Community Post

Development Update

With summer just around the corner, we’re seeing a slight uptick in the amount of development going on in the neighborhood. But as you might expect, it’s mostly more beloved townhouses.

Here’s what we’ve got so far for June:
1. 2012 E. Union – This is a blackberry-strewn vacant lot in the middle of the block that has Katy’s to the west and 20/20 Cycles to the east. Although the permits don’t tell us too much, evidently they’re planning three commercial structures with retail inside. It’ll be great if this already interesting block can be turned into a real commercial hub for that part of the neighborhood. Now if only we could see some action with the vacant office and old gas station across the street.

2. 2017 E. Spruce – This is the site of a small one-story office, currently occupied by The Children’s Alliance, located just behind a big brick building that was originally a synagog. The office will be coming down, replaced by a total of 8 units of townhouses, spread across four structures with three stories each.

3. 210 21st Ave – Just around the corner from the previous item, this is a lot where four townhouses are already in the framing stage. They’ve received approval to divide the two parcels into four lots for eventual sale of the new homes. The designs look interesting and different so far – we’ll keep watching and see how they eventually turn out.

4. 811 19th Ave S – There’s an interesting old house on this block that sits on a long, skinny, down-sloping lot. They’ve taken the back half of that lot and are building a new single-family home, and doing a full remodel of the existing house. The application in this case is to subdivide the existing lot into two pieces for eventual sale.

And finally, West Seattle Blog has a great write-up about a “how can we fix townhouses” meeting that took place over the weekend. Check it out if you want to learn more or get involved the process to improve them.

0 thoughts on “Development Update

  1. We also have three single-family homes being built on 16th between Jefferson and Alder. Neighbors are happy that we’re not looking at a future townhouse site here.

  2. Does anyone know offhand who will be leasing the Pb Elemental work/loft space next to Parnells, and what the cost/sq. ft will be? That’s a pretty neat building for an innovative business.

  3. These projects do not need to go through any kind of neighborhood design review. I’d suggest 8 townhomes is at LEAST as impactful as many of the smaller commercial projects that do get scruntinized. Hope you can figure out the impact from the plat plan. And, if you feel compelled to comment, that’s as productive as printing them out, making a paper airplane out of the piece of paper and sailing it out your window.

    Don’t worry 16th and Alder. You are zoned SF. You can check out the zoning:

  4. I’ve tried some searches, but mostly end up with zoning law referencing acronyms without any definitions. If you can provide a link to list of definition, please help. Super bonus points if there is a breif desctiption of what that actually means without reading 50 pages of legalese.

  5. Here’s a definition:

    The main ones in the CD are:
    SF 5000 – Single family housing with a minimum lot size of 5000 square feet. These have the most stringent requirements for setbacks (space between the structure and the lot line), yards, etc.
    L1, L2, etc – Different flavors of multi-family, lowrise zones. This is where most of the townhomes are going.
    NC1-30 – Neighborhood commercial, 30′ height limit. These can have retail, offices, and/or apartments.

  6. Thanks, Scott! This is a good start.

    Does anyone know why SF5000 is the smallest zoning for many areas that have lots of typical size of 3-4k SF? I see “double lots” that are just barely 5000 SF, so I wonder what that really means?

  7. It’s up to 5000 SF. AS far as double lots, all I can do is speculate… and note that’s why they call it ‘Future Land Use’ The zoning laws were drastically revised in 1989 and many areas were rezoned. There are tons of little duplexes in SF 5000 areas, for example. But, the new multifamily zones are so much denser that those areas chose SF5000. In the central area and south ends, the city also allows auxiliary units, due to the facts on the ground of them being quite common.

    You will sometimes see a land use action proposal to subdivide and build or rebuild a ‘non conforming’ duplex in a SF zone. As opposed to a mini mansion or a house and auxiliary unit behind, people are usually fine with something that used to house two families, with lots of yards space, again housing two families.