month : 12/2017 316 results

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Wind alert for tonight

December 29, 2017 9:04 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle weather

Looks like a windy night ahead, according to a National Weather Service alert issued this morning – a Wind Advisory for sustained wind up to 30 mph and gusts up to 45 mph, expected between 6 pm tonight and 4 am tomorrow. So make sure everything’s charged. And check around outside for anything in danger of getting blown around.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Last weekday-morning commute of the year

December 29, 2017 7:39 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

7:39 AM: Good morning! It’s the final weekday morning of 2017. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle.

Looking ahead to the next weekday – New Year’s Day on Monday – Metro will be on a Sunday schedule; Sound Transit’s West Seattle-serving Route 560 will be out of service; so will the Water Taxi. Washington State Ferries’ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth route will be on a regular weekday schedule.

But before we get there – remember that Metro buses will be FREE on New Year’s Eve (Sunday), as announced last week, from 4 am Sunday to 4 am Monday.

8:30 AM: Trouble downtown. A crash is blocking 2 lanes of NB I-5 at the Convention Center.

8:56 AM: Crash scene has cleared to the right and the lanes have reopened.

HALA UPZONING: Morgan Community Association update on what it’s pursuing and what’s next

That’s the “preferred alternative” map for proposed zoning changes to implement HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability in the Morgan Junction urban village, as included in the MHA Final Environmental Impact Statement issued by the city last month. The Morgan Community Association is one of the neighborhood groups that’s filed an appeal of that document, as well as joining in a separate citywide-coalition appeal. Tonight MoCA’s president Deb Barker sent out this community update on where things stand:

Dear Morgan Junction Community:

It’s the Holiday season and we know that you have a lot going on so we’ll keep this end-of-the-year summary brief.

The Morgan Community Association (MoCA) has been deeply engaged in the City’s HALA/MHA program changes for over a year, starting with our November 2016 HALA/MHA Workshop for District 1. We want to brief you on the current HALA/MHA status and how Morgan Junction is affected. If you have any questions – please ask.

Morgan Junction Comprehensive Plan Amendment. At a special Comprehensive Plan meeting on November 14, 2017, MoCA meeting attendees learned about some potential options to achieve housing results that address neighborhood concerns, and that would meet the Morgan Junction Plan Housing Goal. Attendees voted on the different options and endorsed a general policy statement of encouraging affordable, entry-level, family-sized owner-occupied housing within the urban village. In early December, MoCA focused on this policy concept in our comments to the City on their draft Comp plan amendment language. We also repeated our request for formal neighborhood-planning engagement to modify any portions of our neighborhood plan. The City Council will vote on Comprehensive Plan amendments later in 2018.

We are now taking steps to turn the policy concept into a tangible program, so that our community wishes are incorporated along with the MHA proposals that will be discussed for final adoption in 2018. We met with Councilmember Lisa Herbold in late December and have a meeting request in to Mayor Durkan to discuss the Special Review District idea.

Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Released. In mid-November, the City released its final EIS and proposed maps that up-zone all areas of the Morgan Junction Urban Village including eliminating all single-family zoning from the Urban Village. In the document, the City was dismissive of Morgan Junction’s concerns about flaws found in the original draft EIS. 

Legal Appeal. In reviewing the City’s FEIS document, the MoCA Board came to the realization that the only recourse to have our specific Urban Village concerns addressed would be to file an appeal of the FEIS. Other neighborhoods were realizing that only legal action would force the City to provide a true neighborhood planning process to address the environmental impacts specific to neighborhoods as well as city-wide impacts. The November 27 FEIS appeal deadline was several months before scheduled Morgan Community Association member meetings, and the Board voted to file a placeholder appeal and bring the issue to the January 2018 Membership meeting. The Board also approved joining with a coalition of 26 neighborhood and other interested groups (the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity) seeking to require the City to adequately analyze, disclose and address the full impacts of its proposed up-zones, as well as provide a true alternative. Appeal efforts involve member commitment and funding, and a member group can withdraw at any time. The Seattle Hearing Examiner will hear the appeal starting on April 23, 2018.

What’s Next. MoCA’s next quarterly meeting is next month. There will be discussion about the MHA/FEIS, the appeal, the Comp Plan Amendment language and progress on the Special Review District policy concept as well as actions related to the Morgan Junction Neighborhood Fund. Please join us on January 17, 2018 at 7:00 at The Kenney to discuss the next steps and to vote on key policy issues. We look forward to seeing you.

Deb Barker, President
Morgan Community Association

The full agenda for the January 17th MoCA meeting is in our calendar listing.

NEIGHBORHOOD NEW YEAR’S EVE 2017: Highland Park Improvement Club invites you to parade and Corner Bar again this year

December 28, 2017 8:01 pm
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 |   Highland Park | Holidays | West Seattle news

hpnye2(WSB photo, Highland Park Not-So-Silent-Night Parade 2016)

You can make it a neighborhood New Year’s Eve again this year by celebrating with Highland Park Improvement Club – starting with the all-ages Not-So-Silent-Night Parade along nearby streets. As also featured in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, here’s the full night’s lineup for Sunday at HPIC:

Join us in our annual celebration of the New Year. We’ll be hosting a Masquerade Party, so come donning your best masks, disguises, or alter egos.

Not So Silent Night Parade – Assemble at 6 pm. We will head out into the neighborhood when everyone is ready. Bring your noisemakers, lights, umbrellas – whatever is necessary!

DJ Dr. Lehl & DJ Evan will provide us the tunes that take us to the main event.

The HPIC Hot Dog Stand will be open in the Courtyard, courtesy of Nickie Jostol!

McTuff will provide us with the life-sustaining music that will power us to and through the New Year from 9ish until late (1-130?)

RL Carroll will be here again for all your keepsake photos!

All ages!

Beverages – Draft beer, wine, special cocktail and champagne! As always, we offer a wide assortment of non-alcoholic beverages as well. Please remember that no outside alcohol is allowed.

HPIC is on the northeast corner of 12th SW/SW Holden. (If you’ve never seen, or been part of, the parade, check out our coverage from last year.)

Got a New Year’s Eve/Day event in West Seattle that’s not already in our Holiday Guide? Please e-mail us the info ASAP so we can add it – – thank you!

NEW YEAR, NEW SKILL: West Seattle Amateur Radio Club offering 2018 ham classes

December 28, 2017 4:39 pm
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 |   Preparedness | West Seattle news | WS miscellaneous

Get on the air in 2018! The announcement just out of the WSB inbox:

Is learning a new skill one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2018? If so, the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club has an old-but-new opportunity for you.

In late January, the Club will be offering classes so you can learn about amateur (ham) radio and take the test to get your FCC license, all in the same weekend.

And while ham radio has been around a long time, there are many new applications which are being adapted to take advantage of amateur band radio frequencies. Did you know that you can now send email over radio waves and create your own Wi-Fi using radio equipment?

“Our club likes to say ‘it’s not your grandfather’s ham radio any more’,” says Ron Zuber, president of the club. “We know that ham radio is the best and most fundamental way of communicating when all other methods are unavailable; we are also incorporating new technologies and equipment that go beyond simple voice communications.”

If you’re interested, details are in these flyers (PDF here, or embedded below):

After almost a decade, Dinah Brein says farewell to the Admiral Theater

(Dinah Brein, photographed by WSB’s Patrick Sand on opening night for Star Wars Episode VIII)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

In the Admiral Theater‘s long and storied history, the curtain is about to fall on another episode.

This one has spanned almost a decade, including the latest incidence of West Seattle’s moviehouse being brought back from the brink. You might subtitle it “Return of the First-Runs,” though that’s just part of the story.

What’s happening is that next week will bring the departure of The Admiral’s longtime manager Dinah Brein. She says simply, “It’s time.” Her brother, Jeff Brein, is co-proprietor of Far Away Entertainment, an independent regional chain of community movie theaters including The Admiral, and Dinah’s been working for him since 2004, four years before she came to The Admiral, originally doing public-relations work for his PR firm on Bainbridge Island.

After Dinah and her husband Larry McClellan bought a house in West Seattle in 2006, that started to become a somewhat onerous commute. When her brother took over The Admiral, an opportunity arose for her to work much closer to home.

But at first, she wasn’t running the theater.

Read More

BIZNOTE: Move2Center Studio launching in Triangle with Nia for New Year’s Day

December 28, 2017 11:18 am
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 |   Health | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

One of the newest New Year’s events added to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide is also an introduction to a new business. Nia teachers who were previously at the Center for Movement and Healing in Gatewood are opening a new space, Move2Center Studio, in The Triangle. And they’re offering a 10 am class next Monday (January 1st) to “dance in the New Year with plenty of positive energy”; drop-in fee is $10 (plus tax). The new space is on the lower level of the West Seattle Veterans’ Center/American Legion Post 160 building at 3618 SW Alaska – enter the studio from the 37th SW side. Co-proprietor Melanie McFarland says their full class schedule starts two days later, on January 3rd.

WEDNESDAY: Your city councilmember @ Southwest District Council

December 28, 2017 9:00 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

We’re now less than a week away from the first local community meeting of the new year, the Southwest District Council‘s meeting next Wednesday (January 3rd) at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (4217 SW Oregon). Besides discussing 2017 accomplishments and 2018 goals, SWDC is scheduled to hear from and talk with District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. Got a question or comment for her? She’s expected at 7 pm, half an hour into the 6:30 pm meeting, at which everyone’s welcome.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Last Thursday of the year

December 28, 2017 6:56 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

6:56 AM: Good morning. No incidents reported in/from West Seattle so far this Thursday morning.

One transit alert so far: Metro texted/tweeted that “The first Route 55 due to leave SW Atlantic St & 44 Av SW is operating more than 20 minutes late this morning.”

7:30 AM: Another after-the-fact Metro alert: The 6:33 am Route 116 headed downtown did not operate.

GIVING THE GIFT OF LEARNING: Denny International Middle School’s Winter Break Academy

December 28, 2017 12:26 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for the photos and report:

Denny Scholars Continue Learning over Winter Break!

Thanks to our terrific and dedicated staff, our scholars had the opportunity to continue to learn and have fun over Winter Break. Congratulations to all of our scholars who completed the four-day Winter Break Academy at Denny International Middle School!

After four days of learning, we celebrated with a trip to the roller rink.

A huge thank you to the staff who made it possible! Thank you, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Moor, Mr. Lai, Ms. Fondale, Ms. Ostroff, Mr. D. Evans, Mr. Fernandez, Ms. Jackson-Williams, Mr. King, Ms. Mosley-Freeman, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Higuchi, Ms. Farah, Mr. Hoskins, Mr. Baker, Mr. Jordan, and Mr. Webb! Go Dolphins!

Two emergency calls you might have wondered about

December 27, 2017 9:46 pm
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 |   West Seattle fires | West Seattle news | West Seattle police

We monitored two emergency calls in the past hour that were both downgraded relatively quickly but had initially sizable responses, so in case you wondered:

-SPD/SFD call to 42nd/Alaska (Junction Plaza Park/QFC side) just after 9 pm initially went out as “assault with weapons” and police were requesting a K-9, but then they discovered that the victim had been injured more than an hour earlier so any possible suspect was long gone. We don’t know the circumstances but the injury was not major enough for medic-unit transport; a private ambulance was called.

-SFD call to 25th/Barton (north of Westwood Village) at 8:45 pm turned out to be a fireplace problem rather than an actual fire.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen Honda Grom motorcycle

December 27, 2017 8:28 pm
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 |   Crime | West Seattle news

Steve hopes you will keep an eye out for his motorcycle, stolen today:

2015 Honda Grom, black with an orange stunt setup
License plate: 5E7102
Police Report # 17-475056

It was stolen between 9:30 am – 5:30 pm on 12/27/17 from my apartment’s garage in North Admiral, West Seattle. If you see it, please call 911.

READER REPORT: The case of the stolen-and-bought-back ski boots

The crime didn’t happen in West Seattle, but the resolution did, with the assistance of Southwest Precinct officers, and Zach (a WS resident) wanted to share the story:

3 days ago, on Christmas eve-eve, downtown underneath the viaduct, someone smashed my wife and I’s car window and absconded with our ski bag.

In the bag: ski boots, pants, jacket, etc. An intolerable expense to replace. However, as the days went by it was less about losing the “stuff,” as it’s just stuff, and instead, the angst hinged on the nuisance of the insurance claim and getting the glass repaired, and above all, the feeling of obtrusion my wife and I felt. Our karma, we thought, was past due. Insert the SPD.

Yesterday, the day after Christmas, I perused OfferUp (a safer Craigslist) for my recently stolen ski boots. Alas, there they were! I messaged the “owner” of my boots and he agreed to sell me the boots. Amazingly, I got him to meet me at the Home Depot right across the street from the Southwest Precinct. I called the precinct for help and I was quickly connected with Larry Longley, to whom I divulged my story. He asked us, an hour before I was to meet the ski boot “owner,” to stop by the Precinct to see how SPD could help me safely retrieve my ski boots.

In addition to Larry Longley: Officers Andre Constantine, Jack Johns, Ryan Levens, Garth Lindelef, and Ken Mazzuca were there with my wife and I at the precinct. They were gracious with their time, curious, and extremely helpful. They were fervent in their mission to help law-abiding citizens, yet were buckled by bureaucracy. They unmasked my issue as thus: I could not prove these boots were mine (disclaimer, take a picture of all your valuables) and because we couldn’t prove the man meeting me stole them, we were stuck on how to proceed.

With the officer’s guidance, we devised a plan and operated within the boundaries of the law: I was to go meet the “owner” (thief) and ask him a barrage of ski-related questions – that he clearly wouldn’t be able to answer – in order to fluster and redirect him, all the while, the officers did a civil standby (an amazing service I had no idea existed) to make sure I wasn’t harmed. It worked flawlessly. With the police officers behind me, I effectively confronted the thief and got him to admit the boots weren’t his, I then gave the thief $10 to complete a transaction so he wouldn’t file a complaint of theft (incredulous, right?) and I victoriously went on my way.

Thank you Seattle Police Department, for your patience and inclination to help. Keep up the good work!!!

(Though we can’t find an official SPD page about “civil standbys,” here’s a local lawyer’s explanation.)

BIZNOTE: 2018 to bring ownership changes at Swedish Automotive, West Seattle Autoworks

(WSB photo: L-R, Dave Winters, Sandra Wanstall, Todd Ainsworth, Chris Christensen, Nathen Huie)

You might recall that back after Swedish Automotive moved into its bigger, greener location at 7901 35th SW seven years ago, its old location at 7501 35th SW – four blocks north – was taken over by West Seattle Autoworks.

The two businesses (both longtime WSB sponsors, and co-sponsors of the annual West Seattle Car Show) have retained close ties, and now they’ll be closer than ever: Early in the New Year, WS Autoworks co-founders Todd Ainsworth and Chris Christensen will become the new owners of Swedish Automotive, whose longtime owners Dave Winters and Sandra Wanstall are retiring.

With that change, West Seattle Autoworks will be co-owned by Chris and lead tech Nathen Huie, who has worked there with Chris and Todd since they all moved from Alki Auto Repair in 2010.

This has been in the works a while – Dave has been in the vehicle-repair business in West Seattle for more than 30 years, and when he and Sandra started talking about retirement a few years ago, they looked for the right people to take over, first talking with staff members, and then Chris and Todd.

With the ownership changes, Todd will be at Swedish full time; Chris will split his time between the two locations. Nothing else is changing, we’re told – both locations will remain open, and the makes/models of vehicles they work on will remain the same – at Swedish, it’s Volvo, Saab, Subaru, and Mini; at WS Autoworks, “everything else.”

And you are invited to come help celebrate everyone’s new roles at an open house/farewell event set for 5-8 pm Monday, January 8th, at Tap Station (35th/Kenyon, right across from Swedish).

GRATITUDE: The Christmas People say thanks for your 2017 help, and look ahead to 2018

(Photos courtesy publisher of Here Comes Noodle)

A message of gratitude today from The Christmas People – who, as previewed here, served a free Christmas dinner in West Seattle as well as distributing hundreds of meals to people in need elsewhere in the city, made possible by many donations:

More than 100 families from the West Seattle Community made merry the hearts of hundreds of homeless people during the Christmas holiday by donating a total of 7600 cookies, making financial donations, and giving 360 hours of combined labor in the kitchen, serving, sitting with those who were alone, sorting cookies, delivering meals to shut-ins, and delivering meals to the shelters in Seattle we serve at Christmas. In addition to the cookies, we served 150 meals in the Alki Masonic Center Dining Room, and we also delivered 1600 cookies on Tuesday to three shelters: Mary’s Place, Compass Center and Union Gospel Mission.

The Christmas People, in conjunction with Alki Masonic Center, are planning next year’s event in 2018 beginning Saturday, December 22, to Tuesday, December 25, with a complimentary meal for homeless, seniors, and others who need a meal on Tuesday, December 25 from noon to four.

A special thank you to members of the West Seattle Community for their outpouring of support and to the West Seattle Blog for outstanding support.

Fred Hutchinson and Ruth Bishop, Co-Founders

WEST SEATTLE WEATHER: Golf course closed

Though the snow stopped more than 48 hours ago, some effects linger. The latest: The snow aftermath has the West Seattle Golf Course closed today, along with the city’s three other golf courses. We went over to verify and found a sign on the clubhouse door, plus the still-snowy scene you see above.

West Seattle Wednesday: Lights, music, fitness!

(Photo by Don Brubeck – looking over the Duwamish River early today)

Highlights for the rest of your Wednesday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar and Holiday Guide:

SOUTHWEST POOL: Multiple public sessions between noon and 8:30 pm – see the schedule here. (2801 SW Thistle)

HOLIDAY LIGHT SHOW: Most local music/lights displays continue through New Year’s (see the list in the Holiday Guide), but tonight is the last special custom characters-in-lights show at the Uehara-Bingen home on Alki, 6:30 pm, “kid-friendly,” all welcome. (1736 Alki SW)

WEST SEATTLE GET FIT – INFORMATION NIGHT: 7 pm at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), get a jump on your New Year’s resolution to get fit – find out about this free program to get you from “couch to half-marathon.” (2743 California SW)

THE BILLY JOE SHOW HOLIDAY COCKTAIL PARTY: Enjoy music from Billy Joe Huels of the Dusty 45s at West 5 tonight starting at 7 pm. Tasty drinks/food available, but no cover. (4539 California SW)

ALAN SOBEL AND TIM CASHMAN: Special musical performance at Great American Diner and Bar in The Junction, 7:30 pm. (4752 California SW)

MAURICE & HIS THING: 8-11 pm at Parliament Tavern, blues and rhythm with Maurice Caldwell. No cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)

New Year’s events? Or something else coming up? Send info to – thank you!

FRIDAY: Give blood, help a college student

If you can give blood this Friday at a mobile donation drive in West Seattle, it’ll help a local college student as well as potentially saving lives. University of Washington-Bothell health-studies student Dennise Lopez, a Chief Sealth International High School graduate, is hosting a Bloodworks Northwest drive to earn scholarship money, noon-6 pm Friday (December 29th) at Roxbury Safeway (9620 28th SW). From her announcement:

During the holiday season, your donation is more important than ever … the Blood Center sees a 15 percent decrease in donations, yet they need to collect even more blood (1000 units a day) to maintain supplies through the holidays. The Bloodworks Northwest (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) bloodmobile will be at the parking lot of Safeway on Roxbury on Friday, December 29th, from 12:00 pm to 2 pm, and 3:00 until 6:00 pm. Walk-ins are always welcome, but reservations are preferred. … To help ensure success of the blood drive, please make a reservation by calling or texting Dennise Lopez at 206-851-9976, or e-mail

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT/WEATHER TODAY: Between-holidays Wednesday watch

December 27, 2017 6:59 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle traffic alerts

(SDOT MAP with travel times/video links; is the ‘low bridge’ closed? LOOK HERE)

6:59 AM: Good morning! It’s a few degrees above freezing, might see some light snow but the National Weather Service says there’s not much moisture in the area. No traffic incidents so far in/from West Seattle. And remember that Metro remains on a “reduced weekday” schedule.

UPDATE: Did you get Kate’s package?

1:10 AM: Next year, we might need a special board just for connecting people and misdelivered packages. In the meantime – it’s not Crime Watch, and it’s not Lost/Found, so here’s Kate’s note:

Can you post a note to see if anyone received a package from Pasadena CA for 60xx California Ave SW #304 …. or something close it it? My brother sent me a Christmas gift and USPS says it was delivered on Saturday 12/23 but I have not received it. I live in a secure building with 8 units and we have never had issues with stolen mail so I am hopeful this is a case of misdelivery.

If you did get Kate’s package, let us know … she’d happily come pick it up.

4:48 PM: Resolved – see Kate’s comment.

DETOUR ALERT: Pre-streetcar work starts soon on NB 1st Avenue South

If you take 1st Avenue South to get into downtown – take note of a long-term detour that could start as soon as the day after New Year’s. As announced by SDOT, they’re about to start utility work to get ready for Center City Connector streetcar consstruction. This means northbound 1st Ave. S. will be closed between S. Jackson St. and Yesler Way, January through May, for installation of a new water main. The work also will close westbound Jackson between 1st and 2nd. More details are on the streetcar project website, including a note that staging will start later this week.

UPDATE: ‘Assault with weapons’ call in 4000 block of California SW

8:53 PM: Seattle Fire is sending an “assault with weapons” medical response to the 4000 block of California SW [map], north of The Junction. Police are on the way too. No other details yet. More to come.

9:01 PM: Our crew is still on the way to find out more, but in the meantime, the SFD log shows all but one unit (Engine 32) has been canceled.

9:11 PM: Here’s what police tell us happened: A woman showed up at the California/Andover mini-mart/gas station with a cut to her head. She told them she was injured in Burien. A private ambulance crew is checking her out; a King County Sheriff’s unit (they handle Burien) has arrived to pick up the investigation. They’re not commenting.

DEVELOPMENT: Next chance to comment on 32-townhouse project at 3257, 3303, 3315 Harbor SW and 3252 30th SW

(‘Conceptual’ rendering by Lemons Architecture, from April 2017 Design Review presentation)

Just one West Seattle project on the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin published today – but it’s a four-parter. The project [map] has four addresses:

3257 Harbor SW (7 units, 7 parking spaces)
3303 Harbor SW (9 units, 9 parking spaces)
3315 Harbor SW (8 units, 8 parking spaces)
3252 30th SW (8 units, 8 parking spaces)

The project passed the first phase of Design Review back in April (WSB coverage here), which meant the developer was cleared to go ahead and apply for land-use permits. They have now just done so, which is the reason for the notices published today, opening a new public-comment period until January 8th (each address above is linked to the notice that in turn includes a “how to comment” link).

NEXT STEP: The second round of Design Review – no meeting date yet.

BACKSTORY: In 2014, a different proposal for the site – 80+ apartments – passed the first round of Design Review, but went idle, and in November 2016, we found this then-newly filed townhouse plan.