Isn't It Weird That

Isn't It Weird That...

A weird thing we noticed about development in the already dense Eastlake neighborhood.

By Erica C. Barnett March 17, 2014

Isn't it Weird That

Isn't It Weird That ... 

Representatives of a group calling itself "Seattle Speaks Up," which opposes four- and five-story buildings in areas of the city zoned for "low-rise 3" developments  are opposing apartment buildings going in ... across the street from much larger apartment buildings?

(For the record: "the low-rise 3" designation does not limit building to three stories—four and five story building are allowed—but traditionally those zones do stick to three stories.)

In an email to fellow SSU members yesterday, North Capitol Hill homeowner Patrick Tompkins wrote that the group plans to use a development at 2731 Franklin Ave. E., in the Eastlake neighborhood, as "our poster boy"—a "monster project" that's completely out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood.

"We're doing a new flyer featuring 2371 as our poster boy, as we consider it the best illustration yet of everything that's gone wrong with the Land Use Code," Tompkins wrote. 

Lake Union Neighbors activist Brian Ramey agreed, writing back: "We are so unfortunate to have silly incompetent, beholding to the developers, urban planners running the city who would like to change Seattle to a New York, San Francisco, Vancouver BC, worse yet Hong Kong,,,,, or any other city that is not Seattle."

Here is a photo of the "monster project" on Franklin:  

 .... And here's a photo of the apartment complex directly across the street, which looks out over this supposedly monolithic microhousing complex: 

Hard to see how the skinny, "monster" new development will harm the character of a neighhorhood that has, in the past, been hospitable to much larger apartment complexes. You might find the former ugly, the latter attractive (or vice versa), but that's a question of aesthetics, not land use; from a land-use perspective, the smaller, skinner building is undeniably less obtrusive than the bigger, squatter one. 

And the new building, as Smart Growth Seattle's Roger Valdez points out, will house 39 individuals—far more than the crumbling single-family home it replaced. Nonetheless, those new residents' neighbors oppose their ability to live there. Ironic for a group with "neighbors" in its name.


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