We urge the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to deny approval of national developer Toll Brother’s proposal (#3015522) to bulldoze hundred-year old trees and the historic Seattle Children’s Home (SCH) campus located at 901 W. McGraw in order to pack over 63 tract townhouses into two square blocks in a residential Queen Anne neighborhood.
PROJECT IS OUT OF SYNC WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD
We understand the use of this property will change. What it changes to matters. The Toll proposal disregards the uniqueness of this property and is out of character and scale with the neighborhood. If approved, this development would cause irreparable harm to our community and set a terrible precedent for growth planning throughout the city. It will put at risk the safety of adult pedestrians, children walking to neighborhood schools and bicycle commuters. It will increase noise pollution and traffic congestion as well as reduce parking availability and tree canopy cover.
THIS IS AN HISTORIC SITE
We urge DPD to give appropriate weight to the unique characteristics and history of this Queen Anne property and strong community opposition.
The Seattle Children's Home (SCH) campus at 9th W. & McGraw covers most of a two-block area and is one of the largest and greenest properties on Queen Anne hill. The property, donated in 1903 to SCH by prominent Seattle settler Thomas Mercer, has a long history of community service. Funds for the original buildings were allocated from the City by Mayor Henry Yesler, surplus relief funds from Seattle's Great Fire of 1889, and from Seattle benefactors, such as Bailey Gatzert and Dexter Horton. SCH has stewarded the property for more than 100 years. SCH has now sold the property and plans to move to Burien.
National developer Toll Brothers has bought the property and plans to chop down mature trees and greenery, demolish all buildings, and pack the site with a tract of over 63 townhomes.
This will add upwards of 100 cars to this two-block area, endangering the safety of adults and children who live, work and visit the neighborhood. It will also increase traffic congestion and add to the current shortage of on-street parking. The century-old elms lining 9th Avenue and other mature trees and greenery throughout the property would be eliminated, undercutting the City of Seattle's goal of increasing the urban tree canopy.
DENSITY DOES NOT MEAN POOR PLANNING AND DESIGN
Significant growth has occurred in the past 15 years on Queen Anne, increasing the density of this historic urban neighborhood. Hundreds of new housing units have been built with community input and support. This piece of property is unique in its historical significance, size and location. Strong community opposition should be given full weight before a decision is made on this massive proposal with irreversible impacts.
We support the use of this property in a manner that protects the trees, preserves light, does not endanger public safety, accommodates parking, fits with the character of the neighborhood, and honors the historic significance of the site.