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Big Box or Urban Village for Town Center?

Greenwood/Phinney is seeing a lot of changes lately. Designated as an Urban Village, the neighborhood has been seeing developments with higher density. The latest is The Sedges at Piper Village, a mixed use development just east of Fred Meyer.

Next up for development may be Fred Meyer, which wants to create a super store on the current site, and it would include groceries (just like the Ballard Fred Meyer). Greenwood Market’s lease won’t be renewed.

The Greenwood Community Council has been working with the developers on their design. Kate Martin, president of the GCC, says Fred Meyer wants a single-story “big box” with a single entry door. The GCC wants a smaller footprint mixed-use building, that is more pedestrian and bike friendly, with several entries and lanes for walking. They’re interested in  possibly putting housing on top, and they also want the grocery store “out of the box,” Martin says.

The GCC’s Land Use Committee will meet Saturday from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center at 8515 Greenwood Ave. N. They’re asking for the public’s input on how they’d like to see the Fred Meyer lot developed, and a lot of the discussion will center on zoning.

The Greenwood Community Council Land Use Committee has been working for the last 4 months with a larger group called Greater Greenwood Land Use, Design & Development Advisory Group to build an advocacy position for Greenwood that would be applied to any redevelopment that occurs in the future around the town center…and the question is whether changes in zoning would encourage development that would better address the aspirations of our Neighborhood Plan & other planning to-date for that part of our neighborhood.

We cannot dictate exactly how sites redevelop, but in this case rezoning is a tool that could be used to help encourage better development than what we might see if we don’t rezone. Most of the areas being considered for a rezone are currently zoned for auto-oriented commercial, C1-40, some are NC-2 40. Auto oriented single use development is not consistent with the goals of our Neighborhood Plan and other planning to-date.

Click here to see a Greenwood Town Center draft document dated 2002 that the group is working to update.

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