Ballardite appeals decision on ‘Greenfire’ development

A Ballardite has filed an appeal with the Hearing Examiner in response to the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) decision which he claims green lights the “Greenfire” project with too few parking spaces. Ethan Van Eck lives across the street from the proposed development (more here) and claims the decision by the DPD to require just 32 parking spaces violates city code.

The DPD decision (.pdf) published in January states:

The project’s parking analysis estimated that both the residential and office components of the project likely would have more parking demand at peak times than could be accommodated on the site. The parking spillover from the apartments is expected to be about 4 spaces, and can be accommodated with nearby on-street parking. The office portion of the project is expected to have about a 32-space parking spillover. Additionally, the project would displace approximately 59 vehicles that currently use the surface lots during the afternoon peak parking period. As documented in the parking analysis, this total demand of 91 vehicles could be accommodated in various off-street lots within walking distance of the project site. No significant parking impacts pursuant to SMC 25.05.675 M are anticipated from this project. Therefore, no mitigation is warranted.

Van Eck disagrees that there will be no significant parking impacts. He writes in the Land Use/SEPA Decision Appeal (.pdf):

I would be adversely affected by excess on and off street parking displaced by parking spill over from the project.

In addition the cumulative effect on parking space needed in the affected Ballard central core by new multiple unit housing and businesses coming on line now in the neighborhood’s recovery from the economic downturn would adversely impact parking and negatively affect me, neighboring residents, businesses and their employees and customers in the downtown Ballard core. This would violate Section of SMC 25.05.675.2a and mitigation is warranted to avoid this undesirable outcome.”

Bryan Stevens with DPD explains. “Residential uses in this area are not required to provide parking, and commercial uses can receive a reduction due to proximity to heavy transit,” he tells us. “While a certain amount of parking may spillover onto adjacent streets or paid parking lots, a parking demand study shows that there is capacity to support it.”

Van Eck concludes his three-page appeal with this, “I want the Examiner to reverse the decision to reduce parking space for the Greenfire project and have DPD conduct or have conducted a new analysis of the parking needs of the core downtown Ballard.”

The hearing with the Hearing Examiner is scheduled for March 28th at 9 a.m.

Loyal Heights Pancake Breakfast is Sunday

This Sunday is the Loyal Heights’ Annual Pancake Breakfast at the Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St.)

The Loyal Heights Pancake Breakfast from 2010

Enjoy the warm company of friends and neighbors with a stack of pancakes, eggs, and sizzling sausage at the annual Loyal Heights Pancake Breakfast. This event is the community center’s major fund raiser. All proceeds are used to help families in need take part in programs and activities throughout the year. Come hungry for this all-you-can-eat event!

The breakfast is from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday. You can buy tickets at the community center in advance for $4 or the cost is $5 at the door. Kids three and under are free.

Chicken found crossing 8th Ave NW

Updated: While walking the dog around Whittier Heights we saw “LOST CHICKEN!” signs stapled to light posts and called the owner. Fingers crossed that this is their missing chicken! The chicken and owner have been reunited!

Earlier:Kiva tells us that her mom saw a chicken trying to cross the road – seriously – on 8th Avenue NW near the corner of NW 73rd Street today.

If it’s yours, please email Kiva at

City funding a consultant to explore BIA in Ballard

The city of Seattle will invest $1.1 million in 19 neighborhood business districts, including Ballard. The funding is part of Mayor Mike McGinn’s Seattle Jobs Plan, which he hopes will improve business climate and create jobs.

“Our neighborhood business districts are a critical economic asset. Their diversity and strength is a part of what makes our city special,” said Mayor McGinn. “The dollars that the city invests support projects that make an immediate impact in our neighborhoods, and they also serve as catalysts that bring neighborhood business district leaders together to organize and create a shared vision for long-term revitalization strategies, which will help our city’s overall economic recovery.”

Although no actual money is being given to Ballard, Beth Williamson Miller, the Executive Director of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, tells us the city is funding a consultant so the Chamber can explore the implementation of a Business Improvement Area (BIA.) A BIA is a geographic area where businesses and residents can be assessed. The funds collected will go into a pot to be used to improve that area. “What we will be doing, is going around and talking to various stakeholders,” Williamson Miller says, talking to them about the BIA. “What would the money go for? What’s a valuable use of the funds?”

The Chamber will use the same consultant who worked with them on their visioning project during the last quarter of 2011.

(Disclosure: MyBallard is a member of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce.)

Ballard High School desperate for JV tennis coach

Ballard High School is looking for a JV tennis coach. Carrie Burr, the Athletics/Activities Director at Ballard High School, sent this note:

Sunday we received word that our previously hired JV coach had been accepted into Grad School in California and would not be able to commit to coaching this season. Great for him, terribly unfortunate for Ballard.

The tennis team had 70 girls tryout yesterday and unless we find a JV coach, we will not be able to offer a JV program this year.

JV matches are held on the same day as varsity matches but at different sites. Practices are every day after school, times can be flexible.

If you know of anyone who is interested, please have them contact myself or our head coach: Chandler Lewis at

Construction update for 85th St repaving project

Seattle Department of Transportation continues its nearly year-long paving project on N/NW 85th Street from Ballard to I-5.

Here’s what SDOT plans to work on this week (planned work hours are from 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Phase 1 – 15th Ave NW to 8th Ave NW

  • Demolition, excavation and replacement of concrete roadway panels throughout the project area.
  • Removal and replacement of curbs, curb ramps and sidewalk at Mary Ave NW, 11th Ave NW, 10th Ave NW and 9th Ave NW intersections.
  • Installation of storm drain pipes and inlets on NW 85th St at 13th Ave NW (south side).
  • Access to/from NW 85th St at Mary Ave NW (north side) and 13th Ave NW (north and south sides) will be closed starting this week.

Side-streets can be closed for up to 30 days; closure days are not required to be consecutive.

Phase 2 – 8th Ave NW to Greenwood Ave N

  • Continue roadway demolition and excavation on the south side of NW 85th St between 8th Ave NW and 3rd Ave NW.

Residents and businesses will be notified in advance of impacts to driveways.

  • Access to/from NW 85th St at 6th Ave NW (south side) will continue to be closed for installation of storm drain pipes and concrete work.

Phase 3 – Greenwood Ave N to Aurora Ave N

  • Access to/from NW 85th St at Phinney Ave N (north side) will be closed beginning next week for installation of a stormwater detention pipe; this work will take approximately two to three weeks to complete.

Detention pipe work is allowed to be done out of sequence; Phase 3 roadway work on N 85th St is not anticipated to begin until spring/summer 2012.

Note: construction activities are weather dependent and are subject to change.

Upcoming Construction Activities (stay tuned for additional details):

  • Nighttime asphalt paving on NW 85th St is planned between 15th Ave NW and 8th Ave NW at night on Monday March 5; the roadway will be fully closed to traffic at night from Monday at 9 p.m. to Tuesday at 6 a.m.
  • Paving is weather dependent and could shift to the night of Tuesday, March 6
  • Weekend intersection reconstruction at N 85th St and Greenwood Ave is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of March 9 through 12; the intersection will be fully closed to traffic from Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m. through Monday, March 12 at 6 a.m.

Whittier Elementary looking for last-minute auction donations

If you own a Ballard-Phinney-Greenwood area business and would like to donate to Whittier Elementary School’s bi-annual auction, the deadline is tomorrow, February 29.

The auction is the main fundraiser for Whittier’s PTA, which pays for after-school tutoring, field trips, the school’s art teacher, annual events like the fall carnival, provides extra library funds, and more.

This year’s auction theme harkens waaaayyyy back – to the 1980s. “We Got the Beat” is set for Saturday, May 5, at The Canal in Ballard.

New this year, Whittier will auction off most items online, before the May 5 main auction and party. The online auction will launch on April 23. It will be divided into sections that close at different dates.

Auction coordinators say auctioning the majority of items online will make it much easier for volunteers, so they don’t have to set up hundreds of items at the May 5 main event. It also opens up bidding to everyone, whether they come to the May 5 party or not, and whether or not they have children at Whittier (i.e., grandparents who live in another state could bid on children’s books or experiences to give as gifts).

You can donate online. If you have questions, email the auction committee at

(Disclosure: Doree (the author) is on the Whittier auction committee.)

Louie’s land for sale, restaurant not closing

Another large chunk of land is for sale in Ballard. @nearzySEA via Twitter brought this Craigslist real estate posting for a “Ballard Restaurant Building” to our attention.

With a picture of Louie’s Cuisine of China, the listing highlights two parcels of land, plus a 9,477 square foot building. One parcel is where the restaurant is, the second is across the street which is currently used as the restaurant’s overflow parking lot. Asking price $3,750,000. We spoke with an employee at Louie’s who tells us they are selling the land and building, but are not closing their restaurant.

Early Design Guidance meeting for low-income senior housing project

The Design Review Board will meet with designers tonight for the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) project slated for 2014 NW 57th Street.

The vacant lot at 2014 NW 57th St from 2010.
LIHI is proposing a 51-unit low-income senior housing complex with parking for four vehicles and LIHI’s second Urban Rest Stop on the first floor. The URS would provide restrooms and a location for homeless to shower and wash clothes who wouldn’t otherwise have a place to clean up. The first URS is located at 1924 Ninth Ave.

Tonight’s Early Design Guidance meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard High School library (1418 NW 65th St.)

At the early design guidance meeting, the applicants will present information about the site and vicinity. The public may offer comments regarding the design and siting of a development on the subject site; and the Design Review Board members will also offer comments and identify those Citywide Design Guidelines of highest priority in developing the site.

Previously: LIHI receives $7.6 million for Ballard senior housing