West Seattle development: 3 Morgan Junction houses proposed to make way for apartments, rowhouses, more

South of Morgan Junction, development plans are on file for the sites of three houses on the west side of the 6900 block of California SW. For starters, the three lots themselves are part of a “lot-boundary adjustment” proposal.

The largest proposed structure is a 3-story, 30-unit apartment building with no parking, proposed for the southernmost site, 6917 California SW, which now holds the 102-year-old house in the photo above. Meantime, 6911 California SW, the 99-year-old house in our next photo, is proposed as the address of a 4-unit rowhouse townhouse building.

And 2 single-family homes are proposed along the alley on the west side of the sites, at the address 6915 California, currently holding this 99-year-old house:

The lots are zoned LR-2, which according to the city guide says homes can be up to 25 feet, rowhouses and apartments up to 35 feet (that’s the maximum with bonus height for a roof of a certain pitch). The developer for the rowhouses/houses sites is listed on city webpages as DL Builders, currently about to build two houses on teardown sites a few blocks uphill, in the 7300 block of California SW.

103 Replies to "West Seattle development: 3 Morgan Junction houses proposed to make way for apartments, rowhouses, more"

  • Alki Resident October 16, 2013 (7:12 pm)

    30 unit apt building with no parking,yep, that sums it up. Keep packing them in folks. We’re in big trouble.

  • Iggy October 16, 2013 (7:23 pm)

    Oh great, no parking for a 30 unit apartment.

  • Todd October 16, 2013 (7:30 pm)

    3 story, 30 unit apt. building…with no parking. Great.

  • cjboffoli October 16, 2013 (7:54 pm)

    To the new people moving to West Seattle: Welcome!
    To the people who put their antiquated overuse of private cars above the new people coming to make our community a more vibrant place: Deal with it!

  • flimflam October 16, 2013 (8:14 pm)

    wow. amazing to think that nobody here will drive a car…

    also amazing is the “deal with it” comment. yeah, vibrant, that’s it.

  • koni October 16, 2013 (8:18 pm)

    No parking???? When will the permitting process address this? Not everyone can bike to work…and the buses are not adequate…these tenants will have cars…where will they park?

  • West Seattle Hipster October 16, 2013 (8:21 pm)

    Unfortunately, cjboffoli hit the nail on the head; we will all be dealing with it.

  • Rs October 16, 2013 (8:39 pm)

    I wholeheartedly agree with Cjboffoli…but give us some real public transit!

  • JanS October 16, 2013 (8:50 pm)

    so, Christopher, when you get a call to cover a crash on West Marginal at 1am, do you ride your bike? Bus? walk? you sold your antiquated car….right?

  • JanS October 16, 2013 (8:52 pm)

    we all know that some of these new people coming to make our community so “vibrant” will have cars…it’s a given…and they will park them on the street in front of businesses, and other peoples homes…

  • Amanda October 16, 2013 (8:52 pm)

    Density without transportation capacity?! Join the West Seattle Transportation Coalition. http://www.westseattletc.org
    Take a stand!

  • metrognome October 16, 2013 (8:56 pm)

    that’s right across from my condo; I don’t have a view but some of my upper floor neighbors used to … the east side of the block has more than its share of large multi-family buildings (5 between Myrtle and Frontenac) and more to the south. There is little street parking now and the residential side streets are crammed.
    BTW, are the directionals in the story correct? California is a N / S street, so isn’t 6917 the southernmost site? And isn’t 6915 ‘along the alley to the north’?

    • WSB October 16, 2013 (8:58 pm)

      Metro, yes, 6917 is the southernmost. The alley is west of the properties, however.
      Amanda – I am here at MoCA as Joe S. is presenting on behalf of WSTC, in fact.

  • DTK October 16, 2013 (9:20 pm)

    Christopher cannot see the forrest for the trees.

  • C October 16, 2013 (9:28 pm)

    Awesome Response JanS !!!!

  • kgdlg October 16, 2013 (9:28 pm)

    And the development finally makes its way down to Morgan!

  • Me October 16, 2013 (9:32 pm)

    It’s so sad what has become of West Seattle. I once loved it here but no longer do. It’s a huge thing to sell a house and move but it’s our plan.

  • Seattlilte October 16, 2013 (9:42 pm)

    The developers and the city don’t care about the lack of parking for multi-tenant buildings. They just care about the highest rents and taxes they can charge you.

  • jW October 16, 2013 (9:53 pm)

    This is a great place for just this kind of project.

    Opposing this kind of project is a great way to price even more “normal” people out of the city. Prioritizing parking above all other concerns helps make everything more costly. Go ahead and scream and scoff. Have you done as much research about it as the author of this article?


    Oh right, that doesn’t compare to your own experience. Sorry if I’m sounding like an A-1 a* hole here. I’ve just read too many comment threads on development lately,

  • WSGal October 16, 2013 (9:59 pm)

    The only people that can afford these expensive apartments are people who prefer driving their cars rather than taking public transportation. Not people pinching pennies and using our metro system (which is a great system, not knocking it… although WS’s needs work, especially around the Morgan junction). This is a ridiculous proposition!

  • WSGal October 16, 2013 (10:01 pm)

    Plus, that looks like a nice house! I’d rather live in the house than another obnoxious apartment building…

  • Amanda October 16, 2013 (11:04 pm)

    @jW – I don’t think you are an a*hole. I think you have a valid point. But I think that in reality, adding an apartment building with no parking is not thinking about the neighborhood. Density is our destiny in West Seattle. But without proper transportation planning, we will end up with a total mess.

  • Flan Kittridge October 16, 2013 (11:17 pm)

    C: Awesome? More like ridiculous. As if West Seattle’s traffic and parking problems are caused by a couple of blog reporters driving around at 1 a.m. The problem is that we lack better public transit options because people care more about driving there own cars. Also, we still build too many homes in places where you can only get to them with a car. The truth is most people are too selfish to change. Only when every parking space and road is packed with cars will people understand that we just don’t have the room for everyone to drive cars everywhere they want.

  • Skittles for Marshawn October 16, 2013 (11:29 pm)

    For what it’s worth, we’re in the process of buying a nice house in Morgan Junction and one of the factors in our decision is the proximity to the C-Line. I don’t think it’s accurate to say only people who are pinching pennies utilize public transit. Local businesses will benefit from this, and I agree it will add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood.

    How about asking Zipcar to open more lots in WS? Taxis, Lyft, and Uber don’t have a huge presence in WS right now — perhaps they could be encouraged to send drivers to WS and the incoming tenants could be educated on these services.

    I look forward to moving to the ‘hood.

    • WSB October 17, 2013 (12:19 am)

      Skittles! Welcome in advance. Thank you for speaking up. That might be a topic for the new West Seattle Transportation Coalition to include along with what they are tackling – might even be in their manifesto already – more sharing. Zipcar, I believe, is somewhat on the decline (someone correct me if I’m wrong), but car2go has been on the ascendancy …

  • metrognome October 17, 2013 (12:00 am)

    fyi, there are Rt 22 stops in this block and the RapidRide stops are about 2-3 blocks away.
    TR, thanks for the clarification … 6915 is to the north but the alley is to the west of both properties. I got tangled in the wording.

  • datamuse October 17, 2013 (12:13 am)

    jW, it’s too late for a lot of people I know already…they’re moving away because they can’t afford to live here anymore. (Oh, but according to some, they’re “transients” because they’re renters…even though they’re from here. Pfft.)
    We do need better transit. Some of us would PREFER not to drive and penny pinching has nothing to do with it.

  • anonyme October 17, 2013 (6:26 am)

    The bottom house pictured is the only one that is demolition material. The top two are nice, old, character-laden enhancements to our neighborhood. Aside from the parking issue, I guarantee that the POS housing that replaces them will not be standing gracefully in 100 years as these houses have. Developers are going to continue to push through their crappy housing plans as fast as they can before something changes – like, they’re actually required to consider something other than their own profits.

    BTW, I have never owned a car and never will.

  • Kgdlg October 17, 2013 (7:27 am)

    MOCA contacted zip car about a year ago to ask them to return to Morgan junction. We were told “no” essentially, that they instead are goin where the density is going, or further north at Alaska junction.

    Whether you agree or not with this building, if everyone out their energy into transit concurrency, maybe we would actually get a more functioning bus system!

  • Mike October 17, 2013 (8:14 am)

    It’s a good thing they don’t have toilets in those new apartments and condos, I’d hate to think of the sewage overflow issues. It’s okay, they don’t see that, until it floats up in Puget Sound during heavy rains.

  • BigJerk October 17, 2013 (8:17 am)

    YAY!! Rich people getting richer! Great planning. Is there anything that can be done to stop this type of bs from occurring?

    • WSB October 17, 2013 (8:25 am)

      If you didn’t mean that to be a rhetorical question:

      1. Buy the property or convince property owners not to sell to developers.
      2. Change the zoning.
      3. Change the “no parking required” rules, which are relatively new.
      For anyone not familiar with this area, California SW has multifamily housing on both sides for those few blocks south of California/Fauntleroy – this site includes three of the last few old houses still left fronting Calif in that area. Kind of like the remaining few cottages on Alki SW. Some of the multifamily housing looks to date at least to the ’70s; I’m not sure how old the tall buildings to the east are. What IS different is the parking (non)requirement.

  • Mike October 17, 2013 (8:39 am)

    The parking rules are part of McGinn’s new rules on development. As I’ve stated in past posts, there are two reasons this is happening. McGinn’s rules are a tax cut for the developer (they actually get a tax cut for not putting in parking for each unit) and the cost of development is far less (millions less) because there will not be a need for the same shoring reinforcements. Developers love this stuff, they spend less on the project and just keep raking in cash on them without regard for the neighborhood.

  • WSgal October 17, 2013 (8:42 am)

    I live and work in West Seattle, and it saves me money and time to drive my own car to and from work rather than take the bus. So I shouldn’t have said that about penny pinching. Driving my car saves me money, I love my car, and doesn’t it just make sense to have a parking spot for wherever you live?
    I get it, you want people to Get With It and Quit Complaining About Change! WS is booming from this added population of people, I think it’s great. However, continuing to build these monstrosities will just be an eye sore twenty years from now and no parking spots? Hello zoning permits and parking tickets, why move in that direction? Why not build apartments with parking spots? Wouldn’t that be a great selling point for the apartment complex?
    I live near a handful of apartments with no parking spots, and believe me, they have cars!! And they have to park blocks from their house (talked to a woman who lives in one of the apartments about it two weeks ago, she was complaining about WS and their new apartments, how its a luxury to get a parking spot…). It simply does not make sense.

  • sam-c October 17, 2013 (8:53 am)

    yeah, I wonder if the people selling those houses knew they were going to developers who were going to knock them down …. ?

    all these development proposals that keep popping up make West Seattle seem to be more family un-friendly… that’s why we moved here- cause West Seattle was so family friendly. I’ve looked at the floor plans (the leasing plans) and info on these places. most of them are one bedrooms. and if there are a few 2 bedrooms thrown in, the rent is $500 more than our mortgage on our 2 bedroom house on a 6000 sq ft lot.

    and yes obviously it is possible to cart around small children by public transit if you have lots of time on your hands and children that don’t ever cry… but. with the day care situation as difficult as it is around here (ie, waitlists so long that they won’t put you on it), you have to take a spot wherever you can find one. and I feel bad if you have to take kids to day care without a car: take the kid by bus to day care, then take a bus to work. I once did a trip planner to see what it would take: 2 hours for a trip that takes 30 minutes by car (and that’s not even leaving west seattle) sorry I opt not to spend 4 hours on a bus just so I can be car free to/from day-care/ work.

    surely your experience may vary if you are able to get a spot in a day care that you can bike or walk to.

    bye bye family friendly West Seattle…

  • Ivan Weiss October 17, 2013 (8:56 am)

    Before Seattle allows apartments and (shudder) rowhouses to be built without parking, wouldn’t it be just a little bit prudent to ensure that Metro is fully funded, and that we don’t get the 17 percent cuts that the county is promising us if that doesn’t happen?

    The entire rationale of allowing housing to be built without parking is that people will use transit. Fine. Show me the transit. Show me that the proposed transit for this area will be adequate to accommodate the projected increase in population.

    Because if it isn’t, the faith-based arguments of Boffoli and others that the neighborhoods will be more “vibrant” will be true only to the true believers. It will be hell for everybody else. People need to get to work, to earn money to live on. They will do it whichever way suits them best, and that includes cars, no matter how fervently Boffoli believes otherwise. “the people who put their antiquated overuse of private cars above the new people coming to make our community a more vibrant place” is so smug, so elitist, and so cluelessly judgmental I hardly know where to begin. Who made you the arbiter of whether someone is “overusing” their vehicle or not? And what makes the “new people” some superior class, and who says they will make the neighborhood “more vibrant?”

    And while we’re at it, let’s re-examine the Fauntleroy road diet. The now thankfully departed Widstrand insisted that if population south of Morgan Junction rose high enough to put more cars per day on Fauntleroy (I can’t recall the exact number off the top of my head), that the city could restripe Fauntleroy back to the previous four-lane configuration. If traffic volume does reach that threshold as a result of this development, and the transit doesn’t materialize, then it should be time to revisit that one.

    Bottom line: If you want cars off the streets, put the transit in place FIRST. Otherwise build the parking spaces, or the cars will come.

  • Anonymous October 17, 2013 (8:59 am)

    I’m all for new development, but it’s just unrealistic to be building apartments with no parking. I lived at the Link for a while and almost the entire garage was full every night. Even if people take the bus to work, they doesn’t mean they don’t have a car.
    Is it too late for them to add parking? Or is it a done deal?

  • DV October 17, 2013 (9:28 am)

    I live in one of the apartments on this block, and we’re already strapped for street-side parking after 7, including Willow street. Not looking forward to this…

  • Azimuth October 17, 2013 (9:36 am)

    It is simply impractical to not provide any parking for an apartment building of that size (minimum of 30 residents, likely more at any given time) and will have long-term detrimental impact on the neighbors. The 2 “single-family dwelling units” will be on the alley (ugh!) and will also feature the no parking amenity. The townhouses say they will have surface parking but I’ve never seen parking at these types of homes be useful. It’s insane to think none of these people will have cars and rely exclusively on transit, ever. Those parked cars will spill into surrounding areas, including blocking parking for the handful of nearby business. I don’t have a problem with increasing density – we choose to live in a city after all – but unless we have intelligent growth and infrastructure guidelines to match, our lovely corner of Seattle (and many of the other parts of the city, too) will suffer for years to come from short-term thinking and profit. The people writing these rules don’t have to live with the consequences.

  • wsn00b October 17, 2013 (9:58 am)

    Transit and parking are orthogonal issues. It is completely idiotic to permit apartment buildings without atleast 1:1 parking.


  • David October 17, 2013 (10:14 am)

    While I wholeheartedly agree that we need better public transportation, and would probably use it if it reasonably met my commuting needs, there’s one thing I’ve noticed about those who constantly, self-righteously natter at the rest of us to end our “antiquated use of private cars.”
    That thing is that, whenever I find that I’m going in their direction and offer them a ride to that place, not one of them EVER replies, “No thanks- I’d rather walk in the rain to the nearest bus stop, wait half an hour, and then sit on a bus full of drunks & thugs for the two hours and three connections it takes to get to my final destination.”

    Weird, that…

  • Sea October 17, 2013 (10:15 am)

    Can’t help wondering how many of the constant complainers on this blog with regards to parking and traffic issues are part of the huge team effort of single occupant vehicles that back up the west Seattle bridge daily. Amusing hypocrisy of exceptional west Seattle every time a post about new construction pops up.

  • Amie October 17, 2013 (10:17 am)

    No parking = West Seattle will soon be as much a place to avoid as Downtown. Come on down to White Center – still ample free parking here. :)

  • David October 17, 2013 (10:21 am)

    So, it sounds like a bunch of the neighbors need to meet with a lawyer who can file some form of injunction.

  • MrClean October 17, 2013 (10:25 am)

    I have to agree with sam-c’s comments about the impracticality of the bus system. At one time, while living in Arbor Heights, I worked downtown. The EXPRESS bus in the morning took 45 minutes from where I got on to where I got off. Once the Water Taxi started running, it was faster to drive down to the Water Taxi and take it across. Before I left Seattle, I was living in Arbor Heights and working in Pioneer Square, and again explored public transit options. Since I was going to the gym on Alki 2 mornings and 2 nights during the week, I would have wound up with bus commutes to/from Pioneer Square that would have approached 2 hours. Seattle is great for ideas and intentions, but very poor on execution.

  • Billy October 17, 2013 (10:37 am)

    I agree with JanS. This no parking is ruining West Seattle. No more permits until the transportation issues in West Seattle have been solved. They will have cars. Get a clue Chris B !

  • Galactus October 17, 2013 (10:39 am)

    West Seattle: We are allowed to take up parking spaces, but these “other people” are not.

  • jonnie Gilman October 17, 2013 (10:42 am)

    Density is the problem. Quality of life is eclipsed by density.

  • Stace October 17, 2013 (10:50 am)

    This building crap has got to stop. In this neighborhood (Morgan Junction)….my neighborhood we’ve watched two condo projects just completed with no parking. Side streets (Holly) are almost impassable. More and more housing is going up and more and more busineses are closing or moving out. Traffic, parking are becoming a serious issue and no one is addressing this issue. West Seattle is in serious trouble.

  • Steve October 17, 2013 (10:53 am)

    To all you self rightous bus riding,bike riding folk posting here. Seems to me its your way or nothing. Some of us do not have the choice but to drive our cars to make a living. Sorry that makes me selfish but I have a mortgage to pay and need to put food on the table. Also when you are stuck in the bus on the West Seattle bridge and it takes over an hour to get downtown because we have overbuilt beyond our infrastructure I won’t feel bad for you at all. Yes, I believe there is a middle ground but you have to consider some “selfish” folk are going to drive their evil cars no matter what you believe.

  • Elisa October 17, 2013 (10:55 am)

    They should require underground parking and money for transit.

  • pjmanley October 17, 2013 (10:59 am)

    Wow, the naivete sometimes floors me. Complaints about no parking are equated with knuckle dragging, antiquated thinking, huh? OK folks, but here’s the rub: At least half, and more likely 3/4’s of those new residents will own cars, as is the case with all the apartments, town homes and duplexes going up all over. With new residents come more cars, period. That’s reality. Now grow up and deal with that instead of doing the bidding for developers skating free of impacts they happily dump all over the surrounding community.

  • JW October 17, 2013 (11:18 am)

    Whenever I read the national press and get depressed because the country with the biggest economy in the world can’t feed and educate and keep its poor people healthy, I turn to the WS Blog to remind me why I live someplace with a lot of great stuff going on. And then I end up mired in depressing threads like this one, which reveals that the problem around here arousing the greatest passion is that someone can’t pull up directly in front of their destination and park their car.

  • Alki Resident October 17, 2013 (11:31 am)

    Boffoli- Thats the most ignorant statement Ive see in a long time. “Deal with it” ? Do you not rely on a vehicle all of a sudden? Do you park in the middle of the street if you cant find parking or just not go to that business you’re trying to go to? Unless you are completely blind or something, West Seattle sooner or later is going to be so packed with cars and people, there is not going to be any room to move around. The bus can take you so many places in a day. For most, it’s not taking folks on the commute they go to. I’ve yet to see a bike built for a family of 4 or 5. Nor would I risk my childrens lives to be on one either. Open your eyes Boffoli.

  • Jrr October 17, 2013 (11:47 am)

    If the intention of new, parking-free development is to appeal to younger residents, who by and large are proven by research to not be flocking to car ownership, then this sounds like a great place to be. If only transit were up to snuff. Developers should have to put funds toward transit in these situations.

  • Rick October 17, 2013 (11:51 am)

    Solution: Mcginn issues executive order disallowing car ownership in Seattle unless you vote for him. Then magically, everybody will ride bikes and busses and walk. It’s a known fact that his supporters don’t own cars. “Deal with it” is right up there with “You’ll get used to it”. As always- “follow the money”.

  • cjboffoli October 17, 2013 (12:03 pm)

    I don’t see naiveté here as much as I see pure, unadulterated denial. I feel like I’m living in 11756 as opposed to 98116. Cars are absolutely not an inevitability and they’re certainly not an entitlement. It’s already clear that we simply don’t have the capacity for everyone to drive and park a private car wherever and whenever they want. And looking at growth projections it is only going to get worse. We simply can’t pretend that we can keep doing things this way without consequences. And we can’t keep new people away from West Seattle just because we feel like we each deserve to drive a private car everywhere.
    Cities work best precisely because of their density – because of different people and different ideas bumping into each other – not when we’re insulated by cars and by houses surrounded by wide lawns. So forgive me for preferring to welcome our new neighbors as opposed to advocating more car use. But I just don’t think I have the right to try to keep people away simply because I want to maintain my own sense of personal convenience.

  • pjmanley October 17, 2013 (12:08 pm)

    @Jrr: Problem is that people age, get married, have kids, switch jobs, etc. and a large percentage of those “younger residents” morph into people that, at 25, they wouldn’t dream of becoming at 35: Dreadful car owners! If they aren’t owning and using cars, where are all these cars clogging our neighborhoods coming from? This isn’t about preferred options for the future. It’s about what’s happening right now, as the cars just keep coming and coming, despite peoples fantasies.

  • villagegreen October 17, 2013 (12:12 pm)

    I’m all for more density within the designated ‘Urban Villages’ of West Seattle. This will incontrovertibly be good for local businesses and make a more vibrant community. Unfortunately, the politics of this city is so backwards that the only way things change is once they get to a breaking point.

    West Seattle will never get adequate mass transportation until the current situation becomes unbearable. Without reaching a critical mass West Seattle will continue to have sub-par transit options. This increased density is the only way we’ll eventually get the transportation system we deserve over here. Bitch about it all you want, but you voted these people into office. They are only allowing what you have given them the authority to approve.

  • bettytheyeti October 17, 2013 (12:14 pm)

    Yup, it’s time neighbors to “lawyer up.”

  • robespierre October 17, 2013 (12:47 pm)

    You’ll get over it.

  • Bunnyfer October 17, 2013 (12:56 pm)

    Walkable and busable is wonderful! But no parking is simply unrealistic. I like being close to all that WS has to offer, and I occasionally do walk or take public transit. But let’s get real – people ARE going to want, need, and have cars. Groceries, day care, work, late night outings, and visits to friends at places where the bus system cannot service are all reasons to have a car.

    So how do we solve the issue of higher density without higher car usage? Car2Go is a great new business model, but they will need to expand into southern areas. Mass transit will need to be exponetially improved – both in usability (like all-night buses) and capacity. And the city should provide incentives for taking mass transit (anyone remember the movie “Singles”? “If you provide them with good coffee, and good music…”). And if we want these things (even if we ourselves rarely use them) then we need to subsidize them with our tax dollars.

    Find more amenities that are closer together, make fewer trips, and keep working toward a more inclusive – not exclusive – neighborhood.

  • Dan October 17, 2013 (1:00 pm)

    If you propose a building without parking, a wail arises about all these newcomers parking on the street. If you propose a building with parking, a wail arises how about traffic on the bridge is intolerable already, we can’t possibly add new cars!

    Get real people. The only thing that’s going to accomodate growth in West Seattle is rail transit. (I hope nobody complaining now voted to kill the monorail that last time around – we’d have it already if not for that).

    West Seattle’s on Sound Transit’s list of potential projects for the next ballot measure. Join the transportation coalition – push for light rail to the Junction. It’s the only viable solution.

  • Amanda October 17, 2013 (1:31 pm)

    I actually have to disagree with you villagegreen! I think we are making the mistake in giving the developers, who don’t live and/or work in West Seattle, the power to determine what West Seattle will look like in 10, 20, 30 years. We need to create a plan, based on what WE want to see in regards to transportation, mobility, and development.
    Right now, if you hate the looks of the new buildings, you can go to the Design Review meetings. And you can make a difference. The only way to affect change, is to become part of the solution. Get involved RIGHT NOW.
    And remember, every form of mobility that we can use now, and in the future are valid options. And we need more than one solution! Even cars cjboffoli! Just not cars running on gasoline.
    I see the the biggest problem we face is infighting. We are battling each other over the right to drive/bike/bus/walk. What we really need to be battling is the way in which we let the developers (and our elected leaders who structure the regulations) get away with design choices, no parking requirements, height choices, environmental impacts, etc.
    Don’t just complain! Do something! Take action!

  • sun*e October 17, 2013 (1:58 pm)

    THANK YOU, Amanda!!! I’m definitely joining:

  • wetone October 17, 2013 (4:29 pm)

    It seems to me that it would be a boring life when you can’t hop in a car, truck ,motorhome, motorcycle and take your family on a drive to the ocean or the mountains or have a boat or jet ski to go out and play on the water. But that is just my thoughts as I enjoy all those activity’s. I don’t push others to think my way is the only way as many here do. Makes me wonder if these people pro no parking spots just depend on their friends and family to drive them around or maybe they just live a different life of doing the same thing everyday. I also wonder how many of these people preach what they say and don’t own a motor-vehicle ? I find it interesting how most the people that are pro no parking required for new builds are so one sided and don’t care about the impacts these builds cause the majority of the people in the area. But this is the mentality of some of the people moving to this area. Impacts will be huge in the near future from all the building here in W/S. It is going to get very expensive to live here and in the Seattle area from all the bad decisions being made by our city and state government….

  • dustin October 17, 2013 (4:43 pm)

    although i agree that improving public transit infrastructure should be a priority, i can’t help but take side with the commenters who point out that raising a 30 unit apartment building with no parking is short-sighted. the residents of this building will own cars; the developer is effectively foisting the problem of where these cars will go on to the residents and the community. i disagree that limiting access to parking by reducing the number of available spaces or by hiking the cost of available spaces is the best way to promote less driving and better public transit. the best way to promote less driving is by driving less! and the best way to promote public transit is by voting yes on initiatives to fund and improve public transit, by supporting candidates for public office who are committed to developing public transit and by using public transit!

  • Genesee Hill October 17, 2013 (5:39 pm)

    I grew up in Yakima in the 50s and very early 60s. Downtown, or shall I say the 50s forerunners of urban villges had a lot of several story buildings without any, I repeat, any parking. It seemed to work out quite well back then. The folks, many elderly, just walked to local shopping, drugstores, and doctors.

    This housing without parking, in an urban setting, is not the end of the world. It is actually tried and true. It is also relatively cheap. But, hey, if Jan S. is concerned, who knows.

  • Ken October 17, 2013 (6:24 pm)

    I wonder if there could be any sort of expectation that any residents of these “no parking provided” apartments, provide a statement when the lease is signed? Something to the effect that, they do not drive a vehicle; are not a registered owner of a vehicle; and will not pursue purchasing or operating a vehicle while living in such apartment unless it’s in the course of their job which will remain at the workplace and not be driven to their residence? If any violation is found, then it’s grounds for automatic eviction. I know, difficult to prove, but perhaps it’s a step in the right direction?
    Let’s just hope Murray puts an end to these ridiculous developments. Give the tax breaks to the developers who actually show some responsibility and concern to the existing neighborhoods by providing 1:1 parking for tenants. Even some visitor parking would be welcomed as well.

  • natinstl October 17, 2013 (7:00 pm)

    I feel the same as wetone. I have a car so we can enjoy everything this area has to offer. There is no bus service to Mt. Rainier National park or the Olympics or to the many areas of Washington and as long as people want to see and explore they are going to have cars.

  • wetone October 17, 2013 (7:39 pm)

    Cheap for who the builders ? By the way comparing Yakima in the 50’s 60’s to Seattle in 2013 is a odd one. Yakima had less than a dozen buildings taller than what they are building here in W/S :) If the retailers paying high dollar rent here in W/S want to bring new people to their businesses they best have some parking or the people will go elsewhere and limiting their business to a crowd of local walk-ins. Bad business plan if you ask me.

  • GJP2013 October 17, 2013 (7:41 pm)

    Yes, let’s all be hipsters and environmentalists and hop on our bikes with three children and a baby carriage in tow. Let’s simply ignore that this area – one of the most beautiful in Seattle, is being overrun by developers. The result is Capitol Hill-light: clogging streets, polluting our waters and air, generating more garbage, creating danger for our kids – wow, buy hey, I’ve got my bike! What a narrow and selfish view so many have with their “get over it and get on a bike” attitudes. I live here because it is not Capitol Hill, Ballard or any of the other over-developed communities in this city. West Seattle is our last defense and if we don’t stand up to the overdevelopment our way of life will be altered forever.

  • GJP2013 October 17, 2013 (8:06 pm)

    Ken writes: Let’s just hope Murray puts an end to these ridiculous developments.

    Are you kidding me? Murray is in the pocket of developers just as Greg Nickels was! It ain’t gonna happen. Look to your ineffective City Council members who are allowing all of this.

  • Jacob October 17, 2013 (8:16 pm)

    There is plenty of public street parking on the peninsula to accommodate projects like this and many, many more like it. Bunch of NIMBYs up in here that have likely never lived in a dense city and seen them function great with very little private parking space. People need to realize that private parking space is a privilege that not everyone needs or wants to pay for.

  • Mike October 17, 2013 (10:18 pm)

    Well, let’s be real: Each unit has an average of 1.5 cars! That is 45 new cars introduced to an neighborhood that has at most six cars now! Is this the way we want West Seattle?

  • GJP2013 October 17, 2013 (10:21 pm)

    Jacob – you assume much. I lived for many years in one of the world’s most densely populated cities and guess what? I didn’t own or need a car. Do you know why? Subways and commuter trains were plentiful; public transportation supported the density. This is not the reality for West Seattle residents, many with families depend on their vehicles. I do not have the luxury of a private parking space and take what is available on the street. Now, when you pack in a 30 unit building with no parking spaces within the structure, the overflow hits an already taxed community. It is not as simple as wanting a private parking space – it not being able to even find one within a reasonable distance of your residence. It is also about quality of life and folks are certainly welcome to live in more densely populated areas and communities that can support this – those of here in West Seattle have made a conscious choice to avoid this lifestyle and raise our families here. It goes much deeper than a NIMBY stance.

  • Jeff S October 17, 2013 (10:23 pm)

    A few points (some admittedly IMHO)

    1) How sad for those old houses that are going to be torn down and the history that comes with them. while I cannot stand the “mini mansions” that are going up all over the west side, they’re a far cry from what these developers want to do. I’ll take the mini mansions over this any day.

    2) Gatewood Elementary is ALREADY overcrowded, so this basically means more portables and eventually the school with loose pretty much all of it’s playground. What this means over all is a lower quality education for all of Gatewood’s continuing and future students.

    3) “But it’s close to the C line” – I’m sorry, but please don’t be so ignorant. Anyone who rides the C line KNOWS how packed it already is during peak hours. Metro is already suffering and again saying they’re looking at a 17% cut. The C Line cannot fit any more people.

    4) I haven’t seen a single comment here with information about what we can do to stop this. Are we completely hopeless in this situation?

    5) How long before these developers continue down the line on California all the way to Thistle. At this rate, just a couple of years.

  • NotMe October 17, 2013 (10:34 pm)

    The root of this so-called problem that some residents see as over-crowding or encroachment on THEIR West Seattle is – there is still a large number of people that want to live in West Seattle. Period. “They” wouldn’t build these buildings if people moved to Queen Anne or Ballard. Oh wait, that’s already filled up.
    Deal with it. The city is going to continue granting permits as long as there is space. Unless people find a legal reason aside from just WANTING them to go away, they will keep building. Don’t think so? Then why are these still being built even when you repeatedly whine about the good old days? When the density got too big to handle in the past, “they” built a bigger bridge. Looks like we will need another one sooner or later.

  • Michelle October 17, 2013 (10:37 pm)

    I Love West Seattle!! I read these comments and find it very SAD that people, so easily will sell out to greedy developers who care nothing about West Seattle!!! Side with developers on making these cheap ugly apartments and condo’s and saying it makes West Seattle vibrant. How can you be so stupid as the developers run to the bank and the city get a large property tax raise? We get the mess:-(

  • Michelle October 17, 2013 (10:54 pm)

    I Love West Seattle!! It makes me sad to see West Seattle be taken over by greedy developers building cheap and ugly condos, row houses and townhouses. Come on people quit being so stupid! Realize the developers are laughing all the way to bank and the city is collection large property taxes.All the while this neighborhood is paying the price of the destruction of our quality of life in this beautiful neighborhood. SAD

  • Jic October 17, 2013 (10:59 pm)

    Since moving here from Chicago I’ve noticed two things; the Seattle public transportation system as a whole is completely inadequate, and people hate it of they can’t park within 100 feet of their house/apartment/business.

    I completely agree that it’s somewhat crazy to build an apartment complex with no parking, but to pass judgement on renters who live in the buildings, or to complain about people who drive instead of take the awful public transportation is very unbecoming, and a bit snobbish or elitist. Some people need to realize that West Seattle is not a unique suburb of the city, not is it someplace of untold historical riches which needs to be preserved at all costs. This is a neighborhood in a vibrant city. That’s why many, many people have moved here recently, and will continue to move here as new apartment complexes go up.

    This is a great city and an amazing neighborhood. That said, I shouldn’t have to take a bus all the way into the city just to take a train to the airport. It shouldn’t take me almost an hour, and two + busses to get to Capital Hill, Ballard, or any other neighborhood in the city. Especially when I can drive there in 20-30 minutes. That is an infrastructure problem, plain and simple. Maybe some people have all day to waste on public transportation just to run an errand or two, but I certainly don’t. That’s why I don’t plan on giving up my car or driving almost everywhere

  • GJP2013 October 17, 2013 (11:06 pm)

    JW – great article – unfortunately, Seattle is not San Francisco and we certainly don’t have the transportation infrastructure to support this growth or density, especially in West Seattle. Another point, these new homes, row houses, etc, are not affordable for “normal” folks and the new apartment complexes have rental rates that are much higher than existing units so, not much in the way of affordable housing for folks here in WS. Here is a great site that blows the “affordable housing” myth out of the water: http://www.onehomeperlot.com/arguments/

  • Jic October 17, 2013 (11:10 pm)

    “West Seattle is our last defense and if we don’t stand up to the overdevelopment our way of life will be altered forever.”

    That line of thought is exactly why there are suburbs outside of every major city. You can have a nice plot of land, a big house with no dirty apartments in sight, and parking as far as the eye can see.

    West Seattle is part of the city. Not a suburb, not some unincorporated town, but a piece of a major city. As long as the city of Seattle continues to thrive, people, including renters and developers will flock here.

  • pjmanley October 17, 2013 (11:30 pm)

    Smart density is the goal. Dismissing people as NIMBY’s because they don’t want undesirable changes to their neighborhood is the epitome of apathy. Next people will say, “Why didn’t you say something while it was happening?” Big city trains and subways have been talked about going on 60 years around here. The next legs of Sound Transit from the Airport to S. 200th – not a long distance – won’t be complete until 2020 at the earliest. Sound Transit to WS? 2025? 2030? Great. Back in reality, today, we have buildings going up with lots of units but no parking. Jacob, even in your plentiful parking world, that is unsustainable. CJB, regardless of your zip code, we have to deal with reality. I don’t understand why so many single occupancy vehicle drivers clog the bridge each morning either. It’s crazy, but it’s only going to get worse with each car-owning transplant that takes up residence here. You cannot wish it away and ignore the evidence right in front of you. I love bus and bike riders, and I’m happy to use those modes when I can, as I’m likewise happy to subsidize transit for others, because each biker or bus rider equals one less car on the road, and that’s a good trade for my tax dollars to continually mitigate traffic. Those who make this an ideological battle between one group and another are fools. Who isn’t pro-transit and pro-busing around here? What we’re saying is that “preferred” options are today either insufficient, or non-existent, and that’s not changing anytime soon. All those cars on the bridge have to park somewhere, and I’d rather it not be on the streets I pay taxes on while the developer who brought them here gets a free ride. How in the world is that fair?

  • cardude October 18, 2013 (12:00 am)

    Yes. There will be many cars to deal with in certain areas. Perhaps gas will drop because they will hardly move. Hard to fill up with gas when your car is stuck in never-never land.

  • Mike October 18, 2013 (12:17 am)

    “That line of thought is exactly why there are suburbs outside of every major city. You can have a nice plot of land, a big house with no dirty apartments in sight, and parking as far as the eye can see.”

    Jic, obviously you’re talking about the suburbs being East of Cle Elum. Have you been to Sammamish, Issaquah, hell…even North Bend? Developers are eating up land so fast. Their building codes are worse than Seattle. Have you seen the offramp to what was going to be the new Microsoft extension campus? There’s a few thousand homes and a few thousand units built there. It’s also displaced more wildlife and people there complain about black bears in their front yard…dur dur dur. That’s what happens.

  • Lisa October 18, 2013 (8:52 am)

    The boundary adjustments seem to be part of the key to these developments because, by adjusting the boundaries, developers can build bigger, denser projects than they would be allowed to without the adjustment. If this project has not yet been approved for its boundary adjustments that may be a good place to begin trying to reduce the scale of the proposal.

    I think that there is a lot of manipulation involved in these adjustments and that one avenue that people (myself included) may want to look into more is whether they are appropriately used and appropriately granted and, if not, how that could be stopped.

    As I understand it, the Alki 11 proposed rowhomes on Wickstrom Place and 55th would not be allowed were it not for boundary adjustments. As I understand it this is because the code says that back to back rowhouses are not allowed on a parcel of land, but by “adjusting” the boundaries, the rowhouses are now on “separate” pieces of land that “happen” to be back to back. If I am wrong that this is part of why the Alki 11 is able to be built I hope to be corrected, but my understanding is that this boundary adjustment reconfigured the lots so that development that would not have been allowed not falls (barely perhaps) within the code. Seriously, correct me if I am wrong!

    I do think that community action is needed. Development is one thing: manipulations of the already liberal code to allow overdevelopment is another.

    I would also like to know if people know of lawyers who work on this sort of issue.

    I do think that changing the code is one aspect of what needs to be done. It was changed a lot recently (a lot of changes were made in 2010 I think) to allow this sort of denser development. Our informal community group concerned about the Alki 11 project was told by Richard Conlin that the city could review the code after it’s been in place for a bit when we can see how it works out. That time may be now.

    So the code was changed before and aspects of it could be changed again. Code changes may not stop any project that is already underway, but it may help in the big picture.

    A few inappropriate projects is better than a lot of them.


  • sue October 18, 2013 (10:48 am)

    we live w/in 2 blks of this, have for 30 years, 3rd generation WS. yes I own a car, but I also commute by bus and/or carpool. wondering if it’s too late to register a comment with DPD?
    link to DPD comment page: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/permits/commentonaproject/default.htm

    link to zoning info: https://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cs/groups/pan/@pan/documents/web_informational/dpds021571.pdf

    • WSB October 18, 2013 (11:35 am)

      No, it’s not too late to comment on this – I caught it VERY FRESH in the system. It hasn’t even appeared in the Land Use Information Bulletin yet – I watch the databases and maps that show what’s just made it into the files (although in some cases, there were early meetings etc. that did NOT trigger a public web notation).

  • dcn October 18, 2013 (11:17 am)

    Well said, pjmanley. I have no choice but to be driving in my car on the bridge every day (not single occupant, but close, since my young son rides with me). I am happy to pay higher taxes for Metro, even though I barely use it. I think more density can be a good thing, but only if infrastructure supports it. Apartments without parking and the already reduced transit options do not support smart growth. In fact, I’ve only seen changes in WS lately that slow the flow of traffic, not improve it.

  • Jeff October 18, 2013 (1:50 pm)

    “…antiquated overuse of private cars…”

    That’s hilarious, especially coming from a person, as JanS points out, wo is reliant, perhaps overly so, on the use of a private car to get from place-to-place to…,well… yeah.

    Please keep your hypocrisy out of my liberty.

    Density, density, density… DENSITY NOW!

    C’mon comrades sing along….

    The density folks should consider the math of density and its impact on an ecosystem. We humans, after all, are just animals, smart by our own judgment, but animals nevertheless (and wickedly self-important I will add, me included).

    Here’s a product of “the math”: infectious disease spreads faster across denser populations.

    There are many more products of doing “the math”, but I’ll leave that to the individuals to contemplate, as least those individuals who aren’t tools doing their masters work by reciting talking points. Whatever.

    Our democracy works best when each of us are involved and well-informed: we know the facts for what they are and can differentiate them from the opinions of some antiquated tool.

    Get involved. Get the facts. Come together with solutions based on the facts and not some mealy-mouthed antiquated political ideology.

    Money is power and the enemy of power is truth.

    • WSB October 18, 2013 (2:07 pm)

      I need to step in here. Christopher Boffoli, who commendably has chosen to comment with his real name (never required here at WSB, and we believe strongly in your right to NOT use your name, but we also don’t believe self-identification should open someone to having their name/info used as a tool with which they can be attacked), has long been a freelance contributor to WSB but currently handles only a very occasional incident – and not because we (paraphrasing an earlier comment) “call him at 1 am” but because he voluntarily checks out a major breaking story here and there because the big callouts catch his eye/ear – so he is NOT doing any sort of car-intensive work for WSB. His career as an art photographer, in fact, is a largely work-at-home gig. His opinions are his own and I am neither defending nor criticizing them but since several people here have tried to suggest that he has no right to have them because he must be driving all around town covering things for WSB, sorry, that is not the case. // Co-publisher Patrick Sand and I *do* drive to stories. Recently we have toyed with the idea of getting a scooter, which would be easier to park at breaking-news stories, but we have more pressing capital-investment needs, since we are in the midst of an expensive technical upgrade for the site and our video camera is almost dead – TR

  • anonyme October 18, 2013 (2:36 pm)

    Thanks WSB for your comments about CJ. I agree; while I don’t always agree with his every word, I appreciate that he speaks up with candor on issues that the terminally PC tend to avoid. There seems to be a lot of resentment around here toward anyone who uses wit or sarcasm. How dull – and intolerant.

    I’d also like to comment that part of the tragedy of overdevelopment has nothing to do with parking, but with the destruction of lovely, livable old houses that give our peninsula it’s character, only to be replaced with ugly, cheap housing that will be even uglier (if not obsolete) within a decade. And we are a peninsula with very limited access, so even though we’re technically within City limits – physically, we are not. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect the same level of density here as, for example, on Capital Hill.

  • pjmanley October 18, 2013 (3:10 pm)

    The point missed a lot here is that complaining about increased traffic and parking is in no way endorsing the increased use of single occupant vehicles. In most cases, it’s just the opposite. What we know is that, today, more people means more cars. We can’t wish that fact away any more than we can wish for light rail by 2014. The evidence is everywhere and overwhelming. Clearly we need safer, better bike lanes and increased bus service, which will mitigate the traffic impacts for all commuters in all modes of transportation. But no parking spaces means more cars on streets. Period. Arguing otherwise or not facing that fact is pure denial. Would I love to see car trips diminished? Less people needing to own cars? More transit? Better, safer bike lanes? Would I like to drive less? Do I want new residents to feel welcome and become West Seattle lovers like the rest of us? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. But simply talking and writing about how much smarter other cities are, how backwards WS is, how we “live in a city, not the suburbs,” how entitled people are for owning & driving cars, calling people NIMBY’s for wanting to maintain their quality of life, and generally showing contempt and disdain for those who don’t live their lives exactly like we do, is self-centered, devoid of empathy, and frankly, immature. Do most people not get up everyday and try to be conscientious stewards of the earth? Do most people embrace solutions that make the air and water cleaner? Do most people not wish traffic was better, that they didn’t have to drive as much as they do, that more bikers could bike safely, and that more bus riders can timely and safely commute to their workplaces? Most WS folks I know try very hard everyday to do right by their neighbors and strangers alike and that’s why we all like it here. The tendency of people to dive into the anti-car camp makes them see anyone who disagrees with them in any way as car-loving, fossil-fuel burning, pollution-embracing, anti environmental, unenlightened, anti-intellectual slobs, and it doesn’t help one bit. I could just as easily condemn the hypocrisy of all those Chinese made bicycles, iPhones, $400 designer jeans, and houses full of goods made by children and exploited workers overseas, as well as complain about those massively overweight Metro buses and other weight-restriction exempt (mostly government) vehicles crushing the asphalt on the streets, costing us taxpayers over 30 million a year, wreaking havoc on all forms of transportation, while SDOT preoccupies itself with painting more bike lanes. Suffice it to say that we all need to work together and solve these problems, instead of polarizing into camps and factions like the special interest groups that run the anti-intellectual swamp of Washington, DC. That’s too often the tone in these comments with all the moral superiority getting tossed around, and it gets really old, really quick.

  • sam-c October 18, 2013 (4:05 pm)

    wow, pjmanley- very well put- thanks.
    I am sure there are many people here who can see many sides of all the issues and the polarizing comments don’t help that. usually those polarizing comments make me swing in the opposite direction with my response.

  • Amanda October 18, 2013 (6:59 pm)

    To everyone who wants to affect positive changes, the next West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting is November 12th starting at 6:30 at the High Point Neighborhood House. Join us!!

  • Lisa October 18, 2013 (7:15 pm)

    Amanda – or anyone else – when/where are the design review meetings and what, exactly, is discussed at them. Are individual projects discussed or overall guidelines developed? Is design review different than the SEPA review?

    If every development must have a design review – when is it done and how can the public participate?



  • S October 18, 2013 (11:44 pm)

    Boffoli, we can welcome new residents AND give them parking. It’s not either-or.

  • WSB October 19, 2013 (8:59 am)

    Lisa – Design Review is NOT required for every project. There are certain thresholds. When it is required, and when the meeting is set, you can find out about it in a variety of ways. The city posts bright green announcements on poles around the area; the meeting is announced in the Land Use Information Bulletin published by the city most Mondays and Thursdays. We announce every PUBLIC meeting for Design Review, but some projects go through “administrative” or “streamlined” Design Review, which doesn’t include a public meeting, but does accept public comments.
    And yes, it’s different from SEPA review, which generally does not include a meeting, although – see our separate coverage of the Alki rowhouse project (linked in the TOP STORIES list atop the sidebar) – neighbors can petition for one.
    A variety of info about the Design Review program is here: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/aboutus/whoweare/designreview/program/

  • Charlie October 20, 2013 (10:10 pm)

    Hello everyone :) my name is Charlie and I live in the red house you see above. I have lived here for 23 years. this home is three levels with two kitchens two dinning rooms two washer and dryer rooms, 2 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms a fire place and front and back porch. I am sad to leave since the home inside is so nice now with a whole new renovation done I think now last year. I have hard wood floors and fresh paint and everything is new inside now. I am going to be sad to leave this house since I spend time in the front yard and talk with everyone who pass’s by. im sure I know half of you all on here and will miss you all. I am now moving across the water and this week is so hard on me with the move and very little income since I lost my job at NeighborCare medical up the hill 2 years ago. Thank you all for being great neighbors… your friend Charlie :)

    • WSB October 20, 2013 (10:18 pm)

      Thank you for the update, Charlie. Sorry to hear you have to leave the area; good luck with the move. Tracy (WSB editor)

  • Jasmine October 29, 2013 (5:37 pm)

    Try being the family that has to live right next door to all the construction and deal with the parking situation!? Yeah, sucks.

  • judy November 2, 2013 (4:06 pm)

    I think building with no parking required will force some to leave the city if it becomes unlivable. I live further up Gatewood Hill & used to ride the 22 bus. Now with the 22 only running hourly, it’s not often useable for connecting to the C line. Thus I drive & park in the Morgan Junction area & walk a couple of blocks–& I assume that others park to ride Metro also. With such higher density, there won’t be parking available.

Sorry, comment time is over.