Uptown Urban Center Rezone & Single Family Upzone QACC meeting is Monday

If you read this blog, you’ve likely seen posts on the proposed zoning changes to Uptown that can take one of three paths:

1) “No Action” which maintains current zoning and building heights for the dozens of parcels in the neighborhood that are expected to be redeveloped, but does not include new neighborhood-specific design and development standards to guide that growth.

2) “Mid-rise” with 5-7 story buildings that would include mandatory housing affordability requirements, along with new Uptown design standards.

3) “High-rise” featuring taller, thinner, more widely spaced 16-story buildings in areas of the Uptown Urban Center, also including mandatory contributions to housing affordability and the neighborhood design standards.

Uptown EIS Rezone

The City hosted both a public meeting and open house in early August, and now the Queen Anne Community Council is hosting a Land Use Review Committee meeting this Monday, September 19th, at Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St). The meeting starts at 7pm and all are welcome to attend.

In addition to the Uptown Urban Center Rezone, the QACC meeting will also cover the Single Family Upzone and Queen Anne’s Appeal of SEPA/DNS.

Agenda Item: Uptown Urban Center Rezone, 7pm-8:30pm

Jim Holmes, Senior Planner at City Hall and principal in charge of the Uptown Planning process will answer questions regarding all elements of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), including outlining the next steps for public reviews and comments, clearing up misinformation, offering a clear understanding of what has informed the years of analysis, and delineate the issues and opportunities reflected in the DEIS.

Marty Kaplan, Uptown Urban Design Framework Committee member and Rick Hooper, Co-Chair of the Uptown Alliance and Uptown Urban Design Framework Committee member, will offer a community perspective and address questions.   

If you cannot make the meeting, you can send comments to Jim Holmes via email at jim.holmes@seattle.gov

Agenda Item: Single Family Upzone – Queen Anne Appeal of SEPA/DNS, 8:30pm-9pm

QACC has appealed the ruling by City Hall that there are no environmental impacts created from Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s proposed legislation converting all Seattle city-wide single family neighborhoods with properties over 3,200 sq ft to multi-family; allowing triplexes to replace any single family home.

Per QACC:
This is the largest rezone in the history of Seattle and we submit that such an action deserves nothing less than a full, transparent, neighborhood inclusive, professional and unbiased environmental analysis including neighborhood outreach to all 37 Seattle neighborhoods to gather public input concerning all environmental impacts like parking, traffic, utilities, ownership, height and density limits, tree canopy and open space, and many significant others.

The City has not completed one professional study of environmental impacts, nor have they conducted a committed public outreach effort to ask you or 127,000 single family property owners throughout Seattle.

The meeting will discuss the appeal and the first two days of the hearing held on 30 August and 1 September 2016. It will complete on 30 September 2016 at 9am at the Hearing Room in the Hearing Examiners office. All Appeal documents are available online.

If you are interested in the future of Uptown, increased building heights, or impacts to single family homes on Queen Anne, plan to attend Monday’s meeting.

Design Review Board meeting for 5-story building to replace old Silver Platters building

Silver PlattersWhat’s old is new again… sort of. Last summer, we posted on plans for the old Silver Platters building and adjacent parking lot at 701 5th Ave N. At the time, the Land Use Application was for a 5-story building with 97 residential units and parking for 88 vehicles.

This week, a Design Review Board meeting was posted, along with a slightly different application. It’s pretty much the same old song, minus some parking. The proposed building stays at 5 stories, ups the number of apartments by 2 to 99, and reduces the number of parking spots to 75.

Just as with last year’s proposal, 3,600 square feet of retail space will occupy the first floor. And, the old Silver Platters building and its murals will be demolished.

The Design Review Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 21, 2016. The meeting is open to the public, it starts at 6:30pm in Room 1 of the Queen Anne Community Center at 1901 1st Ave W.

 

Seattle Public Utilities will work on 3rd Ave W groundwater issue this Saturday

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.14.33 PMWe’ve had several readers write in or tweet to us about the ongoing stream of water along 3rd Ave W near the Queen Anne Bowl. Aegis construction crews identified the water seepage issue as a Seattle Public Utilities problem.

To try and reduce the groundwater that is surfacing along 3rd Ave W, Seattle Public Utilities will be working on the area this Saturday from 7am to 7pm. The work may impact traffic, reducing 3rd Ave W to one lane for the day. A flagger will be on hand to direct traffic and parking will be restricted.

SPU will clean and inspect the groundwater pipes at the location, with the goal of reducing the constant stream of water. Thanks to SPU for responding to the issue, let’s hope the work reduces or, even better, stops the excess water flow.

Reminders: Meeting on 8-story building at 14 W Roy & Uptown Rezone Open House

Two reminders for this week if you have comments, questions, or feedback on two key development items: a proposed 8 story building at the corner of W Roy & Queen Anne Ave N and 3 options for rezoning Uptown.  There’s a critical link between these two meetings – an 8-story building would be possible if potential Uptown rezoning allows taller buildings in Uptown.

Details on each meeting are provided below, along with ways to submit feedback if you can’t make the in-person meetings:

1) 8-Story Building 14 W Roy: 6:30pm, Wednesday, August 3, 2016, Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Ave W, Room #1

A few weeks ago when we gave the heads up on an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting for an 8-story building at 14 W Roy St, the proposal materials were not yet available. A reader let us know they are now posted (Thanks, Kevin!), and the proposal contains new images and details on the planned development.

The proposed building will be 8 stories tall (85′) if Uptown Rezoning goes with option 3 (see below). It will house 116 apartments and 10 live/work units, 11,557 square feet of commercial space, and 129 parking spots underground. The new proposal has 15 more apartments and 2 more live/work spaces than reported earlier this month.

Here’s the latest design drawing of the planned development:

14 W Roy drawing

If you can’t make the meeting, comments and requests can be submitted to PRC@seattle.gov or via snail mail to:

City of Seattle
Seattle DCI – PRC
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

2) Uptown Rezoning Open House: 5-8pm, Thursday, August 4th at Seattle Center Armory Lofts 3 & 4

Shortly after our original post on 14 W Roy St, we also provided information on another meeting that takes place this week – the Uptown Rezoning Open House.

As a reminder, here are the 3 options:

1) “No Action” which maintains current zoning and building heights for the dozens of parcels in the neighborhood that are expected to be redeveloped, but does not include new neighborhood-specific design and development standards to guide that growth.

2) “Mid-rise” with 5-7 story buildings that would include mandatory housing affordability requirements, along with new Uptown design standards.

3) “High-rise” featuring taller, thinner, more widely spaced 16-story buildings in areas of the Uptown Urban Center, also including mandatory contributions to housing affordability and the neighborhood design standards.

Uptown EIS Rezone

At open house, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the alternatives, ask questions, and provide public comment. Attendees can also learn more about the upcoming Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking Study, the emerging Uptown Arts & Cultural District, citywide housing affordability policies, and proposed transit improvements.

Written public comment can be submitted until September 1 by writing to jim.holmes@seattle.gov.

Old 7-11 site to become 4-story building with 66 efficiency units

A little over a year ago, the 7-11 at the corner of Valley St and 5th Ave N closed. At the time, another convenience store owner was looking into buying the site, but those plans didn’t pan out. In the meantime, the site has become an eyesore, with windows boarded over, acting as graffiti magnet. Now, Instead, a 4-story residential building is planned for the site.

While an original application was submitted in April, a new one was posted today for the development at 800 5th Ave N. The documentation references the proposed rezone that could allow for taller buildings in the area, but at this point, the proposal is still for a 4-story building with 66 efficiency units for floors 2 through 4, 4 live-work units, and 1,800 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.

Per the latest project proposal, no vehicle parking will be provided. Per the initial designs the efficiency units are small, about 10-12′ wide and 23′ deep, with a few units having a bit more square footage:

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.39.15 AM

At this point, there are no public meetings scheduled to review the project. However, if you have comments, you can submit them online at this link.

City seeking input on Uptown rezoning options with public meeting on August 4th

The City of Seattle is seeking input from residents on three potential rezone options for Uptown, ranging from doing nothing to allowing mid-rise (5-7 story) buildings to allowing buildings up to 16 stories in some parts of Uptown. As we’ve reported in the past, the Uptown Urban Design Framework (UDF) is the central document that guides the future of Uptown. It includes input from neighbors and community organizations like the Uptown Alliance.

Now, the city has published a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates a range of building heights, developed in collaboration with the community. It’s a hefty document, weighing in at 458 pages in its pdf format.

The EIS states upfront that the priorities for Uptown are as follows:

• Affordable housing

• A multimodal transportation system

•Community amenities (community center, new schools, open space)

• An arts and culture hub

• A strong retail core

• A welcoming urban gateway to Seattle Center

The Uptown UDF recommendations include developing rezone legislation, which could change building heights and development standards. The EIS outlines three alternatives which have been identified for study:

1) “No Action” which maintains current zoning and building heights for the dozens of parcels in the neighborhood that are expected to be redeveloped, but does not include new neighborhood-specific design and development standards to guide that growth.

2) “Mid-rise” with 5-7 story buildings that would include mandatory housing affordability requirements, along with new Uptown design standards.

3) “High-rise” featuring taller, thinner, more widely spaced 16-story buildings in areas of the Uptown Urban Center, also including mandatory contributions to housing affordability and the neighborhood design standards.

The map below shows the rezone area. Where there are 3 numbers separated by dashes, the first is the “no action” option, the middle is the “mid-rise” option, the last is the “high-rise” option:

Uptown EIS Rezone

If you want a say in the future of Uptown and potential rezoning that could either maintain the status quo or grow upward, now’s your time to get feedback to the city. Part of the City’s decision will be based on community comments and input on the three options.

The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and Seattle Center are hosting an open house and public hearing on August 4th at the Seattle Center Armory Lofts 3 & 4, from 5pm to 8pm. At this meeting, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the alternatives, ask questions, and provide public comment.

In addition to the three options above, the following will also be on the August 4th agenda: the upcoming Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking Study, the emerging Uptown Arts & Cultural District, citywide housing affordability policies, and proposed transit improvements.

Written public comment can be submitted until September 1 by writing to jim.holmes@seattle.gov.

The City expects to complete the final EIS of the preferred alternative in November. Per the City: “Additional public comments will be gathered at that time before any proposed zoning changes are sent to the Seattle City Council.”

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