Zoning

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Seattle-area industrial firms are alive and vibrant, including those in Ballard, and the city is committed to keeping them that way, according to the city.

Brian Surratt, manager of business and workforce development for the Office of Economic Development, presented early results of studies of the basic industrial firms and maritime industrial firms in the area at the April 8 Ballard District Council meeting.

The city studied the BINMIC (Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing & Industrial Center) and the Duwamish industrial areas from 2000 to 2007.

Surratt said the industrial sector has shown stability over that period in that job loss was less and recovery was greater than in the nonindustrial sector.

"It brings durability in our local economy that makes us less susceptible to these wild fluctuations in the economy," Suratt said.

According to the study, there were 96,000 industrial-sector jobs in 1995. That hit a low of 78,000 in 2004, but was back up to 82,000 in the time since.

04/09/2009
City says update won't significantly increase capacity

At a briefing for Seattle City Council members on the mayor's proposal to update the city's multifamily code, Mike Podowski with the Department of Planning Development, said changing the code would not increase capacity over goals established when it was adopted in 1989.

"We are not asking zones to accommodate more development than they reasonably can," Podowski told members of the Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee March 11.

If the code change is approved, the expected capacity for multifamily zones, which make up about 10 percent of the city, will actually be less than what was originally intended when it was adopted in the 1980's, but more than if the code was left alone, he said.

Work on updating the multifamily code has been underway since 2006, and the council committee plans to tackle the mayor's 277-page proposal this year.

It's work that will take up much the committee's time this year, said committee chair Sally Clark.

"It's a large undertaking," said Clark. We are still strategizing how exactly we're going to tackle that work. We want to make sure we look through it very carefully."

03/13/2009
MultiFamilySlide2.jpg
Photo credit: 
Courtesy Seattle Department of Planning and Development

Here is an example of what a development in a lowrise zone could look like under the mayor's proposal to update the city's multifamily code.

(Editor's note: the following appears in the council member's newsletter, Seattle View from Sally Clark.)

Our multifamily code -- the rules that apply to building anything from a townhouse up to a 40-story condo high-rise -- was last comprehensively reviewed in the 1980's before Seattleites created neighborhood plans, before the state created the Growth Management Act, and before we adopted Seattle's Comprehensive Plan.

The mayor recently sent a 277-page MFC update proposal to the city council with what looks at first glance to be some smart ideas. It took a couple of years for Department of Planning and Development staff to build this proposal and it will take Planing, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee more than a few months to dig through it and consider the proposed changes.

03/11/2009

(Editor's note; This story has been corrected from an earlier version.)

The Seattle City Council voted today to amend an existing ordinance to create an exception to a requirement that museums in general industrial areas can only occupy buildings that existed as of Oct. 5 1987.

The council's planning and land use committee approved the change last week.

The vote allows the Nordic Heritage Museum to build a new facility at the site of the old Fenpro building on Northwest Market Street, west of 24th Avenue Northwest.

The museum has already completed a $5.1 million deal to purchase the 75,000 square foot building, located in the Ballard Hub Urban Village.

Eric Nelson, executive director of the Nordic Heritage Museum, has said he expects the museum to move to the new location by 2014. A new facility will be built, being designed now by Mithun Partners.

At a public hearing last week, Nelson told the committee that without the amendment, the museum would not be able to realize its vision of creating a "world-class" center for Nordic heritage for the community and city.

03/02/2009
Museum2.jpg
Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

The Nordic Heritage Museum will build its new facility here on Northwest Market Street at the site of the Fenpro building. The city council approved today a zoning amendment to allow museums in new buildings in an industrial area.

The Seattle City Council is reviewing a proposal to amend an ordinance in the city's land use code to create an exception to a requirement that museums in general industrial areas can only occupy buildings that existed as of Oct. 5 1987.

The change would directly benefit the Nordic Heritage Museum, which completed a $5.1 million deal to purchase the 75,000 square foot Fenpro building on Market Street between 26th Avenue Northwest and 23rd Avenue Northwest, the site being considered for the code amendment.

The site is located in the Ballard Hub Urban Village.

Eric Nelson, executive director of the Nordic Heritage Museum, has said he expects the museum to move to the new location by 2014. A new facility will be built, being designed now by Mithun Partners.

Tom Hauger with the city's Department of Planning and Development, said at the Feb. 11 city council planning and land use meeting, the change would allow museums to occupy new structures and that it would effect approximately 5 acres.

Hauger also said the area is designated within the Ballard Neighborhood Plan to encourage pedestrian activity.

02/20/2009
museum2.jpg
Photo credit: 
Mithun Partners

Early design renderings of the new Nordic Heritage Museum on Market Street. The council is reviewing a change in zoning to allow the museum to be built in an industrial area.

Seattle Storm will be moving their headquarters in the Interbay Neighborhood where they are leasing 12,055 square feet in the Interbay building from the Freehold Group.

The Freehold Group is a commercial real estate development company and has been in the area for more than a decade.

“We look forward to becoming a member of the Interbay community and celebrating our 10th anniversary season in his revitalized neighborhood,” said Anne Levinson, chair of the Storm’s ownership group who negotiated the transaction on behalf of the team. “ By Being an anchor tenant for a neighborhood designed to reuse industrial buildings and locating near our home court at Key Arena, we are reinforcing the Storm’s commitment to sustainable business operations and lessening our environmental footprint.”

A change in zoning was approved last year by the Seattle City Council to preserve the industrial and mixed-use component of Interbay. An increase in buildings heights was allowed for the construction of multi-family housing and retail services, to make it one of the most diversely zoned areas in the city.

02/12/2009
InterbayBuilding.jpg
Photo credit: 
The Freehold Group

The Seattle Storm will relocate its headquarters to Interbay.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is installing Residential Parking Zones in Fremont in an attempt to ease negative feelings toward the decision to install parking meters in the business district in February. The department feels the parking zones will ensure residents a place to park from possible spill over of those visiting Fremont.

However, the decision is unfavorable to a number of residents.

Upset resident and vice president of Fremont Dock Co.

01/26/2009

Mayor Greg Nickels has sent legislation to the City Council that he says will improve the character and design of townhouses in West Seattle and require environmentally sensitive building and landscaping.

"Most of us would agree that multifamily development must fit better into our neighborhoods," said Nickels in a statement.

01/26/2009

Mayor Greg Nickels has sent legislation to the City Council that he says will improve the character and design of townhouses in West Seattle and require environmentally sensitive building and landscaping.

"Most of us would agree that multifamily development must fit better into our neighborhoods," said Nickels in a statement.

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