Boom Maybe This Will Shut Up Those “My View!” NIMBYs
posted by June 3 at 17:59 PMon
Or maybe it will make them scream louder.
The South Lake Union Friends and Neighbors Community Council (SLUFAN) board is meeting right now to ratify recommendations for taller buildings throughout the South Lake Union neighborhood. According a draft letter from SLUFAN to Mayor Greg Nickels dated on the 5th of June—two days from now—the proposal sets forth three zoning proposals. (Lest it go unsaid, SLUFAN is a racket, really, because it’s mostly a symphony of business interests that amplify the mayor’s goals to blanket SLU with new devlopment. For instance, SLUFAN’s Web site is sponsored by Vulcan, and the board’s appointed members include representatives of PEMCO, Sellen Construction, Vulcan, and the Seattle Times Company. But there are only two elected positions on the board from the SLU community.) SLUFAN, naturally, seems to be pushing the tallest upzone on the table.
Some neighbors at a meeting to discuss those proposals last month, which I wrote about over here, were upset they could lose their views from Capitol Hill. The upzone has also ruffled feathers at the Buck Law Group, which organized neighbors afraid of losing their view, and generated an image that ran in the Capitol Hill Times of an unbroken wall of buildings blocking everything west of Capitol Hill. However, the actual designs aren’t quite so imposing.
To provide some context for this diagram, the majority of the buildings in the SLU valley close to I-5 (and Capitol Hill) are 125-165 feet tall. In comparison, the grey-and-black-striped Metropolitan Park towers, the undeniable view-blocking eyesores that they are, stand 279 feet tall. The few locations where the buildings shown above approach that height are few and far between, and the tallest buildings, the handful at 400 feet, are narrow enough to preserve most view corridors.
Like what you see? Hate it? SLUFAN will likely hand off these recommendations to the mayor’s office in two days, but the changes would have to be approved by the city council. They would modify the neighborhood plan. You can find out more and rant at the city over here.
A block-by-block description of the proposed rezone in the diagram above—for the most intrepid land-use enthusiast among you—is after the jump.
• Height limitations of 240 feet for commercial uses and 400 feet for
residential uses between Valley Street and Denny and between 8th
Avenue North and Boren Avenue North.
• Height limitations of 240 feet for commercial uses and 300 feet for
residential uses between Aurora Avenue North and 8th Avenue North and
between Boren Avenue North & Minor Avenue North.
• Height limitations of 85 feet for commercial uses and 160 feet for
residential uses in the Cascade Neighborhood, except along Denny
between Fairview & John, where maximum is 240/300.
• Height limitations of 125 feet for all types of uses in the area around Fred
Hutchison Cancer Research Center.
• And height limitations of 160 feet for commercial uses and 300 feet for
residential uses in the ‘pan handle’ north of the flight path for Kenmore
Airlines and south of Galer Street.