Fremont

Parking plan draws jeers: 'It's terrible. It's appalling.'

Parking plan draws jeers: 'It's terrible. It's appalling.'

SEATTLE - Spotless in Seattle?

An apartment building planned for the heart of Fremont isn't sitting well with people who live and work nearby because of a lack of parking in its blueprints.

The building, at 3601 Greenwood Avenue North, is slated to have 67 apartments and 16 parking spaces, according to plans filed with the city. That's about one parking space for every four units.

"Oh, wow. That doesn't add up," said Graham Cox, who works down the street from where the new apartments are scheduled to be built. "I would like to have a one-to-one ratio spot for at least each person. It's pretty impossible to park here."

"It's terrible. It's appalling. It's disgusting. I hate it," added Nic Hartmann, who also works near the planned development. "I think Seattle should think more about its residents and not so much builders and contractors."

The city of Seattle relaxed parking requirements for developers in the past seven years, said Bryan Stevens, spokesman for the Department of Planning and Development. If buildings are in so-called 'urban villages' or 'urban centers,' developers may be exempt from requiring a single parking space under city code, he said.

"There is access to heavy transit and even bike services, so in those areas they don't have to provide any parking," Stevens said. "We want to encourage growth and housing and jobs - more of a compact urban development area."

"It's really based on the demand of the market instead of a city requirement," he added.

Seattle Center  - currently home to several major residential developments under construction - is also considered an urban village, and developers are not necessarily required to provide parking, Stevens said.

Records show that a new, seven-story, 102-unit apartment building at 5th Avenue and John Street will have 86 parking stalls, in addition to bike parking. The building is currently under construction.

Developers for the Fremont building are in the early design stages and haven't submitted a formal proposal, Stevens added.

Some people who live nearby weren't completely opposed to the idea.

"One of the things I love about the neighborhood is that you can safely bike to the places you need to go to," said Angela Pinchero, who lives part-time in Fremont. "I think the neighborhood's great."