What West Seattle’s first ‘Early Design Outreach’ meeting was like

Another event we covered today: The first-ever West Seattle community meeting scheduled as part of the city’s new “Early Outreach” stage of Design Review. Certain projects will be required to go through Early Outreach to get community input before the project reaches the official Design Review stage, whether with or without board meetings. In this case – as we previewed here – the project involves 5 townhouses set to replace two houses at 1772 Alki SW.

Seth Hale from MAS Architecture was the lone project rep for the meeting this morning at Alki Community Center; five community members showed up, four nearby residents and one person from another neighborhood who is a longtime community advocate on land-use issues. Hale said they had sent 100 postcards to people living near the project site. One of the nearby residents identified herself as from the Action Alki Alliance, which had been active in issues related to the apartments-turned-condos development soon to start construction at 1250 Alki SW. She was concerned that the setback proposed for the 1772 Alki townhouses wouldn’t be enough. Other participants’ comments included a request to keep a big old monkey-puzzle tree on the site; the architect had design options with and without it. He said the design proposal hasn’t been finalized yet – they’re working with a neighbor to decide whether an existing driveway ca be shared. They’re also still working out how tall a retaining wall on the slope at the back of the site needs to be. The meeting was very informal, and is a prelude to the project going through Administrative Design Review – which does not include public meetings.

NEXT ‘EARLY DESIGN OUTREACH’ MEETING IN WEST SEATTLE: As first mentioned here a week ago, the 8-townhouse project planned for 5616 California SW is set for one of these meetings, 4 pm September 17th at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond).

HOW TO FIND OUT IF ‘EARLY DESIGN OUTREACH’ IS PLANNED FOR SOMETHING NEAR YOU: The city is using this page to note when a project enters this process, but at least so far, it isn’t cross-referencing when meetings are set – you have to check this calendar page for those, unless you happen to be one of the very-nearby neighbors who gets notice. (Media notification is apparently not required, as we haven’t received notification of either of the meetings scheduled so far.)

2 Replies to "What West Seattle's first 'Early Design Outreach' meeting was like"

  • seaopgal September 9, 2018 (9:53 am)

    Speaking as someone who has planned community meetings, that’s actually a pretty good turnout for 100 postcards and no media notification. And I give them credit for hosting it on a weekend and actually in the neighborhood.

  • CAM September 9, 2018 (11:36 am)

    Strangely, if you try to search by neighborhood the results are confusing. There is a meeting for townhouses at 5616 California but if you try to search by neighborhood it is included in Highpoint. Maybe I’m crazy but that doesn’t seem like the right neighborhood. 

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