230 Broadway design review update: Board asks for another meeting

In our coverage of last week’s design review for the 230 Broadway project, we noted that the Capitol Hill design review board could take up to two weeks to provide their recommendations and pass the project back to SRM Development. Or, the board could decide to talk more about the plan.

Turns out, according to Department of Planning and Development’s Lisa Rutzick, the Hill’s design review board isn’t done with 230 Broadway. After last week’s deliberations, the board has requested another review session for the project, Rutzick said.

Here’s what we wrote about the board’s feedback during the review session:

As for the review board, members (roster here) focused questions and discussion mostly on specific issues like the building’s service entry and its impact on neighborhood noise and access issues. Another issues discussed by the board was a desire for more visual connections to the courtyard. The board also praised the building’s “modulation and symmetry,” especially on the 10th Ave side of the structure — though one board member did admit the design reminded him of a building in South Lake Union.

So, don’t get your hopes up, we’re probably not talking about a massive revision of the design getting so heavily criticized in CHS comments.

We also passed some feedback onto Rutzick from an e-mail we received about the Design Review Board sessions:

It is frustrating to me that the way it is set up is that while the DRB can ask questions, clarifications, comments, the public can only make comments (no questions) to the DRB and there is no dialogue between Developer/Architect and the public. They say it is in the interest of time.

Rutzick told us she would pass the feedback along to Bruce Rips, Design Review Manager but did offer this explanation for the set-up:

Generally, time is very constrained, so that is definitely a factor. Also, we really want people to comment on the project, what has been presented and what they would like to see in their neighborhood, so the focus of the public comment portion of the meeting is really for the Board to hear the public comments not for a dialogue to occur between the applicant and the public. After the Board deliberations are completed, the public always has the opportunity to ask the applicants questions that were not addressed during the meeting.

Waiting around for the end of deliberations after the hours-long review sessions, though, is an act of championship community engagement.

By the way, we’re working on an article about whether there are any large-scale designs of this type that Capitol Hill can ever find it in its heart to love. As commenter Paul recently asked, “Other than 1111 East Pine what buildings of this massing (235 units, 4-7 floors) do people actually like?”

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2 thoughts on “230 Broadway design review update: Board asks for another meeting

  1. However I doubt they will. Do we really need another “box” on Broadway? Is the point to create a scaled down version of downtown on top of cap hill? If so, its working. Who is on the design review board, because they really should be fired. There is no “design” to review. It’s yet another box on the hill, no design there to speak of. Where is there any original thought? I mean this is a building that will be around for at least 30 yrs. Cant they look at Fremont or other areas in the city where the design is unique and plays to the needs of the neighborhood? I agree Broadway needs some cleaning up, however I don’t think this is the direction we should be heading. Design board, you are failing us….

  2. I agree…yet another box. And what about a set-back for outdoor eating, more green (trees and plants at sidewalk) and BIKE RACKS!!!