Thursday, January 10, 2013

Two citizens protest impacts of proposed Valley Furniture redevelopment

Valley Furniture in downtown Redmond (8178 164th Ave NE) sits on quite a large lot - 1.15 acres with significant trees.  MacDonald's Book Exchange sublets on the site.   Both are scheduled to be torn down with the trees sometime this summer providing permits are approved for a new 215 unit multi-family residential project containing over 4500 square feet of retail. 

Two citizens complained about the project at the last council meeting saying the project would change the look and feel of the neighborhood, stress nearby 165th Ave NE, and cause parking congestion. 

Kimberly Price said the project is "equivalent to a Redmond 160 or Cleveland building in her  townhouse backyard".  She quipped her kids would be yelling at the builders as the six-floor complex was raised above her two-story townhouse.  She complained that 165th Ave. had poor visibility and wasn't designed to service 215 additional units and retail space. 

Heather, the first speaker, scrutinized the parking plan and the land use process complaining citizens weren't given notice of the complete removal of the landmark trees.  She said that only 230 parking stalls are planned by the city for the project when 272 are required according to code.  She quoted city code that 1.25 parking stalls are required for all projects over 6 units and 3.5 stalls are required for every 1000 sf of commercial space.  (Limited additional structured and street parking will be available). Heather was concerned that 50% of the parking space was marked for compact cars and that larger vehicles would have to park on the street or elsewhere.

The mayor advised council that an appeal has not been filed at this time.   Kimberly asked Council to "reconsider the size, scale, scope of the project and how close it comes to the property boundary" of the adjacent residences. 

Reported by Bob Yoder     


Facebook commentor said...

Resistance is futile. It's clear there is no interest in preserving the natural aspect of the city at all. They bring down hundreds of majestic trees, and replace them with a few bushes here and there, like that takes care of the issue. To make matters worse, a great number of the new buildings have a soviet style look, they are really unpleasant. By the time they realize what they have done it will be too late.

Facebook commentator said...

I hadn't heard about this project; very sad indeed. It seems the city council is determined to pave over all of downtown Redmond and cover it with cookie cutter bldgs. Traffic is going to be hideous. The city is rapidly losing it's identity.

Anonymous said...

Chop, pave and build... that's the Redmond way.

Facebook commentator said...

Write your city council and the planning commission. Nothing will change if they don't know people are unhappy about what's going on. No guarantee that things will change, but it's absolutely guaranteed that no change will happen if we all just sit around and don't speak up.