Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Massive pile of notes from CHHIP's Annual Meeting

Let's see if we can't sort through the scribbles and find some juicy neighborhood news:

  • I was right - CHHIP is planning affordable housing developments at 12th and Jefferson and at 12th and Pine (East Precinct Parking Lot). It looks like 12th and Pine will be the difficult one to pull off. CHHIP is prepared to re-create all the parking spots that the East Precinct currently has in that lot in the form of bomb-proof parking underneath the building.

    The thing is, the East Precinct wants CHHIP to build them more parking spots than they presently have. At $30K plus per underground parking spot, CHHIP can't afford to build more than EP's already got. Stalemate.

  • Why 12th Ave., why now? CHHIP got some city money to focus on developing a business corridor. They picked 12th because it's close to downtown, has undirected development popping up like mushrooms, and its characterized by a lot of "underutilized" (read empty) lots. A perfect place for planning guidance and some affordable housing developments.

  • One thing I gathered from the panel discussion was that right now, any development that going right in the neighborhood is entirely due to the will and love of individuals in the community (including some developers). Market forces give us gigantic, cheaply made and faceless developments that are geared to maximization of dollars invested rather than to fitting harmoniously into the community they are placed in. And that needs to change.

    Liz Dunn referred to the Pike/Pine Overlay District as a possible agent of that change - a strong planning document equipped with width restrictions, transfer of development rights, and bonuses for historic building preservation. At least that's what the PPOD sounded like - it's still being developed, and the last time I heard about it PPUNC was peeved that it came back to them from the city all milquetoast. We shall see.

  • Seattle University's long term development plan: 12th Ave. as the spine of the campus, including mixed use and other landowners among their parcels on 12th to encourage the vibrancy of the business corridor, and lots more student housing. The empty lot at 12th and Cherry is a future housing site for sure. The storage building at Madison and 12th - possibly, it definitely won't stay storage forever.

  • Both SU and CHHIP want to see more transit service...make that any north-south transit service on 12th Ave. SU finds it impossible to reduce staff and student car use without it. CHHIP advocates for having the ID/Cap Hill streetcar run along 12th rather than Broadway in order to ameliorate the transit gap.

  • King Co. is planning some redevelopment surrounding their Youth Detention Center on 12th - their administrative buildings are in poor shape and they'd like to better utilize the space that is presently their parking lot. Apparently they're thinking of putting up a residential building where their parking lot currently is. That seems like a rather hard sell - "Convenient location! Attractive views of detention facility!"

In case this pile of notes just isn't enough, you can go check out CHS' version of the night's events.

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