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Public Hearing set for possible Urban Village re-zoning

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on July 29th, 2016

The Seattle City Council Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee will be hosting a Public Hearing regarding the possibility of zoning changes to the Ballard Hub Urban Village area.

The meeting will be held next Wednesday, August 3, from 6 p.m. at Ballard Library (614 22nd Ave NW)

The following changes will be considered:

1. CB 118693

AN ORDINANCE relating to land use and zoning; amending Sections 23.47A.005 and 23.47A.009 of the Seattle Municipal Code to adopt development standards for certain properties in the Ballard Hub Urban Village; and amending the Official Land Use Map at pages 53, 54, and 55 to rezone land in the Ballard Hub Urban Village.

The areas being considered for re-zoning can be seen on the shaded map below:

ballard zone

All are welcome to attend the meeting and give their feedback. Click here to view further documentation regarding the proposed changes.

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14 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Donna // Jul 29, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    What does this mean in words we can actually understand? Is the city planning to completely re-zone this area of Ballard for condos or apartment blocks or side by sides? Are they out to completely destroy the historic areas of Ballard? From what I can tell from the illustration, this re-zoning is only one block from 58th St — a street which has many sensitively restored and maintained turn of the century victorian homes. As it is, monstrously oversized big tasteless souls boxes are being built all round us — now 59th St. is being destroyed — replacing older but perfectly restorable 100 year old bungalows. I HATE WHAT THESE GREEDY DEVELOPERS, ENABLED BY OUR CRAVEN CITY OFFICIALS ARE DOING TO OUR BEAUTIFUL QUAINT NEIGHBORHOOD. It will be lost forever if more care is not shown to preserve it.

  • 2 Blardian // Jul 29, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Most of the rezoning is from NC (neighborhood commercial) to NCP (neighborhood commercial pedestrian), an insignificant difference. The other rezonings are from C1 (commercial) to NC (neighborhood commercial), again insignificant. The proposals all seem appropriate to me, the proposed zoning changes better reflect their current use.

    Donna, for the sake of our neighborhood, please put more effort into understanding these issues. Click links, read the details, understand what is happening. You apparent passion can be a very valuable resource, but when your beliefs are rooted in ignorance you cannot help. Blind cries for preservation will not help Ballard. Fighting for sensible development will yield better results than fighting against development.

  • 3 Ballardite // Jul 30, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Thanks, Blardian. It works be great if we got such information with the original post too.

  • 4 Biff Sparky // Jul 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

    “Sensible development”. LOL. Oxymoron. All I see is 1 huge democratic voting block and group thought. All this does is make it easy/convenient for politicians to control you. Wake up. Blardian has drank most of the Kool-Aid, but there’s still apparently plenty to go around. Manhattan meets Berkley = todays Ballard. PERIOD

  • 5 Bart // Jul 30, 2016 at 8:55 am

    “now 59th St. is being destroyed”

    Yeah, we really need to keep all those butt-ugly houses with exposed aggregate siding on this street– clearly this was the epitome of quality architecture

  • 6 foolio // Jul 30, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    All right smartass, so what does LR-2 and LR3- to LR-2 RC and LR-3 RC on 14th Ave mean?

  • 7 Truth // Jul 31, 2016 at 10:17 am

    @Biff: Isn’t rampant development just your much touted small government and capitalism at its finest?

  • 8 Donna // Jul 31, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    OK then Blardian — I’ll go to that meeting and hopefully someone can explain to us just what the plans are for our neighborhood. I wonder — are you a resident of Ballard or a city official — your condescension is conspicuous. I have been a resident of Ballard since 1990 and a homeowner/steward of a Victorian house here since 1995 — and have seen many a lovely structure demolished, not to increase population density, but to replace with grossly oversized single family spec houses that stick out like sore thumbs. These developments threaten other nearby historic structures with demolition because developers see only the land value and want to maximize their profits. As for multiples — I understand where older apartment complexes can effectively be replaced with higher capacity ones, but I do not want to continue to see entire blocks of quaint older homes razed. I looked again at the map of proposed development provided and it does not have cross streets, so it is still unclear where the proposed development is supposed to occur. And the land use codes are inherently opaque to lay people. Why not include a legend of what these codes mean? I looked up and here is some useful information:
    Still — I think the article should at the very least, provided further explanation.

  • 9 Not A Developer Shill // Jul 31, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    “Most of the rezoning is from NC (neighborhood commercial) to NCP (neighborhood commercial pedestrian), an insignificant difference.”

    It’s significant in that the “P” designation reduces or eliminates parking and automobile access. The P requires “adequate” public transit within a quarter mile of the development area. What it doesn’t require is that there is adequate public transit infrastructure to get people within a quarter mile to begin with.

    That’s fine if the idea is to restrict use to people already in the area or otherwise able to access it via public transit. But let’s be realistic here. Bus routes to much of the area have been cut and there’s no plans to bring rail to the area either. In fact there’s absolutely no transit oriented development or significant transit hubs anywhere near most of the rezone. It’s another case of giving developers zoning handouts with no promise of infrastructure improvements that might actually make the “P” designation apply.

    Most businesses in the re-zoned area are going to be dependent on customers with cars for the forseeable future.

  • 10 Connor // Jul 31, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    @#8 Donna,

    The issue you’re referring to has nothing to do with zoning or any possible changes to zoning.

    People are buying dumpy little houses (maybe some have ‘Victorian charm’, but most don’t) and re-developing to a modern, liveable house. This is an easy decision when the land is 3/4 of the original cost.

    Whether a developer or actual homeowner, there will be plenty more knock-downs and big- new houses in Ballard in every SFR zone.

    That’s partly why I wonder why people are so up-in-arms– your neighbors will be enlarging their homes regardless of your zoning

  • 11 Eric // Aug 1, 2016 at 10:28 am

    @foolio: The current LR2/LR3 zoning on 14th allows for townhomes, rowhouses, small apartment buildings. The “RC” designation is for “residential commercial.” It would allow (but not require) ground-floor retail, restaurants, etc. along 14th Ave. The limits on building size and height from the existing LR2/LR3 zoning would continue to apply.

    @Not a developer shill: The “P” designation does not prohibit parking or reduce the allowed amount. What it does do is require that any parking lot be located behind or underneath the building (rather than in front) so that people can walk directly into the building from the sidewalk instead of needing to cross a parking lot to access the building. It also requires that the entrance to the parking lot be located on an alley or side street where possible, in order to reduce the number of buildings where the driveway crosses a heavily-traveled sidewalk.

  • 12 Norse // Aug 1, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    The City put together a Pedestrian Plan zoning plan a couple of years ago. The intent is to create pedestrian zones every 5 blocks up 15th and most likely on 24th but the plan specifically showed streets with “good bus routes.” You should be able to find the plan somewhere on the city’s website. I’ve read it and I think it was probably posted here on MyBallard at one time. The plan is to upzone the property along a “good bus” route with stores down below, apts/condos on top. The city doesn’t want any drive through businesses — no drive through Walgreens, no McDonalds and no gas stations. But, the city planners realized that the public would not go for no gas stations so that part of the plan was shelved for the time being.

  • 13 Foolio // Aug 1, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Re-zoning the entire stretch of 14th from Market to 65th to allow ground floor restraunts and retail hardly seems like an insignificant change. Can we expect this stretch to turn into the next Ballard Avenue?

  • 14 Truth // Aug 2, 2016 at 8:12 am

    @Foolio: It would certainly be an improvement over the current 14th.

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