Jul 1, 2007

Design Review Board Discussion: 23rd & Union Project

While we await the typed report from the Design Review Board, here's a video of their discussion of Jim Mueller's 23rd/Union project. Taken with my camera set on the table: crank up the volume and you can hear most of what they have to say. The picture is mostly irrelevant, though it does show some informative hand gestures.

Key to the participants:
On the left (taking notes): Lisa Rutzick, DPD Staff. Behind her: very quiet board member - didn't say much. Across the table: 3 Board members. The woman who spoke the most represents the neighborhood interests on the board: Rumi Takahashi. She noted (in a post on the CNA website):

My name is Rumi Takahashi and I am a member of the Capitol Hill/First Hill/Central District Design Review Board. I will be reviewing this project tomorrow night along with my fellow Board members. We are all volunteers on the board - not city employees. We represent community, business and design interests. I encourage members of the Central Area community to attend and offer comments on this project. Design Review is an important part of the Land Use review process with the City. It is an opportunity for members of the public to be heard, and become part of the record of the project.

Editorial comments ( by Andrew)

Many of the neighbors who testified at the meeting were opposed to the proposed rezone to 65' . The Design Review Board members (as you can hear) were in favor of the rezone: they noted the the trees on 22nd would block views of the proposed 65' building from the adjacent 30' buildings. Jim Mueller expressed great interest in preserving the trees.

My tree expert thinks that the trees will probably survive the nearby excavations and will probably last for 20 years or more. However, the new building will surely outlast the trees, so the neighborhood should make their feelings felt, if they disagree with the Board. I made a suggestion at the meeting which met with some neighborhood approval.

Other posts about the project:

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