May 31, 2009
(got this from a neighbor a few weeks ago, and sent it on to Marty Liebowitz : Marty (http://www.madronacompany.com) has built several innovative small developments in our area (eg Tempus Fugit, 2500 block E. John) and has been talking of a similar sort of development down on MLK, near the grocery store. His illuminating reply is below. )
Hi Andrew -Wonder if you saw the fliers at the construction site on 23rd and John? The owner of Calhoun Properties got a permit for townhouses (which went up rapidly right behind the John/23rd intersection.) However, these 'townhouses' are not that.Instead, he is building a high end rooming house. I wonder if this is legal - and if it is, the neighbors should have been told these were not condos/townhouses, but rather a high end SRO 'short term' hotel.here's the website attached to the flier - appears they are targeting students. Although our blocks are L3 for multifamily, this is a new one on me. I think the neighbors / Miller Area need to know about this new 'kink' in the system.Thanks Andrew for getting the word out.Multifamily zoning has always allowed "congregate" housing- a new name for SRO or rooming house needs. I dont assume that the units are specifically geared to students but to anyone who wants to live alone (ie no roomates). The caveate on this housing type is that they have no individual kitchens within each unit- what a "kitchen" is according to land use officials is a space with a "range/stove", hence, a microwave in a unit is ok. They must share a common kitchen space. In these dire economic times, alternative forms of housing for people who are living on limited incomes is needed. Hotels are not permitted in this zone and dilligent moniteering by interested neighbors is important to make sure the project doesnt turn into an Inn, hotel, brothel, or other forms of transient housing. If this occurs, then the city can rescind the "Occupancy Permit" if neighbors bring the matter to the attention of the DPD enforcement division. Regards, Marty
Posted by Andrew Taylor at 9:00 AM
May 28, 2009
I sent for my two $40 off certificates, took them to Best Buy, and came home with two of their converter boxes: rated better but not best by Consumer Reports.
It all seems to work fairly well, with one (geeky) caveat. Most of our existing (non-digital) stations transmit in the VHF band: you use the long telescoping antenna on top of your TV. All of our digital TV signals (except KCTS, channel 9) are UHF channels, which you receive with the little circular or bow-tie shaped antenna on top of your TV. UHF signals travel "line of sight", so you may have problems with set-top antennas and the Queen Anne transmitters (channels 4, 5 and 7). I find I can get some of those stations only upstairs in my house.
Digital TV is essentially "all or nothing": no weak, snowy picture - you either get a great picture or a blank screen (or a picture that freezes and breaks up into lots of little boxes). I've noted that planes flying over can cause that latter sort of interference. The digital bonus feature is that several of the stations actually broadcast multiple digital signals.
Conclusion: it works, it's easy and (if you don't have cable) you'll really have no choice after June 12th, 2009. You might need to spring for an external antenna for channels 4, 5 and 7.
[Update, 9/18/08] See comments for updates (from KCTS) about which stations will switch back to VHF after the transition. See this KING-TV article (and links) for much more info.
Posted by Andrew Taylor at 10:00 PM
May 4, 2009
Last Fall, when I advertised the Nov. 5th Parks meeting about the proposed playfield resurfacing, I made 3 suggestions for ways that the project could be made even better (and which would minimize the impact of expanded field use on the neighborhood).
Posted by Andrew Taylor at 9:59 PM