West Seattle development: Projects proposed for 6016 and 6022 California

The redevelopment pace continues to intensify north of Morgan Junction. City files show two early-stage proposals on adjacent sites in the 6000 block of California Avenue SW, next to a site that already has a project in the works:

(King County Assessor photo)

30 APARTMENTS PROPOSED FOR 6016 CALIFORNIA SW: This two-story building is currently home to businesses including the legendary Rick’s (Psychic) Barber Shop. The proposal would replace it with a 30-apartment building; the site plan shows 10 units on each of three floors, no offstreet parking (none is required because it’s on the RapidRide C Line route).

County records show this building was built in the early ’50s on a 7,500-square-foot lot currently zoned NC2-30, same as the subject of our next item:

(King County Assessor photo)

7 UNITS PROPOSED FOR 6022 CALIFORNIA SW: This is currently home to the one-story retail building housing City Nails. The proposal is for what’s become a common mix on lots like this one – three live-work units facing California, two townhouse units behind it, and two single-family houses behind them, on the alley. Five off-street parking spaces are in this plan.

Again, these are early-stage proposals – the businesses remain open, and the permit process has a long way to go. Just to the north of them is 6010 California, which we wrote about in May. It’s proposed for three live-work units and four townhouses, replacing an almost-century-old single-family house.

47 Replies to "West Seattle development: Projects proposed for 6016 and 6022 California"

  • Diane August 8, 2016 (2:52 pm)

    and how many tenants in historically affordable apts above the Psychic Barber will be evicted from their homes?

    • JVP August 8, 2016 (3:03 pm)

      Let’s not turn into San Francisco.  Opposing development in the name of affordability actually makes things more expensive for everyone.  Really basic laws of supply and demand.

      If developers over-build, which I think they might be doing, then rents will go down for everyone.

      • Joe Szilagyi August 8, 2016 (6:26 pm)

        20,000 new people in Seattle just in 2015. We are still wildly under building. The price crisis will continue for years yet.

        Recall also the city has NO legal power to stop people or jobs coming here. 

    • chemist August 8, 2016 (3:11 pm)

      I think there’s a small apartment in the main 6016 building as well as a small home on the alley-side in that same lot.

  • Diane August 8, 2016 (2:58 pm)

    interesting; 6016 California permit “REVISED FROM: Construct 30 SEDUs”

  • Kneedler August 8, 2016 (3:19 pm)

    Are these projects by new developers coming in, or long time owners of the property looking to upgrade?

  • RC August 8, 2016 (3:21 pm)

    2 apartments and 1 small home.

    • WSB August 8, 2016 (3:46 pm)

      Thanks for the answer. I couldn’t quite tell from the county records, although the nail place’s photos on the Parcel Viewer website seemed to show a house in back … we were going to run by when going out for afternoon errands.

  • Les August 8, 2016 (3:31 pm)

    WSB does the city keep any records of neighborhood population growth? How much has the population of West Seattle increased in the last 5  years?

    • WSB August 8, 2016 (4:18 pm)

      K – In the early stages of development proposals, it’s not always easy to tell. For example, prolific project overseer Chris Gurdjian is on the “site plan” for 6022 as “owner/applicant,” but county property records do not show the property as having changed hands from its longtime owner(s). For 6016, Coombes Development is listed as owner/applicant but county property records don’t show a purchase/sale since the early ’90s.

  • Aero August 8, 2016 (3:35 pm)

    Let’s have another complex without parking. Why does the city assume that tenants in all 30 units will take public transportation just because it’s on the C Line? Given the traffic around WS these days, we know this isn’t the case. New construction should be required to have parking for it’s tenants–at least one spot per unit. 

    • AMD August 8, 2016 (4:28 pm)

      I don’t think they’re assuming all 30 people will take the bus.  I think they realize the roads won’t hold an infinite number of cars and try to encourage people to take the bus.

      Besides, apartments without dedicated parking spaces are invariably cheaper than ones with dedicated parking.  It’s a win-win for someone looking for affordable housing who don’t drive anyway.  There are plenty of buildings going up that do have parking spaces in other areas.

      • Aero August 8, 2016 (7:19 pm)

        It’s also unfortunate and unfair to those who own homes (and pay property taxes) to have people constantly parking in front of their homes. There are plenty of areas in Seattle already where people who don’t have off street parking can’t find parking in their own neighborhood.

        • John August 9, 2016 (7:26 am)

          @Aero….  I completely agree.  I’m already in one of those situations.  I have my off-street parking spot, but for friends and family visiting they have to park a block away.  Not easy for my 82 year old mom when she drops by.

          • John August 9, 2016 (8:13 am)


            Your 82 year old driving mom can simply park directly in front of your driveway, next to the apron between the curb cuts in the city ROW.

            This is parking allowed by the city and is the homeowner’s only true spot on the city street.  

            Only the residence attached to the driveway can park there. 

        • LarryB August 9, 2016 (1:46 pm)

          I’m sympathetic to having a harder time parking, but the fact is that street parking spots are not owned by anyone but the city. You really don’t have a right to a street spot anywhere. That said, the city should be more sensitive to the realities of how people get around.

      • Brad August 9, 2016 (6:51 pm)

        Like these people won’t eventually have cars…wake up SDOT.. and City Council…face it…they never will

  • Diane August 8, 2016 (4:09 pm)

    Les; good question; the city does track general growth,
    perhaps just by census; but not sure the city gathers any of the critical
    demographics of who are the people getting forced out due to insane housing
    costs and who are the people moving in because they can afford the insane
    housing costs; they don’t even keep a good accessible record of how many affordable
    apt buildings have been demolished in past 5 yrs; I do know for a fact that
    100’s of tenants of historically affordable apts (and houses) have been evicted
    in just past 3 yrs due to their homes being demolished in order to build 1000’s
    of luxury apts & houses; so there is more density; there are way more
    people, who can afford luxury housing; but at the cost of 100’s of longtime
    renters being forced out of WS due to eviction and no where affordable left to
    move into in WS; and no doubt, a whole bunch of longtime homeowners who chose
    to sell for big profit and either downsize or move to a more affordable city (I
    know of one family who sold and moved back to VERY affordable Indiana; and
    another family on my block who sold and moved back to the Midwest)

  • Gene August 8, 2016 (5:53 pm)


    The city doesn’t really care. What will happen is that the side streets off California Ave will become even more of a parking lot than they are now. 

    To assume that all 30 (or more) residents will  not ever own a car because they live close to transit is unrealistic. 

    But like I said the city doesn’t care.

    • Aero August 8, 2016 (7:20 pm)

      Agreed! I said the same thing. It’s ridiculous on the city’s part.

      • john August 8, 2016 (8:43 pm)

        The oft repeated talking point that,

        “to assume that all 30 (or more) residents will  not ever own a car because they live close to transit is unrealistic” is not the city’s assumption.

        Rather, the assumption is that some of the people that inhabit these units will not have cars, recent studyshowed in new apartments built since 1985, 30% of parking spaces are vacant a night.  Not every person in the city needs or even wants a SUV for weekends in the mountains.

        Is it fair for a developer to charge a tenant  for the $20,000 to $50,000  cost of constructing one parking space if they have no car or chose not to use it and park on the street just like thousands of other residents and homeowners with garages?   Adding that $20-50K parking spot is part of the rising cost of rents.

        Making the same demands on homeowners and not allowing them to park on the street would be just as viable as thousands of West Seattle homeowners do not use there dedicated garage or driveways for active parking.  Instead we love filling our garages and driveways with anything but cars and then expressing entitlement to street parking in front of our homes.

        If we were actually wishing to solve the concern, we could monetize all street parking like downtown, with user charges for all on-street parking, even right in front of your house!

        This would allow active pricing that could ensure one or two open spots per block.  This would free the developers and the city from building costly private parking that the future holds little need for. 

  • zephyr August 8, 2016 (7:11 pm)

    Quote from Gene:  “

    The city doesn’t really care. What will happen is that the side
    streets off California Ave will become even more of a parking lot than
    they are now. 

    To assume that all 30 (or more) residents will  not ever own a car because they live close to transit is unrealistic. 

    But like I said the city doesn’t care.”

    This seems to be true. 
    It is unrealistic to assume that some or many of those tenants will not
    own a car.  I can see that the city doesn’t really care, but what
    amazes me is the folks here who are eager to see our quality of life
    disappear and be replaced by dense crowded neighborhoods and


  • Mike August 8, 2016 (7:48 pm)

    The developers get tax cuts for not adding parking, no joke. Also saves developers millions on condo/apartment projects by avoiding expensive shoring work for parking garages.  SPD makes an astronomical amount of money on parking tickets, a primary source of money for them, actually.  It’s all in the politicians interest to provide tax cuts to developers.  Follow the money, it tells you everything you’d want to know about your favorite progressive politician.  Shady as any other politician.

    • john August 8, 2016 (8:47 pm)

      The developers get tax cuts for not adding parking, no joke. ” claims Mike.

      I think we should all take that as a joke until a citation is provided.

      Care to share?

      • Mike August 9, 2016 (12:40 am)

        Sure, with the affordable housing incentives, they cut the requirement for providing the same amount of parking that other units would have required. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=36.70A.540

        • John August 9, 2016 (7:17 am)


          Nice red herring link ( just provide the whole document).

          Your statement is factually false.

          And I assume you are aware that there is no mention of “tax cut” as you claim.

          Eliminating a requirement is not a “tax cut”.  

          Developers receive no tax cut for parking space elimination.

          • Mike August 9, 2016 (8:11 am)

            @john, if you read it you’d see in the first few lines where it’s the line item that limiting parking is one item that provides qualifications for the tax benefit.  Reading, I know it’s hard, but I also know you’re blowing hot air too.

          • John August 9, 2016 (11:53 am)


            Now I have read it repeatedly and you are incorrect.  Please cite the specific code regarding parking and taxes.

            An  incentive in  low income development allows for a reduction in required parking.  

            This is not a tax credit or tax break.

  • thee August 8, 2016 (8:03 pm)

    Quick, Lisa, more ink for the rubber stamp! 

  • Roddy August 9, 2016 (12:12 am)

    Yes, after 20 years in the same house, there’s now one guy who frequently parks in front of my house. He says, “hope you don’t mind if I legally park in front of your house,” and it’s usually OK and he’s cool, but if someone else is in the other spot, and it’s raining, and I’ve got a car full of groceries, then it kinda sucks. I do have a driveway on the side of my house, but the city won’t let me cut the curb to make it a *real* driveway because they say the house is too close to the corner. Their “solution” is that I  use the cut-in driveway that the residents of the apartment behind our house use to park, which would mean I would have to remove a portion of my fence, take out trees on my property, and pave a parking spot in my back yard. The funny thing is the guy that parks in front of my house lives in that same apartment! This city is SO MESSED up. Oh, and did you hear they’re tearing down Thaitan Restaurant and building more apartments? Whee!

    • WSB August 9, 2016 (1:00 am)

      FWIW you may well have mega-early intel, but there is not even an early-stage proposal of any kind in city files for that location (5258 California SW) right now … But it’s the same exact type of lot as the two mentioned in this story – 7,500 sf, zoned NC2-30 – so certainly possible – TR

    • John August 9, 2016 (7:31 am)


      You describe a situation that raised some questions from this skeptic like, if your house had a legally existing driveway, what happened to the original curb-cut and sidewalk apron?  If your “existing driveway” was illegally installed, the city would not allow connecting it to the ROW.

      You seem to describe the city instructing you to share a curb-cut driveway with the apartment building.  That would require an access easement between you and the apartment owner and is beyond the scope of the city.

      Your claim about a fence and tree being in the only code approved route are issues everyone who changes their property faces.  

      The Street Use and Residential Building Codes are extremely well developed and specific to what is allowed. No one likes the code when it restricts what they feel should be their right to do.

  • sc August 9, 2016 (12:44 am)

    All property owners near by should get some yellow paint and paint the street curb 5 feet on each side of their driveways.   The law is that cars can’t park within 5 feet of a driveway.  I’m sure there will be no problem because all 30 apartment owners will not have cars ;)

    • chemist August 9, 2016 (12:52 am)

      SDOT even advises painting like it’s 5 ft of flat curb, not including any rounded bevel to the driveway.

  • RC August 9, 2016 (8:30 am)

    Well….guess I gotta move the barber shop.  Again. 4th time.  If anybody knows  of a spot – give me a shout. I’ll be looking.  Again.    Thanks – Rick

  • Roddy August 9, 2016 (8:32 am)


    In both of the old photos of the house from the archives there is a driveway-sized gap between the side of our house and the fence that separates it and the property next door. There is an access easement between our back yard and the apartment building, which the apartment quickly paved over a decade ago and made their parking lot. So, as the city told me, I could use their cutaway, but would essentially have to park my car in my backyard (removing fence, trees). The city never said my driveway was illegal; they just said they do no longer allow cutaways that close to corners, which I feel is unfair because the neighbors across the street have one the same distance from the corner.

    Tracy – My wife told me there’s a public comment notice regarding the development of the Thaitan building on a telephone pole at 42nd & Brandon.

    • WSB August 9, 2016 (8:35 am)

      That would probably be for the townhouses planned next to Outwest.


      But we’ll go have a look to be sure.

    • John August 9, 2016 (9:07 am)


      But what about the original curb cut to your driveway?  How could you have an existing driveway with no ROW curb cut.  Why do yo need to put one in?

      Was there one?  

      If you have an access easement, why not use that and restore your old driveway to green?

      Seattle has long frowned upon parking and garages in dedicated front yards.  The code was written to eliminate ‘snout nosed’ houses with a protruding garage by citizen demand.  Seattle’s older grid neighborhoods mostly had alleys that provided access to back yard garages and parking.  This allowed the streetscape front to more pedestrian friendly.

  • Roddy August 9, 2016 (9:45 am)

    @John – 

    Who knows why there never was a curb cut to the driveway? It’s a 1907 house, I’ve owned it since ’96. There is a curb cut to the driveway next door, with a fence and laurel bush between their driveway and ours. We used to be able to drive on their curb cut and cut across diagonally to our driveway, but that’s not really possible anymore. Nor should it be necessary. Why do I need to put one in? I would like to have off-street option when needed. I’m finding more and more cars from the apts taking up the on-street spaces on our street. 

    <<<If you have an access easement, why not use that and restore your old driveway to green?

    I answered this earlier. The apartments who we share the easement with, paved & striped it and made it into parking lot for their tenants. To actually use this access I would have to remove part of my fence and a grand old rhododendron and park my car in the back yard. I have a dog and I like my privacy, so this I will not do.

  • Steve August 9, 2016 (5:56 pm)

    Didn’t Rick the Barber KNOW this was coming?

    • RC August 9, 2016 (8:49 pm)

      Yeah, but I ignored it. Probably will have a year or two to clear out. So the quest begins one more time but with the way things are going in West Seattle it’s almost impossible to find a small spot that’s reasonable. I’ll press on.

  • Soup Ninja August 9, 2016 (11:43 pm)

    They’re going to move the “Psychic” Barber?

    Bet he didn’t see that coming.

  • Brad August 10, 2016 (1:12 am)

    Government officials around here always assume that people all work downtown.  Try getting to Mercer Island on the C-Line.   If you don’t work in downtown, then you need a car, and thus, a parking spot.  It’s ridiculous that they can build 30 units with no parking but if I want to build a Detached Accessory Dwelling in my backyard, I have to provide a parking spot.  

  • Diane August 10, 2016 (1:18 pm)

    hi Rick the Barber; so sorry that you have to move again; that was my first thought when this story posted; then I noticed what looked like apts above, and that has  been my priority, as lifelong renter, to prevent longtime renters from being displaced from their homes; I’m also very concerned about longtime small biz being displaced, and didn’t realize this would be your 4th displacement; you deserve an award for resilience; will keep my eye open in the neighborhood for alternate shop spots (ps; thanks for info on apt above your shop and house on lot next door)

  • Rick August 10, 2016 (3:42 pm)

    Hi Diane. Thanks for thinking of me. The sale finalizes at the end of October and have no idea what the new owners will do. Since this will be torn down soon I don’t believe they would crank rents or kick us out right away.  But…..I’ve been fooled before.  Last location I had a verbal with the new owner for 90 days and he popped in with a 28 day vacate notice.  SO the search begins.  I’m a good tenant, really. Just not a lucky one. Also, there are occupied houses on both lots in the back.

  • Buck Cameron August 10, 2016 (5:07 pm)

    Rick knew this was going to happen!

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