The plan by Central District’s First Place School to put 16 units of low-income housing on its parking lot was controversial with some of our commenters when we first reported on the project back in March. But a hearing examiner’s review of the project found that “no written public comments were submitted to DPD or the Hearing Examiner on this proposal,” and the only testimony at the hearing was in support of the project. UPDATE: This post has been updated. Location information for the facility has been obfuscated due to privacy concerns.
The core issue is whether that mid-block parcel should be rezoned from L1 to L3, which allows more height, more building area, and reduced setbacks from the property line.
The hearing examiner looked at all of the factors surrounding the rezone and recommends approval of the project, having found that it has no negative environmental effects and supports the neighborhood plan’s goal of adding 650 new units of housing within the surrounding area.
The next step for the project is final city council approval of the rezone, which should come up for a vote within the next few months.
First Place School has obtained $4 million from the Washington State Housing Trust Fund and $500,000 from the Gates Foundation to construct the new building and is in a partnership with Catholic Housing Services. The schools goal is to provide new housing options for the families of its students who are in need.