Capitol Hill Design Review: New project needs support

Design review is moving into action again on yet another proposed project on Capitol Hill. You can read a good explanation of the project and some of the issues it raises at Capitol Hill Seattle. I’ve been hearing that there is a movement forming to stop the project. That is not a good idea. I have to admit that I don’t know at this point what their rationale is, so I won’t speculate. But will say that I like the project and I am planning to be at the meeting tomorrow nightto express my support (the meeting is at Seattle Vocational Institute at 2120 S Jackson St and here’s a map). I urge you (even if you live in Roosevelt) to show up if you have thoughts on this project.

The project will convert a single family house into more than 20 units of housing without taking down the house, which is at 505 11th Avenue East, which is near a lot newly acquired by the parks department. I know this area pretty well, and I think the proposal makes a lot of sense. Here’s what the developers could build:

Maxing out the envelope

And here’s what the preferred option looks like:

This works for me!

As I said above, I don’t have an inkling what the opposition to the project might be. But I would say that the neighborhood should be looking forward to this use. Think about it. The developers could max out the envelope here without any design review. And this kind of points to why I think the design review process needs a closer look. When a developer does the right thing by focusing on preserving existing structures and trying to be sensitive to neighborhood issues he triggers more process and more review.

To be honest, I have no problem with them maxing out the envelope. I think the elevation looks fine. This is a sea of L 3 we’re talking about here. It is supposed to be dense. And don’t forget this is not too far from Broadway and light rail. More people is better. The beauty of this project is that it gets just about the same number of units but keeps the existing old house. What’s not to like? Everyone wins. We get new housing, save the old house, and add new customers for businesses on Broadway and riders for light rail.

I’ll leave it at that for now rather than try to rehearse the arguments of people who might have issues with the project. I am looking forward to what they have to say. And maybe some folks will weigh in on the comments.


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2 Responses to Capitol Hill Design Review: New project needs support

  1. Just my opinion, but I think the people that live there have more valuable input than my Roosevelt perspective might bring. Oh, sure, I’ve been to Capitol Hill, but that doesn’t make me an expert on how that neighborhood should grow. Sometimes saving the house is better. Sometimes eliminating it all together would be the best option. There is a lot more going on there that I don’t know a thing about.

  2. Pingback: News Roundup: Sending it Back - Seattle Transit Blog

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