The city of SeaTac may be poised to turn the page on a sometimes-rancorous relationship between city planners and developers.
Interim planning director Cindy Baker has been selected as the first director of a newly formed Department of Community and Economic Development.
The new department consolidates five departments or divisions into one. They are economic development, planning, engineering development review, building services and permit center.
The position was created to streamline the SeaTac’s permitting process and help speed up new building and economic development projects.
Former planning director Steve Butler often clashed with builders seeking development agreements. Butler left SeaTac in August for a position in Mill Creek after the consolidation was approved.
Baker was hired as interim planning director in October. Deputy Mayor Gene Fisher and the council’s two newest members, Rick Forschler and Pam Fernald, opposed her hiring.
The three argued that the city could save around $60,000 in four months by not filling the interim position.
However, the council’s four other members argued the temporary position was needed.
By Michael Miller
On a recent visit to the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle I was saddened to see that yet another landmark has disappeared. The Totem House, Seafood and Chowder, Family recipes since 1948, has given up the fight leaving a note on their door stating,
“Goodbye friends, the economy has overtaken us, we will miss you greatly!”
Four people signed the note.
It seems to me that more and more funky sites are morphing into condominiums, apartment houses and most unbelievably into - out of state banks bearing names foreign to the local tongue. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan Bank have replaced Peoples Bank, Rainer Bank and Seattle First National Bank, all absorbed by these and other larger institutions.
At the Design Review Board meeting on Monday evening, the proposal for Weber Thompson’s “Ballard West” building received conditional approval.
The six-story mixed use, retail-residential building will replace the old library site on 24th Ave N.W.
Monday's meeting was originally scheduled for Nov. 22 but was postponed due to the snowfall.
The proposed building will contain 9,572 sq. ft. of ground level retail space, three live-work units with 107 residential units, below grade parking for 80 vehicles to be provided. The proposal also contains several sustainability goals including a green roof and an ambition to meet LEED Platinum requirements.
At earlier meetings, neighbors expressed concern about the size of the building, the development blocking their light, and enduring more construction.
A proposed 101-unit residential building with five live/work spaces on 15th Avenue Northwest could create a serious safety hazard for neighborhood school children because of its planned parking garage entrance off Northwest 67th Street, according to some Ballard residents.
"Several families have asked me to express that this is seen as a nightmare," one neighbor said during the Nov. 8 Design Review meeting for the project at 6559 15th Ave. N.W. Of the more than two-dozen residents at the meeting, most seemed to agree with that statement.
The four-story development is being proposed for the vacant lot across 15th Avenue from Ballard High School. It will be market-rate apartments with 72 studios and a mixture of one and two-bedroom units on the top three floors. The first floor will be a mixture of live/work units, parking and leasing offices and a gym for tenants.
The project includes sections of green roof on the second and third floors as well as on the roof and the addition of two sidewalk trees and a planter along 15th Avenue.
Swedish Medical Center/Ballard’s new Emergency Department and medical office building, located at 5350 Tallman Ave. N.W., will be open for public tours and a slew of other fun and beneficial community health activities on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 6.
Here is what’s planned:
Tour the Emergency Department and Medical Office Building (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
The best time to see an ER is when you’re not a patient – and also when there’s someone there to point out all the cool stuff to see.
Ask the Doctor (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Have a medical question you’ve always waned to ask? The doctors from Swedish Medical Group’s Ballard Primary Care clinic will be on hand so you can do your asking for free.
Take a Baby Bite of Ballard (11 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Some of Ballard’s favorite restaurants will be on hand, serving bite-sized samples of their most popular menu items. Restaurants include Ballard Brothers Seafood and Burgers, Great Harvest Bread, India Bistro, Plaka Estiatorio, Ray’s Boathouse, Scandinavian Specialties, The Hi-Life, The Counter and Thai Siam.
Get a Free Soccer Scarf
After a long and tumultuous development period, Ballard's first major hotel appears to be back on track and ready for a December ground-breaking at the former site of the Yankee Diner on Shilshole Avenue Northwest.
Earlier this month, Diamond Parking and Pacific Fisheries Shipyard were asked to remove their vehicles from the parking lot in front of the shuttered diner at 5425 Shilshole Ave N.W. by Nov. 15, according to a number of sources, including Pacific Fisheries General Manager Doug Dixon. The groundbreaking date has been given variously as Dec. 1 and Dec. 15.
According to a construction permit issued Sept. 20 by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development to Ballard Hotel LLC, the project will be a six-story, 170-room hotel with parking for 211 vehicles both above and below grade. The construction permit was originally applied for in July 2008 and expires in March 2012.
The pre-construction history of the hotel has been full of changes in both name and ownership structure.
Originally, the hotel was going to be under the banner of Silver Cloud Inns and was to begin construction prior to 2008.
The Low Income Housing Institute's proposed Ballard development would include housing for families and individuals making less than 60 percent of the median King County Income as well as space for homeless families. It would also include an Urban Rest Stop.
The Low Income Housing Institute, more commonly known as LIHI, offered new details about the project at 2014 N.W. 57th St., currently a vacant lot, during the Oct. 13 Ballard District Council meeting.
The proposed development includes 40 to 60 units, including studios, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units, for families and individuals with incomes less than $51,360 for a four-person household and $41,100 for a two-person household.
LIHI is proposing setting aside approximately 20 percent of the units for homeless families.
LIHI would also be locating an Urban Rest Stop on the first floor of the building. The Urban Rest Stop would provide free showers and laundry, as well as bathrooms, nurses, barbers, attorneys and more, for homeless individuals and families.
The Low Income Housing Institute, or LIHI, is proposing a family housing development in downtown Ballard.
LIHI offers housing for low-income, homeless and formerly homeless people and administers supportive service programs. The organization currently operates 32 sites in and around Seattle.
The Ballard development is proposed for the vacant lot at 2014 N.W. 57th St. across from Wiggen & Sons Funeral Home and down the street from the Ballard Library. It is also located within two blocks of Compass Housing Alliance's forthcoming Urness House for formerly homeless individuals.
Though LIHI has not responded with specifics for the Ballard development, it operates three sites nearby in Greenwood. Those locations house individuals earning 30 percent to 50 percent of the area median income with some space dedicated for housing homeless women.
On Oct. 4, the city gave approval to the Compass Housing Alliance to move forward on Ballard's Urness House, with conditions, in terms of the design and environmental impacts of the housing development for formerly homeless men and women.
The project, located at 1753 N.W. 56th St., is a seven-story building containing 80 low-income housing units above first and second-floor office and medical space. The project includes 13 parking spaces within the building.
With a dedication ceremony Sept. 25, Crown Hill officially got its new Fire Station 35, replacing the outdated 80-year-old former station.
Fire stations, which must serve as places where firefighters both live and work, are challenging to build, and the opening of Fire Station 35, located at 8720 15th Ave. N.W., is the culmination of two years of work, said Fred Podesta, Seattle's Finance and Administrative Services director.
The old station had sloping floors, was not up to seismic codes and lacked room to properly decontaminate equipment.
The new $7.2 million Fire Station 35 features added space, including room for decontamination, gear storage and another firefighting vehicle, and has been seismically upgraded.
Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean thanked Seattle voters for passing the $167 million Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy in 2003 to allow the rebuilding or upgrading of 32 neighborhood fire stations.
Podesta singled out Crown Hill residents to thank in particular.