A bulldozer showing up was the city’s only notice to neighbors that this house will be replaced by a six-unit, 8,000 square-foot, commercial development on a residential block in Ballard.
No public notification? No community involvement? No traffic impact study? Neighbors say no way!
The city isn’t notifying the community or allowing input for the sizable live/work project planned for 819 NW 70th Street in Whittier Heights/Ballard. Neighbors are disenfranchised by the city and developer, who is circumventing public notice and community involvement.
Inviting the community to choose paint chip colors–the developer’s idea for involving us–underscores what’s wrong with this picture. It’s a missed opportunity. The developer could genuinely engage the people who live here, and build something that makes him money AND gets neighbors excited about the project. Good developers do that. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. (Update: neighbors weren’t asked for input on paint chip colors.)
Instead, this 1,640 square-foot, 1924 home on a 3,650 square-foot lot on a residential side street
BEFORE (facing southwest on NW 70th Street):
AFTER (facing southwest on NW 70th Street):
The development is out-of-human-scale and disregards its neighborhood context and the character of the single family block where it sits. The community deserves to have a voice.
Notice the existing yellow “Residential Street” sign indicating this is a residential–not commercial–neighborhood?
The developer changed the address so all six units will now face Division Ave, a residential side street zoned for single family homes. The handful of nearby commercial properties all face NW 70th Street and have since the early 1920’s just like 819 NW 70th Street. Division Ave isn’t set up to handle a big jump in traffic and on street parking for six businesses plus six new residences. Yet the city won’t do anything to address traffic safety issues. Why not?
Read the Friends of Division Ave Blog for updates.