Hey Pike/Pine, any advice for expanding ‘Conservation Districts’ to the rest of Seattle?

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Before his impending retirement from the Seattle City Council, Tom Rasmussen is leading an effort to extend one of his signature pieces of legislation to the rest of Seattle.

We figured that those of you who have lived and loved among the preservation-minded development projects of Pike/Pine might want to give your neighbors across Seattle a little help in sorting out the proposed Neighborhood Conservation District program. Here’s how the new proposal is being positioned:

The purpose of a NCD program is to help neighborhoods keep their unique physical attributes through design guidelines and review.  Under the proposed program the City’s Department of Neighborhoods would review requests of neighborhoods to become a Neighborhood Conservation District and would manage a Neighborhood Conservation District Board which would review development proposals to ensure that they are consistent with the distinctive physical character of a neighborhood.

CHS reported last year on the fourth phase of updates to the Pike/Pine Conservation District that provides height incentives to developers that agree to preserve the street-level facade and basic dimensions of historic neighborhood buildings integrated into new, mixed-use developments. In December of 2011, the third phase of creating a preservation district in Pike/Pine was completed as the City Council approved a transfer of development rights program for the neighborhood. The first phase in creating the Conservation District moved into place way back in June 2009 creating incentives for developers to integrate historical and character building components into their designs. CHS also covered the Council’s Phase Two update to the rule set in summer 2010 here. The program preserves a look and feel of the old buildings but does not require the preservation of the entire structure or its uses.

The Sunset Electric building, the first project completed under the Pike/Pine Conservation District auspices, stands at 11th and Pine. More are under construction and more are planned.

The announcement for the new proposal and a schedule for the three community feedback sessions is below.

Councilmember Rasmussen to Host Neighborhood Character Preservation Meetings, Hear Community Feedback

 

Seattle Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is holding a series of public meetings to gather community input about a proposal to establish a Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) program in Seattle.  This would be a voluntary program through which residents have a voice in the design of proposed developments.

The purpose of a NCD program is to help neighborhoods keep their unique physical attributes through design guidelines and review.  Under the proposed program the City’s Department of Neighborhoods would review requests of neighborhoods to become a Neighborhood Conservation District and would manage a Neighborhood Conservation District Board which would review development proposals to ensure that they are consistent with the distinctive physical character of a neighborhood.

 

Qualifying neighborhoods would have strong design characteristics that the community would like to see preserved, but may not be eligible or appropriate for historic district status.

Neighbors are invited to attend to learn more and share their perspective. 

WHAT:
Community meetings regarding Neighborhood Conservation Districts

WHEN / WHERE:

·         March 23, 6:00 p.m., Georgetown Campus, South Seattle Community College, 6737 Corson Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

·         April 7, 6:00 p.m., High Point Center, 6920 34th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126

·         April 8, 6:00 p.m. Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 

WHO:
Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

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12 thoughts on “Hey Pike/Pine, any advice for expanding ‘Conservation Districts’ to the rest of Seattle?

  1. Pike Motorworks is an example of how this incentive to preserve and build up has failed. The development is completely out of scale with the facade it is preserving and indeed with the Capitol Hill neighborhood. How did this one get approved? “Massive,” as the description calls it, is apt.

    • Yes completely out of scale. Oh wait there’s already taller buildings in the neighborhood. The first hill high rise district like 3 blocks away and the downtiwn highrise district like 8 blocks away. Anyways, it’s completely out of scale, where’s the back yard for the kids?

  2. My suggestion would be to prohibit certain building material — corrugated metal is an example. Many cities in Europe require the exterior of new buildings to be made of specific material. The aim of such requirements is to continue the visual cohesiveness of a neighborhood or community. If a developer complains using all brick is too expensive, I’d say BS. The NoLo is Pioneer Square is a great example of a brand-new 8-story brick building that really fits well into the character of Seattle’s oldest neighborhood.

  3. Can anyone explain how developers were allowed to paint the Davis/Hoffman building white? That looks atrocious, and if the incentive allows them to preserve the facade of the old building, how can they be allowed to alter it by painting it white??

  4. Pingback: Maryland firm makes $89 million Capitol Hill buy-in with Sunset Electric and REO Flats | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle