Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Talaris Re-Development On KIRO TV Last Night, February 27 Public Meeting At Community Center


Bald eagles photo
"Some neighbors day the developer’s plan would destroy a natural habitat that is home to a family of bald eagles and other wildlife" KIRO TV.

"Laurelhurst neighbors upset about possible new development" was the topic of KIRO-TV's last night new's segment on the re-development of the 18 acre Talaris property into potentially 82 single family homes.  

Two long-time Laurelhurst residents were interviewed and spoke in favor of preserving the property because of its landmark status, eagle and wildlife habitats, expanding corporate neighbors, Seattle Children's Hospital and the University Village, as well as other factors. 

On February 27 from 6:30-8pm, there will be a public meeting on the re-development of the property, to be held at the  Laurelhurst Community Center (4554 NE 41st Street).

The meeting is being held on the heels of a petition signed by 400 people requesting an opportunity to publicly comment, not only on the subdivision of the property into homes, but also to comment on various environmental issues that should be addressed in the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement prepared by DPD (Department of Transportation and Development) - such as the presence of wetlands in the critical habitat area, the nesting eagles, traffic and transportation and other important issues that could have a lasting impact on the neighborhood. 

Neighbors can send written comments, including the project number 3015404 until February 27th to or to DPD, Attention: Lindsay King, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019. Please include the project number.
The project is available for public review on the DPD website and includes the Determination of Significance, preliminary plat and other materials.   

Here is a video and print of the news story also copied here in full:

Building battle looming in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood
Developer wants to transform the old Battelle Industries campus into a development for 82 single family homes
By Deborah Horne
Seattle, Wash. —
It is the talk of Laurelhurst. A proposal to convert 13 acres of land in the heart of the upscale neighborhood into essentially a brand new housing development.

"Too many people?" I asked.  "Way too many people." Cheryl Hubbell has lived there for 15 years. She says the area is already feeling squeezed by its constantly expanding commercial neighbors and simply can't accommodate the 82 single-family homes developers want to build.

"A much better use of space like have coffee shops," she said. "Have it a community gathering place but then also have apartments up above for young professionals.

The property was once home to the Battelle Memorial Institute, a science and technology think tank; more recently it has been a conference center. Neighbors pushed for and won a designation for the property as a historical Seattle landmark.

Now the new owners want to build the development on property that abuts Seattle's Children's Hospital and is down the street from the UVillage Shopping Center.

"I remember that property as being a place where we rode bikes and fed the ducks," reminisced Jennifer Horner.
Horner grew up in Laurelhurst. She says the developer’s plan would destroy a natural habitat that is home to a family of bald eagles and other wildlife.

"I don't fault them for wanting to develop it," she said of the developers. "I just think it's misguided."

We left messages for the developers but never heard back. They and the neighbors will square off at a public meeting in three weeks.

We plan to be there, too.

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