A pedestrian perspective of the proposed Aegis development from the Queen Anne Bowl. Photo courtesy of Seattle DPD
A pedestrian perspective of the proposed Aegis development from the Queen Anne Bowl. Photo courtesy of Seattle DPD

Aegis went before the Queen Anne Community Council Land Use Review Committee (LURC) last Monday, Feb. 10, to present updated plans for its proposed senior care home at 2900 Third Ave. W.

Aegis will present before the Design Review Board again on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 First Ave. W.).

The turnout for LURC was small, as it was for the last Design Review Board (DRB) meeting; five LURC members and six community members attended. At that last DRB meeting, the board asked Aegis to return to LURC, upon LURC chairperson Martin Kaplan’s urging.

The last time Aegis presented to LURC was in May 2012, according to Michael Derr, vice president of development for Aegis. Since then, Aegis has switched architects and focus to a more residential feel for the 124-unit facility.

Not much has changed in the proposal since the January DRB meeting, other than some added human-perspective shots and a light study. Aegis selected lights that had a high cut-off and didn’t disrupt the night skies, even when the building was fully lit at night -— which would be a rarity, said Pam Kurz, senior associate for Perkins Eastman.

The dome — one of the developer’s new additions — will be created with a non-reflective copper material. The developer has also created a “more generous” pedestrian walkway and included marked signs at every entrance.

In exchange for some land along the property line, Seattle Parks and Recreation will keep a small parking lot at the Queen Anne Bowl, adjacent to the Aegis site. The lot is expected to have about eight spots. 

Same departures requested

The planners are still asking for the same three departures; LURC did not object to any of them. A longer building length and car access on two streets (instead of one) were glossed over. The third departure, the smaller loading dock, is still a major point of contention for many neighbors, although not many are upset about the smaller size.

The dock, where Aegis will get deliveries, will have a 12- to 14-foot concrete retaining and green walls to screen sound. One audience member complained that it wouldn’t be enough to block the beeping from trucks, saying neighbors can hear a tennis ball drop in the Bowl.

“The noise is unfair,” she said. “You’re building an attractive nuisance.”

Kurz explained that delivery drivers will have a T-turn option to get in and out of the dock, which squelched some neighbors’ fears about trucks being forced to back out on to Third Avenue West.

The loading dock will be blocked by a 6-foot fence and plantings from the Queen Anne Bowl. Neighbors expressed concerns that children playing in the Bowl may climb the fence and fall down into the loading dock to retrieve their lost sports equipment. Community members suggested putting a roof or greenspace on top of the dock to limit potential accidents. Derr responded that the area will be an access spot for fire trucks that may need the additional height, and because the dock slopes, a roof might make it too short for the delivery trucks.

“I think that drop is a tragedy waiting to happen,” one neighbor said.

When Aegis presents to the DRB next week, the design presentation will not include a lid on the dock, Derr said. Kaplan encouraged Aegis to consider different plantings that would discourage people from climbing the fence. 

‘Less might be more’

Another neighbor expressed concern about the building’s mass in comparison to people on the Bowl.

Kaplan expressed a few concerns about the aesthetics of the design. He asked that the roof remain dark and the designers be careful about incorporating too many Victorian-era design details, saying it’s a case where “less might be more.”

He also asked the developers to consider a darker pallet on the south side of the building, to make the building stand out less to those viewing it from the Bowl.

Next week may be the last time Aegis will present to the DRB before moving forward with the project.

To read our previous article that details the full design plan, visit ow.ly/twMCK.

To view the updated project plans, visit ow.ly/twN1b.

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