Our Vision of a Walkable, Affordable, Transit-Oriented Mt. Baker

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The Mt Baker Station Area has been the focus of several community planning efforts over the past decade. Through the North Rainier Neighborhood Plan and Mt Baker Station Area Design Guidelines, the community has articulated a clear vision for a safe, vibrant, and affordable Town Center. Since the completion of the Sound Transit Link light rail station, the Office of Planning and Community Development, the Department of Transportation, the Office of Housing and other City agencies have been working with community on investments in safer streets, affordable housing, small business development, and open space improvements as steps toward realizing this vision. We are currently partnering with Sound Transit to redevelop a six-acre site immediately west of the Mt. Baker light rail station with affordable homes, childcare, and a potential opportunity for open space. We’re also designing walking and biking improvements to increase safety, including a new protected bike lane and safer crossings near the intersection of Rainier Ave South and Martin Luther King Jr Way South, along with other safety improvements.
 
There is preliminary application material filed with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) for the Pepsi Co. site at 2300 26th Avenue South under tracking number 002421-21PA. At this point in the process, it appears the applicant is planning to maintain the existing use as a warehouse facility while making modifications for parking. This may be allowed as an existing use, however, all applicable code standards for the zone must be met with any new development or alterations. A complete permit application has not yet been submitted for review for this site.
 
The site at 2700 Rainier Ave South (Lowe’s) encompasses approximately 13 acres of land and is zoned Seattle Mixed North Rainier with a height limit of 145 feet (SM-NR 145 (M)). The “M” suffix requires qualifying proposals to contribute towards the City’s Mandatory Housing Affordability program. The area is also located within the Mt Baker Station Area Overlay District. The station area overlay district leverages existing transit improvements by promoting transit-oriented development with vibrant street-level uses and improvements for pedestrian mobility. Currently, this overlay district prohibits new warehouses and large expansions of any existing warehouses.
 
At present, the applicant has submitted preliminary application material, which includes a brief project description, a site plan, and applicant contact information listed under a tracking number 002423-21PA.  No complete permit applications have been filed and no other plans have been provided to SDCI. On April 6, SDCI staff asked for more detailed information to process the Preliminary Application Form, which must be completed before the applicant begins the permitting process.
 
Please use the provided links above to track both proposals, as they may evolve if a permit application is filed.

Sincerely,

Rico Quirindongo, Interim Director
Office of Planning and Community Development

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Department of Construction
and Inspections

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