Two public meetings scheduled for Urness House

The Department of Planning and Development has scheduled two meetings next month to discuss design and environmental aspects of Urness House, the proposed 80-unit mixed-use building for chronically homeless men and women at 1753 NW 56th St.

The first meeting is regarding the environmental review process of the project, the second is a presentation to the Design Review Board. At the Design Review Board meeting, Compass Housing Alliance will present their plans that correspond with priorities set by the Early Design Guidance Board meeting in February.

These meetings are open to the public and the public is encouraged to comment. “Please note that the purpose of this meeting is to hear public comments that relate specifically to the design considerations of the proposed project. The SEPA public meeting, immediately preceding this meeting, will discuss the environmental concerns associated with the proposed development.”

The first meeting will be held June 14th from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Ballard High School Library. The Design Review meeting will be held in the same location on the same date at 8 p.m.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

24 thoughts to “Two public meetings scheduled for Urness House”

  1. I’d like to know if Compass has put a comparable housing unit in another residential neighborhood and WHAT kind of impact it created for that area.

    If we can’t find one, then it’s a little dubious to claim this plan won’t have a significantly negative effect on Ballard.

  2. Environmental impact? How about the financial impact on the community? It’s not like the hobotel residents are going to be big spenders at Bastille.

  3. I can’t see how this would have anything but a negative impact on Ballard. Having 80 men, many with criminal records, living with in walking distance of schools, libraries and parks just can’t be a good thing. Compass has already stated they will take no responsibility for any actions of their residents once they are outside the building….

  4. well, at least you can petition for lower property taxes if you live anywhere around this place. Who the heck would buy anywhere near here once its up?

  5. I received a notice to and it says at the Ballard High School. Again this kind of facility with sex offenders and 11 parking spots in a 7 story building in a heart of the community to encourage interaction is just irresponsible. What is the Ballard District Council as a majority feel?
    I can’t imagine if they have all the facts and projections for this area they would support it. Put a 7 story building of this kind downtown Seattle it would hardly be noticed. You put it in Ballard it will stick out like a sour thumb.

  6. MJ, Compass has done their home work, prior to purchasing this site. They politically got the support from the Ballard District Council, Ballard Chamber of Commerce, Dept of Neighborhood, Office of Housing and many other City Depts. With the exception of 1, none of them are residents of Ballard and don’t care who comes in. To answer your question, it is YES! You must appear at the June 14th meeting at Ballard High School Library 6:30pm and voice your opinion, and if other readers would do the same, we all can be heard.

    A similar project was planned to come in at Columbia City area, but the Neighbors stood their grounds and now will no longer be built.

  7. I have watched with some interest as my neighbors have intentionally misrepresented the efforts of the Comapss Alliance to build affordable housing for our fellow citizens. I have been willing to roll my eyes as I read the effluent that has flowed from the comment section of reports about this project. However a line has been crossed.
    Pastor Neyer Urness served the poor of Seattle for over 60 years. He was one of the pioneers of providing humanitarian services to veterns returning from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He established fascilites so that our brothers and sisters could have a place to get clean, to recive mail, to cash checks and to have a foundation from which to grow.
    To all of you who choose to use your ignorance to mock a great man I say shame on you. Turn your back on those who need help if you will but do your homework before you choose to belittle the accomplishments of a hero.

  8. Wrong facility- wrong place.

    Ballard streets are already less safe with the increase in the numbers of bums, and now the City wants to house them in a residential area.

    MSY- thank you for the details on the hearing- we have to show up to send the message that this is grossly inappropriate.

  9. Compass has a lot of experience with similar buildings and I would encourage any of you who anonymously post untrue statements to find the truth. Giving homeless people a permanent home makes a huge difference and we all have a responsibility to each other. Please refrain from rampant, anonymous, fear based blogging.

  10. What untrue statements? That there will be a methadone clinic (not denied by Compass) and that they will accept level 2 sex offenders (not denied by Compass)?

  11. Keep this up and expect Ballard to look like Pioneer Square in 5 yrs. Shuttered and struggling businesses, bums and dope dealers on every corner and flight by businesses that provide jobs and taxes (see Elliot Bay Book store flight from Pioneer Square)

    An urban dystopia overtaken by scammers, street punks and dopers. This is what bumvocates do once they target neighborhoods filled with suckers and bleeding hearts; they destroy it.

  12. Ballard Guy above is completely right. Wake up, Ballard – this project is big trouble for an neighborhood already facing too many challenges. You want to see Ballard’s future? Take a walk through Pioneer Square or Belltown sometime. I saw news over the weekend about several established restaurants who were closing in Belltown and moving to other neighborhoods. When asked why, the owners gave two reasons: too many bums, vagrants and street crime, and all the bars that have proliferated – they said the climate of the neighborhood had changed rapidly, where just a few years ago, it was a safe, pleasant place for their patrons. Now, it’s considered too dangerous and not family-friendly, so they’re moving somewhere else (South Lake Union, for example, which doesn’t seem to be very attractive to me, but at least it’s not overrun with drug dealers).

    Why does it make sense to move 80 homeless from Pioneer Square to Ballard? I’ve never heard anyone provide any sort of reasonable explanation for this.

    Ballard certainly already has more than our fair share of bums. The last thing we need is more of them. This hobo highrise will be the last nail in the coffin for this neighborhood if it goes through. We have to stop it now, before it’s too late.

  13. My biggest concern is the equation of unemployed people who clearly haven’t made the best decisions, substance abusers, committed sex offenders, and no security provided outside the facility. What exactly are these people going to do with their free time all day?

    Now before all the bleeding hearts get in an uproar, I realize there are people who need help and this center will provide that, but even if half the residents are of the “bum stereotype” that will be 40 new bums in Ballard. Then the drug dealers will come to where the business is.

  14. They first pitched it as housing for women, then slipped this “homeless men” bit in later. Of course they did this after their initial pitch as I bet chronically homelesse, drug abusing felons, would be a harder pitch….

  15. Steve raises a VERY good point: this was originally proposed as a “women’s shelter.” This is a completely different project now.

    Whatever approvals they received were for a different project. Shouldn’t they have to start over and get new approval for the project this has morphed into?

  16. You might want to see what some reporter wrote in Go to Local & Regional. There you will find the article regarding Compass. It appears this forum has only the supporter who want this project to be built and don’t care how the locals feel about it. It makes me sick to read they truly believe this project will remove the Ballard Homeless but don’t even know Compass has already admitted that they will come from other locations such as Pioneer Square and other facilities and have them relocate to Ballard. This will inject more of that type of offenders and mentally ill people into Ballard.

    Please come to the June 14th Meeting at 6:30pm Ballard HS Library and be heard!

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