Just one project was on tonight’s Southwest Design Review Board agenda, but it’s a multi-lot project, so the review was not brief. It’s 3257 Harbor Avenue SW, with 30+ townhouses now proposed for what was previously in line for a now-scrapped apartment project. Here’s the design packet:
As with many review meetings, transportation issues comprised many of the concerns. The 15-plus members of the public in attendance were mostly from 30th SW, on the west side of the site. Their major concern was that the proposed parking entry is on that street instead of from Harbor. They said that a nearby condo building had a similar parking setup but no one uses the ramps in bad weather (icy, snowy, slick) because they’re too steep. The location of the parking entry was also of concern because it’s close to City View, a narrow street down which some drivers speed, neighbors explained. The board asked the project team to bring back more explanation of the 30th vs. Harbor parking-entrance decision.
The project is proposed for one parking space per unit, meantime, and that raised the question of whether it’s really outside the Alki overlay that requires one and a half spaces per unit. The board said that would have to be looked into as well.
Since this was the Early Design Guidance meeting – first of Design Review’s two stages – the team showed three “massing” options; the third, their preferred option, would have an east-west public staircase down the middle of the site, with a large courtyard stretching north to south. Board members and attendees were OK with that option. Board members also wanted to be sure the project won’t show a big blank wall to the 30th SW side.
Also discussed, pedestrian-safety issues, bike storage, bike-path access – board members noted that it’s a very bikeable spot – plus whether there’ll be a homeowners’ association to ensure upkeep of the staircase and to handle issues such as collective solid-waste disposal.
The three board members present all voted in favor of advancing the project to the next stage of Design Review. That means the city will set a date for another meeting, usually at least a few months down the line. If you have comments about the project in the meantime, you can e-mail its designated city planner, Sean Conrad, at firstname.lastname@example.org.