West Seattle, Washington
Four project notes:
EARLY DESIGN OUTREACH FOR PROJECT @ EX-CHARMANN APARTMENTS: As we first reported last year, townhouses are proposed for the site of the former Charmann Apartments – demolished last October – at 5917 California SW. The 9-townhouse project is now in the city’s Early Design Outreach process, and a drop-in discussion is set for 2 pm Saturday, March 9th, at High Point Library (3411 SW Raymond). You can also comment by going here.
COMMENT TIME FOR 9037 35TH SW: We’ve also reported previously on a microapartments-and-retail mixed-use project to replace a house and small commercial building at 9037 35th SW – four stories, 26 small-efficiency dwelling units, 6 offstreet-parking spaces, plus retail. The permit application is now open for comments through March 4th; the notice is linked in the city’s newest Land Use Information Bulletin.
COMMENT TIME FOR 4 ALKI HOUSES: A land-use-permit application is in for a plan at 2530 55th SW, four 4-story houses with 4 offstreet-parking spaces on the sloped site above, which you might recall as the site of a slide back in 2013. Comments on the application are being accepted through February 27th.
ROWHOUSES INSTEAD OF APARTMENTS IN NORTH ADMIRAL: Three years after a 16-unit apartment building won Design Review approval for 1606 California SW, a different project is proposed. City files show 8 rowhouse units are now proposed to replace a fourplex and house at the site.
“If you take away affordable housing, you have to replace it.” That’s how one community member at tonight’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting summarized their take on the goal of proposed city legislation announced earlier in the day by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who wants to bundle it with consideration of HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability, the subject of a council public hearing tomorrow night. Here’s the announcement sent by Herbold’s office:
Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle, South Park) will introduce an anti-displacement ordinance that would authorize additional displacement mitigations for housing projects located in South Park, Rainier Beach, Othello, Bitter Lake, and Westwood-Highland Park. These neighborhoods have been identified as having a high risk of displacement and low access to opportunity, according to Growth and Equity: Analyzing Impacts on Displacement and Opportunity Related to Seattle’s Growth Strategy, in the Comprehensive Plan Seattle 2035, an analysis conducted by the Office of Planning and Community Development.
“I appreciate Mayor Durkan’s efforts to address the displacement impacts of development by proposing to introduce legislation that the Council requested in 2017 by Resolution 31754. As described in the March 2018 status report to the Council, a community preferences policy will be useful for our non-profit developers. Nevertheless, we also desperately need a tool to address the displacement that occurs when for-profit developers build. Displacement is a challenging issue and we need many tools to address it,” said Herbold.
Councilmember Herbold will this week send the proposed bill to the Council’s Introduction and Referral Calendar. Councilmember Herbold has requested that the Council hear this bill concurrently with the MHA Citywide legislation.
“This ordinance would use authority granted under the State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) to create a requirement for developers to mitigate the impacts resulting from the loss of affordable housing in those areas of the city that, if we didn’t do so, the result would be a failure to fulfill our obligation to ‘affirmatively promote fair housing’ — in other words, in areas where disproportionate displacement of communities of color and other protected classes is likely to occur,” Herbold said. (See upper left-hand corner of this image.)
“MHA Framework legislation, passed in 2016, Section 2.A.2.a, stated: The Council intends to consider whether to include higher performance and payment amounts, subject to statutory limits, for those areas where the increase in development capacity would be likely to increase displacement risk. Resolution 31733, passed in 2017, stated: The Council intends to consider a range of strategies to increase affordable units sufficient to offset the affordable units at risk of demolition due to new development.”
“I’m proud that the Council has a long legislative record of its commitment to address displacement. Now it’s time to act again,” Herbold continued.
“I have, over the years, expressed my great concern that the City describes MHA as ‘housing displacement mitigation tool,’ but has badly analyzed how development removes more affordable housing than the resources from MHA are sufficient to replace.
“For example, in the case of the University District MHA upzone in 2017, the City estimated that only 40-275 units of existing affordable units of housing would be demolished over 20 years. The EIS estimated likely demolition by identifying specific redevelopable parcels and quantifying their existing housing (zero, for parking lots and commercial buildings). The “full build out” scenario wherein construction occurs on all redevelopable parcels to the full capacity of the proposed rezone was estimated to result in the demolition of 275 homes over 20 years. In less than 2 years, based upon a Council Central Staff analysis of new development projects that are currently in some stage of having their Master Use Permit issued or Early Design Guidance reviewed and that are subject to the new zoning put in place in 2017, 96 units of affordable units are already planned for demolition.
“Using the same approach used in the University District in 2017, the City estimates that over 20 years 574 units of housing will be demolished in MHA rezone areas. My concerns about displacement today are heightened, especially considering how far afield the University District estimate has proven to be.”
This announcement comes on the eve of the council’s HALA MHA public hearing, 5:30 pm Thursday at City Hall downtown (600 4th Ave.), as previewed here Monday.
Another request for your input – this time, for the future of the city’s Olmsted parks, including Hiawatha Playfield and the section of Schmitz Park known as its Boulevard. Here’s the survey, which includes this explanatory introduction:
Seattle Parks and Recreation is wrapping up a study of 10 of the Olmsted Parks and Boulevards. The purpose of the Olmsted Parks Study and the following survey is to hear from the Seattle community how Seattle Parks and Recreation can prioritize restoration of these historically significant assets. …
Seattle’s Olmsted Parks and Boulevards began as a dream the City of Seattle had in the late 1800’s for a beautiful system of landscapes among urban growth. This vision was implemented in the form of parks throughout the city designed by the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm. The basis of design for these parks was to allow access to attractive open spaces to provide peace and respite for people from all walks of life.
The study is here (PDF), with Hiawatha assessment and recommendations starting on page 84, and Schmitz right after that, at page 96. Historic photos, too!
BACKSTORY: Here’s more on the Olmsted parks’ restoration project that this is all part of
Thanks to Marc Milrod for the photo of tonight’s sunset. This enables us to note with joy that spring is only one month – and a short month at that (four weeks) – away!
Many have asked – so here’s the answer: After seven weeks, the temporary 4th Avenue bridge-ramp bus lane is scheduled to be removed this Saturday. The lane was striped/signed the weekend before the Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s permanent closure so that buses rerouted onto 4th wouldn’t get too bogged down in the interim period before they could use northbound Highway 99’s new pre-tunnel exit. Now that ramp is open, so we asked SDOT when the bus-lane removal was planned. Spokesperson Dawn Schellenberg replied today, “Our crews are scheduled to do the work Saturday, weather permitting. It will take about 8 hours and work will start around 7 AM. We appreciate folks’ patience. Our crews are spread pretty thin right now.”
You have a month to get ready for some big bus changes downtown, and added service here. Metro went public this afternoon with a mega-preview of what the March 23rd “service change” will bring. It’s all detailed here – including these details of specific West Seattle note:
• Route 50: Additional midday trips providing key east-west connections between Southeast Seattle and West Seattle (new timetable here)
• Route 120: 10- to 12-minute service all day and improved Sunday service to 15 minutes (pre-RapidRide and funded by the City of Seattle), including 28 new weekday trips and 43 more trips on Sundays. (new timetable here)
While those are the only two West Seattle-serving routes listed with major changes, today’s announcement also includes details on other downtown changes, including all-door boarding on Third Avenue and the end of Metro’s shared use of the Downtown Transit Tunnel.
As Christopher Gilliam wrote when emailing us that photo on February 9th – it was “ironic” that the polar-bear-swim Big Plunge at Alki had to be postponed that day because the weather was just TOO “polar.” Now the new date is just three days away – this Saturday (February 23rd) – so we’re reminding you about the Special Olympics of Washington fundraiser. Even if you aren’t plunging (they’re hoping for enough participants to set a world record), you might want to check out the festivities anyway: Food trucks, beer, music – details are here (just keep scrolling down that page) as well as the schedule (before and after the 1 pm “plunge”). If you do want to plunge, here’s where to sign up.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Hours after a shoutout in the mayor’s State of the City address, the city’s Navigation Team was in the spotlight at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting.
Sgt. Eric Zerr, who’s been the SPD team leader since the team started its homelessness-focused work two years ago, was the featured guest, as you can see in our video above and toplines below. But first, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis gave a crime/safety update:
(This West Seattle “snowbird” is a Cedar Waxwing, photographed by Matthew Olson)
Some of today/tonight’s highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10:30 am at West Seattle (Admiral) Library – stories, songs, and rhymes. Free, as library programs always are. (2306 42nd SW)
BABY STORY TIME: 11:30 am, bring the littlest member(s) of the family to this fun time at High Point Library. (3411 SW Raymond)
FREE TAX HELP: It’s that time of year. If you need help, here’s a chance to get it, no appointment required, via the United Way‘s free tax-help sessions at the West Seattle Food Bank. 5-9 pm – more info in our calendar listing. (35th/Morgan)
DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: Reps of groups and organizations from around eastern West Seattle meet for the first time this year, 7 pm at Neighborhood House High Point. The agenda’s in our calendar listing. All welcome. (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
WORDSWEST LITERARY SERIES: 7 pm at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), WordsWest presents “What We Do, What We Say” with Michele Bombardier and Natasha Moni, and the Favorite Poem read by student Mihna Born. Readings, book sales, giveaways! (5612 California SW)
BENEFIT TRIVIA: This week’s trivia at Talarico’s benefits the West Seattle Helpline in its mission to help neighbors in need – details in our calendar listing. 8:30 pm. $2/person. (4718 California SW)
LEFT HAND SMOKE: Rock ‘n’ roll at Parliament Tavern, 9 pm, no cover. 21+. (4210 SW Admiral Way)
6:07 AM: Good morning! Second morning for the new south-of-the-tunnel NB 99 exit ramp. No incidents or alerts so far.
STADIUM ZONE TONIGHT: Sounders FC plays Club Nacional de Football in a preseason match at CenturyLink Field at 7:30 pm.
8:33 AM: Two transit notes as an uneventful morning continues:
–Scattered reports in comments again of Metro buses not taking the new routing. Metro reiterates that they’re supposed to, and expresses hope these are “one-offs” getting used to the changes.
—Ride2 app users will be able to book rides in advance starting Monday (February 25). That’s the lone WS change as a result of Eastgate and WS service “syncing” as Hopelink takes over the former starting Monday.