Saturday, December 6, at 9:00 am, Seattle Department of Transportation crews will repair sections of 15th Avenue South, Rainier Avenue South, and Beacon Avenue South where the pavement was excavated for work on underground utilities. There will be flaggers to direct traffic. Lanes are scheduled to reopen by 3:30 pm.
Areas affected will be:
the 3000 block of 15th Avenue South (between Stevens and Winthrop*)
the 5100 block of Rainier Avenue South (at 39th Avenue South)
Rainier Avenue South at Medley Court south of South Austin Street
the 3000 and 3400 blocks of Beacon Avenue South (between Stevens and Hanford, and between Hinds and Spokane)
Need more information? Contact Eric Stewart at 206-255-2349.
*The city press release said the 3200 block, but the block bounded by Stevens and Winthrop is the 3000 block.
Here’s a map of the Beacon Hill locations affected:
There is a big building at the junction of Beacon and 15th, a large building that seems as if it ought to be a major retail destination in our North Beacon Hill business district and urban village. But it’s not. It’s a warehouse. There is nothing visible inside but piles of boxes, and a small paper sign.
This is interesting, because the site is zoned Neighborhood Commercial 2 P 40. Neighborhood Commercial 2, or NC2, is “a moderately-sized pedestrian-oriented shopping area that provides a full range of retail sales and services to the surrounding neighborhood.” Typically an NC2 land use might be a coffee shop or drugstore. 40 means that the zoning allows 40-foot tall buildings to be built there. P means that it is a “P-zone” — a pedestrian-designated zone, which is designed to encourage pedestrian activity in a neighborhood business district by requiring ground floor uses that attract pedestrian activity and interest. This means things like retail stores, restaurants, hair salons, etc., but not research labs, administrative offices — or warehouses.
Hui Intertrading’s use of the building as a warehouse has been a thorn in some folks’ sides for quite a while, as was the earlier similar use of a building directly across the intersection. And people have filed complaints over these violations of the land use code, in August 2004 and May 2008. For a while, a land use notice board appeared on the building, listing a proposed change to retail use, but the board eventually came down with no noticeable change in the use of the building.
After the earlier complaint, the building failed 11 city inspections before finally passing one in February 2008. After the most recent complaint, it took 4 inspections before it finally passed, and the case was closed — in other words, it’s no longer considered to be violating land-use codes. But, have you been by there lately? It’s still a warehouse. Nothing has changed.
Oh, wait — except for that small paper sign I mentioned earlier:
It’s just a pile of boxes behind the sign, with no sign of any retail activity or retail fixtures.
Could it be that putting up a sign like this is all you need to be a retail business and get the Department of Planning and Development off your back? Business owners, take note!
On the other hand, despite appearances, maybe it is a retail shop. Has anyone tried to shop at this “food grocery retail store”? Please tell us how it went.
We noticed recently that the work on the east side of the 17th and Beacon intersection has reopened to traffic. The planters and pedestrian-scale lighting don’t appear to be there yet, though. With luck this will be a safer intersection for pedestrians crossing 17th at this spot. It doesn’t seem to affect those crossing Beacon to the library, however.
Does the “left turn only” sign mean that drivers can no longer cross Beacon and continue southward on 17th?
If you are like us, you’ve been wondering what the heck is going on with the intersection at 17th/Beacon/Forest, across from the library, that’s been closed since September. Allison Delong took the initiative to call SDOT to find out.
Apparently, the hold-up is that they need to grind some asphalt to finish the work, and the grinder is in the shop! They hope to have the intersection open again in the next few weeks, one way or another.