Comments on the Central Area Action Plan II

(specifically on Zoning Recommendation M2a of the Madison-Miller Plan)

 

by the Miller Park Neighborhood Association

 

 

 

 
 

Background

1) We all agreed that the revitalization of the commercial areas along East Madison Street was the most important objective of our neighborhood plan.

2) Mr. Dean Falls approached the planning group with a proposal to rezone his property along E. Madison, to facilitate his developing the site.

3) While the Miller Park Neighborhood Association applauds plans to revitalize E. Madison, we have great concerns about the scale of the proposed development and its impacts on the adjacent residents, and present here a suggestion for a more modest development.

Specifics

1) Dean Falls owns essentially all of the properties marked "Parcel 1" and "Parcel 2" on the map: an area bounded by E. Madison Street, E. Denny Way and the alley to the east of 20th Ave.

2) The two parcels are separated by an alley. Parcel 1 is presently zoned Neighborhood Commercial (NC3- 65') and contains several stores on E. Madison, including Deano's Madison Street Market and Deano's Cafe and Lounge. Parcel 2 is zoned for multi-family residential (L-3) and presently contains two houses.

3) Mr. Falls proposed combining the two parcels, by abandoning the alley, and rezoning the combined parcels as NC3, to facilitate development of the property. He presented preliminary drawings for a mixed-use property with retail on the ground level and residential units above.

4) Mr. Falls initially proposed that the entire property be zoned with an 85' height limit (NC3-85). There was almost universal neighborhood resistance to the 85' height limit: the recently completed 65' tall Mount Zion senior housing project, just up the street, had shown us all that 65' was high enough for our neighborhood.

Mr. Falls subsequently suggested that the combined parcels all be zoned as 65'. This limit fitted in with a proposal (Madison-Miller Rezone M2) to downzone the two NC3-85' parcels on E. Madison to 65', to maintain a uniform 65' height along Madison. This latter proposal (M2) has now been withdrawn (because of landowner opposition). We are, nonetheless, still very much opposed to upzoning Parcels 1 or 2 to 85'.

5) Parcel 2 (presently zoned L-3) is surrounded on 3 sides by L-3 zoned property, all of which contains multi-family housing. L3 zoning allows "moderate scale multifamily housing" with a 30' height limit (35' if a 5' pitched roof is included): the recently-built apartments just north of Parcel 2 are a good example of the zoning potential of L3.

6) The proposed rezone of Parcel 2 thus puts a 65' building immediately across the street from 35' high apartments. We strongly oppose such a height disparity. We suggest, instead, that Parcel 2 be zoned NC3-40'. Abandonment of the alley between the two parcels would allow their combined development as NC3, but with a gradual drop in height (65' to 40' to 35') as one moves away from Madison.

7) Diane Sugimura of DCLU has helped us examine the consequences of these proposals (E-mails available on request). Development of our proposal (one zoning type, NC3, with two height limits) is much easier than the alternative of a development with two zoning types (NC3 and L3) and two height limits. The "commercial" requirements for the high-density NC3 development would be satisfied by the proposed storefronts on E. Madison. We strongly oppose any commercial development along the part of E. Denny to the north of Parcel 2.

8) Before any rezoning of Parcel 2 is adopted it should be approved by the adjoining property owners and residents. I (Andrew Taylor) have obtained from the King County Assessor's Office, the addresses of the property owners, and would be happy to help facilitate such a meeting.
 
 

 

Respectfully submitted,

31st August 1998,

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Taylor

Chair, Miller Park Neighborhood Association.

501 - 19th Ave E.

Seattle WA 98112

(206) 323-5929 (h), (206) 667-4431 (w), ataylor@fhcrc.org