The Ballard development situation is gaining coverage from major local media outlets including KOMO, Seattle PI and Curbed. The reports focus on local couple Laurette and Leroy Simmons who are dealing with a development next to their own a property on NW 60th St.
According to the KOMO report, Laureate and Leroy retired to NW 60th St six years ago, purchasing a home that had recently been renovated. They moved in with Leroy’s mother and further updated the house with a third floor deck and a tree house for the grandchildren in the backyard.
The family, who are reportedly friendly with their neighbors, are about to become close in all senses of the word when a developer constructs four rowhouses next to their home. According to plans filed with the Department of Planning and Development, the houses could be built as close as 2.5 feet way from the Simmons’s home with the Simmons’ gutter 10-12 inches from their neighbors’ wall.
“I don’t understand how they can build a house 10 inches away. Certainly they have to be on our property to do that,” Laurette told KOMO news. “We’re very disappointed in the fact that the city is going to allow us to happen. They’re just cheating us.”
As we have seen with many of the new developments in Ballard, the change in city regulations currently allows developers to build right on the property line. Many locals have expressed their opposition to the current city regulations including the creators of www.livableballard.org who created a petition to oppose the “recent, drastic, and developer-led changes to our neighborhood.”
“You’re starting to see townhomes, apartments, rowhouses go in, in areas ripe enough for development,” Bryan Stevens, spokesman for the Department of Planning and Development, told KOMO. “The row house was sort-of a new development type for Seattle, but something that’s very tradtitional in other areas of the country, like New York, Brooklyn, San Francisco.”
As for the Simmons family, they have significant concern that the development will not only impact their lives during construction but as the rowhouses need maintenance over the years. “There’s no chance of them being able to maintain it once it’s built,” Leroy told KOMO.
“We’re not against density. We understand we live in a very desirable area,” Laurette told KOMO, “but to build a house so close to another house which does not allow either one of them to be maintained – how can that possibly happen?”
Sadly, this situation is becoming all too common in Ballard. If you have a story about a development close to your home email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of KOMO News.