Community Post

Seattle U Wants Zoning Changes:!3{2}Meeting Wednesday

Seattle University is developing a new master plan (Major Institution Master Plan — MIMP). You may have seen one of the “Land Use Action” signs posted around the neighborhood. The process involves public meetings over the course of many months. All meetings are open to the public.(Steve Sheppard at the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is staffing these meetings. Contact him — [email protected] — to ask for notices of future meetings of the Seattle U MIMP Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).) The next meeting is Wednesday, July 23 at 5:30 P.M. in room 114 (Stimson Room) of the Lemieux Library on the Seattle U. campus.

Some of the important issues posed by the proposed MIMP include the possible expansion of the S.U. campus boundaries, and a proposed increase of allowed heights for future buildings in some areas east of 12th Avenue.

On the east side of the campus two distinct areas are at issue:
1. Between 13th and 14th Aves. from E. Jefferson to E. Marion (with some partial block exceptions immediately south of E. Marion) S.U. is asking for an increase in the height limit to allow it to build to 65 feet, an increase from the currently allowed height of 37 or 50 feet. An increase to 65 feet could most seriously affect properties on James Ct. and Barclay Ct. The properties on the east side of 14th Avenue between E. Cherry and E. Marion could be impacted by the possibility of greater height on the west side of 14th Avenue, including the site of the Coca Cola bottling plant. That site, most recently owned by Qwest, is now owned by S.U. and is considered as the possible location for a sports arena to accommodate S.U.’s, now Division I, basketball team, although apparently that’s not in the near term plans.(The Landmarks Preservation Board will consider the nomination of the Coca Cola Building for historic landmark status at a public meeting on August 6, at 3:30 P.M. in the conference room on the 40th floor of the Seattle Municipal Tower. See a related article in Central District News.)

2. The University is proposing to expand its boundaries to the east side of 12th Avenue in the block from E. Marion to E. Spring. This area is now zoned Neighborhood Commercial with a 40 foot height limit. The S.U. proposal would allow University-related development and increase the possible height of buildings to 65 feet. This could displace the potential for neighborhood-serving residential and retail space, and could present a taller view of the back-side of buildings to resdinces to the east.

To learn more about these issues and to express your opinions, a very good place is the next meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee. If personal attendance is not possible you can send written comments to the Seattle U. Citizens Advisory Committee c/o Steve Sheppard.

Also, the S.U. Web site has some information about its present and future plans and links (not quite up to date) to minutes of past CAC meetings: http://www.seattleu.edu/facilities/projects.aspx?x=3

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