Hi Andrew,

Yes, I was the only "public" at the Design Review meeting, which was kind of weird, but okay. I asked why the meeting was downtown instead of in the neighborhood, and they said it was because this was a general board, and they were reviewing a north end project and the 19th Ave one at the same meeting, and downtown was an in-between location.

The project is beautiful. I don't think anyone could put up a nicer condo at that site. For one thing, they've gone upscale on the exterior materials, a lot of brick, with a concrete base and metal bays and detailing. It will look like an updated version of some of the classic brick apartment buildings in the neighborhood. I think it will be an especially nice complement to the big apartments across from it on 19th, and though it will loom over us down on 20th, I don't think there's any way that could be avoided given the zoning and the slope of the hill. The building roofline actually slopes a bit down towards the back, which they didn't have to do. Also, it will only be three stories instead of the four allowed. Each unit will have higher ceilings so they can put in the lofts they want. That means fewer overall total units than they could have squeezed in, which means fewer eyes looking into my yard.

The developer was responsive to our requests about design interest at the back with the parking garage. There will be some grills to break up the concrete, overhang planting from above and vines on trellises planted at ground level. Assuming the plants stay alive, it should end up being very pleasant. On the front of the building, it looks like the entryway and landscaping will work well.

The question of paving the alley is still up in the air, and at this point, I've said my piece and will wait to see what the city requires. If they don't pave, they will improve the alley with gravel. I have also offered to cooperate with the developer on paving (

), but don't have any idea if we can go anywhere with that. I was also concerned about whether workers would be blocking the alley, and have been told that the Fratelli's site will be used for worker parking and staging. I'm reasonably comfortable with that, and plan to post signs and tow anyone who blocks the alley or parks on my property. A couple of tows and I figure folks will park over at Fratelli's.

The issues I raised about no parking zones to improve visibility on 19th and Denny aren't really part of the condo review process. Evidently, I have to take that topic up with the folks in the street use department at Seatran. Michael Jenkins said he would try to steer me in the right direction there, but it may be difficult. I'll try to get in touch with the right folks and I'll let you know what they say. I also saw the accident at 20th and Denny the other day, but I haven't heard any gunshots towards Madison recently. I got a letter back from the police department regarding my letter about the liquor license renewal, and they said they weren't going to make a recommendation to revoke the license because there weren't enough complaints or disturbances on record.