Patrick Robinson
This land at 6536 24th Ave. S.W. is the subject of concern for area neighbors who fear the environmental impact of construction on the site. The land owner said he's working with a green builder who wants to construct six homes on there. The area is designated as flood prone, and is deemed an environmentally critical area.

Development plans on 24th S.W. are problematic and contested by the neighborhood

As the Herald reported on Feb. 20, a plan to divide a plot of land on 24th Ave S.W. has met with significant opposition. Comments on the plan center around the wetlands on the lot itself, and potential impacts to nearby Longfellow Creek.

The DPD lists at least 80 complaints and comments from neighbors and residents regarding the plans for 24th Avenue S.W. by land owner Nick Antonie.

A neighbor to the land, Heather Wiker (the Delridge Neighborhood representative on the Seattle City Neighborhood Council Neighborhood Planning Committee) took action more directly by circulating a petition and by putting up postcards and notices on her fence. The neighbor across the street Cyndie Rokicki has been working with Seattle Public Utilities and Mid Sound Fisheries for the past 6 years to develop a plan to help relieve the flooding problems on the street. "The proposed project would directly impact our plans and not in a good way," she said. A correction notice from the city notes that they will not approve the current proposed drainage as submitted by Antonie, which would point runoff from the proposed subdivision directly at the home across the street which has already lost property to the creek in front of their home

Some background on the area in question is useful in understanding the issues.
The land in the area is flood prone and parts of it are deemed environmentally critical. The entire neighborhood was once owned by a single couple who built houses one at a time and then sold them. About "four years ago" according to Rokicki there was a single house on the land in question. "It had become a drug house where they cooked meth I think. One day the lady came in with a bulldozer and just knocked it down and buried the rest. She was gone by 3:30 in the afternoon." Neighbors are concerned about chemicals or asbestos still on the site since the home was, according to them, taken down without the proper permits.

Enter Antonie who bought the land about a year ago. He announced plans to build on the land, even going so far as to come to a neighborhood gathering and suggest neighbors might want to invest in the project. He got no takers.

But his plans filed with DPD first indicated a subdivision of the property into 8 lots. The plan caused neighbors and environmentally conscious locals to file comments with DPD regarding run off, affects on the salmon watershed, increased traffic and pedestrian safety.

Through this, 115 area residents signed a petition for a meeting as well as numerous cards handed out by Wiker to get their support of a more thoughtfully considered plan.

"We're not saying you can't build there," Wiker said, a sentiment shared by Rokicki and others. They realize it is private property and that it's highly likely something will be built there. But part of the property, about 30 feet along the road is environmentally critical meaning nothing can be built there. So plans must be reflective of that status.

Antonie told KIRO 7 that he plans on gathering more information.

Wiker and Antonie have exchanged a series of emails in which he explains his plans (see his linked email to the neighbors), and notes that Wiker's plan to purchase the land from him that is just behind her home did not work out. The emails detail the wranglings over the property.

For his part Antonie said he believes the area is now not subject to flooding since he said the city addressed the issue both up and downstream from the neighborhood. This is disputed by the neighbors who said it flooded in 2011 and again in 2012.

He said is working with a "four star green building company," though he declined to identify them, who would like to build homes on the property. "They've built something like 80% of all the green homes in the city of Seattle," he said.

Though the land is intended to be divided into 8 parcels, due to the "100 foot environmentally critical area that's part of the Riparian (area between a stream and the land) Management Area" two of the plots can't be built on. That means six homes would potentially go up. Antonie said he now would prefer to sell the land and that it's available for sale. He owns other property near Harbor Ave. S.W. but has no current plans to develop or sell it.

The city plans to hold a public hearing at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle on March 20th. Antonie said he plans on attending.

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