Category Archives: General News

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.

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

Expect Additional Traffic at the Seattle Center Today for Starbucks Shareholders Meeting

There will be lots of traffic around Seattle Center and McCaw Hall Wednesday morning when people start showing up for the Starbucks shareholders meeting.

The Seattle Department of Transportation said drivers should expect heavy traffic because of the meeting and on-going construction projects in the area.

Expect traffic volumes to be higher than usual heading into and around Lower Queen Anne.

The meeting starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday, but doors open at 8 a.m. About 2,700 people are expected to attend.

There will be extra traffic heading out of the neighborhood from noon to 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, Howard Schultz will attend his last shareholders meeting as the company’s CEO.

Schultz announced he was stepping down in December.

Starbucks chief operating officer Kevin Johnson will become the new CEO on April 3.

Schultz will move to the role of executive chairman.

Syndicated from KIRO 7 News. Featured photo source: Wikipedia Commons.

Film Comes To Life In “Film Is Dead” Exhibit

In the midst of the digital age, many are astounded that film still even exists. Everyone has digital film and video capabilities, and film Is very expensive, so, why bother right?

While that may have been what you thought once upon a time, your mind will be forever changed once you see the brilliant art made on and with film by artist Jennifer West at her Seattle Art Museum installation “Film Is Dead”.

In this revolutionarily inventive show, West uses 70mm, 35mm and 16mm analog film strips to create beautiful and visually compelling works of art. She treats the film with common household items including food coloring, nail polish, coffee, vinegar, bleach and more to create patterns and unplanned but stunning effects by eroding the films emulsion, staining it and letting the film take one whatever characters it might.

West’s SAM exhibit features film strips and remnants that have been treated and manipulated by the artist in this way, hung from the ceiling, and spanning almost the entire length of the gallery.

In addition to the physical installation at SAM, West has taken many of these works and digitized them to create a film that explores the differences and relationship between the analog and digital qualities of the film medium, creating another layer to this thought provoking artistic experiment.

Jennifer West is a Los Angeles based artist with some history in the Seattle. West received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College in Olympia before returning to her home state of California to earn her Masters in Fine Arts from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

West’s works have been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions across the country and the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NY, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR and many more.

Her love affair with film dates back more than ten years and she boasts a very interesting and varied portfolio of works including photographic and video works using different and rare types of film and film techniques, light play, performance and her unique film quilts and magic lantern works. West’s style and aesthetic are likely different from any you’ve seen before, exploring and challenging the differences between modern digital photographic art and classic analog film techniques. Her style simultaneously evokes nostalgic feelings and encapsulates a modern and almost futuristic aesthetic, and over all seems to challenge films obsoleteness and the digital waves supremacy.

If you share a love of visual arts, interesting techniques, the fusion of arts and science or simply subscribe to the thought that everything old is new again, “Film Is Dead” is a show worth seeing, if for no other reason than to see something beautiful before it’s gone.

JENNIFER WEST: FILM IS DEAD . . .

Exhibit on display through SUN MAY 7 2017

SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES