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

 

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 neighbors begin process of designing new park by library

February 4th, 2015 by Doree

About 30 Greenwood neighbors met at the Greenwood Community Council meeting two weeks ago to discuss what the neighborhood’s new park could look like.

Seattle Parks and Recreation purchased the land directly north of the Greenwood Library, on the northeast corner of North 81st Street and Greenwood Avenue North, in 2011 with funds from the 2008 Pro Parks Levy. But since Parks didn’t have any development money, the three businesses in that small strip mall stayed, then slowly started moving out (they’re receiving city relocation assistance funds). The only remaining business is Manna Teriyaki, which is looking for a new spot in the neighborhood.

Future-park-Greenwood-81st

Bill Farmer, who lives in Phinney Ridge and has been involved in recommendations for the parks levies, spoke at the January GCC meeting about the process to date.

After voters passed last year’s parks measure, the Parks Department now has money to develop the site, along with 13 others throughout the city. Farmer said all 14 park sites will be developed sometime between 2016 and 2018. He explained that the sites will be developed in the order they were acquired, so the Greenwood site, which is about one-quarter acre, is about halfway down the list.

Community members, including two students from Greenwood Elementary School’s architecture club, weighed in on initial ideas for the park. Here are a few of their ideas and comments:

  • The park needs a safer street crossing, both North-South to the library and East-West across Greenwood Avenue. Perhaps a pedestrian bridge over 81st Street?
  • It would be nice to have the same kind of boulders that are at the library entrance and in the children’s area to tie the library and park together.
  • A place to sit similar to Ballard Corners Park’s concrete “sofa” that would tie in to reading/library. One little girl suggested a slide shaped like a book.
  • An active playground would be heavily used by all the families coming to the library’s weekly story times.
  • A gazebo or shelter would keep the park active even in winter or other rainy times, and could provide a place for bands to play during community events, or for the annual holiday caroling event.
  • Teenagers are often forgotten in the planning of parks – make sure to have something that appeals to them as well.
  • A small garden geared for young kids to teach them how to garden.
  • How would the park mitigate street noise and air pollution from cars?
  • How can we use the space while it’s in transition? After the building is torn down, would a fence go up keeping people out, or would neighbors be able to use the empty lot somehow?

Designing the park will be a community-wide process. If you’d like to be on the Greenwood Community Council’s email list to be notified of future park and GCC meetings, click here.

 

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Learn more about future park by Greenwood Library at Tuesday’s Greenwood Community Council meeting

January 19th, 2015 by Doree

Tuesday evening the Greenwood Community Council will discuss the future park to be located across the street from the Greenwood Library, on the northeast corner of Greenwood Avenue North and North 81st Street. The site currently houses a strip mall with just one tenant left, Manna Teriyaki.

Future-park-Greenwood-81st

Our January meeting will kick off the process to develop a community vision for the new park that will be developed on the lot north of the library, where the minimart used to be. Bill Farmer will speak on the history of this site as a proposed park through inclusion for funding in the park district ballot measure that Seattle citizens passed last year and the implementation process. Bill was a member of the 2008 Parks & Green Spaces Levy Committee that resulted in acquisition of the site, and the Parks Legacy committee that helped develop the park funding ballot measure. He has followed this process over the years.

The majority of the meeting will be for brainstorming – what are the things a park could bring to the neighborhood? What uses should (and shouldn’t) it accommodate? What matters about how it’s designed? What should it be called?

The objective is to begin the neighborhood discussion that will ultimately need to involve many others in the broader Greenwood-Phinney area that this park will serve. Being proactive to develop a community vision will help designers develop a park we will use and feel ownership and pride in. The ideal outcome of this meeting will be to get discussion going and identify a core group to broaden the discussion to the wider community.

The meeting is from 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., and is open to the public.

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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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UPDATE: SPEAKER POSTPONED — Phinney Ridge Community Council on Tuesday to have guest speaker on Pedestrian Overlay Zone recommendation

December 1st, 2014 by Doree

Update Tuesday: We’ve just heard that the city’s speaker on the Pedestrian Overlay Zone is unable to make tonight’s PRCC meeting. Her presentation has been rescheduled to the Jan. 6 meeting. The rest of tonight’s meeting agenda remains the same.

Earlier: The Phinney Ridge Community Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5515 Phinney Ave. N. Guest Speaker Aly Pennucci, of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, will speak from 7-7:30 on the proposed Pedestrian Overlay Zone, which would extend the neighborhood’s current Pedestrian Overlay Zone to between North 58th and 62nd streets, to promote walkable shopping and service areas.

Also on the agenda is an update on the property at 70th & Greenwood that’s been undergoing environmental cleanup for the last two years, and the status of the residential development planned at 68th and Greenwood.

The PRCC’s next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 6.

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Greenwood micro-apartment developer will give presentation at Greenwood Community Council meeting

November 26th, 2014 by Doree

The property company building a micro-apartment project at 714 N. 95th St. in Greenwood will give a presentation on the project at the Greenwood Community Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

714 N 95th St-exterior-resized

This home will be replaced by 36 residential units.

Daniel Stoner, president of Parkstone Properties, tells us the project will be resubmitted under new rules recently passed by the Seattle City Council.

“While the new regulations require only Streamlined Design Review for a project of our size, we thought it would be helpful to hold a voluntary
community meeting to listen to neighborhood residents and address questions about our project,” he said in an email. “Please join us that night for a lively, constructive discussion and learn more about our micro-apartments as one component for addressing Seattle’s exciting but challenging population growth.”

Stoner says the project will soon have its own website describing floor plans and amenities. In the meantime, you can check out another micro-housing project the company is building at 918 N. 103rd St. to get an idea of what it will be like.

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Election forum is TONIGHT at Taproot Theatre

October 21st, 2014 by Doree

Don’t forget the election forum tonight (Tuesday) starting at 7 p.m. at Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St. It’s jointly hosted by four community councils from Northwest neighborhoods — Greenwood, Broadview, Green Lake and Phinney Ridge.

  • 7:00 – Welcome and settle in
  • 7:10 – Dueling Seattle Early Childhood Education initiatives
  1. In favor of 1A: Laura Chandler, Preschool teacher/trainer
  2. In favor of 1B: Michael DeBell, for Seattle School Board member
  3. Opposed to both: Melissa Westbrook, Public education advocate
  • 7:45 – The Reduce Class Sizes state initiative
  1. In favor: Shannon McCann, 3rd Year Special Ed. teacher
  2. Opposed: Jami Lund, Education policy analyst
  • 8:10 – Seattle Transportation Benefit District (for bus transit service)
  1. In favor: Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Councilmember
  • 8:20 – The New Monorail Initiative
  1. In favor: Elizabeth Campbell, Initiative sponsor
  • 8:30 – 36th District candidates
  1. Senator: Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D, incumbent); Sabrina Forbes (R)
  2. Representative, Position 1: Reuven Carlyle (D, incumbent – not confirmed); Leslie Klein (Republicanspirit – did not reply)
  3. Representative, Position 2: Gael Tarleton (D, incumbent – cannot attend); Paul Addis (Libertarian)
  • 8:45 – Adjourn – cafe will stay open so you can talk to campaigners

Taproot Theatre’s Stage Door Cafe will be open before and after the forum.

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Election Forum Tuesday evening at Taproot Theatre

October 17th, 2014 by Doree

Four community councils from Northwest neighborhoods — Greenwood, Broadview, Green Lake and Phinney Ridge – are jointly hosting an election forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St.

Please join your neighbors next Tuesday evening to make sense of ballot measures as the fall election closes in. The election forum gives you an opportunity to hear from the campaigns and ask them your questions.

  • 7:00 – Welcome and settle in
  • 7:10 – Dueling Seattle Early Childhood Education initiatives
  • 7:45 – The Reduce Class Sizes state initiative
  • 8:10 – Seattle Transportation Benefit District (for bus transit service)
    8:20 – The New Monorail Initiative
  • 8:30 – 36th District candidates* have been invited to introduce themselves
  • 8:45 – Adjourn – cafe will stay open so you can talk to campaigners

*Not all candidates are able to attend

Space is generously provided by the Taproot Theatre. There is no charge to attend, but donations to offset the Taproot’s costs will be appreciated – and please plan to stop by Taproot’s Stage Door Cafe before or after the event.

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Greenwood Community Council meets tonight to discuss Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update and form study groups

September 16th, 2014 by Doree

Tonight’s Greenwood Community Council meeting will be from 7-8:30 p.m. at Taproot Theatre Cafe, 208 N 85th St. (refreshments available for purchase).

The main topic on the agenda is an introduction and overview of the Seattle 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update. The GCC is forming study groups for its complementary Greenwood 2035 plan.

Tom Hauger from Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development will give an overview of the Seattle 2035 update process for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan and some of the key issues that will be addressed. Tom will also take audience questions. This will be a good opportunity to get oriented to the comprehensive planning process for those who hope to become more involved in it. (For those who are opinionated about development issues, this is not the forum to air them, but there will be plenty of opportunities as the process continues.)

Looking ahead to next month, the October GCC meeting will be the annual Election Forum at Taproot Theatre, on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.

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