Neighbors fight back against high-density Fremont development

A proposal to build a high-density apartment building across from B.F. Day Elementary School in Fremont has sparked a particularly loud outcry from neighbors.

How loud? A petition with 155 signatures. 115 public comment letters. And an editorial with the headline, “Even as a newbie, I know tiny apartments don’t belong in Fremont,” that was linked on the home page of the Seattle Times.

The subject of the outcry is a proposal (.pdf) for a 3-story apartment building at 3959 Fremont Ave. N. with 29 units — 26 of those “small efficiency dwelling units” — in the space of two lots. It’s located on the northern edge of the Fremont Urban Village, which allows higher-density zoning.

“On Fremont Avenue, profits can still be made reasonably with a handful of high-density homes like my own instead of a maximum-density sardine can with six times the population on the same amount of land,” writes neighbor Angela Elson in the Times editorial. “(The project) sets a precedent for other venerable neighborhoods facing hatchet jobs to accommodate more and more people.”

Neighbors point out the building has no parking and the entrance is situated on a narrow alleyway, not on Fremont Ave. Complicating matters is all the kids from B.F. Day Elementary who frequent the area, and neighbors are worried that it’s unsafe.

While many proposed developments spark an outcry — we’ve witnessed many of them — these neighbors are particularly well organized. It will be interesting to see how the city responds.

53 comments on “Neighbors fight back against high-density Fremont development”

  1. I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it again. Having lived in SF in the 90s I would never have thought of complaining about not being able to afford my own apartment and neither would anyone else. The solution always has been SHARED HOUSING not tiny individual apartments. It was good enough for Gen X and good enough for prior generations but nothing is ever good enough for Millennials. They’re “special.” Hey kid, when one day you do as I did and Save Money and move to a city that’s more affordable (that was Seattle for me!), you too will own your own home and then you’ll be singing the same song that all of the rest of are. No additional entitlements will come to you while the rest of us are still breathing and paying your tab (taxes- and yeah, we’re paying a HELL of a lot more than you are).

  2. Pretty damn disheartening–and ridiculous– to read the snarky remarks about “rich people” in Fremont not wanting to sully their neighborhoods with new apartment buildings. I don’t know any rich people who live in that neighborhood (where I lived in the 1970’s) although there are a fair number of McMansions (with 4 times more square footage than my 1906 house) cropping up in Wallingford, which has become too expensive for middle class home buyers and renters like me.

    Not wanting to have giant eyesore poorly built intimidating high-rent buildings in one’s neighborhood doesn’t make someone an elitist (No, I am not moving to wherever-it-is some ill-mannered jerk told me to go–couldn’t afford it anyway.) What it means it that–if you’re environmentally aware, interested in community, want to retain some of the flavor, landmarks and homes of old Seattle–you don’t want to live in a high-rent soul-less rabbit warren or have your neighborhood turned into one.

    Car parking is an absolute necessity, even for many people who use bikes, so arguing that parking raises rents is specious. Greedy land-developers want as many people crammed on to their properties as possible, don’t give a sh** about social amenities, and will keep on raising your rent no matter what, until you have to move away, anyway.

    The folks who defend this kind of development do it in the nastiest, most aggressive terms as if people who want to have a livable viable inclusive city are their enemies. The sad fact is, they’re digging their own metaphorical graves by buying into supporting crappy housing projects like this one. When this whole damn city looks like a giant airless box filled with more airless boxes, then maybe those short-sighted folks will get a clue. Until then, maybe they should do some actual research and realize how badly they’re getting ripped off.

  3. Yea for Fremont! Keep up the fight for REASONABLE development and livability for all!

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