So, will they be affordable below median income?
I see ...
Depending on the rents the developers manage to get once the townhouses fail to sell, it's possible a below-median family could afford a lease, yes.
Kudos to Maple Leaf for all of their effort in the design review process to make this a developement that will be as positive as possible for their neighborhood.
Kudos to Maple Leaf for all of their effort in the design review process to make this a development that will be as positive as possible for their neighborhood.
The Maple Leaf project is disappointing to me for one major reason. Urban Forest. There are a number of decent sized (18 inch+ DBH) Douglas Firs in front of the Camp Fire buildings (you can see them in the aerial photo). They're some of the tallest in the neighborhood. I believe a select few may remain, but most look like they're marked for removal. I understand developers want the most from their site, but in terms of Urban Forest, this is as close as it gets. Those trees are helping each other - they're not lonely giants cut waiting to fall in the next windstorm - they actually create a wind-blocking canopy. Even if they are "replaced", they won't be truly replaced until the replacements are 100 ft tall.
Can you tell I'm disappointed? I'm disappointed.
The townhomes referenced will remove all but 36 of 108 trees and prominent shrubs on the site. Two arborists, including one from the city, say the townhomes are so close to the remaining 36 as to endanger their survival.
This is not affordable housing, at $550-750,000 per unit. All are well above the 2007 neighborhood median home sales price at $430,000.
What isn't clear from the pictures is these units are 30-37 feet tall and about 10 feet off the sidewalk. Their height and scale dwarfs everything in the neighborhood.
A structurally sound 20,000 sf building, that could house 10-12 units itself if intelligently remodeled, will be demolished to make way for this development. That makes it hard to label what replaces this building "sustainable" or even environmentally sound.
These negatives are why the neighborhood has been so active to try to find a better development plan than this one. The community does not seek to stop development, only make it a better fit for this unique site.
If you transplant these individual unit designs to a real L2 transitional zone where much of the townhome dreck (I love the "Borg" reference!) has been going in, I think the neighborhood would not be upset. On *this* property -- given its unique wooded area, orphan L2 status surrounded by single-family, proximity to the coming reservoir park to the east -- they don't work. This doesn't mean 39 units can't work on this site, just not the 39 units as currently conceived and sited.
please, no more fake gables. just take it off & have 1 big one. don't insult my intelligence by gluing a "nested" gable on the facade.
NW Modern, my ass.
"Real" Seattle craftsman houses are covered with fake doo dads and gee gaws. Nothing says Old Seattle like lipstick on a pig.
Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but the ground floor of that Lake City Way thing looks to be about ten feet deep. This is standard nowadays (see the appalling -- and appallingly named -- Fini on Phinney Ridge) but it's NOT conducive to usable retail.
New Urbanism, Seattle style - "It became necessary to destroy the environment in order to save it."
I think this proposal looks fantastic. I just wish all townhome developments in this city were this well thought-out.
Lake City could use another Quiznos/Kinkos/teriyaki/dry cleaner/tanning salon retail strip.
tundra of disrepair ... you're not allowed to come to lake city anymore.
Color Palette - I suspect that IS the final color palette. Having it way up north in Lake City will balance out the hideous new senior housing at Rainier and Charleston just south of Franklin H.S.
p.s. "Palate" is the roof of the mouth.
Look, you may think $500,000 is affordable - but it isn't.
(notice no mention of more reasonable alternatives by me, since you all love single-family housing for the rich and ultra-rich and their artist hangers-on ...)
Doesn't look like a California split. But nice try at the lingo thing!
This is new construction in a beautiful north Seattle neighborhood with tons of green space... What do you expect?
This is not the stuff affordable housing is made of.
@ 6 wrote: "The community does not seek to stop development, only make it a better fit..."
Ah, the rallying cry of the NIMBY.
The suburbs thank you for increasing sprawl @17 ...
Since when does affordable housing = a solution to sprawl? Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure the increased density of this development will do just fine to help against sprawl.
You are saying that the retail looks to be 10 feet deep based on the sketch in this post?
Non @ 16) It does look like a California split. Here's a picture of one. You'll notice the similar arrangement of the front door, driveway, and bedrooms as the duplex pop-up image in the post. Obviously, the duplex isn't a single-familty building, so it's not quite the same. But you see what I'm getting at.
@14) Thank you, my copying-editing angel. Was typing quickly and tapped out the wrong "palette."
The bottom line is always money. Developers like this don't do anything to help an already beautiful neighborhood. All they do is see an opportunity to make money for themselves, while we (Maple Leaf residents) are unfortunately stuck with the task of trying to mitigate the damage they cause. There is absolutely no good reason to destroy that many trees and squeeze that many "units" into that space but for the desire to maximize their own personal fortune at the expense of a whole community. This total lack of any sense of community responsibility on the part of the developer (other than token window dressing)is very sad and disgusting.
I live in Maple Leaf. I reserve judgment on this particular project as I haven't seen the plans.
But I see our neighborhood every day and the scarcity of street trees makes me wonder whether the drama over the "urban forest" is just a convenient make-weight.
If we really cared about trees we, as individuals, would plant them.
@18 - Two things:
1. What's wrong with wanting what goes into our neighborhood not to suck? Is there ANY comment a neighborhood could make about a development (other than, "Please sir, may I have another.") that WOULDN'T cause you to make a NIBMY crack?
2. The community has been approached by three different developers, all with plans that are better than the one currently proposed. One reuses the building for housing units. All three don't build inside the grove.
I can't speak for when other communities use that phrase, but in this case Maple Leaf actually means it.
@21: Yup. That and my personal experience with this type of building. Maybe it goes way back, but if it does it would be highly unusual. And note that the description says 3500 sq ft of retail, and that strip looks 100 feet long, which means an average depth of 35 ft. -- not ten, but nowhere near deep enough to provide adequate retail space. They should go all the way back to the back of the lot.
This is not the forum to get into the details of optimum depth for retail space but assuming that the lot is 100 feet deep (minimum) then you'd have retail spaces which are 100 feet deep. Not a good idea.
That's designing yourself into a spot where you MUST have national or large regional tenants -- like a Bartells or Wallgreens -- rather than the idiosyncratic "mom-and-pops" which make a neighborhood streetfront really interesting. A reasonable space for a small store is 1000 SF, (though it could even be smaller.) That would mean (in your model) a retail space of 100' depth by 10' wide -- that's far too narrow. More traditional and practical is 50' deep and 20' wide. The back part of a retail space is not valuable except for a larger retailer.
Please don't speak for "the community."
Dominic I always love reading your posts to SLOG/Stranger.. please keep them coming.
One question... this is always a thorn in my side.
Why can't we mandate that all these new developments mimick how Vancouver does their architecture? Why all the cookie cutter approach to a square building with no character?
2 things I'd like to see from EVERY development going forward...
1. Green Grass greenspace should be mandated with 25 foot setbacks from the curb for all buildings. I don't care how you integrate that greenspace into the design, but I am SICK and TIRED of seeing nothing but square brick buildings built right up against the street or "sidewalk" with no setback to a building.
2. Balconies or porches. Every unit of housing, should be required to have a LARGE balcony (or alternatively a porch) that is attached to the property. If I am going to drop $400,000 + on a new condo, I sure as hell better be able to feel like it is a genuine home that I can entertain in. I have yet to see ANY new projects that have adequate balcony space for a table and 4 chairs with a grill. To me this equates to a 10' x 20' sized space off of the side of the building. Better yet, I want a space this size to have the ability for me to place a hottub on my balcony if I deem it so.
I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I constantly have the feeling of being cheated with these eye sore designs that are presented and rubber stamped at these types of "proposal" meetings. There is no way an average citizen who would like to see their city evolve in a way such as Vancouver could ever effectively attend all the different meetings and make a substantive long term difference.
Vancouver planning and development has a HUGE start in the right direction. Seattle quite frankly... is a joke.
I've talked with architechts here in Pennsylvania about projects as part of my job and some of them have told me that the software they use to make these pretty pictures is not too generous with the color options. Either things don't look quite right on the computer or there is a big difference between hues to choose from when the one you want is in the middle. But we may be working with antiquated software out here in bumblefuck Pennsyltucky. Or they may be lying.
@28: I'm a Maple Leaf resident too, and David Miller speaks for me on this issue. Trees like the ones in the Waldo property take a LONG TIME to grow. I can plant all the trees that I want but they won't be anything like the mature trees there. We can't afford to lop them down at a developer's whim. Urban trees help to reduce pollution and absorb stormwater, not to mention their aesthetic value.
After posting my last comment (#28), I realized I should clarify something so I'm not painted with the NIMBY brush. I'm not against density in my own neighborhood, really. I'm against imposing that density on such a unique and valuable site. We CAN'T MAKE MORE of these trees, not without decades of growth.
I'm all for adding dense housing on sites that make sense. For example, that piece of shit condemned building on the northeast corner of 75th & Roosevelt. Anything could go in there and I'd think it was an improvement. (And this site is closer to my home than the Waldo site.)
He speaks for you and that is fine and I appreciate the impulse behind this effort to save the trees.
BUT I still think it is strange that if people love trees so much they don't ALSO plant their own. I have and it's remarkable how quickly they grow and have impact.
And I do not like it when people try to seize the high moral ground of speaking for "the community" when they simply speak for a group of individuals even if a large group. We have had no referendum on this project so it's not appropriate to claim to speak for "the community."
David Sucher, please don't assume I don't plant trees. I've planted 6 trees in the Seattle area in the past few years. While this is great, all of those trees are still tiny and won't reach the size of the trees on the Waldo site (2-3 ft. in diameter) for maybe a hundred years.
I made no such assumption about you personally, Kate. But it is quite obvious that you and I must be some of the few as Maple Leaf is relatively bereft of trees.
And yes, I understand that it takes time for trees to grow.
I hope you will admit that it appears quite odd for people to protect trees on someone else's property when they have not -- en masse -- planted trees themselves.
You are beating the same tired drum that doesn't make any sense. There is absolutely nothing odd about people wanting to protect trees on someone else's property any more than we try to preserve an historic landmark which presumably is someone else's property. This historic hospital is a an unusual and unique property unlike any other residential property around it. It should be obvious to you that it would not be possible to create the same urban forest on other standard size residential lots even if trees were planted en masse...
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