A big thank you to Rene Commons for the notes from our JuNO meeting on March 9th. I was out of town and unable to lead the meeting. And thank you to Cheryl Sizov for the important informatin shared and encouragement to continue forwarding suggestions on the new citywide design guidelines.
Please see the information presented below and the many opportunities outlined for futher coment and public input. It is essential that we have a voice in the design guideline process so that we have the best possible development outcomes in our neighborhood. Your feedback and concerns have been shared with the Department of Planning and Development (also copied on this email).
I look forward to seeing you all at our next meeting in May and at future design review meetings.
Junction Neighborhood Organization
Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
6:30 – 8:30 PM
Guest Speaker: Cheryl Sizov, Senior Planner, DPD, City of Seattle
Presentation: Draft of new ‘Seattle Citywide Design Guidelines’
JuNO Agenda: Neighborhood Clean Up
Needed: Volunteer Coordinator – position available
Needed: Volunteer to receive materials from city – needs to be able to receive weekday
Updated Citywide Design Guidelines
Cheryl Sizov, Project Planner, Seattle Dept of Planning and Development was guest speaker at the JuNO March meeting. Cheryl presented the draft of Seattle’s Citywide Design Guidelines and tackled additional questioning as to how the proposed new guidelines would mesh with the current West Seattle Junction Urban Village Neighborhood Design Guidelines. Please take time to review the guideline Updated Citywide Design Guidelines at the link provided below and post your public comments or concerns.
Juno president, Erica Karlovits, asked Cheryl to consider trouble shooting some tough questions about the Design Review Process and the Land Use Code for Neighborhood Design Guidelines at the meeting. Cheryl did a great job of preparing and provided some answers and suggestions to our community in the question and answer period following her presentation.
WSBlog / Johnathon Fitzpatrick/JuNO meeting coverage
Cheryl relayed that Design Guidelines form a ‘basis’, but cannot guarantee or mandate specifically to the design review board or the developer. However Cheryl did acknowledge land use code ordinance (SMC 23.41.010) which states that Neighborhood Design Guidelines shall prevail if there are conflicts between Citywide Design Guidelines ( Neighborhood guidelines are intended to be more specific and augment the Citywide Design Guidelines). She mentioned that site development must follow zoning first. DPD asks that the developer analyze the site to consider its orientation, looking out on a Neighborhood scale and inward on arrangement of the building. Open spaces need to have a concept.
THE ROLE OF SEATTLE’S DESIGN GUIDELINES Design guidelines by themselves do not create good design nor do they ensure it. They do not address nor resolve disputes about zoning; likewise they do not address project impacts related to parking or traffic. What design guidelines do address are the qualities of architecture, urban design, and public space that make for successful projects and communities. Context and Site, Public Life, and Design Concept are the three directives provided for review in the new Citywide Design Guidelines.
JuNO members comments from the meeting were vibrant and specific.
Q: How can the community have a greater impact on the Design Review Process and ensure construction will follow what was approved in the meetings.
Cheryl said the Seattle’s Design Review Boards are intended to foster good design. Currently the city has identified that there are problems in quality assurance problems follow up though construction phase. Perhaps the community can request or create a checklist of Neighborhood Design Guideline directives to assure they are achieved in each project design review.
Q: How can the Design Review Board process improve coordination of “Right of Way” with SDOT in a proactive way? Wouldn’t it make sense for DPD to coordinate more efficiently with SDOT to provide guidance in the early stages of design review. Too many projects are experiencing big changes after MUP due to SDOT regulations that distract rather than enhance our Neighborhood. Suggestion made to appoint skilled SDOT representative to be an integral part design review project review meetings.
Cheryl noted that SDOT is working on an Improvement manual and the document can be accessed online. This motion made to SDOT/DPD to appoint an representative to DRB was seconded by four people. Right of Way impact has valid overlap on the design review of projects. Write to Vince Lyons and SDOT.
Q: Where is the accountability for projects that don’t get built right?
Noted to write to SDOT and DPD addressing leaders to make them aware of issues and concerns
Q: How can our community increase the impact of Neighborhood Design Review Guideline directives at public project design review meetings?
Audience suggestions were to increase awareness of specific sites being developed through actual scheduled site walks with community and the Design Review Board and posting site reviews on UTUBE for the Design Review Board to watch. Concerns noted were that DRB members in some reviews were not familiar with sites being reviewed. Continue an ongoing dialogue between the community and the SW DRB. Take an active interest in recruitment of DRB positions. Submit community packet directive to architect applicants. Suggestion was made for DPD to require applicants to photograph the site to acknowledge context and site.
Q: How can DRB members and directors be prepared to work effectively
Audience comments noted lack of time for sufficient public comment in DRB review. Comment also made that DPD review directors may be overloaded, in duress, and need break from workload. Suggestion to alternate directors of DRB was made.
Q: “Is the Design Review Process just softening the blow?”
The cut-off of community process in Design Review meetings was noted by an audience member. If Land Use code dictates development, and degree of scale how can the community impact developers to create well designed projects that endure and enhance the neighborhood?
Q; How does Queen Anne manage to protect their neighborhood character?
Other questions addressed were how to give our SW DRB more teeth to follow Neighborhood Design Guideline directives.
Neighborhood Design Guidelines
West Seattle Junction Urban Village Neighborhood Design Guidelines - download your own copy: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cms/groups/pan/@pan/@plan/@drp/documents/Web_Informational/cos_005122.pdf
Southwest Design Review Board(West Seattle): http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/Design_Review_Program/Who_We_Are/Boards/DPD_001381.asp
Each board has five members from backgrounds intended to represent the players in the development process: Design professional representative, Development representative, Community representative, Local residential representative, Local business representative
Citywide Design Guidelines Update/Public Comment Opportunity Overview DPD Updates Citywide Design GuidelinesThe City’s design guidelines, entitled Design Review: Guidelines for Multifamily and Commercial Buildings, have been the cornerstone of the Design Review Program since 1994. These original guidelines formed the basis for 19 sets of neighborhood-specific guidelines (as of July 2009) and a set of Downtown guidelines. In 2008 the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) initiated a process to update the 15 year old citywide guidelines and began drafting revisions with the assistance of architecture and urban design consultant Weinstein Architects and Urban Planners. The first draft of updated Citywide Design Guidelines is now available for public review.Public comment link for the Citywide Design Update Plan Draft: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/CitywideDesignGuidelinesUpdate/Overview/default.asp
Citywide Design Update Plan Draft - download your own copy:
The purpose of the update is, above all, to help increase the quality of design in Seattle’s Urban Neighborhoods. As a primary tool in the Design Review process, the guidelines provide the authority and mandate for Boards to review projects fairly and comprehensively across the city.
|Opportunities for Public CommentThere are several opportunities for the public to comment on and influence the final draft of the updated Citywide Design Guidelines, including:§ Sending written comments to Cheryl Sizov, Project Manager, at DPD, Post Office Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019
or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org§ Attending the DPD-hosted public meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 5:30-7:30pm in the Bertha Landes room at City Hall.DPD will be accepting public comments through Wednesday, March 31, 2010.The City’s design guidelines, entitled Design Review: Guidelines for Multifamily and Commercial Buildings, have been the cornerstone of the Design Review Program since 1994. These original guidelines formed the basis for 19 sets of neighborhood-specific guidelines (as of July 2009) and a set of Downtown guidelines. In 2008 the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) initiated a process to update the 15 year old citywide guidelines and began drafting revisions with the assistance of architecture and urban design consultant Weinstein Architects and Urban Planners. The first draft of updated Citywide Design Guidelines is now available for public review.
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