Citing fears of increased low-income density in White Center that could create problems that spill over into Burien if the area remain unincorporated or is annexed by Seattle, several Burien council members signaled June 20 they would favor the city annexing the remainder of North Highline.

The lawmakers emphasized their support would hinge on whether annexation would be revenue-neutral and would require no new taxes.

“If we can manage it, we should do it,” Councilman Gerald Robison declared.

Councilwoman Lucy Krakowiak, who was the lone vote against annexing the southern portion of North Highline, again voiced opposition.
“We are not ready to annex,” Krakowiak said. “I can’t see how this will work out.”

City Manager Mike Martin reported he has hired Berk and Associates to conduct a study testing the financial viability of annexing the area. The study is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, but Martin said he could supply draft information to lawmakers earlier if it is deemed accurate and reliable.


Normandy Park’s Manhattan Village sub area planning process will begin with the first of several community workshops on Thursday, March 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Normandy Park Recreation Center, 801 S.W. 174th Street.
All city residents and especially those living or working near the Manhattan Village shopping area are encouraged to attend.
The meeting, called a "Vision Workshop," will introduce the sub area project-- a long-range plan for Manhattan Village and adjacent properties –- and ask
participants to discuss and compare city expectations for the site with their own.
Facilitators will lead group exercises to explore a wide range of topics, including future uses, the scale and density of development, and how growth might improve facilities and conditions for neighboring properties.
The evening will begin with presentations by consultant Bill Grimes of Studio
Cascade, a Spokane-based planning firm and Mark Hinshaw of Seattle’s LMN
At least one other community meeting will take place this spring, with additional events anticipated for the fall. The draft plan is expected to be complete by December.


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.


If the city gets its way, the land currently housing the Greenwood Fred Meyer and Greenwood Market will one day be home to taller and denser buildings and a more pedestrian-friendly experience.

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development released its recommendations for the Greenwood Town Center Rezone Nov. 2. The department is recommending changing the parcel of land bordered by Northwest 85th Street, Third Avenue Northwest, Northwest 87th Street and Palatine Avenue North from Commercial with a 40-foot height limit to Neighborhood Commercial with a 65-foot height limit.

The rezone of that parcel, referred to as Subarea 1, would create an opportunity for higher-density, mixed-use developments, such as townhouses, condos and affordable apartments, according to the department's recommendation.

In an email to the community, Greenwood Community Council President Trevor Stanley said the change in zoning will discourage auto-oriented development while encouraging pedestrian-oriented development.

City recommends increasing Greenwood height limits
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The city is recommending increasing height limits and improving the pedestrian experience on a portion of the Greenwood Town Center. CLICK IMAGE FOR A MAP OF THE REZONE AREA.

The following are applications or decisions made by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development that can be appealed or commented on by the public.

6559 15th Ave. N.W.

Land Use Application to allow a four-story building containing five live/work units with 101 residential units above. Parking for 67 vehicles to be provided within the structure. Existing structures to be demolished.

Comments on this project may be submitted to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development through Nov. 17.

Contact: Brenda Barnes, 206.782.8208
Planner: Scott Kemp, 206.233.3866

5903 24th Ave. N.W.

An application for a Sidewalk Café Permit accessory to the Stepping Stone has been approved by the Seattle Department of Transportation.

The approved dimensions of the patio seating are 5 feet by 13 feet for a total of 65 feet.


A plan submitted by community members to rezone Greenwood's Town Center would allow for a more pedestrian-friendly commercial core, but it could also bring greater development into single-family neighborhoods.

The rezone proposal, which was developed by the Greater Greenwood Design & Development Group, would affect the area between the west side of Third Avenue Northwest, the north side of Northwest 87th Street, Palatine Avenue North and south side of Northwest 85th Street.

Subarea 1 of the proposed rezone, the site of the current Fred Meyer and future Fred Meyer redevelopment, would be changed from a mix of Low-rise, Commercial and Neighborhood Commercial zones into Neighborhood Commercial with a 65-foot height limit.

According to the Greater Greenwood Design & Development Group, the rezone of Subarea 1 could make the area more pedestrian friendly, add housing and promote small businesses. But, it could also increase traffic and demands on parking, reduce neighborhood affordability and change the neighborhood's character.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle DPD

Changing the highligted section of the map from Single-Family Zone to Low-rise Zone as part of the Greenwood Town Center rezone has some neighbors concerned about increased taxes, traffic and building heights.

No residential coming to north side of Market St.

Two areas formerly zoned for industrial uses in downtown Ballard will be opened to new commercial development, but a stretch along the north side of Market Street will remained closed to residential development, after an April 19 Seattle City Council vote.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the planned rezone of Subarea 2, the south side of Market Street between 26th Avenue Northwest and 30th Avenue Northwest, from General Industrial to Industrial Commercial and Subarea 3, both sides of Leary Avenue between 15th Avenue Northwest and 20th Avenue Northwest, from General Industrial and Industrial Buffer to Industrial Commercial.

An Industrial Commercial zone allows for a mix of industrial uses and office and retail space.

As part of the vote, all projects built in Subarea 2 and Subarea 3 will be subject to the city's design review process.

Instead of converting it to Industrial Commercial or Neighborhood Commercial, the council decided to leave Subarea 1, the north side of Market Street from 25th Avenue Northwest to 30th Avenue Northwest, as an Industrial Buffer zone.

Subarea 1.jpg
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle Department of Planning and Development

This area on the north side of Market Street was planned to convert to Neighborhood Commercial zone. Instead, it will remain an Industrial Buffer zone.

At the April 14 Committee on the Built Environment meeting of the Seattle City Council, the sommittee will consider amendments to Council Bill 116775, which deals with rezone of three industrial areas in Ballard.

The proposed amendments would be alternatives to a proposal by the Department of Planning and Development to Subarea 1, an area described generally as the half blocks north of Market Street between 24th Avenue Northwest and 30th Avenue Northwest.

All alternatives would retain the existing Industrial Buffer with a 45-foot height limit zone for the area west of 26th Avenue Northwest.

Alternatives for the area east of 26th Avenue, which includes the entire block bounded by Northwest 56th Street to the north, 24th Avenue Northwest to the east, Market Street to the south and 26th Avenue to the west, include:

  • Retaining the existing zoning, which includes Industrial Buffer with a 45-foot height limit.
  • Rezoning a portion of the block to Neighborhood Commercial with a 65-foot height limit to consolidate zoning for that entire block as Neighborhood Commercial.
Subarea 1.jpg
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle Department of Planning and Development

The Seattle City Council is looking for public comments on proposed amendments to the rezone of this area north of Market Street.

On March 31, city councilmembers Sally Clark and Tim Burgess toured the three areas of the Ballard urban village that are facing a rezone to get an impression of the areas before a possible April 2 vote.

Clark, who chairs the council's Committee on the Built Environment, said one of the purposes of the tour was to look at what businesses are on the land now and whether they would be allowed to stay there under a zoning change.

"I'm really cautious about that," Clark said. "Suddenly the map changes under you and the rules are very different for what you can do on the property."

In September, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development proposed a rezone of three industrial areas in Ballard.

The city planned to rezone Subarea 1, a section along the north side of Market Street from 25th Avenue Northwest to 30th Avenue Northwest, from an Industrial Buffer zone to a Neighborhood Commercial zone, which could include housing, office space and retail.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The Department of Planning and Development's Andrea Petzel, councilmember Sally Clark, council staff Ketil Freeman and councilmember Tim Burgess discuss how a looming rezone could affect Limback Lumber March 31. CLICK IMAGE FOR MAPS OF THE REZONE AREAS.

First-term Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw touched on topics from transportation to parks to the council's rocky relationship with the new mayor when she opened herself up for questions and comments from the neighborhood at the Feb. 10 Ballard District Council meeting.

Stephen Lundgren got the transportation ball rolling when he told Bagshaw that Ballard has gotten density, a civic center and parks, but no public transportation infrastructure.

Bagshaw said the city needs to connect the densifying urban hubs, but King County is in the middle of a budget crisis.

"What's tragic to me is how Metro right now is just struggling," she said. "When we need transit most is right now."

The question is what residents are willing to give up so more money can be spent on transit or are they willing to submit to more taxes, Bagshaw said.

"We're spending a pot-load of money on light rail," she said. "I would like to see much more on RapidTransit (Metro bus service)."

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw addresses questions and concerns from the neighborhood at the Feb. 10 Ballard District Council meeting.

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