West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle housing http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 07:06:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Charge a development fee to encourage ‘affordable housing’? Seattle City Council committee says yes http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/charge-a-development-fee-to-encourage-affordable-housing-seattle-city-council-committee-says-yes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/charge-a-development-fee-to-encourage-affordable-housing-seattle-city-council-committee-says-yes/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:45:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288680

(Click the image to go to the full-size map on the city website)
Would a new type of development fee lead to more affordable housing in the city? The City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee has just voted in favor of a proposal for a so-called “linkage fee” intended to make that happen. If it became law, it would affect commercial and multifamily development in certain parts of the city, shown on the map above – including parts of West Seattle:

A City Council committee today recommended approval of a plan to create an affordable housing linkage fee to preserve and create affordable housing in Seattle. The resolution directs City departments to develop legislation whereby new construction in multi-family and commercial zones would mitigate the cost of increasing rents by funding housing affordable to those households making $45,000 – $65,000 per year, which is 60% – 80% of area median income (AMI).

“If we want Seattle to be an inclusive city for people of all incomes, then we need to see more housing produced that’s affordable to more people. Up until this point, the market has clearly not given us the housing we need,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, chair of the Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee and the legislation’s sponsor.

Developers could either pay a per-square-foot fee, which is variable based on project’s location in the city, or avoid the fee by dedicating at least 3% – 5% of the units in their project to households making less than 80% AMI. The money generated from fees would be invested in workforce housing.

“Our expert economic consultants suggest that at this fee level, development would absorb the fees without constricting new supply or significantly raising rents,” Councilmember O’Brien added.

The (above) map illustrates where the linkage fee would be applied in multi-family and commercial development in the city.

Full Council is expected to vote on the resolution on Monday, October 20. Draft legislation for Council consideration is expected by June 1, 2015. The final legislation is anticipated to gradually phase-in over a three year period and would not affect existing projects or new projects with permit applications already submitted.

Additional information about O’Brien’s proposal for an Affordable Housing Linkage Fee in Seattle is available online.

This is separate from the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption program, which enables a partial tax exemption on projects that commit to below-market rents for part of their units. The city’s current list of projects in that program includes nine buildings in West Seattle.

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West Seattle development: ‘Streamlined design review’ proposals for townhouses at 3811 California http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-development-streamlined-design-review-proposals-for-townhouses-at-3811-california/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-development-streamlined-design-review-proposals-for-townhouses-at-3811-california/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:16:31 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288661 The latest plan for 3811 California SW is advancing, with a plan now in city files for “streamlined design review” (SDR) – which means public comments will be accepted, but there’s no Design Review Board meeting. The site is currently home to Charlestown Court, the brick fourplex that has been rejected twice for landmark status. The proposal, as first reported here in January, is to replace it with four 2-unit townhouse buildings and eight offstreet-parking spaces on the alley. Here’s what architect S+H Works has filed with the city for the SDR process:

(If you can’t see the embedded document, try this link.) If you’re interested in commenting on the proposal, this page on the city website explains how.

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West Seattle development: Abatement/demolition begins for The Whittaker; six other teardown/rebuild notes http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-development-abatementdemolition-begins-for-the-whittaker-six-other-teardownrebuild-notes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/west-seattle-development-abatementdemolition-begins-for-the-whittaker-six-other-teardownrebuild-notes/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 01:40:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=288129 Seven West Seattle development notes:

ABATEMENT/DEMOLITION WORK BEGINS AT THE WHITTAKER: If you have driven past the site of The Whittaker (400 apartments plus retail including Whole Foods Market) at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW, you might have noticed the heavy equipment beginning work. A project spokesperson confirms that they have “officially started abatement work,” adding that the “auto body shop on 40th is scheduled to be demolished sometime tomorrow.” Major demolition is about two weeks away, if all goes as planned, and construction is set to start next month.

Six smaller demolition/construction projects of note, with permits granted or applied for in the past week or so:

4101 SW OREGON: In The Junction, the demolition permit has just been granted for a project first mentioned here almost a year ago; an 87-year-old house will be demolished and replaced with a 4-unit rowhouse.

4316 SW THISTLE: The application is now in for a “lot boundary adjustment” at this corner parcel, on the books as two lots, as mentioned here in July, though holding one house for more than a century. That house is planned for teardown, and replacement with two single-family houses including “accessory dwelling units,” which means four residences in all. (For “accessory dwelling units” to be legal, the city rules say, the property owner has to live on site, either in the main house or ADU.)

6540 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: In Morgan Junction, this 98-year-old house is proposed for demolition and replacement with a new single-family house.

9007 45TH SW: In Fauntleroy, this 71-year-old house is planned for demolition and replacement.

6047 47TH SW: In Seaview, this 71-year-old house is planned for demolition and replacement.

6470 MARSHALL SW: Also in Seaview, this 95-year-old house is planned for demolition and replacement.

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Seattle microhousing has rules, definition, and a name – SEDUs – after unanimous City Council vote http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/seattle-microhousing-has-rules-definition-and-a-name-sedus-after-unanimous-city-council-vote/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/10/seattle-microhousing-has-rules-definition-and-a-name-sedus-after-unanimous-city-council-vote/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 23:37:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=287991

The city officially has rules for microhousing – or, if you prefer, SEDUs (small efficiency dwelling units). They’ve been in the works for months and, two weeks after the final committee discussion, won official, unanimous council approval this afternoon. Read the full bill here; here are the highlights from the city toplines featured our story about them last month:

*Creates a definition for small efficiency dwelling units (SEDU).

*Clarifies the definition of dwelling unit.

*Establishes required components of SEDUs, including a 150-square-foot minimum sleeping room area, a 220 square foot minimum total floor area, a food preparation area (sink, refrigerator, countertop, cooking appliance) and a bathroom (sink, toilet, shower or bathtub).

*Limits the issuance of Restricted Parking Zone permits to no more than one per SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.

*Requires Streamlined Design Review to be applied, in all zones, to congregate residences and residential uses that are more than 50 percent comprised of SEDUs if they contain between 5,000 and 11,999 square feet of gross floor area.

*Limits the construction of congregate residences that do not meet certain ownership or operational requirements to higher density zones that are located within Urban Centers and Urban Villages

*Increases the minimum required area of communal space in a congregate residence from 10 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms to 15 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms.

*Creates a new vehicle parking requirement of one parking space for every two SEDUs for areas of the City where vehicle parking is required for multifamily residential uses.

*Increases bicycle parking requirements for SEDUs and congregate residences to 0.75 bicycle spaces per SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.

*Requires the bicycle parking required for SEDUs and congregate residences to be covered for weather protection.

*Allows required, covered bicycle parking for SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms to be exempt from Floor Area Ratio limits if the required parking is located inside the building that contains the SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms.

*Calls on the Department of Planning and Development to complete an analysis of the City’s vehicle and bicycle parking requirements and present its recommendations for regulatory changes to the City Council by no later than March 31, 2015.

That last item, as we noted last month, goes beyond microhousing.

West Seattle has two microhousing buildings already open – Footprint Delridge and Footprint Avalon I – and three on the drawing board. As reported here two weeks ago, two of the not-yet-under-construction projects – at 3268 SW Avalon Way and 3050 SW Avalon Way – are on hold because of a court decision that would require them to go through Design Review, or undergo a significant redesign.

During this afternoon’s council meeting, discussion preceding the vote included a rebuke by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen for city departments not catching “loopholes” he said developers exploited when first opening these projects here. (You can watch the discussion and vote in the archived Seattle Channel video atop this story; the vote is 71 minutes into the video.)

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Video: Protests split Seattle Housing Authority rent-increase meeting into two gatherings http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/happening-now-protests-split-seattle-housing-authority-rent-increase-meeting-into-two-sessions/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/happening-now-protests-split-seattle-housing-authority-rent-increase-meeting-into-two-sessions/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:18:58 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=287251

FIRST REPORT, 7:18 PM: We’re at High Point Community Center along with a crowd we’d estimate to number at least 200, at what was supposed to be an informational/Q-A meeting about the Seattle Housing Authority‘s controversial Stepping Forward” rent-increase proposal.


SHA executive director Andrew Lofton barely got through the pre-planned slide deck, with chants and shouts between almost every line.

After a few attempts at Q/A – really, just Q, because SHA said it would not answer any of the questions – one man shouted that those in attendance were being insulted and should walk out.

Many did, and went into the gym, where they and protesters rallied, with City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on hand.

(Added 9:26 pm – here’s our video of what Sawant told them, amplified via “human mike”:)

Others, meantime, stayed behind, and some spoke about the “stepped” rent increase proposal, which could take a subsidized household now paying $50 in rent, up to $1,000 in the fifth year. Even those who said they supported the concept of encouraging self-sufficiency said unemployment is high and there’s no guarantee anyone can get work, no matter how hard they try.

There were declarations that while SHA is calling for tenant accountability, no one is calling for developer accountability to provide more low-income housing.

The meeting is now in an “open house” phase at which those with questions are seeking answers in one-on-one conversations.

9:26 PM: Above, we’ve added our video of what Councilmember Sawant said after “the other meeting” convened in the Community Center’s gym – we had one crew in each room.

Our full video of the meeting in the original room, including all of the protests and the presentation they punctuated, will be added after we get it uploaded later tonight. (Added: Here it is:)

Meantime, Sawant told those gathered in the gym that the SHA meeting was “a joke” and called for “a big action in City Hall” on October 15th.

Opponents of “Stepping Forward” have a petition, and details of their position and objections, online here.

Meantime, the “next steps” slide in the official presentation said a possible “workforce pilot” would begin late this year, and that the proposal would be revised, more public comment taken, a recommendation made to SHA’s Board of Commissioners, then a phase-in with about 4 years from Board approval to full implementation, “rent changes no earlier than 2016.”

“We don’t want it revised!” someone yelled. “We want it gone!”

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West Seattle development: New 35th/Graham proposal; comment time for 4849 21st SW http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-development-new-35thgraham-proposal-comment-time-for-4849-21st-sw/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-development-new-35thgraham-proposal-comment-time-for-4849-21st-sw/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:55:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=287224 Two development notes this afternoon:

REVISED PROPOSAL FOR HIGH-PROFILE HIGH POINT CORNER: The placement of that sign might make you think the big stretch of vacant land at 35th/Graham is the future site of more Polygon-built single-family homes. Not according to the newest proposal, with a “preliminary assessment report” added to city files just a week ago. It is now described as:

Develop the Block 9 High Point site, including utilities and infrastructure, 52 townhomes and a 4 story mixed use building containing approximately 80 apartment units, 8,500 square feet of office space, and 1,500 square feet of retail space located on the ground floor.

The mixed-use building is similar to something a Seattle Housing Authority spokesperson mentioned last October, when we reported on the previous plan. At the time, a mix of houses and townhouses was in the works, with an expectation of a “commercial building” at the corner, SHA said. In this plan, that is now a mixed-use building running along the entire 35th SW frontage of the land, according to a preliminary “site plan” filed this month, with the townhouses to the east. The new plan is in the name of High Point III, LLC, which traces to Polygon Northwest‘s Bellevue address. We’ll be following up on next steps for this plan.

2 WEEKS TO COMMENT ON 4849 21ST SW SUBDIVISION: Last week, we reported on an application to split one big lot at 4849 21st SW (map) into nine parcels for single-family houses. Today, the official notice is in the city’s Monday/Thursday Land Use Information Bulletin, which means you have two weeks to comment. Here’s how.

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West Seattle development: 9-lot subdivision proposal http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-development-9-lot-subdivision-proposal/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-development-9-lot-subdivision-proposal/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 08:00:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286817

An acre and a third of land in eastern West Seattle is proposed to be split into nine single-family-house lots, according to documents accompanying a land-use application filed with the city this week. Its official address is 4849 21st SW (map), but you can barely glimpse the site from 21st – as shown in our photo, it looks like greenbelt behind a fence, but the site stretches westward to 23rd SW. Two lots would front on 21st, three on 23rd, and the other four inbetween; documents in the online file say a private drive would be built for access to the latter seven. An arborist’s report says the site has 99 “significant” trees, 20 of them “exceptional,” but assesses 35 of the trees as unhealthy and in need of removal. If the subdivision is approved, the lots would be mostly 5,000-7,000 square feet, in keeping with the site’s single-family 5,000 zoning, but one of the lots on 21st would be double-sized, at 10,000 square feet. A two-week comment period will open as soon as the proposal officially appears on the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin.

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City tells 2 in-the-works West Seattle microhousing projects that they need Design Review because of court decision http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/city-tells-2-in-the-works-west-seattle-microhousing-projects-that-they-need-design-review-because-of-court-decision/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/city-tells-2-in-the-works-west-seattle-microhousing-projects-that-they-need-design-review-because-of-court-decision/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:30:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286705

(WSB photo: Planned site of 3268 Avalon microhousing, next to recently opened Footprint Avalon I micros)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:30 PM: Two of West Seattle’s three in-the-works microhousing projects face major revisions/reviews because of a recent court decision involving a project on Capitol Hill. PubliCola broke the news that the city sent a letter this week to more than 20 developers of in-the-works projects, explaining that they will now have to go through additional levels of review, including Design Review, if they want to proceed. We found the letter in the online files for two planned West Seattle projects, 3050 SW Avalon Way (here) and 3268 SW Avalon Way (here). Follow either of those links, or read on for the text:

I wanted to let you know about the status of your micro-housing residence project. Approval of another project with a configuration similar to yours was recently challenged in King County Superior Court. Like yours, that project included multiple bedrooms, each with a private bathroom and a counter area, including a sink, which appeared to be suited for food preparation. In a decision issued August 13 and currently under appeal, the judge ruled that each bedroom was configured for use as a separate dwelling unit, and must be regulated accordingly. We have re-examined other similar projects, including your own, in light of that decision. We have concluded that the individual rooms within your proposed development, project no. ——, also must be regulated as separate dwelling units.

If you want us to proceed with review of your project before a decision is reached on the appeal, you must either revise the project to meet code requirements based on the larger number of dwelling units, or else modify the plans so that the bedrooms no longer would be regarded as separate dwelling units.

If you wish to revise the project to reflect a larger number of dwelling units, it will be necessary to add Design Review. Development standards based on the number of units, such as requirements for bicycle parking and trash storage areas, and any applicable density requirements, must be met. Alternatively, you may wait and redesign based on standards for small efficiency dwelling units, currently under consideration by the City Council, once those standards have been adopted.

If you wish to modify the plans so that the rooms are no longer counted as separate dwelling units, you must modify the plans so that bathrooms are shared rather than privately associated with individual bedrooms, or else you must eliminate food preparation areas within each room, including sinks outside of bathrooms, cooking or refrigeration equipment and built-in counters and cabinets.

Additional modifications may be required based on Building Code standards for separate dwelling units. If the project has received bonus floor area for provision of affordable housing under Section 23.58A.014, that approval must be reviewed to ensure continued eligibility based on the change in unit count or any changes to the structure.

Please let us know how you wish to proceed.

The third West Seattle microhousing project in the works, at 5949 California SW, does not have the same letter in its online files. Its permits were granted months ago.

ADDED 4:33 AM WEDNESDAY: The city’s message to these and other projects is also summarized in a Tuesday post we just noticed on the DPD blog-format website.

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Out: ‘Microhousing.’ In: ‘SEDU.’ And it’s your turn to comment http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/out-microhousing-in-sedu-and-its-your-turn-to-comment/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/out-microhousing-in-sedu-and-its-your-turn-to-comment/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 15:59:59 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286522 The word “microhousing” does not appear anywhere in the brand-new official city notice announcing that it’s your turn to comment on the revised proposed city rules for it. That notice, published today, and includes the toplines of the latest changes in the rules the City Council is considering, including the new official name “SEDU”:

*Creates a definition for small efficiency dwelling units (SEDU).

*Clarifies the definition of dwelling unit.

*Establishes required components of SEDUs, including a 150-square-foot minimum sleeping room area, a 220 square foot minimum total floor area, a food preparation area (sink, refrigerator, countertop, cooking appliance) and a bathroom (sink, toilet, shower or bathtub).

*Limits the issuance of Restricted Parking Zone permits to no more than one per
SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.

*Requires Streamlined Design Review to be applied, in all zones, to congregate
residences and residential uses that are more than 50 percent comprised of SEDUs if they contain between 5,000 and 11,999 square feet of gross floor area.

*Limits the construction of congregate residences that do not meet certain ownership or operational requirements to higher density zones that are located within Urban Centers and Urban Villages

*Increases the minimum required area of communal space in a congregate residence
from 10 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms to 15 percent of the total floor area of all sleeping rooms.

*Creates a new vehicle parking requirement of one parking space for every two
SEDUs for areas of the City where vehicle parking is required for multifamily residential uses.

*Increases bicycle parking requirements for SEDUs and congregate residences to 0.75 bicycle spaces per SEDU or congregate residence sleeping room.

*Requires the bicycle parking required for SEDUs and congregate residences to be covered for weather protection.

*Allows required, covered bicycle parking for SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms to be exempt from Floor Area Ratio limits if the required parking is located inside the building that contains the SEDUs or congregate residence sleeping rooms.

*Calls on the Department of Planning and Development to complete an analysis of the City’s vehicle and bicycle parking requirements and present its recommendations for regulatory changes to the City Council by no later than March 31, 2015.

That last point, as mentioned in our coverage last week, goes beyond microhousing.

So if you have something to say about any of this, say it now – in e-mail or postal mail to Councilmember Mike O’Brien, mike.obrien@seattle.gov (the postal address is in today’s notice seeking comment), before October 6th. Again, what’s above is an excerpt from today’s notice, highlighting recent changes in the proposed microhousing (SEDU) rules. You can see the entire Council Bill by going here.

SIDE NOTE: In case you’ve lost track – two microhousing projects have opened in West Seattle, at 4546 Delridge Way SW (file photo above) and 3266 SW Avalon Way, with at least three more planned – 3268 SW Avalon Way, 5949 California SW, and 3050 SW Avalon Way.

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West Seattle demolition watch: Next ‘microhousing’; school rebuilds http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-demolition-watch-next-microhousing-school-rebuilds/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-demolition-watch-next-microhousing-school-rebuilds/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:08:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286468 Three updates from West Seattle’s current demolition/redevelopment/rebuilding boom:

PERMIT APPLICATION FOR NEXT ‘MICROHOUSING’ SITE: On Friday, the demolition-permit application turned up in the city’s online files for 3268 Avalon Way, the microhousing building set to go up between the 35th/Avalon 7-11 and its sibling Footprint Avalon I building. A temporary-power pole has already been up in front of the site for a while. The new microhousing rules, including clarity on number of units, won’t be affecting this project or others already in the pipeline; note the last line of the screengrab from the city webpage:

Each “unit” in current city code stands for up to eight individually rented sleeping rooms.

GENESEE HILL SCHOOL DEMOLITION: Now in even higher gear. Here’s what we were to see from SW Genesee after the end of Friday’s workday:

The current Schmitz Park Elementary program is scheduled to move into a new 650-student campus (not much more capacity than the current SPES enrollment) here in 2016.

ARBOR HEIGHTS SCHOOL DEMOLITION: This is now moving quickly too. Thanks to Mike R. for the end-of-week view:

The new Arbor Heights Elementary‘s capacity won’t be determined by the school board until next year.

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West Seattle development: Key approvals for 18-house subdivision proposed at 2646 SW Holden http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-development-key-approvals-for-18-house-subdivision-proposed-at-2646-sw-holden/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-development-key-approvals-for-18-house-subdivision-proposed-at-2646-sw-holden/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:43:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286094

(WSB photo from January 2014)
From today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin: Key approvals are in for the 18-house subdivision proposed for that 73,000-square-foot site at 2646 SW Holden (map), which stretches to a smaller amount of frontage on SW Webster, all just west of the Navos mental-health facility.

We reported on the proposal at the end of last year, when it was reactivated in the city site after being dormant for some time, following “streamlined design review” approval. Today, the land-use-permit decision has been published (read it here). The decision details why the city believes the development would not substantially disturb the “steep slope” area on the site, though it acknowledges the development will result in “increased surface water runoff due to greater site coverage by impervious surfaces” and “loss of plant and animal habitat.” . Each three-story house would have a two-car garage; part of the site is zoned single-family, part is zoned low rise. While the site was up for sale when we last reported on this proposal, county property records show it hasn’t changed hands since becoming the property of Madrona Glen LLC two years ago. More than 30 of the trees on the site would be removed under the 18-house plan, 10 of them classified by the city as “exceptional.” Today’s publication of the approval opens a two-week period for potential appeals (that process is explained here).

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Followup: New court action in West Seattle foreclosure fight http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/followup-new-court-action-in-west-seattle-foreclosure-fight/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/followup-new-court-action-in-west-seattle-foreclosure-fight/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:20:34 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=286074 Today marks one month since the last public event related to the foreclosure/eviction fight involving Jean and Byron Barton and the Morgan Junction home his family owned for decades. August 18th was the day Jean Barton joined in a protest against King County Sheriff John Urquhart, days after its detectives removed her and her family from the house, saying they were being arrested for trespassing. That was four weeks after they had been formally evicted amid a crowd of demonstrators, with Byron Barton carried away on a stretcher.

While the protests and press conferences have faded away, the Bartons’ lawsuit continues, and we have a followup. Making a periodic check of the online files in the case Wednesday, we noticed the Bartons’ lawyer had filed a motion for default judgment against the entities they’re suing, JP Morgan Chase, Quality Loan Service of Washington, and First American Title:

At the heart of the motion: The Bartons’ lawyer Jill Smith pointed out that while the lawsuit was filed in early May, four months had passed and none of the respondents had filed a response. Chase and QLS acknowledged being served, but hadn’t filed responses; FAT hadn’t even acknowledged being served. A deadline was set, and Chase finally filed this response:

The other two respondents did not. We checked with Smith via e-mail on Wednesday, and she replied that they “are awaiting the judge’s signature on the Order for Default Judgment against Quality Loan Service Corp. of Washington and First American Title. JP Morgan Chase filed a woefully inadequate Answer to the Complaint last week, but nevertheless, we will not likely be able to obtain default against Chase.” (This court action does not involve the company that bought the house at a foreclosure auction in April; its “unlawful detainer” eviction action against the Bartons, however, remains under appeal.)

We asked Smith about the Bartons’ housing status, and she replied, “Mr. Barton is still in the facility in Columbia City and Mrs. Barton and her sons made other arrangements after the eviction for their well-being. They are all still seeking long-term housing that will allow them to all live together again.”

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Video: Seattle City Council committee OK’s rules for ‘microhousing’ apartments http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/seattle-city-council-committee-oks-rules-for-microhousing-apartments/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/seattle-city-council-committee-oks-rules-for-microhousing-apartments/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 23:21:35 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=285917

(Added Wednesday morning: Seattle Channel video of this meeting in its entirety)
New city rules for “microhousing” apartments (backstory here) have just passed the City Council’s Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee. We came in on the meeting broadcast late, but in time to hear the passage of two amendments – one requiring two sinks per unit (food-prep and bathroom areas), one that goes beyond microhousing, requiring a city study of residential-area parking policies, with recommendations to be presented next spring. Seven amendments in all were proposed – they’re all linked from the agenda for the meeting that just concluded. The full council will vote on October 6th. If the new rules pass, they won’t affect projects already in the pipeline, including at least two on the drawing board here in West Seattle, where two “microhousing” buildings are now open – both under the Footprint brand – one on Delridge, one on Avalon.

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West Seattle real estate: Price drops and other notes http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-real-estate-price-drops-and-other-notes/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/09/west-seattle-real-estate-price-drops-and-other-notes/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 21:31:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=284990 Watching the ever-busier commercial/multifamily real-estate listings, a few things of recent note:

HOMESTEAD PRICE DROP: When the fire-ravaged Alki Homestead went back on the market last December, it was listed for $1,850,000. At some point, it went off the market, but is back again, categorized as a “new” listing, now at $1.4 million. Here’s the marketing flyer.

ADMIRAL PRICE DROP: Also listed for less, the former Brickyard BBQ site at 2310 California SW in The Admiral District. Seven months ago, we mentioned its initial $1,050,000 listing; now it’s down to $900,000.

3039 AVALON WAY: At least two projects remain in the works on the north side of Avalon (the 3268 microhousing and 3078 apartments), and now there’s a property for sale on the south side – 3039 Avalon Way SW, currently home to a duplex but, the listing says, “allows for 65` height and no parking requirements – ideal apartment location.” Listed at $1,650,000.

4140 CALIFORNIA SW: $1,575,000 is the asking price for this newly listed business-occupied building on the north edge of The Junction.

4857 FAUNTLEROY WAY: Just a block south of starting-soon The Whittaker, this apartment building known as The Dorchester is now up for sale, $1,695,000.

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Eviction-fight followup: Jean Barton says, ‘As far as I am concerned, it is still our home’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/eviction-fight-followup-jean-barton-says-as-far-as-i-am-concerned-it-is-still-our-home/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/eviction-fight-followup-jean-barton-says-as-far-as-i-am-concerned-it-is-still-our-home/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 22:53:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282921

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Jean Barton never did speak at the downtown rally called by housing-justice activists as a followup to the Friday arrests that removed her, her disabled husband, and one of their sons from the Morgan Junction house they long owned, as their foreclosure/eviction fight continues.

The activists, led by the group SAFE (Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction), gathered this afternoon in Courthouse Park, to which they’d summoned the media; we were there along with regional-TV crews. While they engaged in chants denouncing King County Sheriff John Urquhart for the Friday arrests, Jean Barton arrived on the sidelines, and reporters/photographers converged.

She basically had a news conference steps away from where the advocates continued to shout and chant. She said that husband Byron Barton remains at the Seattle VA Hospital, but she wasn’t sure where she would be staying tonight, as she had been put up in a hotel for a few days but that was ending.

She also said, “As far as I am concerned, it is still our home.” Her lawyer explained that their lawsuit alleging illegal foreclosure (90-page PDF) continues to go through the courts, as does their appeal of the “unlawful detainer” complaint that resulted in their original official eviction exactly one month ago.

It was then announced via bullhorn that the protest would move over to the courthouse next door, where the KCSO is headquartered. Demonstrators marched back and forth in front of its 3rd Avenue entrances, while Jean Barton went inside to request a one-on-one meeting with the sheriff, who, as you can hear in our video, wasn’t there, she was told:

KCSO is charged with carrying out eviction orders regardless of whether they are in the jurisdiction of an agency such as the Seattle Police Department. After they evicted the Bartons on July 18th, the couple went back inside the house. SPD arrived on the scene and could have arrested them for alleged trespassing but did not; the following Monday, Mayor Murray announced he had asked SPD to “stand by” while the case played out in court.

After that, the company that bought the house at a foreclosure auction in April, Triangle Property Development, went to court to seek a “writ of mandamus” which would have ordered the city to take action. Last week, King County Superior Court Judge Mariane Spearman denied that request, saying it would have been an extraordinary action to order the city to do something in which it had discretion, while, she said, Triangle had other avenues available for getting possession of the house.

Then last Friday, KCSO showed up at the Morgan Junction house and carried out a search warrant it had obtained, signed by Superior Court Judge Helen Halpert, citing grounds that it had evidence a crime – trespassing – was happening in the house, and swept in around 8 am, arresting and removing the Bartons. Representatives of Triangle promptly occupied the house, saying they were readying it for a renter who would move in quickly. Byron Barton was reported to have been shuttled between the VA Hospital and Harborview before winding up at the former, and that brings us to what unfolded today. What’s next? We’ll continue watching court files, among other sources, to see.

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