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!