West Seattle development: New Junction apartment-building proposal, 60 units at 4528 44th SW

Scouring the latest Department of Planning and Development data, we turned up another new apartment-building proposal for The Junction. The 1952-built 8-unit building at 4528 44th SW (map), shown above in a King County Assessor’s Office photo, is proposed for replacement with what the city website describes as a “new 60-unit apartment building, five stories plus basement, five enclosed parking spaces.” The 5,850-square-foot site is zoned for development up to 65′ and borders the alley behind several retailers. It’s also almost directly across 44th from the under-construction 38-unit Lofts at The Junction at 4535 44th SW. According to the DPD website, this proposal will have to go through the Design Review process; no date set yet – it’s in the relatively early stages, with its newest “site plan” filed just this past Monday.

67 Replies to "West Seattle development: New Junction apartment-building proposal, 60 units at 4528 44th SW"

  • What no Parking? November 21, 2014 (10:49 pm)

    Oh! Can I be the first to say 60 apartments with 5 parking spaces!

  • Pis November 21, 2014 (11:05 pm)

    There goes some of the free parking spots,for sure!

  • Sad November 21, 2014 (11:16 pm)

    Now the apt renters there now will have to move. The rent will be sky high. I lived there in the 70’s the rent was $160.00
    Mr Star owned it then.

  • Sue November 21, 2014 (11:18 pm)

    So that’s almost 100 new units on the same block, with almost no parking. You could easily have 200 people moving in, and none of them are expected to have cars? What is wrong with these people?

  • WSGuy November 21, 2014 (11:23 pm)

    Is that a typo? 60 units with 5 parking spaces?

  • JanS November 21, 2014 (11:58 pm)

    and those 5 parking spots are gonna be waaayyy expensive to have, and will be prime property amongst the tenants. I’m not quite picturing where exactly they’re gonna fit 60 units in…

  • J November 22, 2014 (12:00 am)

    Wait, wouldn’t that be a great place for a Trader Joe’s?

  • Diane November 22, 2014 (12:29 am)

    yep, there are way more than 100 new apts with zero or minimal parking in that area

  • Diane November 22, 2014 (12:46 am)

    oh crap, Blueprint

  • Mike November 22, 2014 (6:23 am)

    I really need to buy a chunk of land near the junction and build a 5 story parking garage.

  • Jeff November 22, 2014 (6:46 am)

    Well you better not charge for parking, you capitalist pig-dog Mike! Free parking wherever we want is what separates us from the commies!

  • old timer November 22, 2014 (9:29 am)

    Yes, Mike, maybe an underground parking garage, several levels, with one street level of retail, and a park area on the roof.
    Decades ago, was built a ‘Mellon Square parking garage’ in downtown Pittsburgh with just such a layout. Now, It’s a city fixture, much treasured.
    Maybe use that huge plot where the B of A is located now, it might be a way for them to try to salvage their tattered home loan clothes, while providing something of utility to the community.

  • ChefJoe November 22, 2014 (10:11 am)

    Why Mike ?

    All these new, dense apartments don’t need parking because their residents will forever be young, childless, and therefore able to survive car-less or use the 5 car2go smart cars parked on premises with additional bike parking.


  • Marc M November 22, 2014 (10:57 am)

    Oh man…the Rapid Ride is going to need security guards to prevent riots at the Junction stop

  • buckwheat November 22, 2014 (2:29 pm)

    And again, elections have consequences. By electing idiots, West Seattle is getting dumped on with this crap. ChefJoe is on the money regarding how there will be eventually more families requiring more family housing units instead of so many apartments; there isn’t enough appropriate infrastructure to support all of this crappy development.

  • Kathleen November 22, 2014 (3:31 pm)

    This will be a big burden on the merchants providing free parking for patrons. They will have to do something to keep freeloader residents from taking all the spaces, or charge for parking.

  • artsea November 22, 2014 (4:06 pm)

    I realize I may not pay much attention to anything that is announced by our City Council, but do they actually have a stated policy as to what they have planned regarding the future of the Alaska Junction? Do they really expect everyone who will all too soon be living in these many hundreds of new apartments to live here without cars? Do they really believe that will come to pass?

  • Mike November 22, 2014 (4:48 pm)

    Tom Rasmussen supported these land use policies. Now he wants to continue in office, representing West Seattle. Gonna vote for him???

  • ChefJoe November 22, 2014 (4:56 pm)

    That’s what’s planned. However, nobody has put together any statutory authority that would prevent people who live in such buildings from obtaining a car. I guess you could put the core of West Seattle under RPZ but then you have business parking issues.

    New commercial and multi-family residential developments without parking are permissible under Seattle zoning code, in an ‘urban village’ that is within ¼ mile of a frequent transit stop, in an ‘urban center’, or in a station area overlay district (see: Seattle Municipal Code, Tables A & B for 23.54.015, sections II).

  • jwright November 22, 2014 (5:19 pm)

    This is a side effect of West Seattle being a good place to live…apparently other folks want to live here, too. On the bright side, perhaps this will be a catalyst for better transit (maybe even light rail) to the area. And personally, I would rather deal with issues associated with growth vs. those associated with decline. I bet nobody in Detroit is complaining about too much development.

  • SJoy November 22, 2014 (5:34 pm)

    I’m not one to complain… in fact, I really didn’t understand why people were complaining about a few new apartment buildings five years ago. But now it’s getting absolutely ridiculous. I don’t understand how all of these people are going to fit in our little area, from parking to commuting.

    jwright, I used to feel the same way as you, but it is really getting out of control.

  • G November 22, 2014 (7:55 pm)

    I’ve generally been of the opinion that people need places to live and that this is inevitable…..but gotta admit West Seattle is getting crowded! I feel like holding my elbows in when I’m in town, and the changes are even more striking when you don’t live here FT. Also, mass transit isn’t likely to solve the the intra-West Seattle congestion, unless they roll out some innovative transit programs, such as neighborhood passes, or pro-rated rides so you don’t pay 2.50 to go from admiral to Junction.

  • NW November 22, 2014 (8:12 pm)

    I am happy to go along with a group and demonstrate at city hall it’s high time we have our voices heard and not say to ourselves should have did something ten years ago. Where is the protest and having our voices heard thru action! Are you frustrated by all the development too?

  • BT November 23, 2014 (1:38 am)

    When is this going to stop? This is crazy. Have these so called smart developers been living in WS in the past year and trying to commute to the city in the morning and back in the evening? How about parking? Have they tried to park in the afternoon at the weekend or weeknights? Are they blind? Where is the part of their brain that helps humans to be sensible?

  • John November 23, 2014 (8:30 am)

    Some of these ‘so called smart developers’ are smart. They live and work in West Seattle, drive and park in West Seattle like the rest of us.

    “Where is the protest and having our voices heard thru action!”?
    There were protests and they have been heard, hundreds of viable home parcels have been recently rendered un-buildable, new restrictions on micros have been passed.

    None of these new restrictions will in any way ease demand. They exacerbate the housing demand and prices.

    We all realize that West Seattle (and Seattle as a whole) is ‘too’ crowded. But we cannot put a wall around West Seattle (or any other over-crowded Seattle neighborhood) to prevent people moving in. The very elements we like about our community are those drawing newcomers.

    What do you all you complainers suggest?

    What personal responsibility are all you complainers taking to alleviate the existing problems that we all are responsible for?

  • Debra November 23, 2014 (10:50 am)

    So not everyone is fortunate to be able to work in seattle, again a laughable comment
    Your lack of understanding of how the vast majority feels is clear, were you involved in the urban planning of the 90s.
    Go back and take a look to what the community agreed to,
    For those of us who actively participated we did not get what was collectively agreed to
    I suggest a immediate stop to any additional approval of development until the community not the developers can revisit what was agreed upon and a plan that honors those commitments

  • John November 23, 2014 (1:07 pm)

    Why is recognizing that each of the growing thousands of people who reside and work in West Seattle is just one part of the many required to address positive change laughable?

    The urban planning of the nineties was not able to anticipate many things perhaps most importantly, the re-birth of sleepy, service starved, run-down West Seattle.

    Suddenly trendy and finally shedding its vast vestiges of the post WWII baby boom parents (like mine), West Seattle became hot, not just for cheap rentals to grunge bands and barristas, but for couples (gay & straight) looking to settle in for child rearing. With these newly diverse residents moving in and supporting them, West Seattle businesses have had more than just a resurgence. Their are vastly more restaurants, bars, specialty shops, as well as all sorts of services, software companies, businesses, retail outlets, small manufacturing, design firms, you name it.

    At least some of these ‘fortunate’ people working here also choose to live here and have no need to clog the bridge daily. Some may live here without cars. Why is that ‘laughable’?

  • WS Since 66 November 23, 2014 (1:28 pm)

    I agree with John. I’ve been asking a serious question many times here which NO ONE has been able to answer through their whining.

    Please keep in mind that if there isn’t more homes, which include condos and apartments, then the values here would skyrocket. Think supply and demand here.

    Ok I’ll ask once again…People are moving to all neighborhoods in Seattle including our beloved West Seattle. What would be your plan for housing all those people?

    Would you prefer less people and much more expensive to live here or more building in a very small part of WS and keep the values from increasing as rapidly?

    I know I won’t get a well thought out answer with genuine alternatives but thought I would put it out there again.

  • wetone November 23, 2014 (1:40 pm)

    There has been roughly 2000 units added in W/S from Edmonds street(south end)to Admiral on the north end over the last couple years. Half are not finished, occupied or will be breaking ground soon. That’s unit’s not people, how many 2bd how many 1bd and studio, how many are or will be occupied by more than 1 person 50% ? that’s 3000+ new heads with zero infrastructure improvements. You can add all the buses you want, won’t do any good if traffic can’t flow, how many people work in area buses service. Take this 4528 project 60 units 5 parking spots if every lot on this one block does same thing using 10 lots we could have 400+- new units and no new parking that’s one block. Even if half these new people commuted by bike as city says, can one imagine how traffic would be with 1500 bikes on roads in W/S with cars and no improvements for either….. People think we have problems today wait till next winter after these new units fill up along with more traffic lights on Fauntleroy/ Alaska/ 35th . Plan to double+ your commute time. All building if not replacing same should be stopped now ! until they the city see’s results they have and are creating here. Mayor Murray, Dow Constantine, Tom Rasmussen should be embarrassed and held accountable for what they have and are allowing to happen here, remember your vote counts only thing politicians understand……

  • WS Me November 23, 2014 (2:31 pm)

    Enough ALREADY on building more condos or townhouses without enough proper parking!! The whole feel of West Seattle is already changing so negatively!! Now that free Pre K 3 & 4 will be offered in Seattle, I could see this raising home values WAY up. Just might be time to consider selling & moving on from my hometown! I would LOVE if these Condo investors/builders had to live in the areas they cram with new building but no parking. WE need to start fighting back! Big business does not always have to win at OUR expense!

    • WSB November 23, 2014 (2:34 pm)

      Just one note, the recent preschool tax vote only funded a small demonstration program, and the initial site isn’t in West Seattle. So if it does lead to “universal preschool,” that’s still a ways down the road. Just part of your comment, but in case someone is still tuning in, wanted to mention that. We’re probably overdue for a followup on that too. The City Council is still hashing out details. – TR

  • JanS November 23, 2014 (3:56 pm)

    I wonder how many people are like me. I no longer shop locally in the junction because there isn’t enough disabled parking. Yes, there are a few in the free back lots, but not enough as they are usually taken if I venture there. Then I just go home. We now have a nice bicycle island right on Calif. Ave. at the junction, yet there is not one disabled parking spot on Calif Ave. from south of Edmunds to at least Admiral. Not one. What good is one in the lot behind Lee’s Asian, etc. if one has to walk a block or more to get to a business one wants to go to, or the farmer’s market? (yes, some of us can’t walk that distance readily)). And now, with these building that won’t have parking for the tenants who will undoubtedly have cars, I will be shopping more and more online, I have a feeling. So much for supporting your local businesses. :(

  • NW November 23, 2014 (4:13 pm)

    So when do we start heading down to city hall on a weekly basis to begin protesting?

  • John November 23, 2014 (4:33 pm)

    “Even if half these new people commuted by bike as city says”-please cite your source wetone?

    “zero infrastructure improvements” just look around and see incredible new infrastructure – schools, parks, libraries, skate parks, dog park, play fields, sidewalk & street improvements as well as lidding our reservoirs.

    Storm and waste-water infrastructure is the biggest current civic infrastructure project (drainage wells in High Point and now Sunrise Heights with asscoiated storage tanks and pumps at Fauntleroy Ferry Dock and Lohman Beach This is being supported by skyrocketed sewer mitigation fees at hook-up.

    Admittedly, these types of infrastructure improvements do not somehow add more and more roads to allow ever more and more people to drive single passenger vehicles downtown quickly. That is not possible without a great deal of eminent domain (do you want to sacrifice your house?) and even more money.
    West Seattle road building would not achieve the desired relief because as soon as you get off our peninsula you are road limited to Downtown like never before, (RIP viaduct).

  • Debra November 23, 2014 (6:29 pm)

    John the bottom line is you see all of this growth and density as positive while many of us whose perspective is just as valuable and legitimate do not, we see a different vision and at the end of the day local politics and the advocacy and how we cast our votes and exercise our grass works action will hopefully dictate the community we leave for our kids,

  • ChefJoe November 23, 2014 (8:45 pm)

    Good point on the new sewer hook-ups paying more for waste water treatment.

    Maybe we should have a model like that, where every new BR in a development has to provide an off-street parking space (like parking requirements of old) or has an additional $100/yr assessed in their property tax (like that $60 portion of a car tab that is going to transit). When so much of metro’s money comes from car tabs, the system isn’t sustainable without the cars the city wants to avoid. Best to find some compromises.

    I also think that having entire blocks of buildings not providing any resident parking is stupid. Maybe exempt only the first X number of parking spaces in a development of so many square feet instead of allowing 60 units with 5 spots. Truth is, the more people you add the more needs to be done to accommodate… like having to clean an overcrowded tropical fish tank a lot more.

  • John November 23, 2014 (9:58 pm)

    The only fair way to address the parking issue is to go with a system that charges everyone who parks on the street.
    After all, everyone is causing the problem, not just the new people.
    Homeowners could choose to avoid the fees by using their garages and off-street parking as once intended. Doing so would alleviate street parking and even the parking field demands. If you don’t want to hunt and pay for street parking you can opt for a residence at a price premium that provides parking.

    This will be the obvious solution once West Seattle actually starts seeing 100% of capacity which has not yet happened.

  • debra November 24, 2014 (7:48 am)

    John I assume you think everyone has a garage correct?
    My home which I have owned for 20 years actually doesn’t have a garage
    And if a family has more than one car then I believe it is reasonable they shoule be able to park on their street….I assume you own a home in West Seattle?

  • John November 24, 2014 (9:11 am)

    Ironic that Debra who wants everyone to be required to have garages does not have one herself?

    Why should her demands for additional car on-street parking in front of her house be more valid than others?

    Yes Debra, there is a very slim minority of homes in West Seattle without garages, but they do have designated outside parking as in driveways and carports that accommodates at least one vehicle. One additional vehicle may be parked in the street space defined by the driveway apron.

    That allows you one car space always available on the street which is more than apartment buildings with no such driveway apron.

    Again, what is wrong with everyone who is taking up the on-street parking paying for it?

  • ChefJoe November 24, 2014 (9:31 am)

    John, if you think that people with homes on significant tracts of land should have a garage and driveway (and you say they should use them) then why should we exempt the higher density folks from having a garage for their car ? If the units were sold with a 100% guarantee that the residents won’t own a car, then I could support the exemption. However, your suggestion that current homes should leave their on-street parking to the high density folks who build without accommodating parking shows a certain “bias”.

  • Born on Alki November 24, 2014 (10:34 am)

    ChefJoe, I couldnt agree with you more.
    John, homeowners property lines actually extend to the street, including “planting strips”.
    As such, homeowners are already paying property taxes on parking strip and said street. I believe having an expectation to park in front of your single family residence is reasonable. Not many houses in West Seattle even have garages or off street parking.
    To suggest an additional “tax” to park in front of your own house while supporting high density housing with very limited to no parking speaks for itself. I do support building affordable housing in West Seattle in a responsible manner, which should require one parking space for every unit…period. End of story.

  • Peter November 24, 2014 (10:39 am)

    The city’s permitting and exemption process is broken. I wanted to replace my one car carport with a two car garage. An exemption on the setback was required to do so. DPD rejected the request, even though there already were other garages with the identical setback on the same block. The result was a one car garage and guess where we have to park the second car? Hint: On the street. Yet somehow they can allow 60 units with only 5 parking spaces? Crazy.

  • Born on Alki November 24, 2014 (11:06 am)

    My neighbor wanted to add a master bedroom on to the back side of their single family West Seattle home to accomodate their growing family. (14 x 12) DPD rejected the building permit unless they tore down their two car garage near the alley. Then the footprint would accomodate the lot, and they could re-build the garage at a later date.
    Now it seems OK to cover the entire lot with multiple units and require no parking. Crazy doesnt begin to describe how this town operates.
    BTW, those neighbors sold in disgust and moved away.

  • John November 24, 2014 (11:06 am)

    No ChefJoe, I think that the vast majority houses with off-street parking should use it as opposed to filling those spaces with other stuff and expecting to park for free on the street.

    I repeat, I think ALL on street parking should be charged. If you are parked on the street, you pay.

    This would address the parking issues and avoid the impossibility of trying to enforce ChefJoes “100% guarantee”.

    Please read my remarks as I made no such suggestion that current homes should leave “their” on-street parking to the high density folks. I suggest EVERYBODY SHOULD PAY FOR ON-STREET PARKING.

    Simple. You use it, you pay for it.

    Those who find the time to search and cost of on-street parking too much may pay a higher rent or house cost for off-street parking.

    Either way no “bias”, each car owner would pay for parking and nobody gets a pass.

    Seriously, what’s wrong with everyone paying their fair share?

  • John November 24, 2014 (11:15 am)

    It was a response to ‘concerns’ of single family neigborhoods that lead to the regulations that you face.
    And it sounds as if you are in a single family neighborhood where you would need your neighbors to sign off on your proposal and even then may not be able to accomplish it due to SFR set-backs and yard requirements. Some of the other garages may be “grandfathered” meaning they were built before current rules. Can’t you park one car in the carport and one car in the driveway? Or are you back up against the alley with the carport?

  • John November 24, 2014 (11:42 am)

    Born on ALki,
    Your reasoning falls apart with the fact that you are incorrect.
    Homeowners property lines DO NOT actually extend to the street, including “planting strips”.

    You are also incorrect in stating that “Not many houses in West Seattle even have garages or off street parking.”

    Please refer to your property deed, King County Tax records, King County Plats, DPD mapping or any existing survey stakes.

    Although a homeowner does not own the the sidewalk and planting strip and does not pay property taxes on it, the homeowner is responsible for its maintenance and upkeep.
    Interestingly, this is also the same for alleys behind ones home.

  • debra November 24, 2014 (12:21 pm)

    John I NEVER said I expected everyone to have a garage…also do you own a home in West Seattle?
    Your perspective seems to imply you don’t but dont want to make an assumption so please correct me if I am incorrect

  • Born on Alki November 24, 2014 (3:19 pm)

    Property lines on WS plats clearly show residential property lines from the edge of the alley (rear) to the curb on the street (front), although legally you do not own the sidewalk or planting strip, or any part of the street but you are correct in the fact the HOMEOWNER is responsible for maintaining them, which I do. The same homeowner who pays about $6-7K a year in property taxes. I would encourage you to look at the LEGAL property lines on your deed, but I’m not sure you even have one.

  • ChefJoe November 24, 2014 (4:38 pm)

    Like Born on Alki, I figured that the property tax evaluation including “land value” was essentially a tax on homeowners with more street parking available.

    Does a condo owner not pay property tax for the land the building is on or not pay property tax based on the increased value of their unit including a parking spot or not ? Seems like there’s already a pseudo tax for streetfront parking.

  • John November 24, 2014 (6:30 pm)

    Born on Alki,
    Please zoom in on those Plats to see the actual St. and Ave. dimensions.
    Those are typically 60′ on residential streets.

    That typical 60′ Right Of Way includes the sidewalks and planting strips. If you still don’t believe me, pace it off yourself or call DPD.

    Your property’s dimensions are also shown, multiply your dimensions; as in 50′ street frontage X 100′ deep to alley, equals a typical SF 5000 residential lot.

    Chef Joe,
    Street parking frontage is not criteria for valuation by King County Assessor. Please see King County Property Finder to see details used for assessment and taxes. Property with on-site parking and garage is assessed higher. Some of West Seattle’s most expensive properties have little or no on-street parking.

    Those that bought homes with no on-site parking realized a savings over the house next door with a garage that costed more.

    But that savings had its own hidden cost, which becomes higher and more apparent in those few areas approaching 100% on-street parking capacity.

    I ask again, why won’t anyone respond to the idea of everyone that actually uses it pay for on-street parking? This could solve the on-street parking issues.

    Simple. You park on the street, you pay.

  • ChefJoe November 24, 2014 (7:07 pm)

    Isn’t that what you wanted John, the larger land tracts generally correlate to either on-site parking or street parking ? It seems like the property tax on land does is likely to correlate well with street parking availability, aside from places where the “improvement” is the dominant portion like Alki high-rises.

    I know you want a tax for each car on a street, but that’ll happen right about the time we have license plates on bikes and automated stop sign cameras that catch all infractions.

  • Born on Alki November 24, 2014 (9:00 pm)

    Your reasoning falls apart with the fact you are incorrect.
    Charging people a tax to park on a residential street will do absolutely nothing to promote “affordable” housing for families struggling just to make ends meet. My point is developers who build units such as this one proposed should be required to provide parking for each unit. Simple solution. Until there is sufficient mass transit infrastructure to support a vehicle-less residency of this nature they should not be allowed to be built without sufficient parking provision requirements. Like you say, off street parking is key and over-development like this should be no exception. Over and out.

  • John November 24, 2014 (9:52 pm)

    Born on Alki,


    At least now you know where your property ends and the ROW begins.

    I never said taxing people to park on the street would promote ‘affordable’ housing and I believe yours is the first such mention.
    But I do believe charging for on-street parking would be fairly class neutral and would address the problem of near capacity street parking where it exists.

    You also mis-state me about on-site parking.
    It is an important part to get current homeowners to utilize their on-site parking which will alleviate their use of on-street parking. Charging to park on the street would encourage people to use what they have on site.

    I never said taxing either. I mean a simple use fee like what we have with old fashioned meters but done with present technology.

    Everyone pays, just like downtown outside my opulent Belltown condo on Western right next to our garage entrance, I have to pay to park?

  • Peter November 24, 2014 (9:58 pm)

    @John: You are correct – I live in a single family neighborhood. One of the other garages on the block pre-dates the current rules and was grandfathered. The other was allowed and built built after (most of) the current rules went into effect. My carport was converted into the garage and faces the street. The “alley” as it were, is at the bottom of a steep hill and there’s nothing there but trees. I could’ve hired a land use attorney to push my request further, but I decided it smply wasn’t worth it. Yes, we could park one car in the garage and one car in the driveway, but we’d continually be playing car shuffle, especially in the morning. It’s simpler and more practical to park one of the cars on the street in front of our house. Greener too, because we burn less gas that way than by shuffling cars around :)

    Please note that there still are many houses in West Seattle that pre-date the common use of automobiles and have no provision for off street parking. Parking in neighborhoods like Fauntleroy and Montlake is so tight, that permitting systems have been instituted so that residents have a chance at a spot during peak demand times. I think there was talk of doing that on Alki. How exactly would you suggest charging everyone who parks on the street – meters everywhere? Otherwise, how would you know where people are parking?

    You seem knowledgable about this topic. Also passionate, judging by the number of your posts. I’m curious why?

  • Born on Alki November 24, 2014 (11:05 pm)

    That would be known as a legal easement, not a right of way. My plat shows our property lines going thru the easement as originally described, before Legal City easements are included. Of course I’m sure that’s incorrect and my reasoning falls apart all over again. Tell me again how paying to park in my neighborhood will benefit people barely able to afford to live here, but a 60 unit monstrosity with zero parking benefits us?

  • John November 25, 2014 (9:45 am)

    Born on Alki,

    You are once again mistaken. The city owns the right of ways known as streets. Legal easements are different.

    Don’t trust me, call the King County Assessor or DPD to confirm, then respond here.

    “-Do not rely on physical features such as fences and sidewalks to indicate property lines. They may be on your neighbor’s property or in the street right-of-way.”

    http://www.seattle.gov/DPD/Publications/CAM/cam103.pdf shows site plan requirements with streets and alleys that contradicts Born on Alki’s claims.

    I hope Born on ALki is not also clinging to the false belief that private property lines include the sidewalk and planting strip.

    I can’t tell you again how paying to park will benefit people barely able to afford living here because I NEVER WROTE THAT.
    That is an irrational statement and dodge on Born on Alki’s part.

    As I follow this stream of comments, the subject is ‘street parking congestion’ not ‘low income subsidized housing’. But as I wrote, I believe charging for on street parking would be fairly neutral.

    ” But a 60 unit monstrosity with zero parking benefits us”, Born on Alki

    False again. Not zero as you falsely claim.
    WSB writes, “new 60-unit apartment building, five stories plus basement, five enclosed parking spaces.”

    And your final “benefit us?” should also be addressed. New housing benefits those needing it, not selfish NIMBYs who ask how it will benefit them.

    And if you are talking about benefits, how does parking on the street in front of your house “benefit us” or anyone but yourself when this whole discussion is about the lack of street parking?

    I am sympathetic to your frustration, but decisions on where to store vehicles need to be addressed when adding them to personal property. The city has developed codes to maintain neighborhoods demanded by residents to protect their investments. Otherwise everyone would simply park in their front yards leading to neighborhood decay.
    New codes ban the so-called snout-nose houses with prominent garages in front. Apparently most people in Seattle do not like homes built around car storage.

    The Fauntleroy example is unique, was passed decades ago, and has virtually emptied the streets of parked cars.
    It is unique in that it was done in response to Vashon and Kitsap commuters stowing second cars on Fauntleroy streets so they could walk-on save car fare and avoid long ferry waits.
    The Fauntleroy permits have accomplished just what parking fees would do in other neighborhoods, as most homeowners opt to store their vehicle off-street.

    Regarding Peter’s situation, even if allowed to build a bigger garage, Peter would then face higher taxes forever and a long term capital investment…it may pencil out cheaper to pay for street parking. At any rate the element of being “greener” by not shuffling cars and the added convenience you refer to should considered, and paid for in my opinion.

    The argument seems to be, that since I bought a home that was not designed for one, or even any cars, and does not accommodate my multiple cars, I should be allowed to take up public space on the street for free?

    I am no expert, but the people who developed Smart Cards, Good to Go, Uber and car sharing services could make it happen.

    I am passionate about posting facts to dispel the many false statements made here.

    I believe that our parking situation cannot be solved by placing all of the blame and expense on new construction as the perception of parking problems existed long before this round of development.

    We all must make some sacrifices to increase the livability of the community we all love.

    Paying for on-street parking would lessen the overall parking pressure and dramatically free up our streets the way permits in Fauntleroy have.

  • ChefJoe November 25, 2014 (10:21 am)

    John, I welcome all the residents to use the street parking I’m not using in front of my residence in Seaview.

    I seriously doubt they’ll park a mile away from their home to use it though.

    Isn’t a great deal of the need of parking about the location being near one’s residence ? It sure seems like the same people who realize economies of scale in squeezing 60 residences on half a block should shoulder some of the burden to build parking for a fraction of them close-by.

    5 parking spots with 60 apartments will sure be fun for someone moving in/out around the ends of the month. A few people to help moving and a truck and you’ve got half the on-site parking filled (without any live/work parkers).

  • John November 25, 2014 (11:33 am)

    Chef Joe,
    I welcome anyone to utilize the street parking near my house. I just believe it should be paid for for all of the reasons listed.

    Requiring apartments to have one, two or even three parking places per unit would truly skyrocket the rents and reduce housing. It will also continue our march towards grid-lock by encouraging car ownership and usage.

    Requiring new apartments to have parking will do nothing to address the current excess street parking demand.

    Our current system allows abuse by both old and new residents, with the established residents blaming the new ones (how dare these newcommers not have off-street parking, all the while complaining about not being able to park in front of their homes?) for the problems created long ago.

    Requiring on street parking fees would address the issue of those apartments without sufficient parking as the residents would then have to take the time and expense of finding limited street parking. Or they could pay more for a housing with parking included.

    Why isn’t this a fair sharing of burden?

  • Peter November 25, 2014 (11:40 am)


    Thank you for your empathy. I’m over it and only bring it up because it points to the ludicrousness of the current permitting and variance process. Believe it or not, I actually agree with some of what you say and I’m glad we can disagree without nastiness. That said, you aren’t aware of all the facts concerning my situation, in part because I’ve left some out for brevity.

    What I wanted to do did not set a precedent in my neighborhood or on my block. In fact, it was the least visually impactive of my two-car garage options, the others of which I could have easily pursued without a variance. Construction cost was a factor, but my primary motivation was to NOT adversely impact the neighbors. I’m well aware of the likely higher property taxes and captital gains ramifications. I was OK with that. The end result had nothing to do with parking on the street being “cheaper”. I WANTED to park my cars off the street. The city wouldn’t let me.

    Speaking of “facts”, the Fauntleroy situation might be “unique” in West Seatle, but is not unique in Seattle. You are correct, it was done in response to the ferry commuters. I’m pretty sure you can still park on the street there. You just need to have a permit. The Montlake area has may houses that were built prior to everyone owning a car, and on-street parking is the *only* option for many. That permitting system was implemented primarily for Husky football days, and is still in place as far as I know.

    Back to the original topic. It’s unrealistic to expect only 5 cars for tenants occupying a 60 unit complex. Everyone else parks on the street and only exacerbates an already existing, and growing problem. That is the issue.

  • John November 25, 2014 (12:00 pm)

    Thank you for your thoughtful civil responses.

    The Fauntleroy example is unique in that it bans parking during the middle of the night every night, which means residents must have a parking permit to park on the street overnight.
    This has done more than predicted, almost empty overnight parking as thrifty Fauntleroyians don’t purchase passes and move on-site.

    And since, “Everyone else parks on the street and only exacerbates an already existing, and growing problem. That is the issue.”
    I agree everyone else parking on the street has caused the problem. Therefor the problem will continue even with required parking in new construction.

    To address the existing, growing and future problem, we need to institute fees for all parking so all car users share the burden.

  • Debra November 25, 2014 (8:47 pm)

    It seems the discussion and john position is a user fee. The end uses should pay for the resources they use
    If you follow the logic, Ithe car tabs and pro petty taxes for metro should vanish. Those who use the system should pay to support it what ever that cost is,
    Additionally since I have no children in public schools why should I pay. Parents are end users
    And all the bike lanes going in, tax those who ride and use them since there is no value to me
    Logic is flawed

  • John November 25, 2014 (10:20 pm)

    No Debra,
    A logical comparison would be if the city eliminated parking fees downtown which would result in people currently paying to park off-street moving to street parking with eventual gridlock as drivers endlessly search the downtown core for parking. Remove the fees and all of the downtown parking would be taken by workers arriving first in the morning.

    The city regulates 100% parking capacity areas with fees and time limits at meters to create turnover and insure a particular percentage of spaces are available.

  • John November 25, 2014 (10:43 pm)

    No Debra,
    Seattle already has a ‘flawed’ hybrid system; I may not use Metro but I help pay for it through taxes and if I do use it I must pay an additional fee.

    Both the car tabs and the property taxes for Metro fall far short of its costs, and no end user could afford to support whatever that cost is alone.
    That is why we have government.

    A more logical comparison would be if the city eliminated parking fees downtown.
    That would result in the drivers currently paying to park off-street in garages and lots moving to the free on-street parking.
    Being free, all of the downtown parking would be taken by the workers arriving first in the morning, with eventual gridlock as later drivers endlessly search the downtown core for parking.

    The city regulates such 100% parking capacity areas with fees and time limits at meters to create turnover and insure a particular percentage of spaces are available. It works.

    The same principles apply to West Seattle. Those areas facing parking capacity would be essentially market regulated to maintain a certain vacancy rate.

  • Debra November 25, 2014 (11:21 pm)

    John you are really talking about end user fees
    Why should I pay for buses, I don’t use them , if I cross 520 I pay for the use, if chose to go i90 I don’t pay, why shouldn’t my prop trey taxes pay for something I don’t use
    Also tax every bike like every car to pay for bike lanes, why am I paying for it, also public schools,
    If everyone in your scenario pays for parking because they use it then the logic flows that you pay for what you use
    Again do you pay property taxes?

  • john November 26, 2014 (8:03 am)

    Again Debra,
    Different mechanisms.
    These fees would be set to free-up parking spaces, not to pay off construction or generate income, although that is a positive benefit.

    When we band together in a city, we all contribute to the infrastructure we utilize. Those roads and public schools exist for the public good with benefits throughout society. As a tax and spend for public good liberal, I support these costs and the services they provide.

    The bike lane issue is so well-worn on WSB that it barely warrants a response.

    But if we ever reach the point of bicycle capacity issues similar to car capacity challenges we now face, we could control that through fees also.

    Everyone pays property taxes in one way or another. If you rent, you pay through your rent that the owner collects to pay the property taxes. If you own, you pay directly.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • WS Since 66 November 28, 2014 (1:17 pm)

    Hey let’s just put up a check point at the WS Bridge and only let people with proof that they live in WS? Better yet why not let in just the people who have lived here for say 25 years? That way the “unwanted” people won’t bother us because we were here first.

    Doh! I forgot about the Duwamish and other tribes. Well the idea is still a good one for some people, isn’t it?

Sorry, comment time is over.