Since our report yesterday quoting a 3811 California tenant as saying the endangered 80-year-old brick 4-plex across from Charlestown Cafe was apparently being evaluated for city landmark status, we’ve found out more from the city Landmarks Preservation Board. Coordinator Sarah Sodt tells WSB that the board has “asked the property owner to submit a landmark nomination … as part of the MUP-SEPA process.” That’s Master Use Permit and State Environmental Policy Act, both aspects of the development process. According to the city website, “All buildings over 50 years old that are proposed for redevelopment are referred to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board as part of the city’s SEPA policies.” However, Sarah also said the board has not “been in communication” with the owner, and has not arranged for a site tour (contrary to what the tenants were led to believe, apparently), but believes the owner is “working on preparing the nomination” paperwork. The bar for landmark status seems pretty high; the list of official city landmarks in WS contains only two residential properties (the Hainsworth House on 37th, sold earlier this year for $1,490,000, and the Satterlee House, aka Painted Lady, still on the market for $2.2 million). The process is explained here; looks like the next step after the nomination application would be a public meeting. The board’s website says it takes up to a month to determine if an application is “complete,” and it wouldn’t be scheduled for consideration at a public meeting until it is. Here’s the board’s schedule for the rest of the year. If a landmark designation does happen, a whole separate process begins regarding setting guidelines for what can be done with the property and which of its features must be preserved; that’s all outlined here. We’ll keep checking with the Landmarks Board to see how this progresses.
West Seattle, Washington