3210 California SW’s Design Review meeting postponed because of notice error

(Proposed massing for the development; rendering courtesy Nicholson Kovalchick Architects)
Just got word from a spokesperson for the 166-apartment 3210 California SW development that its Early Design Guidance meeting, scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed because of an error – “when the notice was published, one of the property parcels was not included.” Area residents confirm to WSB that they had sent the Department of Planning and Development a letter this past Monday asking for the postponement because of the error:

The February 21, 2013 Bulletin shows the development terminating at the southern edge of 3234 California Ave SW. In contrast, the design packet shows that actual boundary of the development is the south edge of 3240 California Ave. SW. This is a difference of 95 feet and 9675 square feet. The drawing of the project site on the Bulletin is more than 20% smaller than what is actually proposed. According to the Bulletin, several parcels on 42nd near the south end of the proposed development do not appear to share a boundary with the new building. In reality, the proposed five-story building will directly abut their property lines.

The Seattle DPD must provide proper notice that accurately reflects the size and share of the proposed development. The existing notice misrepresents the size of the development by more than 20% and does not comply with code.

The meeting cancellation is confirmed on the city website, but the new date is not listed yet; the development team expects it to be March 28th – already scheduled for the next meeting on the 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW megaproject – but we’re waiting to hear confirmation from the city. The “packet,” they say, will remain the same. If you still want to show up tomorrow night, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, the development team plans an “informal briefing” but with the caveat that “the board is not required to attend, there is no public comment taken, nor does (city) staff provide any guidance.” We’ll update this story when we hear back from the city about the new date for the official meeting

23 Replies to "3210 California SW's Design Review meeting postponed because of notice error"

  • Diane March 13, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    Good job neighbors!!!

  • Todd March 13, 2013 (7:23 pm)

    We dont need a new Ballard botch job. Leave west Seattle and Take the condos with you

  • Alvis March 13, 2013 (7:54 pm)

    What person or group signed the letter? Whoever wrote it deserves a credit for uncovering the proposal discrepancies and reporting them to DPD in a clear and specific manner.

    • WSB March 13, 2013 (8:30 pm)

      Alvis – This is the same block that was proposed for an upzone in fall 2007, which we covered from the start through its City Council approval in 2010. Both sides of the block abut single-family-home neighborhoods with residents who were closely involved through that process and are now involved in this one. Some of them were at the Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting last night and I was working on a story about that and about their concerns, when this news suddenly broke and we needed to just get the postponement information out there – with the rest of the story to come tomorrow. – TR

  • Seattlite March 13, 2013 (9:24 pm)

    Looks like another horrible beehive design and you know what that means.

  • teemarie March 13, 2013 (11:54 pm)

    It’s to bad that they don’t ban this before its to late. I sure hope they don’t start tearing down all the beautiful homes in West Seattle like they have been doing in some other areas of Seattle Its ruining the beauty and becoming ugly with 5 story up rises. I sure hate this . Seattle used to be so beautiful and have Beautiful homes. There is just to many of these places and there only 1/4 used or to expensive for single family living. This needs to stop. Keep Seattle’s Views Keep Seattle Beautiful .

  • dsa March 14, 2013 (12:53 am)

    I feel sorry for the home owners east of this project. Nothing could have been done to stop it.

  • father of student March 14, 2013 (4:34 am)

    Sad to say West Seattle ain’t what it use to be. There crouding people in here to fill pockets. The bridge is always packed in the A.M. and as one post said, its driving out families to places where there kids have a backyard to play in that Dosent cost 300k+ to have.

  • Dee March 14, 2013 (7:42 am)

    Thank you cayce and gain for messing up our neighborhood!!

  • Eli March 14, 2013 (7:43 am)

    As one of those houses directly east I’m very disappointed to see that model. Hearing it was NK Architects, originally based in West Seattle, on the project gave me some hope that the design might have more perforations, more rhythm to mimic and respect the neighborhood and not create a wall effect there for both pedestrians and those houses to the east. Unfortunately that looks to be the case.

    To Teemarie: Unfortunately they can’t “ban” this, only limit via zoning. Otherwise we start going over the line of public interest and tampering with private property rights. The best bet to influence it is to go to the design meeting when it’s rescheduled and make your concerns heard. I’ll be there

  • smokey March 14, 2013 (7:52 am)

    I guess I’m not sure what the problem is with new building in the area that would allow for multifamily housing that isn’t a run down eyesore.
    West Seattle is such a great place to live. If you work downtown then living here is close enough for a pleasant commute and far enough that we feel a real sense of community.
    The problem is the prices of single family homes are so high, and the taxes are ridiculous. So while a person might be able to afford to live here, they can’t afford the housing. These smaller homes in multilevel properties cause much lower property taxes and affordability for young families.
    It would be nice if there were more comments here representing all sides of this discussion. :(

  • AlkiiRes March 14, 2013 (9:09 am)

    Enough of this madness. Let’s get back control of our neighborhood. Long live SF-3000

  • Alki Area March 14, 2013 (9:33 am)


    All sides? No, the folks on here are 99% NIMBY. They’re happy to rip out an old growth forest for THEIR houses and their supermarkets, but then they want time to stop and their neighborhoods to stop changing. It drives me insane. California Ave is NOT static or supposed to be. It’s different now than 100 years ago, then 50 years ago. If you don’t like this, YOU move. Reality isn’t changing just because you want to live in your childhood memories forever. I’m sorry if this offends folks, but reality is reality. You want to be in a ‘rich’ vibrant city. But what MAKES a rich vibrant city is economic growth…ie. CHANGE. Since I’ve moved here, dozens of new 30+ story buildings have been created, Belltown is entirely different, South Lake Union has been changed radically, one stadium torn down and 2 (soon 3) new ones built, a light rail and tunnels built, highway 99 viaduct about to be torn down. Change. It’s BECAUSE Seattle is growing. If you want a static simple “never changing” neighborhood, move to a tiny town where nothing happens and there’s no economic activity, then your little neighborhood street will be static for a century (the town of 3,000 I grew up in STILL looks almost identical after 40 years). But don’t be silly, don’t live in a city like New York, Seattle, San Francisco and bitch about ‘change’ and how your neighborhood doesn’t look or feel like it did in your childhood. It won’t. Nothing will. Get over it. If the new building being proposed has a SPECIFIC problem (not accessible, removes a needed alley, etc) then complain about those SPECIFIC things. But just not liking it because it’s different, new or bigger than what was there 50 years ago…that’s just fighting reality.

  • Resident of 42nd March 14, 2013 (9:39 am)

    Smokey, it isn’t a problem to have a new multifamily building, per se. It’s the size and shape/bulk of this particular proposal that concerns us. Yes, the existing buildings are unattractive – the majority of them were owned by Cayce and Gain, who allowed them to become the eyesores they are (before selling them to the developer). We – the adjoining neighbors – are hoping to have constructive discussions with the architect and developer to minimize the impact on our properties while still allowing for appropriate development on California. Please come to the Design Review Meeting, whenever it is rescheduled!

  • Diane March 14, 2013 (1:38 pm)

    Eli; re “I’m very disappointed to see that model”; are you referring to the massing model at top of story (which is not what it will look like) or did you hit the link to the “packet” to see the full design so far?
    for all neighbors on 42nd, even though EDG is postponed, if development team is going to be there tonight, I highly recommend going to see what they can show you and ask questions; I plan to stop in; NK does great work and is usually very open to input; please go talk to them tonight; and show up at design reviews
    I participate in most design reviews in West Seattle; every time a new story gets posted here with a massing model, there are tons of comments commiserating about beautiful WS being destroyed by new development; do any of you attend design reviews? they’re open to everyone and you can give input/ask questions; sadly, most are not well attended; sometimes I am the only person from the public; usually there’s only a big crowd when pissed off neighbors all show up; if that’s what it takes to show up, get mad, and come to the design review
    TR has said it a million times about design reviews, neighborhood groups, crime prevention, block watch, etc; if you care, show up; I can tell you from attending all these meetings, that even with TR’s comprehensive coverage, she can only provide a summary and/or video; she’s not going to write every single word of the presentation, questions, comments, or side conversations; you really have to show up to hear/see it all
    I absolutely understand concerns of neighbors on 42nd, and applaud their activism; I met several at the Admiral meeting, and didn’t hear anyone opposed to the design, or the development itself; most agree that what’s there now is ugly and happy to see something new/beautiful; but it will be huge, encroach on their homes, cast shadows, create more traffic in/out of parking garage, etc; and there are valid questions about how they can go to 5 stories, when it got rezoned for 40ft
    I’m an apt dweller, few blocks from this site, and excited to see new apts, retail, good urban design in this area for walkability and to further connect Alaska junction with Admiral junction; so I will be there, ask questions, give input; please join us
    and wow; I just read through some of the very lengthy contentious comments on stories about this from nearly 6 yrs ago; much has changed since then; what hasn’t changed is neighbors usually only show up in large numbers when they’re pissed off; and this one issue alone have sure kept WSB busy with reporting

  • Diane March 14, 2013 (1:41 pm)

    this story has 96 comments, mostly VERY lengthy; explains a lot about the history of this project

  • Resident of 42nd March 14, 2013 (4:23 pm)

    Diane, thanks for the historical links. I hope people understand that the wrath directed at Cayce and Gain (deservedly or not) in 2007 and 2010 should not be transferred to the developer/architect. We have legitimate concerns to discuss with them, sure, but the issues with C&G became personal and they are off the table now. As much as I personally have at stake here (realistically, probably $50-$100K in property value, and that hurts), this discussion needs to be cooperative and respectful in both directions. I think it will be.

  • Eli March 14, 2013 (4:40 pm)

    Diane, I’ve reviewed the packet yes and am aware that is just a massing model as the lead photo, which is the issue. It’s a solid mass, save the entry. And no Alki Area it’s not a NIMBY or a view complaint. It’s a complaint that has to do with solar gains and presence of mass. There are solutions to both using proper materials and geometry. As Diane pointed out NK does good work, I’m looking forward to a good discussion.

  • JLWS83 March 14, 2013 (8:21 pm)

    Alki area have a little heart. Our neighbors on 42nd purchased their homes long before the CA Ave rezone. This overly large apartment building will negatively impact 42nd Avenue homeowners ability to sell their homes and enjoy the full use of those homes.
    How many more apartments do you think we need in WS. Holy Crap! When the idea of Urban Villages was originally discussed in 1990s it was decided WS would not be able to absorb the increased traffic due to our limited ability to increase our infrastructure. Nothing has changed. It is quite possible to over develop an area. Just trying to get on the WS Bridge reminds of this every day.

  • ted nakahara March 15, 2013 (6:15 am)

    Build baby build.
    more people = more taxes
    more people = more consumerisim

  • ivan March 15, 2013 (7:07 am)

    Ever notice how all the apologists for destruction of neighborhoods for profit always use their favorite yuppie buzzword “vibrant,” as if the only alternative to their vision of “vibrant” is “stagnant,” with no imaginable middle ground? If West Seattle, in its present state, is not “vibrant,” then the word has no meaning.

    The density cult insists that we have to build, build, build, because Seattle is growing, growing, growing, and it must be “vibrant,” and that all this new growth will make us more “vibrant.”

    The Census data tell another story. Seattle’s population in 1960 was 557,087. In 2010 it was 608,660. Unless I can’t do simple arithmetic, that amounts to a 9.25 percent increase over 50 years — not exactly what I’d call booming.

    Be very skeptical, is all I’m saying.

  • Carol O. March 16, 2013 (9:26 am)

    Yeah, but your looking at a eight percent increase of around 56,000 people just since the 2000 census, thats a lot of people. To me that puts it in a different perspective, then long term slow growth.

  • bolo March 16, 2013 (7:07 pm)

    ivan they like to use the word synergy also.

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