Neighbors and Livable Phinney supporters:
There seems to be a lot going on now regarding Phinney Flats and our Livable Phinney Appeal. We don’t have all the information and answers yet, but can pass on the following:
You may have seen the recent front-page article in the Seattle Times: Residents fight Seattle rules allowing apartment developers to forgo parking. Though it leaves out some potentially critical information, we feel it is generally well presented and balanced. What you may find new in that article, and perhaps a bit surprising, is the indication from Johnson and Carr that they have “dropped” their challenge in Superior Court. We recently became aware that a “motion to dismiss” was submitted recently, but we still haven’t received any official word as to the rationale for that action. Such may or may not be forthcoming?
We’ve also heard that SDCI is in the process of putting together “a supplemental interpretation on the FTS issue”. This would be their answer to complying with the Hearing Examiner’s Decision. We suspect SDCI will either try to show the #5 actually arrives on schedule – or change the definition of FTS to the schedule times rather than actual bus arrivals. Obviously, this does nothing to address the fact that folks moving into the Urban Village will bring cars – that will be parked on the streets in the adjoining neighborhood – even if that neighborhood is over parking capacity now.
Please join us and let our City Council and new Mayor know that this situation is not sustainable or conducive to the livability of our neighborhood. We still have and use cars, EVEN IF WE USE THE BUS!
If you look at the Project web site “Documents” – at this link – you will find the “MUP Cycle 4 Correction Response” dated 10/27/17. That response notes the developer’s compliance with many of our appeal Decision results (upper floor setbacks, clerestory removal, removal of rooftop features, etc.). However there is no indication of parking being added or the matter of frequent transit compliance. We anticipate the City will find a way to work around that matter (see above) – either by new data showing the #5 now meets the Frequent Transit definition, or simply by changing the definition of Frequent Transit!
Regardless of how often the bus arrives, residents will still have cars. The city’s own report on new parking rules admits that at least 30-35% of residents in buildings with zero parking will have cars. Where will they park when the streets are already at capacity? Local businesses will suffer if there is no parking in the vicinity for their customers.
New Parking Regulations Coming
The city has issued the proposals to change several rules related to parking, including redefining Frequent Transit Service and extending the areas where developers can avoid putting in any parking or put in less than the code would otherwise require. See the proposed changes at the link below. The Council will want to rush these changes through so we need to rally support for changes to make parking rules more site-specific and realistic. Watch our site for more information on public hearings or simply write letters starting now to the Council, in particular to Rob Johnson and Mike O’Brien. Addresses for all City Council Members is provided below.
Web site for proposed City Code rules and changes regarding Parking is:
City Council Email Addresses: (note: Tim Burgess is now Acting Mayor until Jenny Durkin is sworn in):
Needless to say, the battle over Phinney Flats is not over yet. We still have legal bills to pay. We hope to engage the City further in this matter of “No Parking Required” for new Development on Phinney Ridge.