Other building projects in the Miller-Madison  Neighborhood

Design Review Board reports available here are either as Acrobat (PDF) files (better for printing using the  FREE  Acrobat Reader software) and as web (HTM) files, which are easier to read on the screen

1816 -  19th Avenue

Here are computer simulations of the project (from the AIA 2001 awards website)

Val Thomas, the (part) owner of this project and of the "Fratelli's" site across the street, described this interesting project at the October 2000 MPNA meeting, with the aid of architect Jeff Oaklie. Jeff ably presented the project at an Early Design Guidance meeting on October 17th: report should be here soon.

   New Application: here are some  details   (Project Number 2007096)

  From the DCLU web site (edited a bit):   " Zoning: NC2 40' . DCLU Planner: Michael Jenkins  The site is located on the east side of 19th Ave E between Denny St and Howell St. The site is zoned Neighborhood Commercial 2 with a 40' height limit (NC2 40'). The proposal is for a three-story residential structure with approximately 47 dwelling units. Parking will be provided in an underground garage."

The concept is for about 45 units of loft-style condominiums, possibly with some "live-work" units that would be accessed off 19th Ave (recall that this area was rezoned during neighborhood planning to be NC / R -40' : a designation that allows, but does not require, commercial development for full use of the site), though these would be larger and hence decrease the number of units. Val is contemplating moving his design office to the building. Parking for about 63 cars will be provided, with access off the dead-end alley that connects to Denny. Much discussion at both meetings about parking impacts: they tried to minimize alley use by placing the parking entrance at the building corner closest to Denny.

They requested a Design Departure (a request to violate a provision of part of the Building Code): the Code requires 8479 square feet of open space, but they only want to provide 6170 square feet. They don't want to use rooftop space for the rest of the open space because it might block views from buildings up the hill (and they're trying not to make the building as tall as it could be): they maintained that rooftop open space would require 2 stairways and elevator access, all of which would block views.

The  3 Design Review Board members were not immediately convinced by the argument, and offered two alternatives:

It was thought that an "Interim Design Review" meeting would be required for a > 20% decrease in open space: they are requesting 22%.

And here's the Design Review Board "Early Design Guidance" report in HTM or PDF format.

Here are two letters to DCLU about the project, addressing the serious traffic problems that this project may produce. I (Andrew) missed the second Design Review hearing on the project. Here's a detailed report from a neighbor who did attend. And here's the Final Design Review report on the project and an excerpt from a letter I sent to DCLU:

The report notes that the project requires an Administrative Conditional Use Permit to build a Single Purpose Residential structure in an NC2/R-40 zone. I gather that such a use would be allowed outright if the neighborhood plan so stated. When our neighborhood drew up our plan we requested the rezone to NC2-R40 but were unaware of the need to include specific wording in the neighborhood plan. Our intention was to encourage NC development but not to make residential development more difficult. We are hoping to correct the oversight in this year's plan amendment.

I therefore support the Administrative Conditional Use permit for the project, and request that you forward my views to the appropriate person at DCLU.

August 8, 2002: Groundbreaking ceremony for the "19th Avenue Lofts" condominiums.

The first owner, Rene Soulard and Val Thomas wield the traditiional golden shovels to get the prject going. The projected date for the grand opening is July 5th, 2003.


 122 & 126 - 19th Ave. E.

Master use permits to subdivide the lots at 122 - 19th Ave E. (to build townhouses) and 126 - 19th Ave E. (also townhouses). These two adjacent lots are owned by the same person: it's not clear quite what is planned!

514 - 19th Avenue East

New Application: here are some  details (Project # 9901819)

This is a plan to build a multifamily building on the empty lot just north of Country Doctor,  with ground floor retail or office space and 42 residential units above.

Here's the Design Review Board report  (PDF or HTM)from the Early Design Guidance Meeting held on October 20, 1999.

At that meeting there was much concern from the public about the traffic generated by the project. Two levels of  underground parking will be accessed from the alley behind the building. This connects with 19th via a very narrow alley next to Country Doctor, or via Mercer.

The applicants want to build a higher density building than the building code allows: they requested several design departures  to allow this. The Design Review Board wanted to see specific details before they ruled on that. The public felt that the Design  Review process should be a "give and take" and that they were wanting to "take" without offering anything in return.

August 2000: A Master Use Permit Board  appeared. I talked to the architect Tim Walker (324-8619). They have abandoned most of the proposed design departures, except for the desire for a higher housing density than the code allows.

The Design Review Board met on December 13th, 2000 for their final consideration of the project. Here are their recommendations for the project (in PDF and HTM format) and here's part of an E-mail from Bob McElhose, the DCLU representative for the project

"I have been working with the architect to help him respond to the Boards requirements, and he now feels he has sufficiently redesigned the project to comply with the code and the Board. The building has been reduced to 68% upper level lot coverage, by reducing the unit sizes, expanding the courtyards, and rearranging some mechanical spaces. The design and integrity of the spaces and materials has been maintained.
I will be publishing a decision soon on this project."

In summary:

The applicant originally asked for modifications for upper level lot coverage for the residential portion of the building, the code allowing 64% coverage, and the applicant asked  for 72.5% to allow for a greater mix of unit types. This was not received well either by the Design Review Board or by the public at the meeting. The applicant and DCLU seem to have now settled on 68% lot coverage! Originally, the proposal was to seek departures from open space and landscaping quantities and location, driveway width and alley setback, but the current design meets those requirements and needs no modifications.

May 6, 2001:

The Director's Final Decision Report on the project has been issued. Here's the DCLU web link.

Some salient points:
1) The application asked for a "Design Departure". The Building Code allows the upper floors (above 13') to occupy 64% of the area of the lot. The applicants asked to extend that to 72.5%. They've now agreed to 68% lot coverage.

2) The report concludes that "the project will not adversely impact parking in the neighborhood and no additional mitigation is warranted". This conclusion is based on the applicant's parking study which concluded that "parking in the area is at 63% of maximum capacity".

If you wish to lodge an appeal to the Director's Final Decision you have until May 14th to do so.

101 - 20th Avenue East


New Application: here are some  details (Project # 2001140) .

The plan is to build a 3-story 6 townhouse building on the NW corner of 20th Ave E. and E. Denny.

Brief report: the applicant wants to squeeze 6 townhouses onto the site. Zoning would allow 5 on the site: he's going through Design Review to request several variances to allow him to build 6 units on the site. The Board seemed favorably disposed to his idea, but reserved judgment on the variances until they've seen an actual design (at the next Design Review hearing on the project).

The Board suggested that the project (it's one large building) be moved much closer to E. Denny Way, to provide decent-sized open spaces at the rear of the project and to give it a more "urban" feel.

Here's the Design Review Board report  (PDF or HTM) from the Early Design Guidance Meeting held on April 18, 2000.

applied for: comments by Dec. 12th

3/11/02: Master Use Permit issued for the project. The Master Use Permit application (12/2/01) noted that a second Design Review Hearing would be required (as is typical), but the DCLU decision document notes that this was accomplished by "Administrative Design Review", i.e. a review by a DCLU employee.

While this rule transgression could be appealed to the Hearings Examiner (by March 25th), I think it's best to "let sleeping dogs lie":

3/16/03: Construction of the townhouses is coming along. The carport on the west side seems out of scale with the neighborhood. Andrew wrote to Director of DCLU about it:

Several years ago (April 18, 2000 ) I (and several neighbors) attended a Design Review hearing about 101 - 20th Ave E. and I subsequently asked DCLU about the lack of a 2nd Design Review hearing

Now that the project is under construction I am most concerned about the visual blight from, and intrusive nature of, the carports on the west end of the building: see attached photos.

I would be grateful if your staff could:

a) check to see if the carports are following the DCLU rules.

b) if they are legal, consider measures to prevent such out-of-scale additions to otherwise pleasant small additions to our neighborhood.

Andrew Taylor

Reply (3/19/03):

Andrew ... we are sending an inspector out to the site. The carport does not appear to be on the approved plans. In terms of the Design Review meeting, there was not a second meeting since when the MUP application came in, it was determined that this was an Administrative Design Review project.

Diane Sugimura <Diane.Sugimura@Seattle.Gov>

(and on 3/31/03):

Hi Andrew ...

The inspector visited the site 3/21 and determined that there is a violation. Case
They must apply for a permit for the carport.

5/12/03: Diane Kelso of DCLU (684-5839) reports that the builders have yet to resolve this issue. They'll have to do so before the buildings are sold. She recommends calling the DCLU complaints hotline (684-7899) to get information on the progress of the complaint.

7/28/03: DCLU grant the owners permission to subdivide the property into 6 lots for individual sale. One condition placed on the permit is that they must first resolve the problems with the carport.

521 - 20th Ave E

(3/03) Application for Master Use Permit to subdivide one parcel into three unit lots. (Comments by March 19th) This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots. The construction of townhouses is being reviewed under Project #2208699.

107 - 21st Ave E.

Application for Master Use Permit to subdivide one parcel into four unit lots. Existing single family residence is to remain. The construction of townhouses has been approved under Project #2105349..

1826 -23rd Avenue

DCLU decision to allow the lot to be subdivided into 8 lots for the construction of 4 duplex townhouses.

1828 - 25th Avenue

Master use permit application to establish use for construction of two, two-unit, three-story townhouse structures in an Environmental Critical Area. (3/14/02)

2118 E Olive St

Application for a Master Use Permit for 1,982 sq. ft. partial second floor addition within existing light manufacturing building. Project includes reconfiguration of three (3) existing parking spaces.
Applicant Contact: Karen McHegg (206) 329-2612 ( a neighborhood resident!)

Owned by Miller Park neighbors Hank and Judith.


Assorted links

Seattle Times article (1/23/99) about the new Miller Place condominiums at 20th Ave E. and E. John/Thomas.

Seattle Times article (11/18/00) about the house on the corner of 23rd & John that was renovated after lying vacant for decades.


Dorothy Hollingsworth and her daughter in front of her house (at 23rd & John). They have remodeled it into a triplex to allow Ms. Hollingsworth to continue to live in it and get income from the property. See the Seattle Times article (9/30/01).