Comment period open for low income development

The comment period for the Compass Housing Alliance (formerly Compass Center) development at 1753 NW 56th St. is open until May 5th. The non-profit submitted a Land Use Application for the Master Use Permit, which is necessary for construction of the low-income housing. “The Land Use Application to allow a seven-story, 51,664 sq. ft. building containing 80 low income housing units, above first and second floor office (7,507 sq. ft.) and second floor medical services (949 sq. ft.) (Compass Center). Parking for 11 vehicles will be provided within the structure,” states the Land Use Information Bulletin. This is the form to comment on this development.

The Compass Housing Alliance provides services and housing options for homeless and low-income individuals and families in the Puget Sound area.

This is the same lot where this eyesore was torn down last year. Compass Center hopes to break ground on this new project later this year.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

20 thoughts to “Comment period open for low income development”

  1. Isn't this what you guys want? A place for the homeless to sleep and piss other than your yards?
    Frankly, I think more places like this could go a long way in helping the increased homeless population.

  2. Yes, Nora Bell, it does seem that way when thinking it through. A shelter might prevent those unpleasantries, but noooooo we can't have that either. Perhaps the first posters have any real solutions? Probably not.

  3. Admittedly I have not reviewed the proposal in its entirety, but surely they plan more than 11 parking spaces for 80 housing units + two floors of office space and medical services? Seems odd to me.

  4. This was discussed in a previous story, and I guess the upshot is that poor people shouldn't be allowed to own cars, so no parking is needed for the units. lol.

    Anyway, the parking seems to be the only aspect of this plan that is a bad idea.

  5. This facility will serve as a temporary home for people trying to get off the streets. Basically, the people living here were homeless prior and this is the first step in finding stable housing. Therefore, the residents will most likely not have a car.

  6. in commenting. their minds are already made up. jeez, quick to jump to conclusions ballardmike. can only imagine what you're like in a real conversation.

  7. Sorry Nora, 99% of the Ballard bums will never be in this house. It's housing for people trying to get off the streets. Ballard's bums refuse to even follow the rules of city shelters which have space; there's no way compass would take them.

  8. That's a pretty big bet to think that out of 80+ people, none were car camping. I think car campers are still considered homeless or at least low-income.

  9. From a Feb. 9th Ballard News Tribune article:

    “Members of the public expressed dismay over the small amount of parking included in the project.”

    “Takahashi said they are not required to provide any parking. Most of the residents will not have cars, and the 12 spots they are including will be mostly staff parking, she said.”

    The zoning in the area of this project does not require parking to be provided.

    The BNT article is pretty good with a lot more information than is available here. Search their site for “compass”

  10. I think low income housing in Ballard is an excellent idea. But why do all the trees have to come down? What is wrong with trees?

    I know it costs a little more to preserve trees during construction rather than just scraping the lot bare – but we need some living green in our lives, too.

    Lower Queen Anne resident who shops in Ballard

  11. The other consideration is that when we solve the homeless issue and no longer have a need for this facility as a homeless/transitional housing, how will the next owners be able to use it without adequate parking?
    Oh, right…when that happens we'll all be teleporting or using light rail and the monorail.

  12. The problem with the logic that this removes “homeless from joining the ranks of the bums on our streets” is that this is not a zero sum game for Ballard. In one calculation, people adapt to their environment, and so this may actually increase the total of at-risk population. Look at the current evidence that suggests increasing unemployment benefits increases the length of time a person stays on unemployment. In another calculation, people reside where they find the means to live, and this will simply cause a shift in homeless from outside of Ballard to move here. So I don't see this proposal removing any homeless off the streets of Ballard.

  13. Thanks for the resource. I guess I can't expect a neighbor to do something not required by law, but is this attitude of just meeting the minimum requirements prescribed by law very neighborly? This is exactly the kind of “me-first” attitude that has enraged the country against Wall St execs and other financial institutions. The character of our great country is not built on what is legally required of the citizens, but rather all the countless selfless acts of neighbors helping each other and living to a higher, more honorable moral code.

  14. My guess is that the Compass organization can't afford to dig a parking garage and so since zoning codes do not require it, they aren't going to put one in. While working on a large project in a different neighborhood (that never ended up getting built), the developer we were working with (I was on the architect side) quoted $100,000 per foot for excavation of that particular parking garage and I think the site was a similar size. That's for hauling away the dirt, reinforcing the whole, pouring the concrete, etc. So even just one underground level would cost them potentially an extra million dollars.
    I'm not siding with the project here in any way, I think it's ridiculous to have only 12 parking spaces – and those meant for staff – in a project this large. 56th might be pretty crowded in the near future.

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