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.
Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away! The whole family can celebrate Mom at Cafe Flora, Seattle’s premier spot for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dining. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. a three-course, prix fixe brunch menu will be available for $40 per person along with a dedicated kids menu for $15 per child.
The special menu offers hearty and healthy options including:
• Cafe Flora’s signature house-made Pastry Basket with petite croissants, strawberry ginger poppy seed scones, lemon curd and rhubarb jam.
• Spring Asparagus Benedict — Tieton Farm eggs, poached and served atop sweet potato latkes with balsamic tossed arugula, crispy smoked eggplant chips in hollandaise sauce and asparagus.
• Tres Leches Cake — vanilla sponge, toasted coconut, roasted pineapple, rum, whipped cream and strawberries.
The full menu can be viewed online. Reservations are required on Mother’s Day and can be made by calling 206 325-9100. Cafe Flora is located at 2901 E. Madison Street, Seattle.
After a seven-month run of double digit monthly burglary totals, March saw a return to a more typical total of five. The decline in burglaries, and a few other types of reported crimes, was offset by a surge in car prowls (38 reported incidents), however, so that the overall total of reported crimes was one more than February’s total of seventy. In fact, one of those car prowls was a key element in the fourth burglary described below.
1. During the morning of March 2, just after the residents had left for a short vacation, a burglar broke into a home on E. Valley near 26th by breaking a dining room window and then unlatching it. While entering, the burglar apparently suffered a cut because blood was found at various locations around the inside of the home. The burglar took jewelry, an iPad, passports, credit cards and personal checks, and started using the credit cards shortly after leaving the home. The residents called the police when they returned home on March 6, and when one of the officers arrived he realized that he had found one of the stolen credit cards at the scene of another burglary that he had investigated two days earlier. The police have a suspect for that burglary and have a video of her using a stolen credit card for a purchase at a art supply store on March 4. The police have submitted blood samples and possible fingerprints as evidence in the case.
2. Sometime while its occupants were sleeping during the early morning hours of March 6, a burglar broke into a home on Galer near 22nd by prying open a basement window. The burglar rummaged through the kitchen and stole approximately $300 in cash from a wallet and some jars containing allowance money. The police found fingerprints at the scene.
3. During the morning of March 15, someone entered the unlocked office of a business in a commercial building on Madison near 28th while the business owner was temporarily away, and stole a laptop computer. Police were not notified about the burglary until the following day and therefore did not search for fingerprints because the office had had several clients in it since the burglary.
4. Sometime during the night of March 21-22 someone used a garage door opener that was left in an unlocked car in a driveway on 26th near Mercer to gain entrance to the residence there. Once inside, the burglar took a bicycle and wet suits from the garage area, and a laptop and a wallet containing credit cards and $300 in cash from the kitchen area adjacent to the garage. The victim, who was asleep in an upstairs bedroom, was not awakened by the burglar’s activities. The police found no fingerprints at the scene, but the burglar left a bag containing clothing and shoes in the garage.
5. On March 28 police were called to an apartment building on Madison near 25th to investigate a burglary that had occurred on March 16. Someone had broken into the locked storage area of the apartment complex and stolen approximately $1800 worth of tools and surveillance equipment. The police did not search for fingerprints because of the time lapse between the burglary and when it was reported to the police.
In addition to the burglaries, there were two robberies in Madison Valley during March.
1. On March 9th at 11:30 PM a woman parked her car near 21st and Union and walked to a nearby food truck. On her way back to her car she was approached from behind by a male who placed a hard object, which she thinks was a gun, at the back of her head and told her to give him her money. The woman told the robber that she had no money, but he searched her and found $640 in one of her inside coat pockets. After taking the money the robber told the woman not to turn around and fled north on 21st. The woman did not contact the police about the robbery until March 12 and could not provide a description of her assailant.
2. On March 15 at about 10:30 AM a 76-year old women who was arriving to attend an activity session for seniors being held at the Miller Community Center was knocked to the ground by a robber who seized her purse from behind. When she got up to see her assailant she recognized him as the occupant of a lime green van that had been parked in a disability parking space that she had passed when she was walking from her car to the community center. After taking her purse, which contained a cell phone, identification and credit cards, the robber ran back to his van and drove north on 19th Ave. E. The victim described the robber as a black male, aged 20 to 25, of medium build, with short hair and dressed in black. The victim was not able to see the license place of the robber’s van.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.
Today Velmeir announced that PCC Natural Markets will be the anchor tenant in the new development where City People’s is currently located. The full press release follows.
Please note a date and time for a community meeting about the new development will be announced later this week.
Please check this site for updates or subscribe to our news feed by clicking the link at the top of this page.
If you’d like to be involved in the neighborhood please consider participating in the Community Council or Merchant’s Association. Meeting dates follow:
Madison Valley Community Council
Tuesday May 17th 7:00-9:00 PM
Tuesday June 14th 7:00-9:00 PM
Bush School Community Room
Madison Valley Merchant’s Association
Wednesday April 20th 8:30-10:00 AM
Wednesday May 18th 8:30-10:00 AM
SEATTLE – April 19, 2016 – The Velmeir Companies today announced that PCC Natural Markets (PCC) will anchor a proposed new mixed-use development in Madison Valley. PCC, the country’s largest member-owned natural foods market, will occupy 25,000 square feet in the new building. The project will include 75 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments above the grocer and an underground parking garage.
“We are delighted to bring PCC Natural Markets as well as housing options for families of all sizes to Madison Valley,” said Geza de Gall, vice president of real estate and development at The Velmeir Companies. “We heard from many in the community who shared that they would like to have a grocery store in the neighborhood.” Plans for the building include a green roof, rooftop terrace and street side plantings as well as setbacks more generous than required by code. Velmeir is also constructing a mixed-use apartment building in Queen Anne.
“There is such a passion for food in Madison Valley that can be seen in the restaurants, cafes and bakeries that thrive along Madison Street as well as the continued success of Central Co-op on Capitol Hill,” said Cate Hardy, CEO, PCC Natural Markets. “We are thrilled to join such a strong community alongside Velmeir while also bringing our fresh, organic produce, high quality meats and seafood, and exceptional customer service to shoppers in Madison Park, Madrona, Leschi and the Central District.”
PCC and Central Co-op have a long-standing relationship dating back to 1978, when the former helped the latter open for business at the top of Capitol Hill. Today, Central Co-op is a community-owned natural foods cooperative and complete grocery store dedicated to sustainable practices and the Washington food economy.
Dan Arnett, Cooperator in Chief at Central Co-op said, “Part of being a co-op is uniting with other like-minded businesses to remain competitive. PCC shares our values and, together, we can make a positive impact in shaping the food landscape in this neighborhood. We’re happy to welcome PCC to Madison Valley, and excited to form a deeper partnership in the coming months.”
The project’s location is the current East Madison site of City People’s Garden Store, which recently announced the store’s closure at the end of 2016. “We share Velmeir’s enthusiasm for PCC as the anchor tenant in this project and believe they will be a terrific asset to the neighborhood on many levels,” said Dianne Casper, Co-owner at City People’s. “And we value Velmeir’s track record of working with communities and their history of listening to local needs and concerns and adapting designs in response to feedback. Ultimately we believe this project, which brings a top-notch local retailer in PCC, increases the housing stock, and incorporates thoughtful design, will be a major asset for the Madison Valley community and a positive legacy from us.”
Velmeir plans to break ground in early 2017 and open the retail space and apartments in 2018. The building is designed by Charles Strazzara, partner at local architecture firm Studio Meng Strazzara.
ABOUT THE VELMEIR COMPANIES
The Velmeir Companies is a full-service commercial retail development company that specializes in retail and mixed-use projects. With hundreds of thousands of square feet developed across the country, The Velmeir Companies is very proud of its list of clients, which includes some of the country’s finest retail concepts. Velmeir prides itself on the partnerships it builds with its communities and neighbors, and the quality of services it provides.
ABOUT PCC NATURAL MARKETS
Founded in 1953, PCC Natural Markets is a certified organic retail cooperative with annual sales of $250 million and an active membership of more than 56,000 households. PCC is headquartered in Seattle and operates stores in the greater Seattle area, including Fremont, Greenlake Aurora, Greenlake Village, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond, Columbia City, View Ridge and West Seattle, and Edmonds. A new store in Bothell, Wash. will open in Summer 2016. For more information visit pccnaturalmarkets.com.
Madison Valley and McGilvra Elementary School are getting together on Saturday morning to clean up Madison Street. We’re asking for help from any business owners, staff, or neighbors who can spare an hour or two. We’ll be scrubbing the storefronts, removing stickers, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and doing paint touch-up.
Sign up at Sign Up Genius: http://tinyurl.com/zfbybra
We'll have some supplies on hand: garbage bags, paint, cleaning supplies, etc. Please bring: gloves, paint scrapers, and garden hand tools.
Saturday, April 30, 10 AM – 1 PM
Meet at Fast Frame at 10 AM
2840 E Madison Street
Free coffee and pastries provided by the Madison Valley Merchants Association and Community Council.
Cash donations are also welcome to help offset the cost of the cleanup. You can make a donation online at this site — just click on the Support button. Be sure to write Spring Clean in the notes ﬁeld. All contributions are appreciated!
Sign up on Sign Up Genius: http://tinyurl.com/zfbybra
If you have questions, email Lindy Wishard.
Join Mayor Ed Murray and his team to learn about and talk about what makes Seattle livable.
The Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) is hosting an open house and program at the Museum of History and Industry the evening of April 19. While entertained by local talent, attendees can discuss policies and proposals with city staff one on one and enjoy the museum. Then the Mayor and his Department Directors will provide an update of their vision and the programs they lead, with time for Q&A.
April 19th 6:30–8:30pm
Museum of History and Industry
860 Terry Ave N
Seattle WA 98109
The Madison Valley Community Council has scheduled two evening meetings to accommodate the schedules of residents wishing to participate. Important new topics include the City People’s development, the Rapid Ride study, the greenways project on 29th, and others.
Tuesday May 17th 7:00-9:00 PM
Tuesday June 14th 7:00-9:00 PM
Bush School Community Room
3400 E Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98112
If there are any questions please let me know.
Thank you, Lindy Wishard
President, Madison Valley Community Council
The Madison Valley Merchants Association has two upcoming meetings. Important new topics include the City People’s development, the Rapid Ride study, the greenways project on 29th, and any new business to be raised. All are welcome.
Wednesday May 18th 8:30 AM at Cafe Flora
Wednesday June 15th 8:30 AM at Cafe Flora
If there are any questions please let me know.
Thank you, Lindy Wishard
Like most of you, I got my yearly Valentine’s Day present: My property tax for 2016 is up 25.2 percent from last year, and I’m not too happy. To top it off, the Madison Park Community Council (MPCC) announced that it was thinking about yearly dues.
The timing of these two events was not deliberate, but in my view, enough is enough. Not everyone can afford these increased taxes on homes that they owned for years. We, the voters, will have two more chances this November to vote to increase our property taxes — namely Sound Transit’s ST3 and a levy to provide housing support for the homeless.
The current property taxing method uses the land as the determining factor in the value of the property in the eyes of King County. I know of some cases where the land is worth upward of $900,000, and the building is worth less than $20,000. It is very difficult to appeal one’s property tax today given this method.
In the past, the physical house was compared to others, and one could appeal based on comparables. The opportunity to appeal today is limited. In one case, the county claimed that I had a view, and I had them come out to show me. The view had disappeared due to trees obstructing the view.
Senior citizens and disabled people can qualify for tax relief only if their income is less than $35,000. I know of no way that anyone can live on that amount of money, especially in Madison Park and Washington Park. The Washington state Legislature determines this income level, and it has not been increased in years.
I fully understand that the increased property tax is due to the levies that we added by voting for measures such as Move Seattle. New levies may increase this amount again next year. I need to ask how long can we keep using the property tax as a funding source, especially for those on fixed income.
We had to vote for school funding since our Washington state Legislature has been unable to fulfill the state constitutional mandate to fund schools. The state Legislature is under a state Supreme Court order to fund our schools!
Seattle Mayor Murray wants to raise the housing levy to $290 million for seven years to deal with the homelessness problem in Seattle. It would cost a Seattle homeowner (with a median home value of $480,000) about $122 in taxes per year. And now the mayor is talking about additional taxes to increase the size of the police force!
ST3 is expected to be on the ballot this fall. The $20 billion plan would create light rail lines to Everett, Redmond, Kirkland, Eastgate, Federal Way, Tacoma, Ballard and West Seattle. The measure would cost households, on average, nearly $400 in yearly property, car-tab and sales-tax increases.
The property-tax issues have been a very hotly discussed topic on Nextdoor, with almost 300 responses in a short period. We have a problem when we at the local level need to take over funding for schools, transportation and homelessness from the state and federal governments. I don’t have a solution, but hopefully, you will require our elected officials to come up with a solution.
I know that the people of Seattle have rarely said no to a funding levy, but I believe that will end sooner or later since the property tax is not the solution any longer to the funding problem. We the voters should have the final say about taxing ourselves. The system needs to be equitable and fair, while taking into account those on fixed income. Taxing people out of their homes is not a funding solution.
The following is a quote from the MPCC in the March issue of the Madison Park Times: “On the funding issue, we are in contact with the surrounding community councils. It is interesting to note that the Laurelhurst Community Club (not to be confused with the Laurelhurst Beach Club) requests an annual “membership” fee from its area residents… Many households actually contribute $100 per year, and, of course, some much more. It is very much a voluntary system, but it does report an average of more than 40-percent participation. Should we institute something similar?”
It is unfortunate that this funding proposal did not include any suggestions for the monies raised, and the MPCC shouldn’t expect to get a blank check from our community. I encourage the residents of Madison Park, Washington Park, Broadmoor and Denny-Blaine (which comprise MPCC) to discuss this proposal and to suggest how these added funds will be used in our neighborhood.
There also is a question whether the business dues should be applied to home businesses, too. This funding effort at a 40-percent participation rate could raise well more than $100,000. The extra funding for road and pedestrian safety would be great, but shouldn’t this funding come from the city or state?
The residents represented by MPCC must be involved, just like the voters, and MPCC needs to be accountable and communicate just like our elected officials need to do.
Reg Newbeck is a Madison Park resident.
Arboretum neighbors and friends,
Thank you for registering for updates on the Arboretum Loop Trail. The contractor, Ohno Construction has mobilized to the site and started surveying, installing tree protection fencing and erosion control. Tree removals, earthwork and clearing will begin in April within the limits of the trail work. The Birch parking lot is closed.
We anticipate completion of the trail by December 2017. Safety for visitors, contractors, volunteers and staff is the priority during construction of the Arboretum Loop Trail. We will temporarily close or re-route some trails when work is taking place nearby.
The Arboretum will remain free and open to the public throughout construction. To get additional information or register for updates, please visit LoopTrail.seattle.gov.
Here are city planning items of interest and the Dept. of Construction & Inspections Land Use notices within the last two weeks for communities from 21st Ave east to Lake Washington and E Union St north to SR-520.
2322 E Denny Way
Land Use Application to subdivide one development site into two 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: Arterial within 100 ft., Urban Village overlay, Lowrise 2, Neighborhood Commercial 2-40′
118 27th Ave E
Land Use Application to subdivide one 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, liquefaction prone soils
111 21st Ave E
Land Use Application to allow a 4-story structure containing 75 apartment units. Storage for 57 bicycles to be provided within the structure. Existing structures to be demolished. Zone: Lowrise-3, Scenic view within 500 ft., Urban Village overlay
On April 1st I met with the new owner/developer and a representative from his public relations firm. Nat Stratton Clarke, president of the Merchants Association, and Kathryn Keller, our land-use guru, were also present for the discussion. I’m pleased to report the meeting went well. It is still early in the project cycle, however, and many details are yet to come. Following are the highlights of our meeting:
Cooperation: Everyone at the table agreed to work together to ensure the success of the project, continued improvement of the neighborhood, and the overall good of the community.
Retail: A lease has been signed for the retail space on the first floor. The announcement of the tenant is expected later this month. The new owner has confirmed it will not be a drugstore.
Timeline: It is still too early to establish a definite timeline.
Concerns: Residents and merchants have shared their concerns with me and Nat, and we discussed this list with the team.
1. Geology of the site. The site geo-tech study was complete last week, and the results will be submitted to the Dept. of Planning and Development as part of the permitting process. It is likely that the city will approve development of the site as additional shoring and foundation work will provide the necessary stability for the building and hillside.
2. Construction period. We explained the problems we had with construction worker parking, lane closing, and reduced street parking on Madison St. during the storm water and Madison Lofts projects. Unlike those previous projects, most of the construction staging this time will happen on the site itself, not on the street, and the owner pledged to do his best to keep those problems to a minimum. We agreed to put in place a communication plan to address those issues as the work goes forward.
3. Size of the building. The neighborhood is zoned for a building 40′ tall. Drawings illustrating the mass of the building will be available in the coming months.
4. Design of the building. The city requires a review process to ensure that the scale, design, and materials will be in keeping with the land use code and zoning rules. As part of the design review the community can provide feedback to the review board, which is able to veto anything truly objectionable. More information about the design review process can be read on their site.
Nat and I will continue to be in close contact with all parties through this process, and will keep everyone up to date as the project evolves. Please check madisonvalley.org for updates or subscribe to our news articles via email.
Lindy Wishard is the president of the Madison Valley Community Council.