By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
At the primary Southwest Design Review Board assembly of the yr – the one one on the schedule to date – board members informed the venture workforce they’ve to return again for an additional attempt at getting Early Design Guidance approval.
The venture is a residential constructing deliberate for 1116 Alki SW [map], a water-view web site that at present holds six homes.
Present on the on-line assembly had been board chair Scott Rosenstock together with three of the opposite 4 members – John Cheng, Alan Grainger, and Johanna Lirman, all West Seattleites. Also there, Theresa Neylon, town planner assigned to the venture.
The Early Design Guidance section is the primary of the 2 Design Review phases, and the main focus is on “massing” – the constructing’s dimension and form, and its placement on the positioning – in addition to on which of town’s design pointers are most essential for the venture to satisfy. As Neylon reminded everybody, “the graphics are conceptual,” which means that, particularly for this section, they don’t mirror all particulars that will likely be within the ultimate design. (For instance, it was reiterated, what the graphics present as massive clean panels on the entrance of the constructing WILL have home windows within the precise design.) See the design packet right here or beneath:
(‘Preferred option’ rendering from draft design packet by MZA Architecture)
The assembly proceeded alongside the usual format – right here’s our recap:
ARCHITECT’S PRESENTATION: Heywood Chan from MZA Architecture stated the venture is meant to “continue the midrise trend” of redevelopment within the space. He recapped the proposal for 58 residential models on 5 ranges over the primary flooring. Between slope space and bushes, about 50 % of the positioning is unusable, Chan stated. Two massive bushes had been briefly described – one is critical however not (formally) distinctive, a cherry tree, and the opposite one, a birch, is phenomenal however thought-about vulnerable to pests. The bushes can be retained in design choices 1 and a pair of, however not in choice 3, which is the event workforce’s “preferred option.”
One characteristic of choice 3 is that it’s set again additional than required in entrance, which might decrease the way it impacts west-side neighbors’ views. Removing the bushes would facilitate a ramp to entry parking, which might be extra “economical,” as Chan put it. Their panorama architect stated at the least 4 bushes can be planted to switch the 2 that will be eliminated (as town requires). They’re requesting two zoning exceptions – “departures” – for exceeding the utmost allowable constructing dimensions, and diverging from guidelines for setback – there can be extra in entrance however so much much less in again.
BOARD QUESTIONS: Cheng requested for the main variations between the choices to be spelled out, and for the architects to explain how the setback reductions proposed for choice 3 would assist the neighborhood. Grainger requested whether or not the architects had explored one other choice to get to underground parking that will allow the bushes to be preserved.
MZA’s Evette Yu stated the three-tier mechanical-parking plan was the perfect they might give you. Yu stated their arborist didn’t suppose the birch tree would survive development stress it doesn’t matter what. Lirman wished to know extra about how they arrived on the proposed setbacks. Yu stated they tried to pack as a lot as they might at the back of the constructing in order to attenuate the affect on the neighbors. Chan stated they wouldn’t have home windows dealing with the neighbors, at the least within the spots the place the buildings can be nearer collectively. Lirman puzzled about seeing renderings exhibiting that; Yu stated the home windows can be within the renderings for the following section. Rosenstock requested about screening the parking space from the road; Yu identified the place the storage door can be, and once more promised additional particulars within the subsequent section.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Written feedback had been summarized briefly, together with just a few against granting one or each proposed zoning exceptions, one in favor of Option 2’s “mid-building courtyard,” one supporting elevated modulation for the constructing, and one other involved about rooftop use. Some non-design feedback had been acquired too – Neylon will likely be dealing with these, as she’s reviewing the total venture, not simply its design. One particular person signed as much as give a spoken remark and stated he’s a consultant of a neighboring apartment complicated. He stated they hope to work with town and venture workforce on a venture “worthy of its iconic location.” He stated they’ve supplied town with a “detailed memo” outlining their considerations. Of most concern, he stated, is the mechanical-parking part, which he contended doesn’t fulfill the parking necessities. The venture focuses extra on maximizing house than on respecting metropolis pointers, he contended.
BOARD DELIBERATION: After itemizing their respective “hot-button issues,” as requested by chair Rosenstock, they agreed that they had been leaning extra towards favoring massing choice 1. Yu stated that the venture ought to get additional top for saving bushes however within the shoreline space, they weren’t permitted to make the constructing any larger. That led to a dialogue of the bushes. Cheng stated he didn’t thoughts eradicating them, however didn’t see something actually being “given back” in consequence. Lirman agreed. Couldn’t Option 1 have a street-side courtyard as an alternative of 1 on the again? Grainger puzzled. As they began to expire of time, all of them in the end agreed they’re OK with tree elimination, however “need to see a great parking solution when they come back” as Grainger put it. He additionally recommended the alternative bushes ought to be in public view; perhaps not all 4, Rosenstock stated. Neylon famous there are energy traces in entrance of the constructing that may get in the way in which of that. Regarding massing, regardless of the earlier sentiment towards choice 1, they then concluded they couldn’t strongly suggest any of the three besides to say they had been most strongly against choice 3. In the tip, all 4 agreed the event workforce ought to return for a second Early Design Guidance assembly. What they need to see are “three viable different options that will work for this site,” Rosenstock summarized – “more creative ways of addressing parking, response to street front, maximize the building envelope without the trees” is their steerage.
WHAT’S NEXT: Since this wants an EDG redo, there will likely be at the least two extra Design Review conferences for this venture, dates to be introduced when the venture workforce and metropolis are prepared. Meantime, when you have feedback in regards to the venture, whether or not on design or different facets, you may ship them to the assigned planner at firstname.lastname@example.org.