DEVELOPMENT: Tree advocates plan demonstration at Delridge project site

(WSB photo from March)

The proposal for 11 residences at 6504 24th SW [map] continues to make its way through the permit process. Tree advocates plan a demonstration there Saturday afternoon to renew attention to the plan for tree removal, with concerns including its proximity to Longfellow Creek. We last wrote about the project back in March, when the city convened a community-requested public meeting for comments (WSB coverage here), most of which were focused on the trees. As we reported at the time, an arborist’s report showed more than 50 “exceptional” trees on the site, and noted more than 30 could be removed. (Here’s the current plan set.) Permit files also show the developers seeking an exemption for part of an “environmentally critical area” on the site. Tree Action Seattle notes that – as discussed in our March report – housing could be built on the site with far fewer tree removals. It plans to gather and “ask for change” at 1 pm Saturday. (Thanks to reader Julia for the tip on this.)

32 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Tree advocates plan demonstration at Delridge project site"

  • Rhonda December 14, 2023 (12:50 pm)

    Good for them! Seattle’s loss of tree canopy is alarming and should outrage everyone.

  • Jay December 14, 2023 (12:51 pm)

    We need more multifamily development but we shouldn’t be clearcutting wooded lots to do it.

  • ConcernedCitizen12 December 14, 2023 (1:17 pm)

    It me. Seattle progressive who wants affordable housing and less traffic but opposes cutting down trees to make room for apartments and light rail expansion because the Taco Time on 35th would go away 

    • Alki resident December 14, 2023 (4:48 pm)

      The neighborhood behind 7-11 would go away which would uproot many families including good friends of mine who’ve established residency for some time now. 

  • K December 14, 2023 (1:22 pm)

    Absolutely, all tree-cutting for housing should be done in someone else’s back yard, not mine!

  • JVP December 14, 2023 (1:39 pm)

    I support their efforts to increase urban sprawl. Well done!

  • Baaron December 14, 2023 (2:04 pm)

    sites like this should be last on the list for development while there are still empty paved lots smattered around West Seattle

    • KM December 14, 2023 (2:56 pm)

      We need a land tax!

      • Ex-Westwood Resident December 14, 2023 (3:53 pm)

        KM, we already have one, it is called a PROPERTY TAX.

        It taxes not only the LAND, but any and ALL permanent BUILDINGS on it.

        And it keeps getting higher, not only through valuation, but because for every NEW social program out there, it gets funded by an increase in the Property Tax.

        In the 29 years I have been a homeowner, I have yet to see a Property Tax initiative FAIL. Some years two or three Property Tax increases have been passed. 

        Property Tax increases should ONLY be voted on by Property OWNERS!!!

        • ThisCommunityHates December 16, 2023 (8:57 am)

          you use “property ownership” as a proxy, but we know what you really mean and what that demographic overwhelming is: white men. you only want white men deciding on the only way WA can generate tax revenue for services that intend to help non-white, marginalized folks. you got yours, so why even acknowledge the needs of others? I mean, you’ve been able to afford your home for 29 years! if you were really looking for an alternative, you’d advocate for an income tax which fixes the only issue with property taxes: the impact on retired, fixed-income folks.

    • anonyme December 14, 2023 (3:20 pm)

      Excellent point.  There are multiple lots around West Seattle doing nothing but collecting graffiti.  There is no need to cut down big trees in an environmentally sensitive area.

  • TJ December 14, 2023 (2:42 pm)

    What does empty paved lots in West Seattle have to do with this? If someone owns them and doesn’t want to develop them then that’s their choice. It really seems like some people have a bleak outlook on some dystopian future here where every empty space should be housing. In this case here with this lot, it will be eleven new housing units replacing one, but some people will still complain they aren’t affordable. If people buy them then they are affordable. Housing is cheaper to build outside Seattle

  • JUrbanist December 14, 2023 (3:31 pm)

    If these people would devote their time and energy towards maintaining our deteriorating public tree canopy, we would all be better off.  

    The trees removed for this project are a drop in the bucket of public lands tree canopy demise and will provide 11 houses close to transit and prevent 11 houses built on forested acres in the outskirts.

    The professionals involved in the design and permitting of these projects should not be expected to entertain alternative plans from obstructionist tree activists who fail to see the forest for the tree. 

    • Jethro Marx December 14, 2023 (9:32 pm)

      “…and prevent 11 houses built on forested acres in the outskirts.”

      Do you really believe this? Despite the fact that compared to suburb McMansions, building dense housing in Seattle is done by different developers, catering to a different market, following completely different codes, regulations, and zoning?

      I am familiar with the “Urbanist” philosophy claiming environmental superiority through dense living. Even if we believed your house-for-house trade idea I can’t see how it makes sense to save some second growth, 8-10″ trees out on Cougar Mountain or whatever by cutting massive cedars in an area with fewer greenspaces per capita.

      Significant trees in our urban community are worth protecting because they provide more than the sum of their carbon offsets. That’s not saying the government will do a good job regulating it, just that the notion is noble.

      • Jurbanist December 15, 2023 (10:47 am)

        Do I really believe?  
        It’s not a matter of belief, but macro vs micro statistics.  
        The forest for the tree.
        Different developers in different neighborhoods?  
        Everyone reacts to the markets’ supply and demand.
        Supply in Seattle has long been constrained by neighborhood homeowner interests resulting in our un-affordable and just plain unavailable housing.  
        Recent academic studies comparing similar cities show that relaxing development restrictions relieves skyrocketing housing costs and moderates sprawl.

        You are clearly misinformed about “second growth, 8-10′ trees.”   Any second growth tree would, by age alone,  be what Seattle defines as an “Exceptional Tree.”  

        Second growth trees are the largest of trees in Lincoln Park and the trees in question for this project.

        Ignored is the plea to address the decline due to neglect of our city owned tree canopy (the elephant in the forest).

      • WS Guy December 15, 2023 (12:22 pm)

        Jethro wins this round.

        • Jvp December 15, 2023 (7:46 pm)

          Jurbanist wins the following round. 

  • Joan December 14, 2023 (3:38 pm)

    The number of trees is significant. We need to increase out canopy in this climate chaos.  Housing can be done while leaving trees in place High Point is one of the most outstanding examples I have seen. They kept the magnificent large legacy trees and built the housing around them. Now the residents can enjoy the shade, beauty and all benefits that come from a community that has mature trees. We can have housing , trees and nature, it just takes creativity and less greed.

  • Blbl December 14, 2023 (4:00 pm)

    TJ, it has everything to do with empty paved lots. Those don’t have to be empty, they can be housing and you don’t need to cut down exceptional trees. Impose a penalty tax on empty lots and it becomes more affordable to build housing or sell them than it does to maintain blighted, vacant space. And “If people buy them then it’s affordable?” Ok, Whatever. 

    • Anne December 14, 2023 (5:11 pm)

      No they don’t have to be empty-but who the heck are you or anyone else to say -let’s impose a penalty tax on  the owner of said lot if they don’t want to build on it or sell ? Overstep much? 

      • Blbl December 14, 2023 (8:37 pm)

        Anne, I am part of the community. Communities apply their power to tax in order to encourage what they value and discourage what they don’t. Trees = good. Blighted, vacant properties = bad. A tax is a legitimate way to affect behavior and communities all over the world use it. 

  • Admiral-2009 December 14, 2023 (4:03 pm)

    Old school if you do not want a piece of property developed buy it and leave it as is.  The owner of the property has the right to develop it per the existing rules in place at the time of the application.

    • arabianrhino December 14, 2023 (4:41 pm)

      Yes, isn’t this what land trusts do, take parcels off the market to save as-is?

      • WSB December 14, 2023 (4:59 pm)

        Not necessarily. There are also land-trust organizations that use it to develop “affordable homeownership” projects, for example, like Homestead Community Land Trust.

  • Derp December 14, 2023 (5:32 pm)

    Two houses were built next door to usa. The contractor took down more trees than the permit allowed. They also cut down Madrona trees,  protect by the city. They didn’t care, they will pay the fine and move on.  Two of the trees were over 100′ tall evergreens. I filed a complaint with the city.  And the contractor got slapped on the wrist. As for the vacant lots around West Seattle, you don’t know what they are doing with them.  They could be waiting for permits, for the architect, to clean up something that they found during the tear down. You people all high and mighty saying they need to do something with those houses. Mind your own business. 

  • thelorax December 14, 2023 (7:00 pm)

    One of the biggest problems is that Amazon and other large companies are making people return to the office instead of work remotely. It’s wrong in so many ways.  One of the ways that it is wrong is that creating greater demand for housing near downtown  and – as traffic continues to get worse because we aren’t scaling mass transit efficiently – there will be even greater pressure to pack housing into the tight radius around these urban corporate campuses. I will stand up for the trees. I wish Amazon would leave Seattle. Truth.

    • K December 14, 2023 (8:54 pm)

      We’d be cutting down more trees if they lived in the suburbs.  People need to live somewhere and urban density was long ago proven to be the way to preserve the most trees.

      • thelorax December 15, 2023 (8:18 pm)

        It’s about preserving blocks of trees within urban spaces to keep balance in the urban environment – reduce hot spots – create ecosystems where pollinators can thrive – etc. You can’t do that when we are wedging people and their giant, soulless box houses into every 5,000 sq foot nook and cranny in order to feed the Amazon machine.  Allow people to work from home so we can spread out a bit. RTO was a gross move. 

        • K December 15, 2023 (9:13 pm)

          So you’re cool with destroying trees as long as it’s not in your back yard.  Gotcha.  Ok, let’s keep a handful of trees in the city so this guy can have shade and instead clear cut whole acres in the suburbs to make room for not just housing, but all of the roads and parking required by sprawl.  Because why stop at one hot spot when you can pave miles and miles of new roads into the suburbs to absorb heat everywhere instead of just one spot.  Starting to think thelorax works for a road construction company.

    • my two cents December 15, 2023 (11:50 am)

      And Amazon leaving Seattle would do what? The are one of the top property tax sources for City of Seattle … they employ 50,000 people … say 10% are downtown on any day … 5,000 fewer people buying lattes, shopping at a store, having lunch, meeting colleagues after work. I’m sure all of that won’t have any impact on things.  Oh … did I miss the news? Is Amazon increasing their Seattle workforce? This Amazon must go routine is the same as any Tim Eyman initiative – sure it looks good on a bumper sticker, but then you spend more than 20 seconds thinking about it and it becomes a lot more complex.

      • thelorax December 15, 2023 (8:15 pm)

        I’ve spent more than 20 seconds thinking about it. No need to be rude.  I am entitled to dislike Amazon and I am not alone  – the way they treat their employees , both in warehouses and corp – the way they demolish small businesses – the crappy user experience – Bezos and his immoral mountain of money.  Calling people to RTO was just an awful icing on a worm-infested cake (no offense to worms).  We’d certainly survive without Amazon and the trees would be much better off. I was here before Amazon was here and it was pretty great.

        • Scarlett December 16, 2023 (9:23 am)

           Agreed.  Corporations are good at cultivating this sort of company town fear.  Amazon is not merely a large corporation, it has become a dystopian “private/public utility” with its tentacles everywhere in our lives (AWS does not merely host, it is essentially the OS for millions of companies)  and people passively, even eagerly, accepting it.   But hey,  when is the football game on?  That’s what really matters. 

Sorry, comment time is over.