Monthly Archives: April 2017

City Announces Next Steps on Backyard Cottage Proposal

By Joe Veyera

Months after the hearing examiner ruled in favor of the Queen Anne Community Council in their appeal of a proposal to ease regulations on building backyard cottages and mother-in-law units, the city has announced its next steps on the issue.

In a blog post late last month, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien wrote that after a “thorough examination” of the decision, the city will pursue a full environmental impact statement to look deeply into the potential impacts of code changes.

In the post, O’Brien said the EIS process will likely take a year to complete, and that there will be multiple opportunities for residents to voice their opinions during that period.

O’Brien originally introduced a proposal last year that would have allowed properties to have both an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) on the same lot, removed the off-street parking requirement, removed the owner-occupancy requirement after one year, reduced the minimum lot size for a DADU to 3,200 sq. ft., and increased the allowable floor area for a DADU from 800 to 1,000 sq. ft. Opponents of the proposal raised concerns that the potential environmental impacts weren’t adequately studied, and the hearing examiner ruled that the city’s determination of non-significance in relation to the State Environmental Policy Act was not based on sufficient information to evaluate potential impacts. Meanwhile, proponents of the original effort labeled the Community Council’s efforts as obstructionist, something they firmly denied.

The hope, O’Brien wrote, is to bring legislation to the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee by the middle of the next year.

“I believe lowering the barriers to creating backyard cottages and in-law apartments is an important part of addressing affordability across the city, and am looking forward to continuing to pursue this legislation,” O’Brien wrote in the post.

Syndicated from QueenAnneNews.com. Photo source.

Spring Egg Hunt

Head to the Queen Anne Community Center this Saturday, April 15th for a Spring Egg Hunt! Bring a basket or bag to gather up all of the goodies found at the FREE Queen Anne Annual Spring Egg Hunt. Come rain or shine! Ages 11 and younger can participate, with the egg hunt beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing until noon.

Bring your own bag or basket to collect your eggs.

Queen Anne Community Center
1901 First Ave. W, Seattle
206-386-4240

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

Sinkhole Opens in Queen Anne

Many Seattleites fear ‘the really big one’, a projected 8.7 – 9.2 magnitude earthquake that could hit the Puget Sound and northern West Coast at anytime. But fewer of us realize the danger of the earth opening up beneath our very feet! Sinkholes are a very real danger in Seattle, and can happen without warning and at small to terrifying sizes. Just a year and a half ago, a large hole suddenly opened up between two homes on Queen Anne. And last month, a recycling truck was stuck in a West Seattle sinkhole near 24th Avenue SW and SE Kenyon S.

Only a couple of weeks ago, another sinkhole opened up on Queen Anne in the middle of 5th Avenue. It was three feet wide and required the closure 5th Avenue between West Comstock Street and West Highland Drive in order for Seattle Public Utilities to repair it.

In Seattle’s history, sinkholes have trapped cars and even people, although there have been no casualties. Sinkholes have been a ‘thing’ throughout the city over the past year, and not just because of the drilling caused by Bertha, the drilling machine that’s tunneling below Belltown to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Why does the city get these sinkholes? Seattle soil isn’t characterized by karst terrain, the type of rock that commonly develops sinkholes. Instead, our sinkholes are caused by aging water and sewer systems underground. According to U.S. Geological Survey geologist Randall Orndorff, “Since these systems are pipes, they act like caves in the natural setting—a void beneath the surface.”

Featured photo source: Q13fox.com