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Public meeting for Urban Rest Stop set for tonight

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on June 4th, 2014

The Department of Planning and Development will be hosting a public meeting this evening for the proposed Urban Rest Stop that is set to be constructed on the ground-floor of the Low Income Housing Institute’s (LIHI) Cheryl Chou Court (2014 NW 57th St).

Locals will have the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns during the meeting that will be held from 7 p.m. at Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Avenue NW).

The proposed Urban Rest Stop would be the third to open in Seattle, with the two other locations being Downtown and in the U-District.

Similarly to the other locations, the Ballard rest stop would provide free showers, bathrooms, and laundry facilities for men, women and children in the local homeless community.

While some locals support the opening of the rest stop, the proposal has raised concerns because of its central location in the neighborhood.

Despite the opposition, it is clear, however, that the Urban Rest Stops in the other Seattle locations have made a significant impact on members of the homeless community.

“The Urban Rest Stop has allowed me to clean up in order to help me get employment. More services of this type would enhance others’ chances to better themselves,” says Urban Rest Stop user Y.J.

According to the DPD, the project in Ballard needs the following approvals:

  • Administrative Conditional Use to allow community center in a midrise zone within 600 ft. of an existing institution (Ballard Branch of Seattle Public Library).
  • Administrative Conditional Use to allow an institution in a midrise zone that does not meeting parking requirements.

A copy of the plans for the project, along with other application materials are available at the DPD Public Resource Center (700 5th Avenue, Ste 2000) The center is open until 4:00 p.m. today.

Click here to check out some of the information from the DPD online.

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30 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Profile photo of Mondoman Mondoman // Jun 4, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Much more info available here:

  • 2 Profile photo of Mondoman Mondoman // Jun 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Also, to clarify things a bit, it’s my impression that the proposed URS has raised concerns precisely because of its strange *peripheral*, not central, location.

    Ideally, an URS would be located very near to transit stops, parking (to accommodate visits by homeless living in their cars) and be in a noise-tolerant area, allowing for the natural congregation of clients outside even at early and late hours, to allow for those with daytime jobs. Both the downtown URS and the U-District URS meet these siting goals.

    Inexplicably, this proposed URS meets none of these siting goals, as the nearest bus stops are down on Market St and on Leary Way, parking is extremely tight in the area, and the area is residential, not commercial.

    All these characteristics are projected to get worse in the near future, as Metro cuts bus service, and the former businesses and parking on the south side of NW 57th St are replaced by 5-6 story residential buildings which will themselves add to the local street parking demand.

    Rather than try to shoehorn an URS into a poorly-chosen peripheral site and set it up for failure, why not site it in central Ballard on a bus route (say, on Leary Way, 15th Ave, or Market St) and set it up for success?

  • 3 john // Jun 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm


  • 4 guesty // Jun 4, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    this is obviously a done deal – go to whatever meetings you want, but this is going in regardless of how any folks will be impacted, let alone the neighborhood in general.

  • 5 Hobo Hilton // Jun 4, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    May a thousand hobos bloom.

  • 6 allforit // Jun 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I say bring it!

    It’s very near transit, a block and half to a major line.

    Even those living in their cars are more apt to leave the vehicle parked and take a bus.

    The whole “it will make parking worse” can be made about every development in Ballard! Way to pick and choose.

    Gladly, it is a done-deal as guesty suggests.

  • 7 Hobo Hilton // Jun 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Will sobriety be required?

  • 8 Sean Devlin // Jun 4, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Will it be convenient for liquor theft? How about cigs? Probably no contingencies made for alcohol/drug/mental counseling or increased policing. The church complains QFC has made it too easy for their homeless folks to steal alcohol – hahaha! How about working together with business to solve a problem and demand more from those taking part in your programs?

  • 9 Local // Jun 4, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I just got back from the meeting. After listening to various speakers it’s clear the location really isn’t right per code. You also get a sense the city just doesn’t care what the neighborhood has to say.

  • 10 Profile photo of Ernie Ernie // Jun 4, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    FWIW, it’s Cheryl Chow, with a “w”

  • 11 john // Jun 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    a lot of these community meetings are just dog and pony shows, I have been to a few on different zoning issues and the developers get there way 99 % of the time. This particular project is being put in the wrong place. But it really doesn’t matter what i think.

  • 12 Profile photo of Mondoman Mondoman // Jun 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Local, I think the city has to focus on relatively narrow aspects (e.g. code variances requested). The fact that there was a public meeting at all, and the city’s requirement that LIHI provide parking and noise mitigation plans if they want to even continue with the application suggest to me that it’s not a done deal at this point.

  • 13 will // Jun 4, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Stop trying to dump it on those of us who live south of Market. We have zero available parking and already suffer from the food bank and the crowd that brings. Oppose it as a unified community rather than trying to move it a few blocks south. That is not going to prevent the huge influx of homeless and car campers from wandering up north of Market.

  • 14 Will // Jun 4, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    It’s far from a done deal – I attended the meeting as well and the majority of the speakers were against the URS in this location. At this point it is clear that LIHI will have to properly address the fact that they do not meet the zoning criteria for this use (for a number of reasons). It was also interesting to hear that even HUD is against the URS being squeezed into a senior’s housing development. Why don’t they build a coffee shop w/outdoor garden instead – something that the seniors would benefit from? The URS belongs in a commercial zone as suggested by others, somewhere closer to the food bank would be more appropriate.

  • 15 Dunder // Jun 5, 2014 at 6:34 am

    “Why don’t they build a coffee shop w/outdoor garden instead – something that the seniors would benefit from?”

    Why stop there? How about a bingo parlor? Old people like that, don’t they?
    Maybe a funeral home would make even more sense. Most of those residents will be knocking on death’s door

  • 16 Will // Jun 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    @Dunder my point was that the focus of the “retail” space within the LIHI Senior’s Center should be something that improves the quality of life for the residents, not a URS which is completely at odds with the goals of the facility.

    ps – there’s nothing wrong with Bingo either, many people young & old enjoy a good game

  • 17 Diana // Jun 6, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    If you have an objection to this project, let your voice be heard! This is not fair to Ballard homeowners and residents

    Email (referencing project number 3016841/Ballard Urban Rest Stop)

  • 18 TOM // Jun 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I think this puts a huge burden on the locals, especially those who are retiring and look forward to some quiet enjoyment of their neighborhood which they’re certainly entitled to.
    how about we have one built in the back yard of each member of the city council who approved this

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