is a charming Seattle village with a European flair. We offer an eclectic mix of sophisticated shops, services, and restaurants. Our independently owned businesses attract visitors from afar, and shopkeepers greet customers by name. Here you’ll find people enjoying the good life, strolling the sidewalks, pausing to chat and explore. Join us, say hello, and stay awhile.
Robert Perlman entered the Art Life at a tumultuous, strident point and place. Born in 1942 in New York City, he came of age as the post-war boom made Manhattan the capitol of the western world concerning painting and sculpture. Although Jackson Pollock had driven into a tree in 1956, others of his generation — DeKooning, Rothko, Still, Guston, Newman — were blue chips in the art market. Second-generation abstractionists like Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, and Frank Stella, and brash upstarts such as Rauschenberg, Johns, and the emerging Pop artists were available to Perlman just as he emerged into adulthood, and the impressions that were left upon him were to be deep and lasting.
Robert Perlman. Number 6, 2003; Number 3, 2003
He took his education in graphic design at City College of New York. His fastidious and elegant nature was well suited to design, and an innate sensitivity to the vertical, geometric, urban environment in which he lived gave his natural facility the necessary depth to excel at his chosen vocation.
Robert Perlman. Number 1, 2007
After gaining his BA, Perlman studied at the School of Visual Arts with Milton Glaser, one of the most significant designers and teachers of post-war America. Perlman recalls that time, “I remember an exchange with Milton about who would be more significant to art history, Pablo Picasso or Marcel Duchamp. I believe he was leaning toward Duchamp; I know I was enthusiastically in the Picasso camp.”
Robert Perlman. Number 6, 2012
In 1963, Midtown Manhattan was an enormous hothouse of abstraction; one could bumble from one space to another and bask in fields of color and tone. The young Perlman studied and worked here, strolling to the Whitney Museum during his lunch breaks, or to the leading galleries.
Robert Perlman. Number 3, 2014
Saturdays found midtown crawling with artists and scenesters out to keep up with the new work on view. Perlman was doing so one afternoon, when he was hit up for a match. Unfortunately, he had none to offer; and so Mark Rothko had to turn elsewhere to have his cigarette lit.
Perlman had already encountered Rothko in a much more poignant way, “I first saw one of his very large maroon paintings at the Museum of Modern Art some time earlier. That moment has etched itself into my memory as one of the early, unforgettable museum experiences. I really didn't know what I was looking at, I just knew it was thrilling standing in front of that enigmatic, dark painting. As a lot of people are likely to tell you, it felt awesome … perhaps even a bit religious.”
Robert Perlman. Number 4, 2016
Today, Perlman’s Madison Park home is filled with his art. His paintings hang in agreeable conversation with one another, while the horizontal surfaces of the room are covered, sometimes three-deep, with his sculptures. He constructs these from urban debris, implements, tools and fragments, mostly iron and steel, always decayed. His sculpture is fundamentally closer in nature to his graphic work: tight, elegant, perfectly solved problems.
Robert Perlman. Fork Figure, 2004; Flute Player, 1969
Robert Perlman. Thunder Head, 2009; Arrow Head, 2007
On the other hand, Perlman’s paintings are clean and his palette tranquil, colors bright, even when their subtlety occasionally renders them difficult to place on the color wheel. Coupled with the brilliant responsiveness of his drawing hand, Perlman’s color sense is an ongoing dialogue that is as rich as a fifty-plus year conversation ought to be.
Robert Perlman. Number 4, 2008
Robert Perlman is a genius of painted color. He uses matte acrylic paint on paper. Rectangles are subdivided into evocative geometric shapes; some of the paintings suggest landscapes, others figures, occasionally figures in landscapes seem to appear; the ogee curve of a grand piano is a regular presence. The drawings from which his paintings emerge are as delightful in their modesty as the finished pieces are. But his use of color adds a depth of immersion, making the pieces into well solved, beautifully proportioned puzzles of his own invention.
Robert Perlman. Number 1, 2006; Number 1, 2014
Perlman’s palette is distinctly New York in flavor, and the forms he chooses are ones of well-digested modernism. His compositions have evolved into a syntax distinctly his own. Over time the colors have become more saturated, the compositions more dynamic. They look like work done by an artist at the height of his powers, one who deserves to emerge from the decades-long isolation of his studio. Robert Perlman has dedicated himself for a half-century to the Art Life, and now he is beginning to enjoy a place in the art world.
Robert Perlman. Number 1, 2016
Perlman in his studio; Number 3, 2015
Robert Perlman’s paintings and sculptures are for sale, and can be seen at his website: http://robertperlman.com. Mr. Perlman is represented by ProGraphica KDR, and you can read an interview with him on their site.
Editor’s Note: This has been adapted from Mr. Hurley’s original profile. The full article can be read here.
Here are city planning items of interest and the Dept. of Construction & Inspections Land Use notices within the last three weeks for communities from 21st Ave east to Lake Washington and E Union St north to SR-520.
Backyard Cottages and Accessory Dwelling Units
The City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) is proposing to amend the Land Use Code, to modify development standards related to accessory dwelling units (ADU) and detached accessory dwelling units (DADU), also known as backyard cottages.
Mandatory Housing Affordability Program
The Seattle City Council is considering a proposed ordinance that would add a new chapter to the Land Use Code and make other amendments. This would establish a framework for a Mandatory Housing Affordability program for residential development (MHA-R). Under the MHA-R program new residential development, including development with live-work units and congregate residence sleeping rooms, would be required to provide affordable units (performance) or make an in-lieu payment. The MHA-R program will be implemented as increases in residential development capacity are approved.
Comprehensive Plan Final EIS
The City of Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) has issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Comprehensive Plan update. The proposed action is programmatic in nature and involves amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. In particular, the City is considering text and map amendments to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan (see 2035.seattle.gov) that may affect the distribution of 70,000 new housing units and 115,000 new jobs expected in Seattle by the year 2035, and that would influence various City operations. The EIS evaluates five alternatives, the No Action Alternative and four action alternatives with different possible distributions of future residential and employment growth among Urban Centers, Urban Villages and other areas.
2220 E Union St
The City of Seattle Hearing Examiner is conducting a public hearing on the recommendation of the Director of the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (Seattle DCI) to rezone a property from NC2-40 to NC2-65 and from NC2P- 40 to NC2P-65. Project includes construction of a six story, 144 unit apartment building with 20,207 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space. Parking for 148 vehicles will be provided below grade. Zone: Neighborhood Commercial 2-40' Pedestrian, arterial within 100 ft., Urban Village overlay, Neighborhood Commercial 2-40'
111 26th Ave E
The proposal is to allow two, 2 unit, townhouse and one, 4 unit, townhouse (total 8 units) on a 9,600 sqft. lot. Parking for 8 vehicles to be provided. Zone: Lowrise-2, steep slope (greater than=40%), potential slide area
224 27th Ave E
Land Use Application to subdivide one 4,800 sqft. development site into three unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Zone: Lowrise-1, potential slide area
1617 38th Ave E
Land Use Application to allow a one-story 5,103 sq. ft. addition (kitchen, lunchroom, restrooms, storage) to an existing institution (McGilvra Elementary School), remove two portable classrooms and covered play area. Determination of Non Significance prepared by Seattle Public Schools. Zone: Single Family 5000, landmark
2609 E Thomas St
Land Use Application to subdivide one 4,798 sqft. development site into five unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Zone: Potential Slide Area, Lowrise-2
2812 E Union St
Land Use application to subdivide one parcel of land into two parcels of land. Proposed sizes are: A) 3,953 sq. ft. and B) 1,843 sq. ft. Zone: Lowrise 1, areterial within 100 ft.
112 27th Ave E
Land Use Application to subdivide one 4,780 sqft. development site into four unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. Zone: Lowrise 1, potential slide area, liquefaction prone soils
The number of incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during April dropped from March’s total of 71 to 57. As is often the case, the change was entirely driven by a change in the number of car prowls, which fell from 38 to 24. There were five burglaries, and once again one of them resulted when a car prowler found a garage door opener in an unlocked vehicle.
1. On April 13 police were called to a residence on 22nd near Madison to investigate a burglary at an attached garage that had been left open during the previous night. The burglars took a bicycle and digital gaming equipment and apparently left no fingerprints.
2. On April 17 at approximately 5 AM two burglars broke into the lobby of an apartment complex on 19th near Mercer and stole several packages from the mailbox area. The burglars, described as an adult and a child wearing gloves and dressed to hide their identities, were recorded by a surveillance camera. Although they were not called until 11 AM, police carried out an unsuccessful search of the neighborhood for suspects matching the descriptions of the burglars.
3. At around 1:30 AM on April 25 residents of a home on 21st near Aloha were awoken by noises coming from the ground floor of their house. When they got up to investigate they saw light from flashlights downstairs and then saw two burglars exit from their front door. After calling the police they found that the burglars had entered by breaking the window of a side door and unlocking it. The burglars stole credit cards from a purse, but apparently had too little time to take anything else. The police found no fingerprints.
4. Sometime during the night of April 28–29 a burglar broke into a home under construction on 24th near Pine by breaking open the locked front door. The burglar stole approximately $2200 worth of tools. There were no surfaces suitable for taking fingerprints.
5. Also during the night of April 28–29 a burglar gained entry to a garage on 20th near Denny by using a garage door opener obtained from a car prowl at that location. The burglar, who apparently was riding a bicycle, stole a bicycle worth $1100 from the garage and left his own bike at the scene. The police found no fingerprints in the garage and none on the burglar’s bike, which had been left out in the rain.
In addition to the April burglaries, the police department has released a description of a burglary that occurred earlier this year. At about 3 PM on Feb. 22 a burglar entered a residence on E. Helen near 24th through an unlocked window. When he unlocked the front door to let an accomplice inside, however, an alarm sounded and both fled south on Turner Way. Two witnesses were alerted by the alarm and one of them took a photograph of the burglars with her cell phone. She then returned to her nearby home, got into her car, and drove southbound on 23rd in search of them. She found them near 23rd and John, and took another photo of them as they crossed Madison on 25th . Meanwhile, a resident of the burglarized home returned home and found that the front door was open and that a laptop was missing. The police arrived shortly after 3:20 and the witness who had followed the burglars showed them her photos. The police then mounted a major search operation for the burglars and at around 4 PM detained one near 25th and E. Howell and at around 4:45 found the other hiding in a hot tub at a residence near 25th and Denny. After he had been arrested, the police found that the latter burglar had arrest warrants out for vehicle theft. Both burglars were booked into the King County Jail.
Finally, there was an incident classified as an armed robbery during April.
On April 5 at about 7 PM a man walked into the Safeway at Madison and 22nd and loaded a grocery cart with six containers of laundry detergent. After he took the cart out of the store without paying for its contents, two store employees confronted him, but the man claimed that he didn’t know what they were talking about and that he was doing nothing wrong. At that point one of the employees noticed that the man was concealing a jackknife behind his back and the two employs broke contact with him to prevent an escalation of the confrontation. Before leaving the robber, however, one of the employees took a picture of him with a cell phone. In addition, surveillance cameras in the store recorded the event. When they arrived at the scene police searched the neighborhood but could not find the robber.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.
Thank you to everyone who attended the architect’s presentation of the new development. Below are written notes taken by Frank Nam, Neighborhood District Coordinator Supervisor at the City of Seattle.
Photos of the community comments were taken after the roundtable discussion (View Photos). These photos have been shared with the architect, who will be addressing many of these comments during the Seattle Design Review Process.
If you’d like to learn more about the Design Review process, please visit the City’s website. Your comments on proposed land use actions must be submitted in writing to the Public Resource Center either by email to email@example.com (preferred method), by fax to (206) 233-7901, or by mail to:
Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections
ATTN: Public Resource Center or Assigned Planner
700 Fifth Ave, Ste 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019
Frank Nam’s Notes
Madison Valley Community Council Meeting that invited the Architect Charles Strazzara to come present to the community.
Roughly 125 people in attendance.
The developer and architect submitted an Early Design Guidance package two months early in order to garner community feedback. This is something they did not have to do and not a requirement of the EDG.
They will submit a final EDG package after receiving feedback in about 1.5 months.
Jeffrey Floor was also in attendance and he is a member of the Land Use Review Committee. He was here to help facilitate the meeting and the Q&A.
The architect Charles Strazzara showed his 3 options. The first two were larger massings that were obtrusive into the Dewey Place frontage which faces single family homes. Those were to code but the architect did not like it as it felt obtrusive to the community.
The third option had a number of cut backs and stepped the building away from Dewey Place. They also provided over a 1:1 resident unit to parking space ratio and a larger than necessary retail parking space ratio.
They also are allowed to develop all the way to the property line but had setbacks all along the perimeter.
Q&A Main Questions
Then there was time for people to write down some thoughts about what the project would need to be welcomed in the neighborhood. Some of the most raised topics were:
Save Madison Valley Spoke:
Bob from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways / Madison Park Greenways spoke about a loose coalition for safe walking and biking routes around the McGilvra Elementary School area.
The City has posted the first public document describing the development slated to replace City People's Garden Store.
Visit the Save Madison Valley website to view the full report. www.savemadisonvalley.org/blog/2016/5/12/first-views-of-the-development
For decades, the residents living north of E Madison St between 23rd Ave E and the Arboretum have grown increasingly concerned about the steadily increasing volume of cars and commercial trucks cutting through their residential streets in an effort to bypass the arterials on either side (23rd Ave E and Lake Washington Blvd). Reckless driving and dangerous speeds have caused numerous serious crashes, damaged vehicles, destroyed traffic circle gardens and people walking and biking have been run off the road along 26th Ave E. Families living in the Arboretum neighborhood don’t feel safe walking or letting children play outside due to the traffic.
Children are at risk from passing traffic.
Replanting the traffic circle.
In 2015, concerned neighbors within the Arboretum neighborhood joined forces and created Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets in partnership with Madison Park Greenways and the Madison Valley Community Council to apply for, and win, a $50,000 Neighborhood Park and Street Fund Grant to study potential solutions for restoring the livability of their neighborhood. Some possible outcomes include traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, installation of protected bike lanes, connecting sidewalks, etc. See the map below for location of the study.
In April, representatives from the three groups who partnered on the grant application met with SDOT staff to plan how to use the funds to achieve neighborhood goals. The first phase is happening now. SDOT is collecting baseline traffic volume and speed data at many points within the Arboretum neighborhood. This data will provide valuable information to understand how traffic is flowing through the area.
After the data is reviewed, the community will work through the summer with SDOT and a traffic engineering firm to develop a set of design recommendations and cost estimates. The final deliverable will be a plan for street improvements.
The current grant does not include construction funds, therefore no changes will happen to the streets as part of this project. The design and cost estimates that come from this study will inform subsequent construction grant applications that may be applied for as early as 2017.
A Play Street has been organized for Sunday, May 22 2016, between 3 pm and 6 pm whereby 26th Ave E, between Galer and Lee Street, will be closed to traffic so that residents can come together to meet their neighbors, let children play safely on the streets and discuss their concerns regarding traffic patterns in the neighborhood.
A Play Street will be set up on Sunday, May 22, between 3 and 6 pm.
A local safety meeting.
For questions regarding this project or to get involved to support this community-driven effort, contact Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets via https://arboretum.nextdoor.com/groups/724004/.
On May 6th, at 10:30 pm, two black males each armed with a handgun and wearing masks and gloves, entered the Village Mart in the 2800 block of East Madison Street. They demanded money from the clerk. The clerk was pistol-whipped in the mouth and knocked to the floor. One of the suspects fired a round into the floor of the store.
The clerk sustained injuries during the encounter and was treated at the scene by Seattle Fire. The suspects fled the store on foot before officers arrived. Despite an extensive area search, the suspects were not located. Robbery Unit detectives responded and processed the scene.
The video at the link is from inside the store that evening. Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call the Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535. See the security video here: http://bit.ly/1VS4MhG
This text was re-posted from the SPD article at the link above.
Many people are wondering what the white markings on 28th and 29th Ave East are for. SDOT is going to be repairing the street in preparation for resurfacing the streets later this year or next.
In the last few months I’ve been taking snapshots of a number of the larger projects that have been in progress in our area. Some had just broken ground and others are nearly occupied. I’ve been sharing the (very boring!) Land Use Notifications on this website for a year now, and have attended developers’ presentations to neighbors at meetings hosted by Madison Valley or Madison Miller Community Councils. So I started to be more interested in looking at the projects in “real life,” and grabbing a picture here and there in the course of my traipsing around town.
Each address is linkable to all of the Design Review meetings that considered the project. Click on the address for each date to see the options presented and the board meeting minutes, recommendations and responses. There are links to the public notices for the project from that page, and, for those who want to dig through the gory details, the project # can also be entered on www.seattle.gov/dpd.
I’ve noticed a few themes. First, the process from getting a project number assigned by the city through the design review and a permit granted is 1–2 years, and it is usually some time before any ground is broken. Second, most of the retail spaces are not yet leased, at least not announced, even with buildings completed or near completion, so we usually have to wait and see who moves in. Third, the “under construction” experience is very different from the final result and the finished occupied building is so much more real than the design review presentations. As the projects become reality, it’s starting to look like upper Madison and Union each have their own distinct design “vibe.”
Four-story building with 41 (efficiency, 1 and 2 BR) apartments over ground floor commercial space, and parking for 27 vehicles. The building has 6,091 sq ft of of a variety of commercial spaces. Cappy’s Gym will be moving into one of them! Some tidbits about the architect, nominated in 2008 by The Stranger as the “coolest developer in Seattle,” can be found in this Central District News article.
1141 M L King Jr Way proposal and just after ground breaking in Feb 2016
Four-story building with 39 apartments above 3,000 sq ft of retail and 2 live/work units. Parking for 21 vehicles provided. More news about this project can be read at the Capitol Hill blog.
2407 E Union proposal and March 2016
Capitol Hill Housing plans to build 115 units affordable to individuals and families earning $18,000 to $54,000 a year. CHH also has plans to incorporate local businesses into the project and to honor the site’s historical importance as the home of the region’s first black-owned bank. A community-based advisory board is helping steer the effort. The first Early Design Guidance meeting was May 4, so the proposal is not completed. I did find a history of the project, thanks to the Capitol Hill blog.
2320 E Union, March 2016
The long vacant lot, where the historic building was damaged beyond repair by the Nisqaully earthquake, and development postponed due to the 2008 crash, is finally completed and open, and people and businesses are moving in. Spaces are still available to lease.
2203 E Union, March 2016
Four-story building with 50 studio and 1-br apartments above 3,492 sq ft of retail space and parking for 13 vehicles. Twenty percent of the units will be rent-restricted for income qualified tenants at 65% of area median income. Commercial spaces for small neighborhood businesses and space for a new restaurant. The architect is a prolific blogger.
2305 E Madison proposal and February 2016
Six-story, 105-unit apartment building with 5,700 sq ft of retail at ground level and 97 below-ground parking spaces. The building is planned to open in late June or early July. Here is the architect’s website.
2051 E Madison, March 2016
Six-story structure containing 9,576 sq ft of commercial space at ground level and 222 residential units above. Parking to be provided below grade.
2026 E Madison proposal.
Six-story structure containing 50 residential units and 3,800 sq ft of commercial at street level, with parking for 20 vehicles to be provided.
2100 E Madison proposal and March 2016
Charles Strazzara, lead architect on the building that will replace City People’s, is giving a public presentation. He will show renderings of the preliminary design, and speak about the results of the recently completed geotechnical study. A moderated Q&A session will follow.
Madison Valley Community Council May Meeting
Tuesday May 17th
Bush School Community Room
3400 E Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98112
Thank you to McGilvra Elementary for co-hosting and to everyone who came out to help with this year’s Madison Valley Spring Clean.
Thank you as well to the Merchant’s Association who pays for Minero’s Landscape company to clean Madison Street. They pull all the weeds from the tree wells and sidewalk cracks, and blow away all the winter debris. They are hard working and have helped for three years in a row.
Also, thank you to the residents and merchants who donated to help pay for Spring Clean this year.
The focus of the clean this year was cleaning up the traffic triangle at 28th and Madison. A group of volunteers pulled all the plants and weeds around the perimeter. It was a hot and difficult job, but we managed to tame the overgrowth. The City of Seattle will provide bark to keep the weeds down during the summer and the plan is to replant the border in the fall.
Cathy Nunnely and Jeremy Braun started on the triangle early in the morning.
The Save Madison Valley group came out to help.
Sabrina and Piper work on scraping stickers and graffiti from the signs.
Tom, who was visiting his family in Madison Valley, offered to help! He hand painted the No Dumping signs near the storm water drains. Thank you Tom!
Buried in the weeds of the triangle we found a sign that had been pushed over. We reported this to SDOT.
Men of McGilvra hard at work in the triangle.
The kiosk was cleaned, and new signs and plexiglass were installed.
The crosswalk flag holders were secured, to prevent them from falling down while new flags were labeled. Interesting fact: approximately 1 flag per week is lost or stolen.
Race to The BottleNeck Lounge on Saturday, May 7th for our Ninth Annual Run for The Roses Kentucky Derby Party! The doors will open at 2 PM and we’ll have plenty of Maker’s Mark Mint Juleps on hand for thirsty race fans. Get here early and get a great seat — the bar will be packed by the 3:10 post time. We will award the prize for Best Hat as well as the coveted Seattle Slew Best Dressed for Overall Derby Excellence shortly following the race. This year we’re featuring burgers and fries from our neighboring restaurant, Two Doors Down, where the race will also be shown on both TVs. Come one, come all — this is one of the greatest parties of the year!
Saturday, May 7th
Doors open at 2 PM / No Cover
The BottleNeck Lounge
2328 E. Madison St.
Madison Park is very fortunate to have crossing flags that enable people to cross streets, hopefully safely, on East Madison from 32nd Ave East to 43rd Ave East including several side streets like East Lee and East McGilvra Boulevard. The number of crossing locations with flags has increased three-fold since the flags were placed in the business area in 2008 by Historic Madison Park (HMP).
Madison Park is one of the several neighborhoods in Seattle with crossing flags. These flags are okay with the City of Seattle, but they are not funded by the City. We’ve heard that some residents don’t see the need for the crossing flags and some don’t use them, but we believe that the majority of residents want the flags based on feedback we’ve received.
Ken Myrabo and I maintain the flag system with the assistance of others like Jim Hagen and his wife. This effort includes making sure that each of the crossing flag holders have the correct number of flags. Each holder should have three flags except for the Red Apple and Pharmaca locations which have four due to higher pedestrian traffic. The effort also includes replacing broken flag holders and repairing the flags. We often have to replace flags due to theft and vandalism which includes ripping the flag off of the pole, breaking the pole or even trying to burn the flag. We’ve even had some flag holders destroyed by being hit by a vehicle. Currently, with 30 locations it takes 94 flags to cover all areas. The flags cost starts at six dollars each and goes up based on what is on them.
We are now approaching summer with a lot of visitors in the Park. This is the time of year when our flag loss rate goes to 5 to 10 flags per week. We currently have flags provided by State Farm (green) and Key Bank (red). Some people don’t like advertising on the flags, but this is America, and we have stadiums and events supported by businesses. Shortly we will have to order additional flags, and unless an individual is willing to pay for the flags, they too will have advertising from one of our generous businesses. A rough cost for a new order of at least 150 flags would be over $900.
The flags do not guarantee your safety in crossing the streets, and you should still try to make eye contact with drivers to make sure cars, trucks, and bikers see you. In other words, be defensive when crossing streets. Drivers are supposed to stop when pedestrians are in the intersection, but as we all know, some don’t. Here are a few things you can do to help us with the flags.
The flags are a community asset for Madison Park, and we hope you use them and encourage others to do so. We also would like to thank those helping us make sure that each flag holder has flags for the next user. If you have any suggestions about the flags or wish to help, please contact us on NextDoor.
Here are city planning items of interest and the Dept. of Construction & Inspections Land Use notices within the last three weeks for communities from 21st Ave east to Lake Washington and E Union St north to SR-520.
2320 E Union St
Early Design Guidance meeting on Wed. May 4, 6:30 pm, at Seattle University Admissions & Alumni Community Building for a proposal by Capitol Hill Housing to build a 6-story structure containing 116 residential units above 3,300 sq. ft. of ground-level retail space. Parking for 18 vehicles will be located within the structure. This project requires a contract rezone from NC2P-40 and NC2-40 to NC2P-65.
1816 M L King Jr Way
Land Use application to subdivide one parcel of land into two parcels of land. Proposed sizes are: Y) 4,020 sq. ft. and Z) 4,020 sq. ft. Existing structure to be demolished. Zone: Single Family 5000, potential slide area, liquefaction prone soils, arterial within 100 ft.
The flare-up about the sale of City People’s and the effort to stop the construction of a building with a PCC market reminds me of a similar effort in Madison Park several years ago. The city wanted to remove the fence at North Beach (Swing Park) which is on 43rd Ave East, just north of East Madison. The residents of the Park, particularly the ones in surrounding residences, were up in arms.
People were concerned about traffic, that kids would drown in the lake with no fence and that it would attract all kinds of people day and night and that the city’s effort would destroy the neighborhood. The opposing group against even hired a bus to take people to a city hearing on the subject.
Amazingly, and rightly, the city went ahead with the project and none of the adverse results that were feared happened. The area is now beautiful, and an asset to Madison Park and no one has fallen off of the rocks and drowned either. We haven’t heard from these people since. The current effort to save Madison Valley sounds very much like the failed “STOP” effort in Madison Park.
The big difference is that today we have Nextdoor and Facebook where people can rant and rave in real time, and say that “the sky is falling.” Most recently I read that some stores in the Valley were not going to renew their lease, but isn’t it possible that Valley businesses might benefit from the PCC? Yes, there are other grocery stores in the East Madison corridor, they will adjust to the PCC, and some may even lower their prices. Grocery stores come and go, and there have been a lot of them in East Madison. The Cafe Flora location was once a market and Madison Park even had a Safeway at one time. Some people have expressed concern about the PCC taking the retail space. If not the PCC, then who would you rather have there? Businesses in America have the right to move where they want — the volume of business will determine if it survives. For example, there was Bill the Butcher in the Valley. Did anyone get up in arms when they opened or when they closed?
Change isn’t always easy, but change can be good too. It’s going to happen, and we need to work with those trying to bring about change, not just try to stop it. The participation of the Save Madison Valley group in the review process is important and will make this a better project for the Valley and East Madison. There are many valid concerns about this project such as parking, traffic, transportation, and the safety of the structure which must be addressed in the review process by the participation of those for and against the project. We can have a say by participating in the process. Saying NO WAY or “Not In My Backyard” will not give us a voice in what will happen in Madison Valley!
Reg Newbect is a resident of Madison Park.
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