Design Review for 3078 SW Avalon Way tomorrow: Neighbors’ concerns

(One possible view of 3078 Avalon Way building, from design-review packet)
Tomorrow night (6:30 pm Thursday at the Senior Center of West Seattle), the Southwest Design Review Board gets its first look at 3078 SW Avalon Way, which has grown in proposed size since we first mentioned it here. It’s now proposed for seven stories, 114 units, and 77 parking spaces. Here’s the packet for tomorrow night’s meeting, including neighborhood characteristics and proposed shape/size (massing) schemes. Neighbors have some concerns about the plan. Here’s the top of a flyer they are circulating and shared with us:

From the flyer (which you can see here in its entirety):

Obviously, this will hugely impact our quality of lives and the character of our neighborhood.
• Parking — the developer is proposing only 77 spaces for a 114 units. Where will the overflow park?
• Huge increase in pedestrian and pet traffic — there is no park within easy walking distance; we will certainly see a lot more dogs (and dog poop) in our neighborhood.
• Alley safety and congestion — the development plans to use the alley as a parking entrance.
• Loss of privacy (the apartment residents will be looking right into the houses and backyards of almost all of us who live on 32nd Ave SW).
• Public safety concerns — does more people mean more crime?
• Vehicle traffic on Avalon — already very congested and dangerous.

Note that, as you will hear at tomorrow night’s meeting, some of those aren’t Design Review topics, they are topics for the project’s environmental review, and can be brought up by e-mail or phone to the assigned city planner. But if you are interested in the project, do come tomorrow night – there is always a public-comment period.

35 Replies to "Design Review for 3078 SW Avalon Way tomorrow: Neighbors' concerns"

  • FarleyM September 12, 2012 (7:29 pm)

    Does anyone know who the developer is?

    • WSB September 12, 2012 (7:34 pm)

      It’s on the DPD pages, which are linked to the address in this story – Sergey Savchuk, who apparently is based in Bellingham. Click through to the “contacts” page on the DPD permit/complaint status page.

  • Harry Reems September 12, 2012 (7:36 pm)

    Why does the architecture of our era have to be so bland?

  • Kgdlg September 12, 2012 (7:53 pm)

    So it is ok for all those other huge condo buildings to be on Avalon but not this one? Hopefully the people without cars will choose to live there because they are so close to rapid ride stop…

  • Chrisd September 12, 2012 (8:12 pm)

    Exactly Kgdlg.
    Reminder, we live in a city.

  • rmp September 12, 2012 (8:16 pm)

    Heck with designs! What about roads! Already can hardly get up Avalon Way … can’t get through on Alaska Street, without waiting 3-4 lights (and that’s in the day time!) Thinking of making 35th 1 lane each way! No parking anywhere anymore! Even apts. don’t have to provide parking for “most” occupants anymore! Quit building in West Seattle PLEASE!!! YIKES!

  • dsa September 12, 2012 (8:46 pm)

    The photo shows there is not enough parking already, so no visitors allowed.

  • steve September 12, 2012 (9:34 pm)

    @harry because its not 1920 and materials are expensive. Or its because people living 100 years ago didn’t have much imagination.

    Like also everything else about previous eras was so great. Want to go back to segregation and no teriyaki?

  • anon September 12, 2012 (9:37 pm)

    Amen, Harry. Note to developers: if you have to build, at least make the design inspiring. We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
    – Winston Churchill

  • JasonL September 12, 2012 (9:48 pm)

    Seems like a good use of space along Avalon as it’s along Rapid Ride, walkable to grocery stores, The Junction and other amenities and just up from the bike path. Obviously the NIMBY who put together the flier missed the multiple other 6-7 story condos/apartments that line Avalon and is unaware of the walking trails along Longfellow Creek that are great for dogs. Perhaps they enjoy the boarded up church on the other side of the street in which OCCUPY wouldn’t even try to squat……

  • stephen September 12, 2012 (10:28 pm)

    its unfathomable to me that there would be so few parking spaces for this many units.

  • Shoes required September 12, 2012 (10:46 pm)

    @ChrisD: Seattle’s no city. I’ve seen real cities. Seattle’s a big small town pretending to be a city but it’s built on a tiny patch of dirt — so density matters. Mabe one day it’ll be a city. But if we turn over land to two-bit greedy cheap cheap cheap developers who build only for profit and not to build something that people will admire a hundred years from now, Seattle will remain nothing close to its true potential.

    That said, I’m fine with twenty stories on Avalon. But I’m not fine with lousy, cheap, short-sighted design. And this proposed project’s picture reminds me of all the legion of cheap cheap cheap townhomes the greedhead Dufuses of the world built in backyards all throughout West Seattle. But the way things stand, neighbors can gripe all they want — it’ll be a waste of time. Y’see, Seattle regulates developers the way the SEC regulated Madoff.

  • FauntleeHillsFag September 12, 2012 (11:03 pm)

    @ Kgdlg & Chrisd:

    FOR REAL! Avalon way is an intense transit corridor. Everything there should be high density and minimum parking for those of us who rely on public transit but prefer West Seattle. Number two issue: more dog poop? Hahaha! Really y’all, an apartment building is going to destroy all the things you love?

  • Art Critic September 13, 2012 (12:56 am)

    We moved to WS in ’94. It was a sleepy place back then; no more. Which is cool in a lot of ways. Less so in others. Yes I think it would be worth the investment for “developers” to hire a variety of architects, some with talents worthy of larger budgets. Think Chicago on a smaller scale. ; )

    With more cars brought into WS by more tenants and businesses we need more parking available. We must have better planning for pedestrian traffic as well. We have given Developers a great opportunity to make a lot of money building out our city centers. Let us demand more functionality and aesthetically pleasing form from these large box people containers they are getting rich building, then putting up for sale. Future ghettos they do not have to be.

  • Peter September 13, 2012 (8:34 am)

    Oh no! A new building! It’s the end of the world! Aaaaaaaaaaa!

    I’ve decided to quit taking the anti-housing commenters seriously, but I will be vigorously opposing any group attempting to limit development in my neighborhood.

  • CDB September 13, 2012 (8:58 am)

    I live on Avalon. I pick up an average of 5 poop deposits a day from inconsiderate dog owners who, for some reason, think my yard is an off leash park. Why don’t you come pick up the all the poop and then you will have a right to comment intelligently.

  • JoAnne September 13, 2012 (9:09 am)

    Does anyone still believe the Big Lie told by government and their minions that people who move into these new places will not have cars or will not drive them?
    This exploitation of our neighborhoods by developers and politicians has got to stop!
    WHY do we elect politicians who shake down developers for “low income” housing in exchange for more “massing” and inadequate parking in our neighborhoods?
    Why is there no support for neighborhoods from the wonderful 34th District Democrats?
    I’ll tell you why. Because our Democrat politician like to say they are “helping the poor.” It helps them get re-elected.
    Units are “low income” for only a couple of years, so the developer eventually comes out ahead. By that time, the politicians have what they wanted.
    It’s a win-win situation for everyone but the PEOPLE in the neighborhood. They get saddled with the pressure and competition for resources that are already strained to the max.
    And that lasts FOREVER.
    Elections have consequences. Liberal meddling in the housing market was the cause of all the bad loans that precipitated the financial crisis!
    Now liberal meddling has created our congestion and parking problems by narrowing roads and by allowing buildings with NO parking or insufficient parking.
    Don’t look to the 34th District Democrats for help on this. They are behind this needless destruction.

  • alex September 13, 2012 (9:13 am)

    Half a parking spot per unit? That’s about typical –most likely the absolute legal minimum they can get away with.

    Think of the silver lining though –if nobody that lives there is able to own a car, the rest of W Seattle has less congestion. The alternative is 114 units built with ample parking spots, but then we’d have a hundred new people competing for parking spaces in that little lot behind the husky deli every night.

  • Rachel September 13, 2012 (9:56 am)

    If anyone is concerned about the impacts of this development I encourage them to contact our group. We are not anti-development. We are looking for development that matches the character of, and is sensitive to, the existing community. 3078swavalon(at)

  • Babs September 13, 2012 (10:32 am)

    Can someone address why there are so many rental developments under construction now? Current ones are not full. Their prices seem too high for the demographics. After all this is not Redmond (thankfully.) I think I smell trouble here akin to the 2007 real estate fall.
    Anyone else? Bueller? Bueller?

  • Common September 13, 2012 (10:41 am)

    If more traffic and less parking has any effect on you, you are part of the problem. Change the way you live and the problem, for you, goes away. It’s really very simple.

  • Kgdlg September 13, 2012 (11:32 am)

    I just commented and it is not showing up.
    @Babs, these projects are getting built because o basic supply and demand. Lots of new higher income jobs in Seattle right now (google, Facebook, microsoft, amazon) and little to no new apartments since 2008. This means higher rents. Just check craigslist right now. The market is extremely tight! So investors respond with new projects. No for sale condos are getting built right now. There are still some projects from 2008 that have not sold units yet – mostly downtown but still, this scares investment away. So most projects are getting built as high end rentals that will flip to condos when the for sale market comes back.

    TR can we please do a post on the economics of west Seattle multi family real estate investment sometime soon? Pretty please!

  • bolo September 13, 2012 (12:37 pm)

    Wonder what they are hiding under the minty green blanket on the left side of the building.

  • ray September 13, 2012 (1:06 pm)

    @alex, the project is within the limits of an urban village, so the developer is not legally required to provide any parking.

    • WSB September 13, 2012 (1:09 pm)

      It’s not an urban village that gives you the right not to provide parking. It’s the new rules regarding transit-oriented development. If you are within a certain distance of what is considered rapid transit – and the new RapidRide bus line is – you don’t have to have any parking at all. I have an update coming up later about Nova, the almost-done apartment building near the Y in The Triangle. It too has a ratio of a little over half a space per unit. It will charge extra – and first come, first served – for anyone who wants a space. – TR

  • WSratsinacage September 13, 2012 (3:02 pm)

    Americans have been in love with the auto for more than 100 years. I doubt it is going to stop. Just because someone lives close to a rapid ride doesn’t mean they will give up their car. They might but probably not and therein lies the problem. Might work in theory but not reality as history shows us. I agree with much of what was mentioned above. I wish there was this much concern in 2006 when all this BS started. I feel as others do this is going to backfire one day and no one is listening.

  • Big G September 13, 2012 (3:33 pm)

    The idiots of a city elect a mayor who has a self described “war on cars” agenda. Mayor wins, then inacts agenda. Crazy! Who could have guessed that would happen. Mayor changes development and zoning laws to squeeze cars out. Mayor proposes transportation bills to squeeze cars out. Mayor makes parking unaffordable. Idiots of said city cry about no room for cars. I love living in Seattle.

  • Kgdlg September 13, 2012 (4:55 pm)

    Are people forgetting that it is cars that make congestion? Adding more car spaces here only adds more commuters which only adds more bridge traffic! Yes, some people will choose to live here and park on the street but honestly, we don’t have a parking garage problem in west Seattle we have a people driving cars problem in west Seattle. I say this as one of those people who is part of the problem.

  • sha September 13, 2012 (5:22 pm)

    It makes me sick to see what is happening to west Seattle. Too much new construction going on… Has anyone noticed that we now have street kids hanging around and more homeless then a year ago. ( And mind you i can live with that but) I moved to west Seattle to live in a community where I could get away from the city. If we continue to build, the charm and since of a community and family neighborhoods will be lost forever… It will become another Ballard, do we want that? Do we want to live in a place where it’s all high rise condos and apartments for people WHO live the city life and take our community for granite, like all the Amazon and Microsoft people (or the younger hip crowds is what i’m getting at) who just want cool places to drink and eat? No thanks! I want a place where I can start a family but still be close to the city but no right out my Damn door step.

  • NotMe September 13, 2012 (7:43 pm)

    Oh my… it’s the end of the world. Not another big apartment building!
    I don’t know what building you are speaking of that is mostly empty, but the only reason these keep going up is because there is a demand for it. Whether you like it or not, people like living here in West Seattle. Get used to it.

  • steve September 13, 2012 (9:32 pm)

    those dang young people with jobs who want to live in west seattle… what ingrates!

    you know there’s plenty of space in west seattle besides avalon and the junctions… plenty of houses to choose from to “start a family but still be close to the city but no right out my Damn door step”

  • rmp September 13, 2012 (9:40 pm)

    Common …. If and I mean IF there were other ways to get around West Seattle then a car (when someone is 70 or older then great! Anyone who rides a bike in west Seattle, I say God help them! and The streets aren’t wide enough … Tell me, do you walk 8 blocks uphill to a bus … wait at least 15 minutes in the cold and rain because the bus isn’t on time, saturday and sundays no bus service … a taxi is $$$$$! There are many of us who have lived in West Seattle our whole lives and have family, friends, paid for homes. Our taxes are higher then our original house payments (included insurance and property taxes) … and the city is looking for more and giving less! There are already too many empty homes, apartments in West Seattle, who can afford them! I’d love to live close to stores, restaurants, parks, where I could walk but can’t afford the rent it takes to get there! Called about a studio Apt. close to WS Junction $1300 … retired … that’s more then half my retirement and 401’s Haven’t spent a penny of it but our Government has taken half of it away!

  • Neighbor September 14, 2012 (8:47 am)

    @Joanne-Your blaming the liberals for the banking crisis is wildly inaccurate. If you really believe this you either have absolutely no understanding of what happened or are so partisan that you can’t see the folly of the conservative polices like that of Phil Gram which did indeed cause this recession.

  • george September 14, 2012 (10:21 am)

    Isn’t it crazy that our water/sewer/garbage bill is higher than our mortgage payment…..

  • JN September 15, 2012 (1:05 pm)

    When you design roads with lots of lanes, and provide lots of free parking, people buy cars or use their cars more. The inverse is also true: if you discourage freeloading drivers by charging for parking and by making it more difficult to drive, people will adjust their lifestyle accordingly. And btw, there is no war on cars. If anything there has been an ongoing war on transit, pedestrians, and bicycles ever since the 1930’s when car companies destroyed streetcars across America and brainwashed everyone into redesigning cities and streets to completely exclude bicyclists and to shove pedestrians onto narrow, unsafe sidewalks and then blaming them when they got killed by a Mr. Toad-wannnabe motorist.

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