Clock is ticking for Pine lot where nightlife crowds like to park — and people keep shooting guns

This parking lot is a goner (Image: King County)

While neighbors around 21st and Union are looking at so-called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design efforts in addition to the mayor’s plan for curbing gun violence in the Central District, an environmental problem spot at the base of Capitol Hill is on its way to a CPTED solution of a different sort.

Key permits have finally been issued for a project to create an eight-story, 70-unit apartment, and office building on the land currently home to the parking lot near Pine and Melrose that is popular with nightlife crowds but has attracted more than its share of assaults and gun play over the years. Continue reading

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

Insatiable demand for open spots means another Capitol Hill nighttime parking price hike

Driven by data and a goal to put market forces to work to open up spaces on every available block, the Seattle Department of Transportation 2018 round of parking price tweaks is targeting a couple key areas of Capitol Hill — including the neighborhood’s most challenging parking environment where even extending payment hours to 10 PM hasn’t helped.

This month, SDOT is recalibrating its meters along southern Broadway and Pike/Pine streets for a new high in the area’s evening parking rates — $3.50. Last fall, SDOT extended paid parking until 10 PM near the area’s restaurant and business cores. $3.50 around the south end of Broadway will be a bargain — evening rates along northern Broadway are hitting $4 per hour. Continue reading

‘Pay by plate’ will mean no more parking stickers in Seattle (and you probably still won’t be able to find a spot to park at night on Capitol Hill)

The end of the stickies

Parking on Capitol Hill should be more convenient under a new “pay by plate” system coming to Seattle that will allow people to enter their license plate number to pay for parking rather than print out a sticker and put it on their window.

“People just won’t have to walk back to their cars,” said Margo Polley, strategic advisor to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Parking Projects/Transit & Mobility Division.

“What we’re doing is changing the pay stations on the street to mirror our pay-by-phone system.” Continue reading

Seattle cuts parking requirements near transit, ‘unbundles’ costs for carless tenants in new buildings

The City Council approved legislation Monday that will give developers fewer reasons to create large parking structures below streets already choked with traffic, providing a new avenue for the ongoing march toward affordability in Seattle.

“It’s unfair for us to have a city where parking is abundant and free and housing is scarce and expensive,” council member and lead on the parking reform bill Rob Johnson said prior to Monday’s 7-1 vote. Continue reading

Capitol Hill and Central District high school population boom has Garfield looking for extra classroom space

Garfield, the Seattle public high school serving Capitol Hill and Central District area students, is growing so fast it will need portable classrooms to make space for its students.

The City of Seattle is looking for citizens to join advisory committees that will help determine recommendations for possible zoning changes to allow the 23rd Ave high school and a set of other Seattle Public Schools campuses to “provide less than required on-site parking” so they have space to add portable-style classrooms. Continue reading

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

Unbundling, flexibility, ‘frequent transit service’ — What’s in Seattle’s ‘Neighborhood Parking Reform’ proposals

The City Council’s planning committee Wednesday morning is scheduled to continue its work reshaping Seattle’s parking policies in an effort to reduce building costs and, hopefully, help address the city’s growing affordability crisis.

CHS wrote here in January about Seattle’s so-called “Neighborhood Parking Reform” process and the hope of reducing requirements, “unbundling” costs, and opening up the city to “shared parking” for motor vehicles and bikes. Here’s a rundown of the elements in the latest version of the legislation under discussion Wednesday from a City Hall staff memo on the proposals:

  • Unbundling” of parking: requiring that renting or leasing of parking be covered by a separate agreement from rental agreements and leases,
  • Calling non-required or public parking “flexible use parking” and broadening the locations where flexible use parking is permitted and how it can be used, Continue reading

Seattle’s ‘Neighborhood Parking Reform’ — reduced requirements, ‘unbundling’ of costs, shared parking

Proposed Areas With Parking Flexibility Map (Image: City of Seattle)

Legislation hoped to help reduce housing costs in Seattle by allowing so-called “shared parking,” giving developers fewer reasons to create large parking structures, and opening more buildings to offer parking on the open market will be taken up by the Seattle City Council’s planning and land use committee starting Wednesday morning.

CHS wrote about the legislation from the office of then-Mayor Tim Burgess in November and its potential for helping renters. Parking costs “make up 10-20% of typical construction projects,” according to the city.

The legislation package — hopefully titled Neighborhood Parking Reform — would require the “unbundling of parking space rental from multi-family dwelling unit rental and lease agreements in new and existing structures 10 dwelling units or greater in size, and new commercial lease agreements in new and existing structures 10,000 square feet or greater in size.” Continue reading

How Seattle ‘shared parking’ proposal could help renters — even if you don’t drive

Rendering of the future parking garage entrance to 11th Ave’s under-construction Kelly Springfield building

With a push from Capitol Hill and the neighborhood’s seemingly insatiable appetite for parking, Seattle is moving forward with a plan that could create pools of shared parking in buildings across the city, reducing the need for developers to create large parking structures, and allowing more buildings to offer parking on the open market.

“If a building has unused parking stalls, we shouldn’t block them from renting those spaces out to someone who needs a place to keep their vehicle,” Mayor Tim Burgess said in the announcement of the legislation his office has sent to the City Council for consideration. “I hear complaints about the on-street parking crunch in our densest neighborhoods, and I’ve experienced it myself. It’s the reason I’m advancing this comprehensive package of parking options, ranging from making car share parking more available to changing parking requirements for income-restricted housing.”

Here are the details of the new proposal: Continue reading