Letter: Puget Boulevard S.W. not ready or right for development

Hello People of the Dell,

The large swaths of undeveloped land here in the Dell and on our adjacent slopes are again in the eyes of builders and developers as the raw land available for Single Family construction in other parts of the city wanes.

The project that Heather W has been engaged and organizing around at 6536 24th Ave SW (DPD Project # 3013981) is one of the Single Family Zoned project proposals in the Dell area, and there is now another large one that has just entered the Land Use Application process for 5028 Puget Boulevard SW. This is basically behind and a bit to the North of the large low-slung greenish hued building that houses multiple businesses, most notably West Seattle Fight and Fitness and their fantastic building facade paintwork. Google Earth Map view here: http://goo.gl/maps/6sFfu

The 5028 Puget Boulevard SW project proposal (DPD project number 3014642) is for seven Single Family homes on a 35,350 square foot / 0.81 acre parcel in an Environmentally Critical Area with a designation of having Steep Slope characteristics.

You may view and comment to the Department of Planning and Development on the 5028 Puget Boulevard SW proposal by going here:
http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/luib/Notice.aspx?BID=891&NID=16758

I have had recent contact with the folks who live next to, across the street or downstream of this proposed project and they will hopefully be able to rally forces to assist them in their efforts, such as they may be.

Just like the poor current conditions on 24th Ave SW, we also find that Puget Boulevard SW is also already fraught with flooding problems due to many factors. One of which is that Puget Boulevard SW is yet another one of the roads in North Delridge/Cottage Grove that has had no modernization since it was crudely cut into the Western toe of the slope of Puget Ridge back in the 1900's. Puget Boulevard SW is completely without any form of modern drainage system to accommodate the existing runoff that comes from the slopes and street, yet alone additional quantities of storm and runoff water from yet more development. Like its similar brethren throughout the entire Delridge Neighborhoods District, Puget Boulevard SW doesn't have curbs, planting strips or engineered drainage-swales, and is correspondingly without street trees, plantings and sidewalks. All of which are the hallmark of a functioning, viable, safe street and pedestrian grid and that serve as prophylactics against flooding damage to home and property.

What is really sad about the current status of Puget Boulevard SW is that it was envisioned to be another of the many boulevards, or parkways laid out and designed by the famous Landscape Architects known as the Olmsted Brothers. But unlike Ravenna Boulevard, Lake Washington Boulevard, Magnolia Boulevard, Hunter Boulevard and a myriad of others, our own Puget Boulevard is a disgrace to the Olmsted Brothers vision and legacy. Not because we want it that way, but because funds are allocated elsewhere.

Nothing tells the story of how improperly planned and or permitted construction negatively affects us here in the Delridge better than the article that The Stranger ran about ten years ago. Ten years later the same type of development is allowed and it creates the same kind of problems. The family featured in the article lived on 23rd Avenue SW and were long timers in North Delridge, but they tossed in the towel and moved out of the city. Shannon P told me she had had enough. http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=22620

Unfortunately, the reality is that nearly all the raw land that is in the Dell is located on roads just like Puget Boulevard, 23rd Ave SW and 24th Ave SW, and we will see nothing but continued problems and messes if these yet-to-be developed lands are granted construction permits prior to street, drainage and pedestrian improvements being made.

I have brought the issue of the large swaths of raw, undeveloped and privately owned land that are here in North Delridge to the attention of the leadership of the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. The NDNC has or will be reaching out to DPD -- and I hope SDOT and SPU -- who will hopefully work together cooperatively to address comprehensively, instead of piecemeal, our inadequate street and drainage conditions so as to prevent more people from enduring the extremely negative consequences of unmitigated housing development.

Best,
Mike Dady
4805 23rd Ave SW

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