West Seattle development: Comment time for microhousing at 4122 36th SW

9:24 AM: The major West Seattle item in today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin is the start of a comment period for Early Design Guidance on the four-story, 20-unit, no-offstreet-parking microhousing (Small Efficiency Dwelling Units) building proposed to replace the 95-year-old triplex (above) at 4122 36th SW. We first reported on this project when it turned up in the online files in July. This is going through Streamlined Design Review, so NO public meeting, but the public does have the chance to offer comments on the design via e-mail. Just one thing missing: The design packet is nowhere to be found online. The official notice from today’s bulletin warns that this is your only chance – deadline November 4th – to comment on the project, and explains how to do that, but we’ve checked various spots in the city’s online files (such as the project’s page on the Design Review website) and can’t find the design packet you’re supposed to be able to comment on. We’ve sent the project’s assigned city planner a note asking for it to be made available in hopes of adding it to this story.

9:38 AM: Planner Holly Godard has responded to our e-mail and says it “should be there shortly.”

9:44 AM: And indeed it has just appeared in the places where it should be (here’s the direct link). In some cases, you’ll find a Design Review packet online before the notice – note that the cover page for this one is dated September 30th.

10:13 AM: Added image from packet, by architects Alloy Design Group. Note that the Early Design Guidance stage does not show the final planned look – its focus is on the building’s shape and size, aka “massing.”

40 Replies to "West Seattle development: Comment time for microhousing at 4122 36th SW"

  • Stacy October 22, 2015 (9:37 am)

    The proposal is on the seattle.gov development map site if you pinpoint on the map and pull up the proposal PDF http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/shapingseattle/map.aspx

  • bolo October 22, 2015 (9:53 am)

    “four-story, 20-unit, no-offstreet-parking microhousing”

    So, my experience in de-obfuscating other recent microhousing unit number calculation and labeling methods leads me to estimate approx. 148 actual units for this development. Does that seem about right?

    • WSB October 22, 2015 (10:03 am)

      No, this is actually 20 small efficiency dwelling units. Unlike the 3050 Avalon project, it was filed under the new city rules (which I linked to the SEDU phrase in the story). – TR

  • wsgal October 22, 2015 (10:31 am)

    Bummer, another great looking house getting torn down.

  • BubbaFide October 22, 2015 (10:39 am)

    Microhousing = transition housing

    Great for developers, bad for the neighborhood –


  • alkiobserver October 22, 2015 (10:51 am)

    Gross. Nevermind the actual architecture just seems like more generic sprawl, the fact that this development and all of those like it—with no offstreet parking—is allowed to continue is gross mismanagement gaffe on the part of the city and developer community. Its just one hand helping the other to make money with the greater community getting the shaft. Sure, we might be able to agree that a mere 15% of the population does not own cars, but that still leaves loads of new parking problems to deal with thanks to an issue entirely created by the developer adding the high-density housing and the city allowing it. IMHO, developers should be required to include parking for 85% of the planned occupancy—always and without exception.

  • cjboffoli October 22, 2015 (11:01 am)

    Pity that the design pictured is just a sketch. I love the triangular windows at the roof line.

    • WSB October 22, 2015 (11:05 am)

      The early design packets don’t have to have sketches since it’s “just” the massing phase but lately they tend to.

  • Villagegreen October 22, 2015 (11:22 am)

    Cjboffoli, I was thinking the same thing.

  • George T October 22, 2015 (12:14 pm)

    Email your objections to PRC@seattle.gov and reference DPD # 3021374 by Nov 4, otherwise there will just be more of these monstrosities to come.

  • bsmomma October 22, 2015 (12:47 pm)

    There should seriously be a Not To Exceed living spaces in West Seattle. Change is good, yes. But the amount of people being crammed into West Seattle is getting a little ridiculous. That triplex is cute. Wondering why no one (other than a developer) bought it? It’s sad to see the classics of WS being replaced with boxes.

  • KT October 22, 2015 (1:06 pm)

    I’ve never commented on one of these design things – can I just say this SHOULD NOT be done? Or are we passed that point? Are we just allowed to comment on the design of it? Sorry, new to this.

    • WSB October 22, 2015 (1:29 pm)

      KT – Thanks for being interested. Right now, under the city codes/rules, this development is allowed for this site in this zone. So the only thing that could prevent it would be convincing the property owner not to do it, it would seem. The comments to the planner – holly.godard@seattle.gov directly, as well as the general address mentioned by an earlier comment and on the notice – would be related to project and environmental (traffic, noise, etc.) issues.

  • Chris S October 22, 2015 (1:58 pm)

    Wow, I would have thought that block (around the corner from Buddha Ruksa) was zoned for single family only from the looks of it. But nope, it’s LR3 (3 story multifamily) halfway up that side of the street.

    It’s very interesting to take a look and see what an area is actually zoned for.

  • Just Wait October 22, 2015 (1:58 pm)

    This is what we should all expect as neighbors in current single family neighborhoods – it’s what we’ve given the Mayor and City Council a blank check to allow. Just ask your D1 candidates – they favor expanded urban villages and upzones to allow for this in the name of affordability. Just wait until they start with eminent domain on your street to force more density/affordable housing. The Urbanist and others are just waiting to force these developments on every neighborhood with their efforts to eliminate zoning, and the Mayor and City Council hang onto every opportunity to call for affordable housing.

  • Jon Wright October 22, 2015 (2:10 pm)

    Just Wait, not sure what eminent domain has to do with any of this. Nobody has appropriated any private property nor does that seem likely. For what it’s worth, “eliminating zoning” gets you an unholy mess like Houston, not an urban village. If you don’t want this sort of development in your neighborhood, you could always convince your neighbors not to sell.

  • AEP October 22, 2015 (5:34 pm)

    I don’t see any requirement for “affordable housing” attached to the new West Seattle micro housing units. They appear to be priced at whatever the market will bear.

    I live near the new “all studio” apartments (the 30 parking-free units at The Veridian) in the 6900 block of California. They start at $1200 per month for 265 square feet. Yes, you read that right.

  • Joan October 22, 2015 (7:31 pm)

    If I lived next door, I would be very depressed. This is a nightmare and I hope it never comes to my street.

  • Gladtobegone October 22, 2015 (7:47 pm)

    So glad to have gotten out of WS we enjoyed our time there but enough is enough. People do have and NEED cars. I would not have been able to get to work safely or timley without one. In my new location they actually understand that and instead of shutting streets down restricting parking for an event. We block driving lanes to allow people to drive AND park. Glad to be gone. Plus sunshine here

  • buckwheat October 22, 2015 (8:54 pm)

    More crap being dumped on West Seattle!

  • aa October 22, 2015 (8:58 pm)

    This street is already packed and constantly overloaded beyond residents with Buddha Ruksa fans. If you think this doesn’t effect you because it’s not your street, hopefully you are ready to park your car a few blocks away to get your takeout.

    I live on this street and today for example, 2:00pm both sides of the street filled with cars. Do these buildings help or hinder property values I wonder? Oh, and I hope my new neighbors like the stank of garlic!

  • Elly October 22, 2015 (9:31 pm)

    But does it really matter if anyone comments? Doubt it. So sick of the lie of craming us together in the name of urban density. It is NOT stopping urban sprawl in any way, quite the opposite. It makes people want to run to and build in our mountains! Developers win though. And while im ranting, keep believing the junk about how X number of people are moving here…blah blah blah. Who cares? If you move here for a job you find a place to live. The affordable housing issue is a real one but don’t confuse it with urban density. These microunits are NOT affordable. One way the two issues are connected is that they illustrate the complete absence of urban planning.

  • wb October 22, 2015 (9:48 pm)

    Well i guess the developers continue to have the mayor’s ear. Do these apodments each have a plug to connect to the matrix?

  • Elly October 22, 2015 (10:09 pm)

    I guess I should clarify that our comments would do more on the “Alloy Design Group” Facebook page, or at a public hearing (but there is none because why???) or in response to the City (but I’m still skeptical).

  • Yogi Berra October 22, 2015 (10:19 pm)

    Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

  • Jetcitygirl October 22, 2015 (11:18 pm)

    B R A V O

    ….I hope you and others will email the city with your comments and concerns about this project–as part of the public record.
    Your voice matters and everybody’s voice together can make a difference.

    Community Strong
    West Seattle!!!

  • Seaweedtoasted October 23, 2015 (10:33 am)

    #SeattleNERD (Neighbors encouraging reasonable development) have organized, done our homework about the process and the place, have submitted comments along the way, and have shown up in numbers to the public meetings. We were ignored and disrespected along the way. As a last resort, neighbors pooled money to hire lawyers and “we” won. We stopped a mega building that exceeded height, bulk and scale.while we were working on that, 2 other MicroHouses popped up around the corner. Now, there is another “MicroHouse” being built- as mentioned in this thread. 3050 SW Avalon. 104 units disguised as 14 apartments. 7 stories. No parking. On 7,200 sq FT property that is ECA. We tried again – did our homework, know the process, submitted all sorts of comments, appealed the DNS re the SEPA. That was all dismissed, due to a technicality? Now, “there is nothing we can do” says DPD. The developer still needs a building permit, but I don’t think they need to do design review? It’s so frustrating. I dont want to make this and Us against Them (developers/dpd), but it sure feels like it. i’ve tried to connect with Columbia Builders, but no luck. We have a great strong neighborhood with good ideas of how to develop and be sustainable, but we are being shut out of the process of building a solid community. it doesn’t make sense. Thanks WSB for keeping us all posted on the latest and bringing our WS community together to have real conversations. #IncreasethePeace #SeattlePeaceAlliance

  • Gary October 23, 2015 (11:21 am)

    The Mayor and City Counsel say we need more affordable housing out one side of their mouth, and out the other side they give the O.K. for developers to tear down older buildings with reasonable rents, and replace them with higher rent new construction! Effectively pushing people out into the street or downsizing them into apodments. I don’t consider this action as progress.

  • Just Wait October 23, 2015 (11:29 am)

    The city council is in on this. We also contacted Rasmussen and every city council member and never received a response. They are pro-density, pro-affordability, anti-homeowner along with the Mayor. The only solution these people give (in public statements) is change happens, embrace it or leave and someone will take your place. The Urbanist group has completely overrun debate, they harass anyone with whom they disagree, and they are anti-homeowner. Take note, this is just the beginning and they want homeowners to sell to developers so they can increase density. Homeowners have lost their voice. These people count on low voter turnout to get whatever they want, and too many residents are not paying attention (until it’s too late).

  • hannah October 23, 2015 (3:31 pm)

    what do we do when both of the candiates for the council have drunk the cool aid and think we should oly increase the density easing even futher into single family homes

  • Just Wait October 24, 2015 (8:21 am)

    Hannah – good question. At a debate it also sounded like at-large candidate Lorena Gonzales thinks homeownership in seattle is a remnant of racism and that’s another reason for the city to encourage upzoning and discourage single family homeownership. I’d say email Shannon and Lisa. Lisa will probably respond with a terse regurgitation of some statement she made on the subject because she does not like to be bothered by specific questions she thinks she has already sufficiently answered, buy Shannon will at least explain her thinking… and that she is skeptical that our infrastructure can keep up with density so infrastructure and transportation improvements are essential. But yeah, they’ve both drank the cool aid on density at the expense of current residents.

  • MHP October 24, 2015 (2:52 pm)

    This is not the answer to “affordable housing.” We should not be forced to downsize into a craphole in order t stay in the neighborhood. So over it!

  • Italiangirl October 24, 2015 (4:01 pm)

    I live on this street and just sent my email to the PRC@seattle.gov. This should not be built, WS had contributed enough to be part of the big plan for more density, this is all about the greed of property owners everywhere at the expense of property and business owners and it needs to stop. More than parking issues at stake here and as a property owner,taxpayer as well as a city employee I don’t agree with my big boss and his theories that this cramming and shoving these types of dwellings in a residential neighborhood with single family dwellings and businesses is a good thing. The Mayor and Councilmembers really should go live in a neighborhood like what this plan proposes, give up their cars, use mass transit to get everywhere and ask their visitors to come visit by bus and then ask themselves why the neighbors aren’t so neighborly!

  • Wes C Addle October 28, 2015 (4:02 pm)

    This is despicable! People are paying $750 up to $1000 a month to live in a 200 sq/ft room. How is that even affordable???? Up until 10 months ago I was paying $750 to share a 2 bed/1 bath, 1500 sqft apartment on Alki. I could not imagine giving up that view, giving up a kitchen, giving up the yard and downsizing to a room that can fit a twin bed and a shelf and pay the same or more rent. Ridiculous. Not to mention, the deep sense of loss of demolishing a beautiful 95 year old house to build some cheap, ugly monstrosity. The owner should be ashamed. You are ruining the neighborhood so you can make a quick buck.

  • tonenotvolume October 29, 2015 (10:34 pm)

    The developer of this project should be brought out into the light about not providing on-site parking. I live on this street and block and have to contend with the Buddha Ruksa congestion daily. 20 new residents probably means at least 20 more cars on a street that at the best of times has space for 5-10. During Buddha Ruksa’s hours, you’re lucky to find a spot on 36th at all. We need to stop this project.

  • Jon Wright October 30, 2015 (2:59 pm)

    tonenotvolume, what’s to bring out into the light? The developer isn’t doing anything sketchy; they are building a project that conforms to city code.

  • tonenotvolume October 30, 2015 (10:09 pm)

    Jon Wright, if you check the comments and concerns made about this project on DPD’s site, you’ll see that most are about the parking problem. Come on down and try to park on our street some time during Buddha Ruksa’s operating hours Tues-Sun. Then imagine at least 20 additional cars all parking on 36th between Genesee and Dakota. The developer should have included a parking space for each unit but did not. Why? That’s what needs to be brought to light. A city building code sometimes does not conform to a neighborhood’s needs which then requires us to adapt to poor planning. BTW, your comment ” If you don’t want this sort of development in your neighborhood, you could always convince your neighbors not to sell” is unrealistic at best and somewhat trollish at worst.

    • WSB October 31, 2015 (12:16 am)

      Why there’s no parking in the project *has* been “brought to light.” It was included in our first report on this project, back in July – https://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/west-seattle-development-microhousing-proposal-on-36th-sw
      It’s because of this city rule: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/LUIB/AttachmentProjectID63082015.02.23%20DDR2015-6.pdf – if a project is within a certain distance of what’s considered “frequent transit,” its developer is not required to provide offstreet parking. Whether you agree or disagree with that, it’s what’s on the books. If there’s any question of whether the project qualifies, that’s something you can bring up in comments or in an appeal if and when an approval comes in. I’m reading the comments in the file and haven’t seen anyone yet calling into question of whether the project qualifies.
      Also – has anyone yet requested a special DPD meeting for this project, as has been done for other similar projects in the area (4439 41st SW, which has since changed to a smaller plan, and 6917 California SW, among others)? Streamlined Design Review does not include a public meeting. But as other neighborhoods learned, you can request one. Our archives include coverage of the meetings that were held at neighbors’ request (like this one for the 41st SW project https://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/video-hearing-for-4439-41st-sw-veers-into-city-policy-it-may-seem-like-developments-happening-very-fast-but-theres-a-plan – among other points, they contended that the project was NOT close enough to “frequent transit” to qualify for no-to-low parking) – TR

  • Italiangirl November 5, 2015 (12:17 pm)

    Everyone who cares about this horrible idea, I formally requested that there be a public meeting on this proposed project today. Hopefully we will get some kind of response and a meeting to air the issues. I believe I counted over 30 comments to DPD and it appears that 99% are in agreement that this should not be built in in neighborhood! Thanks to those who care to voice their concerns.

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