A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Design Review Board will make recommendation on micro-housing at 1008 N. 109th St. on Aug. 3

July 20th, 2015 by Doree

The Northwest Design Review Board will make its recommendation on the proposed 93-unit micro-housing development at 1008 N. 109th St. at a public meeting at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, at the Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW, in the Sunset/Captain/Ballard Room.

The proposal is for 93 small efficiency dwelling units centered around common kitchens, with retail on ground level and 13 surface parking spots. Comments on site planning and design issues will be accepted through Aug. 3. Comments can be emailed to PRC@seattle.gov, referring to DPD permit 3017565.

At the Aug. 3 meeting:

1. The applicant will present information about the proposed design and how it responds to the Design Review Guideline priorities established at the previous Early Design Guidance meeting(s).
2. The public may offer comments regarding the proposed design.*
3. The Design Review Board will offer their recommendations regarding the design to DPD.
4. Following the meeting, DPD will issue a written Recommendation report summarizing the meeting. This report will be sent to those who signed in at the meeting or otherwise requested a copy.

*Please note that public comment at the Recommendation meeting is limited to design considerations. If environmental review is triggered, comments related to environmental impacts (such as traffic, parking, noise, etc.) may be sent to DPD following notice of that review.

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UPDATED: INTERVIEW WITH DEVELOPER — Building housing Ed’s Kort Haus and Stumbling Goat sold, to be replaced by 60-unit apartment building with commercial at ground level

July 16th, 2015 by Doree

Update: We interviewed one of the developers on July 20. Please see the second half of this post for that.

Earlier: The building currently housing Ed’s Kort Haus and Stumbling Goat Bistro was sold to Phinney Flats LLC on June 23 for $1.8 million. A Seattle Department of Planning and Development permit shows the building will be replaced by a four-story, 26,000-square-foot, multi-use building with 60 units of housing and no parking.

With the ground floor dedicated to commercial use, that means the 60 residential units in the remaining 19,500 square feet would average 325 square feet. (Note: We have a message in to the project’s architect for more information.)

The project requires an environmental review as well as Early Design Guidance, which will allow the public a chance to comment on the design.

According to King County Assessor records, the current 4,000-square-foot building was built in 1927.

I spoke with Ed Warrington, owner of Ed’s Kort Haus for 34 years, and he said it will be several years before he and the Stumbling Goat have to move out. He said the building’s new owners want both businesses to come back to the new building, and are working on an offer to that effect.

“We’re not going anywhere yet,” Warrington said. “And in the future they want us to be here.”

Update July 20:

Today I spoke with Kelten Johnson, one of the owners of Phinney Flats LCC. He said he and his development partners have built several of what he calls “workforce housing” developments in the city, including Capitol Hill, Wallingford, Eastlake, and two new micro-housing buildings in Greenwood.

Footprint Greenwood is at 143 NW 85th St., across from Fred Meyer. It opened last December. Each of the 35 units has its own bath and a kitchenette, with access to common kitchens and laundry room. The average rent is about $700.

Footprint Phinney, at 8727 Phinney Ave. N., north and east of the Greenwood Safeway, has 79 units, each with their own bath and kitchenette, and access to common kitchens and laundry room. The average rent is about $700. Johnson said renters began moving in just last week.

Phinney Flats’ units will be larger than Footprint Phinney and Footprint Greenwood. Phinney Flats will be studio apartments of around 350 square feet, with full kitchens and bathrooms.

I asked Johnson about Phinney Flats not being required to have parking, since that’s the hot-button topic surrounding this kind of development in Seattle.

“It’s not required, so it keeps costs lower for us,” he said, in turn keeping rents lower for residents. “Our car ownership (in our other buildings) is about 20 percent, so it’s pretty low.”

The same architect who designed Footprint Greenwood, Jay Janette of Skidmore Janette, will design Phinney Flats.

“We want something that’s going to fit into the neighborhood and something that will last,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to build workforce housing, and we’re really excited to have the Stumbling Goat and Kort Haus come back into new spaces for them. Both groups are really excited to be part of the new project, so they can help in the design-build process.”

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Phinney Ridge Community Council meets Tuesday

February 26th, 2015 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge Community Council meets at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. You can see the full agenda here.

Guest speaker Kaitlin Parker of the National Wildlife Federation will talk about how to establish a backyard wildlife habitat and neighborhood corridors.

The council will discuss land use and development reports, the status of the proposed Pedestrian Overlay Zone and a Department of Planning and Development parking study.

They’ll also talk about council district issues, now that seven of the nine City Council positions will be elected by district. Ballard, Phinney Ridge and part of Greenwood are in the new District 6. The new District 5 will cover the north end of Greenwood up to Shoreline, as well as the east side of I-5.

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Greenwood Community Council meets Tuesday to discuss parking requirements for new residential buildings

February 16th, 2015 by Doree

The Greenwood Community Council meets from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. The main topic on the agenda is a discussion about how much parking the city should require for new residential buildings.

A few years ago Seattle changed its development regulations to eliminate the requirement to provide parking in new multi-family buildings in areas defined as urban villages, or places with accessible and frequent transit service. Almost all of Greenwood fits that definition, and several micro-housing buildings are being built that will take advantage of that change by not including parking as part of the development.

There are advocates and strong feelings on both sides of this issue. Seattle’s previous parking requirements often required developers to include more parking than needed, raising the cost of living in new buildings and requiring residents who don’t own cars to help pay for their storage. Providing no parking at all takes advantage of unused public street space at no cost to the developer or tenant. When parking is scarce though, neighbors and their visitors have a harder time finding a place to park and need to walk farther to get groceries and kids to the car.

So what is the right amount of parking, and what should guide the city in deciding how much developers need to provide as part of their projects? The City Council has requested a review of parking requirement policies, and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is preparing its analysis. Gordon Clowers is leading the team that will respond to the council, and at our February meeting he will discuss some of the factors DPD will consider in forming their analysis.

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Greenwood micro-housing project increases by 5 dwelling units, under streamlined design review

January 5th, 2015 by Doree

The micro-housing project at 714 N. 95th St. in Greenwood, which originally proposed 36 dwelling units in three stories, has increased to 41 units, according to the Department of Planning and Development’s latest Land Use Bulletin. No parking is required.

714 N 95th St-exterior-resized

DPD is using a streamlined design review process for the project. Comments on site planning and design issues will be accepted through Jan. 18. Comments can be emailed to PRC@seattle.gov or mailed to: City of Seattle, DPD, PRC, 700 5th Ave., Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019.

Following the public comment period, the Department of Planning and Development will issue a written design guidance report. This report will consider public comment and the applicable city-wide and neighborhood specific Design Guidelines and will serve as the basis for further review of the building permit. Once the applicant has incorporated the design guidance into the proposal they may apply for a building permit. No public notice of the building permit application will be provided.

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Reminder: Early Design Guidance meeting for another micro-housing project is Monday

January 4th, 2015 by Doree

Here’s a reminder that the Northwest Design Review Board will hold an Early Design Guidance meeting for a proposed micro-housing development at 9002 Greenwood Ave. N. on Monday. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW.

The developer is proposing a four-story building with 48 efficiency dwelling units. No parking is planned. The existing building, which used to house an alterations business, will be demolished. Click here to see the developer’s design proposal (pdf).

9002-Greenwood-resized

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Early Design Guidance meeting set for another proposed micro-housing development

December 17th, 2014 by Doree

The Northwest Design Review Board will hold an Early Design Guidance meeting for a proposed micro-housing development at 9002 Greenwood Ave. N. The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 5, at the Ballard Community Center, 6020 28th Ave. NW.

The developer is proposing a four-story building with 48 efficiency dwelling units. No parking is planned. The existing building, which used to house an alterations business, will be demolished.

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Greenwood Community Council meeting Tuesday features talk with micro-housing developer

December 15th, 2014 by Doree

A developer who is building a 36-unit micro-housing project at 714 N. 95th St. Greenwood will speak at Tuesday’s Greenwood Community Council meeting. The meeting is from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N. The public is invited.

From the Greenwood Community Council’s meeting notice:

There’s been a big to-do about micro-housing (aka apodments*) in neighborhoods all over Seattle. Micro-housing is a relatively new idea in Seattle, allowing people who don’t need a full apartment to rent a bedroom only with access to a common kitchen. Many do not provide parking because many micro-housing residents don’t own one. The micro-housing boom has caught neighborhoods by surprise, with buildings appearing all over town. These projects have been largely exempt from regulation or public review, but the City Council is reconsidering whether to change that.

Three micro-housing developments are under construction now in Greenwood – comprising most of the development that will open here in the next year. (One is on Phinney Ave. above the Safeway parking lot, and two are on NW 85th St.) There are clearly potential benefits, but also unknown impacts that raise concerns for some neighbors.

Daniel Stoner is a developer who has built micro-housing projects previously, and he’s asked for the opportunity to discuss plans for a new micro-housing project on 95th St. with Greenwood neighbors – the topic of our December meeting. KCTS recently did a story on micro-housing and Daniel was interviewed — you can see the interview by clicking here.

*Apodments is a trademark of a specific micro-housing development company, so the term micro-housing is used here.

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DPD approves design of multi-use development at 101 NW 85th St

August 13th, 2014 by Doree

The Department of Planning and Development has conditionally approved the design of the proposed five-story mixed-use building for the long vacant lot at 101 NW 85th St., across the street from the Greenwood Fred Meyer. The current empty commercial building and two adjacent houses will be demolished to make way for the new building with 105 residential units, approximately 8,900 square feet of retail space and parking for 86 vehicles.

You can read the full DPD decision here.

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