Tag Archives: dpd

Design Review meeting for station block apartment project 11/13

The currently-vacant site on the station block. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

Interested in the development of the Beacon Hill Station Block property at 17th Avenue South and South McClellan Street? Mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30 p.m., when the Design Review Board will meet for the second phase of Design Review for this project, the recommendation meeting.

The proposed project is a six-story structure with 47 residential units and 2,046 square feet of retail space. There will be parking for 17 vehicles in a garage below grade.

Here’s what is on the schedule for the Design Review Board recommendation meeting, according to a notice posted by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD):

  • The applicant will present information about the proposed design and how it responds to the Design Guideline priorities established at the previous Early Design Guidance meeting(s).
  • The public may offer comments regarding the proposed design. Please note that public comment at the Recommendation meeting is limited to design considerations. If environmental review is triggered, comments related to environmental impacts (such as traffic, parking, noise, etc) may be sent to DPD following notice of that review.
  • The Design Review Board will offer their recommendations regarding the design to the Director of the DPD.

The meeting will be held at the Wellspring Services Community Room, 1900 Rainier Ave. S. For more information, see the DPD page, or our “station block development” archive of stories about the site.

View New development on Beacon Hill Station block in a larger map

Application filed to build 5-story building at 12th and Holgate; appeals filed on South Beacon grading projects

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has announced a land use application to allow a 5-story, 22-unit residential building at 1814 12th Ave. S. Parking for 12 cars would be included below grade in the building. The existing 1922-built house on the 7,405 square-foot lot would be demolished.

The project will be required to go through the design review process, as well as a SEPA environmental determination. Comments on the project may be submitted to the DPD through April 15. You can submit your comments online via this link.

View Larger Map

On the far south end of the hill, appeals have been filed against the DPD’s recent Determination of Non-Significance with conditions (no environmental impact statement required), for a grading and vegetation removal project at three properties, as discussed on the Beacon Hill Blog recently. The appeal hearings for all three sites will be held on Wednesday, June 6 at 9:00 a.m.

The first is 8839 36th Ave. S. See the decision page here for more information. Here is the page about the appeal hearing.

The second project is nearby at 3400 Edward Dr. S. See the decision page here. Here is the page about the appeal hearing.

The third site is at 9025 Cecil Ave. S. See the decision page here. Here is the page about the appeal hearing.

View Grading projects on South Beacon Hill in a larger map

DPD issues decision on project at 1751 18th Ave. S.

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has announced a Determination of Non-Significance decision regarding 1751 18th Ave. S. (the southwest corner of South State Street and 18th Avenue South), where a land use application has been filed to build three 3-story single family residences, demolishing the existing house on the site.

A Determination of Non-Significance indicates that the proposal has been determined not to have a significant adverse impact upon the environment, and so an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required.

You can read the decision here. For further information, see the Notice of Decision here.

View Larger Map

Early design guidance meeting scheduled for 12th Ave project

The Design Review Board will gather for an early design guidance meeting on December 13 to discuss an apartment development project proposed for 1814 12th Ave. S., one block west of Beacon Hill Playground.

The proposal is to demolish the existing single-family residence on the site (which is zoned Lowrise 3) and build a four-story, 23-unit apartment building. There would be 12 underground parking spaces provided.

At an early design guidance meeting such as this one, applicants present information about the site and the project. Public comment is then allowed, and the members of the Design Review Board will give their comments and suggest guidelines for the continuation of the development project.

The meeting is on Tuesday, December 13 at 8 p.m., at the WellSpring Family Services Center community room, 1900 Rainier Ave. S. For further information, contact planner Bruce Phillip Rips, at 206-615-1392.

The site of the proposed apartment building. View a larger map at Google Maps.

Design Review Board to discuss 25th Ave apartment project

The Design Review Board is holding a public meeting on December 13 to discuss the development project proposed for 2715 25th Ave. S. and 2615 25th Ave. S., on the east slope of Beacon Hill just west of the Rite Aid/QFC building. (Meeting announcements are here and here.)

The project proposes the construction of two 7-story apartment buildings with a combined total of 307 units, including parking for 297 vehicles. The lots currently contain five mid-century single family homes.

See the DPD permit information here and here.

An Early Design Guidance Meeting was held on June 28 to discuss this project. Here is the project report presented by the development team at that time. You can read a summary of the meeting and the guidance from the Design Review Board here. At the December 13 meeting, the applicants will present the revised design and discuss how they have responded to the priorities and concerns brought up at the Early Design meeting. The public is invited to attend and comment.

The meeting is on Tuesday, December 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the WellSpring Family Services community room at 1900 Rainier Ave. S.

This was one possible site plan shown at the June Early Design Guidance meeting. At the December 13 meeting, the public will be able to see how the concept has changed.

Neighbors get first look at planned station block development

Clayton Smith shows an example of a courtyard from another Pacific Housing NW project. Photo by Wendi.
A couple dozen community members attended the Early Design Guidance meeting held last night to discuss the proposed development on part of the Beacon Hill Station block. Representatives from Pacific Housing NW (who, previously, were involved in the Beacon Hill Central Park proposal) presented preliminary ideas for the building to the Southeast Design Review Board as well as to the community members in attendance.

It is very early in the process, so all the designs shown were nowhere close to a final form. (The designs are currently not available online, but should appear on the DPD website soon. I’ll post a link then.) Several options were presented, including 40′ buildings and 65′ buildings, depending on whether the rezone currently in process goes through or not. All the options had a few things in common: an entrance to a 14-17 space parking garage via the alley, a courtyard to the north of the building, and some commercial space on the southwest corner of the building. The options varied in height, the presence of live-work space, and the configuration of entrances and setbacks. A 40′ building would probably have 30 units, and a 65′ building would have 45.

Pacific stated that their goal is “sustainable principles”; they hope to include solar cells and possibly even wind power generators on the roof. They intend to plant large trees in the planting strips around the building.

Materials Pacific said they may use for the building include “some lap siding,” masonry, concrete, and some paneling for upper levels. (Several community members expressed a strong dislike for panel-type siding during the public commentary period.) “Green walls” would probably be included as well.

Parking would be below-grade, with a small 14-17 space garage. Parking is not required at all within the station overlay area, so there is no requirement to have spaces for each unit.

The amount of commercial space in the building, as presented by Pacific last night, is very small—one small unit in the southwest corner. This was the most frequent concern mentioned by commenters during the public comment period. Neighbors who spoke up about it were unanimous in wanting more retail/commercial space in the building, preferably along the entire McClellan frontage. The current proposal “is not lively,” said neighbor Judith Edwards.

Some commenters also expressed concern about setbacks. The designs showed setbacks above the fourth floor. Judith Edwards commented that, according to neighborhood design guidelines, setbacks are supposed to start above the second floor. She concluded, “We are going to hold firm on this.” However, this was not a unanimously-held opinion. Another neighbor commented that setbacks are unnecessary for this building because it will have plenty of visual interest already.

Another major concern mentioned by the neighbors in attendance was the alley. In the proposed designs, the alley side of the building contains a driveway into the parking garage, but seemingly nothing else. Commenters wanted to see the alley as an “active alley,” with shops and cafe tables, preserving the view toward El Centro de la Raza. (See this illustration by Joel Lee for the basic idea.)

In general, however, the commenters seemed fairly supportive of the development.

After discussion, the Design Review Board members recommended “significant modulation” and an increase in commercial space. Setbacks will be required if the building is 65′ tall. The designers should draw on existing structures in the neighborhood for materials influence. They must enhance the alley, activating it for pedestrian use.

There will be another meeting in the future, after new designs have been created to address these issues. Stay tuned for the rest of the process.

(Thanks to Melissa Jonas for some additional information.)

Tonight: Early Design Guidance meeting for station block project

As alluded to in this space yesterday, this evening is the Early Design Guidance meeting for the proposed four-story commercial/residential structure at 2721 17th Ave. S., the southeast corner of the Beacon Hill Station block.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Wellspring Family Services community room, 1900 Rainier Ave. S.

The property was previously used for staging during the construction of Beacon Hill Station, and before that, contained single-family homes. Since the station opened in July 2009, the lot has been bare and surrounded by chain-link fence.

This proposed building would only cover part of the station block property. The triangular lot at the southwest corner would not be developed, nor would part of the rest of the block, as those properties have different owners. The development firm involved in the project is Pacific Housing NW.

Neighbor Carol Sanders posted to the Beacon Hill mailing list yesterday, encouraging interested Beacon Hill residents to attend the meeting:

“This is the best chance for the public to offer comments about design and the siting of the development. We’re going to have a lot of density coming our way with developers building up housing around the light rail area. It would be really great to have the neighborhood involved in making sure that these buildings will contribute to the look and feel of Beacon Hill and not just become big sterile boxes for folks to live in. We can really impact things like how the sidewalk areas interact with the building, possible public spaces, greenery, etc. if people get involved early in the design process and speak up at these meetings.”

View Larger Map. This is the location of the proposed apartment building at the Beacon Hill Station block.

Apartments may come to Beacon Hill Station block

These lots have been empty for more than two years. The lot proposed for development is in the back of the photo, to the left. Photo by Wendi.
An apartment building may be the future of one of the empty lots around Beacon Hill Station. An early design guidance meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 25 to discuss a preliminary proposal to build a four-story commercial/residential structure at 2721 17th Ave. S., the southeast corner of the station block. Several lots on that block have been vacant and surrounded by chain-link fence since shortly after the opening of Beacon Hill Station in the summer of 2009. The lots were previously used for staging during the light rail station construction project.

Pacific Housing Northwest is proposing to build an apartment building with 30 housing units as well as 800 square feet of ground-floor retail. There would be underground parking. The Department of Planning and Development pages about the site and the associate permits are here and here. The site is currently owned by Alphonso Tucci-Grastello.

The early design guidance meeting will be held at the Wellspring Family Services community room, 1900 Rainier Avenue South, at 6:30 p.m. on October 25.

View Larger Map. This is the location of the proposed apartment building at the Beacon Hill Station block.

DPD decides on antenna, Buddhist Center applications

The Director of the Department of Planning and Development has announced a Determination of Non-Significance for the construction of a Clearwire antenna site on the roof of a building at 2356 15th Avenue South, the northeast corner of 15th and Bayview.

Further south at 1731 South Horton Street, DPD has granted an Administrative Conditional Use Permit to allow a change of use of two units in the basement of an apartment building to a Zen Buddhist Meditation Center. The site is currently zoned for single-family residential use.

The building at 1731 South Horton Street. See larger map here.