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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Leschi Property Owners Taunt Angry Neighbors and Government with Sign Telling Obama to "Kiss Our Booty"

Posted by on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM

King County property records show that the million-dollar property with the lovely view on 333 Lakeside Avenue South belongs to Randall Spaan and Betty Lock, and over the last eight years, they've applied for permits that began with a retaining wall, added a large garage and basement, and then stacked two more floors to make the house what is—technically speaking—a three-story house with a basement. As you can see from this photo taken from the street, sent by a source asking not to be named, the home is rather large:


"The house now looms over the surrounding homes and already blocks the view of Mt. Rainier from many of the homes to the north," says our ticked off Slog tipper. "To add insult to injury, the homeowner has raised a banner on the house which reads:"



Second, I called Bryan Stevens at the city's Department of Planning and Development—aka The Government—about Mr. Spaan's property.

Using what's called a "steep slope bonus," Spaan is allowed to build as high as 43 feet from the top of the structure to the ground directly below (the height of a four-story apartment building). However, these houses can also "step up like a stair case with the hillside," Stevens says. The lot's height climbs by 25 feet from the front to the back, so the height of tallest portion can rise much higher than 43 feet above the lowest point of the house at the front of the lot. "I know that from as viewed from Lakeside Avenue, it looks quite tall," says Stevens, responding to concerns of neighbors.

Neighbors have complained a couple times (once in March and one just recently), so Stevens explains, "We are going to be sending out an inspector today or tomorrow to do a field measurement of the structure to make sure it's per plan."

As for Spaan, he's an architect and permit facilitator—according to the quick search for records on him I could find—and he's kvetched in the past about the city's arguably onerous procedures for getting permits. I called him and left a message.

There's also the sign. The neighbor says that the homeowners "don’t appreciate that government built the road, the sewer, the utilities, Lake Washington Boulevard, and so much more that makes their Leschi neighborhood so attractive." Perhaps that's true. But Stevens explains that the eeeevil City of Seattle doesn't govern speech, only "the limit on the size of the sign." And that limit is 36-square feet for temporary signs in residential areas, Stevens says, and this banner appears to comply with city rules. So take that, big-government-inflating, private-investment-killing Obamuslim!

The End.


Comments (50) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
So I guess they airlifted all the materials in? They're collecting their own rainwater and are producing their own electricity?
Posted by ghaon on September 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Talk about an effin ugly-ass house. So what we can draw from this is that the owner is both clueless AND tasteless...
Posted by gawd on September 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
They built the road that leads to their home? They built the sewer system? The water system? They won’t ever call the police or Fire Department?
Posted by Merchant Seaman on September 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Park blocking their driveway and see if they still care about not using government-provided resources.
Posted by doceb on September 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 5
That montrosity is fugly as hay-el.
Posted by Original Andrew on September 19, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
If it makes you feel any better, the owner is only doing this because they are politically powerless. Imagine how irritated you'd be if you lived in a district, city, county, and state that all went consistently Republican regardless of your vote, and no amount of campaigning would change it. I understand the frustration, and I get why they're lashing out, as silly as the actual logic is behind the words on the sign.
Posted by doceb on September 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
I feel really bad for the neighbors, having to live next door to tasteless douchebags. Spaan et al must be horrible people.
Posted by shotsix on September 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 9
If they're so unhappy with government interference in their lives, perhaps they'd prefer to build their house in a less-government-interfering place:…

Just be sure to leave enough room for the machine gun bunkers.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 19, 2012 at 12:52 PM · Report this
mrbarky 10
#8 Thank you for admitting Dominic isn't as bad as Hitler. Thank you!!!!
Posted by mrbarky on September 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 11
A house like that is like a blinged out Honda Civic with the hood painted black, a giant wing, and a fart cannon muffler. Owning such a thing is its own punishment.

The other thing: every time that guy finds a cracked window or steps in dog poop or gets a flat or a package delivery disappears off the doorstep, he has to wonder, "Just bad luck? Or one of my many, many enemies that surround my house? Which is it? Which?"

Living like that, worrying all the time, can drive a guy mad. The paranoia feeds on itself and grows to encompass everything.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on September 19, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
Fnarf 12
Also, Seattle wouldn't have much need of architects or permit facilitators if it weren't for heavy government investment in Boeing (military and space, plus large subsidies for commercial), trucking (no Kenworth trucks without an interstate highway system to run them on), shipping (the container revolution would never have occurred without government subsidies and investment -- in fact, you could say that Seattle's shipping economy is largely the result of the Vietnam War). Just to name a few.

And that house is pure ass.
Posted by Fnarf on September 19, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Revenge! 13
"and...In SPITE of gov't interference"

Does that mean they haven't gotten the necessary permits to build that thing? Hmmmm.
Posted by Revenge! on September 19, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
Zebes 14
"Local wealthy landowner proclaims lack of need for government assistance, feels smug about it."
Posted by Zebes on September 19, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Hernandez 16
What's with the weird curvature on the top right? Is he opening a Bank of America branch on top of his house or something?

Free speech is a wonderful thing. It allows you to see how truly ignorant some people are.

This guy bitches about "gov't interference" yet works as a permit facilitator. Newsflash, asshat: without your so-called "gov't interference" you wouldn't have made the money to build your garish home in the first place.
Posted by Hernandez on September 19, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 17
a Republican Architect? how is that even possible?
Posted by Max Solomon on September 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
I've got to wonder if he has a mortgage on the home and, if so, if he takes the home mortgage deduction on his taxes. If so, it was certainly built with government help.
Posted by MR M on September 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
pfffter 19
@4 yes yes yes
Posted by pfffter on September 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 20
"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to"

- Dorothy Parker.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
I'm jealous of the neighbors.

I wish everyone in my neighborhood would simply put out big signs that essentially read "I am stupid" so I know who to stop pretending to be friends with.
Posted by Swearengen on September 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 22
@2 + @20 = pretty much sums up what I was going to try to say.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on September 19, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 23
So are Randall Spann and Betty Lock living in sin, or are they some sort of progressive couple that doesn't believe in paying for new business cards? That doesn't sound like the kind of person that would vote for Mitt.

And isn't "Permit Facilitator" just another term for "bribe monkey"?

Regardless, this is certainly the kind of asshole who will hire a lawyer to send you a nastygram. Please post when received.
Posted by Sir Vic on September 19, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 24
cranky old white people.
Posted by scary tyler moore on September 19, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
laterite 25
You can bet they'd be the first to go complain to the KC permit office if one of their neighbors started a remodel that blocked their precious views.
Posted by laterite on September 19, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
That may be a house. It sure ain't "housing."
Posted by Cork on September 19, 2012 at 3:53 PM · Report this
south downtown 27
g-d NIMBYs. hating on all that height! hopefully this is really an apodment project!
Posted by south downtown on September 19, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
care bear 28
Who designed that sign? There's more than enough room to spell out government and without.
Posted by care bear on September 19, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 29
So, if somebody defaced their house, they wouldn't call the cops because the police is government assistance...right?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on September 19, 2012 at 4:15 PM · Report this
silly little people on an equally silly parcel in an undesirable location in Leschi. ahhh....all's well in the hood. lived in Leschi 30yrs and this is the most tacky/sad design effort i've witnessed. red robin gone bad, horribly dated and cheap. tag....?
Posted by juan gabriel on September 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 31

Not people doing what they want with their own property!

Better call some government bureaucrats!
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 19, 2012 at 5:13 PM · Report this
He may be legal, but it still doesn't make him not an asshole.
Posted by Weekilter on September 19, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
stirwise 33
Ooooh, when it's finished I hope this fugtastrophe winds up on Fucked Architect.
Posted by stirwise on September 19, 2012 at 6:21 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 34
Oh yes, those terrible bureaucrats....

This may be an inconvenient truth to the simple-minded, but regulations exist for three reasons

1.) enough people complained about how ugly or weird something was, so the offense was put into some sort of code.

2.) enough people died or were injured, or enough property was damaged by something, that the offense was put into some sort of code.

3.) an industry was affected enough by something that they lobbied for something to be put in a code.

The people building this vulgar "home", are entitled to their opinion, as long as it stays within the citizen-developed code for signage in residential areas, which their petulant little sign does. They can build as tacky a house as they want, as long as it stays within the citizen-developed zoning for residential neighborhoods. The rest of the regulations (structural, electrical, plumbing, etc) are there to protect the property owners (and their neighbors, their mortgage holder, and their insurer) from themselves.

They can play victim until the cows come home, but that's the way the world works - at least in the parts of the country where people are of normal intelligence. Someday, when they own a house of their own, some of our more naive posters will realize that. The trolls are a lost cause.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 19, 2012 at 6:29 PM · Report this
Roma 35
When I moved out here many years ago, one of my coworkers at my first job bought a duplex on Queen Anne with a Randall Spaan. He was an architect; it must be the same guy.
Posted by Roma on September 19, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 36
They don't seem to understand what the past tense is for.

Posted by Free Lunch on September 19, 2012 at 7:21 PM · Report this
Banned on The Seattle Times 37
Where's E.L.F. when you need them????
Posted by Banned on The Seattle Times on September 19, 2012 at 8:57 PM · Report this
The mention of Obama is puzzling. Just about any alleged burden these wackos would encounter (e.g. getting the right building permits) is sure to be a city/county issue, not a federal one. An Obama presidency has no bearing on the permitting process, height limits, setback requirements, etc. Idiots.
Posted by brendan on September 19, 2012 at 9:03 PM · Report this
wockyjockey 39
Does anyone use google anymore? He's not a developer, he's a developer. And that alone will tell you all you need to know.…
Posted by wockyjockey on September 19, 2012 at 11:20 PM · Report this
wockyjockey 40
Doesn't anyone google anymore? He's not an architect, he's a developer. And that bit alone will tell you all you need to know.…
Posted by wockyjockey on September 19, 2012 at 11:20 PM · Report this
Also: 'booty'?
Posted by clashfan on September 20, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
I'm sure he would prefer it if there were no zoning laws. Right up until Walmart bought up his neighbors homes (since their property value dropped due to his ugly monstrosity) and build a new superstore next to his house.
Posted by Root on September 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM · Report this
What lovely neighbors.
Posted by Katch22.2 on September 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
curtisp 45
What's the point of building somthing that ugly.? It's like a bad make up job. Instead of going easy and taking some off some people tend to just keep caking it on hoping that it will look better. It's possible somthing similar is going on here.
Posted by curtisp on September 20, 2012 at 9:22 PM · Report this
Bonefish 46
45: All conservatives understand is "accumulation." They think that buying a big, ugly McMansion or big, ugly SUV means that they're living like kings, even if said house or SUV is in shitty shape and cost way more than it's worth. They don't want to live well; they want their neighbors to THINK they're living well. It's really sad when you think about it.

It's like a morbidly obese man bragging that he eats more food than you.
Posted by Bonefish on September 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Everyone who posted to this article should stop by 333 Lakeside Ave. S. to check out their fugly home. It is reported that Betty Lock works for a government agency. Bite the hand that f*&%ing feeds you! Nice, eh?
Posted by anonseattle on September 22, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
How about a flash mob for everyone to show up at 333 Lakeside Ave. S. to check out this fugly monstrous "home". On top of it all and their banner, it is reported that Betty Lock works for a government agency. Bite the hand that f*&%ing hand that feeds you assholes! Nice, eh?
Posted by anonseattle on September 22, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Report this
Posted by anonseattle on September 22, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
He is NOT an architect. He is a builder who does some of his own drawings and masquerades his 'talents' as an architect. From what I understand, he unethically and possibly illegally uses this term. I know this because I was once involved in an appeal with this guy and the opposing council made quite a big deal of Mr. Spawn (oops, Freudian slip) using this label. If I were an architect, I would be incredibly insulted to be grouped in with this guy.
Posted by canamian on September 24, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Correct, canamian. My husband, who is an architect, and thinks both the house and sign are offensive, looked him up on WA DOL website. He is not licensed.
Posted by Architect's wife on September 25, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
Apparently all of the foregoing commenters have been living under a rock and aren't aware of Obama's infamous "You didn't building that" speech. Sheesh! But it figures: The commenters are the regular (and predictable) readership of The Stranger, after all!
Posted by Bud E Boy on September 26, 2012 at 8:54 PM · Report this
Hey Buddy Boy, we certainly are aware of it enough to know that you have no idea what that speech was about. Obama was talking about the roads and infrastructure that government built in order to enable said businesses to thrive. The Republican Party was counting on your continued ignorance that you wouldn't delve any further than the superficial "You didn't build that" in the Republicans' misleading ad. Vote GOP & stick your head in the sand if that's what makes you feel better, but you won't get any smarter.
Posted by Architect's wife on September 27, 2012 at 7:55 PM · Report this

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