West Seattle development: 31 apartments on the South Delridge drawing board; other project notes from around the peninsula

Notes from the city Department of Planning and Development files, including two new early-stage projects we’vd, updates on ongoing projects, and proposals linked in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin:

31 APARTMENTS AT 9021 17TH SW: A 10,000-square-foot lot in South Delridge that changed hands last month is proposed for a 31-unit, 31-parking-space apartment building. AKA Investors LLC bought the Lowrise 3-zoned site in May for $475,000. Notations on the early-stage city project page for the apartment building suggest it will go through Design Review. This is in the pre-application stage so you’re not likely to see a formal notice any time soon. Before last month’s sale, this site previously had a pending proposal for two houses and two townhouses.

4 TOWNHOUSES ON PIGEON POINT: 3856 21st SW is now proposed for four townhouses; previously, a six-unit rowhouse building was planned. This too is in the pre-application stage.

Also on Pigeon Point:

LAND USE APPROVALS FOR 3816 & 3806 22ND SW: Near from the aforementioned townhouse plan, these approval notices – here and here – were published today for two single-family houses and a two-unit townhouse (3816) and four single-family houses (3806). Publication of the notices opens a two-week period for appeals, a process explained here.

In Morgan Junction:

NEXT STEP IN REZONE FOR TOWNHOUSES ON CHURCH LAND: The LUIB includes this DPD decision that no significant environmental effects are expected from a list of proposed amendments to the city Comprehensive Plan. The list includes the amendment that would set the stage for a rezone of the parcel on which the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene in Morgan Junction wants to partner with a local builder to build six townhouses that it would sell to raise money to renovate its 42nd/Juneau building (the prospective building site is immediately to the south). We’ve been covering the process since the proposal first turned up almost two years ago. A comment/appeal period is now open; this page explains that process.


DESIGN REVIEW NOTICES IN TODAY’S LAND USE INFORMATION BULLETIN: We’ve published word of these reviews already, but the formal notices finally arrived in today’s city-circulated LUIB:

4700 Admiral Way SW, 6:30 pm July 2nd – as reported here most recently last week, this is for the 3-story, 80-unit Aegis Living memory-care/assisted-living project.

4532 42nd SW, 8 pm July 2nd – as reported here last week, this is the new 6-story, 89-apartment proposal for the site behind the Capco/Altamira/QFC building.

Both of those Design Review Board meetings will be at the Senior Center of West Seattle. And an update:

FORMER CAFE SITE: Thanks to Bryce for this photo of the former Charlestown Café site, fully cleared, one week after the two-day demolition was completed:

27 live-work units and townhouses will be built here by Intracorp, which is also building the block-long Admiral East Apartments project a few blocks north on California SW.

21 Replies to "West Seattle development: 31 apartments on the South Delridge drawing board; other project notes from around the peninsula"

  • hp.connie June 11, 2015 (10:10 pm)

    Thank you for posting this info WSB. I am shocked that an apartment building is being proposed for 9021 17th Ave SW. The level of density on that block is insane, to the point that people park their cars on the sidewalks. The city has regularly dismissed the needs of that block, from flooding streets and alleyways to serious criminal activity. Turning a single-family property into a 31-unit monstrosity would be extremely detrimental for this neighborhood.

  • BeckBe June 11, 2015 (10:46 pm)

    I still miss the cornmeal waffles at the Charlestown…

  • m June 11, 2015 (11:28 pm)

    Thank you, WSB & hp.connie, for your reporting and response to this plan @ 9021 17th Ave SW. This investor previously bought the property next door @ 9015 17th Ave SW and left it sitting empty for several months. It was immediately taken over by squatters involved in a high level of drug activity and it took enormous effort by several neighbors in contact with the investor, SPD, & DPD before the house was finally demolished.

    We requested that the investor meet with neighbors to discuss the development plans for the property and she never responded to that request. This plan is VERY disappointing given the high density already in this 1-block strip.

  • ChefJoe June 11, 2015 (11:48 pm)

    hp.connie, 31 units and 31 parking spaces is a pretty good balance, imho. I’m not sure what you see, but most times people park in sidewalks its mainly because they’re trying to park non-small vehicles like minivans to hang out into the street but they are twice the length of the parking strip’s width.
    https://goo.gl/maps/WciGC (example from a few houses down)

    FWIW, there’s an imaginary 5 ft “no parking” zone on both sides of a driveway, and it includes the street in front of a driveway. Just like a resident doesn’t own the parking in front of their house, they could be cited for being parked perpendicular to the street across a planting strip like that van is.

  • Darryll June 12, 2015 (12:17 am)

    The problem is that the 31 units will be replacing 2 single family homes on a block that is already so crowded that there are no areas for kids or families to play/relax outside. The cars are parked all along the street and literally on sidewalks. Not across a driveway/parking strip – actually along the sidewalk!

    Kids play in the street since they have no parks and no yards, and cars turning off of Henderson typically are not slowing down. Adding 15 – 25 more cars coming and going to this block would be a very conservative estimate which does not include the visitors that those 31 new families will have. It’s not hard to imagine that you’ll have some serious traffic and safety issues there.

    Besides all of this, the property is zoned LR3 in an Urban Village, which would put the maximum unit count for the property at just under 13. Even if the adjacent lot were included in the plan, that would still max out at about 19 – 20 units, which is far below the proposed 31 units.

  • Mary Fleck June 12, 2015 (12:21 am)

    Seattle Green Spaces Coalition wants to hear from neighbors in Pigeon Point. What do neighbors want to see happen with the former substation site at Andover & 21st? More town homes?

    Mary Fleck, co-chair, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition

  • BJG June 12, 2015 (12:32 am)

    Check out the Capital Hill Blog article from a year ago on the reaction of that community to its glut of big buildings with cheap
    façades@ http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2014/04/why-capitol-hills-big-mixed-use-developments-look-um-the-way-they-do/
    As suspected, developers are designing from inside out. Add the amenities and keep the outside cheap. The place will still rent in this market. Budget is important. Neighborhood aesthetics are not. Higher land prices result in skimping on exteriors. So prepare for more ugly cement board panels and inadequate onsite parking.

  • MotorMike June 12, 2015 (12:37 am)

    First off this is the largest apartment that we will have on our block. The current largest is about 15 units. I expected something more manageable like 12 town homes. I’m all for increased density however 31 Units is a huge apartment for our block and our infrastructure is substandard. The city increased our zoning but has not invested in our neighborhood.

    One-To-One is very good however I guarantee that a conservative 25% of those 31 units will have more than one car. That leaves seven cars on an already 100% capacity street. There is simply no parking capacity available. We notice when anyone has an extra car because it results in us parking a block away. People park on the strip and their front yard because they do not want to have to park far away and so that they can protect their car from theft/car prowls. Parking on our block is reminiscent of Capital Hill and NYC.

    Hopefully this increased density will lead to increased transit service such as light rail or Rapid Transit.

  • Darryll June 12, 2015 (12:45 am)

    @BJG: Thanks for that link! Here’s anther more recent one about the disdain for the new Eastern Bloc look popping up all over the city. They seem to be trying to address it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.


    • WSB June 12, 2015 (1:48 am)

      Aside from the sensational headline pullout, these are the “low-rise code corrections” – public hearing last week and still making their way through the system:
      This is how the city rules get changed, and then (as was the case with the “no parking needed if there’s ‘frequent transit’ nearby” rule change several years ago) suddenly projects start going through with big changes evident, and people ask, “When did THAT happen?”

  • BJG June 12, 2015 (1:01 am)

    A year ago the Capital Hill Blog posted this article by Bryan Cohen. It was a response to questions about why new developments there are so so big, ugly, and cheap. This concern is citywide, not just a Ballard/West Seattle complaint-fest. Have a look. This issue is not going to have an easy fix, and neighborhood aesthetics will continue to be a non-issue as developers cash in…because they can.


  • Matt June 12, 2015 (6:27 am)

    The City is constantly tweaking the code and the 2010 update was a result of five or so years of work by neighbors, planners, architects, developers.

    For example, are you willing to paid up to $28000 extra to permit an assessory dwelling unit to fund affordable housing elsewhere? Linkage fees such as this are in the works right now.

  • Pigeon Pointer June 12, 2015 (10:06 am)

    All of the Pigeon Point neigbors that I have spoken with are in favor of much needed housing for the Pigeon Point Substation Lot. Local residents know how much of the green space and and trees are already city owned, that the new school and extensive grounds & Greenspace are just a couple of blocks away, and the stairs down to the Duwamish dramatically descend a city owned hillside.
    They would rather concentrate on needed construction of storm drainage, paved roads, water lines and sidewalks.
    Nature Consortium is there constantly restoring the city owned Greenspace vegetation to its indigenous roots, since there is no city budget for long overdue maintenance.
    Pigeon Point is welcoming a bloom of new residents, in both new and old homes, and many families are re-discovering the charm and (rapidly fading) affordability of this hamlet.

  • Lauri June 12, 2015 (12:54 pm)

    I attended the meeting at Youngstown last year about the development of substation lots, including this one.

    I think the only people “in favor of much needed housing” for the lot are potential buyers who can build and make a profit on the deal.

    People discussed the possibility of the land being developed as open/park space, however the consensus was that there would be no city funds to spare it from development, and that the land would eventually be sold to the highest bidder.

  • Pigeon Pointer June 12, 2015 (3:20 pm)

    Lauri, I too was at that meeting sitting with other Pigeon Point homeowners and recall the discussion about there being no money in the city as well as the hurdle of the city’s directive to sell the properties but there were no developers or potential buyers speaking.
    There absolutely were concerns brought up about restoration and maintenance that the city also can not afford on its present lands with the adjacent Greenspace a prime example.
    With such severe housing shortages, I would hope the city could develop these small parcels into low-income housing. A win for all.
    The concern about the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition is that they are trying to use the city’s funds to buy up the city’s properties.
    If they were soliciting donations to purchase these like the land trusts do, that would be better, but with insane skyrocketing housing costs and increasing demand, using such small parcels for housing people not trees is logical and humane.

  • WS since '66 June 13, 2015 (7:41 am)

    Matt: “For example, are you willing to paid up to $28000 extra to permit an assessory dwelling unit to fund affordable housing elsewhere?”

    Please don’t spread false information. An ADU permit cost about $1,000, I know because I actually got a permit for an ADU. Secondly,one of the rules of having an ADU is the owner has to live in one of the units. If they are both rented out then it is considered a duplex and the owner may have fines to pay. The land must be zoned for multi-family not single family. Lastly, please explain the “linkage fees”.

  • Matt June 13, 2015 (11:16 am)

    WS–the council is considering having additional fees that are ‘linked’ to funding affordable housing.
    And right now it is for every unit created including in single family zones. For things like ADUs.
    Initial projections are that ‘linkage’ fees could be as much as $28 per square foot. So to create a 1000 sf ADU @ $28 per SF = $28000.
    So while in the past you got a permit for $1000, in the future it may be significantly more expensive.

  • WS since '66 June 13, 2015 (2:54 pm)

    Thanks for the link Matt. I’ll check with directly with the city vs a 3rd party blog to get the latest.

  • June June 14, 2015 (12:22 pm)

    How many people do they really expect to move to West Seattle? All of these new places have rent signs right on Fauntleroy and 35th. I really think this housing boom is going to bust, and we will be left with ugly boxes. Seattle is now the tenth growing city in the nation.

  • Matt June 14, 2015 (1:52 pm)

    That article has many helpful links to the original docs, since they are spread out between murray’s HALA committee, O’brien’s website, DPD, and the land use bulletin. You’re welcome.

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