Dear humans, it’s time to help shape the design of new housing across from Broadway Hill Park

“Dear humans, I’m sad to say this will be my last spring bloom with you all…” (Image: @maniftendst)

There is good reason for the City of Seattle’s streamlined design review process. And there is good reason for new housing across from rare Capitol Hill parkland. But it doesn’t make the scene passed by on so many COVID-19 walks at Federal and Republican any less melancholy. The little house and the blossoming tree are, indeed, enjoying their final season.

The proposed project by Mercer Island-based Sealevel Properties at 1013 E Republican will use the outbreak-streamlined administrative design review process and is part of a sudden, busy pulse of review activity across Capitol Hill. It’s time to add your comments before the proposal is assessed. Owing to coronavirus restrictions, the city has adjusted development regulations to cut out the in-person meeting with the design review board and allow developers to instead go through an administrative process with a public comment period. The comment period for the project opened with notices to neighbors two weeks ago. It closes May 26. Continue reading

Eight-story apartment building set to rise across from Broadway Hill Park

Capitol Hill has seen eight-story apartment buildings spring up before but a planned development kitty corner to Broadway Hill Park will need a little extra push to rise on the edges of the dense Broadway corridor where the blocks remain a mix of larger old apartment buildings, duplexes, and single family homes.

Thursday, developers from Sealevel Properties will hold a community outreach meeting at the Century Ballroom to talk with neighbors about their plans for the eight-story apartment building with 150 or so units, and three parking spots planned to rise at the corner of Federal and Republican: 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

City planning Broadway Hill Park rollout of Seattle Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal

Broadway Hill Park (Image: CHS)

A Capitol Hill neighborhood park born thanks to a failed multifamily housing project is the planned site for City of Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess’s rollout of the citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability proposal.

City Hall departments are planning for the Thursday announcement at Capitol Hill’s Broadway Hill Park but neither the mayor’s office nor the Office of Planning & Community Development have yet confirmed the event. In a city struggling with intense affordability issues and only a short time left on the clock before the new Durkan administration moves in, the announcement of rezoning proposals in neighborhoods across the city is a sensitive one.

UPDATE: Confirmed!
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Board says plan for old house in new Broadway Hill Park project needs work

The East Design Review Board was not convinced plans for a project that would meld a net-zero energy apartment development with an early 1900s house on Capitol Hill are ready. Wednesday night, board members asked for changes to the development that will eventually rise behind Broadway Hill Park kicking the project back to architects for at least one more round of review.

The board favored many aspects of the project, but felt the addition to the to-be-relocated building needed some work and didn’t seem to, yet, fit well in the neighborhood.

“That’s my biggest concern with the entire project,” board chair Natalie Gualy said.

The problem could be resolved by changing the roof form or the style of the addition or by making other changes, board member Barbara Busetti said. Continue reading

Net-zero energy project will connect to an uprooted house behind Broadway Hill Park

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.32.59 PMWe have seen old houses relocated to make space for a new apartment building, but linking the two structures to create a single property may be a first on Capitol Hill. Retrofitting the house and designing the new apartment building to meet some of the strictest environmental standards in the U.S. is definitely a first.

The unique plans for 11th and Republican Passive House Apartments faces another round of design review Wednesday night. The outcome of the meeting also carries a special significance for the neighborhood as the building will serve as the new backdrop to the recently opened Broadway Hill Park.

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

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Broadway Hill Park, Capitol Hill’s new ‘front porch,’ celebrates grand opening after years of community effort

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After more than six years of work by the community, Broadway Hill Park is officially open. At the Thursday night celebration, Mayor Ed Murray and the neighborhood residents responsible for the park’s creation spoke about the hard work it took to get the project off the ground. An impressive number of neighbors came to the celebration to enjoy what the park’s creators hope will become a communal yard for a neighborhood lacking in green space.

“This is a huge, open, inviting space,” said Kathleen Shea, a Capitol Hill resident involved in the park’s development and speaker at the celebration. “It was designed to be the front porch of the neighborhood.”

Community members say it took years of meetings and surveys to collect input and long nights writing grant applications to arrive at the final creation. Continue reading

Broadway Hill Park, last of its kind, now open on Capitol Hill

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It just might be the last of its kind. The fences have come down around Broadway Hill Park, 12,000 square feet of grass, benches, community gardening space, and a sure to be popular BBQ grill in the middle of Capitol Hill. There may never be another.

Seattle Parks acquired the land at the corner for Federal and Republican in 2010 for $2 million after a townhome project slated for the property fell through. In the time since the project started, Parks has opened small greenspaces just off E Olive Way at the garden-filled, skateboard-popular Summit Slope Park and near 15th Ave at the sleepy Seven Hills Park. It also opened 12th Ave Square Park across from Seattle U, but even that woonerf-y paved square featuring sculptures and seating doesn’t appear to be the direction Parks will be taking for future Capitol Hill-area open spaces. Continue reading