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City Council Unanimously Passes Aurora Licton Urban Village Moratorium Extension

Today after extensive community feedback (at least 100 proponents of the moratorium and five against it) Seattle City Council unanimously passed a 6-month extension of its moratorium for new non-pedestrian-oriented developments within the Aurora Licton Urban Village:

The extension represents a victory for the ALUV group and associated members of the community who want to see Aurora transform into the center of a pedestrian friendly neighborhood that does its part to help soften our ongoing housing crises.


Aurora Licton Urban Village Moratorium Extension Passes First Hurdle

Today Seattle's Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee adopted a 6 Month extension on its moratorium for new non-pedestrian-oriented developments within the Aurora Licton Urban Village:

This leaves the final fate of the extension to Seattle City Council with a vote coming up this following Monday (the 24th of September). If you have thoughts on the extension and have not yet made them heard, this represents your final opportunity, and I encourage you to follow the steps ALUV has outlined to contact your representatives.

The committee's adoption of the ordinance followed significant feedback from our local community during their September 5 meeting:

Meanwhile, the first new proposed residential apartment project in some time within our Urban Village is actively gathering feedback up till the 26th of this month.


Opinion: We need your help to extend the push for Aurora revitalization

Call to Action: We hope you will work with ALUV to extend the Aurora zoning controls and help ensure a vibrant Aurora Village has a chance.

Unfortunately, I recently had to report on the upcoming closure of the Oak Tree Starbucks, the only Coffee Shop within the Aurora Licton Urban Village (ALUV). This came not too long after the nearby Gold's Gym, which brought additional caffeine craving foot traffic to the area, closed to be replaced by a storage facility. This facility did have an appeal put forth, but it was dropped before being heard. This is one of 2 large storage facilities being built in the area. And while some storage is undoubtedly necessary, it is sad to see so much land taken off the market. Property that could instead be used for much needed additional housing which would support a thriving retail core within ALUV. As it is, the village is set to contain at least four storage facilities and not a single coffee shop.

Gold's Gym becomes Public Storage.

The only thing that has kept even more of the land along Aurora from being repurposed for storage use is a temporary moratorium that was put in place October 2017, right after these storage facilities applied for permits. When this moratorium was passed, the intention was that it would act as a stop-gap measure until permanent zoning changes took effect with the passage of HALA. Predictably though, that law has been delayed by legal challenges, leaving the moratorium set to expire soon with no zoning changes in place. On Wednesday, Sept. 5th at 9:30 AM the Seattle City Council Planning, Land Use and Zoning (PLUZ) Committee will hold a public hearing on the renewal of the Interim Zoning Controls for the Aurora Licton Residential Urban Village. We hope to encourage you to come out in support of the extension and/or email the Seattle City Council with your thoughts.

I want to make it clear: this is not an attack on the many existing businesses along Aurora that may fall into the categories being blocked by this extension. Many of them are family run, have been here for decades, and have always done their best to help the community. We are glad they are here, appreciate their contributions, and hope they continue to thrive. This zoning extension and the permanent zoning changes proposed will not affect existing businesses or already pending permits. The goal is only to encourage more housing, and pedestrian-friendly businesses are built in existing empty lots and new lots as they become available. We believe this will result in a more lively and friendly area that will benefit both residents and existing businesses alike.

Call to Action: We hope you will work with ALUV to extend the Aurora zoning controls and help ensure a vibrant Aurora Village has a chance.


Teriyaki Taste Test!

In Seattle, we all LOVE good Teriyaki. Licton Springs is no exception, and we are lucky to have at least 4 Teriyaki places within our < 1 square mile neighborhood. With so many to choose from it can be difficult to know which one to try out. So, we decided to make the only logical decision and try all 4!

The methodology

For this taste test we decided to go with the plain Teriyaki Chicken dish from all 4 locations. We took turns with a blindfold on while the other randomly gave us a taste of one of the Teriyaki dishes and asked for a score from 1-5. We didn't include cost in our calculation since all 4 Teriyaki places had their Teriyaki priced within a few dimes of each other in the $8 range. NOTE: Many of them also have lunch specials for around $7.

The contenders

The spread

  1. Manna Deli Teriyaki Manna Deli Teriyaki Store Front

    Conveniently located on Aurora and with very friendly service, this Teriyaki place currently enjoys the highest rating of the 3 Teriyaki only restaurants on Yelp, but unfortunately had the lowest health rating at the time we went.

    • Address: 9831 Aurora Ave N Seattle, WA 98103
    • Hours: 11AM-9PM Monday-Saturday, Closed Sunday
    • Current Health Rating: Okay
  2. Oak Tree Teriyaki Oak Tree Teriyaki Store Front

    Located in the Oak Tree Plaza, right near the recently remodeled AMC (easily one of the comfiest theaters in Seattle now), this has long been my favorite Teriyaki place. The owner is super friendly, they have these excellent house fries, and they have hours that work pretty well for eating before or after movies. However, I always get the Spicy Teriyaki here, so I'm curious to see how the regular Teriyaki fares.

    • Address: 10002 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133
    • Hours: 11AM-9PM Monday-Saturday, Closed Sunday
    • Current Health Rating: Good
  3. Teriyaki Plus Teriyaki Plus Store Front

    The only Teriyaki place of the 4 that neither of us had been to before, so we are both stoked to try it out for the first time.

    • Address: 2100 N Northgate Way b, Seattle, WA 98133
    • Hours: 11AM-9PM Monday-Saturday, Closed Sunday
    • Current Health Rating: Excellent
  4. Cafe Banh Mi Cafe Banh Mi Sign

    Tucked away in a business complex on Meridian Ave, Cafe Banh Mi is the only place we tried that isn't marketed as a Teriyaki restaurant. It does, however, happen to have Teriyaki permanently on the menu. We discovered this when traveling back to Seattle on an early morning flight. We missed Seattle Teriyaki so much on our vacation - that we craved it upon returning. Cafe Banh Mi was the only place that served Teriyaki we could find that was also open at 8 AM. However, their matching early close time and non-existent weekend hours mean we don't get to enjoy this place nearly as often as we'd like to.

    • Address: 10700 Meridian Ave N #106, Seattle, WA 98133
    • Hours: 7AM-5PM Monday-Friday, Closed Saturday & Sunday
    • Current Health Rating: Excellent

The ratings

  1. Cafe Banh Mi Cafe Banh Mi's Teriyaki

    With a generous coating of Teriyaki glaze covering perfectly moist chicken, Cafe Banh Mi easily took the #1 spot.

    • Amanda: 4.5 - "Delicious. I want more."
    • Tim: 4.5 - "By far the best."
  2. Oak Tree Teriyaki Oak Tree's Teriyaki Oak Tree's distinctive crunch helped pull it into #2 place. And then there are those glorious house fries...

    • Amanda: 3.75
    • Tim 4.0 - "Has a really nice crunch to it."

    Oak Tree's Fries Bonus (House Fries):

    • Amanda: 5.0 - "This isn't what we are taste testing, but these are delicious."
    • Tim: 10 - "That's right, these are off the scale. It's a good thing these aren't included in the actual rating."
  3. Manna Deli Teriyaki Manna Deli Teriyaki

    • Amanda: 3.5 - "Has a nice flavor to it, but I want a bit more."
    • Tim 3.25
  4. Teriyaki Plus Teriyaki Plus Some more teriyaki sauce may have made all the difference for this one.

    • Amanda: 3.25 - "Too Dry."
    • Tim 3.0 - "Too Dry!"

Disagree with our ratings? Let us know why in the comments! Either way, go eat some delicious Teriyaki in Licton Springs!


Opinion: The time is now to keep momentum going and rezone Aurora

As part of the upcoming HALA legislation we have the unprecedented opportunity to reshape Aurora Avenue into the hub of a vibrant walkable community. Regardless what your thoughts are on the overall legislation, I encourage you to let our council members know what we as a community want from Aurora. For me that means more gems like the wonderful neighborhood shops that fill Oak Tree Plaza and fewer storage facilities. Either way, as the final public hearing happens tomorrow (June 5th) this may be your last opportunity to let the council know how you feel.

From our friends at ALUV:

Dear ALUV Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for continued interest in bringing positive change to the Aurora Ave Corridor, specifically from N. 84th to N. 110th. As we continue our efforts to increase public safety via “eyes on the street” our biggest obstacle is the commercial zoning designation. This zoning has recently allowed for two public storage facilities to be built that provide no housing or walkable amenities to our Residential Urban Village as designated by the city in 1999.

Please email your support for the proposed zoning changes from Commercial (C) to Neighborhood Commercial (NC) to the Seattle City Council [email protected] prior to JUNE 5th.

-> Click here for the email template from ALUV.