West Seattle Blog... » Development http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 06:04:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 How did we get here and how are ‘urban villages’ doing after 20 years? Review to be presented Wednesday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/how-did-we-get-here-and-how-are-urban-villages-doing-after-20-years-review-to-be-presented-wednesday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/how-did-we-get-here-and-how-are-urban-villages-doing-after-20-years-review-to-be-presented-wednesday/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 02:51:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=299327 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.

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West Seattle traffic alert: Junction 47 tower-crane takedown day http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-traffic-alert-tower-crane-takedown-day/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-traffic-alert-tower-crane-takedown-day/#comments Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:10:15 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=299141

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.

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West Seattle development: 2nd local mixed-use project for Lennar; updates on Holden subdivision, Y expansion, more http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-2nd-local-mixed-use-project-for-lennar-updates-on-holden-subdivision-y-expansion-more/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-2nd-local-mixed-use-project-for-lennar-updates-on-holden-subdivision-y-expansion-more/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:10:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=298774 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.

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West Seattle development: 4106 Delridge Way design review postponed, added to February 5th slate with 4505 42nd SW http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-4106-delridge-way-design-review-postponed-added-to-february-5th-slate-with-4505-42nd-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-4106-delridge-way-design-review-postponed-added-to-february-5th-slate-with-4505-42nd-sw/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 00:03:00 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297928

(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.

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West Seattle development: Demolition of the Day, 4400 SW Alaska http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-demolition-of-the-day-4400-sw-alaska/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-demolition-of-the-day-4400-sw-alaska/#comments Tue, 06 Jan 2015 21:47:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297243

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).

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West Seattle development: Today’s teardown, and other updates http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-todays-teardown-and-other-updates/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-todays-teardown-and-other-updates/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 23:37:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297161

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.

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West Seattle development: 2015, Year of the Busy Backhoes? http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-2015-year-of-the-busy-backhoes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-development-2015-year-of-the-busy-backhoes/#comments Mon, 05 Jan 2015 02:10:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297107 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.

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‘Let’s Talk: West Seattle’: What has (and hasn’t) happened since the ‘talk’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/lets-talk-west-seattle-what-has-and-hasnt-happened-since-the-talk/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/lets-talk-west-seattle-what-has-and-hasnt-happened-since-the-talk/#comments Wed, 24 Dec 2014 06:19:15 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296165

(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.

That morning, the upstairs meeting hall at the Senior Center of West Seattle buzzed with mostly informal interaction between 20+ city reps and 40+ attendees, milling around information-laden easels. There was a short stopdown to hear from two city department heads in attendance, Diane Sugimura of the Department of Planning and Development and Bernie Matsuno of the Department of Neighborhoods. Then, as noted in our report on the event, they later joined in a breakout conversation with a dozen or so attendees. By the time that wrapped up, two community members, Cindi Barker and Wayne Scamuffa, had volunteered to be liaisons with the city departments in attendance (which included SDOT) to be sure that comments were followed up on.

Separate from that, organizers had promised followup communication. Note the right side of this board that was on display near the entrance to the meeting:

(The promise to publish comments here on WSB was news to us, but as we told someone that morning, we’d be happy to oblige if/when they were provided. Electronic versions of all of the morning’s boards, including info on West Seattle growth/development, were published in our report.)

Some time after the meeting, we attended one followup conversation in which the local advocates tried to help city reps strategize getting followup information out. More time passed. Last Thursday, Cindi Barker finally sent DPD contacts a note expressing exasperation that it just hadn’t worked out.

The very next day – Friday, December 19th – a followup appeared on the DPD blog-format website Building Connections (see it here).

It wasn’t what Barker and Scamuffa had hoped for and been working toward. She forwarded the link to other community leaders/groups over this past weekend with a note saying in part:

If you were at the meeting, you know that Wayne Scamuffa and I volunteered to help facilitate with DPD and the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) to help promote an ongoing dialogue and to see if more voices could join the conversation (more than the folks who were able to come out to a Saturday morning event). But this experiment in communication has not worked out. Wayne and I met with DPD and DON several times to help figure out how to work this new model, and have had months of emails. But in the end, the DPD is neither staffed nor prepared to have an on-going conversation with this community.

Her note shared the DPD site link, and continued:

Please share with your community members and particularly anyone who you knew attended, as I do not believe the DPD will be sending direct information to the people who attended and signed in on the attendance rosters.

If you go through all the material linked in the Building Connections blog posting, you will see that they provided back what they heard about a proposed “town center” and where participants thought people would be living in 2035. The 4 major themes that DPD thought they heard were about so much change, shaping growth, parking, and the desire for a hospital, and so they provided links to existing city programs for people to visit for further information.

The survey link under the topic of improving outreach and engagement would be useful to all of us who are trying to reach more people who don’t seem to be connected in our traditional outreach methods, so please take that survey.

Here’s the direct link, in case you miss it going through the city’s update. Barker’s note continued:

As Wayne and I worked with city staff on this, it really became clear that this pilot was launched without forethought as to how follow up would actually occur and without the staff resources to get the initial feedback back to the community, much less sustain an ongoing dialogue.

It’s ironic that the very forces that motivated this pilot project, the high level of development in Seattle and West Seattle, are very forces consuming the DPD staff. There has to be a better way for the city to work with all its constituents. Maybe it is time to ask Mayor Murray out for a community meeting?

(Barker, by the way, is not viewing city-community interaction through inexperienced eyes; she has been a community liaison for a variety of initiatives over the years, including, currently, serving on the advisory committee for the mayor’s Housing Affordability Agenda.)

To our knowledge, no other “Let’s Talk” events have been scheduled elsewhere in the city – this was the first and so far the last. Some further followup material might yet be made public; Barker says the DPD point people are talking about getting the additional feedback sheets out after everyone’s back from vacation, just before New Year’s – even then, though, she points out, that’s still just a “meeting recap,” rather than a step toward an ongoing dialogue.

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West Seattle development: Design Commission revisits The Whittaker; see the art, landscaping planned around its site http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-development-design-commission-revisits-the-whittaker/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-development-design-commission-revisits-the-whittaker/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 19:40:50 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295724 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).

The design was described as being at 100 percent of what was necessary for construction to get under way (demolition followed by site clearing, so far), so commissioners acknowledged their comments were maybe a bit moot – later refuted – but they offered suggestions nonetheless, after the project team presentation, led by Andy Rasmussen from the landscape-architecture firm Weisman Design Group:

*The upgraded crosswalk between The Whittaker’s site and Spruce (the former “Hole,” an almost-complete mixed-use project) across the street, with pedestrian pushbuttons and ramps on both sides, is in the works.

*The project will have art at all four corners – its artist, Troy Pillow, was present to discuss it; he is a West Seattle resident with a studio in the International District; he reiterated the art’s theme, as discussed in previous meetings, “The Water’s Edge,” with materials including weathered steel (corten), beach stones, driftwood, glass – no sharp edges, very “approachable” for the public, “meant to be explored.” The artwork at Fauntleroy/Alaska will be lit by LEDs.

Pillow spoke of “gateway piers meant to be reminiscent of piers coming out of the Duwamish Waterway,” featuring all the elements of which he spoke, 4′ to 8′ high, in the front plaza along with a water feature. “They’ll be part of the pedestrian experience.” The 40th SW side will have “artwork down the entire street,” per Rasmussen along with “lush” streetscape featuring trees. The art here will be inspired by ferry-dock pilings and beach grass, in a 120-foot-long sculpture; the columns will tilt at different angles for a “wave pattern.” A “modular system” green wall running the length of the Masonic Hall will be a feature of the mid-block connector going through the property from Fauntleroy to 40th SW; Rasmussen said the “modular” system is meant to avoid some of the problems that have kept other “green wall” projects from being successful – any plant that isn’t working can be removed/replaced.

Along Fauntleroy, where smaller businesses are envisioned, 4-and-a-half-foot artwork inspired by “stacked stones” at the beach will be featured, “very smooth around the edges, invites kids to play,” Pillow explained.

On the south side along Edmunds, some green wall is planned, with a corner plaza space and sculptures “inspired by the Olympic Mountains, two freestanding sculptures comprised of stacked logs and steel, in the shape of the silhouette of the mountains,” explained Pillow.

*Setting the building back six feet on Fauntleroy is enabling a bike lane and other “complete street” features

*Undergrounding the power for the building is instead becoming “running the power through the buildings” including vaults

*Design evolution on the facade – the “brick mass” across the entrance to Whole Foods has extended westward; the residential levels above it are stepped back a bit

*The plaza space at the Alaska/Fauntleroy corner (below) has features that will make it feel larger

PUBLIC COMMENT: Deb Barker – who has been commenting on this project for years, as she told the board – asked first how many people on the board had seen the project before; a few hands went up. She started with what she considered is “good” about the project – that the project team had done a good job along 40th Avenue SW, as well as the southern building “and its relationship to Fauntleroy.” The vaults inside the building sounded like a good idea to her, as well. What she found disappointing was the size of the gateway plaza “in front of a 7-story building, in front of a ‘tower’ that is essentially an elevator shaft … and the lights to that elevator lobby is what you’ll see at the gateway to West Seattle … essentially a slap in the face to West Seattle.” (A project-team rep said later that you won’t see the elevator doors, and that they are looking at “art options” to enhance the “gateway” view as people approach it.)

She expressed continuing concern about the trucks and pedestrians sharing the midblock connector through the building, and the below-grade entrance to Whole Foods, where it’s “been since Day 1. … Disappointing to see a brand-new building with an entrance to its key tenant below-grade.” (Rasmussen clarified that the east entrance to WF is at grade, while the stepdown entrance is further west.)

COMMISSION QUESTIONS: They were interested in details of the art composition and its placement, how the locations were chosen. “Kind of a natural selection to see where the plazas were and where the setbacks are,” replied Pillow. Rasmussen spoke of wanting to have “wayfinding elements at each corner.” He also spoke of public comments favoring “unique yet connected” spaces. The “planting palette” for the green-wall sections was also a topic of discussion – just developed in the past two weeks, and still undergoing “testing,” according to Rasmussen – as was the raingarden planned on the site. Commissioner Bernie Alonzo thought the green wall on the south side (hiding the Masonic Hall), with its composition, could be considered an art piece all its own.

They also are landscaping along the east side of 40th, past the Masonic Hall (which is not part of the project, but is getting its parking lot regraded and improved as part of the project).

“The art is just there,” commented the commission’s chair Osama Quotah, saying he wished there had been more of a dialogue about the art “informing” its location. He agreed that the gateway plaza seemed a bit small, and could suffer from “crowding” of its elements. Another commissioner said he didn’t feel the plaza would offer enough of a “gathering opportunity,” and wondered if the art elements could be brought closer to the water feature. A bench shown in the middle of the plaza space was singled out – whether it could be removed to add some space.

Summarizing the commission’s comments for the project team, they recommend final approval with:

*”We’ve reviewed the public benefit elements and agree they’re likely to be successful.”
*Regarding the gateway plaza, concerns about too many elements, and that they might consider removing the bench on the Fauntleroy Way side to create better passage through the gateway area or at least revisit its placement
*Regarding the green wall, it’s recommended they continue their plant experiments and make a decision in the fall about final plant choice, being mindful of what’s chosen, but removing the vines that are part of the rendering – “think of the planting of the green wall compositionally rather than just as blocks
*Appreciation was expressed for the design team balancing all the input they received from many sources

A project team member told the commission that they do actually have some room for tweaks, so they will take the commission’s input seriously and see what can be done. The project -for which ground was ceremonially broken last month, after the site was cleared – is expected to be under construction for the next two years.

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West Seattle development followup: CVS drugstore project still in progress, but ‘not currently scheduled for 2015′ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-development-followup-cvs-drugstore-project-still-in-progress-but-not-currently-scheduled-for-2015/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-development-followup-cvs-drugstore-project-still-in-progress-but-not-currently-scheduled-for-2015/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:54:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295649 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.

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What do you think about growth? How can Seattle encourage affordable housing? These and other questions … http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/what-do-you-think-about-growth-how-can-seattle-encourage-affordable-housing-these-and-other-questions/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/what-do-you-think-about-growth-how-can-seattle-encourage-affordable-housing-these-and-other-questions/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 22:32:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295576 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).

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Update: Lane closures on 35th SW for tower-crane installation http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-traffic-alert-reminder-35th-sw-closure-for-tower-crane-installation/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-traffic-alert-reminder-35th-sw-closure-for-tower-crane-installation/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 14:31:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=294979 (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.

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West Seattle development: 4106 Delridge Way mixed-use project returning to Design Review, 6 years after first meeting http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-development-4106-delridge-way-mixed-use-project-returning-to-design-review-6-years-after-first-meeting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/west-seattle-development-4106-delridge-way-mixed-use-project-returning-to-design-review-6-years-after-first-meeting/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:01:25 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=295107

(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).

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The Whittaker on Seattle Design Commission agenda next week http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/the-whittaker-on-the-agenda-for-seattle-design-commission-next-week/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/the-whittaker-on-the-agenda-for-seattle-design-commission-next-week/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 21:56:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=294976 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.

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City’s ‘no parking necessary if built near frequent transit’ rule proposed for a rewrite http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/citys-no-parking-necessary-if-built-near-frequent-transit-rule-proposed-for-a-rewrite/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/citys-no-parking-necessary-if-built-near-frequent-transit-rule-proposed-for-a-rewrite/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:30:55 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=294944 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.

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