News of Madison Valley

Notes and Public Comments from the Architect’s Presentation


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 protected] (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

  • Questions about zoning and not having to go as high as code allows for size/space/etc. 
  • Questions about brick façade – earthquake proof?
  • Drainage questions and not adding any cars at all?
  • Transit Reduction can be up to .5 – they can apply for this in this area. 

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:

  • Affordable Housing +3
  • Manage construction to minimize traffic impacts +6
  • Aesthetics - quality of materials and outdoor spaces - enhanced Dewey side buffering +4
  • Noise of large building concerns - refrigeration noise - acoustic studies with greenbelt loss +3

Save Madison Valley Spoke:

  • Community of neighbors committed to the livability, safety, and vibrancy of the Madison Valley neighborhood.
  • Non-Profit Org.
  • 563+ members on Facebook.
  • Launched
  • Hired Land-Use attorney.
  • Partnership with Peter Steinbrueck.
  • Direct engagement with Architect & Developer.
  • Built connections with other groups in the city.
  • Concerned with size of the project.
  • SMV will host meeting in mid-June.
  • Organize for Design review meeting on 7/27


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.


Topics: Community Council, Construction
Anonymous (9:18 am May 19)
Traffic after construction and its long term impact on Madison St. and residential side streets was also a popular concern, especially if the parking garage will allow drivers to turn left on Madison.
Ed Clark (8:47 am May 19)
As my neighbor Danielle rightly notes, we need a 'long term, big picture perspective' to help protect our neighborhood. The Seattle 2035 Plan stipulates that Madison Valley will remain a single family residence area and that Madison from MLK to Lake WA Blvd is not part of an Urban Hub or Center. Nevertheless, the architect who spoke Tues evening articulated his vision for the to be built building as have lights on 24/7 and creating an urban atmosphere. This vision is at odds with the Seattle 2035 Plan, and therefore, in my view needs to be significantly modified. The PCC is a 'Trojan Horse' that could distract people from the real issue, Urban Hub Creep, that is against the 2035 plan. I would not mind a scaled down building with a smaller PCC that fits into our neighborhood. Thank you all for creating the start of the dialogue.
Danielle Sigrist (7:59 am May 19)
I am a resident in Madison Valley and am so grateful for all of this information. I appreciate everyone's efforts to protect the character and nature of this neighborhood, as so many neighborhoods are being drastically and permanently changed by the current building boom. We need a long term, big picture perspective. I understand this type of development is financially attractive but it forever changes a neighborhood and thorough study must be done to find a viable solution for all parties concerned, from the exterior material and design, to the volume of people using it. Special efforts must address direct neighbors and the houses below this development (I am not one of those houses). I hope everyone stays engaged and does not let the developer control what we will have to live with long after they are gone.
S. Cross (7:23 am May 19)
Thank you Lindy for this informative write up - you are always doing so much for the neighborhood and I don't think you are recognized enough. My neighbors and I who live in Madison Valley are very excited about the prospect of a PCC coming to the neighborhood! Thank you for keeping us all informed!