Community Post

Seattle U Expansion Plans: Wed. July 9, 12-1:30

Overseen/facilitated by the officials from the City’s Departments of Neighborhoods and of Planning and Development, Seattle University has presented a first draft of their expansion prospects (a new Major Institution Master Plan–MIMP)to the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). These will be discussed and citizen/public comment allowed on Wed., July 9, 12-1:30, in the Stimson Room of SU’s Lemieux (main) Library. It is important for anyone concerned about development in the CD to attend and comment.

The CAC members have individually responded to the Draft MIMP with their criticisms. The primary concern of many CAC members is SU’s wish to raise height limits from 37′ to 65’in the Low Rise area between Jefferson and Marion, particularly north of East Cherry and East of 13th Ave. This is an area that is struggling to be a pedestrian friendly housing and commercial zone, with a minipark, etc. Similar concerns attach to SU’s Draft MIMP proposal to expand their (potential) boundary to the north (of Marion) along 12th Ave on the east side, again a key section intended in the long-standing 12th Ave Development Plan for retail and restaurant development, which is well under way. Further issues in the CAC responses to the Draft MIMP concern traffic management and surface parking lots (including one now on 12th).

Other concerns and suggestions for better interaction between this growing institution and the also growing neighborhood of homes/housing around it have been stated by the CAC. These include designating open space welcoming to students and community alike east of 12th and on the south (now parking lot)side of the Coca-Cola building (recently purchased by SU), limit SU uses on the West side of 12th (including the Self-Storage building)to those supporting retail on the ground floor or at least pedestrian interactive operations (art galleries, theaters).

Neighbors in the CD need to show up to support the CAC in their efforts to make SU more responsive to community needs.

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