Upcoming Design Review Board meetings of note (LIVE COVERAGE)

Two large development projects on NE 65th Street may before the Northeast Design Review Board in the next three weeks: The old Children’s Home Society of Washington land up at 33rd Avenue NE (recently sold to Polygon Northwest), and the old Fruit Stand block at 15th Avenue NE (owned by Hugh Sisley and leased to the Roosevelt Development Group).

Northeast Design Review Board meetings are held at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, Room #209). You can see all upcoming meetings (and the links to their respective project information) at this Design Review Meetings page at seattle.gov.

For more information on these two particular projects (including links to design documents and their respective Department of Planning and Development permit pages), click on the map below.

View Jan/Feb 2014 NE Design Review Board meeting topics in a larger map

Ravenna Blog plans on attending both meetings and providing live coverage at ravennablog.com:

  • LIVE COVERAGE of the Monday, January 13 meeting (CHS of WA/Polygon Northwest) begins below around 6:30 PM.
  • LIVE COVERAGE of the (tentative-at-this-time) Monday, February 3 meeting (old Fruit Stand block/Sisley/Roosevelt Development Group) will be posted to a page-to-be-named-later.
Rebecca January 13, 20148:01 PM

Aaaand the project will be back for a early design review round two.

As will we! Another day.

Thanks for following along. Any further details we receive about this meeting will be added to the post above.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:55 PM

Board now reviewing the design plans using a rubric (located on the back of the agenda, and I imagine also on the DPD site somewheres).

Main topics being considered are site planning; height, bulk and scale; architectural elements and materials; pedestrian environment; landscaping.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:50 PM

Discussion now whether to redo the early design phase or move on. Board members stating their choices and why they’re leaning that way.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:43 PM

So, the board is talking critically about this project right in front of the very people that put it together. These five people are having this discussion, all facing each other, and the design group is around them, listening intently, staring right. at. them.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:34 PM

Northeast Design Review Board meetings take place in the University Heights Community Center.

Here’s a little of the history of the center, when it was a part of the Seattle School District: http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/history%20book/university-heights.pdf

Rebecca January 13, 20147:30 PM

The Northeast Design Review Board is made up of three women and two men. And you can learn all about them (pictures, too!) here:


Rebecca January 13, 20147:28 PM

The other project being looked at tonight is in Roosevelt, which might be of interest to some of you out there. 800 NE 67th St.

Project link:

Rebecca January 13, 20147:26 PM

Last phase of meeting: Design team deliberates and votes to either move project forward or do another early design review with recommendations.

This phase is still public, but the board is talking amongst themselves. I plan to stick around until their decision, which shouldn’t take too long as there is another projects design to review tonight.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:22 PM

NE 68th St resident: Sidewalks around the property in pretty bad shape, currently. Setback of 10-15 feet along NE 65th St supported.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:21 PM

Per Johnson of the Wedgwood Community Council: Consider Assumption School across the street — setbacks safer for the kids.

Resident: Yay more commercial on NE 65th St. Yes also to mixing up the facade designs (as an earlier commenter said.)

Rebecca January 13, 20147:19 PM

34th Ave NE resident: Concerned about emergency vehicle access due to current parking crowding. And 34th is terrible to try and pull out of to turn onto 65th. (I agree!)

Rebecca January 13, 20147:18 PM

RBCA’s land use chair, Sarah Swanberg now: Thanks for working with us about this project.

Design thoughts: Taking about current BMP plans. How will bikes get around/park (looking for facilities on the property). Excited about the retail. Not sure how live/work spaces are used — some future clarification here?

68th/32nd resident: How many extra spots in the garage? Would love the buildings to not be too mid-century modern (she lives in one herself) as most buildings in the area are not.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:14 PM

DRB Chair moving things along well.

Resident S of cafe: Likes the break up of the commercial buildings. Would like the possible greenway on 32nd to be considered in design.

Wedgwood resident: Look more into individuality of the buildings. Unique personality. Likes the space between the buildings (courtyard could be a tad wider). Should be attractive to families as is planned.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:11 PM

Public comment time! Questions for board, design team, DPD (for parking and traffic).

Rebecca January 13, 20147:08 PM

Parking garage to serve who? Townhouses? Work/lives? Commercial?

Still playing with the ratios.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:07 PM

Lots of effort here to preserve the two large trees along the 33rd Avenue NE side.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:05 PM

Width of proposed courtyard is 18-20 feet.

Set back from next portion (low rise/townhome middle 1/3). Trying hard to preserve the large and/or healthy trees as much as possible (care toward root zones, for example). Or else replacing with like landscaping.

Best use of open space thought to be the street space along NE 65th St. Want to add some life there.

Rebecca January 13, 20147:00 PM

One of the members of the design team does live near the project.

Next: clarifying questions from the design review board.

Rebecca January 13, 20146:59 PM

Brick and wood for external. Extending these design elements into the single family homes/throughout the complex. (Reminds me a bit of the buildings in Pioneer Square, but with the top floor/third floor in wood.)

Rebecca January 13, 20146:57 PM

Landscaping. Internal courtyard to the broken up commercial buildings. Two also crossing east-west. Private patios on the roofdeck with planters, some perhaps with green roofs. Landscaping to match with what is currently in the area.

Rebecca January 13, 20146:56 PM

Three massings being presented.

First has the maximum size. Big boxy buildings.

Second: Add a courtyard, a few more setbacks.

Third: Break it into pieces. Commercial corners more “activated.” Pull back buildings from sidewalks for “transition zones” like patios, outdoor seating.

Rebecca January 13, 20146:53 PM

Motivated to develop the commercial portion of the project in a meaningful and connected-to-the-surrounding-neighborhood way. Creating a “sense of place.” “Vibrant, active, human-scaled streetscape.” (Someone in the audience has already commented on these phrases the design team is throwing around.)

Rebecca January 13, 20146:50 PM

Lots of trees on the current site. Thought to have been planted as a buffer. Project proposes to remove some of these (some are also funky from having been topped). 22 to be removed, as a part of the plan. Will also help open up the site and connect it more (“activate”) to the neighborhood.

Rebecca January 13, 20146:47 PM

There is a grade to NE 65th Street frontage. Talk of adding below-street parking to the higher side of the property, with access on the 34th Avenue NE side. (To which one audience member breathed out audibly, twice.)

Rebecca January 13, 20146:44 PM

Looking over the presentation now. (This is the 27 MB PDF from the project architect that you can access by clicking on the rightmost orange box in the map above).

Rebecca January 13, 20146:40 PM

20 minutes now for the developer.

Polygon Northwest guy speaking. The architect of the project is also here, and the rest of the design team. Some of these folks have already presented bits of the project to the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, and you can find more detail info about the project at ravennabryant.org.

Rebecca January 13, 20146:38 PM

Rips calling it an unusual site: Three different zoning designations within the block. Tonight’s meeting focusing on the southern 1/3 of the lot next to NE 65th St.

Townhouse portion of the project (middle 1/3 of site) will be looked at later by DPD.

Top 1/3 planned to be single family and no design review is required.

Rebecca January 13, 20146:36 PM

Bruce Rips is here representing the DPD. (Come to the meetings, give over your email address, and you get meeting reports and events related to specific projects! Lots of city-related meetings work this way.)

Rebecca January 13, 20146:34 PM


Early design guidance meeting for the project being planned for the block just to the east of the Sunflour Cafee (Bryant Corner Cafe). Ideas will be shared, public CAN commend.


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    Upcoming Design Review Board meetings of note (LIVE COVERAGE)

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