20th Ave townhouse project set to rise where six-story development plan was nixed

With plans for a much bigger apartment building falling through, a development to create a set of townhouses on 20th Ave just off E Madison will take its first run through the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

Wednesday’s session will cover two neighboring development projects from the same developer and architects as the board will handle both sets of rowhouses destined to rise in the 1700 block of 20th Ave with one review:

Design Review: 1711 20th Ave

Continue reading

Partnership puts Capitol Hill community center space to work as new Miller Annex Preschool

(Image: Michelle MacKinnon/CHS)

With funds and guidelines for raising early education competency and readiness for Seattle kids in-hand, the Seattle Preschool Program and Department of Education and Early Learning have teamed up with Seattle Parks to renovate a portion of the Miller Community Center and contract a high-quality provider to operate a preschool inside.

City representatives and Launch preschool officials welcomed a small handful of parents with their soon to be preschoolers on Tuesday for a short ribbon-cutting ceremony at Miller Annex Preschool. Launch, a Seattle nonprofit provider of before and after school programs, won the two-year proposal bid for the space in 2017. Continue reading

Police: Man who made threats at Capitol Hill middle school ‘in crisis’

Police say the man tracked down last week after threats at a Capitol Hill middle school made references to a school shooting but appears to be suffering a mental crisis and was not found with any firearms when he was arrested.

Police say he had also been released from custody just hours before the threats after being evaluated by medical staff who cleared the 26-year-old for release despite his “violent thoughts including homicidal and suicidal ideations.”

According to court documents, Leonardo Rivera has been held in King County Jail on $150,000 bail after being booked for investigation of felony harassment last week. He has not yet been charged in the incident. Continue reading

After yet another mass shooting, lessons from the ‘Capitol Hill Massacre’

March marks 12 years since the mass shooting in which six people were gunned down inside a house at 22nd and Republican.

The so-called Capitol Hill Massacre sometimes gets left out the sad cavalcade of past shootings that accompany any new tragedy. Young people were wiped out by an angry loner but they weren’t at a school. Many people were killed by a stranger but they weren’t in a public place.

With Seattle students and supporters planning walkouts and marches following the Parkland shooting, a friend of some of those who died at 22nd and Republican in 2006 has posted about how it feels for survivors and loved ones of mass shooting victims to see the tragedies continue to unfold and what should be done to help end this violence — “I know *exactly* what the people impacted go through every time there is a mass shooting,” TProphet writes. The full thread is below:

Continue reading

Teen struck by driver near Capitol Hill’s Meany Middle School

A teenager walking to school was hospitalized Monday morning after she was struck by a driver at 19th and Thomas.

Seattle Police and Seattle Fire responded to the collision just after 8 AM at the busy intersection near the newly reopened Meany Middle School. A woman sat in a white four-door sedan facing east in the eastbound lane of E Thomas as police gathered evidence at the scene. We’re waiting for an update from SPD for more on the investigation. UPDATE 2/27/18 10:30 AM: SPD tells us the official reports on the crash — as usual with collision reporting managed by the state — are not yet available but that it does not appear that the driver was impaired. There are also some good signs for the victim’s condition — police were able to clear the scene and wrap up the investigation quickly indicating her injuries were not serious.

Seattle Fire said the girl who was struck was transported to Harborview in stable condition.

The intersection remained open during the investigation but traffic was backed up in the area during the school drop-off rush hour.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Miller Park YAY-bors

From Miller Park YAY-bors

Recently, a group of our Miller Park neighbors–dubbing themselves the “Madison-Miller Park Community” joined with other groups in filing an appeal of the City of Seattle’s implementation of the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) Final Environmental Impact Statement. (FEIS). These groups hope to slow down or stop the implementation of the pending Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program that would build new affordable homes for our neighbors who ​desperately​ need them.

Like many Miller Park residents, we were disappointed in our naysaying neighbors. In response, we have formed a different local group, the Miller Park YAY-bors.

Over the last few years, we had all heard about the City’s proposed plan to make housing affordability mandatory. The program works by coupling needed growth with necessary affordability, tying slight one-to-two story upzones with affordable housing mandates on new development. The specific upzone in our neighborhood, immediately adjacent to Miller Park’s bustling mixed-use commercial strip, will create more than 1500 new homes in our community out of nearly 95,000 citywide, including 11,000 affordable homes citywide, so that more people can live in Seattle. Continue reading

75 feet up and down Broadway — Seattle ‘Preferred Alternative Zoning’ plan released

With reporting by Kelsey Hamlin

With Mayor Tim Burgess’s noon press event in a Capitol Hill park to kick off the next phase in the process, officials have released the first look at the “Preferred Alternative Zoning” proposal at the core of Mandatory Housing Affordability, citywide changes intended to help create some 6,000 units of “rent restricted homes” across Seattle by connecting affordability mandates to upzoning parts of around 6% of the city.

“Today we continue our push to address Seattle’s housing affordability crisis,” said Burgess in the city’s announcement (in full at the bottom of this post. “With this plan, we will extend our requirement that new developments contribute to Seattle’s affordable housing supply. We’ve already implemented this requirement in the University District, downtown, and elsewhere. Now it’s time to bring this requirement to other high-opportunity neighborhoods so that we can hasten our progress in building a more inclusive and equitable city.”

“The MHA is not just about affordable housing,” said Seattle City Council member Rob Johnson. “It’s about the terms of those units.”

The City Council will consider the proposal and hold public hearings before the plan is finalized. New affordable housing units created under the plan must maintain their rates for 75 years.

“It’s a very long piece of legislation,” Johnson said. “Each of these individual neighborhoods requires some TLC [Tender, Love, and Care].”

You can view the newly released map here and navigate to specific addresses. Hashed areas indicate proposed zoning changes. The proposal comes after months of public feedback after the framework for MHA was first set last fall.

Additional public feedback is expected to run over the first six months of 2018. Johnson predicted legislation for these changes wouldn’t actually happen until July or August 2018.

The proposal released Thursday morning includes transitioning Broadway from around Cal Anderson Park all the way north to beyond Roy to 75-foot height limits and “neighborhood commercial” zoning that would allow seven-story buildings with commercial use throughout. Some of the bigger changes would also come around the Miller Community Center where planners are now proposing a less aggressive upzone than one potential alternative had originally proposed. Moving toward the Central District, most proposed changes are focused on the area around Madison and 23rd with notable exceptions around 23rd and Union and 23rd and Jackson where surgical upzoning has already been approved.

Under the MHA framework, affordability requirements chained to the upzoning vary by “scale” and developers can choose to pay fees instead of including the rent-restricted units — Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s turn for upzoning: HALA process to begin next month

Earlier this month, Mayor Tim Burgess signed off on the Uptown neighborhood’s rezoning but that was only one part of a 30-year plan. Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA), which sits under the larger Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) program, puts Capitol Hill and Central District up next in the Seattle City Council process.

The mayor’s office will hand Capitol Hill, Madison, Ballard, and the Central District over to City Hall next month for the start of the rezoning process. This is when the Council will work out the upzoning details and timeline. The majority of zoning slated for Capitol Hill will change to Low Rise 3 and Neighborhood Commercial 3 and 2 zones (or NC3 and NC2, at 75 feet or 55 feet height maximum). They mostly permit one more story. These categories have square footage limits codified in them as well.

The City Council will likely vote on Capitol Hill zoning changes in 2018, but Jesseca Brand with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods said we’ll see housing built under the framework before 2021. Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Dad’s dedication and a new generation — 30+ years of El Gallito

Elizabeth Lopez didn’t have to think long about what’s kept El Gallito open for so long.

“My dad’s dedication,” she said.

That dedication has kept the restaurant open since the early 1980s. Refugio Lopez was born in Mexico, but spent most of his life in the United States, living in Texas and Chicago before coming to Seattle in 1978. Lopez thinks it was 1983 or 84, when he opened El Gallito (Spanish for the little rooster). Refugio retired 13 years ago.

He brought the recipes with him from Mexico, Lopez said, and most of them, including classics like the enchilada sauce, haven’t changed since the day the place opened.

Like many small business owners, he involved his children, and Elizabeth and her brother, Ole, have worked at El Gallito since they were in high school. She grew up in the neighborhood, and her mother still lives on Capitol Hill, though Elizabeth has moved to Leschi and her brother to Madison Valley. Lopez said that as she’s gotten older, she’s grown to appreciate the business more, particularly how it can be good to be the boss, and make her own hours.

“We grew up, pretty much, in the restaurant,” she said. “I enjoy it more as an adult than I did as a kid.” Continue reading

After a 21-month road diet, first phase of 23rd Ave work complete

DSC00851The new, post road-diet 23rd Ave is now open.

The Seattle Department of Transportation began construction on the first phase of the three-phase project in June 2015, closing the road to northbound traffic between Jackson and John streets.

The newly designed road has gone from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with a center turn lane. It’s also been widened near bus stops, to allow cars to get past buses as they load and unload passengers. Continue reading