Micro-Housing Proposed in Broadview

Neighbors have expressed concern about a large micro-housing apartment building with very little parking proposed for N 109th St. between Aurora Ave. N and Whitman Ave. N.  Below is the Department of Planning and Development notice.

NOTICE OF APPLICATION

Seattle’s Department Planning and Development is currently reviewing the Master Use Permit application described below.

Area: North/Northwest Address: 1008 N 109TH ST Project: 3017565 Zone: COMMERCIAL 1-40′, ARTERIAL WITHIN 100 FT., URBAN VILLAGE OVERLAY

Notice Date: 05/21/2015

Contact: JOHN MOREFIELD – (206)324-4800 x107 Planner: Michael Dorcy – (206) 615-1393

Date of Application: 05/12/2015 Date Application Deemed Complete: 05/18/2015

Land Use Application to allow a 4-story building containing 93 small efficiency dwelling units. Seven live/work units and retail will be located at ground level. Surface parking for 13 vehicles will be provided on the site. Pending lot boundary adjustment 3020419.

Comments may be submitted through: 06/03/2015

The following approvals are required:

SEPA Environmental Determination (This project is subject to the Optional DNS Process (WAC 197-11-355) and Early DNS Process (SMC 25.05.355). This comment period may be the only opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of this proposal.

Design Review

Other permits that may be needed which are not included in this application:

Building Permit

Your written comments are encouraged and may be submitted to:

Department of Planning and Development

ATTN: Public Resource Center or Assigned Planner 700 5th Av Ste 2000

PO Box 34019                      MapForNotice19690

Seattle WA 98124-4019

FAX 206-233-7901

PRC@seattle.gov

All correspondence will be posted to our electronic library.

 

 

16 Comments on “Micro-Housing Proposed in Broadview”

  1. It looks like it is just off of aurora avenue…what is the zoning for this busy noisy location?

  2. High density housing is fine – but we need to do it in a manner that doesn’t ruin the neighborhoods with too many cars competing for two few street parking spots. We need regulations and accompanying enforcement to assure that units that are built without parking spaces are occupied either by persons without vehicles or by persons with demonstrable off-street parking for their vehicles. Please respect the neighborhoods and the people that make Seattle a desirable place to live. Believe me, we consider it a privilege to live here, and have been fighting dearly to maintain Seattle’s cozy feel by trying not to overbuild.

  3. Department of Planning and Development
    Attn: Michael Dorcy
    700 5th Ave, Suite 2000
    P.O. Box 34019
    Seattle, Wa 98124-4019

    Dear Mr. Dorcy,

    Please accept my comments in response to the revised SEPA submitted by the architect for Project 3017565.

    “Urban Village Strategy: Locating more residents, job, stores and services in close proximity can reduce the reliance on cars for shopping and other daily trips. . . Residential urban villages provide a focus of goods and services for residents and surrounding communities. . .”

    Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan January 2005 (2013)
    The intent of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan is clear: to get residents out of their cars by providing amenities such as shops, markets, restaurants, parks and open space and enhanced street designs. A lofty goal for sure, but make no mistake: in the Aurora-Licton Springs Urban Village, it remains only an idea on paper.

    According to Peter Steinbrueck’s Seattle Sustainable Neighborhoods Assessment Project submitted to the city in January 2015, the Capital Improvement Program appropriations per capita (2005-2014) in Aurora-Licton Springs is $872 – a paltry amount compared to other urban villages such as Downtown ($12,330) and Rainer Beach ($11,907). The point? Aurora-Licton Springs is an urban village in name only. We do not have the amenities that make it so, nor do we have the financial support of the city or developers to encourage and provide them. Our neighborhood doesn’t not have contiguous sidewalks. The newly designated arterial/bike lane along Fremont has sections with no sidewalks, and most of the existing sidewalks have no handicap curb access for walkers to easily and safely pass across a street. (Mayor Murray’s proposal of completing sidewalks on the cheap in North Seattle is unacceptable. We deserve our full due – a bona fide and well-constructed sidewalk like many urban villages in Seattle.) Our neighborhood does not have shops and markets in easy walking distance. HT, an Asian Market, is a long seven-eight blocks away – some of the stretch with no sidewalks. There is one bus stop on the Aurora E line within 1⁄4 of a mile of the project. Greenwood to the west is well over a quarter of a mile walk at over 1800 feet, and 85th is even farther – again with inconsistent sidewalks.

    Aurora-Licton Springs is an urban village with few services and amenities. Since little has been done to enhance this neighborhood since Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan (2005), the unique qualities of our neighborhood, unlike other urban villages, need to be taken into account: we are car dependent. We would love to have shops and restaurants in easy walking distance. But this is not the case. That’s the background, which brings me to my challenge in the SEPA documents. Page 11 under section Transportation f says the following:

    How many vehicular trips per day would be generated by the completed project or proposal? If known, indicate when peak volumes would occur and what percentage of the volume would be trucks (such as commercial and non-passenger vehicles). What data or transportation models were used to make these estimates?

    Answer: Three vehicular trips. It is assumed most tenants will be utilizing bicycles or public transit. Please see parking utilization study attached here as exhibit K.

    First of all, there is no exhibit K, which is confusing and misleading. There is a Parking Utilization Study that attempts to document the number of parking spaces 800 feet from the construction site. This area includes streets outside of the Aurora-Licton Springs Urban Village. The boundaries extend to Evanston to the East and 105th Street to the south. Both of these streets are exclusively single family housing. How can an accurate picture of parking utilization be fairly characterized when the percentages are eschewed by including streets that have no multi-family housing? The study cites a 75.5% parking utilization rate. I challenge this figure. You tell this to my neighbor who totes young children and groceries as she hikes back to her home from several blocks away and in the dark and without the aid of sidewalks.

    Furthermore, this parking study consists of a two-day sample taken on two consecutive days. How is this an accurate sample? Two days? I would imagine that a more accurate accounting would occur over a series of days and at different times and on weekdays and weekends – not just two work days. Again, inconclusive information regarding parking availability. The developer has used his property located at 918 N 103rd as evidence that few residents at 1008 N 109th St. will own/drive cars. Five of 27 residents use on-street parking (2014). Since 1008 has 100 units, 18.5 % would be almost 18+ cars. It is one block from the E Line; HT Market is located at 100th and Aurora. In addition, because there are no sidewalks, people back or front angle park on the street thus accommodating several more vehicles than parallel parking accommodates. (Back or front angle parking has been ticketed by Traffic Enforcement at the end of our block on Fremont and 95th. Why a double standard?) More data is needed about car ownership by SEDU residents. One example does not make a case.
    Finally, Three vehicular trips. How can the developer cite the Parking Utilization Study as evidence for the number of trips per day? Existing personal and commercial trips need to be counted and calculated to determine usage and frequency of trips on 109th Street. There is no evidence in this parking report (which is just about parking not vehicular trips) or anywhere else in the SEPA document that a traffic study and analysis has been completed. This must be done. I fully support living in a diverse, urban neighborhood. But there appears to be little give and take between the developers (with full support of DPD) and the neighbors – the folks who live here and commute to and from conducting their daily business. The developers will complete their project and move on to the next money maker leaving the neighbors to deal with the aftermath of a tangled mess. This is a serious request that the DPD consider the impact of 1008 N. 109th St on our neighborhood and not approve the project as is. We need parking. We are concerned. We want our voices to be heard. As citizens and tax payers of this city, certainly we deserve no less.

    Thank you,

    Sharon Holt
    95th Street resident for almost 16 years

  4. We are homeowners on the 600 block of 109th St., the same block as the proposed project at 1008 N. 109th, project number 3017565. We have several concerns with the proposed land use. There is already a shortage of parking for the current town homes, condos and apartments that surround the proposed project. The increased car and pedestrian traffic that is likely to occur as consequence of having to park farther away will increase the likelihood of collisions. Increased bike traffic will also make this situation worse. We also note that there are streets within a few blocks of us that do not have sidewalks, adding to the safety issue. With many people having to park far from their homes, their vehicles are at greater risk for theft and being ransacked (two car thefts occurred just last night). There are also many children in the neighborhood and as parents, the increased traffic, lack of visibility and lack of sidewalks make us concerned for the safety of small children as well. The intersection at 109th and Fremont, for example, has two stop signs, a circle drive and a non-sidewalk to sidewalk transition. We are also concerned with the level of noise and traffic that will accompany 100+ dwelling units, their potential pets (if allowed), guests, delivery and maintenance services, and the inevitable moving in/out that occurs. These issues, combined with the lack of planning for increased services and maintenance makes this project a poor fit for the neighborhood. Please do not grant this Land Use Application. Sincerely,

    Joel and Lucia Hindorff

  5. Dear Michael Dorcy…..

    I am writing again about the project at 1008 N. 109th St., project # 3017565. I am bothered by the lack of research that has been done before allowing these projects to move forward without any parking requirements. Claims are being made that there is a demand for this type of housing. Where is the research to back these claims? The interviews I have read or seen show that the people who move in to these are there for only a short time…. less than a year before they move on. Claims are also being made that these tenants will not have cars. Again… where is the research showing this is true. The interviews have also shown that they do own cars. They might ride the bus to work but they have cars for their weekend activities such as hiking,skiing, boarding etc. These cars will end upon the public streets which is already tight for parking spaces. It seems the responsible thing to do would be to make everyone park their vehicles on their own property. I think that eventually it should apply to existing homes that have enough room on their property. The requirements for townhomes need to be changed as well to make the garages they provide actually fit a standard size car and have enough room to be able to maneuver into the garage. Currently they are a joke. I feel having all of the extra cars parked on the street is a safety hazard for visibility for approaching cars, turning cars or pedestrians.
    As far as saying this location is walkable to all necessary amenities… I would disagree. One would need to be pretty healthy and athletic to walk to the Safeway or Fred Meyers and buy more than a couple of items and walk UP HILL back home. The market at Oak Tree is very specialized and I don’t know if you have shopped there but it not the nicest. I am not sure what age group these developments are targeting but I thought some were the older population. They are not going to walk that far for groceries etc.

    All in all it seems like the City of Seattle planning dept is giving in to the developers to line their pockets rather than work for the betterment of the city and the citizens who are paying taxes. I just don’t see how dumping more cars on the streets is good for anyone but the developers pockets. They will still make money on their developments if they have to supply parking…. it just won’t be as much. I am not against density. I am against density that doesn’t make sense… You can still get density with parking! Thank you for your attention.
    Jayne

    Jayne Williamson
    Realtor Windermere Real Estate/Greenwood 311 N 85th Seattle, WA 98103

  6. I’ve made most of these comments before but just in case someone is listening or they have been lost in all the other comments:

    I’ve lived on N. 90th, 700 block, since 1978. I have watched the neighborhood change from that of many elderly folks’ homes to heavily tech yuppieville. Not all bad. Some nice newer neighbors. A lot of their money going into fixing up the houses–additions added on. Reasonable and expected progress.

    The mass tiny “apartment” thing in some way is ok as I realize new housing is needed but to what degree? What I’m mainly concerned with is factors dealing with PARKING. I state again PARKING! I think the city has pulled off a fast one here (yeah, convince me otherwise). Yes, they have their reasons. I don’t like them nor agree with them! I make note the propaganda going out is that the folk living in these units will “be bus users” (as per “only”)Are you kidding? I’d like that to be PROVEN! Please! I don’t think that can rationally be done but is a damn good selling point to carry out these projects. I believe most people moving to Seattle will want and will need a car and WILL BRING ONE WITH THEM, at least for the next few decades. Then we may become like New York City, etc. People who move here will want to enjoy the Northwest. That’s one big factor why they make the choice to move here; “The Mount Rainier Effect”– meaning our mountains and our lakes and our Puget Sound salt water beaches and such. You can’t do much of that via a bus–or have any selection of choices. Yes, a bus oriented life is one without many of these wonderful choices!

    Now, I like the idea of a variety of living choice types but I don’t like these newer units to radically alter the neighborhoods where we have owned and lived for decades. Altering them is often IMPOSING something on the owners who live there without their permission–as is in this case. I’ve never given permission for these things, as far as I remember. And yes, this is a case of “I got here first” and tough for you but you must adjust to that reality. It’s ok with me if you call that a bit unfair. This type of “unfair” is common in a lot of our society. We just live with it!

    My argument here focuses on these units and their parking–or rather, their lack of parking (and yes, I know you have heard a gob of stuff about this!). What I am doing here is making a VERY STRONG PREDICATION that what is about to happen to our neighborhoods is that all the people packed into these complexes will, of course, have cars. I am predicting that. I will be proven right I think. And that will also mean more than one car per unit in many cases. And that means those cars will have to be parked somewhere, right? And that leaves ONLY on the neighborhood streets in front of the pre-existing older homes. This means the residences of these houses will have to deal with (1)their own parking problems if they don’t have their own driveway–such as having to walk a considerable distance (likely blocks)to their houses, (2)having to carry items such as grocery bags that distance, (3)having problems with having their driveways being blocked by the extra cars (take a look at police calls on Queen Ann or Capital Hill for this kind of stuff)–or cars being parked so close to the driveway as to make backing out hazardous–in violation of the laws governing the required spacing FROM the driveways–which is almost impossible to get the police to enforce, and (4)less likely, but people parking in your own driveway–the arrogant ones–due to them not wanting to walk the distance to their tiny apartment unit. And again, getting our local boys in blue to so something about this!

    Now, do keep in mind none of these change thing have been agreed to by most of the people who live in these neighborhoods and on these neighborhood streets–nor would they likely agree to them had they been asked. These projects are going to massively change the nature of these neighborhoods on the streets nearby these new tiny units. Itis only AFTER it’s too late that the home owners on these streets will realize what has happened–and that it’s too late to do anything about it (which it likely has already happened in some cases according to what I’ve already noted by attending meetings on the situation).

    In past years the city has allowed other less desirable changes to take place such as large apartment construction to go on next to single family older homes (as has happened north of me between Linden and Fremont). Protests by home owners caused some adjustment of the height of these monsters to be lowered one story on the units next to the older houses to better blend in with the height of the smaller homes. I attended meetings focusing on those complaints. That helped a bit. However, even back 20 years or more these apartments caused the streets to be so clogged with parked cars (and these buildings did have some parking built in) that you can hardly drive through them due to the tightness of the parking. In other neighborhoods (closer to the University) people rebelled against the change in zoning to allow the large apartments to invade their neighborhoods that they actually ran a slate of candidates against our political leaders who had given permission to build them, (or were asleep on their watch and didn’t halt the invasion). Royer administration days if I remember correctly. None of the new candidates won but their action most certainly scared the political powers to change their attitudes! We loved that!

    That pretty much expresses my opinions and presents some history of the problem. I do realize we are in for some changes in Seattle but I don’t like some of the decisions that are being made and I question whether the people who live in these neighborhoods are being aware and/are having a voice concerning such. It’s likely too late. Do I think my opinions here will make a difference? Not really. The city has a record of doing whatever it wants and pretty much ignoring what citizens desire–especially when it comes to evaluating the desires of developers/investors and/or large building owners vs individual home owners. And, yes, I know my attitude here is a bit more than selfish, but I have spent my working years paying for and improving the house I purchased back in 1978 in a neighborhood I picked due to factors I loved. I in no way want drastic changes here, especially as I am retired and have planned on living here for many more years–and with FEW new hassles!

  7. A Citizen’s Lament About Project 3017565

    Although the SEPA review has not been opened for a second comment period, it is imperative that the neighborhood adjacent to project 3017565 (1008 N. 109th St.) submit a second round of resounding objections to the approval of this micro-housing (euphemistically labeled single efficiency dwelling unit) project. Although revisions to the original plan have been made, the proposal continues to offer RIDICULOUSLY LITTLE parking. Given the primary neighborhood concerns (lack of parking, over-trafficked use of 109th St. as a west to east thoroughfare, unsafe speed of vehicles, inappropriateness and non-blending of the project into the profile of the neighborhood), this project should be, even now, rejected and majorly overhauled in design.

    The developer and architect of the project are exploiting the designation of our Aurora Lichten Springs region as an urban village in order to gain Department of Planning and Development endorsement for a housing project that adds too much density and ignores the car-dependent nature of our street. Aurora-Lichten is an urban village in name only. It is a failed urban village. All it takes is a journey up Aurora Ave. past motels and used car dealerships to confirm there is no village in this urban corridor. “Amenities” is a laughable phrase, unless a ten block walk across Aurora to HT market counts as a village outing.

    The egregious declaration contained in the developer’s SEPA submission is that this edifice, containing ONE HUNDRED units, will add only 13 vehicles. To its credit, the DPD template requires the applicant to name what data base or artifact is being used in order to justify whatever claim is made about how many extra cars will be introduced to the neighborhood as occupancy of the new building takes hold.

    Disingenuously, the developer references exhibit “K” of the SEPA which is a parking study commissioned by the developer team itself. Regardless of the accuracy of such a “parking study” this document is irrelevant to the question of how many more cars and trips will add to the overburdened flow of what has become a navigational favorite of road savvy drivers trying to trump the traffic in a public transportation starved city.

    At this point the neighborhood is resigned to the fact the developers will soon break ground on their micro-divided mega house. What is perturbing is that city planners (who should be watchdogs for communities) will take refuge behind toothless codes to shower their blessings upon the construction. A new proverb is born: it takes the ruse of an urban village to give rise to a developer’s windfall.

  8. To Whom It May Concern:

    As a volunteer leader and member of GAIN North (Greenwood Aurora Involved Neighbors), homeowner and resident I am writing this email to voice concern in regards to MUP #3017565 at 1008 N. 109th Street, where a 4-story, 93 room, with 7 “live/work” micro-housing building is being considered with only 13 or less proposed parking spaces. GAIN:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/gainnorth/info

    Though GAIN and myself are not opposed to density, there are serious concerns which are outlined below. Additional links will provide relevant, documented information supporting these concerns: Currently there is severe lack of parking on 95th street and it’s surrounding blocks. Though 109th serves as an unofficial arterial between Aurora Ave to Greenwood Ave., both sides of the street are filled with parked cars creating a 1-way pass lane. 2 driving cars and 2 parked cars cannot all fit on the width of the street. Currently 109th street and neighboring streets are over-stressed with traffic due to this parking deficiency. Unfortunately it is a reported and growing issue that prostitutes, johns and pimps regularly work in this area:

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/greenwood-woman- aims-eradicate-prostitution-north-/nfn4T/

    http://web6.seattle.gov/mnm/policereports.aspx

    Neighbors must park between 1-4 blocks from home. Many women including myself are harassed and propositioned during the day and night. The further we park from our homes and walk home alone there is an increased risk of harassment, harm and crime. Given there is a dire shortage of police patrolling in our area due to budget cuts, an addition of 34 residents or more will increase the parking issue tremendously, forcing neighbors to walk further from our cars to our homes and raise risk of harassment and crime. In the past females have been abducted and raped while walking in my neighborhood:

    http://bit.ly/1sFgYDN.

    Within this year in a 3 block radius there have been 34 reported break ins (12 on my block), multiple reported cases of car thefts, harassment, prostitution, car prowl and packages are routinely stolen from front stoops, there is prostitution, condoms and drug needles everywhere. An extreme spike in density might add to that.

    http://web6.seattle.gov/mnm/policereports.aspx

    The developers response to the parking concern was: ‘Most of my tenants will take the bus.’ However I am unaware of any code, discriminate poly or legislation where this could be enforced after a building is built. The developer also mentioned that the plans would add 13 parking spots. This is insufficient parking for a building with 93 apartments and seven businesses, regardless of bus routes. This area will be affected by the recent and upcoming metro cuts. The 48x has been eliminated, the 355 and 5X would be combined into a single route, slowing down north Greenwood commuters. I believe that Seattle planning should seriously consider seeking a re-design of this project to include parking for tenants and downsizing the amount of units.
    Thank you for your time,
    Amánda Koster

  9. Hello Michael Dorcy,

    I wanted to follow up on the email I sent you last week regarding proposal 3017565 as I have not received a response. I am highly concerned about new housing going in with no allowance for parking, especially after a number of my neighbors have been having their cars broken into on the street around our neighborhood lately, and some of them have had multiple break-ins within a few weeks time on their same cars. I believe that once more people are parking on the street it will just invite additional crime and that is absolutely not OK in our more rural neighborhoods especially because there are less people walking around like there would be downtown and thus more opportunity for crime. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Trishann Couvillion

  10. Mr. Dorcy,
    I am a homeowner on the same block as the proposed large micro-housing project on 1008 North 109th St, #3017565 and I am very concerned about the consequences of such a development with little to no parking provided. The reason Aurora-Licton Springs is in an urban village is that the meaning of urban village has changed. Urban villages were never supposed to direct density — that’s what the zoning map is for, which determines where there’s capacity for growth. Urban villages were intended to direct city investment to the places that were most likely to accept growth, so new services and amenities would accompany it and make them high quality places. That never occurred, but recently the city has reinterpreted urban villages as places where development standards should be reduced ostensibly because we need to convince developers to develop there, which I think is ridiculous. That was never the intent when urban village boundaries were created, so that’s why there’s a mismatch today. It is the job of developers to push for profitable buildings, and it is up to to the elected officials at the DPD to restrain them for the good of the citizens of this city.

    I do feel that these homes are beneficial to many communities but not Greenwood. These developments work much better in denser more walkable neighborhoods such as capitol hill or belltown. This neighborhood is primarily composed of car commuters. It only has 1 bus line and it is already very tight for parking. I often have to park 2 blocks from my house, sometimes more. The streets are poorly lit and many of them don’t even have sidewalks. People in the neighborhood have been working hard to transform it into a clean, safe, family friendly environment and many are concerned that the development will cause much more congestion and road rage (it is not uncommon to see an angry face off between two cars as this narrow street has become an arterial.) The developers have suggested initiating zone parking with 2 passes going to each existing home and 1 to each micro unit. This is not a solution. Where would all of these additional cars park? Please, do the neighborhood a favor and require the development to provide parking.
    Thank you,

    Trevor Swedberg
    Residential Appraiser
    King County Assessor

  11. Dear Mr. Dorcy,
    I recently moved to Greenwood and noticed the “apodment” microhousing unit project being developed (land use action sign). I was notified that any comments should be given by June 3rd regarding the 4 story 100 unit building with just ten parking spaces. May I kindly ask how you guys are able to avoid any parking requirement per city code? I am an architect and every single city around the world has parking requirements. I know it’s nice to think everyone will use the bus and be car-less, but this isn’t downtown, Fremont, or South Lake Union. It’s Greenwood, over 100 blocks north of the center of the city. It is illogical to think 0-50% of these people will be without a car. So now you’ve created a parking load that the community has to absorb without your project absorbing it.
    This is irresponsible and seems like the project is circumventing the parking requirement due to a loophole. Explain to me how they get away with so little parking on site? Also, I’m a big mass transit fan and love the idea of Seattle becoming denser and people utilizing our great E line route, but the E line, as is, is extremely crowded during rush hours. Adding over 100 (potentially more if there are two living in 1 unit) riders to our specific stop on 95th will now create a queueing line and crowds the bus stop.
    All in all I have no idea how this project avoids parking requirement and I think it would be much better for everyone in the neighborhood if they didn’t have 100 or more cars on an already crowded street.
    Thanks,
    Ryan DiRaimo
    Greenwood Resident.

  12. Stop this project, we bought the land in the mid 1970’s to build our dream house, which we did in 1987. The reason for wanting this area, was because it was all single family houses, no apt. or condo’s. Adding this “building” without any parking will just create a bigger mess than we already have. It’s now not even safe to drive down some of the street because of all the cars parked and right up to the intersections. I have nothing against cars; just don’t putting up buildings that don’t provide parking, and you can bet that these buildings without parking will have people with cars. We need to go back to when a parking spot was REQUIRED for each unit along with some extra spots for couples that had two cars (which most do) and room for visitors to park safely. Don’t ruin our neighborhood.

  13. It is interesting that at the talks I heard from the developers of the micro housing units stated that they have done studies to show that the tenants in these buildings do not have cars. It seems the city is taking their word for it. I for one would love to see the studies and who did them. 

I have to agree with Rob Fellows that even when parking is required it is not always usable. Additionally, I see a lot of townhomes where a car could potentially fit in the garage but it has to turn on a dime. Most that I visit the corners of the buildings and downspouts are all dented because vehicles cannot make the turns… hence owners do not park in their garages. 

It seems as a part of this argument that we need to include that parking has to be actually usable for the standard SUV vs mini cooper for all developments be it micro-housing, townhomes, apartments. It needs to be a combined effort to provide adequate parking and NOT take away existing parking. 

I think many home owners should have to use the off-street parking options that they have, although I’m not sure how we would enforce that? It would help if people were required to park on their own property. 

I know the city is trying to discourage us using cars but reality is many people who live in the Pacific Northwest live here because they like the outdoors, and you can’t take Car-to-go or Uber to the ski slopes or hiking trails, hence they have cars to enjoy the outdoors even if they don’t use them to get to work. 

The whole idea of no parking seems to be to save the developers money so their profit margin is greater??? Why does the city indulge these developers, do you believe we should just give up our rights so we can try to create a society that has never existed and for which you can’t give even a theoretical template? That is NOT the DPD’s job!

  14. Dear Michael,

    I am thankful to have the opportunity to attend the design review meeting this evening. Since I left the meeting, I have given more thought to this project based on my feelings and comments from others.

    I respect and appreciate the work of the design review board and their desire to serve the community. However, they are not addressing the issues I am most concerned with and I feel are vital if this project is to continue. Therefore, I need to talk to somebody who can address these issues.
    My main concern is:

    PARKING – maybe many of the people in the 90 units don’t own cars but 12 spaces are totally inadequate. Furthermore, they may bring in company and need visitor parking. I don’t want to see lines of cars going up 109th street where those of us who live there don’t have space for ourselves or our guests. Furthermore, having cars all over the place is very ugly and I would rather see the dirt pile on 109th than to bring in these new problems.

    TINY UNITS – this is not an appropriate concept for our neighborhood. We don’t have the businesses, cultural centers, public transportation, etc. for people who want this type of lifestyle. This whole idea makes me feel unsafe. What are these people going to do around here, anyway?
    (by the way, I have a condo downtown on 1st and Spring. I feel very safe there because the downtown is made for high density and lots of people doing lots of things; however, our neighborhood is made for people with homes and not this “transient” lifestyle).

    What would I like to see? I think a condominum building could work. You would have people who own their condos and have a stake in the neighborhood and the quality of the neighborhood. They would also have a parking stall per unit as well. It would be nice if there was a little visitor parking for visitors or maintenance people, etc.

    Does this builder build condominiums as well or do they just do these tiny-unit projects?

    Michael, I would really appreciate your help in this matter. I grew up in this neighborhood and it is an old neighborhood with some new families moving in who are beginning to restore the houses and making it look nice again. I hate to see it ruined and I think this project is WRONG for us.

    Bonnie

    Bonnie C. Birch
    206-622-4786

  15. Coming from a multiple motor vehicle home where at least 50% of our in town trips are by walking, bike or public transit.
    This is a cart before the horse development. You cannot put a “no car” dwelling in a 1-3 car neighborhood attempting to affect change in the neighborhood to a “no car” solution. Unfortunately for you, what you need to do is look at the demographic of the neighborhood. People presently move to north Seattle to live in a community with mostly single family houses, have families, yards etc. While many strive, like my family to be less car dependent, it is unrealistic to assume tenants would be moving in without owning a motor vehicle.
    If I did not own a car and was looking for an apartment in Seattle I would be looking into more walk friendly neighborhoods. (You know, the type that has sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.) Places like Ballard, Cap Hill, Bell Town. Yes the 85th and Greenwood Ave. area is quite walk friendly, but not enough to warrant a car free dwelling 14 blocks away.
    People move into the north end for quiet streets, the ability to park their cars and the type of community that comes with it. I am not immediately affected by your project, but when we purchased our house we had no competition for parking in front of it. That was a selling point. And most likely a selling point to the people in the vicinity of your project. Now, on my block, developers with the help of the city removed six off street parking spots while increasing housing units by four. Each of those new units has 2-4 cars associated with it. Because as we know, rents are high in Seattle and so a one bedroom unit is for two people, a two bedroom unit has four people, and each person in the unit has a car.

  16. Here is what I wrote to the mayor’s office (2035@seattle.gov) in response to the request for inputs on our vision for Seattle in 2035: “High density housing is fine – but we need to do it in a manner that doesn’t ruin the neighborhoods with too many cars competing for two few street parking spots. We need regulations and accompanying enforcement (fines pay for the enforcement) to assure that units that are built without parking spaces are occupied either by persons without vehicles or by persons with demonstrable off-street parking for their vehicles.”

    It makes no sense to raise the cost of housing by providing un-needed parking spots. On the other hand, it makes no sense to fail to provide needed parking spots, ruining the neighborhoods with too many cars competing for too few street parking spots,

    My thanks to David Hansen for his even-tempered ongoing input. What I’m looking for is enforceable regulations to assure future reality matches David’s vision for livable affordable minimal/no-parking high-density housing rather than neighborhoods ruined by streets flooded with parked cars from minimal/no-parking high-density housing.

    “I can’t think of how the regulations would work” is not justification for not pursuing the regulations. Our government needs to apply resources to figuring our the regulations needed to protect our neighborhoods.

    If the regulations and accompanying enforcement result in low-occupancy of minimal/no-parking high-density housing, that will merely be an indication that fewer minimal/no-parking units need to be built and more units with parking, despite the higher cost, need to be built. The laws of supply and demand will guide developers accordingly.

    Incidentally, the regulations will also help assure that residents of high density housing don’t purposely flood the streets with their parked cars in order to save the $/month their housing rightly charges for off-street parking. A friend of mine living in an apartment in the high-density University of Washington district told me there were vacant parking spots the building where he was living because some residents were competing for street parking.

    Brandon Busch

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