Update – April 20: Making progress but need Big Final $$ Push to the Finish Line

Dear Neighbors,

Since our last update in late February, a lot has happened.

  • There has been considerable support for this appeal, but we need everyone to help fund the total expenses of this legal process. The only way to resolve the problems with Phinney Flats is through this appeal!
  • Several people outside the neighborhood have donated because they see the value and applicability of our appeal to other urban villages.
  • We have engaged several expert witnesses and developed strong evidence for our case.
  • We have submitted our initial arguments challenging the city’s code interpretations concerning the lack of setbacks and other issues.
  • We are preparing for the hearing on May 2nd and 3rd.

All this is very costly and has involved many, many hours of volunteer time as well to keep legal costs down as much possible. Going forward we need to raise another $10,000‐$15,000 in the next few weeks to cover the cost for preparing our witnesses, exhibits, and the time our attorney spends presenting our case before the Hearing Examiner and preparing the post‐hearing briefs.

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Read this reprint of an interview with Phinney Flats developers Johnson & Carr about their development model and cash flow objectives. They are building a huge number of these projects all over town. Is this really “workforce” housing as they call it, or just overpriced dorm rooms?

This appeal is our opportunity to:

  • Rebalance the scales between Phinney’s livability standards and developer maximum financial gain for this and other new developments over the next few years.
  • Secure reasonable changes to this project that will mitigate its parking impacts and other deficiencies.
  • Keep commercial parking along Greenwood/Phinney Ave from being lost to new residential uses.
  • Influence upcoming land use code changes regarding parking and the City’s misguided belief that a nearby bus eliminates car ownership and parking demand by micro‐unit residents.

More development coming to Phinney Ridge

The city’s planning department has studied the zoned development capacity of the city including the Phinney‐Greenwood Urban Village. Data from that model shows the potential for up to 674 new residential units just between 65th and 75th along Phinney/Greenwood Avenue. This does not include the potential for additional units under the increased building heights (upzones) the Mayor has proposed. Our review of development trends in the past few years shows the ratio of onsite parking to residential units is under 50%. The three Johnson & Carr microhousing developments (2 in Greenwood and the proposed Phinney Flats) are providing ZERO parking for a total of 136 apartments. Phinney Flats is 57 units.

Parking is a public resource that should be shared equitably. Developers should provide onsite parking to meet the new demand they generate when there is no public parking capacity left to “share.”

Help preserve the livability of your neighborhood. Please, click the “Donate” button and use PayPal or a credit card or send a check to Livable Phinney at the address below or drop into the HomeStreet Bank at 73rd St. and make a donation. All donations are for legal expenses only and donor information is entirely confidential. All amounts are welcome but consider $100, $200, $500, $1,000. Yes, we‘ve had a few $1K donations – thanks very much!


For Livable Phinney
Jan Weldin, Michael Richards, Irene Wall

Please donate via PayPal, drop off a check at Home Street Bank at 73rd St., or mail a check to: 6537 Greenwood Ave. Seattle, WA 98103.

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What’s wrong with Phinney Flats?

Read this article from the Daily Journal of Commerce about the developers of Phinney Flats: Johnson & Carr.