Thornton Creek Zoning Meeting

Thanks to reader Rocky for this info.

The City is having a meeting tonight at 6:30 pm in the Thornton Creek Elementary cafeteria to discuss SPS' request for a waiver from City zoning regs for the new school.

From the City's press release:

The School District is requesting changes to City zoning regulations for the following:

1) Greater than allowed building height.
2) Less than required on-site parking.
3) Continuation of on-street bus loading and unloading. 

This meeting will include a presentation before the Development Standards Departure Advisory Committee, a group composed of neighbors and School District and City representatives, on the requested changes to the development standards (zoning). There will also be an opportunity for the public to make comments concerning the request. 

Following public testimony, the committee can recommend a waiver, recommend with conditions, or deny the request; or it can decide to hold additional meetings if the committee feels more information is needed. The final decision is made by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.
If community members cannot attend the meeting, written comments can be submitted to:

Steve Sheppard
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
700 5th Avenue, Suite 1700
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

For more information, call Steve Sheppard at 684-0302, or e-mail


Anonymous said…
I did not see a project number so I can't look up the information myself. Maybe someone here knows; What is the latest with the field space at TC? Is the building taking some or all or none of it?

Also, where will new entrance to the new building go? Right now entrance is on the east side. Imagining there will be a a lot of traffic impact on other sides of the property but wondering where.

Louisa said…
The new elementary school eats up a large chunk of the open space. The Decatur building will remain as will the old Shearwater bldg, which houses a nursery school.

The main entrance to the new school will be on 77th Street NE, but there will also be access from 40th Ave NE.

The total student population on the site is a bit under 1,000 students plus necessary staff. Don't have number for staff.

Traffic problem? Yes, and both residents and parents are worried, but we have no great expectations that anyone either on the School District side or the city side will be terribly concerned.

School buses for the old Decatur building will pull up on 43rd Ave NE.

School buses for the new school (660 students) will use 40th Ave NE. Children will step off the bus onto a sidewalk that will contain a dedicated bike lane and that will be bisected by a parking lot. The parking lot will also have SPED buses entering and leaving.

The School District is asking for a waiver from code so that it does not have to build 63 extra parking spaces to meet city requirements. If it does not receive a waiver, it will simply construct another parking lot on one of the two remaining play fields.

Presently, with a school housing well under 400 students, parents have difficulty parking at bell time. Residents in the narrow side streets surrounding three sides of the school are sometimes unable to leave their driveways. One neighbor on a side street off of NE 80th gets up in the morning and sets out chairs in order to prevent drivers from parking so as to block her driveway.

The parking situation will be exacerbated by SDOT's decision to make NE 80th street into a greenway. Ordinarly this would be a good thing, but it will turn a substantial number of diagonal parking spaces into a few parallel spaces.

Many residents will be forced to park in the street, further limiting availability of parking spaces and narrowing streets already choked with traffic. It will be too difficult to enter traffic otherwise. For example, there is no parking strip on the west side of 40th NE. to give a bit of extra visibility.

Meanwhile, we have the following mix on 40th NE: regular traffic, north and south Metro bus routes, school buses, bicycles, and parents driving kids to school. We will have cars and buses entering and leaving a parking lot mid-block. On top of that, those who cannot find a parking space will be cruising around looking for one.

The School District will not consider removing the old Shearwater building, the old Decatur School, or the Annex to the school in order to create more onsite parking.

So far we have heard about possibilities for traffic slowing but no particular commitments to measures that might improve safety. We're hoping that SDOT will come up with ways to control and slow traffic. They've recently gotten a grant to improve school safety and are giving workshops on the subject.

Parking for large events at TC is too awful to think about. It's going to be a huge mess.
Unknown said…

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