is LR3, and noted that all three of their massing (height and shape) alternatives are “code-compliant” – no zoning exceptions. “The scale of the neighborhood per zoning is beginning to change and become more dense.” The single-family house that used to be on this site has been torn down, he said. The architects pointed out the transitions in the area – some single-family housing, some apartments, some commercial zoning. “This is kind of a middle ground.” They tried to respond to a couple of large trees on the south side of the site, regarding solar shading.

Option #1, the project team’s “preferred option,” has some pitched-roof elements, and a larger residential-amenity area “on the sunny side of the area.” 20 spaces would be under the building, 11 on the north side of the building, all accessed off the alley (and later noted, on the lower point of the site). A raingarden is planned on the site to divert rainwater.

Option #2 “would take advantage of the entire zoning envelope,” including 4 feet of additional height and a flat roof. No overhangs at the top, so the building would be closer to the south property line, with less shading of the properties on the north side.

Option #3 “brought back the shed roof elements,” with a raingarden space, but the parking “flipped over to the south side,” with the building pulling back a bit from those two big trees on a neighboring property.

BOARD QUESTIONS: Bronk said he wasn’t really seeing much difference in the massing – at the Early Design Guidance stage, there are supposed to be distinct options. He also wondered why they hadn’t gone for entirely underground parking. It had to do with circulation, the architects said, while promising the surface-parked cars would be in carport-type enclosures to “minimize the impact.” The cars wouldn’t be parked directly at units’ window level, they said.

Zinski asked for elaboration on the amenity area. Guyt said it would be a place for residents to “barbecue, hang out,” and noted that they are required to have a certain amount of square footage devoted to that. Moravec asked about the private patios and whether they’d be basically equal to the shared spaces. The architects are still working that out.


Three people spoke. The first did not identify himself. He said the building looks a lot like many other buildings in West Seattle. “What distinguishes this building from a lot of the other buildings” in the area? “Is this a building they can be proud of, want to go and spend their life there?” He also wondered if the roof for the outdoor parking could be a green roof. And he wondered about the need for outdoor barbecuing space. Finally, he said rectangles and squares seem to be the “operative word in architecture,” but maybe there’s some other way to go about it. “I don’t see this as being that welcoming to passers-by.” He wondered “what’s the personality of this building? If I seem rather critical … that’s the general environment we’re facing in the community now … I would like to see more character, quite frankly. This building’s going to be here for quite a while, and people are going to be living with it in their neighborhood.”

The second was Deb Barker, former Design Review Board member, who pointed out that the architects had erred in declaring that this was White Center. She pointed out it was the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village. She voiced concern that too much would be crammed into the site – that drew applause from the dozen or so attendees 0 and also noted that the three options didn’t have much differentiation in massing. She also felt the applicant had jumped to far ahead by setting up the unit counts before seeing what the site could accommodate. She also pointed out that the “underground” parking is NOT underground, that the site’s not being dug into, that it’s really “at grade,” and if it was being dug into, the building’s units would’t be separated from the street. “To set your whole facade in a seating wall, you’re really separating your pedestrians from the residents.” She also said she’s a fan of roof overhangs as seen in Option 1. She urged the project to come back with other massing options, maybe a U shape with internal courtyard.

The third person to speak didn’t identify himself. He said he likes the U shaped idea and he expects at least half the units to have kids so there should be a courtyard for them to play in. He said he was nervous about fencing because graffiti vandalism is a problem in the areae and landlords usually aren’t very responsive about painting it over. He also said he “really really really appreciate you guys putting parking spaces in.”


Starting with concerns: Moravec said she didn’t think it was a bad design but would have liked to see more options. She also voiced concern about at least three units in the shade and looking at parked cars. Caffrey’s concerns included the interaction with the site – retaining walls, fences, etc. Bronk said he doesn’t see the project doing anything to be of value to the neighborhood. He doesn’t “feel great about approving a project that gets a bonus for having only half of its parking underground.” Taking a single family lot and putting 15 cars on there just feels “not in concert with being a good neighbor.” He also is “not in love withthe big ramp that’s going to be necessary at the entrance.” He also voiced concern about the “self-constrained program of 31 units.”

Issues of concern for the board include topography. They gave props to the project team for trying to save plants/habitat, and expressed appreciation for the raingarden that’s proposed; some “significant” but not “exceptional” trees are proposed for removal, and that requires replacement, Garrett noted. One of the architects pointed out that this building is not required to have parking but “street parking there is a mess” and so they have opted to provide some.

Adding 31 people to the block without a real “meet your neighbor” aspect to it is a problem, said Bronk, looking at the public life/open space guidelines for the area. They asked to see a “window study” to see how nearby residents will be affected. They asked the team to consider where people would park bikes and how bikes would be brought into the building, as that wasn’t shown in the presentation. Zinski said he didn’t think the building had to be a “jumble” of facade treatments. Bronk voiced concern about the size of the outdoor amenity space, and whether it would be accessible to more than the people next to it.

Ultimately they wanted to see another Early Design Guidance round because they weren’t seeing three distinct options. Though this isn’t a bad design, a majority of board members said, they would like to see a U-shaped option among others. Bronk said he doesn’t think the building’s design is in the best interest of the neighborhood. He’d like to see another massing option “with the building on the ground.” Moravec agreed that she’d “love to see another option.” Zinski said he saw a “lot of unresolved (issues) … all of the unresolved pieces of this are really going to drive the massing.” Bronk said that when issues are left unaddressed in Early Design Guidance, the building might wind up having the next phase of the Design Review process stretched out. “It feels like a mini-fortress,” is how Bronk summarized the concerns about the current massing. But while saying the changes might just be “little tweaks overall,” cumulatively they are “big enough that we need to see it again.” That means at least two more meetings; in the meantime, if you have comments on the project, contact planner Garrett, tami.garrett@seattle.gov.

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Design Review doubleheader, report #2: Asking ‘Perch,’ 100 apartments at 1250 Alki SW, to ‘connect the dots’ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/design-review-doubleheader-report-2-asking-perch-100-apartments-at-1250-alki-sw-to-connect-the-dots/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/design-review-doubleheader-report-2-asking-perch-100-apartments-at-1250-alki-sw-to-connect-the-dots/#comments Sat, 17 Oct 2015 03:11:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326238

As reported here last night, both projects brought to the Southwest Design Review Board for Early Design Guidance in a doubleheader meeting were told to try again. Here are the toplines from the first meeting, about SolTerra‘s proposed Perch 100-unit apartment building at 1250 Alki SW, first reported here in May.

This meeting was attended by dozens of the almost 400 neighbors who have organized as the Action Alki Alliance. They’re not objecting to the idea of apartments on Alki, they say, but to a proposal they say is out of scale for the neighborhood. Here are their talking points:

And a longer document of concerns sent to the city, provided to us by spokesperson Sandee Spears:

Factors such as traffic and noise are not in Design Review’s purview; they’re in the environmental review that the assigned SDOT planner – BreAnne McConkie for this project – will lead.

SWDRB chair Todd Bronk observed that the proposal as shown last night doesn’t seem to “connect the dots.” Overall questions include how the massing – which is a major concern at the EDG stage – would work in relation to the street, allow enough sunlight for the planned courtyard, and how the front facade would work with the neighborhood.

In addition to options that had been in the design “packet” for weeks (as shown here back in xx), SolTerra also brought a version with a few changes responding to concerns voiced by neighbors – including the reduction to 100 units, from the original 125, as described post-meeting by SolTerra spokesperson Melissa Milburn:

We angled out the break between the masses by a small amount; otherwise it’s identical in every way. The project is now 100 units (not 125), 20% less, specifically to address community concerns. No option impedes the steep slope buffer. We are not seeking extra height, any setback relief, bonus square footage, uses not permitted in the zoning, or anything else = other than the two departures we’re asking for on the building overall width and depth to help with sightline for neighbors. Everything we propose is allowed in the zone and we are not getting any concessions from the city.

Other public-comment concerns included the building’s placement on the property and the plan for the hillside behind it, which has seen slides over the years. Neighbors want to make sure some views of the greenbelt remain. Some concerns also were voiced about how the building would be accessed by services such as solid-waste pickup; the access will be addressed next time around.

The board liked aspects of Option 2 best, not the development team’s preferred Option 3, but overall, the instruction to the project team is to take the feedback back again and return. (The official city version of the meeting notes should be on the DPD website within a few weeks.) Because of the requirement for at least one more Early Design Guidance meeting, that means this project will have at least two more meetings – dates TBA. You can send comments about the project, in the meantime, to planner McConkie at breanne.mcconkie@seattle.gov.

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Design Review doubleheader, report #1: Both projects told, try again http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/design-review-doubleheader-report-1-both-projects-told-try-again/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/design-review-doubleheader-report-1-both-projects-told-try-again/#comments Fri, 16 Oct 2015 05:20:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=326153 In the doubleheader meeting just concluded, the Southwest Design Review Board delivered the same verdict to both projects they considered: Come back for a second round of Early Design Guidance. Though the projects differ in size and location – 1250 Alki SW proposes 125 apartments, 9021 17th SW proposes 31 apartments – board concerns leading to the “try again” verdicts came down mostly to wanting the projects to work better in and with their surroundings. This means each project will have at least two more review meetings. We’ll publish detailed writeups of both of tonight’s sessions in the morning on Friday.

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West Seattle development: Design Review tonight for apartments at 1250 Alki SW and 9021 17th SW, plus 6 other project notes http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-design-review-tonight-for-apartments-at-1250-alki-sw-and-9021-17th-sw-plus-6-other-project-notes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-development-design-review-tonight-for-apartments-at-1250-alki-sw-and-9021-17th-sw-plus-6-other-project-notes/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2015 18:11:02 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324182 Various development notes from the city files – first, a reminder of tonight’s doubleheader Southwest Design Review Board meeting:

‘PERCH’ DEBUTS AT DESIGN REVIEW: 6:30 pm tonight at the Sisson Building (home of the Senior Center of West Seattle, California SW & SW Oregon), the 1250 Alki SW (site photo above) project first reported here in May – SolTerra’s Perch apartment building, 5 stories, 125 units, 188 offstreet parking spaces – gets an Early Design Guidance review. See the “packet” as a PDF on the city website.

ALSO AT DESIGN REVIEW TONIGHT – 9021 17TH SW: Four months after we published early word of this project, it too has an Early Design Guidance review before the SWDRB tonight, 8 pm (right after the Perch review). It’s four stories, 31 apartments, 31 offstreet parking spaces. Here’s the “packet.”

From today’s Land Use Information Bulletin, the second Early Design Guidance meeting is set for a Junction project:

4532 42ND SW RETURNS TO DESIGN REVIEW NEXT MONTH: In July, the SWDRB ordered a second EDG review for this new proposal for this Junction site, where a different project stalled after approval six years ago. It’s now proposed for 85 apartments, 70 offstreet parking spaces, and almost 4,000 sf of commercial space. You can preview the design “packet” here, well in advance of the next review, formally announced today for 6:30 pm November 5th at the Sisson Building.

Also from today’s LUIB, comment time is open for a project on the southeast edge of The Junction:

4801 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: This is the proposal for what’s currently the parking lot holding construction-office trailers for The Whittaker (to the north). We first reported on this back in April. It’s now proposed for four stories, 53 apartments, one live-work unit, and 2,575 sf of ground-floor retail. The notice is here; here’s how to comment. Deadline is October 28th.

Two more notable projects are in comment phases right now:

COMMENT TIME FOR AEGIS LIVING/WEST SEATTLE: Comment time continues on the land-use application for this three-story, 81-unit senior-living center at 4700 SW Admiral Way. Here’s the most recent design concept shared by Aegis:

Unless someone has requested an extension, the deadline for comments is Sunday (October 18th). Here’s the notice; here’s how to comment.

COMMENT TIME FOR 35TH/GRAHAM PROJECT The land-use application has been accepted for 3420 SW Graham, which means an official comment period is continuing, also through Sunday. This part of the project is now described as eleven 3-story townhouse buildings with 52 units and 59 surface offstreet parking spaces. Here’s the official notice; here’s how to comment.

An early-stage proposal of note has turned up in city online files:

PROJECT AT EX-BRICKYARD IN ADMIRAL: 2310 California SW – which had a development proposal approved, then stalled, seven years ago – has a new one. This one is for a four-story building listed as containing four residential units, 3,950 square feet of commercial space, parking in back. Documents in the file say the ground floor is expected to house child care and a gym, no further details.

And finally, a name note:

ANOTHER PROJECT NAMED: You have to squint really hard at the banner if you’re just driving by, since it’s not in a particularly bold typeface, but in case you haven’t noticed it yet, the six-story Trinsic project just south of KFC at 4435 35th SW has a name: “Aura.” (Data point – that puts “Aura” barely a block east of “Nova.”) Aura is in the files for 151 apartments, 152 off-street parking spaces, plus ground-floor commercial, and a hillside stairway.

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PROGRESS REPORT: New Junction mural, day 2 http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/progress-report-new-junction-mural-day-2/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/progress-report-new-junction-mural-day-2/#comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 02:37:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=325490

Last night, we reported on the first day of work by artist Jesse Link on the mural long planned for the south-facing wall of the Lofts At The Junction apartment building (4535 44th SW). We went by late this afternoon to see how it’s going. The artist was gone for the day, but it’s clear that, as he had told us in a brief shouted exchange yesterday, it’s a heron and a boat – with the words WORK IN PROGRESS painted across the space for now, lest anyone think otherwise.

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What might West Seattle look like in 2035? Grab the steering wheel @ upcoming meeting – or speak up by e-mail, social media, postal mail … http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/what-might-west-seattle-look-like-in-2035-grab-the-steering-wheel-upcoming-meeting-or-speak-up-by-e-mail-social-media-postal-mail/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/what-might-west-seattle-look-like-in-2035-grab-the-steering-wheel-upcoming-meeting-or-speak-up-by-e-mail-social-media-postal-mail/#comments Tue, 29 Sep 2015 23:44:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324449

(Above, 1962 view looking west over Luna Park and beyond, from the Seattle Municipal Archives. Below, April 2013 aerial view looking south from Duwamish Head, by Long Bach Nguyen)

The seeds of our current growth and zoning, whether you like the way things are going or not, were sown many years ago – going back in the 1990s, during a big civic process. Maybe you weren’t here to get involved. Maybe you never heard about it. Here’s your chance to change that for the next 20 years. Right now – somewhat drowned out by a lot of other noise – another big process has been under way for a while, aimed at coming up with a road map to last through 2035. Even if you’ve missed earlier discussions, here comes another chance. West Seattle will be the site of one of five meetings coming up to talk about the next revision of the Comprehensive Plan. The announcement, just out of our inbox:

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will hold five community meetings this fall to solicit public comment on the Draft City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan. Titled ‘Seattle 2035,’ the Draft Plan was released for public comment on July 8, 2015. The updated Comprehensive Plan will be our roadmap for Seattle’s next 20 years.

The meetings will include open house displays and a presentation to provide a broad overview of the Draft Plan, highlight major changes and get feedback on proposed village expansion areas, especially areas near meeting locations. Since some of Seattle 2035’s policies about affordable housing will be implemented as part of the City’s proposed Housing and Affordability and Livability Agenda, there will be information and opportunity for feedback at the meetings.

The Draft Plan is informed by the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that was released in May 2015. The Draft Plan includes goals and policies to help achieve our vision for Seattle’s future. Seattle is expected to grow by 120,000 residents and 115,000 jobs in the coming 20 years. The Draft Plan also includes a new Future Land Use Map, showing a pattern of growth that supports the City’s vision.

The City of Seattle is seeking public feedback on the Draft Plan as we continue to evaluate goals and policies to build a safe, livable, vibrant, and affordable city for all. City staff has already received hundreds of public comments on the DEIS and on the overall direction of the Draft Plan document.

DPD is extending the public comment period through Friday, November 20th. The Online Community Conversation will remain live through this period. Here’s how to join the conversation about Seattle’s future and provide comments:

1. Attend a community meeting in October or November

2. Read the Draft Plan Summary and check out the Draft Plan.

3. Join the Seattle 2035 Online Community Conversation and discuss the potential pros and cons of proposed policies with other Seattleites

4. Follow Seattle 2035 on Facebook and Twitter

5. Send comments by November 20, 2015:

a. Email comments to 2035@seattle.gov

b. Mail comments to the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Attn: Seattle 2035, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle WA 98124-4019.

Feedback received on the Draft Comprehensive Plan will help inform the Mayor’s Recommended Plan, which will be released in early 2016.

(Five open houses are listed in the full announcement – following is the only one in West Seattle)

November 12, 6 pm to 8 pm (presentation at 6:30 pm)
Senior Center of West Seattle
4217 SW Oregon St.

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