Under an unusual allowance by city code, the Planning Commission will hear public commentary and provide its opinion to the planning director on a private dormitory project called CityView, located in the Puget Neighborhood. During its meeting beginning at 7 p.m. next Thursday, June 3, the commission will get an earful from those most affected by this gargantuan complex (106 rooms/318 tenants), i.e., the residents of the surrounding area. Anyone can speak at this meeting, so no matter where you live, if you find this project excessive, you can present your comments next Thursday. Sign up instructions are at the end of this article.
I last wrote about this out-of-place, out-of-proportion and out-of-harmony monstrosity several weeks ago in an article entitled “CityView Lives!” You can return to that article for details on the project. Since then, the Planning Department has posted the Agenda Packet for use by the public and Planning Commission members. The packet includes a staff report intended to explain the background and process. These are some of the main issues the memo identifies.
"Drainage and stormwater runoff. Concerns included how site development may alter groundwater and surface runoff leading to increased drainage issues to downhill properties during construction.
Impacts to critical areas and geologically hazardous areas. Concerns included slope stability of the site resulting from construction of the proposal, loss of wildlife, clearing and grading.
Traffic and pedestrian safety. Concerns included the increased traffic volumes that will be generated by the proposal, lack of pedestrian facilities in the neighborhood and the safety implications of the increased traffic and lack of pedestrian facilities.
Scale of proposal and privacy. Concerns included the project’s scale is out of character with the neighborhood and the privacy of the residences in the adjacent neighborhoods is affected by the height and close proximity of the proposed buildings.
Parking for vehicles and bicycles. Concerns included the proposal is not providing sufficient vehicle or bicycle parking to support the development and this deficiency will place overflow parking from the development onto the adjacent neighborhood streets; parking demand will be higher than typical of an apartment use given the proposal’s unit layout and the site not being located in close proximity to transit.
Social behaviors concerning increased noise, littering and parking impacts on the adjacent residential streets.
Affordability concerning the high rents the proposal will generate by leasing on a room-by-room basis."
What is not mentioned in the memorandum is the extensive and detailed challenge to the maximum allowable density for the parcel prepared by an attorney hired by a group of Puget and Samish residents. The attorney's submission can be found here and here. “The City has yet to conduct the required public process to determine the appropriate Unit Density for Tract F. Until this is completed, any review of the CityView proposal is premature.”
A working group of concerned neighbors of the Puget and Samish Neighborhoods has prepared a point by point analysis and rebuttal of the developer's response to the cities Request for Information (RFI). You can read that paper by clicking on the Attached Files link below. To sign up for the meeting follow the instructions at this link: Notice of Public Meeting.