It looks like the three classic houses that are in the way of the Epiphany School’s expansion in Madrona may yet be saved. Crews from Nichols Brothers House Moving are working now to prepare the houses for their trip to new properties. They’ve been jacked up off of their foundations and large steel beams have been slid underneath.
A construction schedule available on the school’s website shows that one house will be moved on July 13th, and the other two will be moved July 20th.
A fourth home of more recent construction was not able to be moved and was torn town last week.
It’s not clear yet what has changed in the project to make the moves economically feasible. We were unable to reach school officials or the prospective buyers of the homes for comment.
Email tipster R.S. tells us that there is still some minor controversy about neighbor’s trees that will have to be trimmed before the move. But as our tipster points out, hopefully people will realize that keeping good homes out of the landfill is much more green than a few tree limbs.
Update: I just spoke to Alan Serebrin, one of the prospective house buyers, who said that the project is at risk again as of late yesterday. The house moving project was made economically feasible by a new plan to move the houses on Howell, which has less utilities that would have to be moved than the larger arterial on Denny Way.
But Howell is a narrow street, and the twenty-eight foot wide houses would require temporary removal of five small trees in the planting strip. But suddenly some homeowners have objected to to the project based on its impact to those trees, each of which is less than 2″ in diameter. Mr. Serebrin stressed that the trees would only be temporarily taken out for three days and then put back in, and there are other discussions under way to guarantee the tree’s survival afterwards or even replace them with much larger trees.
Those neighbors will reportedly be meeting tonight to decide their course of action. If they continue to put up a fight, the school may give up and order the demolition of the homes as soon as next week. We’ll let you know how it turns out.
E. Howell Street, showing the small trees that are a new source of controversy
I’m a homeowner on that street, and I only heard about this situation TODAY.
Howell is a very narrow street, and the houses would require much more than just temporary removal of five small trees in the planting strip. It’s more than a couple of young 2″ trees at issue. There’s a 75 year-old tree and a greenbelt that would be cut back, and the neighbors would have to live with that for years, just because the folks moving the houses didn’t get it into gear with SDOT early enough to deal with moving the houses on the massive arterial ON WHICH THE HOUSES SIT. The neighbors have not been given much notice at all about what to do here.
So calling this “minor controversy about neighbor’s trees that will have to be trimmed before the move” is inaccurate. It’s important that you get info from sources other than a tipster (whom I suspect has a vested interest in getting the houses moved and does NOT live on Howell Street) and Mr. Serebrin.
Your tipster is a poor informant and appears to be biased. He or she certainly does not live in the neighborhood. The photo shows trees on the north side of Howell Street, which will not be affected. The trees in danger are on the south side of the street the least of which is not less than 4″ in diameter and some are large trees which provide substantial canopy.
May 23 and May 24, neighbors on E. Howell between 34th and 36th were notified, not asked, by the Nickels Bros. that two of the rescued homes located on the Epiphany School site would be moved along E. Howell to their new locations in Madison Valley. We were informed that a significant amount of the tree canopy along E. Howell would need to be removed, along with a number of street trees and/or right of way landscaping. The impact upon this greenery is expected to be evident for many years. The trees in the parking strip were cooperatively planted by the neighborhood, and have symbolic value. The impact on them is expected to be stunted growth and poor leaf development for 2-5 years. One very old tree that has been tended for years is not expected to survive the event.
In addition, this spring’s low rainfall increases the risk of the trees dying within those 5 years, and the neighbors were not assured that any party would take on the liability for this for that full period of time. No provision was offered for the repair of flower beds around these trees.
Howell Street neighbors conducted significant research between May 23 and June 16 in order to determine whether this move was in the best interest of the neighborhood. Many hours were spent consulting with certified arborists, City of Seattle Dept. of Transportation, the Tree Relocation Co., Nickels Bros., and other interested neighbors.
It is unfortunate that the SDOT cannot accommodate the request to move the houses down E. Denny, which is much wider, but the impact of moving the houses down Howell Street is not a viable option. The Nickel Brothers have been informed of our decision, but persist in badgering one Howell Street neighbor in particular, in an attempt to get us to reverse our decision. Their obstinance is a source of frustration for the entire neighborhood.
Howell Street isn’t the only adversely effected street. East 29th, where one of these homes is slated to be dumped (err, moved) will loose multiple large trees. Several of these trees are greater than a foot in diameter providing much shade and habitat for birds in our neighborhood. I could bore you with details concerning the loss of the evapotranspiration that these trees provide to local environment, but I wont. In short trees transpire moisture back into the air that they collect when it rains. When we cut back or take down mature trees we reduce the enviroments capacity to store this water. When the water can not be stored it runs down the street until it reaches the bottom. In this case this would be the bottom of the valley. Recent history tells us of the tragedy that can occur when to much water runs through the streets of Madison Valley. There are many reasons to block the moving of these dilapidated houses.
I live on the other side of Madison Valley but come through this area often to visit relatives and friends in the immediate neighborhood. I also know one of the potential owners of the houses to be moved. I can understand your anger about how this was dealt with by SDOT and Nickel Bros, and your concern about the effect on the tree canopy. But these are NOT dilapidated houses and it would be a real shame if there isn’t a way to work out saving them. Sure, Nickel Bros will make some money, but there’s no big conspiracy by some evil corporation going on here. There are people who want to live and raise children in these houses, right in the neighborhood. It’s great for the environment not to have to cut down new trees to build new houses. It’ll save all of that material from the landfill. This just makes me sad that there isn’t a way for it to work.
Wow, some real mischaracterization & misinformation going on here!
1. The trees in question are on a slope where water flows east, not west down to Madison Valley (where removing a bit of local absorption & evapo-transpiration capacity might present a problem despite the City’s massive stormwater work to prevent more troubles).
2. The decision to save the houses came by request of a large number of neighbors. Any obstinacy I see is on the part of a few homeowners who literally can’t see the forest (150-200 mature trees saved) for the trees (a few small ones on Howell that will be replaced + the larger tree/s that should respond well to the proposed pruning).
3. Nickel Bros has been exceedingly careful, polite and gentle in pursuing the wishes of the greater community.
I grew up in Madrona & support the preservation of the neighborhood character and 105+ years of history by saving these houses and keeping them within 1/4 mile of the spot where they’ve always been.
The neighbors on Howell Street are also interested in preserving those homes if possible – the Ephiphany houses are a part of their neighborhood they have known forever. They also understand the feelings of the people/families that have bought those homes. However, the homeowners on Howell have their own property interests as well. The Howell street neighbors have done extensive research about the proposals (with very little time), including expert arborists and the city. The info in the “Update” above suggesting there are 5 small trees at stake is wholly inaccurate. There are much bigger impacts as other posters above have highlighted. Frankly, Nickels Bros. failed to do their research in advance and to see it was not “economically feasible” to move the houses down the a major arterial, and now they expect that the homeowners on Howell Street should bear the burden of having their properties impacted b/c they don’t want the financial burden of moving down Denny. This is not an easy or pleasant situation for anyone involved. I hold out hope there is a way to save the houses, but without unnecessarily and negatively impacting other homeowners.
Sorry folks, I hadn’t read the post by “Another Neighbor” carefully. The trees on 29th are most certainly in Madison Valley; I only knew about the removal of trees on Howell. Though I wish SPU had take a different approach, the city’s massive expansion of stormwater underground (& aboveground) storage & conveyance in Mad Valley will make up for the removal of the 29th St trees and then some…
fifty years or so makes up for the removal of mature trees, not a stormwater retention facility that doesn’t even provide water reclamation.
It’s too bad that this can’t be worked out. Proper deconstruction, however, could provide materials for others and reduce land fill impacts significantly.
We happen to live in the neighborhood and tree removal is only the tip of the iceberg of issues we would face if the houses were moved down Howell street. In an effort make my previous entry a lengthy treatise, I only elaborated on the obvious problems. In any case the process of preparing the homes for transport has undermined their structure, and they will require substantial investment in materials to restore, even the Nickel brothers stated this. Furthermore, the city requires that a certain minimum percentage of materials in a home demolition be recycled.
My position is that the trees in those houses have been dead for a century; our trees are still living. Why kill them and vastly disrupt our lives because the contractors involved did not do all the required research before selling the houses? They have dumped their problem in our laps and we are accused of not wanting to save the homes.
Why should the neighbors of Howell give up trees that are part of their neighborhood because the appropriate plans to move the house on Denny wasn’t put in place in time? Seems that the Nickel Bros. and Mr. Serebrin profit from this move while the character and and loss of trees are put in our neighbor’s lap. This current plan exists because of ECONOMIC feasibility to use Howell street as opposed to Denny-seems like their decision is based on their financial issues of pulling it off. Let’s be real. They aren’t moving the house for the sake of the neighborhood-this is a business decision with the hope of making some money. Yes, they are nice old houses but I have to agree, the products of those houses are dead already. Why not try to recycle materials and keep the current trees around.
I’ve attended some of the meetings of Howell street neighbors. I was not surprised but certainly saddened that fear instead of reason prevailed in the meetings. Their decision was not a result of “careful study and deliberation” as suggested earlier, but in my opinion, a more a “not in my neighborhood” attitude. They failed to give weight to the bigger picture of reuse and minimize harvesting trees to build new homes (not to mention it’s greenhouse gas emmissions impact). There were cries in the meetings of great destruction, loss of foliage, and potential inconvenience by a few neighbors concerning the use of their street. The decision was far from unanimous. Some welcomed the trees to be trimmed. The street canopy trees in question are fast growing big leaf maple with a limited life span that are now becoming a threat with potential limb and tree falling in the years to come. The latest efforts by Nickel Bros., I’ve been told, has been to calmly address their concerns, minimize within reason the street canopy loss, and offer to replace and maintain any street plantings and sod that are impacted. We’re not talking private property destruction as mentioned in earlier comments, but this is public land (parking strip greenery) that each home owner has primary use and the responsibility for its care. Oh, another re-occuring theme in the discussion is “why not recycle the homes?”. To the best of my understanding, the homes have items that can be recycled: doors, appliances, etc. But a home that has been for years painted inside and out with lead paint is mostly going to the dump. The only major recycling that occurs is the concrete foundation, which can be ground and reused. So in the end, by weight, a great deal of the house is recycled, but that’s mostly below ground.
I applaude the school for taking the effort to save and reuse the homes. I think the Nickel Bros. are making every effort to address the neighbors fears and concerns. I hope the neighbors will continue to have open dialogue with the movers and come to an agreement that allows the homes to be moved instead of demolished.
I live in the neighborhood, and here is some information missing from the article and previous user comments.
There are three (3) houses along E Denny Way to be moved from the SE corner of E Denny Way and 36th Ave.
These houses were purchased by the Epiphany School (ES), and they will use the land to build a new school building.
Here is a link to the ES Construction Update webpage: http://www.epiphanyschool.org/Common/constructionupdates.htm
#1 3603 E Denny Wy. A 2 story light-cool-green house with a very cool cherry tree in the yard (pick some if you can).
#2 3605 E Denny Wy. A 2 story brown house (2nd story is an addition).
#3 3609 E Denny Wy. A 2 story light-warm-green house (already moved today to school property playgroud, 6/28)
House #2 will have it’s second floor removed in pieces and re-built after the lower level is moved out onto Denny and down Madrona Drive to Leschi. This 2nd floor is not original to the house (see the original roof line that skirts the junction of the first and second floors). That makes this house’s second floor easy to disassemble and rebuild. I haven’t seen anything happen at this house lately – the roof and second floor is still intact.
Houses #1 and #3 will be moved into (currently in progress today, fun to watch) the Epiphany School “cage” (basketball play enclosure) until the houses await final outcome. Houses #1 and #3 would then be moved out onto E Howell St and up the hill heading west, crest at 34th, and down into Madison Valley. E Howell street runs East/West, rising gently to 34th and then falling steeply into Madison Valley. Between 37th and 34th, a large hill on the south side of E Howell slopes steeply northward toward Howell. The lower east side of the Howell is populated with several old big-leaf maple trees, invasive ivy, and invading laurel bushes. This hillside land belongs to or is under responsibility of the neighbors south that live on top of the hill on E Schubert Pl. Links to Google Maps of this area are posted at the end. Nearer 34th street a few homes are built are on the south side of Howell.
The neighbors are concerned because the two homes to be moved are two-story and their passage up E Howell St would require changes to the tree canopy. They would require a 30′ clearance. The original proposal as I gathered from attending a concerned neighbors meeting and in talking to neighbors:
Nickel Brothers proposed to move two homes up E Howell St, with the two homes extending from the utility poles on the north edge of howell street to 6 feet south of the south curb planter strip. After trimming the overhead canopy and bagging the planter trees, the homes would favor the south side of Howell, over the drive-ways and planters of the houses on the western end of the south side of E Howell. I heard that Nickel Brother most recent proposal was to make a slight change in the path, still on E Howell, to minimize changes to the tree canopy. I’ve heard that the moving company has offered to minimize the canopy trimming, to re-plant or replace the planter trees and sod, maintain the planter strip for 5 years, and give a lump cash sum to compensate for the inconvinience. I don’t live on E Howell, so I don’t know what discussions has happened since.
Google Maps link for 3600 E Denny Wy:
Google Maps street-view links for E Howell Street:
At 34th and E Howell looking east on E Howell:
If you move east with the Street View and look South-East, you can see the trees and tree canopy. I think the photos were captured last fall.
Text Diagram of E Howell Stree, (not to scale, top is south):
STEEP HILL STEEP HILL STEEP HILL STEEP HILL STEEP
HILL AND TREES HILL AND TREES HILL AND TREES House House House
planter strip tree planter strip trees
EAST E Howell Street WEST
ELECTRICAL LINES (pole) ELECTRICAL LINES ELECTRICAL Alley Way Entrance (pole) LINES ELECTRICAL LINES
HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES HOUSES
KT, if you really want to delve into hydrology, you must know that if the big maple tree on 29th (the only specimen I see on that site anywhere near your 50 year mark) comes out, a handful of even newly planted cedars will provide a greater amount of stormwater absorption & retention capacity, both in the canopy and root system, than that maple and the other smaller species that may be removed on 29th.
As for the new SPU system, I hate the way SPU pretends Mad Valley isn’t part of a stream system (Arboretum Creek), but rather a stormwater conveyance system. I would love to see your suggestion of water reclamation, and even more, the restoration of some natural watershed functions in terms of letting surface water flow under Madison Street. Of course, that would require true civic leadership to punch a hole in the giant earthen dam built long ago to trestle a trolley route to Lk WA (which also choked the life out of the stream system AND ensured big storms would bring flooding problems upstream of the dam), and of course what little chutzpah our policy makers possess is prioritized elsewhere currently.
“Yet another neighbor” had made some uninformed statements:
1. The neighbors who live in the block which will actually be affected are all in agreement that the houses should not be moved down Howell St.
People tending to agree with moving the houses along that route do not live on the street affected.
2. “cries in the meeting” is a biased exaggeration.
3. “I’ve been told …” By whom were you told? Heresay evidence is not vaild. At least one neighbor can directly testify that Jeff McCord was not at all calm when addressing her in private, but gave an emotional performance.
4. “we are not talking private property destruction” This is true. We are talking the complete upset of a neighborhood, with no guarantees in place to date as to what restorative steps will be taken and who will be responsible for caring for newly planted trees in the dryness of summer. We are also talking potential negative effect on real estate value if trees fail to thrive, if landscaping is not properly replaced, etc.
We neighbors are considering a lot more issues that you onlookers can imagine.
“I applaud the school for taking the effort to save and reuse the homes.” Well frankly, the initiative to save the houses began with a neighbor who lives on Denny when that route was thought to be the means of removal. The school would have been just as happy to demolish the houses to build their school. In fact has anyone noticed that they have already demolished 2 houses on 36th street?
I spoke to a school official. The objective is to be rid of the houses, the means is not really important to them.
If anyone wants to walk a mile in a Howell Street neighbor’s shoes, you are welcome. It is awful to work for the good of your block and be criticized by outsiders, so blinded by the save the houses motivation that they don’t see the whole picture. We neighbors would like to save the houses too. We just don’t want all the effects of them moving down our narrow street.
I stand by my comments:
1. I know of at least two neighbors on Howell that were not in agreement with the decision. It’s not my place to name names on this blog.
2. You’re talking about small planter trees (that will be replaced and maintained) impacting property values? That’s a stretch! Trimming maple trees laden with ivy could be considered adding value to the neighborhood. It certainly would get my vote.
3. True the idea of moving a home was first proposed by a neighbor. So? I agree it would have been easier for the school to just demolish the homes. However, the fact is, they choose not to….and correction, one house on 36th has been demolished. They could not find a buyer for that house.
4. Gee, I’ve spoken to school officials too. They seem elated to see the homes will be reused. I think you confuse the school official with Sellen, the construction company, that wants the houses dealt with so they can start the project.
Your last comment is right on……the neighbors want to do the right thing by saving the homes, just as long as they’re not impacted. I think that’s not seeing the “whole picture!”
It’s amazing how people are getting bent out of shape by the postings on this blog. I feel as if we’re on a show called “The Real Housepeople of E Howell Street on BRAVO TV.” Chill out people. I guess it’s a lot of work saving neighborhoods, fending off the “evil” Epiphany School, and the like, so why not lighten up? I think dialogue is healthy, and I hope it stays that way.
Now, it’s fun to say silly things sometimes, and I wish that the following options were possible:
1) we could contact the US Army or Navy and ask them to use helicopters to lift the houses (wouldn’t this be fun to see?)
2) watch the move “UP,” then tie helium baloons to the houses and float them to their new locations
I’m struck by the comment about the trees in the houses having been dead for over a hundred years. And suggests recycle is the best option. Time consuming and difficult as it is, if it were feasible to reuse wood with lead based paint, it would be great! However, reality is recycle is not possible nor feasible and the homes are destined for the dump if not moved and reused. And the lumber used in the houses are still storing all the C02 that the trees absorbed from the atmosphere 100 -200 years ago.. the minute the wood is decomposed or burned, that C02 is released back into the atmosphere. The worst affect to global warming and the least green thing to do would be to let the lumber in the houses go to the dump to decompose or be burned. It takes about 24 (2nd growth) medium trees to build a simple one story home. There’s an enormous amount of CO2 released in the process of cutting, transporting, and milling the live trees. And the trees that are cut stop taking green house gases from the atmoshpere. For those that actually care after reading this, I think that’s worth reuse and recycle, not just for the neighborhoods sake, but for the whole planet!
I appreciate your concern over our neighborhood issues, and
I stand by my comments as well.
I agree that we need not name people, but I reiterate NO ONE on the affected block of Howell wants the houses going down Howell.
2. It is summer and we have no gaurantee that replaced trees will survive and there are issues of landscape, and sidewalk damage.3. There were 2 houses on 36th that were demolished. I saw them at least 3 times a week. One had a lot of growth in front. I live here.
4. I have not confused the school official with Sellen. The man even gave me his business card as we spoke of the issue. Please don’t assume that I don’t know who I am speaking to. I cannot afford to mistake whomI am speaking with, with so much at risk.
Further, there is a lot more to our neighborhood concerns than the trees and the houses, and a lot more that has gone into our deliberations. This in not the place for me to write an encyclopaedia about what we have discussed, nor do some of these things concern the “wider community.” There are MANY issues that have come up that cannot be discussed here. Thus, it is unfair for you to malign us, since you are not aware of ALL the issues, just the surface ones.
In addition, someone came to visit us from the location that the houses are supposed to go to who is opposed to the move on the grounds that two of his large trees are marked for removal.
So, I suppose your last comment is right, the houses should be saved, no matter what it costs people on the streets that it has to be moved through. It could be argued that since you are intent on characterizing the Howell neighbors as blind, selfish monsters, you must work for the Nickle Bros. But that is just as ridiculous as your contention and we should keep this blog free of insults and accusations.
Thomas, I have never characterized Epiphany as evil, nor am I bent out of shape. And though your levity is therapeutic, (helicopters and balloons) it might not lead to productive discussion.
Everyone here seems to have forgotten that what is really going on here is that the Nickel brothers are trying to save their behinds, because they did not properly research the moving issues. When they found out that Metro would not allow them to move the houses down Denny Street, they took measures to force all this upon us. Notice that no one places any blame on Metro. They have a wide street and the facility to accommodate the move. They don’t want it, because it is a huge amount of trouble. We don’t want it because it is more trouble than you want to read about. Feel blessed that this is not an issue in YOUR block.
I am responding to a reply to can’t see the forest for the trees…
I agree that the Howell Street Neighbors are being very un-reasonable. I was at the meeting in question- in which Nickel Bros representatives Jeff McCord and Cashon Cramer attended. They made every effort to quell the fears of the Howell Street neighbors- they walked the street with the homeowners with a 30′ pole to show exactly which branches were being affected, they pledged to replace any trees that died (up to 5 years) as a result of these trees being uprooted for no more than 4 days (these are the trees in the planting strip) and they have now pledged money and additional plantings to the homeowners affected. The complaints by some of the homeowners on Howell St were (and also repeated above) were a diminished resale value for their homes- Seriously! You are saying that a the tree trimming that needs to occur down the street from your homes will diminish your resale value? I really do not see merit in this argument. The economy and the expansion of the school itself- these are factors that decrease the value of your home- not tree trimming! and to say that All the neighbors are against the move is a Gross Overstatement. There were several neighbors that spoke at the meeting that could see the merit in moving and saving these incredible homes.
I believe that this is a classic example of people that are okay with change as long as it does not affect them directly. These are the same people that will complain when a craftsman is replaced with a townhome- and yet when the opportunity arises to step up and make a difference- they come up with every reason and excuse to not do so.
Accusing another writer of being intent “on characterizing the Howell neighbors as blind, selfish monsters” is not any more productive than talking about helicopters or baloons, and it is not the opposite of being bent out of shape.
Asserting a belief twice does not substantiate it. “House D,” or 1806 36th Ave was crunched up last week. I walk down 36th several times a day and I’m not aware of another house being demolished. There was an unattached garage belonging to 3603 E Denny Wy (the house on the corner of 36th and E Denny Wy) that was demolished two or three weeks ago. Could this be what you’re thinking of as the second house on 36th?
My daughter is doing day camp at Epiphany so I’m there daily. As of this afternoon, only one house left on the block. What happened?!?! Houses moved down Howell or demolished??
the two houses are in the “cage” by the gym where the basket ball court is. If you’re on 36th, look east, and you’ll see them snuggled together on the blacktop by the gym. If you’re looking from Denny, they were pushed south and east. They will hang out there for a while so that the construction crew can start prepping and excavating the site.
It makes me sad that folks can’t walk a mile in each other’s shoes here.
I can absolutely appreciate the motivation to save old houses. Old houses are worth saving where it is feasible to do so. And having grown up around the corner, I remember the people who lived in those houses. I can understand why Metro/SDOT doesn’t have budget/time to re route things in order to allow for a move down Denny.
But that’s something that the movers and home buyers should have worked out beforehand. It’s just not appropriate to blame the homeowners on Howell Street for that problem. My understanding from a number of folks who were present is that Jeff McChord said the moves would not happen if the Howell Street homeowners weren’t ALL in agreement with the move. At this point, it has been communicated that that is indeed the case, and yet the movers have proceeded with the steps necessary to make the move happen. Thus, I don’t have a lot of trust that the outlined plan will work or be remediated as described by the movers. A lot can go wrong even with the best laid plans. Why would the homeowners on Howell want to risk destruction to the tree canopy? That block is a lovely shady spot and this move will risk all of that.
Full disclosure: I’m a homeowner on that block (listed in the public records) but I don’t live there. And yet the movers have made no attempt whatsoever to contact me regarding any of this at any point in this process. I only became aware when my tenant alerted me to the situation. So I don’t have a lot of faith that this is being handled properly by the movers, despite all the defenders of the movers that have posted here.
You probably weren’t contacted by the Nickol Bros. (Jeff McChord?), because your property would not be directly impacted by the move. Actually only a few of the Howell street neighbors are impacted by the move. Only one neighbor on Howell has any say over the street canopy from trees that originate from her property (which overhangs on public property – sidewalk and street). The rest of the street canopy that overhangs originates from the property of homeowners on E. Schubert, just south and up the hill of Howell St.. A few other neighbors that are impacted have no canopy, only planter strip trees. Another point on the “street canopy” that I’ve mentioned earlier. If I had ageing Big Leaf Maple trees (some laden with ivy). I’d consider it a favor to have those trees removed. There’s a reason you don’t find Big Leaf Maple trees available in Nurseries. They’re not considered a desirable tree due to their short life span and how easily they decay from the inside out.
Thanks, but I disagree that I am not directly impacted just because I don’t have one of those trees in my particular section of parking strip.
Everyone that I have met in our neighborhood values “rescuing” the Epiphany homes. All associated with Epiphany School (board, staff and parents) seem to support saving the homes. However, Nickel Bros. has not yet allayed the concerns of the Howell St. homeowners whose narrow street will be changed by the move. Here are some observations:
1. It is plausible that Metro was late in informing Nickel Bros. that E. Denny Way would not be a viable route for the homes.
2. Howell St. is the only current viable route for “rescuing” the homes.
3. Nickel Bros. and their home buyers have made significant investments in order to move the homes.
4. The Howell St. neighbors are a most cohesive, thoughtful, educated and eco-friendly group. They also have senses of humor and can meet and discuss issues with calm voices.
5. Nickel Bros. has yet to disclose the full moving route for the 2 homes to be moved along Howell St. Is anyone else concerned about their street trees?
6. Howell St. trees will be impacted by the house move: the high maple canopy will be pruned, street trees will be doused with hibernation chemicals in order to be unplanted and replanted, replanted trees will need daily watering, etc.
7. Howell St. neighbors are a democratic, leader-less group. Due to summer schedules it seems that any move/don’t move decision will be made by email consensus.
8. Nickel Bros. has yet to offer a concise, complete proposal that offers real guarantees addressing all of the Howell St. neighbor concerns.
9. Nickel Bros. will need to make a generous, comprehensive, final offer to the Howell St. neighbors if the homes are to have a chance to be “rescued”.
10. It is unreasonable to expect the Howell St. neighbors to spend much more of their summer on the house move issue.
The house I mentioned earlier could well have been a garage. It was small, and there was a lot of vegetation preventing a full view.
Thank you Nearby Neighbor for your well outlined explanation.
Re item 6, a representative from the movers told me specifically that approximately 65% of the tree canopy would be eliminated. That is not a typo.
Read about this in today’s Seattle Times and feel terrible for everyone involved but in the end the Howell street home owners have the most at stake. It is their street that will be left looking ugly and their property that will be adversely affected. I know from sad experience that this kind of “trimming” will leave the street looking terrible and the growth will not come back for 10-15 years.
Don’t believe what the house movers say!! They don’t care about your property!!
I feel sorry for the couple that thought they were going to “score” a cheap house but I can’t believe they would want to do it at the expense of other home owners.