|Magnolia Action Group|
|** Update **
2. Enter your user id and password.
3. Click on the "EDIT" button for this section.
4. Scroll past the picture to the text box.
5. Type something in the text box in front of these instructions, pushing the instructions ahead. Click "Save Changes." Your stuff is on your page. Congratulations: you're officially a webmaster! Now you can return to your edit screen and erase these instructions. Edit every section of your OrgSite just as you did here.
|OPINION: Briarcliff Revival |
Note: The MCC Board has not officially endorsed this guest opinion letter.
April/May 2005, Magnolia Community Club Newsletter
The proposed development at 3901 West Dravus (the Briarcliff School), if successful, will bring in almost 40 new homes in the form of a “Clustered Housing Planned Development” that is out of character with Magnolia.
The site of the Briarcliff School was sold to Lexington Fine Homes (LFH) in 2003. LFH would like to begin construction of a cluster housing planned development in 2005. Under the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC23.44.024), a CHPD is intended to enhance and preserve natural features, encourage the construction of affordable housing, allow for development and design flexibility, and protect and prevent harm in environmentally critical areas.
LFH’s proposal (MUP 2402617 and 2403714) would place 39 homes on the 4.58 acre site, would have all traffic of the subdivision exiting directly onto West Dravus Street, and would use easements within the subdivision instead of city roads. The only intent its proposal meets, admits LFH’s counsel, is the allowance for development and design flexibility. The nearly flat site, in the heart of an established neighborhood, is surrounded by typical Magnolia lots. Most of the resulting lots, if permitted, would be much smaller than the typical lots, and most of the set-backs would be much less than current set-backs, resulting in a tight and dense development.
Cluster Development Image
The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) issued a strong Request for Information and Correction Notice to LFH last September that outlined several concerns. DPD issued its Correction Notice after a public comment period and meeting. During the meeting, residents of Magnolia uniformly expressed their extreme dissatisfaction with the project. After several months LFH recently responded to the Correction Notice. In brief, LFH still intends to move forward with the CHPD as planned, with a few modifications.
In response to last summer’s meeting and the collective concerns of most of the neighbors, a nonprofit group – Magnolia Action Group (MAG) – was formed with the sole focus on hiring a land use attorney to fight the CHPD. MAG believes that the CHPD would not benefit Magnolia, but would result in traffic congestion, safety issues, parking issues (since parking would naturally spill out onto the surrounding roads) and a very tight “town-home like” development in an established neighborhood. LFH feels that homes that are within “conversational” distance from the sidewalk are preferable to wide streets and homes set back off the property front.
MAG is organized to communicate neighbor’s viewpoints to the City. To that end, it has recently asked the City to open and advertise a comment period to allow public input on the changes proposed by the Correction Notice. The details of these changes are available by contacting MAG.
Most neighbors to the site would welcome and support a development that is fitting and consistent with the surrounding neighborhood. The same neighbors would not, however, turn a blind eye to a development that uses the land use code to gain unusual privilege, or that ignores the surrounding community to the same end.
Many thanks to MCC for publishing this opinion letter.
LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?
If you wish to help us with this endeavor,
Dept. of Planning & Development
Magnolia Action Group
City Council Members:
|MAGNOLIA ACTION GROUP|
P.O. Box 99293 Seattle, WA 98139