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.

Hjarta II gets approval from city, with conditions

The second phase of the Hjarta project is one step closer to breaking ground. The Department of Planning and Development released its decision for the seven-story building today.

According to Bryan Stevens with the Department of Planning and Development, the project will receive its Master Use Permit once the period to appeal is over and developers address a few design details. Stevens tells us that that the public can file an appeal on this decision (.pdf) until December 26th. The conditions are at the end of the document He says that the city will publish its decision if there are a few minor details to figure out that won’t affect the overall project.

The lot is just behind the current Hjarta building and adjacent to the recently-started Market Street Landing project at 15th and Market. Once completed, the seven-story residential building will have 102 units and four live/work units. There will be a parking garage for 86 vehicles.

School of Rock looking for another new location

After four months of working with the Department of Planning and Development, it turns out that School of Rock cannot move into the Crown Hill space they leased back in April.

“Lots of people have been asking when we’re moving to Crown Hill so thought we’d share some of the challenges with the move,” Kristoffer Kierulff, general manager emailed us.

We signed the lease for the space on 85th and 11th around April. For the past 4 months we have been working the DPD to obtain the appropriate permits to do our construction on the space. It’s been a tedious process to say the least, but ultimately we have discovered that the zoning of the building (Residential/Commercial) does not allow for a “School/Institution” to be in that particular building without a much longer review and permitting process. A process which we have found to be too costly and risky. We are committed to finding a new home in the Greenwood/Phinney/Ballard neighborhoods, and will continue to search for an ideal locale. If any of your readers know of any good homes for us, we’re all ears!

Stay tuned and we’ll let you know about future developments. Thanks for your support.

Early Design Guidance meeting for Ballard’s largest proposed development

A six-story building with 300 residential units, 453 parking spaces underground and more than 15,000 square feet of retail and seven live/work units is proposed for Market Street. If built, this will be Ballard’s largest development to date.

The project site is orange, the arrows represent the primary views from the site.

The site takes up the majority of the 2400 block of Market and five buildings will be torn down including the old Jacobsen’s Marine building (now Maritime’s) and the former Archie McPhee building.

Of the three concepts to be presented, this is the preferred concept.

On Monday evening at 6:30 in the Ballard High School library, the Design Review Board will meet with planners and present information about the site. The meeting is open to the public and the public will have the opportunity to offer comments. So far developers have not applied for any permits for this project.

You can see the entire presentation here (.pdf).

Apartment/condo building proposed for Crown Hill

A stalled project is now seeking a master use permit for a four-story building at 9076 Holman Road NW.

A shot of the property from the Holman Road overpass. Photo courtesy Dennis Galvin of the Crown Hill Neighborhood Association

According to the Land Use Information Bulletin, the buildings currently there will be demolished. The new building will contain 3,798 square feet of commercial space and nine live-work units at ground level with 96 residential units on the upper floors. There will be a parking garage for 125 vehicles. The project must still get approval from the Design Review Board and pass the SEPA Environmental Determination.

This is a project that drew a few dozen people to the design review meetings back in 2008 and 2009, according to Dennis Galvin. You can read more on the history of this project here.

Early Design Guidance meeting Monday for new residential building

The Design Review Board will meet with planners on Monday for a new development at 5343 Tallman Ave NW for an Early Design Guidance meeting.

Plans call for a seven-story structure with 240 residential units and 7,500 square feet of commercial space at ground level and parking for 288 vehicles. According to the presentation (.pdf), “One of the great attributes of Ballard is its “walkabililty”. Our project sits near the center of a long block on a diagonal to the traditional city grid. It is flanked on two sides by large developments that create extended walls, blocking east/ west walkways. By creating a mid-block connection and interesting pedestrian facades, the project looks to enhance the walkabilty of this section of Ballard.”

The public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard High School library (1418 NW 65th St.)

Neighbor of proposed hotel files appeal

The proposed hotel on Ballard Avenue has hit a speed bump. The Department of Planning and Development decision regarding the Olympic Athletic Club expansion and hotel has been appealed by a neighboring business owner.

The plans call for a four-story building to replace the parking garage used by Olympic Athletic Club at 5214 Ballard Ave NW. According to the plans there will be 29 hotel rooms, an expanded athletic club and 63 parking spots below grade. In the appeal filed with the Office of Hearing Examiner last week, attorney Michael Kahrs who lives and works in the area says that traffic is a “nightmare” and “Ballard Avenue is now a destination neighborhood.”

“Traffic: 20th Ave. NW between Ballard Ave. NW and Leary Ave NW is not an arterial and is not used as such. I am concerned about what street will be used for access to the parking lot,” Kahrs writes. One of the questions on the appeal form is, “What relief do you want?” Kahrs responds with: “Reexamine transportation including egress and exit to the parking lot. Examine parking issue from actual facts and consider mitigating through permitting zone parking on side streets for residents of the area.”

There will be an appeal hearing on Thursday, June 2 at 9 a.m. at the City Hearing Examiner office. During the hearing, the parties will be able to present witnesses and evidence supporting their case. “The hearing is open to the public, but only persons qualifying as parties or called by the parties as witnesses will have the opportunity to testify,” the notice of appeal hearing states.

Two meetings scheduled for proposed development

Tonight is the second Design Review meeting for the proposed development at 6559 15th Ave NW. A SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) Environmental Determination meeting is scheduled for January 11th.

Currently there is a large, mostly empty lot, but developers hope to build a 4-story building on the property.

The proposal calls for five live/work units and 101 residential units on the upper floors. The plans indicate that parking for 67 vehicles will be provided in a parking garage within the building.

The Design Review meeting is tonight, January 3rd at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard High School library. You can view tonight’s presentation slides here (.pdf.) The SEPA meeting is January 11th at the same time and location as tonight’s meeting. Both meetings will be open for public comment.

Design Review meeting set for new development

Next month, the Design Review Board will take a look at the proposed development for 6559 15th Ave NW.

Plans call for “a four-story building containing five live/work units with 101 residential units above. Parking for 67 vehicles to be provided within the structure. Project includes 8,200 cu. yards of grading.” There is currently a house on the land, which will be torn down.

From the Department of Planning and Development:

The applicant has applied for Design Review related development of this site. At the Design Review Board meeting the applicant will present information about the design and how it responds to the Design Review Guideline priorities established at the Early Design Guidance Board meeting on August 23, 2010 regarding this site. The public may offer comments regarding the proposed design; and the Design Review Board members will offer to the Director of the Department of Planning and Development their recommendations regarding the design.

The proposal from the August meeting can be found here (.pdf). The Design Review Board report from the August meeting can be found here (.pdf).

The Design Review meeting will be held on Monday, November 8th at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard High School Library (1418 NW 65th St.)