West Seattle, Washington
After several busy months for the Southwest Design Review Board, their July 25th and August 15th meetings were canceled for lack of projects to review. But it looks like there will be a meeting on August 29th; today, the city penciled one project in for that date – the board’s second look at an apartment project called Junction Flats, 4433 42nd SW. The four-story, 80-unit, ~60-parking-space project’s Early Design Guidance review was back on January 10th; here’s the official city report. This next meeting could be its last, if the board approves its design. The meeting is tentatively set for 6:30 pm Thursday, August 29th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California in The Junction).
Though the plan to close the “Nickelsville” encampment in West Seattle has been final for a while, a semi-related proposal to allow more potential encampment sites in the city didn’t come up for a final vote until today – and a majority of City Councilmembers said no. The proposal sought to set up a process by which temporary encampment sites could be approved, with a long list of rules and prerequisites – you can read them here. Its sponsor, Councilmember Nick Licata, was one of four “yes” votes, along with Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Bruce Harrell, and Mike O’Brien; “no” votes were by Council President Sally Clark and Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Richard Conlin, Jean Godden, and Tom Rasmussen.
(WSB photo from Saturday night; pickup is behind tape in upper left, CR-V in foreground)
3:50 PM: Bail is set at $1 million for the Highland Park man jailed in connection with the deadly Saturday night crash at Delridge and Kenyon. That’s according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which says the 43-year-old man admitted to police that he had been drinking earlier in the evening before taking the wheel of the Chevrolet pickup truck that rolled after colliding with a Honda CR-V. The victim was riding in the back of the pickup and died after being ejected during the crash. Probable-cause documents say the driver was behind the wheel despite having a license suspended for unpaid tickets, including one for violating an order to have an ignition interlock, and had been arrested for alleged DUI in Island County, with the charges eventually reduced. He is due back in court on Wednesday, which is the deadline for prosecutors to file charges. His record includes two days in the King County Jail this past February on a charge of domestic-violence assault.
ADDED TUESDAY: There have been a few questions about circumstances. Here is the entirety, transcribed, of the police-written narrative contained in the probable-cause documents (with names omitted); we’re likely to get something longer if charges are filed tomorrow:
I responded to a traffic collision in the 7900 block Delridge Way Southwest where one person had been killed as a result. I learned from one driver identified as [CR-V driver] he was driving east on SW Kenyon St. behind another vehicle and they both had a green signal in their favor. Another vehicle apparently being operated by [suspect’s name] was southbound, failed to stop for a red signal and they collided. [Officer] reported that the [suspect’s] vehicle rolled over and a person riding in the back was ejected and killed. [Suspect] was transported to Harborview Hospital and the officer guarding him received information from a Seattle Firefighter that [suspect] appeared to have been drinking alcohol. I secured a sample of [suspect’s] blood under authority of a search warrant. The results of the analysis are pending. I met with [suspect] and advised him of his constitutional rights. In response to my questions, [suspect] admitted to drinking alcohol earlier tonight and is a marijuana user but had not used any tonight. [Suspect] had no memory of the collision or what led up to it. According to Washington Department of Licensing (his) driver’s license is suspended 3rd degree for unpaid tickets, one of which is for a conviction of Ignition Interlock Restriction in Seattle Municipal Court. Also (he) has one DUI charge that was reduced to Negligent Driving 1st degree from Island County. While I spoke with (him), I detected foul breath but no odor of alcohol. His speech was slurred and thick tongued and eyes watery and bloodshot. He was also crying.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Right across Fauntleroy Way from the suddenly much-discussed “Whole Foods project” (4755 Fauntleroy Way), a new development proposal has just emerged: A freestanding one-story drugstore with a drive-thru window.
This is notable in the context of 4755 Fauntleroy across the street, because, for most of the year that project has been under review, it’s been described as intended for a drugstore as well as the Whole Foods Market and about 370 apartments.
The drugstore envisioned in renderings for 4755 originally was supposed to have a drive-thru window, but reviewers didn’t like the resulting traffic flow in the supposedly walk-through middle part of the project. So finally at a recent review meeting, architects announced the drive-thru was out. Then at a subsequent meeting, developers admitted that losing the drive-thru might have cost them the drugstore, too.
The potential pharmacy tenant was never signed, the 4755 Fauntleroy project team has repeatedly said, so we don’t know who they were negotiating with. This new proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy does not (yet) have a company name on the documents, but we’ve found clues to one possibility.
Here’s what we have found about the new proposal so far (which does NOT, we should make clear, involve any of the same property owners or development firms as the other side of the street):
A site plan was filed July 23rd for the proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy, the site that’s currently home to West Seattle Produce and Suite Arrangements. City records show the applicant to be Michigan-based The Velmeir Companies. It maps out a “single-tenant retail pharmacy building,” 14,500 square feet, roughly the same size as the nearby Trader Joe’s.
The prospective pharmacy’s name is not mentioned, but the client list on Velmeir’s website includes the drugstore chain CVS, which has locations in multiple states but currently not in ours, according to the corporate website. And we have found that this is one of at least four similar projects that Velmeir is pursuing in the Puget Sound metro area right now. There’s one in Burien’s Five Corners area; also one on lower Queen Anne, at the current site of Kidd Valley Burgers; this story mentions it’s now proposed for a one-story, 16,000-square-foot pharmacy. Then, yet another one is pending along North 45th St. in Wallingford (described as single-story retail). Neither of those three mentions the potential pharmacy by name, but yet another Velmeir proposal in Renton (with mentions CVS in a city document about the development.
The new West Seattle proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy site has two types of zoning, according to documents for this project – from four to eight stories – but again, the proposal on record so far lists a standalone single-story retail building, with 58 parking spaces, which the “site plan” sketch says would be twice what’s required. The drive-thru window is shown on what would be the south side of the new building, with separate entrance and exit driveways off Fauntleroy, and parking is shown north and east of the building.
We are following up with multiple sources including Velmeir; meantime, we have confirmed with the city that this project will require Design Review, as does anything in an NC zone over 4,000 square feet.
West Seattle’s next new restaurant, Westcity Sardine Kitchen, opens Friday at 3405 California SW, and will serve dinner seven nights a week. We’ve been watching this one for a long time; check the backstory:
December 2010 – The Bohemian abruptly closes.
August 2011 – The site sells to an “experienced restaurateur” (eventually revealed as the owner of Bick’s Neighborhood Grill in Greenwood).
January 2012 – A liquor-license app spills the name “West City Sardine Kitchen” (the first space has since been removed).
September 2012 – After months of attempts to get more information about the future restaurant and its status, via phone calls, in-person visits, notes on the door, we receive a postal-mailed letter from its proprietors, explaining their plan of a “simple neighborhood dinnerhouse” in the vein of Bick’s and co-owned, nearby Saltoro.
June 2013 – A help-wanted ad for the new restaurant appears on Craigslist.
We’ve gone by almost daily ever since, hoping to find someone to follow up with. And today, we connected with staffers who tell us they’re opening Friday, August 2nd, and will be open 5-10 pm daily thereafter – the “simple neighborhood dinnerhouse” as explained in that September letter.
Read on for photos of the menu, and more info:
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
This morning, a case we’ve been checking on since last fall is resolved: The hate-crime case against 35-year-old Ryan J. Cox has ended with a guilty plea, and he is out of jail after sentencing last Friday.
This case dates back to last October, when Cox was charged with malicious harassment (hate crime) and third-degree assault after hitting a man four times with a baseball bat as they exited a bus on Avalon Way, with Cox shouting homophobic slurs because of his perception of the man’s sexual orientation.
Police arrested Cox the next day at Solstice Park northeast of Lincoln Park, an area he has been known to frequent since his previous involvement in high-profile cases.
(Northern Flicker woodpecker photographed Sunday by Mark Wangerin)
Relatively quiet day/night on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, but a few things to mention:
ANOTHER VOTER-REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Too late to register to get a ballot by mail for next week’s primary, but if you’re not registered and want to be, you have one last chance – do it in person, today. (Follow that link and scroll down for the locations – downtown or Renton – where you can do it.)
COUNCIL VOTE ON ENCAMPMENT ORDINANCE: Not directly related to “Nickelsville,” given the separate action to close it, but for those interested in the ongoing issue of allowing encampments on city-owned or private property – the proposed ordinance is on the City Council’s 2 pm agenda today at City Hall.
NIGHTLIFE: Trivia/pub quiz night, at venues listed on the calendar.
(Live view from the west-facing WS Bridge camera; other cameras are on the WSB Traffic page)
6:03 AM: Happy Monday! One traffic note for today – while the current phase of the Delridge repaving work does NOT require detours, related work on SW Orchard east of Delridge will require traffic to alternate use of a single lane every day this week – here’s the announcement.
9:09 AM: Again today, commenters have mentioned an SPD motorcycle officer stationed – standing – by the exit lane to northbound 99, watching for bus-lane violators. “Like a sentry,” as Joe put it, sending this photo:
Joe took the photo as his RapidRide bus passed.