North Capitol Hill neighbors appeal Holy Names underground parking decision

Homeowners near Capitol Hill’s Holy Names Academy have filed an appeal to halt approval of a planned 237-car underground parking garage below a new, two-story gymnasium on the school’s 21st Ave E campus on environmental grounds.

The appeal based in State Environmental Policy Act requirements follows last month’s decision by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections allowing the project to move forward. Continue reading

City says Capitol Hill high school’s underground parking garage project can move forward

Capitol Hill private high school Holy Names can move ahead with its plans for a, 237-car underground parking garage below a new, two-story gymnasium, and a new 32-space surface parking lot on the northern edge of its E Aloha at 21st Ave E campus after a city finding that the projects are within bounds of state environmental law.

The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections issued the determination of “non-significance” late last month. Any appeal of the decision must be filed by Thursday.

In a statement on the decision, Liz Swift, head of school, did not announce a start date for construction but said the work would take 16 to 18 months to complete. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Holy Names hopes changes to underground parking plan help move project forward

A rendering of the new gym planned to sit atop the controversial underground parking at Holy Names

Some neighbors continue to oppose the project but Holy Names Academy is hoping changes to its plan for a new five-level underground parking garage and a new surface parking lot on its North Capitol Hill campus will help move the project forward with city planners.

In a letter sent to neighbors of the private, all-girls high school, the academy announced it was eliminating plans for an entrance to the underground garage on 21st Ave, a city greenway route, and moving the planned new gym and garage “slightly to the east” to preserve more of the existing lawn and green space. CHS first reported on the proposal here in January.

“One of the issues raised about our proposed Project concerned the compatibility of the Greenway on 21st Avenue with a Garage entrance/exit on that street,” head of school Liz Swift tells CHS about the latest changes. Continue reading

Police search for suspect after car reportedly stolen on Capitol Hill with teen girl inside

(Images provided by SPD)UPDATE: SPD says they have taken the suspect into custody:

South Precinct Anti-Crime Team officers, with the assistance of the Department of Corrections, identified and arrested a 37-year-old man in connection with the auto theft reported Friday morning. Officers found the suspect at a South Seattle residence and took him into custody without incident.

Original report: Seattle Police are asking for help identifying a man who allegedly stole a BMW left running with a teenage girl inside on Capitol Hill Friday morning.

The suspect reportedly dumped off the teen at an International District park after a frantic ride across the city as the girl texted her mother about the unfolding situation and police attempted to track the vehicle.

He then left the BMW sedan running in a S Maynard parking lotw here he was caught on security camera leaving the area on foot.

The suspect is described as a white male, between 25-35 years old, 5’8″ tall, medium build, wearing a dark colored sweatshirt, blue Seattle Mariner’s cap, and grey sweatpants and black tennis shoes.

Continue reading

Victim warns of North Capitol Hill groper

Police investigated Wednesday night after a woman reported she was assaulted and groped on 15th Ave E in North Capitol Hill.

In addition to reporting the attack to SPD, the victim reached out to CHS to make sure others in the area are aware of the assault.

“I reported this to the police but not much could be done,” she writes. “I’m just hoping to make the community aware as this is a spot I typically feel safe and it was in daylight on a busy street.”

The Capitol Hill resident tells CHS she was walking on 15th Ave E where it slopes down to become E Boston St when she was grabbed. “About midway down the Boston hill a man ran up behind me and grabbed my behind really hard,” the victim writes. “Before I could realize what happened, he was sprinting back up the hill.”

She reported the assault to police but there were no immediate arrests. The suspect is described as an unknown race male around 5’7″ or 5’8″, with a stocky build, and wearing jeans and a black hoodie with the hood pulled up at the time of the Wednesday night assault.

If you have information about the incident or can help identify the suspect, call 911.

CHS Pics | At a Capitol Hill church, new green cisterns resurrect the rain


With the story of Christ’s resurrection and all that jazz, Easter, we suppose, is a story of recycling. Capitol Hill’s Prospect Congregational United Church of Christ is now ready for the Seattle rain it captures to rise again.

“The members of Prospect United Church of Christ are excited to have these two cisterns as tangible evidence of our willingness to walk the talk about caring for our environment,” church pastor, Meighan Pritchard said in the announcement of two new cisterns installed under the county and city’s joint RainWise rebate program at the 94-year-old church at the corner of 20th Ave E and E Prospect.
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A look at public comment on the Holy Names parking project — UPDATE: Extended

As you can see in the comments on this CHS Community Post in opposition to the project, there is a solid split on the proposal to build a five-level parking garage beneath North Capitol Hill’s Holy Names Academy and a new surface parking lot to the girls private high school’s north. As we reported in January, supporters and families at the school say that street parking in the neighborhood is overwhelmed. Those in opposition — mostly neighbors of the 110-year-old campus — say the massive project is not necessary, decry the loss of the school’s north lawn, and say the permitting should not proceed without further environmental review.

Land Use Application to allow a new 2-story gymnasium with below grade parking for 246 vehicles (Holy Names Academy). An additional 32 parking spaces to be provided in a new surface parking lot, 12 existing spaces to be removed for a total of 307 parking spaces. Review includes partial demolition of existing gymnasium.

With public comment on the key Master Use portion of the process to permit the construction project slated to end today, Wednesday, February 28th, here is a look at some of the comments submitted on both sides of the proposal. UPDATE 2:57 PM: The city tells us the comment period has, indeed, been extended to March 14th.

Of the 67 public comments submitted, supporters who support the project moving out without a costly environmental review outweigh those in opposition by around seven to three. Many in support have students among the 700 young women who attend the academy. Most in opposition live nearby. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Holy Names hopes to rise above neighborhood parking problems with underground garage

Capitol Hill’s Holy Names, reportedly Washington’s oldest continually operating school, has a modern problem: parking. Officials from the all-girl, private Catholic high school will meet with neighbors Tuesday night to discuss its plans to demolish and rebuild the 21st Ave E’s campus’s gymnasium with a new gym built on top of levels of underground parking for around 240 vehicles.

“As you well know, parking has increasingly become more difficult in the neighborhood due to increased housing density, new businesses, and people parking for other reasons,” head of school and principal Liz Swift writes in a letter sent to neighbors earlier this month informing them of the project and community meetings to collect feedback. Continue reading

Two to hospital after Harvard Ave I-5 onramp head-on

Two people were taken to Harborview with serious injuries Tuesday morning after a vehicle collided with another head-on near the northbound I-5 onramp from Harvard Ave E.

Seattle Fire and police responded to the crash just before 10:30 AM in the 2700 block of Harvard Ave E just below Roanoke where northbound vehicular traffic must cross two lanes of southbound traffic to enter the freeway.

Seattle Fire reports that both drivers were in stable condition after being rescued from their vehicles and rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Animal control was also called to the scene to assist with a dog in one of the crashed vehicles.

The area was closed to traffic during the response. Metro 49 was rerouted during the crash but back on regular service as of noon. Continue reading

North Capitol Hill crew moves back in after Fire Station 22 expansion

(Image: SFD)

Moving day (Image: SFD)

The firefighters of  E Roanoke’s Station 22 are back home this week after a nearly two-year construction project to expand and overhaul the facility.

Crews have been working from a temporary station setup in Eastlake during the demolition and construction project that began in early 2016. Construction had been planned to be wrapped up in summer. The project is part of a 2003 levy vote to fund construction at 32 fire stations around the city, and construct a handful of other facilities. At the time of the vote, construction was anticipated to start in 2007 but the project was delayed for the state’s Route 520 project. At the time of the levy, the anticipated budget for a new Station 22 was $4.8 million. Cost estimates ballooned to $11.7 million. Some of the rise can be attributed to changes in the construction environment from 13 years ago, officials said, including changes to building codes, prevailing wage increases, and inflation. The $11.7 million total price tag also included around $2 million in contingency budget — we’re checking to find out where the final total came in. UPDATE: A department spokesperson tells CHS the final planned budget was $13.352 million but a final official cost isn’t known.

The new station has more than doubled the space of the original, expanding the 1964-built structure from about 4,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. The new, two-story station has a concrete hose tower, and a brick and glass façade and is designed to be eco-friendly, with a LEED gold certification, including solar panels, an underground stormwater cistern which will provide 100% of the station’s non-drinking water needs, permeable pavers in public areas, and a host of other sustainable features.

The station has been home to a single engine, an officer and three firefighters on duty at any given time, with a total staff of 16 firefighters assigned to the station working in four shifts. SFD says that mix won’t change. The fire house is headquarters for Engine 22 and SFD’s Communications and Command Van.

A community party to celebrate the reopening is being planned for early 2018.