West Seattle restaurants: Rezone proposed to transform part of Morgan Junction house into Chungee’s West

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

A very busy block in Morgan Junction, the 6900 block of California SW, has a new development proposal – and an unusual one at that. The same block that gained fame for the “30 apartments, no parking” controversy might get a restaurant right next to that almost-complete building. But it would require a zoning change. Documents are now filed with the city seeking a contract rezone – one that would be approved for a specific proposal – for the property at 6921 California SW, which currently holds the 103-year-old two-bedroom, one-bath house shown in the photo above. The change would be from Lowrise 2 to Lowrise 2 – Residential Commercial. According to what’s on file with the city, it would be a new location for Chungee’s, a Chinese restaurant that opened five years ago on Capitol Hill. Why this house? The Chungee’s proprietors own it. One of the documents filed in connection with the project describes it as:

Located in a LR2 Zone at 6921 California Avenue SW, Chungee’s West is a contract rezone proposal for a family-run, neighborhood restaurant. The rezone requires adding the RC designation to the existing LR2 zoning for the parcel.

The entire project includes an addition and renovation of an existing 100 year old one story single family residence. The extent of the remodel & addition will be to establish a commercial use (restaurant) on the lower and main level and a two-bedroom residential dwelling unit on the upper level. The owners of the restaurant intend to live in the upper level dwelling unit once complete. In order for the project to be realized, the parcel must be zoned LR2 RC from the existing LR2. The RC overlay designation currently applies to the parcel and block directly to the South across SW Mills Street.

An established family-run restaurant will increase the walkability of the neighborhood and the adjacent business district supporting the existing commercial node and attracting patrons from other neighborhoods. The proposal is consistent with the 2013 comprehensive plan for the Morgan Junction urban village and the long term goals of this area in West Seattle.

With immediate access and circulation off of California Avenue, a major thoroughfare, the restaurant will serve not only the immediate neighborhood but West Seattle and Greater Seattle via local transit and car.

The site plan shows three parking spaces in back, where the existing garage would be removed. Meantime, the city files include “proposed project images:

Any rezone will need City Council approval. Now that the city has formally accepted the application, a comment period should open soon – watch the Land Use Information Bulletin, which is published Mondays and Thursdays, for that. The proprietors already have sought letters of support, some of which are part of the official files already.

46 Replies to "West Seattle restaurants: Rezone proposed to transform part of Morgan Junction house into Chungee's West"

  • Venkat August 27, 2015 (3:32 pm)

    I just happened to go to this place in Capitol Hill and it was great.

    It’s great to see a restaurant like this, and near Morgan Junction to boot. (I’m one of those annoying people who think we have an overload of certain genres of restaurants and stores. And mostly concentrated around Admiral and Alaska Junctions.)

    I’ll definitely be filing a letter of support ..

  • Jason August 27, 2015 (3:33 pm)

    I love this and really hope they can make it happen. The neighborhood could really use a restaurant, and a small family-owned business like this would fit in perfectly.

  • M August 27, 2015 (3:48 pm)

    Chinese. I didn’t see that one coming.

  • MonkeyKing August 27, 2015 (3:49 pm)

    I love the Capitol Hill restaurant and its neighborhood vibe. I can see the owners easily re-creating the fun, family atmosphere here too. Not to mention having authentic Chinese food in WS!

  • WSobserver August 27, 2015 (3:55 pm)

    I’m totally in favor of this. Love to have an eatery in the neighborhood that isn’t pizza.

    We’ve gotten only residential redevelopment. It would be great to have more diversified commerce available in Morgan Junction.

    Is there some way We The People can support their application?

    • WSB August 27, 2015 (4:08 pm)

      WSO – The comment period will likely officially open Monday, as I’ve heard the sign has gone up at the site – I’m going down the hill to check. You can send a comment sooner via PRC@seattle.gov and refer to land use application #3018102. There also will be a comment period whenever the rezone goes to the council – I don’t know of a way to comment on that in advance until it gets a “council file #” – TR

  • iggy August 27, 2015 (3:58 pm)

    Parking? Parking? Parking? I hope three spaces in back are enough.

  • Katie August 27, 2015 (4:06 pm)

    As a resident of Mills ST, this both excites me and terrifies me. We keep coming back to the parking issue. My household relies on off-street parking, and there aren’t a lot of options for parking if the street is full. However love the idea of a local restaurant to enhance this neighborhood! Can’t we please just think of parking!!

  • Natinstl August 27, 2015 (4:08 pm)

    Opening up a can of worms.

  • Me August 27, 2015 (4:14 pm)

    Iggy, How about instead of crying about parking at a local eatery you find an alternative method to get there?

  • HC August 27, 2015 (4:28 pm)

    My first thought is the three parking spaces will be taken for the residents above, not by restaurant patrons.

  • Gina August 27, 2015 (4:35 pm)

    Hooray! I would love another non-pizza, non-burger, non-sports-bar option in West Seattle. How exciting!!

  • JoB August 27, 2015 (5:11 pm)

    without parking, i won’t be able to go..
    but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea

  • Jason August 27, 2015 (5:46 pm)

    I don’t think the three spots are intended for customers. I think they’re for the owners and for a delivery driver, and possibly a place to park temporarily if you ordered something to go. But please realize that this would be a pretty small restaurant, and I really don’t think parking will be an issue at all. If you’ve eaten at their other place on 12th, you know that this is very much a neighborhood place, not a destination restaurant. It’s more than reasonable to expect most folks to arrive on foot. Please don’t let parking concerns kill a good project. There’s so much more to life than cars.

  • Celeste17 August 27, 2015 (5:58 pm)

    Hope they deliver. I love Chinese food.

  • JennT August 27, 2015 (6:10 pm)

    I’m so excited to have Chungees in the neighborhood. As friends of the owners as well as patrons of their wonderful place on Capital Hill, this is good for West Seattle. Tom and Wen are good for the ‘hood. I for one am thrilled that they may be able to make their vision come true and provide a real family restaurant with wonderful home cooking. This isn’t your typical Chinese food, people! Think outside the box and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

  • LMc August 27, 2015 (6:20 pm)

    How long have they owned the building. You should not start rezoning or it will happen on your street

  • Donna Nguyen August 27, 2015 (6:26 pm)

    Worried about parking? West Seattle has bigger wontons to fry!

  • datamuse August 27, 2015 (6:36 pm)

    Good Chinese food in WS? I’m intrigued!

  • Heidi A August 27, 2015 (7:18 pm)

    Locol and westy seem to being doing pretty good as neighborhood walking distance restaurants without parking. We need more of them! This would be a great addition!

  • JayDee August 27, 2015 (7:44 pm)

    Can’t help myself: If they live there, this will be authentic home-cooked Chinese food…I hope they’d deliver to Alki…

  • Jodi August 27, 2015 (8:40 pm)

    A welcome addition to the area that will bring in homestyle Cantonese cooking along with the fabulous neighborhood connection that Tom and Wen bring to any place they occupy.!We would be lucky to have them back in the hood.

  • East Coast Cynic August 27, 2015 (8:43 pm)

    Good to hear that a really good chinese food restaurant will open in West Seattle. That will save me the trouble of driving to the strip malls in Burien to get some.

  • Katie Collier August 27, 2015 (9:19 pm)

    I couldn’t be more excited to hear the news! I met Wen and Tom, the owners when they were opening the Capitol Hill location. They are LOVELY people, making lovely food, and they’re Capitol Hill location achieved a uniquely homey/familiar vibe. What a huge win for West Seattle!

  • Dr. Bob August 27, 2015 (11:09 pm)

    I’m excited for the can of worms!

  • sun*e August 28, 2015 (12:07 am)

    What?! West Seattle is going to get a new Chinese food restaurant? YAY!!! 👍👏🙌 I’ve been going through withdrawals ever since Ho-Win went out of business! This is such great news! 🙋

  • Harold Bedderman August 28, 2015 (7:31 am)

    Excellent idea ! Too many locations in this area have been filled with pet businesses and fitness places, we need more restaurants in Morgan Junction.

  • John August 28, 2015 (8:46 am)

    Incredible responses to what is bold proposal.

    This may get me back to another MOCA meeting as this presents a new challenge to the usually NIMBY tilted group. As much as they might like the proposal, it clearly crosses the line as a restaurant with no parking in the residential zone that has been fiercely defended. This re-zone could easily add more parking woes than the micro-housing neighbor that has been so demonized.
    Fairly this proposal should bear more scrutiny than any project that is legally zoned, i.e. where is the bicycle parking?

    To address those that wish to maintain our designated residential quality, why not move into Feedback Lounge? No zoning issue at the newly available built-out space, no long construction process/impact and the owners could walk to work.

  • brizone August 28, 2015 (10:30 am)

    +1 sun*e: I miss Ho-Win too! I love Lee’s, but it’d be nice not to have to go all the way up to the Junction…

  • Diane August 28, 2015 (12:46 pm)

    word on the street, Feedback already has a new tenant lined up

  • Matt August 28, 2015 (1:28 pm)

    Couldn’t care less…it was mediocre Chinese food when I lived on capitol hill and it’ll be mediocre Chinese in west Seattle. I’ll stick with Lee’s.

  • Dee August 28, 2015 (3:12 pm)

    Glad for a Chinese food option, sad for 103 year old house. The new build lack any character IMO…

  • OP August 28, 2015 (3:19 pm)

    Never been to this place. Given the sorry state of W. Seattle Chinese restaurants (Lee’s*, Chopsticks, Yen War and other dives), I would give my left chopstick for even an above-average Chinese restaurant, so I’ll give it a go.

    One of Seattle’s great mysteries: the lack of good, cheap Chinese food.

    *Which used to be really good when it first came to WS, BTW.

  • Tom August 28, 2015 (3:57 pm)

    This is all about walkability and serving the immediate neighborhood! Cute little enclaves are created with this sort of project. Sure beats the other option of building another apartment complex on that property…and this property would allow for that sort of building…

  • Alan August 28, 2015 (5:10 pm)

    Nobody mentioned Young’s Restaurant for Chinese food. Maybe because they are no longer open for dinner or because it is on 16th near Roxbury. This is a true family run restaurant and I love their breakfasts. They close at 4, so I will have lunch or grab it to go, just before they close.

    And yes, it is still in West Seattle.

  • Kyla August 28, 2015 (8:05 pm)

    Yahoo! We were dedicated regulars when we lived in the Central District and would love to frequent their business – and have their company – in WS. This would be excellent

  • Sarah August 28, 2015 (8:59 pm)

    Best food ever!!!! This will be a huge benefit for Morgan Junction! Yes! Yes! Yes! Walk, run, whatever! You will want to go there when it opens. I love the one on Capital Hill and rarely go as I prefer to stay on this side of the bridge. I can walk to this location so count me in for one less parking space!

  • John August 28, 2015 (10:01 pm)

    @Tom with the claim that, “This is all about walkability and serving the immediate neighborhood!”

    The proposal directly contradicts your idyllic pedestrian spin…
    “With immediate access and circulation off of California Avenue, a major thoroughfare, the restaurant will serve not only the immediate neighborhood but West Seattle and Greater Seattle via local transit and car.”

  • AJ August 29, 2015 (11:16 am)

    The rezone is scary. This is a slippery slope people. Don’t trust the city. This is just what the HALA proposal was all about; tearing down charming old homes to put in modern “rooming houses” or more likely, “flop” houses. I don’t want my neighborhood trashed. What happens when these people move on? A crappy building that we will be stuck with for years to come.

    • WSB August 29, 2015 (11:29 am)

      Please note, this is *not* a demolition proposal. Nor are apartments included. Restaurant on first and second floors, owners’ residence (same people who have owned this house for almost 20 years) top floor.

  • M August 29, 2015 (3:06 pm)

    Not sure why anyone would be against this. The proposed rezoning on the next block where Cafe Ladro is located is more scary.

  • fulana August 29, 2015 (4:42 pm)

    chungees on Cap Hill is awesome!

  • DavidW August 29, 2015 (7:01 pm)

    Chungee’s Capitol Hill is a great little family neighborhood restaurant & Wen & Tom are wonderful people. What’s not to like?!

  • roddy August 31, 2015 (6:28 pm)

    Very excited for good Chinese food in my hood!

  • Blythe September 6, 2015 (7:35 pm)

    This sounds like a great idea. Small neighborhood restaurant owned and operated by locals who will hire local help. Morgan junction needs more neighborhood dining options. Especially a place that has authentic, delicious food and a successful following.

Sorry, comment time is over.