Development 1631 results

DEVELOPMENT: 1772 Alki SW is first West Seattle project to set date for Early Outreach in Design Review process

(King County Assessor website photos of 1772, 1774 Alki SW houses to be replaced by 5 townhouses)

Almost two months after the city launched a calendar and website for a new component of the Design Review process known as Early Community Outreach, the first West Seattle project has turned up in the pipeline: 1772 Alki SW, five townhouses planned to replace two houses (at 1772 and 1774), with 8 offstreet-parking spaces.

The new process is intended to formalize something that some developers had been doing and some hadn’t – reaching out to community members before the project design got to the formal comment phase. The Early Community Outreach meeting for this project is set for 10 am Saturday, September 8th, at Alki Community Center (5817 SW Stevens) and is open to all.

SIDE NOTES: If you receive – or have already received – a direct notification about this meeting, please consider letting us know (westseattleblog@gmail.com), as we’re interested in seeing how this new process plays out. … Also of note regarding this particular project, it’s next to, but apparently separate from, a similar project, six townhouses replacing two houses at 1778 and 1780 Alki SW, with an application notice in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin.

FOLLOWUP: Old warehouse demolished at future self-storage site on Harbor Avenue

More than three years after first word of a self-storage facility to replace a century-old warehouse at 3310 Harbor Avenue SW, the building has been demolished. We noticed the pile of debris when passing through tonight for another check on SPF30 preps a few miles west. We first reported on the plan in March 2015; West Coast Self-Storage obtained a street vacation for part of the site, which includes the former tow yard north of the ex-warehouse.

Southwest Design Review Board sends 4508 California SW back for 2nd try at 1st round

(The “packet” prepared for the Design Review meeting)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For the second time this summer, a West Seattle Junction business owner brought a California Avenue SW mixed-use redevelopment project to the Southwest Design Review Board for the first time.

Both reviews started similarly – with the business owner introducing himself and talking about his history in The Junction – but they ended differently.

Thursday night, unlike two weeks ago, board members sent the project back for a second attempt at the first phase of the process, Early Design Guidance.

The project is 4508 California SW. The entire board was present for the review – chair Don Caffrey, Crystal Loya, John Cheng, Scott Rosenstock, Matt Hutchins – plus assigned city planner Allison Whitworth.

PROJECT TEAM PRESENTATION: The longtime local entrepreneur who owns the site, Leon Capelouto, stood up and opened with some personal history.

He described his background (which we covered in this 2014 story) as “the American dream.” He noted that he has long represented the “interests of the merchants and the (Junction Association) and will continue to do so.” He also mentioned serving on the board of Trusteed Properties, owners of the land that holds The Junction’s “free parking lots,” and being committed to continued parking availability.

Capelouto said his ~70-apartment project will include 25 percent affordable units and says he’s offering the existing commercial tenants on the site “a chance to relocate (in the new building) at a reduced rent if they so choose.” (One of the three spaces in the buildings proposed for demolition is vacant, the former West Seattle Cyclery; the other two spaces have long housed two restaurants, Kamei and Lee’s Asian.)

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DEVELOPMENT: Townhouses planned for 5616 California SW, next to C & P Coffee

That’s the King County Assessor photo of the 93-year-old house at 5616 California SW, next to C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor). Five months after the coffeehouse’s proprietors bought their property at 5612 California SW to spare it from redevelopment, their southern neighbor appears demolition-bound: City files show an early-stage proposal for eight townhouses with five offstreet-parking spaces (though none are required, because it’s in a frequent-transit zone). As with the C&P site, this is a 7,500-square-foot parcel zoned Lowrise 3. The site plan in the city’s online file shows three townhouses would face California and three would be on the alley, with north-facing entries for the two between them. The coffeehouse site is bordered on the north by an apartment building with ground-floor commercial.

REAL ESTATE: 2 West Seattle convenience-store sites for sale

Spotted in the commercial real-estate listings:

(King County Assessor website photo)

SUPER 24 JUST LISTED: The Super 24 store site in Delridge’s “Brandon Node” business district has just been listed, asking price just under $2 million. The site at 5455 Delridge Way SW is described as a “great redevelopment opportunity of mixed use or multi-family with short term leased back.” It’s a quarter-acre site currently zoned for four-story development, and if HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability is approved, the 40′ zoning would go up to 55′.

(King County Assessor website photo)

JUNCTION 7-11: The store at 4812 Erskine Way SW is a smaller site – 7,100 square feet – with a slightly smaller price, $1.8 million, but zoned for taller development – 65 feet, and here too (as with all commercial/multi-family property), more if HALA MHA is finalized – 75′ is proposed. The listing says in part, “First time available to the market. This is a high exposure property located in the heart of the West Seattle Junction. There is approximately four and one-half years left on the 7-11 lease” while noting that 7-11 parent company The Southland Corporation has the right of first refusal.

DEVELOPMENT: 4508 California SW’s downsized site; 5011 Delridge Way SW comment period opens

Two development-related notes:

(4508 California SW “preferred option” rendering by Caron Architecture)

4508 CALIFORNIA SW DOWNSIZED: One week from tonight, 4508 California SW goes to its first Southwest Design Review Board meeting. The packet is now available online, and we noticed a big change from when we originally reported on this project back in March: It’s proposed for a smaller footprint. The original early-stage filing described the site as stretching from the former West Seattle Cyclery storefront all the way to West Seattle Windermere; now it’s covering three current storefronts – ex-Cyclery, plus two restaurants, Lee’s and Kamei. As is standard in the Early Design Guidance stage of Design Review, the project packet proposes three possible “massing” configurations – they would each include more than 70 apartments plus 19 offstreet-parking spaces (city rules do not require any parking in this area) as well as ~11,000 square feet of retail (ground floor) and lodging. The SWDRB meeting next Thursday (6:30 pm August 2nd, Senior Center/Sisson Building, 4217 SW Oregon) will as usual include a public-comment period; if you can’t be there, you can send comments via e-mail to holly.godard@seattle.gov to get them to assigned city planner Holly Godard.

5011 DELRIDGE WAY SW: Comments open today and continue through August 8th on the streamlined design review for this six-townhouse, six-offstreet-parking-space project replacing a triplex. You can see the design packet here. The notice explains how to comment – this type of design review does NOT include a public meeting.

4747 California SW – ‘future home of Husky Deli’ + apartments – gets Southwest Design Review Board OK to move to next phase

(WSB photo: Jack Miller speaking, Ed Hewson at left, Design Review Board members Crystal Loya, John Cheng, Scott Rosenstock, Matt Hutchins in background, architect Katie McGough at right)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It was a Southwest Design Review Board meeting unlike most.

This one spotlighted the proposed mixed-use project’s future commercial anchor, whose proprietor is the property’s owner: Pre-meeting, a time-lapse clip of customers inside Husky Deli – whose next home will be inside the planned building at 4747 California Avenue SW – played continuously on the big screen.

The board and attendees heard a quick history of the iconic deli from proprietor-turning-developer Jack Miller. And even the lead architect shared a few memories.

But the business of project review got done too – and without much controversy or critiquing, the four board members voted to send it to the second phase of Design Review. Crystal Loya chaired the meeting; other members present were John Cheng, Scott Rosenstock, and Matt Hutchins, plus the designated city planner for the project, Allison Whitworth.

Here’s how things went:

ARCHITECTS’ PRESENTATION: Jenny Chapman with Ankrom Moisan Architects opened by saying Husky Deli is where she – and her two daughters – had their first ice-cream cones. Miller then stood up to offer Husky Deli history – did you know they didn’t start making sandwiches until the ’90s? – “The Junction has changed more in the past six years than it did in the first 80” of Husky Deli, he noted. The current home of his business is “tired” so it’s “time for a change,” he said. “We’re going to put a building together we’re going to be proud of.”

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Another West Seattle project gets its first Design Review date: 3201 SW Avalon Way

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

Starting with tonight’s meeting for 4747 California SW, four projects are now on the Southwest Design Review Board calendar for the next two months. A September 20th date has just been added for 3201 SW Avalon Way, proposed for 7 stories, 152 apartments, and 80 offstreet-parking spaces. We first told you about this project last December, when the early-stage proposal surfaced for the site of the 28-unit Golden Tee Apartments at Avalon/Genesee. The September 20th review – which would focus on the size/shape/siting of the building, since it’s the Early Design Guidance phase – is set for 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon); if you have comments before that, you can e-mail Abby Weber (abby.weber@seattle.gov), the city planner assigned to the project.

First Southwest Design Review Board date set for mixed-use project at 7617 35th SW

(WSB file photo)

We first reported one month ago on the new mixed-use proposal for the auto-shop site at 7617 35th SW. Now there’s a Southwest Design Review Board meeting date set – 6:30 pm Thursday, September 6th. The draft packet available via the city website offers three “massing” options for the proposed development, all four stories, ranging from 42 apartments, 16 offstreet-parking spaces, and 5,500 square feet of commercial space to 51 apartments, 27 spaces, and 5,000 sf of commercial space. Since this is the Early Design Guidance phase, the “packet” focuses on massing – size/shape/siting of the project – rather than final design touches. There’ll be a public-comment period at the meeting, which will be at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon); if you have comments sooner, the assigned city planner is Michael Gushard – reachable via e-mail, michael.gushard@seattle.gov.

DEVELOPMENT: See the ‘packet’ for 4747 California SW with one week till first meeting – plus, a surprise

One week from tonight, it’s the first of two Southwest Design Review Board meetings scheduled this summer for the next two redevelopment projects in the heart of The Junction. At 6:30 pm Thursday, July 19, the board takes its first look at 4747 California SW, the project we first told you about back in February, with its development team including Jack Miller, whose Husky Deli will move to a new home in the new building when it’s done.

When we reported the meeting date back in early June, we included a link to the draft “packet” – and now, embedded above (or see it here), the final packet is out. Keep in mind that this is the Early Design Guidance phase of Design Review, so the focus is on the building’s size, shape, and siting, not final design details. Reading through it – we discovered a surprise: Direct responses to WSB commenters. On page 25, the packet includes the “letter from Jack Miller” that we received and published last month. And then, on the next four pages, something we were surprised to see – a section titled “Community Engagement,” including screen grabs of some of the comments that WSB readers wrote about what Miller had to say, and responses from the development team, with this preface:

WEST SEATTLE BLOG – COMMUNITY FORUM

The West Seattle Blog has become the de facto community forum for the neighborhood. Whether it’s checking in on breaking news, or finding out about the latest restaurant opening, the blog is the place West Seattle goes for trusted local reporting and discussion. On June 2nd, Jack Miller of Husky Deli published his essay on the Blog. From the nearly 100 comments, we have complied and responded to a range of them here touching on the most common themes.

In all the years we’ve been extensively covering local development, we’ve heard WSB comments mentioned by development teams at some SWDRB meetings, but we can’t recall a spotlight in a packet before. The packet’s other components include the three options for project massing, with the “preferred” option (see page 46) expected to include 74 apartments and 54 offstreet residential parking spaces (see page 33, which says the apartments in that configuration would be 21 studios and 53 one-bedrooms).

The July 19th meeting is at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon) and will include a public-comment period. If you have something to say but can’t make the meeting, you can e-mail the project’s assigned city planner, Allison Whitworth, at allison.whitworth@seattle.gov.

DEVELOPMENT: Design Review changes kick in, including ‘early outreach’

July 3, 2018 9:45 pm
|    Comments Off on DEVELOPMENT: Design Review changes kick in, including ‘early outreach’
 |   Development | West Seattle news

Like to know sooner rather than later when a significant development project is on the way? Early outreach is one of the recent Design Review program changes that just kicked in, and here’s how to make sure you’re plugged into that early info. First: Keep watch on this new city webpage where projects doing “early outreach” are supposed to be listed. (Thanks to Cindi Barker for first sighting of that.) No West Seattle projects listed yet. Also, the city has a new calendar page for events related to early outreach. These are for events even before a project has its first Early Design Guidance meeting. The process is explained here. Previously, some developers did early outreach, but it was entirely voluntary; now, for projects of a certain size/scope (explained here), it’s mandatory.

DEVELOPMENT: First Southwest Design Review Board date set for 4508 California SW project

(Massing for ‘preferred option’ from draft Design Review packet for 4508 California SW)

As noted here earlier this month, the first of the next two mixed-use projects in the heart of West Seattle, 4747 California SW, is set for its Southwest Design Review Board debut on July 19th. Now, the other one, 4508 California SW, has a date set too – August 2nd. (Thanks to Scott for the tip.) This – as we first reported in March – is planned for a site immediately south of the Sisson Building (Senior Center of West Seattle). It’s currently proposed as 7 stories, 79 apartments, and 20 offstreet-parking spaces. The 6:30 pm meeting on August 2nd at the Senior Center (4217 SW Oregon) is for the Early Design Guidance phase, so the “design packet” (here’s the draft version in PDF) mostly addresses size and shape – “massing” – rather than the building’s potential appearance, which would be reviewed in the second phase.

DEVELOPMENT: New proposal for 7617 35th SW

The future of the auto-shop site at 7617 35th SW [map] has long been in play – we noted a real-estate listing five years ago, and it was finally sold in 2016. Now there’s a new redevelopment proposal: A 4-story mixed-use building. Documents in city files say it’s proposed for 6,000 square feet of commercial space, plus 50 apartments and 20 offstreet-parking spaces. LDG Architects is designing the project. It will have to go through the Design Review process, though there’s no date set yet for the first hearing.

DEVELOPMENT: It’s all about the rowhouses – including a project inspired by tiny houses

Two rowhouse reports today:

PIGEON POINT PROJECT: The eight-unit rowhouse project on the former City Light substation site at 21st/Andover has taken shape in an eye-catching way. An inquiry into a neighbor’s question led us to look more closely at the project, and we found the site plan noting that each of the eight units would be 600 square feet – far smaller than the average for-sale project, so we sought further details from the designer, Cleave Architecture and Design, whose Justin Kliewer replied:

As you mention, they will be small units, but the slope of the site allows them to be spread over two floors and a mezzanine, each of which looks out over a maple grove and includes a small deck. The developer is planning to integrate some clever built-in storage ideas, spiral stairs, and other ways of making the small space livable. We approached the project with a similar mindset as a tiny house, and are excited to try out these smaller units as a way of providing a lower-cost home ownership option.

The project’s on-the-record address is 3855 21st SW [map]. County records show Greenstream Investments bought the 8,000-sf ex-substation site for $185,000 in October 2016; it was originally listed as seeking “a minimum bid of $400,000” until the broker selling it for the city changed that to a “major price reduction” a few months before the sale.

And from today’s Land Use Information Bulletin:

NORTH DELRIDGE ROWHOUSES: Today’s notice opens a comment period for a 9-unit rowhouse proposed to replace a 113-year-old house 4308 26th SW, in the rapidly redeveloping neighborhood north of the Delridge Community Center Park. 9 offstreet parking spaces are proposed. The notice (PDF) explains how to send a comment; the deadline is June 27th.

What Jack Miller wants you to know about his West Seattle Junction development project, Husky Deli’s future home

On Friday, we brought you an update on The Junction’s next mixed-use project, the one we discovered in city files three months ago – 4747 California SW, with an “all-West Seattle team” planning the development, including property owner Jack Miller, best known as Husky Deli‘s proprietor. As you saw in our Friday report, the packet for the upcoming Design Review meeting confirms Husky Deli will move into the new building when it’s done. And today, Jack Miller sent us this first-person explanation of his plan:

The Heart and Soul of Husky Deli and the West Seattle Junction
By Jack Miller

(WSB photo, 2017)

It’s been more than three months since the news broke about our plan to build a new building so that we can move Husky Deli four doors south in the West Seattle Junction. Since then, I’ve been truly honored to hear so many positive reactions. It’s also been a good chance to hear the questions people have about the project. I hope this little article will provide some answers and perspective for anyone who is interested.

Our goal, of course, is to keep Husky Deli going in the Junction and to give the next generations of our family a chance to shape it in their own image and make it a success.

Many people know that Husky has been around since 1932, when my grandfather, Herman Miller, bought a tiny grocery store called Edgewood Farms that operated in what is now the card section of Northwest Art & Frame. Right away, he put in an ice-cream machine in the front window, and then a soda fountain. Fresh-sliced meats and cheeses soon followed, and by the end of World War II, my dad, John, and my uncles had turned it into a full-fledged deli.

My dad moved Husky two doors north to our present location in 1969, three years after I started working here. In 1975, when he had a heart attack, I left college to fill in, and I’ve been here ever since. Just like society, Husky has evolved, and now we focus on ready-made convenience foods while still keeping the traditional deli, ice cream and specialty items. My kids have lived through all this and are grown up now, Kate (and husband Tom), John, and Tony – run a lot of the business day to day. Just like me, they love Husky, they love the Junction, and they’re the future.

But the future isn’t the exact footprint where we are now. Anyone who comes into Husky knows that we still look a lot like 1969 and that the structure needs some basic work, from the cramped restrooms to the up-and-down flooring to everything in between. My brother, Joe, who owns the building, has no plan to develop it anytime soon, and with the new Seattle minimum wage and other increasing costs, and being a small business we will be unable to shut down our business for an extended period of time to remodel. At the same time, we all agree that we need the ability to serve the ever-growing West Seattle population by updating and streamlining the Husky.

To make that happen, we are looking to move four doors south to where Sleepers furniture store and Bikram Yoga (which some of you remember was Junction Feed & Seed) are located. Those two buildings have a lot of the same big challenges that the current Husky building has. The buildings are in bad shape from top to bottom, and they are not landmark historical buildings worth saving.

So our plan is to start anew. The only way we see for us to put together enough capital for my children to create the Husky of the future and to stay in the Junction is to tear down these two buildings and construct a taller one on that combined site, with apartments on the top to help pay for the new Husky down below.

On first thought, this plan might not sound like something that would reflect the Junction’s low-scale character. We all have seen other tall buildings recently go in and start to create the feeling of a narrow corridor. That’s not what I want to create, and I don’t think it’s what most people want in the Junction. We think it’s important to keep, as much as possible, the feeling of our small-town, downtown West Seattle. So we want to create something different that really focuses on the Husky’s shop space instead of the upper levels.

The apartments above the store are set back to minimize the visual impact along California Avenue, and retain the historical retail storefront height. The project will contain a commercial kitchen and ice cream plant so we can continue to prepare our own food and make ice cream on site. (And yes, we will make sure that the beautiful Eric Grohe mural on the south side of the yoga building gets either reproduced or replaced with and updated mural on our new structure.)

We have been talking with the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO) about our plan, and they want us to put together a building that sets a good example for future new buildings on that side of the Junction. That makes perfect sense to me. We are planning something with good neighborhood qualities and hopefully anything built after us will follow suit.

My biggest concern is that Husky will continue on in our family and serve the overall family of West Seattle – that we can maintain the traditions started by my grandfather 86 years ago, that we can update everything but still keep it cool, and that my kids can have the chance to feel like it’s theirs, too, so that they will put their heart and soul into it.

The Junction is all about heart and soul. It’s about actively local ownership, where you can meet the people who own and run the stores, where there’s an active business association that puts on really good activities, and easy transit (even light rail, which will come sooner than we think). It’s also about the common feeling that it’s our main neighborhood business district – the hub of our small town in the big city.

Throughout West Seattle, a lot of older folks who have lived here forever have sold their homes for huge amounts of money to younger families who moved in from all over the country. They were not originally West Seattle kids, but they really want to embrace West Seattle, and the character of the Junction, and want to be a part of it.

All of that sort of seeped into me as I grew up. My dad wanted us at Husky all the time. Even if we were running around in the backroom, he wanted us close-by. We helped make ice cream in the middle of the night. He had us running back and forth with ice-cream scoopers getting people cones because he wanted us active in it all.

We are blessed in the fact that we have been here long enough that we are a big part of the community.

When we move a few doors down the street, it might be a new building, but it’s going to be the same people. It’s become a huge comfort zone for me, being in West Seattle with all these people that we know. I know my kids agree, and I trust that West Seattle will feel the same way.

Thanks for reading this. If you have any questions or comments about our project, I would love to hear from you. Drop in the store and say hi anytime.

Again, as we reported Friday, the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for the 4747 California SW project is now set for July 19th. The draft packet for that meeting, as linked in our Friday update, can be seen here (PDF).

DEVELOPMENT: First Design Review date set for next West Seattle Junction mixed-use project, 4747 California SW

(Preferred ‘massing’ – size and shape – option for project, from draft Design Review packet)

Thanks to Scott for the tip! He spotted the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting date for the Junction mixed-use project we first told you about back in February, at 4747 California SW, on the sites that currently hold Bikram Yoga and Sleepers in Seattle. The site’s owner/developers were described by one of them, Husky Deli‘s Jack Miller, as an “all-West Seattle team.” The review date is July 19th, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, and as always with Design Review meetings, there will be a public-comment period.

The proposed project is listed as 7 stories, 82 apartments – mostly one-bedrooms, some studios – with 5,000 square feet of commercial space and 45 offstreet parking spaces. The draft Design Review “packet” in the city file confirms that Miller plans to move Husky Deli there. Two other things to note: Since this is the Early Design Guidance phase, it’s focused on the “massing” – size and shape – of the project, not design details, so don’t read too much into the imagery; second, the formal notice of this meeting isn’t out yet – it’s “tentatively” scheduled on the city’s calendar until the notice is out.

DEVELOPMENT: 3 project notes from Junction, Luna Park, Morgan

Three West Seattle development notes today:

4826 40TH SW: The Fauntleroy/Edmunds development hub continues to densify. Headed for administrative design review (watch for the notice) is a 3-story, 27-apartment, no-offstreet-parking “small efficiency dwelling unit” (SEDU) building. It would replace the duplex shown in the Assessor’s Office photo above.

2821 SW YANCY: A few more details on this early-stage proposal from Transitional Resources, first reported here back in February. This too would go through administrative design review, according to notes posted online from a pre-submittal meeting with the city. It’s described as 100 percent affordable housing with 44 SEDUs, potentially in two buildings, with up to three parking spaces on site.

7001 CALIFORNIA SW: We’ve been watching this block for a while as a lot-boundary adjustment proceeds. Now there’s an early-stage redevelopment proposal for the north end, four rowhouses with no off-street parking at 7001 California SW, where there’s currently a pet-care business.

HAPPENING NOW: HALA upzoning – and more – open house in West Seattle

(WSB photos)

Very low-key – and low turnout, so far – city open house happening right now in the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 lunchroom. Though the headline topic is HALA upzoning for Mandatory Housing Affordability, it’s somewhat outflanked by an abundance of other city departments tabling too, like SDOT:

Other departments there if you have questions include Seattle Public Utilities, City Light, Parks, Neighborhoods, and the Office of Housing. But back to HALA upzoning – if you have questions about what’s planned for your part of West Seattle, you can wander around the room to find the map, and someone to talk with:

This is not a feedback event, so, so far as we can tell, you’re not being asked to put dots on maps. Just an FYI type of open house – the next feedback event in this area is the official public hearing on June 5th at Chief Sealth International High School.

Several community groups are here too, even the coalition that’s appealing the HALA Environmental Impact Statement (as their case continues working its way through the system, with more documents filed on the Hearing Examiner‘s site just this week). You’re welcome to drop in until 8 pm, 5950 Delridge Way SW – parking is in the big lot that stretches south of the school entrance. And of course there are snacks.

YOU’RE INVITED: Discussion next week about Transit-Oriented Development in West Seattle

May 9, 2018 2:20 pm
|    Comments Off on YOU’RE INVITED: Discussion next week about Transit-Oriented Development in West Seattle
 |   Development | Transportation | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

With light rail on the way to West Seattle … one local group says it’s time to talk about Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). Welcoming West Seattle has just announced “a lively discussion” about TOD and affordable housing, one week from tonight:

WEDNESDAY MAY 16 | 5:30 PM
Southwest Youth and Family Services, 4555 Delridge Way SW

Featuring:

Councilmember Lisa Herbold
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda
Bill Rumpf, Mercy Housing
Marijana Cvencek, Schemata Workgroup
Edward Butterfield, Sound Transit

Moderators:

Bryce Yadon, Futurewise
Matt Hutchins, Welcoming West Seattle

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Doors 5:30 pm, discussion 6:00 pm. Panelists will have a robust conversation on the ins and outs of implementing TOD, and what it will mean for further development and housing affordability; diving into the advocacy action necessary to capitalize on TOD, and how neighbors can start efforts now to be well positioned as new stations open over the next two decades. Our moderators will be asking a set of questions collected from community members and coalition partners. Please RSVP and submit any Transit Oriented Development and Affordable Housing Questions, here!

DEVELOPMENT: New parking pushback in Morgan Junction

We’ve reported before on the plan to replace that old house at California/Willow with a seven-unit rowhouse building, most recently when it was approved last month. We noted then that since we first wrote about the plan last year, the plan had changed to include one offstreet-parking space instead of the original five. The notice says it’s expected to generate demand for seven to 14 spaces, but since what the city considers “frequent transit” is within 1,320 feet, it doesn’t have to include any parking. Neighbors have filed an appeal and have a pre-hearing conference with the city Hearing Examiner tomorrow. It’s not just the downsizing of the parking plan, they say in their appeal, but also they say the change wasn’t communicated. This is a block and a half north of a redevelopment plan that caused a hubbub over lack of offstreet parking four and a half years ago; that appeal was eventually settled and the 30-unit building went up.

DEVELOPMENT: Design comment period opens for 3084 Avalon Way apartments

That’s the official “administrative design review” (public comments but no meeting) packet now online for 3084 Avalon Way SW – as mentioned here last week, the project that first turned up as an early-stage proposal last year is now on the books with 7 floors, 35 apartments, and no offstreet parking spaces, replacing a 64-year-old triplex. And the two-week public review phase is now under way. The city has just overhauled its permit system, so notices and announcements don’t look quite the way they used to – here’s the one for this project. If you have comments, you can send them to the assigned planner for the project, Joseph Hurley, joseph.hurley@seattle.gov.

LAM BOW APARTMENTS: Plan to replace fire-destroyed building goes to Southwest Design Review Board tomorrow

jennifer2(WSB reader photo from September 2016 three-alarm fire, the cause of which was never determined)

Tomorrow (Thursday) night, the plan for replacing the fire-destroyed building at the Lam Bow Apartments (6955 Delridge Way SW) goes before the Southwest Design Review Board. Here’s the full “packet” prepared for the meeting:

(You can also see it on the city website in PDF.) While getting ready for the meeting, project-team members visited the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting in mid-April. If you’re interested in a preview before tomorrow’s review, here are our notes:

The briefing was led by Ryan Moore of the Seattle Housing Authority, which owns the Lam Bow. He said that as is required in the Early Design Guidance phase, they will be presenting three options for the new building, which will be 3 stories high, with about 50 apartments and 49 offstreet parking spaces. Their preferred option has a mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, with a central play area, a new commons building, and an open space that might be used for a P-patch or recreation. In general, DNDC attendees had positive reactions, but they also had a lot of questions about access to the parking lot on the Delridge Way side of the building; SDOT is apparently requiring that access be closed because of the future conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. The future of that project depends on federal funding that already has been called into question, and since then, the Move Seattle levy spending situation has raised further questions about upcoming RapidRide projects’ city funding. Moore said access to the parking lot would continue via 23rd SW, which would also see improvements such as a sidewalk and gutter. Attendees said they still thought keeping both sides open would be optimal. Moore also was asked about nearby Longfellow Creek and drainage, and said they are still working with a consultant on that.

Thursday night’s hearing will be limited to design issues, and is the first of at least two times the project will be considered by the SWDRB. It starts at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon).

‘Mandatory Housing Affordability upzones are coming soon!’ and other HALA status updates

No “proposed,” no “expected,” just a flat-out statement that HALA upzoning is on the way – that’s how the city Department of Construction and Inspections starts the newest post on its blog-format Building Connections website. The gist of the post is to tell developers that they can start including plan alternatives that include what would be allowed under the upzones. (To summarize quickly – the upzones, as explained here, are meant to be a tradeoff in exchange for requiring developers to include a certain percentage of “affordable” units, or to pay a fee to help fund some being built somewhere else.)

Meantime, the citywide community groups’ appeal continues making its way through the system; the document file gets ever bigger, with the newest document filed just today, a response to a city move for “partial dismissal.” The pre-hearing conference for the appeal of the Mandatory Housing Affordability Environmental Impact Statement is now set for June 11th; the hearing itself is on the schedule as starting two weeks later, on June 25th, with that entire week set aside, plus another week in late July. Then there’s also the prospect of mediation, as noted by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold when she spoke to the Morgan Community Association last month.

As also mentioned by MoCA – which is among the groups that are party to the appeal – the district-by-district open houses/public hearings have almost made their way to District 1, end of the line. The open house for one last look at the West Seattle/South Park upzone maps is one week from tomorrow, Wednesday, May 9th, 6-8 pm at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (5950 Delridge), and the official City Council public hearing for the proposed District 1 changes is at 6 pm Tuesday, June 5th, in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). The council’s last scheduled HALA meeting is August 6th.

P.S. If you’re still not caught up on what changes could happen in your neighborhood, the maps and other background are here.

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