Feb 4, 2007

Miller Greens project in Frazier Park: your thoughts?

The neighborhood just to the east of Miller Park (the Prentis Frazier neighborhood, around Frazier Park) is very upset by a developer's plans to develop several adjacent overgrown empty lots: see his website for his view, and the Stranger's blog for a quick summary. (and don't forget the CHS: Capitol Hill Seattle blog post)

They are seeking our support for their position: I have prepared an online survey (based on the Madison Valley neighborhood resolution, below) and invite you to use it, so that MPNA can give them a reasoned reply.

Survey location: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=392783251968

Some details:

John Potter from their group writes (edited from several messages):

We are in the process of forming a neighborhood association on the other side of 23rd, Frazier Park Neighborhood Assn. that will include the area from 23rd Ave to the Arboretum, north of E. Madison to E. Helen St.

We also mentioned the proposed condominium development in our neighborhood (proposed rezone from SF5000 to L-1/L-3) and wondered if we could get support from the Miller Park Neighborhood Assn. Below is a resolution that was approved by the Madison Valley Community Council.

The rezone represents a significant precedent setting boundary change from the Comprehensive Plan. We are hoping to get a large turnout at the Early Design Guidance Meeting that will educate all the neighbors about the 11 condominiums going into 3 vacant lots. The DPD meeting we encourage people to attend is:
Wed Feb 7 6:30 pm Seattle Central Community College Room 3211, Project: 3004806 - EDG Address: 305 24th Ave E Planner: Michael Dorcy
We will be taking a petition around after the meeting and would like to get support from both sides of the village boundary. If you identify anyone interested in helping, please refer them to me, John Potter, johnrpotter@qwest.net

(Explanatory links added by Andrew)
At its regularly scheduled meeting on January 17, 2007, the Greater Madison Valley Community Council adopted the following resolution:

Be It Resolved That:

1. We fully support the City's comprehensive Plan, the need for densification, and the Concept of Urban Villages

2. We embrace Green Building concepts and designs

3. Existing zoning intentionally constructs a high-density corridor along E. Madison Street, which we support.

4. The long-standing boundary between this high-density corridor and the surrounding residential zoning should be respected.

5. 24th Ave is a great "family friendly" neighborhood with lots of long term residents.

6. The proposed development at E. Thomas and 24th Ave. will degrade the long-term family oriented quality of the neighborhood.

7. We believe there are sites for this project available within the Urban Village boundary.

In conclusion, we feel the development is inappropriate and the requested zoning change of the proposed Miller Greens Re-Zone at 305 24th Avenue East (DPD Project #3004806) should be denied.

Notes by Andrew:

The neighbors are trying to protect the single-family nature of their neighborhood, while our City is trying to increase the density of housing in Seattle. All the new, higher density, housing is going into the multifamily zoned areas, but most of Seattle's area is tied up in single-family zoned area

Look at this zoning map of Seattle: click on it for a bigger view.
Blue is industrial: little or no housing

Light tan is single family housing.

Other colors are neighborhood commercial ( expect housing above stores), or multifamily housing (apartments, condos, townhouses, interspersed with older housing).

NOTE how little area is available for the desired increased housing density: most of it is set aside for single family housing- the light tan areas.

Seattle has tried several ways to increase the density of single-family zones, which have been vigorously opposed by single-family neighborhoods in some parts of the city (but supported by others). So the question, in my mind, is whether we can afford to continue to protect single family housing against all intrusions?

Thanks for listening, now please VOTE


Maarten said...

Andrew, thanks for taking input on this.

I might point out that the resolutions put forth by the Frasier Neighborhood Assoc are biased and designed to lead to their conclusion. Since survey uses their logic and phrasing, the results you get from the survey will be biased in the direction they seek.

elspeth said...

salve, pater! congratulations on your entry into the world of the blog.

icefish said...

As a 26-year-resident of what we used to call the Stevens Neighborhood, I think the family-friendly character of our neighborhood will best be protected by developments like the proposed Miller Greens, which includes neighborhood amenities with private, clustered residences. I would like to support the development while exploring with the developer and the city whether the units could be made less expensive and whether some of the unusual trees on the site could be preserved. If $600,000 per unit sounds expensive, what do people think the single family units that would otherwise occupy the site would cost?? and how likely would those new multi-millionaire neighbors be to invite us to wander through their yards?

Anonymous said...

Wow, most of Seattle single-family housing. Hmmm, wonder if that has anything to do with it being a family-friendly, livable city? Let's just turn it all into apartment blocks, condos, and townhouses. Who cares if families decide that's unfriendly and take off for the suburbs? Who needs kids anyway? Seattle's schools are floundering anyway, might as well drive away the customers and close more schools. Then the the yuppies and DINKs won't have to pay so many school levies. Pardon my sarcasm. By the way, what makes a neighborhood? Knowing one another, sharing and interacting with one another? How likely is that with 5 neighbors? How likely is that with 50 neighbors, etc? Densification is not conducive to neighborhood. We'll wind up creating the sprawl that the elitist central planners are trying to stem, as families flee to suburbs in repulsion.

Anonymous said...

Neighborhoods come in all different shapes and sizes. There are neighborhoods in Brooklyn with much higher density than Frazier Park, with lots of great neighborly interaction. There are neighborhoods in Kent with much lower density than Frazier Park. They have neighborly interaction too.

The reality is, whether people want to accept it or not, that the single-family housing model is incredibly expensive, in terms of raw materials and energy, and facing an increasing population, density is a necessity. It's not density per se that's the issue, it's *how* you densify. Frankly, the proposed project is one of the better multi-family projects I've seen proposed in some time, particularly for a primarily single-family neighborhood.

Like Andrew said, look at the map!

Anonymous said...

4. The long-standing boundary between this high-density corridor and the surrounding residential zoning should be respected.

translation: of course i'm in favour of density -- just not where i live.

6. The proposed development at E. Thomas and 24th Ave. will degrade the long-term family oriented quality of the neighborhood.

translation: density is bad

Seattle said...

I'm appalled and saddened that you would be against a project like Miller Greens.

Anonymous said...

So my question is, do we tell the Miller Greens developer, city, Frazier Park folks etc what our opinions are? It seems to me we should. I assume we were going to share our results with everyone if they were negative on Miller Greens; we should do the same since they are positive.

Andrew Taylor said...

As I noted above:

I shared the info with the developer and the Frazier Park folks before posting it here, and then sent copies to appropriate Councilmembers, DPD and the Mayor's Office.

Anonymous said...

I guess everything the developer says is good, truthful, and right-headed and everything the neighbors say is bad, devious and wrong-headed. After all, developers have a long-standing tradition of honesty and fair dealing and have only the best interest of the community in which they do not now and never will reside. This development calls itself Green yet calls for scraping EVERY LIVING PLANT AND TREE off the land to make room for 11 units where 3 are currently allowed. Watershed be damned.

Anonymous said...

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