This time it's on Capitol Hill.
Yesterday, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog highlighted some of the reasons neighbors are opposing a new apartment building near 13th and Mercer: the "bulk" and "scale" of the building (sound familiar?), the building's "uninviting entry," its proposed setback, a loss of sunlight for neighboring buildings, and a loss of greenery—especially relevant, they say, for the "ample wildlife" in the area, including hummingbirds and neighborhood cats.
From a letter opposing the project:
Lastly, the removal of the tree coverage will affect nearly a dozen neighboring cats who are indoor-outdoor pets and roam the foliage and have even been known to make friends with the old family of raccoons who often take rest in the trees at night. My cat, Prince Tugboat enters and exits my home from the photographed windows above, and I cannot tell you enough how devastated I would be should the trees all come down, or heaven forbid he becomes injured as a result of the shoddy design or craftsmanship this developer (Bradly Khouri) is known for.
And what would the dreaded apartment building in question replace?
The building next door to the proposed new development, the Maryland building, is four stories high and home to 20 units. The new one would be just five stories high and home to 20 units. Neighbors claim that since it would be on an elevated lot, it would feel much bigger. One person wrote that the five-story building will have a "hulking and shadowing effect on the street and nearby homes."
Let's take another look at the proposed building:
Letter-writers simultaneously complain that the building will be too big for the "character" of the neighborhood and that the one-bedroom apartments inside the building are not big enough to house families. Affordable family-sized rental housing is a real need in Seattle, but that's not really what they're fighting over.
Along with scale, shadows, and the loss of cat habitat, the 40 letters about the project complain about noise, parking, and the new building's impact on nearby home values.
And that's when it becomes clear: It doesn't matter what the new building looks like. Some people will fight any new development as long as it's in their backyard.