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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

“Green” Safeway Gets Green Light

posted by on February 27 at 15:54 PM


125th and 15th NE

The deadline to appeal a proposed Safeway redevelopment/rezone in North Seattle’s Pinehurst neighborhood has passed and, with no formal objections raised, the project should be moving on to the early design phase. Safeway’s proposed “green” design would reclaim heat from its refrigeration units, use local materials for construction, and rebuild the store’s parking lot and sidewalks using permeable surfaces.

The project still needs to be approved by Safeway’s board—and the City Council would have to OK a rezone which would allow Safeway to rezone three adjacent residential properties for commercial use—but Safeway should be releasing preliminary designs for the project in the next few weeks.

Several neighborhood councils opposed the Safeway redevelopment—they claimed allowing Safeway to rezone could lead to a loss of single-family housing in the north end—but none of the groups filed an appeal to contest the project.

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Two land use posts in a row! This is what keeps me coming back to Slog.

Posted by Ziggity | February 27, 2008 4:03 PM

"Loss" of single family is not a problem. Expecially when the parcels in question are next to a Safeway this doesn't exactly destroy any of the antiurban utopia desired by the defenders of every single lot zoned single family.

If they're building a new Safeway, too bad they can't at least have a spot of urban-ness surrounding it, too. Like apartments or condos for people who might walk not drive to the Safeway and take a bus downtown.

Posted by unPC | February 27, 2008 4:23 PM


I'll need to double check, but I think some sort of "urban-ness" has been discussed. I'm waiting on some info, and I'll update when I get it.

Posted by Jonah S | February 27, 2008 4:27 PM

@2 - yeah, at least the one they're building on Stone Way at 40th will have a few floors of apartments above it ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 27, 2008 4:46 PM

When I was 9, Safeway tried to bought all the houses on the block across the street from my house and petitioned to have the block rezoned from commercial to residential.

My parents were pissed. They got together with some law students from Gonzaga (this was in Spokane) and put together a petition and got 800 signatures from our neighborhood.

The weekend before they were to present these signatures at a city council meeting, every Safeway store in town set up tables at their doors. They gave anyone a free donut. And next to the free donuts, they had petitions in support of the re-zone. Safeway showed up at the city council meeting with 10,000 signatures, and the store got built. That was pretty much the death of my father's idealism.

I know that I live in a big city, and our population is always increasing and density is only going to increase, and I'm okay with that most of the time. But I have a special hatred of Safeway, and if they are thwarted in their attempt to expand here, I would be sad.

Posted by L-Train8 | February 27, 2008 4:47 PM

I am so sick of the apathy in Seattle.

I don't live in the city or county but I still feel very much apart of it. People in Seattle looooooove to bitch but no one acts.


Posted by carissa | February 27, 2008 4:56 PM

More land use articles please! I have been stuck in the hospital since August of last year and I'd like to know if construction has begun on the QFC on Stone Way, or if anything ever replaced Ebb & Flow of 45th in Wallingford.

Posted by elswinger | February 27, 2008 5:59 PM

I love the land use and development posts. It's a great excuse at work for the need to peek at Slog on occasion. Keep them coming!

Posted by Hey wait | February 27, 2008 6:24 PM

For the record, The Maple Leaf Community Council never opposed this green Safeway project. The early December article in the paper version of The Stranger got it wrong. This Slog piece published earlier and by the same reporter got it right:

MLCC President David Miller says it’s not the project they’re opposing, it’s the principle.
“[We’re] taking a stand specifically against the ordinance, not the project,” he says. “The project…seems to be [great]. However, Miller says, “[By allowing the rezone] It increases the chance that somebody living in a single family home…[could] end up living across the street from a nightmare project.”

Nobody has been able to explain to us why the rezone that enabled this otherwise admirable project needed to cover an area encompassing six other neighborhoods and much of the area between I-5 and Lake City Way in northeast Seattle. Had the rezone covered this one parcel, you would have never heard from us.

The Pinehurst community for a great job on negotiating modifications to a proposed development by a multi-billion dollar corporation that really turned a lackluster project into one that will benefit their community. I've communicated that to their leadership and they understand our objections were limited to the breadth of the rezone.

I hope this, in some small way, helps set the record straight on this issue. Neighborhood volunteers in our community put in thousands of hours of work to keep our community livable while accepting the density necessary to prevent urban sprawl. Knee-jerk labeling of the sort present in the paper edition's article makes this job measurably harder.

Developers have taken the laudable goal of increased density and turned it into an attack on our urban forests and green spaces, demonstrated by the loss of nearly 50% of our city's tree cover over the last couple of decades. We're currently at 18% tree cover in our city compared to the recommended 40% and the Mayor's stated goal of 30%.

When our volunteers' efforts to convince the City to require a developer to shift buildings to save trees or redesign the architecture to increase permeable space are dismissed out of hand as NIMBYism, it is a hard, hard pill to swallow.

Posted by David Miller | February 27, 2008 6:53 PM

Better a Safeway than a QFC, I always say.

Posted by keshmeshi | February 27, 2008 10:44 PM

That Safeway doesn't seem so green to me. Much more on that topic over at hugeasscity.

Posted by Henry Miller Lite | February 28, 2008 5:03 PM

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