West Seattle, Washington
2 sizable projects in the south half of West Seattle got a second look from the Southwest Design Review Board tonight. One will be the new home of Swedish Auto Repair, at 7901 35th, currently home to the ex-Adventist church building and a Mars Hill bus pen; concerns from board members and neighbors have sent it back to the drawing board for one more round of revisions, particularly regarding the need for its 30-plus-foot-high L-shaped building fronting 35th and Kenyon to be more streetfront-friendly. However, city planner Holly Godard did laud the project for its voluntary “green” features such as solar panels and rainwater-collecting barrels. So that one will be back for one more SWDRB meeting. This next project, though, got the green light:
That’s what you’re going to see in a year or two at California/Graham, kitty corner from the almost-condos of Strata, north of the ex-Chuck and Sally’s. We knew this would be “live/work units” as well as townhouses, but now we have even more details:Read More
Thanks to Elisabeth for sending this photo of the carefully crafted light display at 39th & Dakota; she warns it doesn’t do the lights justice, but the way we look at it, the pix are generally just to give you a hint there’s something cool at such-and-such an address, get out and see it if you’re holiday-lights fans like we are. Every display we’ve featured, going back to the very first one of the year — Salty’s, featured here on November 12 — is on our clickable, printable West Seattle Christmas lights map (find it on the WSB Holidays page) and in this archive.
As you probably know, the “Walk All Ways” intersection at California/Alaska was purposely preserved during the recent California repaving. But some still wonder if its time has come and gone, such as Robert Hull, who sent this letter-to-the-editor-style writeup to WSB for discussion:
Time To Rethink the Junction â€œAll Way Walkâ€
I think it is time to reconsider the â€œAll Way Walkâ€ at the West Seattle Alaska Junction. It was fine for a while, but with the increasing traffic in the area, I believe that it should be returned to a â€œnormalâ€ traffic light, which would include free right turns, and a walk button for pedestrians wishing to cross the street. This would potentially reduce the amount of high volume traffic on our residential streets, since more people would use the Junction intersection rather than residential areas.
For several years I have avoided the Alaska Junction intersection due to the amount of time needed to get through the area. Instead, I have been using the residential side streets to get around this congestion. Now, we are finding that many other people are using our residential street as a major arterial. The amount of traffic on our once-quite street has increased about 200% in the last six months and most cars are traveling between 25 and 35 MPH, with some cars coming through at about 40MPH (speed limit is 20MPH on residential streets).
With all of the new condos being built in the area, and additional units coming on-line in the next few years (QFC and Whole Foods developments), the traffic problem will only get much worse. As a pedestrian, I liked the idea of the â€œAll Way Walk,â€ since it was rather unique and made for some interest in our neighborhood. But the â€œAll Way Walkâ€ is no longer practical due to the large amount of traffic. It is also a safety issue, since it is only a matter of time before a pedestrian gets injured or killed with cars traveling 40MPH on residential streets.
The main questions left for us after the Denny/Sealth discussion at last night’s Seattle School Board meeting (which we covered with in-progress reports here and here) were, what now, and when? We got some new info today from West Seattle’s school-board rep Steve Sundquist. But first – we wanted to let you know, if you want to watch the meeting, particularly the testimony on this project during the public-comment period near the start, the video is now available online at the Seattle Channel site. (Regardless of where you stand on the project, you have to agree it’s particularly heartening to see students show up and speak to the board.) Back to “what’s next” — Sundquist says the Denny/Sealth “work session” at 4 pm January 9th will be open to the public; he tells WSB its format and participants are not all set yet, but he’s expecting there to be “some element of presentation” as part of it. He thinks it’ll last an hour to an hour and a half, since it’s before the board’s regular meeting at 6 pm that same night. As for any sort of a deadline to decide whether the Denny/Sealth project will proceed, change, or be scrapped altogether, Sundquist acknowledges that West Seattle families’ enrollment decisions make this time-sensitive as well as the oft-cited construction-cost factor, so he hopes it will be settled “within the first couple months of the year.”
Moments ago, the sunset from Fauntleroy:
Earlier, Dawson sent this panorama (thank you!) of the Olympics making their appearance this morning:
And we checked back on the Admiral Way median tree-planting progress a little while ago – about half were planted when we went by – here’s one:
That’s the latest from Metro.
Jeff Sullivan from the tree lot at Skyline Secure Park (Harbor Ave across from the 7-11) is giving away his last few trees – he wanted to give ’em to charities but contacted a few local nonprofits and is having trouble reaching folks so now he said, put out the word on WSB, anyone’s welcome to get one, bring your own twine, you haul. First come, first served – his only requirement, he says, is that you “have a Merry Christmas!”
Tonight, the Southwest Design Review Board is set for its final recommendations on the project planned for 6053 California, currently home of the former Butcher Block Espresso/martial arts/butcher shop/etc. building shown above (future townhouses and “live/work” units), and 7901 35th (ex-church, future auto repair). The meeting starts @ 6:30 pm in the library at Denny Middle School (different location than usual).
As announced by the city Department of Transportation, crews are out on the repaved stretch of Admiral right now, planting trees in the medians.
In a separate project, we have word from Seattle City Light of major tree work coming to West Seattle early next year: The utility is ramping up its tree trimming, so that it can work toward a cycle of ensuring that every tree near its lines citywide is checked every four years for proper clearance – 10 feet from the wires. We were downtown at the Municipal Tower yesterday talking with City Light’s Scott Thomsen, who tells WSB that the next big round of trimming work will be here in West Seattle. Here are some details:Read More
DEVELOPMENT NOTE: You’ve probably noticed that crews also have torn down the ex-Mailbox West/Eyes Rite building as well as the old green rentals in the 4100 block of California. (Rowdy reminiscences on the latter have turned up in comments here, by the way.) And now the city building permit for the mixed-use replacement is official.
BUSINESS NOTES: The newest WSB sponsor, Curious Kidstuff, has added a coupon to its ad on the right sidebar – click the ad or this link and print the ensuing coupon to take it in for your 20% discount, through Christmas Eve. … Another WSB sponsor note: Click! Design That Fits in the Admiral District has just launched a blog – including a preview of the Christmas cookies that proprietors John and Frances Smersh will be offering during tonight’s final Late Night Thursday shopping event at the store … Belated anniversary congratulations to Beato, which has been open one year as of last night; next big occasion is a special New Year’s Eve menu that’s linked from the WSB Holidays page, where we’ll be adding more WS NYE festivities as we find them. Also on the Holidays page — we are working today to wrap up the Christmas Eve/Day info list of grocery-store and coffee-shop hours (just heard from WSB sponsor Hotwire, which will be open 8 am-2 pm Christmas Day).
COMMUNITY NOTES: Just added to the WSB Events page, the free “Giving Back” dinner and entertainment event at Southwest Community Center tomorrow night, and another fundraiser coming up January 19 for the West Seattle High School Travel Club.
… is reading this story about West Seattle naturalist/author Lyanda Lynn Haupt and what she sees on the Sound – and checking out this photo @ Beach Drive Blog.
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