Friday, May 29, 2015

City Appears To Be Giving Seattle Public Schools Second Chance For Stating Case For More Portables

North playground

On March 17, the City appointed, Design Departure Committee Meeting whose role it was to decide whether Laurelhurst Elementary should be allowed up to four more portables, ultimately passed two motions, both 6-1 (School District representative voted no on both):  
1) in favor or making a decision at the meeting, thus voting against no further meetings
2) in denying the proposal for additional portables at the school

Seattle Public School District (SPS) presented their reasons in requesting a waiver from City zoning regulations to increase the allowed lot coverage of 45% on the two playgrounds.
A packed room of almost 200 people attended and almost 2 hours of public comment was heard including about 50 speakers, who spoke passionately against increased lot coverage at the school which would result in a significant decrease in playground space, as well as permanent livability impacts to surrounding neighbors.
This week, on Tuesday, May 26th, DPD (Department of Planning and Development) sent Seattle Public Schools (SPS) a "Correction Notice," titled Cycle 1 corrections for LAND USE v2.pdf, which LCC said routinely happens if DPD needs more information or what they have been provided does not fit their criteria, in order to make their final decision.

One attendee commented about the lack of SPS' preparation, saying that SPS did not provide key details and facts, such as conveying clear statistics comparing NE Schools lot coverages,  which were "on the other hand, convoluted and misleading."

LCC said on learning about the Correction Notice said "Looks like DPD is looking for ammunition to allow one new portable."
Another resident commented that:
It appears as if DPD is giving SPS a second chance on their request for additional portables if they are able to provide answers to their specific questions in the Correction Notice form.
If SPS had been thoroughly prepared at the March meeting, the Correction Notice would not have been necessary resulting in this significant delay. And now SPS is handed on a platter a specific list of requested information, which they really should have given at the March meeting. Why do they get to be coddled like that?  
Furthermore, the information DPD is requesting should be made public and another meeting should be held so that the Committee and public can weigh in.

Christi Nagle, who heads up a concerned group of parents called Parents for Playgrounds and Proper Planning said:
The entire community at school and the neighborhood should be informed about the latest questionnaire that DPD has sent to SPS.  DPD told no one in the community that they were sending the notice to SPS.   
Does the committee get a chance to "audit" and review the SPS answers? These and other questions need to be answered to the whole community who attended public meeting, served on committee, wrote in written comments, and whose kids attend the school.  
DPD and DON have been completely silent about the whole departure process since the March 17 meeting and barely provided information to the community.  It seems as if it is up to us to call, email, and question DON and DPD about what is going on, otherwise we will simply be left out. 
The Laurelhurst Blog has emailed Holly Godard, listed as the DPD contact on the Permit 3019627, with the following questions:
  • Is it standard procedure to have the major institution be allowed to fill out a document with additional info that should have been presented at the CAC meeting?
  •  Shouldn't the public and the CAC be involved in learning what additional info SPS is giving, since really it should have been given in the presence of the CAC and the public/neighbors who attended?
For questions from the public Holly's email address is  and phone number is (206) 684-0532.
Ms 22 332, Po Box 34165
2445 3rd Ave South
Seattle, WA 98124-1165
Re: Project# 3019627
Correction Notice #1
Review Type LAND USE Date May 26, 2015
Project Address 4530 46th Ave NE Contact Phone (206) 252-0558
Contact Fax (206) 252-0573
DPD Reviewer Holly Jean Godard
Address Department of Planning &
700 5th Ave Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019
Reviewer Phone (206) 684-0532
Reviewer Fax
Reviewer Email Holly.Godard@Seattle.Gov
Please make your response a narrative describing how you have met the correction item. Also state on which plan sheets you have responded, cloud the plan sheet corrections in red ink and up load the
Applicant Instructions
Please see the attached flyer to learn "How to Respond to a DPD Correction Notice".
If the 3-step process outlined in the aforementioned document is not followed, it is likely that
there will be a delay in permit issuance and there is a potential for penalty fees.
Codes Reviewed
This project has been reviewed for conformance with the applicable development standards of the Land Use Code.
1 Please provide additional information as requested below. I will use this information in my review of project 3019627. Please see SMC 23.79.008 C 1.
Please describe the LASER program at Laurelhurst School?
1. What is the LASER program?
2. How long has the program been operating at Laurelhurst School?
3. Whom does it serve?
4. What is the agreement between Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Laurelhurst School?
5. What hours does the program operate?
6. Where is the program located?
7. Is the program going to stay at Laurelhurst School?
8. Are there other places for the program to operate on the Laurelhurst property?
2 Address the Code criteria in SMC section 23.79.008 C 1:
1. Relationship to Surrounding Areas:
1. How would one additional classroom portable relate to the character and scale of the
surrounding area? Show this graphically and describe in a narrative.
2. Are there significant setbacks, major arterials, topographic breaks, and similar features
which provide a transition in scale to the residential fabric of the area and/or to the park?
3. How does the proposal locate and design the structure to reduce the appearance of bulk at this site?
4. What are the impacts on traffic, noise, circulation and parking in the area if this portable
classroom is allowed?
5. Identify the impacts on housing and open space of adding one portable.
3 Answer the following in your response.
• What does the proposed portable classroom look like?
• What is the height, width, length and full footprint with ramp or steps?
• Show elevations of the proposed portable classroom.
• Where does SPS hope to locate the portable on the Laurelhurst School site?
• How much space will be turned over to the portable? Is it play space or landscaping?
• Graphically show alternative locations for the portable classroom.
• List the pros and cons for each location.
4 1. Need for the departure : Please fully articulate the request for one portable
classroom building mentioned during the Committee meeting deliberations.
What is the need for the portable?
1. Describe the number and uses of the portables currently on site
2. What would the new portable be used for?
3. How would the programming at Laurelhurst be improved by adding a new portable?
4. How long would the portable be needed?
5. What is the impact to programming if one portable is not allowed?
6. Does the need for the portable address school population needs other than
LASER-centered needs? Other programs or school related activities?
7. Other information ?
City of Seattle How to Respond to a DPD Correction Notice
Step 1: Pick up the Plans
• Plans Routing will notify the primary contact for the project by email or phone when all reviews in the review cycle are complete and plans are ready to pick up
• Once you have been notified, pick up the plans at the Plans Routing counter in the Applicant Services Center (20th floor)
• You may check the status of any review at the following link:
Step 2: Make Corrections
Construction Permits: Coordinate responses to correction items among all designers, architects, engineers, and owners.
Provide a separate written response for each review discipline that has asked for corrections.
Be sure to address each item on all correction notices. We won't accept corrected plans without written responses. Include the following information in each response:
• Describe the change you've made.
• Say where the change can be found in the plan set.
• If you have not made a requested change, say why. Give a code citation and provide calculations to support your reason.
If you replace sheets in the corrected plan sets:
• Identify changes on the replacement sheets by clouding or circling the changes.
• Mark the old sheets as "VOID" and roll them up at the back of each corrected plan set. Do not insert or staple voided sheets into the corrected plan sets.
If you add changes to the original sheets:
• Identify the changes by clouding or circling them with ink (preferably red, waterproof ink). Do not use pencil to make changes.
• Do not tape or staple anything to the plan sets.
Platting Actions: Provide new copies of the survey when responding to a correction
Step 3: Return Corrected Plans
• Return the corrected plans to Plans Routing in the Applicant Services Center (20th floor). If your plans are electronic, upload your corrected sets through the DPD Project Portal.
If you don't follow these instructions:
• Plans Routing may not accept your corrected plans.
• DPD may be delayed in starting corrected plan review, which can delay permit
• DPD may charge a $300 penalty fee.

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