Tag Construction

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North Seattle Precinct set to expand Licton Springs footprint

Where College Way N and Meridian Ave N meet in Licton Springs there is a small police station. That station is responsible for serving all of North Seattle. From Ballard to UDistrict, Fremont to Haller Lake, all of them are served by the North Precinct. This easily makes it the station that serves both the largest land area and population.

Naturally, this has led for many calls to split the precinct, or most recently, replace it with a new much larger location (on Aurora). However, thus far, there hasn't been political alignment to turn these calls into reality. The most recent of which was stopped by a counter campaign to "Block the Bunker", primarily driven from those who live in areas that aren't in the area served by the precinct they wish to block.

Now, if you walk by the precinct, you will be greeted by many land use signs. The North Precinct plans to increase its footprint at its current location.

North Precinct Expansion

Where grass and greenery used to be, the precinct plans to pave additional parking and add portables. The plan isn't meant to be a permanent solution, but the hope is it will enable the precinct to keep up with the next 5-7 years of growth. And while there is concern by many over the loss of greenspace as illustrated in the public comments (record # 3031508-LU), with no other agreed on options, combined with an increasing call for greater public safety and police presence, it seems increasingly likely that we will see the start of an expanded precinct in Licton Springs come this time next year.

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North Seattle Greenway Construction

A friend of the blog wrote in to let us know the construction of the North Seattle Neighborhood Greenway project down 100th Ave N is set to begin as soon as tomorrow. The project aims to connect Crown Hill, Greenwood, and Licton Springs both to each other and to the upcoming pedestrian bridge that will provide direct access to the Northgate light rail station. While the entire project, which will stretch around 2 miles, is a welcome addition - of particular interest to those in the Licton Springs area are a new sidewalk from Linden Ave N to Aurora Ave N and sidewalk improvements being made between Aurora Ave N and Stone Ave N.

Linden currently without sidewalk Linden sidewalk area 100th in Licton Springs

When the work is complete, the hope is that it will be possible to safely walk or ride a bicycle all the way from Crown Hill to the new light rail station, with sidewalk at a minimum from Linden Ave N eastward. You can find more information about the project on SDOT's overview page. The project should take around 6 months to complete with individual neighbors being directly contacted as construction work that impacts them is underway.

Meanwhile, the traffic circle on Wallingford Ave N and N 97th we wrote about earlier this year has now been completed and is just awaiting greenery.

Wallingford Ave N Circle

We look forward to a safer and more walkable North Seattle!

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Appeal hearing set for property of old Gold's Gym

A member of the community has come forth to formally appeal the development of the old Gold's Gym location, which helped compliment other nearby business such as Emerald City Smoothie, into a storage facility. The area in question has a moratorium on non-pedestrian oriented businesses, but the permit for the storage facility was placed right before it was put into effect. Beyond Aurora, the property is surrounded by homes and townhouses, and there is a strong desire by many within the area to increase housing and retail along Aurora, by lining it with apartment complexes that contain retail on the bottom. The thought being, that this would increase the safety of Aurora while helping to soften our current housing crises.

Gold's Gym Location Public Storage Notice of Land Use Houses behind gym

The appeal comes as "Greenlake" Self-storage continues its construction just a few blocks south.

Greenlake Self-Storage

The hearing for the appeal is set for 9 AM on Monday, Aug. 13, at the City of Seattle Hearing Examiner’s Office, Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave., 40th Floor.

Hearings are open to the public, but generally only those who are parties to the appeal and persons called by the parties as witnesses will have the opportunity to testify. A person who has not appealed, but who has a substantial interest in the outcome of the appeal, may request to be allowed to participate in an appeal as an “intervenor”. An intervenor, like the parties, would have the option of appealing the Hearing Examiner’s decision in this matter. Intervenor status should be requested as soon as possible prior to hearing and in accordance with the Hearing Examiner Rules. For information regarding appeals and intervenor status, contact or visit the Hearing Examiner. The Hearing Examiner’s office provides barrier-free access.

The reason for the appeal reflects the concerns shared by many:

My interest is to maintain some sense of residential and environmental neighborhood atmosphere. This project unfortunately has been grandfathered into the rezoning of past. The current rezoning would not support this project.

You can see the full reasoning behind the appeal as well as all supporting documents on Seattle's Hearing Examiner site.

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Downtown Northgate and our bridge to it continues to take shape

For many years Northgate enjoyed the convenience of having both of the big name wine and beer outlets right next to each other. Being able to easily walk between BevMo! and Total Wine in the same trip was a magical thing for anyone who anxiously awaited limited availability beer, wine, or spirit releases. Of course, one-day several months ago, this duo came to an end, leaving only Total Wine - which sits at the bottom of an apartment complex, left in-tact.

A friend of the blog recently reached out to us, with an unsurprising explanation for that closure: BevMo!, which was nestled into an old-fashioned shopping strip, needed to close to make way for the expansion of Downtown Northgate. In the place of the old shopping plaza, plans are in place to build a 235 unit apartment building with retail at the bottom, continuing the trend happening around the old plaza:

Old BevMo! Location Construction Around the Building Alleyway showing grouping of mid-rises

If you would like to give your input into the design of this new apartment building, there is an upcoming opportunity to contribute to the early design guidance August 6, 2018 6:30 pm

Meanwhile, the redevelopment of the mall into the focal point of this new downtown area continues being planned, with the first two opportunities for community input coming tentatively next month:

The transit-oriented development, temporarily paused, has come back in full swing with a new RFP based on free land from King County and an upzone to allow up to 24 story buildings promised by the end of this month.

And finally, concerns over future of the Northgate Pedestrian bridge which will connect Licton Springs directly to both the developing Light Rail and Downtown Northgate, have been alleviated after the Seattle Colleges Board of Trustees conditionally agreed to give an easement to the new bridge. The latest plans for which, will have the new bridge/path only a ~5-10 minute walk away from Oak Tree Plaza.

New Bridge

No matter how you feel about the developments overall, hopefully, this all will lead to a North Seattle that feels more connected both to Downtown Seattle and to the neighborhoods contained within.

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