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‘Tall skinny’ concerns at 16th and Galer

[mappress mapid=”66″]A property that recently passed through the foreclosure process has some neighbors concerned about plans that could make way for a “tall skinny” development on the parcel just east of Volunteer Park.

CHS community contributor Maribago posted about word from the Department of Planning and Development about plans for the property at 1252 16th Ave E:

The parcel in question, at 4800 sq ft, is already smaller than the standard for the RS-5000 zones and holds a 1905 residence along with a classic “alley house”.    But that has not deterred the developers from asking Seattle DPD to authorize splitting the lot into two (SDPD Project 3014972).

The alley house has long been a fixture of the neighborhood, built as it is over a garage.   It already serves the classic function of a city-approved  “accessory dwelling unit” (ADU):  adding a reasonable amount of density while maintaining affordability and without affecting neighborhood character.   Without any special exemption from city rules, the developer could almost certainly rebuild or upgrade it.  So why petition to create the tiny lots?

Well, if split into two legal lots, City rules permit a  modern tall skinny house that doubles or even triples the unit’s size–and the likely resale price.   It is easy to see the financial advantage to the developers, but hard to spot the public interest–especially when neighborhoods all over town are speaking up about the impact of tall, skinny in-fill developments ( .

Have an opinion?  The City comment period expires soon:  May 8, 2013  [email protected]

In September, the Seattle City Council adopted a one-year moratorium on backyard house developments like Maribago describes.

The 4,800 square-foot parcel and 1905 home were purchased from Bank of America for $750,000 last summer following foreclosure on the property during the economic meltdown.

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