Developer’s Illegal Addition Allows DPD to Stop Third House

Will DPD Finally Use the Law to Protect the Neighborhood?

DPD has another chance to use city law to stop the third house and protect the neighborhood, but DPD plans to do neither.

Illegal Garage Gives DPD Power to Stop 3rd House

Several months ago the developer built a garage addition on lot A.  (Lot A was created in the lot boundary adjustment (LBA) which used loopholes to carve 2 lots into 3.)

"Garage has no new lot coverage" - developer

Developer said garage has no new lot coverage

The developer’s plan approved by the City shows an underground garage and states that it does not count toward lot coverage.

BUT that’s not the garage the developer built.  Much of the actual garage is several feet above ground, and 100% of the roof is above ground. This means the garage does count for lot coverage (see section D.9. b.  part 3 and 4), and lot A needs to be bigger than it was permitted under the LBA.

Day Garage elevation v2

Developer’s drawing says roof will be at ground level

Therefore, the City can revoke the LBA permit under SMC 23.76.034 A because the developer “developed the site in a manner not authorized by the (LBA) permit.”  This would eliminate lot B and the third house. This law also gives DPD the option to suspend the LBA permit while the illegal garage is resolved. This could result in the 3rd house shrinking from  3 stories to 2 stories.

DPD has no plans to use one of these options to protect the neighborhood.

Actual garage – entire roof is above ground.
This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

DPD Did Nothing About Illegal Garage for Months

In Sept. a neighborhood resident told DPD Director Sugimura that he thought the new garage counted as lot coverage.  Dir. Sugimura told him that she would look into it, but DPD did nothing until a resident filed an official complaint in November.  Over three months after promising to investigate the garage, DPD issued a notice of violation (NOV) that the garage was not built according to the permit.

DPD gave the developer a deadline of Jan. 16 to comply with the NOV.  He failed to comply by the deadline and started building the third house on Jan. 14.

Based on our past experience, we fear DPD will allow the 3rd house to be built, and then it will impotently allow the illegal garage to stay.

Neighborhood Districts Sent a Message – Stop Ignoring Neighborhoods.

It’s frustrating. The developer builds an illegal garage and DPD does nothing for months.  DPD can stop the third house, or at least pause construction until the illegal garage issue is resolved, but DPD fails to protect the neighborhood.  Again.

The voters sent a message to DPD and elected officials when they approved neighborhood council districts last fall: Seattlites are fed up with the rich and powerful getting what they want while the concerns of Seattle’s neighborhoods are largely disrespected or ignored.


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