Tonight the Capitol Hill Design Review committee will likely hear panicked neighbors–my neighbors–going on and on about their fears about Heightbulkenscale. The old B & O site is going to be housing. Yes! Yes! Yes!
These meetings can get tense. They are, in many respects, the hand to hand combat of fighting to change our views of growth.
Here’s the canard being offered by some of my neighbors about view protection:
We are writing to inform you of an upcoming Department of Planning and Development Master Use Permit Decision that will allow a new mixed-use development (apartments over commercial and parking) to block most of a SEPA-protected public view of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and the downtown skyline along the designated East Olive Way Scenic Route.
I need to put together my remarks for public testimony.
Here’s my first draft:
I am a Capitol Hill neighbor here tonight because I am worried about our view–our view of the future that is.
I would like to thank the developers for their persistence through the long process that is land use in our city. This site is an ideal location for new development and I welcome you to the neighborhood. There are many people, not least of which the future residents of your project, that will be happy years from now when this project is finished and fully operating.
As a nearby resident and sometimes customer of the B & O Espresso I have to say I am sorry that it may no longer be in our neighborhood. But things change. This city doesn’t belong just to me, or to this neighborhood, but to everyone who lives in Seattle and even those who don’t live here yet. We need to make room for those people too. And while change is difficult many of us embrace it as part of the crowded, noisy, and bulky poetry of life in the big city.
Right now the only view being blocked is that of the opportunities of welcoming new people to our neighborhood and I hope the committee will strongly factor that in to its deliberations.