Capitol Hill Community Post | An open letter to PCC

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 5.04.42 PMFrom Save Madison Valley

Cate Hardy, CEO

Carol Binder, Tania DePue, Michael Hutchings, Julianne Lamsek, Maggie Lucas, Elin Smith, Alice Cho Snyder, Sandy Volt, Bruce Williams, Board of Trustees

An open letter to PCC

We look forward to welcoming you to the Madison Valley community.

Most of us in the greater community appreciate that we can shop at PCC and know we will get food that has been produced in a manner that supports sustainable agriculture, local farmers, fair labor standards, and practices environmental stewardship. These values, and a commitment to building community, are in your mission statement and are a part of your reputation. As a co-operative, PCC is known for putting community before profit.

We want to tell you about the building that is presently being proposed to house your new store in Madison Valley.

  • the height, bulk and scale of the building dramatically overwhelms the site (a mid-block triangle on a steep slope, two sides abutting single-family homes)
  • a mature urban tree canopy and green space will be removed
  • a two-story parking garage will be exposed on one-side, sending fumes, light, and noise onto single-family homes 23 feet away
  • a large blank wall will stand 15 feet from single-family homes on one and one-half sides
  • a hillside will be removed and replaced by a garage
  • on the side facing the Valley this 4-story building will actually measure 6 stories
  • a 158-car garage will open onto Madison Street, which is two lanes at that point and heavily congested at peak traffic times already
  • no affordable housing is being offered
  • no family housing is included (predominantly studio, and 1-bedroom apartments)

This building is misplaced because of its scale and scope, its impact on the area, and it is disrespectful of the community. It works only in so far as an attempt is being made to squeeze every possible dollar out of the property on the backs of the surrounding neighbors and the larger Madison Valley community.

This does not sound like the kind of project that PCC would choose to be associated with. You are now in the position where you appear to be supporting (even driving) the building of an “anti-green” building that the vast majority of the community thinks will change the character of the neighborhood in significant and negative ways – all outlined above.

We understand that you are not in charge of this project. However, sketches, flyers, and banners have announced the coming of “the PCC building.” This project and PCC are becoming synonymous. In the eyes of the greater community this project is about bringing PCC to Madison Valley.

We would ask that you exercise your voice and considerable power to help make this project one that PCC can be proud of. Just as you have established the need for PCC to have a larger sidewalk in front of the entrance, or large windows to bring light into your store, we hope you will see the benefit to advocating for a more responsible building that is in line with the values that you as a cooperative have until now demonstrated in your business.

Specifically, we would like to see:

*a smaller grocery, 10-15,000 square feet, in the space (something between your smallest stores, such as View Ridge, and your larger, suburban supermarkets, such as in Issaquah or Redmond)

*the minimal number of parking spaces allotted

*affordable housing for families (e.g., 3-bedroom units), which would also minimize the impact of cars on the already over-burdened Madison Street

*the green space and tree canopy preserved and the natural topography respected

Finally, we would like to extend an open invitation to any and all members of the Board and to the CEO to please come and view this site. We would welcome a chance to show you around and walk with you. It is a lovely part of Madison Valley and we would like to help you become an integral part of this thriving community.


Save Madison Valley

Capitol Hill Community Post | Submit your a-MAZE-ing mural design for the Summit Ave E Pavement to Parks project

From City of Seattle Department of Transportation

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is planning a Pavement to Parks project for Summit Ave E between E Denny Way and E Olive Way on Capitol Hill. This project would use low-cost, temporary, and adaptable materials to test ideas for a new public space on the small, cut-through block.

Based on feedback from businesses and community members in the neighborhood, there is strong interest in painting a maze mural on the surface of the closed street. This is where you come in!

SDOT is looking for creative ideas for what this mural could look like and how the space could be transformed into an a-MAZE-ing public space. If you’re an artist or have a design idea for this mural (any type of maze is acceptable!), use the attached template to sketch up your idea and send it by Friday, July 8.

During the Capitol Hill Art Walk on July 14th, we’ll be holding a community event on the block and asking people to vote on their favorite designs. SDOT will then paint the winning sketch in space when the project is installed this summer!

Need a little inspiration? Check out our own idea for “Pac-Man Plaza”:Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.20.28 AM

If you have any questions or would like more information about the project, visit or email


With the roar of Dykes on Bikes, love trumps hate at Broadway and John

DykeMarch2016- - 4
Saturday night’s Seattle Dyke March was the 22nd edition of the event — the march invited some new, well-known guests just in time.

For the first time, Dykes on Bikes, the “motorcycle honor guard responsible for claiming and holding space for dykes in the streets,” led the march. “We’ve heard for years that people want the Dykes on Bikes to lead the Dyke March,” organizer Whitney Fraser said. “The Dykes on Bikes really embody the energy and the excitement of our event, and command respect and attention in a way that no one else can.”

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6 ways to make Capitol Hill Station even better

Capitol Hill Station has served thousands and thousands of riders extremely well — but Monday night’s pepper spray closure and disruption of service at the peak of the evening commute was an example that there are still some improvements the station and the Sound Transit light rail system can make to be even better.

While we wait for Thursday’s release of the “final” plan for the proposed ST3 next phase of expansion and read about some of the big solutions the plan could bring to the region, here are some of the smaller issues we’ve heard about around Capitol Hill Station.

  • (Image: @mmitgang via Twitter)

    (Image: @mmitgang via Twitter)

    Platform communications: Somebody discharged pepper spray inside the station Monday and the result was a minor form of chaos. The station was cleared of people so the spray could be dissipated and trains were routed to skip Broadway and head straight to UW or downtown. But riders inside the station report that audio messages about the situation were not informative and hard to hear. The emergency announcement was also reportedly only broadcast in English and riders said there were nothing that would have helped inform passengers who were deaf or hard of hearing about what was happening.

    The investigation into how the pepper spray was released has closed and appears to have been related to a dispute between a woman and a man inside the station. Surveillance video showed an incident in the south stairwell near Cal Anderson that apparently included a cloud of pepper spray. Sound Transit is also aware of the communication issues and a spokesperson said they are talking about how to improve:
    As for the customer communications, we could have done a better job – especially with announcements on the platforms. Our folks tell me that PA announcements were made, but they could have been better. This isn’t a regular occurrence (thank goodness), so the focus at the time was on the operations side and venting the station. We’ve been debriefing about it and looking at where the communications needs improvement.
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Design reviews: 30 stories on First Hill, 6 off E Madison

Destined to rise above First Hill at 800 Columbia

Destined to rise above First Hill at 800 Columbia

Fans of skyscrapers will enjoy one part of the design reviews slated to come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night. They might scoff at the other.

A 30-story residential tower destined for 8th and Columbia on First Hill will finish the night Wednesday but not before the board — and some concerned neighbors — have their say on a proposed project at 20th and Madison that is seeking a, gasp, contract rezone from the area’s 40-foot limit to a whopping 65 feet… hey, skyscraper folks, stop giggling. Continue reading

Mandatory Housing Affordability in Seattle? Sign us up

From the Mandatory Housing Affordability presentation planned to be part of Tuesday's committee meeting

From the Mandatory Housing Affordability presentation planned to be part of Tuesday’s committee meeting

Seattle affordable housing proponents — there seem to be more and more even if Capitol Hill rents aren’t exactly dropping — say legislation coming before the City Council’s planning committee starting Tuesday morning could be the key to unlocking the lion’s share of the 20,000 units of affordable housing Mayor Ed Murray has called for.

Mandatory Housing Affordability — part of Seattle’s “Grand Bargain” — will link the creation of affordable housing with market-rate development by requiring all new multifamily buildings to make 5-8% of their units affordable to those making 60% of the area median income — or require developers to pay into an affordable housing fund.

Here is the call to arms from Brock Howell of Seattle for Everyone:

If passed, MHA would unlock 6,100 much needed affordable homes across Seattle – that’s fully 30% of the 20,000 affordable homes that Mayor Murray plans to build in the next 10 years through HALA and the Housing Levy. MHA leverages development of new, market-rate housing to fuel affordable homes – it’s the HALA model writ large, and it’s an incredible opportunity for the city to put roofs over the heads of more people who need them.

Howell and others are hoping the turnout at City Hall Tuesday morning is strong. If you aren’t planning to be in City Council chambers, the easier way to participate is to email the committee’s chair, Rob Johnson, at

Tuesday’s committee discussion and public hearing will build on the resolution passed last fall as the Council members consider the legislation to update the Seattle Municipal Code. Rezoning and upzones in certain key areas like 23rd and Union are also part of the proposal: Continue reading

Have your say on Seattle U 12th and Madison development plans including 10-story dorm

"View West on Madison"

“View West on Madison”

As a “major institution,” Seattle University has to go about building things a little differently. Monday night brings what could be the last chance for the public to weigh in on the school’s plans for a new 10-story dorm and office building on E Madison and a transformation of the ground floor of the storage facility at 12th and Madison into the new home of the Seattle U campus book store.

Not subject to the design reviews typical of big development around Seattle, the school is, however, subject to an advisory committee’s approval of its plans. The Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council is encouraging people interested in the Seattle U project to attend Monday, June 20th’s meeting of the Seattle University Standing Advisory Committee:

Monday, June 20th, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, Stuart T Rolfe Room, Ground Floor to the left of the Main Entry

UPDATE: New Location —  1000 E James Way – Student Center conference room 210 **The Student Center is located on the Seattle University campus, where 11th Ave and E James Way would intersect**

This group advises the City of Seattle and Seattle University on issues related to the design and construction of new buildings and other projects proposed under the City-adopted Seattle University Master Plan.

“SU is proposing a major redevelopment of the site they own at the southwest corner of 12th and Madison,” the PPUNC announcement reads. “Scope includes the Public Storage Urban Self Storage Building as well as the parking lot immediately to its west. This type of project will not go through Design Review, so this is your chance to opine.” Continue reading

This week in CHS history | ‘Dance party’ protest, rainbow crosswalks unveiled, Lookout

8445357035_510ab2ccb5_oHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

Orlando vigil

Orlando vigil

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 31,000 photographs -— most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line –- our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea.

Capitol Hill crosswalk gets a touch-up for Pride

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