Boom UPDATE: Queen Anne QFC
posted by December 6 at 11:24 AMon
I won’t even brief you on the fight over replacing one grocery store with another up on Queen Anne Hill, except to say that well-mobilized neighbors, replete with a website and 36 media hits, have been giving the developer hell over a plan to replace the small Metropolitan Market with a much larger QFC. I slogged about the second Early Design Guidance meeting over the summer, when hundreds of people packed Queen Anne Presbyterian Church to complain about… well, everything from the tragedy of a beloved local store leaving the hill to the noise the QFC delivery trucks will create. The ruckus has died down since the summer, but Queen Anne Neighbors for Responsible Growth (QANRG) is still determined to heckle the planners into creating a project that fits their community vision.
Now, finally, the last Early Design Guidance meeting has arrived: Tonight, 6:30PM at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W). I expect it to be exceptionally boring seeing as the items of discussion, after months and months of hashing out other parts of the plan, loading dock and parking configurations. But, unsurprisingly, these are hot issues for QANRG, which predicts a major negative impact from most parts of the project.
After the first round of acidic public comment, the local family redeveloping the store went back to the drawing board and made a slew of changes to make the project more in line with the neighborhood goals — including the addition of 55 upper-story apartments and two small retail spaces on the corners of the QFC. But the project is damned from the start, according to neighbors. “A lot of developers have been very proactive in their projects in coming to the community council and asking, ‘What can we develop that benefits us and also works for the community,’” says Kemp Hiatt, a QANRG leader, “[These developers] signed the lease with QFC before they discussed it with anyone. So it’s really put us in opposite corners and really given us no choice but to fight.”
So will the fight stop after the Early Design Guidance period is over? Of course not. Next up, it’s the entirely more cumbersome State Environmental Protection Act review process. Yeeha.